LOS ANGELES - He's been in office for less than three months, and already, there's a push from residents to get George Gascón out of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office.
The recall effort needs valid signatures from at least 10 percent of registered voters in the county, or just under 600,000 people, to qualify for the ballot, according to the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk office.
Elected officials must be in office for at least 90 days before a recall effort can be officially launched. Gascón was sworn in on December 7.
Some families of violent crime victims led the way to recall Gascón.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva and Several law enforcement associations support the recall. Retired LAPD Detective Moses Castillo says he still fights for victims’ families.
"I see their pain, I feel it," said Castillo. "Sometimes I cry with them just because it’s unimaginable."
- Gascón's sweeping policy changes bring concerns to some
- Family of child suffering brain injury fears Gascón's new policies may only give child's abuser slap on wrist
- DA George Gascón confronted by families of murder victims over sentencing guidelines
- Despite family's pleas, man accused of murdering 2 sisters to be judged in juvenile court
DA Gascón wants to put an end to these three: the death penalty in LA County, trying juveniles as adults and sentencing enhancements that could lead to earlier release for criminals.
In a statement, Gascón says, in part, "Our system of justice can’t continue to rely on policies that create more victims tomorrow simply because some victims want the maximum punishment imposed in their case today."
"He’s worried about mass incarceration, mass incarceration, that’s all we hear about. But you know what he’s doing? He’s doing mass victimization because these victims are being re-victimized all over again," Castillo said.
Black Lives Matter Los Angeles is encouraged by Gascón’s strong stance and willingness to usher in what the organization calls the "people’s progressive justice reform."
"He has not faltered," said BLM Los Angeles co-founder Melina Abdullah. "He has not fallen back, despite facing opposition by the very narrow interests of police and old school prosecutors who want to tether themselves to an unjust system.">
Californians for Safety and Justice calls the recall a dangerous distraction during the COVID-19 crisis that are already contributing to an uptick in violence.
The nonprofit issued a statement that says, in part, "the tough-on-crime approach and over-reliance on incarceration only compounds the conditions that create violence, takes resources away from the solutions that work and does nothing to actually prevent crime."