California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom was widely mocked on social media late this week as he talked to reporters about the widespread thefts that have been taking place on trains in Los Angeles, saying that it looked like a “third world country.”
Newsom’s remarks come after an official with Union Pacific (UP) revealed several days ago that the organization believes that approximately 90 shipping containers are robbed every day in the area. The story quickly gained national media attention after local news stations posted video showing thousands of packages opened and thrown onto the train tracks.
“I mean, just less than 48 hours ago, we said, we’re coming down, let’s set this thing up. We had all the lawyers say, well hold on, it’s not your property. I mean, all, in every conceivable thing that makes you frustrated and crazy about government bureaucracy was at play, but everybody worked together,” Newsom told reporters. “They work through those issues. We got this memorandum of understanding. And we created a new framework of understanding about our mutual responsibility to address what the hell’s going on here.”
“And I see that was emphasis. I see what you see, I see what you’ve been covering, I see what everybody’s seeing, asking myself, what the hell is going on?” Newsom said. “We look like a third world country, these images, the drone images that are on the nightly news day in and day out. Some networks weaponizing them for their own political agenda and others just reporting the damn news, fairly and appropriately and all I can say is we need all of us to recognize our collective and individual responsibility to do more and start supporting one another and address these issues.”
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 21, 2022
Newsom later apologized for calling the organized groups that were conducting the thefts “gangs.”
“This is not one-off,” Newsom said. “This is organized theft. These are organized gangs of people that are coming out.”
“Forgive me for saying ‘gangs,’ that’s not a pejorative,” he continued. “They’re organized groups of folks that move from site to site.”
Adrian Guerrero, director of public affairs for UP, slammed the city’s far-left politics, saying that they are enabling the criminals who he says brag about being let off easy for their crimes.
“Criminals are caught and arrested, turned over to local authorities for booking, arraigned before the local courts, charges are reduced to a misdemeanor or petty offense, and the criminal is released after paying a nominal fine,” Guerrero said. “These individuals are generally caught and released back onto the streets in less than twenty-four hours. Even with all the arrests made, the no-cash bail policy and extended timeframe for suspects to appear in court is causing re-victimization to UP by these same criminals. In fact, criminals boast to our officers that charges will be pied down to simple trespassing – which bears no serious consequence. Without any judicial deterrence or consequence, it is no surprise that over the past year UP has witnessed the significant increase in criminal rail theft described above.”
“While we understand the well-intended social justice goals of the policy, we need our justice system to support our partnership efforts with local law enforcement, hold these criminals accountable, and most important, help protect our employees and the critical local and national rail network,” Guerrero added.
Guerrero said that the problem is so bad that Union Pacific is now evaluating “serious changes to our operating plans to avoid Los Angeles County.”
Notable responses to Newsom’s remarks included:
— John Phillips (@Johnnydontlike) January 21, 2022
I'm stunned at how clueless Newsom is.
Yes, we look like a third-world country and we have for a while! Look at your crime bills, your shutdowns… OMG https://t.co/WGGNyJt6Ru
— Jennifer Van Laar (@jenvanlaar) January 21, 2022
Yesterday in LA Gavin Newsom said "we look like a third-world country." The definition of a gaffe is when a politician accidentally tells the truth.
— Kevin Kiley (@KevinKileyCA) January 21, 2022
"Man this place that I run is a real shithole. Ah well, next."
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) January 21, 2022