In an entirely predictable move, George Gascón’s first official meeting after winning the election to become Los Angeles’ next District Attorney was with Black Lives Matter-LA. The group campaigned heavily for Gascón, who also received significant funding from George Soros and his affiliated organizations and allies. During the campaign, Gascón promised to reopen investigations into four fatal officer-involved shootings in which incumbent DA Jackie Lacey declined to file charges against the officer, and BLM wanted to impress upon him the importance of keeping his promise.
This meeting wasn’t a traditional, “Hey, we worked hard on your campaign because you promised to do x, y, and z, so please don’t forget about us” meeting. It was more of a “Nice position you’ve got there; it’d be a shame if something happened to it” meeting.
It’s common knowledge that BLM protested weekly against Lacey and even showed up at her home en masse at 5 a.m. earlier this year, demanding a meeting. So, Gascón opened the meeting by kissing their ring:
“What you have done in many ways, you have moved mountains,” Gascón told about 100 people gathered in the basement meeting hall of McCarty Memorial Christian Church in the West Adams District. “That is why you are the first group that I have come to talk to because I do respect and honor what you have done,” he said to loud applause.
Then he got to one of the main points the group wanted him to address – his promise to reopen those four cases. Gascón reaffirmed the campaign promise, then went a bit further:
While promising to examine the cases raised during the meeting, Gascón also sought to lower expectations.
“Obviously not every case is going to be a case that will be prosecutable,” he said. “But we’ve already committed to reopening four cases and we are going to look at other cases.”
Look at other cases? Is he going to waste his office’s resources by re-investigating every potential case of excessive force Lacey’s office declined to prosecute instead of prosecuting, you know, actual criminals and getting them off the street?
I’m not a legal scholar (perhaps our Shipwrecked Crew can weigh in on this), but why is this allowable? Double jeopardy doesn’t apply because the officers were never indicted and then have the charge dismissed or go to trial. But if a District Attorney’s office, after an extensive investigation, declines to prosecute a potential case of excessive force by a law enforcement officer, that should be the end of it, forever. Gascón’s policy implies that police officers don’t have the type of immunity other government officials enjoy.
If Gascón wants to go down this road, though, let’s go all the way. Let’s reopen the multiple sexual harassment/retaliation complaints that were filed against him during the 25-ish years he himself was an LAPD officer.
One of those cases, according to confidential sources, went all the way to the California Supreme Court, several high-ranking LAPD officials submitted affidavits on the victim’s behalf, and, knowing it wasn’t looking good for Gascón, the department entered into a settlement with the victim.
For the last six years of his career, Gascón was one of the most powerful LAPD figures; by the time he left to become Chief of Police in Mesa, AZ in 2006, he had been the Assistant Chief of Police for three years. This power enabled him to carry out retribution against women who rejected his advances or complained.
Journalist Yashar Ali reported at the beginning of November that at least two female former LAPD officers had been subjected to sexual harassment and retaliation by Gascón during the years he was with the organization. One victim was the first woman to be elected President of the Los Angeles Police Protective League and said that Gascón had propositioned her on multiple occasions and even spread rumors that he’d slept with her as retaliation for her rejecting him. In an August 17 email to Mayor Eric Garcetti, the woman said:
“I am speaking out now because the voters of Los Angeles deserve to know who George Gascón, the person, really is. I had gladly left these unpleasant memories in the past until I read his statement on allegations of sexual harassment in the LADA’s office. His statement brought back the memories of how he personally, repeatedly committed against me, the acts which he claims to condemn.”
Speaking to Ali on the condition that her name not be used, since she is now retired and doesn’t live in Los Angeles County anymore, the victim said that the harassment occurred over a period of time in the early 2000s when Gascón was commander of the LAPD training unit or Assistant Chief of Police. She told “a number” of people about his behavior at the time it occurred; two of those people have confirmed her account to Ali.
