Fresno County moves to counter $0 bail, calls on state to end the policy

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FRESNO, California (KGPE) – Fresno County’s district attorney, along with the county sheriff and Fresno’s police chief are blaming Gov. Gavin Newsom’s zero bail policy for contributing to the recent surge in violence in the area.

They want Gov. Gavin Newsom to end the $0 bail policy, which they say is driving crime.

“We are lacking bedspace to house these criminals who are shooting up our city, killing our children and each other,” said Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp.

More than 500 shootings and 50 murders later, Smittcamp is putting Fresno’s violent 2020 on the governor.

“Stop using the COVID-19 to promote your political agenda. The blood of the children being shot is on your hands and the hands of everyone that doesn’t make public safety a priority.”

The $0 bail policy was created with the goal of keeping jail populations low to avoid COVID-19 outbreaks, such as the earlier this year inside the Fresno County Jail. But the policy designed to save lives, Smittcamp says, is doing the opposite.

“His solution to COVID prevention and protection is letting them out of prison with no regard for their victims and the communities they will return to terrorize.”

In Fresno, the police department says most shootings are gang-related. Chief Andy Hall announcing a new violent crime task-force with federal agents also on the ground targeting gang members.

More than 100 arrests and 70 guns have been confiscated since it began earlier this month.

“We work every day to take violent criminals off our streets and we will not stop until we can get the city back under control and where families can feel safe going to our parks again”

In another move to curb recent violence, the Fresno County Supreme Court approved changes to $0 bail in the county, exempting 11 charges relating to weapons or gang involvement.

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