Recently elected Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón is under fire and facing a recall election.
After less than three months as Los Angeles D.A., Gascón is the target of a recall effort spearheaded by crime victims and law enforcement officers, Pasadena Now reports. Citing Gascón’s use of “unilaterally imposed special directives” in forcing a massive overhaul of the city’s criminal justice system, the recall proponents say his sweeping changes prioritize criminals over victims.
Gascón is “choosing social justice over actual justice” in a city that suffered a 38 percent increase in homicides between 2019 and 2020 and a 40 percent increase in shootings over that time, the Washington Examiner reports. Los Angeles has already had 19 homicides this year.
Gascón had campaigned on a push for “social justice” and said attacking systemic racism would be his top priority.
During his campaign, Gascón promised he would end sentence enhancements, meaning those with prior convictions for serious crimes would no longer receive extended terms in prison. A judge ruled earlier this month that Gascon’s policy of ending sentence enhancements violates state law.
Other policy changes Gascón is implementing in Los Angeles include sentence reductions and the elimination of the death penalty, which have drawn legal challenges from the other attorneys in his own office.
The changes, many of which went into effect on Tuesday, will also stop most uses of cash bail for misdemeanor nonserious or nonviolent felony offenses and will prioritize resentencing of inmates who Gascon says are serving excessive prison terms.
The group pressing for his removal, Recall George Gascon, says he is letting dangerous criminals out onto the streets, making the city more dangerous.
“He promised a softer and gentler criminal justice system that would reduce incarceration rates for minor offenders and place increased focus on mental health and addiction issues that plague our communities but the moment he was sworn in as District Attorney, George Gascon instituted a series of directives to the prosecutors in his command that have nothing to do with a progressive approach to prosecution and have everything to do with a radical agenda that ignores victims, disregards the law and endangers the lives and livelihoods of all Angelenos,” the group states on its website.
The mother of two young Los Angeles girls murdered in their apartment told Fox News that Gascón ordered the killer to be treated as a juvenile even though he was only one month short of his 18th birthday. The offender, a former boyfriend of one of the sisters, shot both girls to death and then set the apartment on fire. The mother, Felicia Andrew, contacted Gascón to request justice for her daughters.
“He was very cold-hearted; he didn’t seem like, you know, he cared,” Andrew told Fox News. “At the end of the call he said, ‘I’ve been a police officer, LAPD for so many years, and I’ve seen a lot of murders.”
Lighter sentences for convicted criminals were standard for Gascón when he served for eight years as district attorney of San Francisco.
Some residents of San Francisco say Gascón’s diversion programs and other policies designed for leniency caused a historic surge in property crimes in the city, the L.A. Times reports.
“San Francisco’s property crime rate jumped 37% during Gascón’s tenure, driven largely by record numbers of car break-ins,” the Times reports.
In his race for the L.A. district attorney’s office, Gascón received extensive financial support from European billionaire financier George Soros, who has regularly backed left-wing prosecutors across the country in a concerted effort to transform the nation’s justice system to keep lawbreakers out of prison and harass law-abiding citizens, Breitbart reports.
“Other Soros-backed prosecutors include Kim Foxx in Chicago, notorious for the Jussie Smollett case; Kim Gardner in St. Louis, who launched prosecutions of the McCloskeys after they brought firearms onto their porch to defend their property from a Black Lives Matter mob; and Diana Becton in Northern California, who is prosecuting a couple for a ‘hate crime’ after they painted over a Black Lives Matter mural that had been painted on a local street,” writes Joel Pollack for Breitbart.
Retired police SWAT Sergeant Steve Rodriguez told Budget and Tax News crime will overwhelm the public as more criminals are set free and fewer police are on the street.
“My fear is that every day more Americans are losing trust in the sacred institutions of our society,” Rodriguez said. “In the end, it’s the people who suffer. Welcome to the future in which American neighborhoods become like Somalia and other areas where the criminal warlords control everything within their territory.”