LOS ANGELES – “I support the peaceful organized protests that already have brought needed attention to racial inequality throughout our society, including in the criminal justice system,” said Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey. “I also have a constitutional and ethical duty to protect the public and prosecute people who loot and vandalize our community.”
That being said, the DA’s Office has been deluged with charges needed to be filed for multiple protest-related crimes. 61 people who committed crimes during the Los Angeles County protests were charged with looting and other crimes.
“A majority of the charges filed over the past two days have been for looting,” said Greg Risling. “Other charges include assault and/or battery upon a peace officer, robbery, burglary, possession of a destructive device, identity theft, and receiving stolen property.”
A possible maximum sentence of three years in county jail await felony looters. Various law enforcement agencies are expected to present additional cases for filing consideration, in the coming week.
Some arrestees experienced cite-and-release – so those cases have not yet been presented. Multiple regions addressed those charged with various crimes. At Downtown L.A., 11 were charged with the felonies of looting, robbery, and assault upon a peace officer.
At the Airport Branch Court, which covers some of the western portions of L.A. County, including Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, 17 charges included felony looting, burglary and identity theft, as well as misdemeanor looting and burglary.
“Fifteen people were charged with felony looting, fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s vehicle or attempted looting in Compton,” said Risling, “while three people were charged with felony looting in Long Beach.”
Additionally, “In Van Nuys, five people were charged with felony looting,” said Risling. “Six people were charged with felony looting or attempted looting in Norwalk and three people were charged with attempted looting in Torrance.”
A 15-year-old youth has been charged in juvenile court with assault upon a peace officer. In total, 11 cases were declined due to insufficient evidence, 19 referred back to law enforcement agencies for further investigation and 31 were referred to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office for misdemeanor filing consideration.
Some cases qualified for zero bail under the guidelines set forth by the Judicial Council of California, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, since a state of emergency was declared in L.A. County, some looting cases might require bail.
Additionally, “The District Attorney’s Office prosecutes all felonies in Los Angeles County and misdemeanors that occur in the unincorporated areas of the county and in most cities,” said Risling.
“These 10 cities prosecute misdemeanors that occur in their jurisdiction: Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Monica, Pasadena, Torrance, Burbank, Inglewood, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach.”
L.A. County D.A. Jackie Lacey leads the largest local prosecutorial office in the nation. Her staff of nearly 1,000 attorneys, 300 investigators and 800 support staff members is dedicated to protecting the community through the fair and ethical pursuit of justice and the safeguarding of crime victims’ rights.