The following contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.
LOS ANGELES, CA- Law Enforcement Today has reported numerous times on radical Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon and his soft-on-crime, criminal-coddling law “enforcement” policies.
Now, just as California Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing a recall effort, so too is Gascon, according to numerous media sources, including Fox News.
Gascon, who ascended to the LA DA’s office with help from the bottomless coffers of billionaire socialist George Soros, has only been in office for around three months, however now may be fighting for his political life as a group of angry Los Angeles residents have started a recall petition.
This past Saturday, recall organizers sponsored a “victims’ vigil” in order to gather 20 signatures required in order to formally launch the recall effort.
In order to force a recall, petition sponsors will need to get just under 600,000 signatures from registered Los Angeles voters, which equates to 10 percent of the voter rolls.
In the recall effort against Newsom, sponsors say they have gotten over 1.8 million signatures as of last Thursday, with a total of 1.5 million signatures necessary by the March 17 deadline.
Although they have surpassed the total needed, they want a buffer to account for any contested signatures.
In the case of Gascon, he has served as a lightning rod since he was sworn in back in December.
At that time, the leftist Gascon announced a number of controversial policy changes that have shocked and appalled attorneys in his office as well as residents of Los Angeles.
None of this should have come as a surprise because Gascon was transparent about going soft on criminal offenders during the campaign, however apparently nobody thought he would go as far as he has.
For example, Gascon stopped the use of sentencing enhancements, such as those applied to known gang members, offenders who killed law enforcement officers and other egregious offenses.
He also restricted when prosecutors were able to hold defendants without bail, eliminated the death penalty in Los Angeles County, and banned the ability to try juveniles accused of serious felonies as adults.
One of the more controversial decisions was forbidding his DA’s to attend Board of Parole hearings, as reported in Law Enforcement Today early in February.
In response, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva authorized members of the sheriff’s office to attend parole hearings going forward after Gascon failed to object to the release of a Charles Manson “family” member and convicted killer Bruce Davis.
In this case, family members of Davis’ victim were stunned by Gascon’s decision, which left family members with the sole responsibility of contesting release of prisoners by the parole board.
One family member, 81-year-old Kay Martley said, “I don’t think it’s fair that the prisoner has legal representation at the hearing, and I do not.”
Such actions have been typical for Gascon, and finally victims of his politically correct decisions seem to have had enough.
“A lot of victims have come forward and said they feel threatened by his policies, so this is a victim and community-led effort,” said Siannah Collado, a member of the Recall George Gascon campaign, who represents victims in court.
“A lot of people I’ve met have come forward and said, ‘Had I known this is what he was going to do I wouldn’t have voted for him,” Collado said.
“It was a bait and switch. I agree there needs to be some reform, but the pendulum has swung too far left. Now victims are last, and criminals come first,” she continued.
NBC 4 in Los Angeles reported that Gascon ran as a reformer against a two-term incumbent Jackie Lacey saying that ending so-called “systemic racism” in the criminal justice system was a priority.
On the recall group’s Facebook page, it says:
“Gascon campaigned and was elected on a platform including no gang enhancements and not seeking the death penalty, so that is not a reason to recall him.
However within minutes of being sworn in he made other, drastic changes that he did not disclose when campaigning that are letting violent and dangerous criminals back onto our streets. This is unacceptable.
He fooled the voters of LA County and must be removed from office”
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Gascon got a comeuppance of sorts earlier in February when a judge ruled that his decision to stop using sentencing enhancements violates state law and that so-called “three strikes” enhancements must be charged, which Gascon has vowed to appeal.
Along with citizens, a number of others are involved in the recall effort, including victims’ rights advocates, former law enforcement officials, current and former prosecutors such as former LA District Attorney Steve Cooley.
Former LA Councilman Dennis Zine is chairman of the recall effort, with former county Supervisor Michael Antonovich serving as honorary chairman.
The group’s website says Gascon promised “a softer and gentler criminal justice system that would reduce incarceration rates for minor offenders and place increased focus on mental health and addiction issues that plague our communities,” but instead instituted policies which made the communities less safe.
“The moment he was sworn in as District Attorney, George Gascon instituted a series of directives to the prosecutors in his command that have nothing to do with a progressive approach to prosecution and have everything to do with a radical agenda that ignores victims, disregards the law and endangers the lives and livelihoods of all Angelenos.”
Gascon also created controversy when he hired a former embattled public defender who had helped with his campaign as a high-ranking prosecutor.
Tiffiny Blacknell was hired as a Grade 4 deputy district attorney, a move which caused controversy both due to her lack of experience as a prosecutor, and past inflammatory comments she made on social media against law enforcement.
During the unrest subsequent to George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody, Blacknell posted a tweet referring to LAPD officers as “barbarians” and “an occupying army,” while also using the hashtag “#DefundPolice.”
Gascon isn’t the only Soros-funded stooge facing a recall in California. The Bay Area Reporter is reporting that a group of San Francisco residents is starting a similar effort to recall San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin.
Richie Greenberg, a business adviser and activist who ran for mayor of the city in 2018 started a petition on January 2 which urged Boudin to resign.
That effort came after a parolee was responsible for a hit-and-run accident that killed two pedestrians in the South of Market neighborhood of San Francisco on New Year’s Eve.
Greenberg’s petition gained about 15,000 signatures.
“We decided to stop the petition and declare that this is a much bigger response than we could have imagined,” Greenberg told the outlet on February 23. “We need a recall effort.”
He said that a committee, the Committee Supporting the Recall of District Attorney Chesa Boudin was formed, with 29 individuals signing a “notice of intent laying out the allegations against Chesa and laying the groundwork for a recall.”
Greenberg said the group filed the notice of intention on February 8.
Boudin received the notice of intent and responded, and the effort now must get final approval from the San Francisco Department of Elections before they will be able to proceed with gathering signatures, an effort Greenberg said should be able to fulfill sometime soon.
As with the effort against Gascon, the San Francisco recall effort against Boudin must receive “valid signatures of at least 10% of registered voters of the City and County at the time proponent(s) filed the notice of intention” in order to qualify the recall for the ballot.
According to Matthew Selby, the campaign services division manager with the elections department, the threshold is 51,324 signatures.
The grounds for the recall of Boudin are numerous, and are related not to a specific incident, Greenberg said but a pattern of behavior.
“That’s the unfortunate part,” he said. “As long as Mr. Boudin and his philosophy continue, the body count will pile up higher.’
Among reasons given by the recall effort include:
“Dereliction of duty; malfeasance; egregious waste of taxpayers’ funds to the tun of nearly $400,000/annual compensation; fostering ore exacerbating a culture of privileged, incendiary and politicized rhetoric towards the public; distorting of criminal justice data; implementation of a theoretical system of criminal justice which instead agitates and upends our neighborhoods causing crime spikes in every corner of our city.”
“By definition, the public entrusts a District Attorney to prosecute criminals, yet instead every resident, small business owner and visitor to San Francisco has now become a criminal’s target, and with near impunity.”
Were Boudin to be recalled, his replacement would be appointed by the mayor, London Breed. When Boudin ran for election in 2019, Breed had endorsed Suzy Loftus, a more moderate candidate, whom she had appointed as interim DA just weeks before the election.
“The sooner we are able to get him out, the better,” Greenberg said. “Having a man who is a criminal defense attorney occupying the district attorney position is like having a mortician as the surgeon—that’s the parallel—in the operating room.”
Law Enforcement Today will be following developments in both recall efforts and will report back when additional information becomes available.
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