LOS ANGELES - On Monday evening, LA County District Attorney-elect George Gascon met with Black Lives Matter LA organizers and families impacted by police violence.
Soon-after-former DA Jackie Lacey conceded on Friday afternoon, Gascon reached out to BLM LA to schedule a meeting with organizers and families who have lost their loved ones to police shootings over the years.
"My intention as a District Attorney is to have a very open office. We're going to involve the community in all of our work and this is the beginning of that process. I'm here to listen to their concerns. We're gonna have a conversation. I'm going to answer questions but this is really the beginning of the journey," said Gascon.
BLM LA co-founder, Melina Abdullah, described the meeting as "significant."
"For more than three years, we've been demanding that the outgoing District Attorney, Jackie Lacey, meet with the families of those who have been killed by police. Now, more than a dozen families are here tonight to speak first about what police violence has meant to them and why they need the district attorney to actually represent the people rather than be beholden to an unjust system of policing," said Abdullah.
A member of Lacey's campaign disputed the claim, saying she was open to meeting with BLM LA.
The meeting on Monday was only open to families of those killed by police and core organizers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional organizers and families were able to join via Zoom.
"It's really important that we get him [Gascon] on record saying that he is going to follow through with his promise to reopen cases, to reexamine cases that have not been determined and really say that he's going to prosecute police who kill and abuse and brutalize our people," said Abdullah.
Mothers like Fouzia Almarou spoke directly to Gascon while he was on stage listening to the crowd. Almarou's son, Kenneth Ross Jr., was shot and killed by police in 2018 in Gardena.
"I really, really, really miss my son. I'm tormented by what has happened. I will never be the same," she said directly to Gascon with tears flowing.
Almarou told FOX 11 that she's hoping Gascon will reopen her son's case.
"Now that Gascon is here and he's setting up a meeting hopefully, he's going to do a wonderful job. I'm sure he will if he's already reaching out to Black Lives Matter. He needs to reevaluate a lot of these cases and find out what's going on with these cases so he can reopen and we can get justice for our families. I need to get justice for my son and like I said before, I'm never going to stop fighting until I get justice for my son, Kenneth Ross Jr.," said Almarou.
Some families strongly vowed to hold Gascon accountable in the same way they did for Lacey.
"We will come to your house. I will personally tweet out your personal phone number. We will make your life very difficult as we did for Jackie Lacey," said the brother of Melyda Corado, who was fatally shot by an LAPD officer at Trader Joes.
Gascon said he plans to reopen cases and hold regular meetings with BLM LA to discuss cases.
"As an elected official, I'm everybody's DA. I'm not just the DA for those that supported me. My goal is to bring everybody together. We need to have serious conversations. There are big problems. Systemic racism has been real and we have to address it," said Gascon.