“During a period of time, while I was the President of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, he made several sexual advances toward me, and continually attempted to manipulate situations to attempt to start a sexual relationship. Finally, after several attempts and several ‘no’s’, I began to avoid any meeting with him. I did not file a sexual harassment complaint at the time, although several people in the Department were aware of his continual sexual advances toward me. George Gascón did not only harass me; he tried to ruin my reputation by falsely telling others he had slept with me. I believe he did that as a revenge attempt to trash my reputation in the Department because I refused his sexual advances.”
The former lieutenant said in her email to Garcetti that she didn’t speak out publicly at the time ”because I was a female at a level much lower than he was and was concerned about the retaliation he could unleash on not just me, but my members. It does not mean that I did not say anything. I was very vocal to George and his friends that his behavior was intolerable.” Also, “I had no reason to bring forward his treatment of me to the general public because he left Los Angeles and the Department in the mid-2000s.”
“George Gascón, like many other men placed in a position of power, abused that position to try to obtain personal sexual gratification. He needs to own up to his misconduct.”
When Gascón in August decried what he described as a “widespread culture that burries [sic] sexual harassment by retaliating against the victim” inside Lacey’s office, the woman knew she had to come forward.
Another woman, a former LAPD detective, told Ali a similar story. Ali notes that the women have no connection to each other but described a “boys club” atmosphere that “allowed the alleged misconduct to thrive.” Here’s her story:
The former LAPD detective said that Gascón told her, “You and me can have great sex.”
“I thought, ‘Are you f**king kidding me?’” the former detective told me in an interview.
She said she told Gascón that she had a boyfriend (she didn’t) as a way to change the subject. “I didn’t want to burn any bridges,” she said. The former detective told me that Gascón was known to have friends who worked in position control—the department in the LAPD that would determine if she could be reassigned to another division within the police department, which she wanted to do.
The former detective said that while Gascón had always been friendly to her in the past, his demeanor changed after she made it clear she wasn’t interested in sleeping with him.
“It was clear he was pissed off at me,” she said.
In what world is telling a subordinate, “You and me can have great sex” in any way okay? If this story is indeed what happened, it’s clear that Gascón viewed the women of the LAPD as his own personal Match.com dating pool and they weren’t supposed to say no. (Gascón has been married twice; he refuses to state the year his first marriage ended, but he started dating LA Univision anchor Fabiola Kramsky in 2006, so it’s a fair assumption that in the early 2000s he was on the prowl.)
The case reported to RedState by a confidential source is a separate case from the two referenced in Ali’s piece, meaning there are at least three women who were harassed and then retaliated against by Gascón. All three reference a “widespread culture that buries sexual harassment by retaliating against the victim” within LAPD; let’s hope that culture isn’t still in place. One way to ensure that culture dies and stays dead is to fully open George Gascón’s personnel file and encourage any woman who was victimized by him to come forward so this scourge can be fully dealt with. After all, Mr. Gascón, some things are part of a larger problem. In your own words:
“When we see police violence I think it’s very important to understand that yes, it’s critical that we address it but we also have to understand that it’s part of a larger problem.”
Female rank-and-file LAPD officers being subjected to sexual harassment and retaliation by the Training Commander or Assistant Chief of Police could be considered “police violence,” right?
It seems that threatened violence is a language Gascón understands and responds to; BLM-LA informed him that they will show up at his house and give out his personal phone number if he doesn’t bow to their wishes.
Albert Corado, whose sister Mely was accidentally killed by two LAPD officers inside the Silver Lake Trader Joe’s while they were chasing a suspect, told Gascón he’ll be watching him closely after he takes office Dec. 7.
“If you do not live up to your bargain, we will come to your house,” Corado said as the crowd clapped. “I will … give out your personal phone number. I want you to understand the gravity of the situation.”
“Don’t come to my home,” Gascón bristled. “I want to work with you. But I don’t react well to threats.”
Fortunately for Gascon, the former colleagues he victimized don’t play that way. That’s why we in the media, and concerned citizens, must bang the drum and demand accountability.