By: Marvin McCoy
Please let me in on this terrible joke.
I was watching a recent interview that our newly “selected” Sheriff Luna conducted with KBLA’s own Tavis Smiley and as objectionable as I could be I was left with more questions than answers about Sheriff’s Luna’s ability to fully comprehend and embody what it takes to be Los Angeles County Sheriff because if everything is going “well ” as the Sheriff put it after Tavis Smiley conveyed to him that his deputies have murdered 5 people within the last 8 weeks of his tenure not to mention his widely criticized response to the Monterey Park shootings then I wonder what bad looks like because what’s emanating from LASD under Luna’s tenure doesn’t even fit the realm of the ideal term of the meaning well in fact the Sheriff would have been served better to invoke his 5th amendment as to his “right to remain silent” to deter from self-incriminating himself because he raised more questions about his competency than allaying the concerns of the Black community and their relationship with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
I hate to appear as the “boy who cried” wolf but when does silence become complicity because the Sheriff’s response to his eight-week tenure that “as everything is going well” seems like a scripted answer void of deep reflection of how insensitive that comment may come across not only to the Black community that it appears that these interviews were set to appease, but also the AAPI community in Monterey Park that at least to last reporting are still in deep grief and haven’t even begun the painful and traumatic process of burying their loved ones in the recent mass shootings in Monterey Park.
With that being said, and as the old political saying goes “elections have consequences” and as a result of the elected body of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors heavy meddling and interference in the Sheriff’s election may have helped usher in someone who although they hold the title of Sheriff but is uniquely, unqualified to lead the department.
I don’t know if anger or complete bewilderment is the appropriate vocabulary to describe the Sheriff’s performance in that interview but what’s glowingly obvious to me is that Sheriff Luna is still in campaign mode and by his admissions and omissions I should say clearly proves that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors were both willing and complicit in conducting a hatchet job on former Sheriff Villanueva and their defiance in stopping the necessary funding to hire more deputies and provide necessary resources, which in turn compromises the safety of the same residents that the Board of Directors serve.
It is also obvious Luna is going to be on a campaign to convince the Board of Supervisors to issue another contract to build a new jail after they canceled the previous contract in 2019. Make no mistake, they most likely canceled the contract because it appears that with a fractured relationship with the former Sheriff, who was already probing fraud, waste, and abuse in Metro contracts, would have been knee-deep in the contracting process for a new jail which would expose a lot of people to a possible home visit Sheila Kuehl style.
Additionally, the current Sheriff isn’t doing himself any favors as an outsider painting an ambiguous number of deputies belonging to a “gang” based on documented reports further compromising what I can imagine is an already fractured relationship due to the toxic nature of the campaign and the fact that Villanueva despite what you may hear is still popular and adored within LASD ranks.
In closing, let’s be honest at this trajectory and the rate at which deputies within the LASD department are murdering people this year alone it’s projected that the LASD will kill or maim 60 people at this pace before the summer, and if this is the trajectory we’re on should the Sheriff’s sunny disposition of “all is well” be replaced with deep concern and a willingness and hunger to “right the ship” so to speak?
How does he go on a Black radio station, speaking to presumably a Black audience, and not have concerns about the five people his department killed last month? Make it make sense.
His “tapping his feet” to Frankie Beverly and Maze doesn’t sway me either, Tavis.