In Los Angeles County, 14 cities have issued no confidence resolutions against District Attorney George Gascon, claiming his reforms went too far.
Diamond Bar’s city council passed a no confidence motion during its May 18 meeting, with some councilmembers wishing to address Gascon’s perceived leniency to horrific crimes throughout the county.
“Gascon is making it less safe for our residents and businesses,” Diamond Bar Mayor Nancy Lyon told The Epoch Times. “He’s more concerned about the criminals than the victims. You can’t do special enhancements on things like hate crime, elder abuse, child physical abuse, trauma, [or] human trafficking.”
Lyon added, “Even if they’re 17-and-a-half-year-old and they committed a double murder and tortured people, they can’t be tried as an adult… and he’s no longer going to seek the death penalty in any case.”
The residents’ response to the agenda item was “overwhelming,” Lyson said, adding she has never seen the community more involved. While most residents were in favor of the no confidence vote, a few voiced opposition to it.
One Diamond Bar resident said council should vote against the notion, as Gascon’s sweeping reforms were justifiable.
“The common practice of conditioning freedom solely on whether an arrestee can afford bail is unconstitutional,” the speaker said. “DA Gascon’s policy encourages the use of diversion programs, which provide treatment rather than prosecution in jailing for many minor offenses.”
The resident continued, “Public expense jails, prisons, and courts are not the best way to manage the root causes of many misdemeanors, we must step up the availability of community support services…We must stop thinking that imprisoning people longer reduces crime or addresses issues that our society fails to address…Depriving people of life and liberty after serving a sentence only keeps them from becoming productive members of society.”
Conversely, some Diamond Bar residents who said they originally voted for Gacon expressed disappointment in the district attorney.
“While I voted for him initially his truth was really a lie and he proved it on his first day in office,” a speaker said. “[We] did not elect him to destroy our system of justice.”
The City of Manhattan Beach also voted in favor of no confidence for the district attorney on May 18.
“We share the DA’s desire for criminal-justice reform,” Mayor Suzanne Hadley told The Epoch Times. “Our Concern is that the DA is choosing not to enforce the law—rather than tackle the necessary, difficult, and legislative work of true reform.”
The no confidence votes from 14 cities came less than a year after the district attorney took office last December. Other cities to pass symbolic no confidence resolutions include Covina, Azusa, Beverly Hills, Lancaster, La Mirada, and Whittier, Santa Clarita, Pico Rivera, Redondo Beach, Arcadia, Rosemead, and Santa Fe Springs.
On his first day in office, Gascon signed a special directive that announced policy changes including potential sentence reductions for inmates, a ban on sentence enhancements, and elimination of the death penalty.