Accident or crime scene cordon tape, police line do not cross. It is nighttime, emergency lights of police cars flashing blue, red and white in the background

(CALMATTERS) – It isn’t just a campaign trail talking point: Violent crime really is up in California.

The latest data point comes out of Los Angeles, which last month recorded 46 homicides, according to the nonprofit news site Crosstown. That’s the most since at least 2010. 

While statewide crime stats are slower to come in, homicides in 2020 increased 31% over the prior year, even as other types of crime flatlined or declined.

And while preliminary FBI statistics suggest homicides increased by 25% across the country last year, the California numbers could present a political problem for Newsom. California Republicans have always taken Democrats to task over crime, but after decades of declining crime statistics, the data is now on their side.

Today, a pro-recall campaign will finish its tour of the state highlighting what they call Newsom’s weak record on law and order. Earlier this week, business leaders in Oakland’s Chinatown begged the governor to send in the California Highway Patrol to curb a wave of local robberies and assaults (Newsom acquiesced). And Republicans continue to excoriate the governor over the release from prison of a man who buried his developmentally disabled victim alive 40 years ago. 

California’s Board of Parole granted David Weidert application for early release four times since 2015. Those paroles were reversed twice by then-Gov. Jerry Brown and once by Newsom. 

But this year the governor decided that Weidert, who committed the crime when he was 17 and is now 58 years old, “does not pose a current unreasonable risk to public safety.”