In what might become one of the defining scenes of his tenure in office, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) offered an apology Thursday for telling reporters during a photo op at railroad tracks that the detritus of stolen packages looted from the rail cars likely was the work of, as he originally put it, “organized gangs.”
California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an apology on Thursday after stating that ‘organized gangs’ were behind the mass looting of trains in Lincoln Heights.
Indeed. Resplendent in his “down-home” baseball cap and short-sleeve shirt, Newsom had held the press spellbound with his Holmesian didactics, as he figured out:
This is not one-off. This is organized theft…
But, in a moment, he changed tack, and everything “went off the rails.”
These are organized gangs of people that are coming out," he said before abruptly stopping himself. "And forgive me for saying gangs, that's not a pejorative.
’They're organized groups of folks that move from site to site,’ Newsom continued. ‘When there's more attention, a bright light on one site, they move to the next site. While these folks are arrested as if they're individuals that are not connected to the whole. And we need to change that.’
So, are the individuals arrested connected, or are they not connected, to one another?
Moreover, with the thefts often falling under the umbrella of the 2014-passed “Proposition 47,” which reduced from “felony” to “misdemeanor” theft of items up to $950, these “arrests” won’t lead to felony convictions, just misdemeanor convictions - if the perps are caught at all.
Sleuthing seems not to be in the governor’s wheelhouse.
But prevarication and obfuscation – even groveling to criminals in a state where, under his executive presence violent and non-violent crime skyrocketed in one year, especially in large cities – seem to be activities at which Newsom excels.
So, one cannot be sure if he was correcting himself because he actually does not think these thieves often are connected and coordinated, or if he does, but doesn’t want to insult them by calling them gangs, which is precisely what they are.
(Cover Photo: Matt Baume)