A day after a career criminal was arrested in the fatal shooting of philanthropist Jacqueline Avant at the lavish Beverly Hills home she shared with her husband Clarence, a 90-year-old music producer inducted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year, his The Family released a statement that read in part: “Now justice be done.”
But in Los Angeles, where lawmakers and left-wing activists have pushed a litany of progressive reforms that are helping violent criminals spend less time behind bars, justice isn’t just fleeting – it’s twisted, critics say .
“It’s as shown here,” Detective LAPD said. Jamie McBride, director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, a police union. “The bad guys are freed faster than we can complete the paperwork, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. “
The Avants, whose daughter Nicole is a former ambassador to the Bahamas and married to Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos, have been living comfortable lives in their sprawling 4,000-square-foot, $ 7 million home in the upscale Trousdale Estates neighborhood for many years. decades, friends said.
But the elderly couple’s quiet life was turned upside down at around 2:23 a.m. on Wednesday when cops said career criminal Aariel Maynor broke into their home and shot dead Jacqueline Avant, 81. Clarence Avant was home but not injured.
According to Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook, the couple also employed a security guard, who the suspect shot at but was not hit or injured in any way.
The Avers hired the guard to protect them from a different kind of intruder from LA – fans of the recent Netflix documentary on Before called the “Black Godfather” walking by the house uninvited, he said. .
Avant’s alleged murderer was arrested Thursday in the murder of Jacqueline Avant after being caught in another botched robbery near Hollywood in which he shot himself in the foot.
Maynor, who is currently hospitalized in armed custody, was in a parole violation at the time of his arrest and “it didn’t appear that he was reporting to his parole officer at all,” Stainbrook said. Police said he would be charged on Monday.
The 29-year-old was no stranger to the criminal justice system, records show. He was sentenced to five years in prison in 2013 for second-degree theft and assault and battery, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
And he recently served a four-year sentence for second-degree theft with enhancements for a previous felony and was released on parole on September 1.
“With the story of this guy, with priors in prison, he absolutely should still be in prison,” McBride said. “He should have received a longer sentence. For his rap sheet and the violent crimes he was involved in, he should never have been offered a plea bargain. “
Cops still don’t know if anything was taken from the Avant’s house, authorities said. The suspect then proceeded to a house in Hollywood where a father and 17-year-old daughter were staying, Stainbrook said.
The suspect allegedly took items from the house before shooting himself in the foot in the yard, which alerted someone to call the cops, Stainbrook added.
Stainbrook, McBride and others say liberal justice reform policies, spurred by groups such as Black Lives Matter and Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom, have made it increasingly difficult for police to do their jobs. .
“Criminals know they can do whatever they want,” Stainbrook told The Post. “Then multiply that by all the prisoners released from jail because of the coronavirus and the bail and it’s a nightmare and very frustrating on our part. “
Many attribute the recent statewide crime spike, including a spate of looting, to criminal justice reforms, including Proposition 47, a 2014 law that seeks to keep non-violent criminals away from the streets. overcrowded prisons and to treat low level criminals with more compassion. The law doubled the amount a suspect could steal to be considered a felony from $ 450 to $ 950.
Activist groups, as well as celebrities such as Brad Pitt, John Legend and Jay Z, have backed the reform, arguing that African Americans have been unfairly targeted for years and that the measure would help save tens of millions. dollars in jail costs for petty criminals.
The reform was supported by Newsom, then lieutenant governor of California, as well as Los Angeles district attorney, George Gascon, among other Democrats.
“Proposition 47 has empowered criminals because they know that if they are caught stealing, the consequences are minimal,” said Mark Powell, a former reserve police officer in San Diego, in a recent article. opinion piece in The Times of San Diego.
McBride said that over the past few weeks he has caught many suspects entering prices for stolen items into their phone calculators so as not to exceed $ 950 for a one-time theft.
“You can basically walk into a store here, buy up to $ 1,000 worth of items, go out, get a ticket, and be released,” Stainbrook said. “We arrest the same people over and over again. “
The election last year of the best cop Gascon, 67, to the post of Los Angeles district attorney, was the icing on the cake, some say. Gascon, like elected prosecutors in recent years in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago and Fairfax County, Va., Was supported in part by left-wing billionaire George Soros.
The Cuban-born Gascon, who moved with his family to the United States in 1967, gave an inaugural speech in December 2020 in which he looked more like a social justice activist than an agent of the forces of order.
“Our rush to incarcerate generations of children of color,” he said in his speech, has torn “the social fabric of our communities. The status quo has not made us safe.
The Avant home invasion is far from an isolated incident in the wealthy showbiz enclaves of LA.
Last month, BET host Terrence Jenkins was gunned down near his home in Sherman Oaks. In October, thieves seized some $ 1 million in stolen jewelry from the home of Dorit Kemsley, mainstay of the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”.
Front’s neighbor in Trousdale Estates, nestled at the foot of the Santa Monica Mountains, on Friday recounted other violent incidents in the area.
“Today there was another incident on Bedford Drive,” Vida Ardebilchi said in an interview. “Someone entered the house at seven in the morning and got stuck in a room. The SWAT team was called, then he [the intruder] cut his wrists when he realized he couldn’t get out. He cut his wrists and died in the house. There was another incident where a guy was attacked on the Sunset Strip and shot in the head for his Rolex watch.
Ardebilchi said community members now want to build barriers for their street and engage more private security.
Trousdale Estates does not have a guard gate like some of the area’s new ultra-wealthy gated communities. Police sources told The Post that Maynor could have entered the neighborhood without being stopped by the guards.
“It’s disappointing and it’s the government’s fault. Ardebilchi continued. “We all say it’s terrible and no one is doing anything about it. I no longer feel safe in our neighborhood.
Friends of Avant, a former Queens model, was shocked by her death in what is considered one of the safest and wealthiest neighborhoods in Los Angeles.
Former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young, a longtime friend of the couple, said in an interview.
“I was distressed by what happened, how it happened, what is the meaning of it all. Jacqui and Clarence had a guard at the door. I wonder how this could have happened. It is a great mystery. They had no enemies in town. Everyone loved Clarence and Jacqui.
And criminals love Beverly Hills.
“It’s a bigger target,” McBride said. “We arrest these crooks but they don’t stay in jail. If they know it’s a property crime, they don’t think it will happen to them. So why not go grab the big bucks in Beverly Hills? In recent years, the LAPD has had to create a special unit just for home invasions in the enclave, he said.
“People are followed home and then they get robbed,” McBride told The Post. “The only thing LA is missing is Kurt Russell showing up with an eye patch, like in ‘Escape From New York’. It all goes back to our liberal policy.