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Amid a growing trend of flash mobs storming retail stores in Democrat-run cities and emptying the shelves, there’s a debate in the media over whether to call the suspects robbers, thieves, or looters.
Not surprisingly, given current circumstances in America, concern about advancing racial stigmas are the driving factor here.
The debate does serve as a convenient distraction to local officials in places like San Francisco all but making shoplifting legal by reducing the penalties for such crimes. Criminal justice reform efforts also eliminate or reduce cash bonds, turning jails into revolving doors that allow criminals to re-offend — the latest and most lethal example of this was just seen in Waukesha, Wisc., where a career criminal and registered sex offender with an active arrest warrant in Nevada was released on $1,000 bond after allegedly running over a woman earlier this month, only to then run over scores of people marching in a Christmas parade, killing five people and injuring 48 others, with small children as young as 3 years old among the victims.
San Francisco-based ABC7 reported that police departments “have called what happened at various retail stores this weekend ‘looting,'” before asking are the crimes “truly considered looting?”
According to the city’s police department, nearly 12 stores in the city were attacked by a mob of at least 80 people over the weekend, while nearby Oakland saw at least two dozen businesses robbed during the same time, according to Fox News.
In a sign of the times, ABC7 race and social justice reporter Julian Glover was on the job, explaining, “As the Bay Area grapples with a wave of seemingly organized smash and grab robberies this weekend, policing and journalism analysts are cautioning against the use of the term looting.”
Sergeant Christian Camarillo, public information officer for San Jose Police, is quoted saying, “We are talking about two incidents, we’re not going to call this looting. This is organized robbery. That’s what it is.”
The article then notes that the California penal code defines looting as “theft or burglary…during a ‘state of emergency’, ‘local emergency’, or ‘evacuation order’ resulting from an earthquake, fire, flood, riot or other natural or manmade disaster.”
The affiliate then rolled out Lorenzo Boyd, Ph.D., Professor of Criminal Justice & Community Policing at the University of New Haven, to add the racial component.
“Looting is a term that we typically use when people of color or urban dwellers are doing something. We tend not to use that term for other people when they do the exact same thing,” said the professor, who is also a retired police officer.
The affiliate proceeded to stress that “we don’t know the identities or races of the majority of the thieves involved in this crime wave.” Perhaps, they can slow down the video.
The @LouisVuitton store at @UnionSquareSF “got emptied out,” says @yealenne. Broken glass litters the store. Most of the thieves got away in multiple cars… pic.twitter.com/VztNFMby2t
— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) November 20, 2021
Back to San Francisco, Democratic Mayor London Breed responded to the robbing of high-end stores by announcing ahead of the busy holiday shopping season that makes or breaks many retailers that access to the city’s popular shopping district will be limited, Fox News reported.
“We’re going to be making some changes to Union Square and how cars are able to access,” Breed said at a press conference Saturday. “There will be limited access in terms of when you come to this area.”
A failure in leadership.
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) November 23, 2021
Gov. Gavin Newsom responded Monday to say he would increase money for cities to address them in next year’s budget, according to The Press Democrat. The Democratic governor also said shoppers can expect to see more police presence at popular Black Friday destinations and malls this week.
‘We are going to be more aggressive still in this space to help support cities and the prosecution of folks,” Newsom said. “I have no empathy, no sympathy for these folks, and they must be held to account.”
JUST IN – Police to increase presence at retail stores amid mob looting crimewave in San Francisco, California Gov. Newsom announces.
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) November 23, 2021
The California Republican Party blasted Newsom and the Democratic Party for supporting policies that reduce criminal punishment for some theft crimes, arguing that this set the stage for the burglaries he was now pledging to combat, The Press Democrat reported.
“Gavin Newsom and California Democrats have made our state a more dangerous place to live, work and raise a family,” the state GOP said in a statement. “Their failed policies have very real consequences for hard-working Californians.”
As for “looting,” the term was trending online Tuesday… here’s a sampling of the wares from Twitter:
It’s one thing to say “looting” is wrong because the penal code says that’s during a state of emergency.
It’s another to say “looting” is wrong because is sounds loaded against minorities/”urban dwellers.”
“Experts” should caution that looting isn’t “racial justice.” https://t.co/NSMre6zeBG
— Tim Graham (@TimJGraham) November 23, 2021
It’s not looting if Democrats do it. https://t.co/C7vXCU3PlU
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) November 23, 2021
Experts: Don’t call it “looting” bc that’s a term typically used for crimes by people of color/urban dwellers, but not white people, bc racism.
Also “we don’t know…races of the majority of the thieves,” which would make use of “looting” here hard to attribute to racism, no? https://t.co/CTCWwwrPbe
— Mary Katharine Ham (@mkhammer) November 23, 2021
Perhaps the experts should be more concerned with the looting https://t.co/0v9eDCuedF
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) November 23, 2021
Its not a good day when #Looting is trending. I wonder if the mainstream media will report on this and why its being embolden by politicians?
— Charles V Payne (@cvpayne) November 23, 2021
My favorite part of this piece is “we shouldn’t use the term looting because that’s only used to describe black people, but also we don’t know the races of all those involved.” https://t.co/oDDBPopSZV pic.twitter.com/yRPnCViDP4
— Noam Blum (@neontaster) November 23, 2021
Yes, because we don’t want to hurt the feelings of criminals who break the law by using harsh words like looting. I’m sure the looting was an accident and they are in the process of returning the stolen goods. Be nice to the criminals, as they have feelings too.
— Chris Jackson (@cj12jackson) November 23, 2021
And how does one become an “expert” in the term “looting”?
— The Real Carol Golembiewski (@ABCarol57) November 23, 2021
Experts caution use of “journalism” in describing anything from ABC.
— rj (@rjsthought) November 23, 2021
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