Newsom “deflecting” over blowback from Selma cop’s death by felon, crime expert says.

The tug-of-war between Gov. Gavin Newsom and Fresno DA Lisa Smittcamp exposed California’s criminal justice deficiencies, PRI researcher Steve Smith said on Sunrise FM.

The tragic death of Selma Police Officer Gonzalo Carrasco Jr. at the hands of convicted felon Nathaniel Dixon has thrust various state laws back into the spotlight, including Assembly Bill 109, Proposition 47 and Proposition 57. 

Pacific Research Institute senior fellow Steve Smith recently published a study titled Paradise Lost: Crime in the Golden State 2011-2021 which details California’s surging crime and the impact those bill have had. 


In an interview with The Sun on Sunrise FM, Smith shared his thoughts on Carrasco’s murder and the battle between Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp and Gov. Gavin Newsom. 

The backstory: Carrasco, 24, was killed on Jan. 31 when he was out on patrol and was flagged down by a resident to investigate a suspicious person. The 23-year-old Dixon was arrested shortly after and later charged with premeditated first degree murder. 

  • Dixon is a convicted felon who was sentenced to over five years in prison for gun and drug charges going back to 2020. He was sentenced in March 2022 and was released in September after having built up time credits under California law. 

Driving the news: Smittcamp kicked off the attack on Newsom following Carrasco’s death, saying the governor’s policies, along with the Democrat-led state legislature, are responsible for Dixon being free to commit murder. 

  • Newsom responded by saying Smittcamp should look in the mirror and be ashamed of herself, adding that she ultimately had the proseceturial authority in Dixon’s previous charges. 
  • Smittcamp got the last word and said Newsom deflected by throwing “a little temper tantrum” as he responded “like a child.” 

What they’re saying: “It caused me to shake my head because it’s a perfect example of what the study talks about where dangerous people are being released prior to the conclusion of their sentences,” Smith said in reaction to hearing about Carrasco’s death. 

  • Smith said he sides with Smittcamp over the governor since Dixon was released significantly earlier than he should have been. 
  • “He was deflecting, and he’s had to deflect a number of times,” Smith said of Newsom. “He had to deflect when the Sacramento shooter who was also a Prop. 57 early release committed his crime. He had to deflect when Aariel Maynor conducted a home invasion robbery and killed Jacqueline Avant in Los Angeles while she was in her bed. He was also a Prop. 57 early release. So this isn’t new ground for the governor.”
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