Although homelessness should not be a law enforcement matter, Sheriff Villanueva recognizes that the increased crime surrounding homeless encampments does fall into his bailiwick.
“The sheriff shall preserve peace, and to accomplish this object may sponsor, supervise, or participate in any project of crime prevention, rehabilitation of persons previously convicted of crime, or the suppression of delinquency.” Calif. Gov Code, § 26600
The sheriff has no desire to arrest the homeless. Per Fox News Channel 11’s coverage of Villanueva’s June 23, 2021, press conference concerning the homeless encampment on Venice Beach. “Villanueva often referred to Mayor Garcetti and the Board of Supervisors as “architects of failure,” saying the city “handcuffed the LAPD,”’ preventing them from using law enforcement to prevent people from camping on the beach and sidewalk, which he argued was more humane than letting people die on the street.” The sheriff does not find choosing between two options for the homeless – jail or death – acceptable. Thus, he’s stirring the pot to force some action.
The sheriff, however, is ignoring the criminal liability of “architects of failure,” Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmembers such as Mike Bonin whose council district includes Venice. Why doesn’t Villanueva heed his own words? The Homeless Crisis has been created by the mayor and the city council in order to allow developers to destroy rent-controlled housing in order to construct market rate projects. Architects do not inadvertently design anything – the sheriff’s charge that the mayor and city council are the architects means that their actions have been intentional.
Being Homeless does Not Violate Any Law
The federal courts have already ruled that being homeless is not a crime and the homeless may not be arrested for being homeless nor may the city steal their belongings in order to harass them out of sight. The naive judges may have thought they would be the catalyst for the city to take effective action to protect the poorest of the poor. Could the judges really be that unsophisticated?
‘Buy Low Sell High’ Destroys Rent-Controlled Housing
Everyone recognizes the business maxim of “buy low and sell high.” In constructing apartments and condos that means buying land for the lowest price and then constructing the largest project to reap the largest income. The lowest cost properties are rent-controlled units. When the tenants are evicted, they cannot rent another rent-controlled unit. In Los Angeles, there is never a rent-controlled apartment for rent! Thus, when poor people are thrown out to make way for a fancy-schmancy project, they have to pay the high market rate rent for an apartment. Only after they rent the unit, do they then have “rent control” protection for as long as they remain there.
Since a significant number of the evicted cannot afford to pay double or triple their old rent, they end up homeless. Many have jobs, but their pay is too low to pay high rents. As the city destroyed more rent-controlled properties, the demand for the cheapest apartments increased as the supply dwindled forcing up the rents at the lowest level. Meanwhile, higher-end projects were constructed until we had a glut of vacancies. LA now has about 93,000 vacant units. No, Virginia, Space aliens did not descend from UFO’s and inflict this human tragedy upon us. It is the product of criminality to which all law enforcement closes its eyes.
Since developers virtually always want more than the zoning code allows, they need city council approvals for variances, which makes bribery a way of life at LA City Hall.
Why Does Sheriff Villanueva Not Enforce the Penal Code?
Why does Sheriff Villanueva ignore the massive criminal enterprise which has caused the Homeless Crisis: Los Angeles City Council’s Vote Trading System? In 2006, Penal Code § 86 clarified that trading one “yes” vote for a return “yes” vote is felony bribery just as paying money for a vote is bribery. There is no legal difference between buying or selling a vote in return for another vote than it is to buy or sell a vote for cash.
Mike Bonin has been on the city council since 2013 and in the intervening eight years, he has persistently engaged in the criminal vote trading system thousands of times. The illegal vote trading system is simple: each councilmember must vote yes for any project any other councilmember places on the city council agenda and in return each councilmember will vote yes on any project which that councilmember places on the agenda. That is why the destruction of rent controlled apartments passes unanimously. The probability of all councilmembers unanimously agreeing on each project since 2006 without a vote trading agreement is 1 in Infinity. Although the sheriff has identified the culprits, he does nothing,
Lately, the Homeless Have Become Extra Aggressive
As the media informs us, violence plagues the homeless. If a homeless person is found to have a “blackjack” or knife for self-defense, however, he/she can be arrested. Without a blackjack or other weapon for defense, he/she may be murdered. A non-violent homeless person found with such self-protection is subject to arrest. Then, they get a criminal record, making it even harder to get a decent paying job and making them quite hostile to the predators.
All told, the felonious voting system which has caused the homeless crisis has racked up one million years of prison time for LA councilmembers if each illegal vote were to get the full four-year sentence. As citizens we rebel against the violence among the homeless, while we’re okay with the criminality which has manufactured these conditions.
Why Is Sheriff Villanueva Allowing White Collar Criminality to Plague Los Angeles?
There are more rationalizations than one can count but they boil down to one fact. We live in viciously predatory society. Our judiciary has become a thuggery and the sheriff is astute enough not to step on the toes of the judges and their offshore bank accounts. Without the constant flow of corrupt development dollars, Los Angeles faces an economic disaster. Like a narco-drug state dependent on the sale of opium, Los Angeles cannot survive without the constant construction of more density even as it destroys the city. With a mentality that would cheer the clubbing of the last baby seal to death, the developers, the city council, and the judges are pushing LA into a death spiral. We have gone from the nation’s most desirable destination city in 2001 to the least desirable with the worst GINI Coefficient for any urban area. Years ago, when attorney Richard I. Fine alerted us to judicial corruption, he was disbarred and jailed for 14 months. The protection of the courts allows the city council’s criminality to flourish.
Don’t think the faux FBI investigation of Jose Huizar is not a whitewash of the crimogenic nature of Los Angeles City Hall and the judicial system. When the FBI’s case goes out of its way to skirt the City Council’s open and notorious criminal bribery scam and when Judge Richard Fruin accelerates the homeless crisis by his December 2016 ruling that the city council’s actions are “non justiciable,” Sheriff Villanueva is unlikely to be foolhardy enough to buck these forces and arrest the LA City Council. In LA, the most dangerous criminals are all “made men” and have become the new Untouchables. Where is Elliot Ness when we need him?
(Richard Lee Abrams has been an attorney, a realtor and community relations consultant as well as a CityWatch contributor. The views expressed herein are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch. You may email him at [email protected]) Photo sources: YouTube and Villanueva photo by Jon Peltz.