Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva is a frequent guest on Fox News Network, and today, he told Fox and Friends host Ainsley Earhardt that a political push to fire 4,000 sheriff’s deputies who are unvaccinated is a “power grab” and “shameful.”
Villanueva oversees the largest sheriff’s department in the United States, and the sheriff is frequently on various Fox News shows. Typically, he speaks regarding the rising crime rate not only in his county, but across the nation. In January, multiple news outlets reported that LA County had seen the most homicides the vicinity had in nearly fifteen years, with the murder rate for 2021 reaching nearly 400 individuals. Not only is homicide up in Los Angeles, but robberies were up five percent, while motor vehicle thefts were up just over thirteen percent.
Villanueva has been outspoken about lax crime policies, and he has attributed much of the increase in crime in Los Angeles to the new district attorney, George Gascon.
In addition to a rising crime rate, Los Angeles is seeing an increase in homelessness.
Now, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors is proposing firing thousands of LA County deputies due to their vaccination status. Villanueva says he is the “only one left standing” to push back against the board, whom he describes as a group of activists who would enact defund the police ordinances. Villanueva says that DA George Gascon is “in their back pocket” in regards to the potential dismissal of a large portion of his department.
Villanueva told Fox News, “this is nothing but a power grab by the board, and it’s shameful. It’s going to be harmful to public safety.”
Gascon has faced recall on one occasion prior, and Villanueva said that the board endorsed Gascon although the district attorney is now facing a second recall – only this time the recall is backed by Democratic donors and Hollywood “honchos.”
Earlier this week, a homeless man followed two different women home. Both incidents happened during the day, and the man assaulted both women. One incident occurred in West Hollywood, and the other took place in LA. Investigators with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department as well as the Los Angeles Police Department urged residents of the metropolitan area as well as the county to be vigilant – even when running errands or carrying on business during the daytime.
One of the women was nearly raped.
No arrests have been made of this writing. Both incidents happened in the same area as the death of Brianna Kupfer. Kupfer was a student at UCLA, and she was at work at a furniture store when a man walked in; Kupfer told a friend via phone that the man gave her a strange vibe. This man would stab Kupfer and walk away from the scene as if nothing had happened. The man, who was homeless, was later arrested. Police discovered he had a long rap sheet, but he was free on bond after a misdemeanor charge in LA County.
Villanueva, exasperated, told Fox News, “The (Los Angeles County Supervisors) Board couldn’t care less about the opinion of the residents. They’re that power hungry in there.” Villanueva also described the members of the board as “walled off from normal life.”
The sheriff stated that while they were safe in their homes during the pandemic – particularly before the vaccine, his deputies were out protecting the public. He related that now, this same group of individuals wants to fire the “very same people” who put their own health on the line to protect all citizens of LA County.
Villanueva also described the turn of events as an “immoral position.” Last week, the board voted unanimously (with one member absent) to revoke Villanueva’s ability to discipline or terminate county employees who “don’t comply with county mandates,” including a vaccination mandate. That power is now in the hands of the county’s personnel director.
Villanueva finished by saying, “They’re the only government in the country that has doubled down on defunding law enforcement.” The board also enacted a hiring freeze on Villanueva.