LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Las Vegas is blaming two California laws for a spike in murders and other crimes.
The sheriff of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department claimed a number of crimes that happened in Sin City have been traced back to Californian.
Sheriff Joe Lombardo blamed AB 109, which allows for early release of certain inmates, and Proposition 47, which reduces nonviolent crimes to misdemeanors.
“Individuals we’re able to identify, and also the victims of those crimes – we’re seeing a significant increase in individuals that have gang affiliation, gang association directly related to California,” Lombardo said.
According to the LVMPD, overall crime was up in Vegas this year by 22 percent. Homicides surged by more than 60 percent. Sexual assaults spiked 9 percent, and robberies went up 21 percent.
Vegas police said they can prove some of those crimes are a result of AB 109 and Prop. 47, based on the offenders’ criminal histories that trace back to California.
Long Beach resident Tedric Williams questioned the claims made by the Las Vegas sheriff. “It’s very simple-minded. We’ve got to think bigger. Folks committing crimes are folks committing crimes, whether they be affected by Prop. 47 or not,” Williams said.
Los Angeles’ city attorney said he believes Prop. 47 is broken and needs to be reevaluated but also questioned how Lombardo made a direct connection between Sin City’s spike in crime and California’s laws.
Lombardo also noted that his department does not have enough officers on patrol, which could be another reason for the crime surge.