Meet George Gascón, San Francisco’s gift to Los Angeles. Mr. Gascón was San Francisco District Attorney from 2011 to 2019. He is currently the DA in Los Angeles. During his tenure in San Francisco he propelled the decriminalization of many crimes. Today, people openly go into
San Francisco stores with a bag and a calculator. They use the calculator to keep track of the total amount of the items they place into the bag. When that number is just below $950, the shopper calmly walks out the door. Clerks know better than to call the police.
The $950 minimum for prosecution is actually the result of California’s incredibly dumb electorate. In 2014 they passed Proposition 49, a criminal justice reform law that included the $950 figure. But even that wasn’t enough for Mr. Gascón,
Nancy Tung used to be an assistant DA in San Francisco. She quit in 2017, having had enough of Mr. Gascón’s policies. You can read her op-ed here. A brief sample will give you the idea:
Herein lies one of the most basic flaws with George Gascon being the chief prosecutor in San Francisco — the gross misconception that being the head of an office of prosecutors is little more than a management position. For those of you who have been in the trenches, who know what it’s like to do battle in the courtroom, who know that our role is to do what’s right, you know that your elected District Attorney is your leader, not a manager. When the head of your office hasn’t spent a day in your shoes (and never cared to understand what a courtroom prosecutor does), as a line prosecutor, you don’t get what you need to succeed and it’s demoralizing.
According to Wikipedia, Mr. Gascón was born in 1954 in Havana, Cuba. His family migrated to Bell, CA in 1967. That means he lived in Castro’s Cuba from 1959 to 1967. He lived under Castro’s rule from age 5 to 13, formative years. Here’s what Wikipedia says about him:
During Gascon’s time as District Attorney, property crime increased by 49%. Some of Gascon’s critics have blamed this increase on his office’s reluctance to file charges against low-level offenders; during Gascon’s tenure, misdemeanor charges were only filed in 40% of cases presented by the San Francisco Police Department. Having worked with Gascon, San Francisco Mayor London Breed and City Attorney Dennis Herrera declined to endorse him in his bid to become the District Attorney of Los Angeles County; Breed and Herrera instead endorsed his opponent, the incumbent Jackie Lacey.
In 2019 Mr. Gascón ran for Los Angeles District Attorney. In addition to not getting the endorsements mentioned above, the Los Angeles Police Protective League contributed one million dollars to defeat Gascón. Despite all this, he defeated incumbent Jackie Lacey.
Mr. Gascón has held that office for nearly a year. Rather than describing what’s going on in Los Angeles, let’s turn to a Twitter thread by Bill Melugin of Fox Los Angeles.