The two leading candidates for Mayor of Los Angeles strongly endorse Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed "CARE court" plan, which would allow a third party, such as a family member, to seek court-ordered intervention on behalf of an individual suffering from severe mental illness.
"I endorse it, I support it, I think it’s the right thing to do," said mayoral candidate and commercial real estate developer Rick Caruso. "The devil is in the details because this is a work in progress… I think it is the right direction. I hope it goes through. We certainly need the help in Los Angeles."
Los Angeles Congresswoman and mayoral candidate Karen Bass also applauded the effort, saying it is "inhumane" to allow people to live on the street who don’t have the ability to care for themselves.
"I have talked to family members who want some way to help their family members, and in some cases that means detaining them," she said. "But that doesn’t mean you detain them forever. It means you detain them, take care of them and stabilize them."
Bass said the goal would be to assist a severely mentally ill individual so they could be referred to a treatment facility or returned to their families.
"We have to stop allowing individuals to essentially kill themselves on the street," said Bass.
Both candidates made the comments on NBC4's NewsConference program Sunday.
Newsom’s "CARE Court" plan has been condemned by a number of groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, which fears the proposal would strip the mentally ill of their personal liberties and "perpetuate institutional racism."
Bass pushed back on the criticism. "I would like to know, what is the alternative?"
The Congresswoman says that her research into police shootings indicates that between 30 and 40 percent of them were with people suffering from mental illness.
"We allow people to deteriorate to the point of whether they hurt themselves or others… you’ve seen several high profile crimes, horrible crimes.. because of someone who is mentally ill."
Caruso appeared on the program with former LAPD Chief Bill Bratton, whom he recommended for that job 20 years ago when Caruso served as the President of the Los Angeles Police Commission.
Bratton endorsed Caruso’s candidacy, saying the billionaire businessman will take a "holistic approach" to fighting crime.
"Focus on homelessness, narcotics addiction, emotionally disturbed, quality of life and crime…and get the city back on its feet again," said Bratton.