Via America’s Lawyer: California’s major cities are running rampant with cases of “smash and grab” retail theft. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             Los Angeles, San Francisco and Oakland have been hotbeds for crime in recent months, along with Chicago, with burglaries and murders becoming commonplace. But it was only recently that the media started paying attention and there’s a reason for that. I’ve got Farron Cousins back with me to explain that why, exactly why. We have, we’ve actually said this in the past. My, my position has always been, if you follow the numbers in Chicago, you’ve got 25, 30 people being killed, shot on, on a weekend. Okay. Now the media doesn’t pay any attention because it’s black on black. If it were whites being shot, you’d see a lot more of it. This story to me is kind of a, it is kind of a, a similar kind of analysis. You know, we didn’t, you have the gated communities now where this big, what I call mob flash attack is taking place. What’s your take on it.

Farron Cousins:                  Well, yeah, you know, it, it’s really interesting what is happening here because technically in these cities, crime overall is down. You know, we’re talking about, about 13% statistically, but these massive events are what’s becoming such a major problem in these cities where you have groups of 20, sometimes 50, there’s one group that was 90 individuals that appeared to be well coordinated and they do. They, they go to these high end stores, jewelry stores, high end shopping retailers, smash the windows, go in, take all these goods as much as they can carry out of there. And they seemingly disappear all at once together. As you said, this, this is a good kind of example, of like a flash mob, except not the kind that goes out does a quick dance and disappears. This is criminal activity that is scary for retailers.

Mike Papantonio:             They’re, they’re showing up with sledge hammers. They’re showing up with pepper spray. The people that are, are actually being attacked, the employees are being attacked in the process. Gavin, this is here. We, we did a story on DeSantis where DeSantis is bringing in the militia. He’s bringing a paramilitary group into Florida. I promise you that’s building, what he’s doing, DeSantis is doing is building to this talking point and that is law and order Republican. I mean, Democrats are so weak they can’t even control crime, but we can do it here in Florida because we have this paramilitary group. Gavin Newsom is a total failure. You’ve got, I mean, that’s, this is the argument. You know, their retailers are going outta business during the Christmas season. They’re even discussing maybe not even being open. So I mean, this is a big issue. This isn’t just, you know, something that’s passing through. I think it’s, I think it’s here for awhile.

Farron Cousins:                  Well and, and what you have here is a politician, the, the DA I believe it is.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  Who decided, excuse me, to pander to these voters. Because when, when the DA came into office, the voters were saying, listen, we gotta do something about the harsh sentencing laws. And they were terrible for nonviolent offenders. But that’s the part that got lost in the translation.

Mike Papantonio:             It’s pretty violent, it’s pretty violent.

Farron Cousins:                  Well, exactly. But here’s what I’m saying is the DA says, okay, you want, let me, let me give you what you want. And just let’s go of a lot of these prosecutions for actual violent offenders. So he tries to please these individuals by giving them something they technically didn’t ask for, trying to make it seem like, hey, I’m not just rounding people up and overloading our prison system here. So it was a truly a despicable case if you ask me of, of pandering that went absolutely off the rails because this guy didn’t understand what the hell he was doing here.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, they’re, they’re, they’re scrambling to try to explain it. You’ve got David Ball who is a professor at the, the Santa Clara University who’s saying, oh, this is natural. This is, this is just passing through. This is natural. This is a product of COVID. Everything is COVID. Well, the real experts are saying, no, this is very organized. It’s coming through so, they’re organizing through social media. They’re, you know, it’s a broad, broad problem that ain’t just something like this professor David Ball is trying to say that this is or Jonathan Simon at UCLA as, as if this is some just passing through cultural issue. It’s not. And Gavin Newsom better get ahead of it.

Farron Cousins:                  Well, Newsom’s been put kind of on his heels on this particular issue because he doesn’t know what to do. You know, this suddenly gets thrust into his lap because you have to expect him, you know, or at least I would if I were him, you’ve gotta expect your people, your mayors, your DAs, all these people across the state to be able to do their job. And when they stop doing that, suddenly it does fall on you maybe fairly, unfairly, whatever, but this is Newsom’s problem now and he’s the one that has to have the solution.

Mike Papantonio:             Big, big problem and DeSantis is taking advantage of it.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.