After considerable speculation that he might, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has yanked his endorsement of Jackie Lacey. In this year’s race for L.A. District Attorney, he’ll instead back the incumbent’s opponent, George Gascón.
Jackie Lacey became the first Black woman to serve as the Los Angeles County district attorney when she was elected in 2012. Since then, however, many activist groups, including Black Lives Matter, have called for her replacement. BLM takes issue with the fact that Lacey has yet to prosecute any law enforcement officers who have killed civilians, as well as her handling of the Ed Buck case.
In August, her husband, David Lacey, was charged with three counts of misdemeanor assault. The charges stem from a March 2 incident when protesters showed up at the Lacey home before 6 a.m. to request a meeting. David Lacey answered the door and was caught on camera brandishing a handgun.
By the time those charges were made, Lacey had already lost endorsements from Rep. Adam Schiff and Assemblywoman Laura Friedman. And in an interview with The Appeal on June 12, Garcetti responded with a maybe when asked if it was time for a change in the DA’s office.
“[Gascón ] knows how to promote public safety through partnerships with and beyond law enforcement,” Garcetti wrote. “George Gascón will help our county shift the burden from the criminal justice system and jails toward diversion, intervention, and re-entry programs that save money and save lives. He is a leader who I have known and trusted for nearly twenty years who can meet this moment.”
Gascón, who was born in Cuba, is a former LAPD officer and the former Chief of Police for the Mesa Police Department. In 2009, Gavin Newsom, then the Mayor of San Francisco, appointed him the San Francisco Chief of Police. Two years later, when then-San Francisco D.A. Kamala Harris was elected California Attorney General, Newsom appointed Gascón as San Francisco District Attorney. Newsom had been elected Lt. Governor in that same election.
At the time, Newsom said he asked Gascon what, as a police chief, he’d like to see in a new DA.
“As I was listening to him, it became clear to me that he was the choice,” Newsom said. “He didn’t know that. He was giving me some good advice. He didn’t know how good the advice was.”
One of Gascón’s platforms is law enforcement accountability. The Los Angeles Daily News reports that in a recent debate, each candidate accused the other of being more lenient when it came to holding officers accountable. Lacey claimed that Gascón “was known for going easy on the discipline of officers.” Gascón claimed that law enforcement supports Lacey because “she looks the other way.” Various law enforcement unions have contributed $5 million to Lacey’s campaign so far. The candidates also clashed on the death penalty, which Gascon is against.