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NAJEE’S NOTES: Gascon is my choice for district attorney

George Gascon has my vote to lead the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

This is without a doubt the quickest political endorsement I’ve ever made in my life, and it is my personal endorsement.

I had the privilege to meet with Gascon this week in South Los Angeles with a diverse coalition of Muslim leaders who all endorsed Gascon on the spot. Gascon, has long ties to Los Angeles serving as a beat cop in the LAPD and rising through the ranks to become assistant chief.

Gascon left the LAPD to serve as chief of the Mesa, Arizona, Police Department from 2006 to 2009. He was appointed by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in January 2011 as the San Francisco District Attorney to fill the vacancy left by the departing Kamala Harris who is now currently serving in the U.S. Senate.

And Gascon did an excellent job as a D.A. who clearly cares about justice. He was a co-author of an initiative that reduced simple drug possession for personal use from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Proposition 47 has reduced the sentencing disparity in San Francisco between whites and African Americans by nearly half. Under Gascon’s leadership, he assembled a blue ribbon panel to investigate a scandal in the San Francisco Police Department regarding homophobic and racist texts exchanged between more than 14 police officers in 2014.

Gascon set the tone for progressive district attorneys nationally. So Gascon’s return home was met with excitement across L.A. County. He overwhelming secured the endorsement of the California Democratic Party in the district attorney race.

The reality is everyone is jumping on the Gascon bandwagon for D.A. because the current D.A., Jackie Lacey, has become a disgrace and complete failure. It was several years ago that I organized a protest and press conference along with other South L.A. civil rights leaders demanding her immediate resignation because of a failure to prosecute police officers in connection with the police brutality and deaths of unarmed African Americans by the LAPD.

I was arrested outside her office but before the police took me away my prepared statements concerning Lacey included: “Her tenure as D.A. has been a failure marked with cowardice and a disaster for the African-American community. … Lacey has turned a blind eye to police abuse and the unjust murders of African-American residents in the city by law enforcement. There are numerous examples of Lacey’s unwillingness to protect our people from these abusive and killer cops.”

Black lives don’t matter to her, but what does matter to her is continuing to be the black face and tool of a justice system founded and steeped in white supremacy. I have several more reasons why Lacey must go which I will discuss in detail later. But for now, I’m encouraging everyone who wants a D.A. that truly cares about justice for all people to vote Gascon for district attorney.

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