LOS ANGELES - If elected LA County District Attorney, candidate George Gascon is promising big changes.
“In the first 30 days, I’ll stop all death penalty cases,” says Gascon. He wants to get rid of cash bail and create regional mental health centers.
He says, “I believe that we can bring humanity and rehabilitation and be safer.” Gascon is a former LAPD officer.
He became a police chief in Mesa Arizona where he took on Sheriff Joe Arpaio regarding his immigration enforcement tactics. “I saw the abuses that Joe Arpaio and others were conducting on the Latino community, not just the immigrant community, people were being stopped, frisked just because they were brown,” says Gascon.
After leaving Arizona, Gascon moved to San Francisco and became chief of police and then district attorney.
During that time, property crime went up. But Gascon says something else also happened.
“We saw reductions in violent crime, while LA County saw a 30% increase in the same period of time.”
Gascon co-authored the highly criticized Prop 47 which reduces the number of non-violent felonies to misdemeanors.
How does he respond to his critics? “Change is hard. The world was flat for a very long time until it wasn’t,” says Gascon. He has been endorsed by Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Senator Kamala Harris, and LA County Democrats.
To undecided voters, Gascon offers the following: “If you believe that we should create a more humane system, that we can be safer by bringing redemption and thoughtfulness to the world, I think I’m the answer.”