Gov. Newsom Endorses Jackie Lacey’s Opponent for District Attorney

Gov. Newsom urges voters to turn to Gascón for Los Angeles DA as, “calls to reimagine our dated system of justice grow louder”


Taken from a public video posted by Gavin Newsom on Youtube Jan 9, 2011

This week Gov. Gavin Newsom chimed in on Los Angeles local politics to offer support for opposition candidate George Gascon in his race for LA County district attorney against incumbent Jackie Lacey. Newsom had previously worked with Gascon when he served as mayor of San Francisco. He appointed Gascon as San Francisco district attorney in 2011.
“This November Angelenos will choose who to turn to as calls to reimagine our dated system of justice grow louder, and I urge them to join me once again in turning to George Gascón,” Newsom said in a statement on Tuesday.
Newsom’s endorsement comes after a summer flooded with nationwide protests in response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man killed at the hands of law enforcement. Protesters all over Los Angeles were met with resistance from the LAPD and the national guard. Videos on social media captured the police using crowd dispersal weapons, such as batons, tear gas, and rubber bullets, against protestors and the media alike resulting in serious injuries. Lacey’s lack of reprimand for the use of excessive force by the LAPD has been condemned by many Angelenos.
Lacey, who is seeking a third term, has drawn criticism for her unwillingness to prosecute police officers who have been involved in fatal shootings. Since taking office in 2012, there have been more than 600 officer-involved shootings and in only two instances did she press charges against an officer.
In response to her performance during her tenure, protesters have gathered in downtown L.A. every Wednesday since 2018 to chant, “Jackie Lacey must go! Prosecute killer cops! Bye Jackie 2020!” outside the Hall of Justice.
While Gascon is running on what he considers on a progressive platform, he has a controversial record from his time in San Francisco. He authored a bill to reduce punishments for nonviolent crimes, erased marijuana convictions, and introduced technology to combat racial profiling among law enforcement. On the contrary, Gascon’s tenure is infamous for having had the highest property crime rate in California, which was said to be a result for his approach toward nonviolent crimes; which he will have to address leading up to the election.
Lacey won the seat as the first Black woman district attorney in Los Angeles following a long line of white men dating back to the 1850s. She won with 55% of the vote, while this year she narrowly lost a third term reelection in the March primaries. A recent development that may harm her chance for reelection is her husband, David Lacey, who was charged with misdemeanors after pulling a gun on protesters when they demonstrated outside their home on March 2.
Voters this November will decide whether they’re ready for a progressive change in the district attorney’s office, or whether they want to maintain the moderate establishment.