Curtis James Jackson III, better known as 50 Cent, denounced Los Angeles' recent decision to reinstate its zero-bail policy, noting the city will be adversely impacted.
The affluent musician and self-described "born-again Christian" shared a KTTV-TV report to Instagram Thursday, which detailed the immediate consequences of the May reinstatement of the zero-bail policy.
Los Angeles County Deputy DA John McKinney can be heard in the shared report noting that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department will no longer "detain people for crimes such as theft, shoplifting, drug use, vandalism, battery, and a whole host of other non-serious, nonviolent crimes that affect the quality of life for people here in Los Angeles."
Additionally, McKinney indicated many suspected criminals would be released without posting bail.
50 Cent captioned the post, "LA is finished," adding, "Watch how bad it gets out there."
What's the background?
The policy was introduced during the pandemic to purportedly reduce crowding in city jails and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, reported KTTV.
Although scrapping bail for all detained suspects awaiting trial is popular with Democrat politicians and other radical leftists, Californians overwhelmingly rejected it when it was brought to a vote in the form of Proposition 25 in 2020.
The LAPD also took issue with the policy, noting that in the first 30 days of its enactment in 2020, police had arrested 213 individuals multiple times, with 23 being arrested three or more times, reported the Los Angeles times.
Although the pandemic-era policy came to an end last summer, Philip Urquidi — who sued the city, the Los Angeles Police Department, and others after being held in jail on $20,000 bail and a vandalism charge — was joined by other former detainees in a class action lawsuit seeking a permanent injunction to prohibit the LASD and LAPD "from enforcing the money bail schedules as the sole means of determining whether arrestees are or are not released before they are brought before a judge."
Despite an imploration by Superior Court Judge Lawrence Riff, LAPD Chief Michael Moore, LASD Sheriff Robert Luna, and Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon reportedly elected not to testify in opposition to the injunction.
"The Department is aware of the preliminary injunction regarding the cash bail system, and of course will comply with any court-ordered bail schedule. The County is also working with the court and other stakeholders to explore ways to reduce the number of people held before arraignment because they can't afford bail and to provide the Sheriff greater release options to safely reduce the jail population, while always prioritizing public safety," said the LASD in a statement about the ruling," reported KABC-TV.
The court ultimately granted the preliminary injunction, and the zero-bail policy went into effect again on May 24.
Riff said after issuing the injunction that holding a possible criminal in jail because they cannot pay likely violates their constitutional rights, calling the practice "a clear, pervasive and serious constitutional violation."
Salil Dudani, the lead attorney in the lawsuit,
said, "We're supposed to have a presumption of innocence in this country. It's not much of a presumption of innocence when you're in a jail cell."
A study published earlier this year comparing California repeat offenders who posted bail with those kicked loose without posting bail indicated that those in the latter camp reoffended more often, reoffended sooner after release, and committed 200 times more violent crimes, reported Fox News Digital.
Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig, whose office published the study, concluded that "zero bail is a completely failed policy. ... It's just going to make everything more dangerous."
The report revealed that suspects released without bail were "rearrested on 163% more charges than those who posted bail, and they reoffended 70% more often. These reoffenses resulted in felony charges 90% more often – and they were accused of three times as many crimes."
"We saw violent crime going up as soon as zero bail was implemented in our county by court order," Reisig told Fox News Digital. "And despite all of our best efforts to try and stop the practice, we were forced to continue to do the zero-bail system, and we saw our communities suffer as a result."
Sean Kennedy, the director of policy at the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, noted in a Chicago Sun-Times piece concerning the possible ruin in store for Illinois upon eliminating cash bail, "Money bail provides a strong incentive for the accused to comply — appear and stay out of trouble — on the pain of forfeiture. And in fact, most bailees don’t post the money themselves, instead relying on friends and family to pay the bond amount and bear the risk of forfeiture."
"These third parties are effectively vouching for the accused with their pocketbooks. It also creates a reinforcing system of accountability to comply with the court. If a defendant knows their grandparents might forfeit their life savings if he no-shows or re-offends, he might think twice," added Kennedy.
In addition to the Yolo study, Kennedy cited a Department of Justice study that found that a defendant's failure to appear to a hearing and/or trial was more likely among cases with a defendant released on recognizance than among cases with a defendant released on bail.
The study indicated that even "bail between $50 and $500 lowered the likelihood of [failure to appear] compared to the 17-percent predicted probability" of failure to appear for released on recognizance cases."
According to Neighborhood Scout, the likelihood of becoming a victim of a violent crime in Los Angeles is 1 in 135. The chance of becoming a victim of a property crime is 1 in 41.
These stats are liable to drastically change in short order if 50 Cent's prediction turns out to be true.
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