Advocates for criminal justice reform who have elected a wave of progressive prosecutors nationwide captured the crown jewel Friday as former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón defeated Los Angeles DA Jackie Lacey.
The bitter race to run the nation’s largest prosecutor’s office was seen as a referendum on whether LA voters wanted to reform policies after a summer of activism over police brutality and racial inequality ignited by George Floyd’s death by Minneapolis police.
The election created an unusual dynamic in which Gascón, a former beat cop and police chief, was opposed by law enforcement unions, while Lacey, the first woman and Black person to run the office, was criticized by Black Lives Matter activists. Gascon had nearly 54% of the 3 million votes counted when an emotional Lacey conceded, saying that even though votes remained to be counted, her consultants concluded she could not make up the difference. Today on AirTalk, Larry talks with Gascón about what the win means for reform. Do you have questions? Call us at 866-893-5722.
With files from the Associated Press
George Gascón, newly elected Los Angeles district attorney, he’s the former district attorney for the city and county of San Francisco and former assistant chief of the Los Angeles Police Department; he tweets @GeorgeGascon