LOS ANGELES - George Gascon, a co-author of California’s controversial Prop 47 and current candidate for Los Angeles County District Attorney, responded to criticism and backlash against the law following an explosive FOX 11 investigation into the ongoing meth addiction crisis on LA’s streets.
In the original report, the DEA strongly criticized the law.
LAPD reacts to this report, calling it 'troubling' and says it reflects what they are experiencing on the streets.
And LA Mayor Eric Garcetti slammed the law, saying he shares LAPD’s frustration.
In a statement to FOX 11, Gascon said:
Critics of Proposition 47 contend that the answer to addiction can be found in a concrete box. That defies data, science, and common sense. This is not a Proposition 47 problem, let alone a California problem, this is an addicted America problem, and suggesting you can "fix" addiction with the criminal justice system is like saying you can cure cancer with a hammer.
The statement went on to say:
"I spent more than three decades as a cop, and the issues on our streets existed long before Proposition 47. Police can still make arrests involving this population but many choose not to, citing a lack of consequences. Until there's a culture shift in policing that abandons the dated concept of punishing people for being addicted, and focuses instead on treating them, the conditions on our streets will remain. Overhauling one of our bedrock institutions takes time, and police unions hate it, but Proposition 47 is forcing that culture change to occur, and the hundreds of millions in savings is enabling California to invest in services that have already reduced recidivism."
One of the main promises of Prop 47 was that money saved from reducing the state inmate population would be sent back to local governments to help with drug and mental health treatment, but Garcetti tells FOX 11 Los Angeles hasn’t seen any of that money.
"I don’t know where that money is. I’ve been calling for 3 years for Sacramento to deliver that money. We haven’t seen these dollars. We need to have those dollars that were promised from Sacramento under Prop 47 come to local programs, Garcetti said.
But Gascon is pushing back against Garcetti’s assertion, telling FOX 11 that Los Angeles has received $12 million in funding under Prop 47.
Public documents show Garcetti applied for and received a $6 million grant on behalf of Los Angeles in 2017, and a press release from his office announced the awarding of the grant under Prop 47.
FOX 11 has reached out to the Mayor’s office for clarification on the issue.