LOS ANGELES – Today, George Gascón, who taught use of force policy to supervisors, oversaw the LAPDs use of force review process, made decisions related to suspensions and terminations as Chief of Police for two big-city police departments, and prosecuted more than 30 officers as San Francisco District Attorney, released the following statement in response to a video that surfaced online earlier today showing an LAPD Officer repeatedly striking a man in Boyle Heights:
“The footage that surfaced today is extremely concerning. It’s unclear if the man mouthed off to the officer, but it’s also irrelevant. What’s clear is that the victim didn’t resist arrest and his back was to police. He makes no threatening gestures that would have put the officers in fear for their safety. In the absence of accountability, police who have no business wearing the uniform are emboldened, and this is what happens when you have a District Attorney that has made a career of giving police who use excessive force a hall pass.
Once again, the Chief of the LAPD is expressing concern while the DA is silent, and once again, there’s no ambiguity: The officer must be charged with assault under color of authority.”
For additional details on George Gascón’s extensive plans to enhance law enforcement accountability click here.
George Gascón grew up in Los Angeles after his family immigrated from Cuba. An army veteran, Gascón served as a Los Angeles Police Department Officer for 30 years, rising to the rank of Assistant Chief of Operations. In 2006 he became Chief of Police in Mesa, Arizona, where he stood up to the hateful and anti-immigrant policies of then Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. In 2009, then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed Gascón Chief of Police. Newsom turned to Gascón again in 2011 when he tapped him to be District Attorney to fill the seat vacated by an outgoing Kamala Harris who had been elected Attorney General. During his tenure Gascón implemented reforms that are being duplicated across the country while overseeing violent crime and homicides drop to rates not seen in 50 years. After being elected to two terms, Gascón returned to Los Angeles to care for his elderly mother and to be closer to his two daughters and grandchildren in Long Beach. Gascón is married to Fabiola Kramsky, a three-time Emmy Award winning journalist and recipient of the “Premio Nacional de Periodismo,” the highest recognition given to journalists in Mexico.