Los Angeles, CA–The day that activists in Los Angeles have been waiting for has finally arrived. Jackie Lacey is out and George Gascon has been sworn in as the new District Attorney of Los Angeles.
Gascon left San Francisco where he served as District Attorney to enter the D.A race in L.A less than a year ago. He heard about the opposition Lacey was receiving from Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, for her failure to charge police for officer involved shootings. BLMLA has been one of the most consistent and visible social justice group in L.A demanding accountability for those murdered by police.
Gascon was born in Cuba and moved to Los Angeles with his family as a kid. He is a former Assistant Chief of Police for LAPD, serving almost 30 years with the department.
During his swearing in yesterday Gascon took the opportunity to outline the most pressing reforms under his tenure as D.A. This included reforms for youth offenders, review and re-sentencing for those serving excessive prison terms, ending cash bail for non-violent offenses, as well as calling for an end to the death penalty. Youth will also no longer be tried as adults.
Gascon also issued a special directive to all Deputy District Attorney’s this week, mandating that charges be dismissed or declined for those currently awaiting sentencing for certain misdemeanor charges. These cases include prostitution, trespassing, disturbing the peace, driving without a license, criminal threats, all drug possession cases, as well as resisting arrest unless there was actual force against an officer.
Read More: SPECIAL DIRECTIVE 20-07
Prior to Gascon being inaugurated this week, activists groups in Los Angeles organized protest in the form of a caravan rally, demanding that Gascon reopen cases of officer involved shootings. One case that Gascon did immediately review and dismiss, was Emanuel Padilla’s. The 34-year-old was arrested recently at a protest against the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and charged with what many called trumped up charges.
Gascon also revealed his plans for a Use of Force Review Board to review fatal officer involved shootings dating back as far as 2012. The review board would include civil rights attorneys, exports of policing, as well as members of the community.