Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon will face voters for the first time since 2020, with the primary set for March 5. Gascon faces a slew of primary challengers, as current Deputy District Attorney and child abuse prosecutor Jonathan Hatami has begun pulling away from the pack as the lead challenger.
During the most recent debate, the candidates blasted Gascon for his soft-on-crime policies that have put millions of residents in danger. As folks in the crowd were asking questions, Emma Rivas, whose child was killed by a gang member, confronted Gascon for the first time since he was elected.
L.A. DA George Gascon is forced to defend his policy to ban prosecutors from pursuing gang enhancements.
He’s confronted by a mother whose son was killed by a gang member & the DDA’s who are running against him.
— Elex Michaelson (@Elex_Michaelson) February 9, 2024
My child was killed by a gang member, and you had more sympathy for that gang member than my child who was killed in front of my home. Can you explain to me? Because I’ve been looking for you for four years.
Gascon claimed that he was “broken-hearted for your loss,” but followed that up by basically saying he’s not going to change any of his harmful policies.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. We as a country have been doing the same thing for generations.
His inhumane response to a grieving mother who lost her 25-year-old child in 2016 speaks volumes. Without spelling it out, he said he prioritizes going soft on criminals while victims and their families search for justice.
Here is Hatami’s response:
In the race to replace Gascón as LA County DA, it’s clear Deputy DA & child abuse prosecutor @jonathanhatami is the candidate Gascón fears most. See how his supporters attacked/interrupted Hatami and how gracefully he responded. Emma Rivas’ son was murdered. Gascón removed the… pic.twitter.com/LQwipkFn84
— Houman David Hemmati, MD, PhD (@houmanhemmati) February 9, 2024
Rivas said she regretted voting for Gascon and joined the recall effort in 2022.
It is outrageous the havoc that Gascon’s policies have caused the residents of Los Angeles County. Somehow, he still has some support, as 15 percent of those surveyed said they still back him. However, Hatami is inching closer, as 64 percent of those surveyed said they are undecided. The overwhelming majority know who Gascon is by now, so most of the undecided voters will vote for anybody but Gascon in November.
Hundreds of thousands of Angelenos are voting right now. And we are the top challenger. However, Gascón is still polling right ahead of us. If you really want Gascón out, we need everyone to fill out their ballots for HATAMI for District Attorney in order to make sure we beat… pic.twitter.com/kJhohwfWCh
— jonathanhatami (@jonathanhatami) February 8, 2024
Hatami isn’t running to finish second in the primary. His goal is to finish first and send Gascon and his diminished supporters a message that the residents are fed up and will make their voices heard.
Rivas told Fox News that it is the first time in history that a District Attorney has a heart for criminals instead of having a heart for the victims.
We cannot have that kind of progressive DA in office. This is the first time in history, 180 years, that we’ve ever had a DA that has a heart for criminals and not a heart for the victims. There are parents that lost their children to murder that are 16, 17 years old and getting five years in jail. Where’s the justice in this?
And he sits there smiling and laughing, and he just doesn’t care. He’s not fit to be a DA, and his assistant is a defense attorney. How did we get to this? And why aren’t people realizing this man is no good for LA? He already ruined San Francisco, and now he’s doing the same thing in Los Angeles County.
After Gascon took over as DA, he blocked prosecutors from going after advanced punishments for gang members.
The 2024 election for DA will look very different than 2020, as many Gascon voters have voter remorse, and they are ready to make their voices heard, loud and clear.
Los Angeles has the chance to pivot, embrace sensible public safety measures, and refocus on prioritizing victims over leniency toward criminals.