[Make sure to read Joseph Klein’s contributions in Jamie Glazov’s new book: Barack Obama’s True Legacy: How He Transformed America.]
George Gascon, Los Angeles’ far-left progressive District Attorney, believes that his office’s top priority is to protect predatory criminals, not to protect innocent people in his jurisdiction from such criminals.
“Our rush to incarcerate generations of kids of color” has torn apart “the social fabric of our communities,” Mr. Gascon said in his inaugural speech as District Attorney of Los Angeles County. “George Floyd’s death exposed the chasm between police and community, and it galvanized a generation to stand up, and speak out, against a system that the public largely views as a two-tiered system of justice: one for police officers and prosecutors, and one for everyone else,” Gascon declared.
In other words, this George Soros-backed District Attorney views law enforcement through the binary lens of the oppressor versus the oppressed. In Gascon’s woke world, the police are the oppressors who enforce the U.S.’s “inherently racist” criminal justice system while the “victims” of alleged police “brutality” – primarily, persons of color – are the oppressed.
In keeping with his anti-law enforcement, pro-criminal bias, it is no surprise that Mr. Gascon chose to promote a cop-hater, Tiffiny Blacknell, to serve as his Chief of Staff, effective January 16, 2024. Ms. Blacknell has a wealth of experience defending suspected criminals. Prior to working for Mr. Gascon, Ms. Blacknell worked for years as a Deputy Public Defender in the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office.
DA Gascon’s new Chief of Staff has posed in the past wearing T-shirts with slogans like “the police are trained to kill us” and “they can’t kill us all.” Ms. Blacknell has supported defunding the police, whom she referred to as “barbarians” and an “occupying army.” And do not get her started about prisons, which she regards as “obsolete.”
Ms. Blackwell showed no sympathy for the victims of the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots in Santa Monica and West Hollywood. Quite the opposite. She sided with the looters.
“’Cry me a river!’” Blacknell said. “Please don’t come on my page complaining about protestors or looters. Don’t text me SH*T about the Whole Foods in West Hollywood and your beloved Santa Monica.”
Ms. Blacknell was not only on the side of looters. She was one herself and was proud of it. In 2020, amid the Black Lives Matter riots following George Floyd’s death, Ms. Blacknell reminisced on Facebook that “I was a looter in 1992” during the Rodney King riots against the police in which she participated. “When the opportunity arose, we took some sh*t. It was one of the most formative moments of my life,” she posted.
Of course, everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence and to legal counsel in defending against criminal charges. But this does not mean that prosecutors, who are expected to represent the people against individuals who have been charged with crimes, should function as if they were part of the suspected criminals’ defense teams instead. Tiffiny Blackwell may have switched from an office defending suspected criminals to an office prosecuting them, but she herself has not switched sides.
Moreover, while holding bad apples in the police department accountable for their misdeeds is part of a prosecutor’s job, demonizing all police as “barbarians” is not. But that is precisely the sort of vitriolic attitude against the police that Ms. Blacknell brought with her to District Attorney Gascon’s office, which made her a perfect fit to implement Gascon’s anti-police agenda.
DA Gascon’s promotion of Ms. Blacknell as his Chief of Staff is further confirmation of his perversion of the office of District Attorney. He had already shown his true leanings by packing his office with other former public defenders, especially in the Resentencing Unit that Mr. Gascon formed in 2021.
A mutiny within the ranks of career prosecutors in the LA District Attorney’s office under Gascon’s pro-criminal leadership has broken out.
The New York Post quoted the complaint of one disgusted prosecutor, who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation. He said that the Resentencing Unit is “supervised by former public defenders and their obvious push is to get people out of custody as soon as possible.”
Several Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorneys, who claimed they were retaliated against for voicing their objections to District Attorney Gascon’s revised sentencing policies, went so far as to file a lawsuit against Gascon and the county in April 2022. This lawsuit was on top of other lawsuits filed against DA Gascon, also claiming retaliation for opposing his criminal-friendly social justice “reforms.”
“Each plaintiff either opposed or disclosed to their supervisors that laws were being violated if they followed Gascon’s hastily conceived new resentencing guidelines, and that prison inmates that posed a serious and dangerous risk to society would be or were released from prison,” according to the April 2022 lawsuit. “Gascon’s policies effectively required prosecutors to unlawfully hide the truth from the courts by mischaracterizing many violent offenses and hiding the inmate’s propensity for violence, and danger to the community if given an early release from prison, from the courts and resentencing judges.”
Predictably, homicides and other violent crimes have risen in Los Angeles since George Gascon became its District Attorney. Morale among the police has plummeted because of Gascon’s office’s refusal to prosecute many crimes, with hundreds of LA police officers heading for the exits.
After surviving two efforts to recall him, George Gascon has decided to seek re-election in 2024. He will be facing members of his own district attorney office, a former head of the U.S. Attorney’s Violent and Organized Crime unit, and other opponents.
Hopefully, this time the voters will get it right by booting George Gascon from the District Attorney’s office so that he can do no more harm to the innocent victims of crime in Los Angeles County.