The city of Pico Rivera approved a vote of no confidence Tuesday night in Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon special directives. This followed a growing list of cities, such as Santa Clarita and Beverly Hills, that previously approved votes of no confidence in Gascon and his policies believing that his reforms are dangerous and put lives at risk. La Mirada is also considering a similar measure.
The City Council considered three policies Gascon enacted after he took office in December, elimination of cash bail for misdemeanors, no prosecutions for misdemeanors and the elimination of sentencing enhancements for prior violations.
The vote of no confidence passed 3-2. The two no votes Monica Sanchez & Gustavo Camacho, said there isn't enough data of the impact of Gascon's policies yet and urged the rest of the council to delay the vote to another day even though the majority of the council felt Gascon’s reforms are dangerous.
Pico Rivera city councilman Andrew Lara, who identifies as a Democrat, said that the vote cannot be painted as the work of "white Republicans" like Santa Clarita or Beverly and that he must put policy before party. Lara told the Pasadena Star News that because of Gascon’s policies "We will see increased crime, increased theft, because a lot of these misdemeanors won’t be prosecuted. We’ll see prostitutes outside of the Knight’s Inn," a motel in Pico Rivera.
Lara is also frustrated about Gascon ending the use of the death penalty, pointing to the gang member who is accused of killing Whittier Officer Keith Boyer in 2017 and prosecutors stating they would not seek the death penalty.
"That’s a big red flag for me," Lara said. "We need to tell our police officers, our law enforcement men and women, that they are highly regarded. If their lives are put in danger, or their lives are taken in the line of duty, that our society will give out the strictest and most severe punishment, which is death." Lara pointed out at the meeting that voters had elected to keep the death penalty.
A representative from Gascon's administration spoke at the city council meeting and said Gascon's policies are meant to "advance public safety, equity, victim's services, and strengthen police accountability."
The LA County Sherriff also addressed the meeting and slammed slammed Gascon's policies and the historic spike in crime many attribute to the policies.
Gascon is also currently facing a well organized recall effort.