'It’s like 'Purge'': L.A. police union head warns tourists away from city

LAPD Chief Michel Moore disagreed, saying robberies are still down 13% compared to 2019


By Suzie Ziegler 

LOS ANGELES — A police union leader had strong words on Tuesday about the state of crime in Los Angeles. 

Jamie McBride, head of the L.A. Police Protective League, warned tourists against visiting. 

Two pedestrians walk near a closed street entrance to a Nordstrom department store at the Grove mall in Los Angeles, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, where a recent smash-and-grab robbery took place.
Two pedestrians walk near a closed street entrance to a Nordstrom department store at the Grove mall in Los Angeles, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, where a recent smash-and-grab robbery took place. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

"We can’t guarantee your safety. It is really, really out of control," McBride told CBS Los Angeles. “I said it to people before, it’s like that movie ‘Purge,’ you know, instead of 24 hours to commit your crime, these people have 365 days to commit whatever they want.” 

McBride is referring to the 2013 horror film where all crime, including murder, is decriminalized one day of the year. 

But LAPD Chief Michel Moore disagreed. 

"It’s not out of control. It’s not a spiral that we’ve lost control over," Moore told reporters. “It is important that we not have a sense of acquiescing or just lackadaisical approach to this. We’re calling out the severity of it.”

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McBride’s bold analogy and Moore’s reassurances come on the heels of several high-profile smash-and-grab robberies. On Nov. 22, a Nordstrom in Los Angeles was ransacked, putting retailers and shoppers on edge. Police arrested 14 suspects connected to retail robberies last month, but all have since been released due to zero-bail policies placed during the pandemic, according to the report. 

Moore admits that robberies are up 5% compared to last year, but said the rate is still about 13% lower than 2019. 

“I believe tourists coming to Los Angeles are safe. Certainly, as safe here as any other portion of the country,” he said.

NEXT: Understanding the crime rate in America

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