L.A. DA George Gascón Fails at Defending His Policies That Left Cop Killer on the Streets

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón held a press conference yesterday attempting to defend his department’s handling of Justin Flores, who on June 15th shot and killed two El Monte police officers responding to a domestic disturbance call involving Flores and his estranged wife. Flores committed suicide following a gunfire exchange with additional officers responding to the original shooting.

Gascón’s sharply criticized policies favoring criminals over victims and immediately placing police under suspicion in all gun-usage incidents have been previously covered here at RedState. In a June 17th press conference, the mother of one of the two slain officers directly blamed Gascon for her son’s death.

Santana’s mother, Olga Garcia, rippedGascón for prioritizing the rights of criminals and fanning a lawless atmosphere that led to her son’s murder.

“He has insane ideas about giving criminals a slap on the hand,” Garcia said. “We need to enforce our laws so more police officers don’t die.”

Gascón gives law breakers “more rights than police officers,” Garcia said.

Adding further fuel to the firestorm is a debate over whether a Gascón-introduced initiative regarding police shootings would require public funds to pay for Flores’ funeral. With all of this as a backdrop, Gascón’s press conference on June 21st was a stage set for disaster. It did not disappoint.

Gascón insisted Flores was a victim of the habit, not a violent criminal, therefore deserving of the far lesser punishment he had received before the shooting.

“He was arrested for possession of drugs and possession of a gun, not the use of a gun,” Gascón said. “Under the circumstances, I believe it was an appropriate outcome.”

Flores was out on probation for a gun charge at the time of the shooting a day after his probation officer requested he return to court later this month for a hearing, court records showed.

The plea to the gun charge, a felony, could have sent him back to prison for three years, but he got two years’ probation and 20 days in jail.

Meanwhile, the El Monte city council, all of whom are Democrats, has joined 34 other cities by issuing a “no confidence” vote against Gascón.

“We believe that D.A. Gascón’s policies have now been shown to be detrimental to public safety in El Monte and Los Angeles County, and also detrimental to the goal we share, of rehabilitating people away from criminal activity, as shown by the high failure rate of D.A. Gascón’s policy of not holding people accountable for their criminal acts,” stated a resolution affirming the El Monte City Council’s 5-0 vote Tuesday night.

A recall campaign against Gascón aiming to place its initiative on the November ballot has already gathered sufficient signatures for its purposes. It is pressing ahead in order to ensure a large cushion to guard against invalid signatures on the petition.