Column: Sheriff Villanueva is angry — at elected officials, at The Times, at lawlessness

In a sit-down interview, the sheriff unloaded on, well, just about everyone — but mostly this newspaper.

7/25/2021 2:48:00 PM

Column: Sheriff Villanueva is angry — at elected officials, at The Times, at lawlessness (via latimesopinion)

In a sit-down interview, the sheriff unloaded on, well, just about everyone — but mostly this newspaper.

PrintLos Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva had a few things to get off his chest when we met in his office at the Hall of Justice on Monday afternoon.I’d reached out to him after he spent a portion of one of his recent weeklyFacebook Live eventsknocking me for criticizing his approach to moving homeless encampments off the Venice boardwalk, including threatening to arrest those who refuse to move after being offered room in shelter or hotels.

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“Actually,” he told me, “arresting someone and putting them into our system gives them treatment they are not getting. We shouldn’t be in that position. It’s problematic. We want to avoid that. But am I going to celebrate that the guy died face down in the gutter, but at least he didn’t go to jail? That’s kind of a weird choice.”

Also, as he pointed out later in our 90-minute conversation, he oversees the county jails, where an estimated 30% of the population is in mental health units and/or on psychotropic medication.Advertisement“I know your periodical loves to throw rocks at the evil Sheriff’s Department,” he said, “but believe it or not, we have a lot of experience in managing the mentally ill population.”

Most of our chat was devoted to the humanitarian crisis engulfing our county, his disdain for the elected officials on whose watch it has occurred, and his deep frustration with the way he is covered by the Los Angeles Times, which he likes to call the “El Segundo Times,” a reference to where our offices are.

He accused The Times of being harder on Latino elected officials than white ones, of ignoring good news out of his department like his new, of having too few Latino columnists compared with Black columnists, and of undercovering Latino issues compared with those of other groups.

He’s even ticked off about the photos we run.“Let’s find the ugliest photo we can of the sheriff,” he said sarcastically. “Look at every photo of Gavin Newsom, he’s looking up in the distance with his hair blowing and all this shit.” To take that issue off the table, I photographed the sheriff in a pose he decided on.

During his dramatic reading of my column on Facebook Live, he called me “sexist” for saying he’d muscled his way into the issue, and “racist” for describing his style as “bravado.”“I was being facetious,” he said, when I asked what he meant.But he did want to talk seriously about how to handle the huge increase in homeless people living on or near the coast, a subject of hot debate into which he has very

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publicly inserted himself.AdvertisementVillanueva’s attempts to clear homeless encampments in Venice were intended as both a rebuke to local politicians such as L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin and, in my view, a way to raise his profile among calamity-weary Angelenos in advance of his reelection campaign.

His actions were applauded by many Venice residents and business owners and condemned by many others, but he says they were necessary because of all the YouTube videos and TV reports about Venice that were ricocheting around the globe.They were, he said, “telegraphing to the world, ‘Don’t come here. This is no longer a tourist destination.’ You would think the city of Los Angeles would be obsessed with preserving and protecting such an income-generating thing.”

When I noted that the pandemic surely contributed to the proliferation of tents in public spaces, he bristled.Advertisement“No, actually Venice became a victim of the incompetence of the mayor and City Council. Under the premise of the pandemic, they said, ‘Let’s not do anything and see what happens.’”

That in turn, he said, sent the message: Homeless people are welcome here.“The point is, we can’t be the dumping ground for the entire nation’s homeless, and we are,” he said. “I can’t keep inviting people to drink out of the same glass of water. I run out of water at some point.”

In the last month, he told me, as his Homeless Outreach Services Team has worked alongside social service groups in Venice, placing people in shelters, his deputies have also made 33 arrests in the area — for possession of drugs, possession of drugs for sale, suspected car theft, and outstanding warrants.

