A pair of police officers in the area of Los Angeles, California, were shot and killed Tuesday night by a convicted felon gang member who was on probation.
Now critics are assigning blame for those murders to Los Angeles District County Attorney George Gascon, whose far-left progressive criminal justice reform policies allowed that dangerous criminal to be out on the streets instead of locked behind bars, the Washington Examiner reported.
The alleged murderer with a criminal record, identified as Justin Flores, had been arrested last year with a gun but, rather than be prosecuted for being a felon in possession of a firearm, he was instead given a 20-day sentence and released on probation.
Alleged murderer not prosecuted on a prior gun charge
That decision to not prosecute Flores on the gun charge, which would have netted him a minimum of 18 months in jail, meant that he was able to mount a fatal ambush on two El Monte Police Department officers who had responded Tuesday night to a call about a possible stabbing.
For what it is worth, Flores was reportedly shot dead by other officers a short time later in the hotel’s parking lot. However, he never should have been out in public at all, according to former L.A. County DA Steve Cooley, who served in that office from 2000 through 2012.
“Apparently, the indulgent sentence given to this ex-con with a gun enabled him to be out when he should have been in. And when he was out, he got another gun and murdered two police officers,” Cooley told the Examiner. “This is a direct result of Gascon’s policies, which required the least charges and minimal sentences.”
Indeed, one of Gascon’s policies is a prohibition on prosecutors filing additional enhancement charges for the use of firearms in crimes, which typically add extra time to a sentence upon conviction.
Sheriff says “grave consequences” from DA’s policies
Also blaming DA Gascon for the murder of the two cops is Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who noted that Flores’ prior conviction for burglary made him a felon prohibited from possessing a firearm and this his subsequent arrest in 2021 with a gun should have resulted in his doing serious time in prison instead of being released on probation with the gun charge dropped.
“Gascon’s policies have grave consequences,” the sheriff said of the prosecutor. “Unfortunately, it’s the innocent person who pays the price. In this case, two cops are just doing their jobs.”
Villanueva is a vocal supporter of an ongoing effort to recall Gascon and remove him from office, an effort that just this week surpassed the minimum number of signatures required to be included on a ballot for voters to decide if he should remain as the district attorney or not, according to Fox News.
Gascon recall reaches signature threshold after San Francisco DA Boudin recalled
An organizer of the effort told the network that it had received a surge of more than 30,000 signatures in recent days to reach the threshold. That surge may have been prompted by the murder of the two cops by the convicted felon, but also perhaps by the successful recall of an equally far-left progressive prosecutor in San Francisco last week.
SFGate reported that a strong majority of the Democratic stronghold of San Francisco had recalled now-former DA Chesa Boudin after that prosecutor’s criminal justice reform policies had resulted in a surge of violent crime in the Bay Area.