Critics assail purpose, makeup of DA George Gascón’s use-of-force panel – Press Enterprise

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon has ignited both the composition and mission of his newly formed panel to re-examine the use of deadly force by police.

The most important of his critics was former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, who said, “I’m trying to cover myself what he’s already planning, and it’s against law enforcement officers ( I have filed a criminal accusation). “

“He’s bent like hell to put some law enforcement filing notches on his belt,” said Cooley, who led the rally to remember the progressive district attorney.

“The use of these forces was properly investigated by the authorities (where they occurred) and independently by the district attorney’s office, and the decisions were based on facts and law,” Coolie said. “Currently, Gascon wants to judge a police officer who has already been authorized by a dedicated professional prosecutor. He wants another result that is consistent with his strange idealism. “

The Los Angeles Police Department represents approximately 10,000 Rank and File LAPD officers for a fact-finding civil consulting team of 16 members of Gascon, consisting of community members, activists, scholars, and civil rights lawyers. Had the same harsh words. Former police chief. Gascon says it needs a panel “to regain trust and move forward as a community.”

“If George Gascon was really interested in considering the use of force by former police honestly and fairly, he would sue this panel to anti-police activists, police stations and organizations to make money. “To abolish the police,” the union board said in a statement. “It’s not justice, but in the worst case it’s panda politics.

“He will make our community safer if he spends his time considering cases of repeat offenders who have been given a free pass or treated with children’s gloves.”

Panel required

However, Christine Debury, secretary-general of the California Prosecutor’s Alliance, said the panel and Gascon’s progressive policies are needed given the volatile relationship between police and the community.

“His critics have revealed that if given the opportunity, they will stamp rubber stamps and continue past injustices,” Deberry said in an email. “There were a number of suspicious cases and virtually no prosecution. That alone seeks an independent review, but some of the previous decisions were surprisingly incomplete, prejudiced, or both. The grounds for refusing to prosecute may be directly contrary to physical evidence.

“His predecessor’s decision in the use of force was further tainted by receiving huge sums of money from a police union representing the police under investigation,” she said, referring to former district attorney Jackie Lacey. And said. “This has passed state law requiring prosecutors who have received police union money to refuse to investigate their members, as DA Gascon and other prosecutors recognize the importance of impartiality in these cases. That’s why I’m working to do it. “

Given Los Angeles’ “terrible history of police-community relations” in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police, there is probably no city in the United States that needs a review panel like the one proposed by Gascon. Probably, Deberry said.

Facts about FACCT

FACCT identifies and prioritizes cases of use of force to review, including when there is counter-forensic evidence or witness testimony from civil or criminal cases.

Once the case is identified, FACCT will work with law students at the University of California, Irvine to review the file and give a presentation to the panel about the findings. This group is supported by students from the USC Dornsife Trial Advocacy Program.

The District Attorney’s Office ultimately decides whether additional investigation is needed, whether the matter needs to be assigned to a special counsel, or whether to file a criminal accusation.

In a statement, Gascon said, “There are standards that require legal shooting when absolutely necessary, and we will continue to shoot unnecessary and cause public protest and skepticism until it is a last resort.” Said. “Ultimately, we need to create a law that gives the county the ability to create separate entities that can review these cases individually.”

Cooley finds it problematic to use college students instead of skilled prosecutors to consider cases of the use of force. “You will have a prejudiced anti-police committee select the case, and then they will be handed over to students in the Faculty of Thought and Law,” he said. “What could go wrong?”

Controversial members appointed

Among the most controversial members of FACCT is Carlos M. Montes of Boyle Heights, 73. He describes himself as a nationally respected Chicano rebel and revolutionary on his website.

“I’m an activist, not a terrorist,” he said in a telephone interview.

The nearly 50 years of Montes’ achievements as a brand of immigrant rights and anti-war fire are well documented.

Carlos Montes spoke as a member of the Brown Beret at the Poor People’s Campaign in 1968. He has been appointed to a committee to review the use of deadly force by law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles County. (Photo courtesy of Carlos Montes)

Montes was the co-founder of Brown Berets, a radical Chicano organization that was inspired and compared by the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s and 1970s.

He was one of the leaders of the East Los Angeles Chicano Blowout, a series of 1968 student strikes to protest inequality and racism.

In addition, Montes was one of the infamous East LA13s charged by a grand jury in a plot to confuse the Los Angeles Unified School District. The charges against the group were finally withdrawn.

In 1970, the California Court of Appeals overturned the indictment against East LA13.

Then, in 2010, Montes did not challenge one of the perjury charges for not revealing a felony conviction when he bought the gun. He was sentenced to three years of probation and 180 hours of community service.

Recently, Montes has been involved in the issue of social justice in the wake of Floyd’s death. He is proud of his activist heritage and believes that his unique perspective benefits FACCT.

“I’m a rebel who asks and speaks difficult questions,” said Montes, a member of the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council’s board of directors. “I bring perspective and analytical perspectives to objective evidence. We know that police are lying and tampering with evidence.”

In an email, Gascon’s special adviser Alex Bastian said that all panelists “bring a wide variety of work and life experiences to the table.” He didn’t talk about Montes’ career as an activist.

Gascon Appointment, Criticized Employment

In addition to Montes, other appointments and jobs by Gascon are controversial.

In February, he offended some prosecutors by hiring a deputy public defender. Tiffini Bracknelll, a political supporter who described police officers as “barbarians” and advocated the abolition of prisons. Several city councils in Los Angeles County have voted no confidence in Gascon.

Cooley described Montes as a “suspicious individual” appointed to an unexpected panel formed to feed Gascon’s ego.

“Facts and laws are not important to him,” Coolie said. “Gason has taken (progressive policy) to a new level. It has a lot to do with his personality and the fact that he is a megalomaniac. It’s as fake as a three-dollar bill.”

Critics assail purpose, makeup of DA George Gascón’s use-of-force panel – Press Enterprise Source link Critics assail purpose, makeup of DA George Gascón’s use-of-force panel – Press Enterprise

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