Advertisement“Everybody we arrest goes to jail,” he said. But whether charges are filed “is another story.” Read more: Los Angeles Times »

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AbcarianLAT opinion The headline should be, “Sheriff Villanueva thinks the LA Times has too many Black columnists.” In a city where Whites make up 29% of the population, more than half of the Times’ columnists are White — yet for some reason Villanueva wants to pick on its 3 Black columnists. AbcarianLAT opinion The people of Iran are coming to the streets across the nation— showing a nation_unified against the Islamic Republic. It is our patriotic duty, as freedom-loving Iranians at home or abroad, to join in solidarity.

AbcarianLAT opinion He unloaded because your publication is nothing but pure propaganda AbcarianLAT opinion As a sheriff or an “officer of the peace” you shouldn’t unload on anyone your job it’s to stop and prevent crime the best possible way engage with your community and don’t bully civilians you get paid we stay safe ..Win win god bless America!!!

AbcarianLAT opinion The real headline. He's an angry little man. AbcarianLAT opinion Shouldn't he be more concerned about the gangs serving in his department? AbcarianLAT opinion I’m so terribly regretful for having voted for him and look forward to getting his ass out AbcarianLAT opinion The real sheriff of LA County…

AbcarianLAT opinion Not angry at any of the illegal shit the Sheriff’s Dept. has done including running criminal gangs. Wipe your own ass. AbcarianLAT opinion good AbcarianLAT opinion You deserve it.

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opinion Wow look at that. The LA times actually wrote something with nuance and objectivity that isn't just far left propaganda. Of course, they had to go and make this an 'opinion piece' when garbage like this(is masquerading as journalism opinion 'During his dramatic reading of my column on Facebook Live, he called me 'sexist' for saying he’d muscled his way into the issue, and 'racist' for describing his style as 'bravado.' 'I was being facetious,' he said, when I asked what he meant.' Trumpy enough for you?

opinion Omg, he even complains about the unflattering photos of him you run... Like I said, Sheriff LOVES the camera but the camera doesn't love him. He doesn't realize that most of the time he's in public, he looks ridiculous? He's more out of touch than ever. He's never not sarcastic opinion Read unvarnished truth of crimes of Alex Villanueva and his predecessors LASD gangs here: cerisecastle KnockDotLA

opinion Another fluffer job by Venice Beach homeowner AbcarianLAT on LA’s local fascist demagogue Sheriff Villanueva. LASDHQ according to Los Angeles Times own report, is a COVID-19 disease vector w/ only 30% vaccinated kevrector LAcrimes dakotacdsmith opinion Andres Guardado, say his name sewellchan AbcarianLAT , 18, son of immigrants who escaped Reagan’s 1980’s war on Salvadoran campesinos. Andres was a high school graduate, full-time student at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College,when killed by Villanueva’s Executioners gang

opinion Then when you get the money, you get the power opinion He seems to be kind of a jerk. Arguing with everyone about everything. Maybe he should retire. opinion We all are. opinion I support him

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opinion Didn’t want the headache of enforcement, doesn’t have the manpower or budget, doesn’t have the conviction of office so just found lame excuse and took easy way out. opinion Voters are angry - at sheriff Villanueva who ran as a “progressive” but quickly revealed himself to be a true fascist! opinion He is more in tune with the people than most elected leaders. Everyone is fed up with lawlessness & officials codependent approach to homelessness. Provide a link to his campaign so more can donate bc he’s doing his job.

Column: Eric Clapton's not God, just another vile anti-vaxxerIt misses the point to say Eric Clapton's dangerous rhetoric on vaccines can be separated from his music. opinion This is a stupid headline…he got vaccinated. He’s not anti-vaxxer, he just spoke about his own experience 🤔 opinion I don’t know if Clapton is “vile” or not because this piece is so vile that I can’t trust the 3% of information when it is saturated with slimy adjectives, ad hominem attacks, and mischaracterizations — including calling him an anti-vaxer when he himself is vaccinated. opinion Tonto.

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