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“Looting” to describe a burglary by racist group iI

Two men who teach criminal justice denounce the use of the word ‘looting’ to describe the wave of crimes underway by groups of individuals who break into luxury retailers in California to steal goods – claiming the term is racist.

“Looting is a term we generally use when people of color or townspeople are doing something,” Lorenzo Boyd, professor of criminal justice and community policing at New Haven University and former police office, told ABC 7.

“We tend not to use this term for other people when they’re doing the exact same thing,” Boyd said.

Martin Reynolds, co-executive director of the Robert C. Maynard Institute of Journalism Education, also criticized the use of the term because it points to “the depiction of flash mobs roaming the aisles of Louis Vuitton and other retailers.”

“It appears to be an organized armed robbery,” Reynolds said. “It doesn’t look like looting. We are thinking of scenarios where the first responders are completely overwhelmed. And people can often be alone.

The United Kingdom Daily mail reported on the semantic debate:

Their comments come after at least seven gang robberies with up to 50 thieves ransacked California stores, and each individual could avoid heavy criminal charges due to the state’s 2014 law dictating that anyone caught Stealing items valued at no more than $ 950 would only be charged with misdemeanors.

Some experts fear the law may be broken by organized crime networks who could be the real brains behind the thieving gang, paying low-level criminals to commit mass crimes for them in exchange for a slap. on the wrist.

The distinction in terminology comes from the California Penal Code, which defines looting as “theft or burglary … during a” state of emergency “,” local emergency “or” an evacuation order resulting from an earthquake. , fire, flood, riot or other man-made disaster. The term “looting” became famous when it was primarily used to describe the black survivors of Hurricane Katrina who stole water and other basic items from local stores to survive the aftermath of the storm. .

The Mail The report noted that “no local or national emergencies have been declared for the Bay Area, where much of the crime took place.”

Boyd accuses the media of using the word “looting” to politicize this wave of crime by linking it to Kyle Rittenhouse, who was found not guilty of the deaths of two men while acting in self-defense.

“These types of massive organized smash-and-grabs were happening before the Rittenhouse situation happened,” Boyd said. “It’s a false equivalence. These are people who are trying to politicize crime.

On social media, critics of politics and the media blasted what they saw as an attempt by these pundits and other awakened media organizations to whitewash the recent wave of crime.

Julio Rosas, a Marine and Town Hall contributor, joked on Twitter: “Future CNN chyron: mostly peaceful shopping in the Bay Area.”

Other conservatives have taken to social media to influence the debate.

Dinesh D’Souza tweeted: “Experts refuse to call a spade a spade, unless, of course, it’s a cat wielded by a white man.”

Former Republican Gov. of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, gets right to the point: “It’s looting. Just as there have been riots in Kenosha, not just demonstrations. “

The widespread crime spree forced California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom to say on Monday that the state would be tough on offenders despite a 2014 law prohibiting prosecutors from charging people suspected of shoplifting crimes.

“After the approval of Proposition 47 by the voters, anyone caught stealing items not exceeding $ 950 would be charged with misdemeanors,” he added. Mail reported. But critics said the measure encouraged organized and rampant retail theft, with gangs of thieves filmed smashing windows at a jewelry store and snatching clothes from the top yoga clothing brand. range Lululemon Sunday – a day after others were caught on camera scolding a drugstore and stealing prescriptions. “

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