George Gascón. Good riddance. Unfortunately, it may not be a complete goodbye for our former District Attorney. No, consistent with his past practice, he quit on San Francisco early in order to continue to propel his political career. Now he wants the District Attorney’s job in Los Angeles. His goal: be the top-ranking law enforcement officer in California’s most populous county, in the country’s second largest media market.
You can bet your last dollar that if he is successful, it’s definitely not the last we’ve heard from Gascón. That’s why it’s so important that the people of Los Angeles hear from the residents, business owners and police officers of San Francisco about what criminal justice with District Attorney Gascón was truly like.
Gascón Report Card
Gascón has always been a great manipulator of the numbers. He came under fire while at the LAPD for publicly promoting artificially lower crime stats and faced similar criticism here. He’ll tout the recent crime dips as his successes (not those of police officers and residents working together), but what do the numbers really say?
Since Gascón took office as DA in San Francisco:
Crime has increased by double digits.
Auto break-ins increased by 130 percent.
Property Crime increased nearly 50 percent.
Criminal Convictions went down 25%.
Larceny rose up 60%.
With all of the crime statistics, the statewide average numbers either decreased, or San Francisco’s increases were larger than the statewide average.
The Prop 47 Deception
His spin machine touts that Prop 47, which he penned, is not responsible for crime increases or the literal revolving door of criminals in and out of our jails. They use top level statistics to hide what’s actually happening on the ground. Any resident or street cop can tell you that since Prop 47 passed, property crimes have gone up, open drug use in our streets have gone up, and our residents feel, and are, in fact less safe.
Being the mastermind of Prop 47 allowed Gascón access to a statewide stage allowing him to market himself as a “reformer.” But he sold the voters a rotten bill of goods—telling them that we would no longer arrest people for smoking marijuana, that services for substance abusers and felons returning to the street would increase, and as such neighborhood safety would increase. Right.
What Gascón didn’t tell the public is that those Jonesing for their next hit could break into their car, and possess up to $950 in stolen property and maybe, just maybe they would get a written citation rather than removing them from our streets. And then they could go victimize someone else. They didn’t tell voters that more sophisticated criminals would actually do the same, provided they kept the possession of stolen goods below the magic threshold. So, car break-ins in San Francisco set national records. Gascón response? “Wasn’t me!”
Things may have turned out different if Gascón lost the fancy suits and polished loafers and put on a pair of jeans, some work boots and gloves and joined SFPD officers and our partners in actually trying to assist the lost souls on our sidewalks and in tents. Things might have been different if he was there as we arrest the same drug dealer this week that we arrested last week. Maybe if he did that every week, he’d see that everything that glitters on a phony spreadsheet is not gold. Maybe he got it wrong. And maybe he should’ve put in some work to do something about it.
Why do that, when you can simply abandon your post and head to Tinseltown and feed your ego and political career. An excellent plan for California!