The fearmongering of San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow and Sheriff Ian Parkinson during the April 13 county COVID-19 press briefing was reprehensible—the state is forcing us to release dangerous criminals into the community! We've almost doubled deputies on the street to protect you all! Be afraid! Be very afraid!
I'm surprised Parkinson didn't mention that he ensured gun shops are considered "essential" businesses that stay open during the pandemic—so go buy a gun!
Let's remember that everyone released under zero bail has merely been accused of a crime, and we presume their innocence until proven guilty. These are people charged with nonviolent misdemeanors and felonies. If they weren't too poor to afford bail, they'd be free already. With the sad exception of domestic violence, crime rates have dropped dramatically during the shelter order.
So why are the sheriff and DA trying to stoke irrational fear and shadowboxing a nonexistent crime wave? And why did the county give them a platform at a COVID-19 public health update? Our leaders should be reassuring us, not unnecessarily adding to our anxiety during these difficult times.