Why did Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon refuse to charge an armed suspect that threatened a school?
The 2024 election can’t come soon enough when it comes to George Gascon. During his time as the District Attorney for the city of Los Angeles, he’s made a lot of questionable moves that have left police fuming. He’s currently facing over a dozen civil suit claims, and recently paid $1.5 million to L.A. County prosecutor Shawn Randolph over a flubbed case.
But more than that, Gascon is a danger to the job. And if you need any further proof of that, let’s take a closer look at his actions from this week.
On March 21, police arrested an unnamed suspect after he had made several threatening posts against a school on social media, and also had possession of stolen guns on him when he was taken into custody. Yet, despite obvious proof that he was a threat to those within the school, Gascon refused to press charges. The reasoning? Absolutely asinine.
According to Fox News, Bell Gardens police noted in a statement, "On March 21, 2023, the filing District Attorney at Downey Superior Court initially rejected the entire case, stating they needed additional information regarding the criminal threat.”
So let me see if I’ve got this right. They found the suspect had made threats against a school. Online. In California, where several “active shooter” events have taken place. They also found he had stolen guns, not registered to him. And yet, with all that, Gascon felt they needed “additional information regarding the criminal threat?” Excuse me, that is the criminal threat.
I’m not the only one who thought that way either. The local police chief, no doubt fuming over the decision, went into Gascon’s office to demand that charges be filed. After explaining his case (probably several times given Gascon’s stubbornness), he finally relented.
After confirming that “inconsistencies and issues with the DA’s office were addressed,” the suspect was charged with three felony weapons charges: possession of a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school, having a concealed firearm in a vehicle and carrying a loaded handgun. Again, after the local police chief raised hell based on his decision.
"The Bell Gardens Police Department is committed to ensuring the safety of students, school staff, and community members and is working in conjunction with the Montebello Unified School District to provide additional officers and police presence at all Bell Gardens Schools," the department said.
That police chief deserves a big pat on the back. At a time when Gascon refused to do his job, the chief walked right in there and demanded it – and got results.
But that’s not enough. It shows the uneasy track record that Gascon has with justice as a whole, treating citizens and police like morons.
"George Gascon refuses to prosecute juveniles in possession of firearms," Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami explained. "It’s dangerous and a failure of the system."
But here’s the big statement that I believe resounds with those citizens and police alike from Hatami. “We have no justice and no peace in L.A. under Gascon.”
He notes how the D.A.’s actions were unbelievably bad, especially surrounding a shooting in Newhall that left two people dead, including a 16-year-old. "As you see in Newhall, the juvenile wasn’t prosecuted or rehabilitated for possession of a firearm and a few months later he’s armed with another firearm and killed a 16-year-old."
As expected, Gascon didn’t have anything to say on the matter. No apology to the 16-year old’s parents. No apology to police for letting the shooter get away scot-free. And no apology for refusing to charge someone that, again, threatened a school and carried around stolen guns.
Again, I know it’s a long road to the 2024 election. But I certainly hope the L.A. police and citizens alike oust him from office. Because, otherwise, his lapses in judgment will continue to put lives in danger; and with things already chaotic enough from the fallout of “defund the police,” we need all the help we can get.
And we simply cannot rely on someone as incompetent as Gascon to provide it.
Michael Letts is the Founder, President, and CEO of InVest USA, a national grassroots non-profit organization that is helping hundreds of communities provide thousands of bulletproof vests for their police forces through educational, public relations, sponsorship, and fundraising programs. He also has over 30 years of law enforcement experience under his belt, hence his pro-police stance for his brothers and sisters in blue. Those interested in learning more about Letts can visit his official website here.