Gascón Pressed The Los Angeles County DA During A Discussion On The Agency’s Lenient Stance On Gang-Related Crime Enhancements

During a debate among district attorneys regarding his policy regarding gang-related crime enhancements, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón was subjected to intense questioning, including from a mother whose kid was killed by a gang member.

Gascón Pressed The Los Angeles County DA During A Discussion On The Agency's Lenient Stance On Gang-Related Crime Enhancements

Media reports that upon Gascón’s appointment as district attorney, prosecutors were prohibited from seeking harsher penalties for members of gangs. During the debate on Thursday in Beverly Hills, a number of the deputy district attorneys challenging him expressed their disagreement with this policy.

Gascón was addressed by Emma Rivas, whose son was killed in 2016, over his policies’ effect on the killer’s punishment.

“My child was killed by a gang member, and you have more sympathy for that gang member who killed my child in front of my home. Can you explain to me, because I have been looking for you for four years,” she said.

“I am broken-hearted for your loss,” Gascón retorted.

“Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity,” the district attorney said to defend his position on criminal justice reform. The same thing has been done in our nation for many years.”

All of the contenders, except Gascón, raised their hands when the debate moderator asked them to indicate whether or not they favoured gang enhancements.

Candidate John McKinney called on Gascón to clarify his statement, “When you say the definition of insanity is repeating something that didn’t work, what are you referring to?”

Jonathan Hatami, a rival contender, criticised Gascón’s approach. “When George Gascón took office, he ordered all of us to remove allegations and enhancements on every single case,” Hatami stated.

An activist accused Hatami of racism, a claim he refuted, during the contentious exchange of words and crowd responses.

“Emma is a person of colour; her son was a person of colour, and he was murdered. It’s not racist when you are fighting for justice,” Hatami said.

Hatami went on to list numerous other victims whose killers were not given enhancements at Gascón’s request.

Since December 2020, Gascón has held the position of district attorney for Los Angeles County.

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