Los Angeles County has been hit with a massive lawsuit from 29 California cities over the district’s radical zero-bail policy.
Torrance has now become the 29th city to join the complaint against the county.
The lawsuit seeks to end the pro-crime protocol, KTLA reported.
In a statement, Torrance said it “remains committed to public safety and urges communities and stakeholders to join in advocating for sensible and responsible criminal justice.”
The county’s zero-bail policy went into effect on October 1.
It allows individuals arrested for nonviolent crimes to be cited or booked and then released instead of held in jail.
Some of the offenses eligible for zero bail include car theft, retail theft, burglary, vandalism, possession of stolen property, and forgery.
In most cases, criminals re-offend after being released back onto the streets.
More serious crimes, meanwhile, are subject to magistrate review but can still end with the suspects being released without paying bail.
Capital offenses, including violent crimes, are not eligible for pre-arraignment release.
The L.A. County Superior Court claimed that the previous bail protocols discriminated against poor individuals.
When the policy was announced in July, presiding Judge Samantha Jessner stated:
“A person’s ability to pay a large sum of money should not be the determining factor in deciding whether that person, who is presumed innocent, stays in jail before trial or is released.”
“Any determination of an arrestee’s status after arrest but before being charged should be based on an individualized determination of risk and likelihood to return to court,” she continued.
“A low-risk arrestee should not be held in jail simply because they cannot post the necessary funds to be released pending arraignment.”
However, critics have pushed back against the judge’s comments, arguing that the policy undermines public safety.
In September, L.A. Police Chief Michel Moore said:
“Law enforcement is averse to the list of ‘book and release’ offenses because that approach offers little to no deterrence to those involved in a range of serious criminal offenses.”
“We are asking the court to not release individuals who pose risks to the community safety, including those with repeated instances of prior serious offenses,” he added.
The 29 cities that joined the lawsuit include:
- Baldwin Park
- Beverly Hills
- La Mirada
- La Verne
- Manhattan Beach
- San Dimas
- Santa Clarita
- Santa Fe Springs
- Santa Monica
- West Covina
Glendora Mayor Gary Boyer stated that the new schedule “fails to support local leaders in their pledge to protect their residents, and that is unacceptable.”
Whittier Mayor Joe Vinatieri said:
“It has become increasingly difficult to ignore the challenges our communities are facing and what happens when there are no consequences for breaking the law.”