April 23, 2024

California Governor Gavin Newsom took to social media Friday to trumpet a new high-tech system comprised of 400 roadside cameras to try to combat rampant crime in the beleaguered city, but he was quickly mocked and derided for condoning the creation of a Chinese-like surveillance state.

The obvious question in the Golden State is, why don’t you actually enforce the laws, repeal criminal coddling legislation like Proposition 47, and keep repeat offenders behind bars? A bunch of cameras isn’t going to change that reality.

“We’re building safer, stronger communities for all Californians,” he bragged. How he can say that with a straight face is beyond me since residents in many of the state’s cities feel under assault. 

In another twist of irony, it wasn’t even the governor or city officials who came up with the plan—local businesses had to do it themselves:

The initiative was put together by the CEOs of four major downtown Oakland employers, as part of a $10 million security program to improve public safety and protect employees. The companies are Blue Shield of California, Clorox, Kaiser Permanente and Pacific Gas & Electric.

The X post also featured video of Newsom standing near a busy Oakland road and detailing the policy to viewers.

In it, he elaborated on the plan, adding that it’s part of law enforcement’s efforts “to focus on stolen vehicles.”

Residents and businesses have been fleeing Oakland as workers can’t even go to lunch without being robbed.

Oakland under assault:

‘Gavin Newsom’s Vision for America’ Seen in Disturbing Story of Oakland Pizzeria Robberies

‘And Another One Gone’: Beloved Denny’s in Oakland Abruptly Closes After 54 Years Due to Crime Epidemic

COLLAPSE: Oakland Business Owner Says Crime Epidemic ‘Worst I’ve Ever Seen It’

The backlash on social media was swift and (deservedly) brutal. Conservative commentator Doug Powers asked the salient question: “They could try just keeping criminals in jail, but why bother with that when they can just spy on everybody instead?”

The popular conservative account “Hodgetwins” chimed in: 

California physician Houman Hemmati, who’s a regular on Fox News at Night, pointed out that cameras can be fooled by criminals who change the license plates on stolen cars:

I have personal experience as my daughter’s car has been stolen twice in the last two years, and both times the perps changed the plates. 

Derek Hunter, a columnist at our sister site Townhall.com, tweeted

California’s Governor promises to record your murder and offer your family a discounted, hi-def keepsake digital video of your last moments, after the state offers a plea deal to your killer that suspends their sentence while still paying for their transition surgery.

Granted, all crime in California is not Newsom’s fault—we can also thank woke district attorneys like LA’s George Gascón and Alameda County’s Pamela Price. Still, he is at the top of the legislative food chain and the sense of lawlessness has happened under his watch. He’s done little but spout bromides instead of actually doing something. 

Attorney Harmeet K. Dhillon summed it up best:

“Nobody believes you. Sit down.”