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LOS ANGELES- Three Los Angeles-area mothers who lost their children to violent crimes told Fox News they were pushing to recall Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon because he doesn’t care about the victims.
“I think he sympathizes with all criminals and not with us. What have we done?” asked Imelda Hernandez whose son, Christian David Silva, was shot and killed in February 2020.
“What does he think we’re going to do to him if we sit on the other side of the table?” she continued. “How come he doesn’t want to hear from us?”
Recall campaign organizers said Gascon’s policies were “soft on crime” and that he should be ousted to “keep communities safe”. The campaign announced last week that it had collected 350,000 signatures. Nearly 567,000 are needed by the July 6 deadline.
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Hernandez told Fox News she had two virtual meetings with Gascon, but said he was “just reading a teleprompter.”
This is the second recall attempt Gascon has faced since taking office in December 2020. The 2021 attempt did not garner enough signatures by the filing deadline to proceed to a vote.
Hernandez, who worked on the first recall attempt, has since moved to Orange County, where she is helping District Attorney Todd Spitzer’s re-election campaign. Spitzer’s campaign slogan is #NoLAinOC.
“We have to have some kind of law and order,” Emma Rivas told Fox News. “George Gascon just doesn’t care about victims.”
Rivas’ son, Christopher Beasley, was shot and killed in 2016 when he was 25. Rivas has since become a board member of the Los Angeles chapter of Parents of Murdered Children.
She said she regretted having voted for Gascon in 2020.
“I have voter remorse,” Rivas told Fox News. “I’m ashamed because I didn’t do my research.”
She frequently attends Gascon recall rallies.
“I’m here because I regret voting for you,” she told Fox News. “But now that I have the opportunity to retire you, that’s exactly what I’m doing.”
Gascon issued a series of guidelines after he took office in December 2020 that have come under intense scrutiny.
Some include ordering his assistant prosecutors to stop pursuing allegations of enhancement, which can significantly lengthen prison sentences, not seeking the death penalty, and barring prosecutors from charging minors as adults, regardless of the seriousness of the allegations.
Gascon’s office defended its actions and support for the victims in a statement provided to Fox News.
“District Attorney Gascón’s top priorities have been community safety and increasing support for victims,” the statement said. “This includes strengthening the Office of Victim Services and seeking tough penalties for serious crimes.”
“The false dichotomy between reform and care for victims is just that – false,” the statement continued. “Justice should be about accountability and healing, not politics.”
During the campaign, Gascon responded to a Ballotpedia poll saying “LA County deserves a more effective and progressive DA that improves community safety without over-incarcerating our communities.”
“I think it’s very important, people should realize when a DA comes up for election, and he says ‘reform’ and ‘progressive’ and ‘science and data’, pay attention, because he is not for you, it is not for the public,” says Rivas.
The mother of another victim, Anna Estevez, told Fox News: Gascon “doesn’t see the trauma, the agony and the destruction that the loss of a child brings.”
Estevez’s 5-year-old son, Aramazd Andressian Jr., was murdered by his father, her ex-husband, in 2017.
Gascon “is pro-criminal, and I completely disagree with his philosophy,” Estevez told Fox News.
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“What’s happening in LA County – I don’t want that to happen to your county, if you still have a civilized county,” Hernandez said. “Don’t be alarmist by thinking differently about how you can change your community and your city.”
Estevez told Fox News that removing Gascon would not immediately solve Los Angeles’ crime problems.
“With public support, I believe we can reduce crime,” she said. “I believe we can have a safe community.”
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