Southern California has reacted in collective shock to the killing of Kim Pham, a 23-year-old college graduate who was beaten to death January 11 outside a popular nightclub in downtown Santa Ana. But in Santa Ana, Mayor Miguel Pulido and Police Chief Carlos Rojas have responded in a seemingly strange way. In press conferences, they've stressed it was an isolated incident, and that the entirety of downtown is safe. Pham's killing has brought back the old Orange County canard about Santa Ana — that it's dangerous, dirty, crime-ridden and gang-filled — and threatens the reputation of an area that Santa Ana officials has poured millions of dollars into to make a countywide destination. Are Pulido and Rojas' reaction callous or smart politics?
Santa Ana to the World: We're Safe