Residents voice law enforcement concerns at oversight commission town hallSebastian Cazares March 1, 2019 0 COMMENTS
Santa Clarita residents provided feedback on law enforcement at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Civilian Oversight Commission town hall on Thursday evening, with many applauding the new historic crime lows in Santa Clarita and some voicing concerns about police conduct.
In addition to collecting public comments, the commission town hall also hosted booths for mental evaluation teams and services, immigrant affairs specialists, public social services, child support services and the local fire and sheriff’s departments.
Some attendees used public comment time to express their concerns about police conduct and accountability. Local resident Natasha Robinson claimed the deputies refused to investigate the physical assault of her son, a disabled veteran.
A handful of activists carried signs with slogans criticizing newly-elected Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who defended the enforcement of California’s sanctuary policy during an interview with ABC7 in January. One sign read, “Villanueva resign or face a recall.”
“He’s an LEO, law enforcement officer, but he thinks he’s a SJW, a ‘social justice warrior,” one of the activists, who declined to give his name, said. “He should be protecting American citizens, not foreign nationals.”
In response to comments about Villanueva’s defense of the sanctuary state policy, Civilian Oversight Commissioner Sean Kennedy referred concerned constituents to publicly available data on the county’s criminal justice system.
“Some social science studies state that undocumented immigrants commit crimes at lower rates,” Civilian Oversight Commissioner Sean Kennedy said. “There’s other studies that say different things. We’ve invited both sides to present statistics on this issue. Reports are available for the public.”
Sebastian Cazares is a lifelong Santa Clarita resident and student at College of the Canyons. He was heavily involved in Speech, Model UN, Rotary Club and journalism during his high school years. Sebastian is deeply interested in local politics and excited to report on the issues that impact his community.