An effort to recall Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon began again on Monday, following widespread crime in the city, including the fatal shooting of a music executive’s 81-year-old wife in her home.
Supporters of the effort announced on the steps of the Hall of Justice Monday that they will serve the DA with a “notice of intent” to remove him from office. The Registrar of Voters will then need to approve the recall petition. Organizers will then have 160 days to collect more than 580,000 signatures of registered voters.
The press conference comes after an initial recall effort this fall that failed to meet the required number of signatures by Oct. 26. Organizers vowed to restart the effort at a later date.
District Attorney George Gascon addresses a news conference on the steps of Hall of Justice on June 18, 2021, in Los Angeles, California.
(Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
“In the interest of continuing the effort to restore public safety in Los Angeles County by recalling District Attorney George Gascon, victims and volunteer leaders from the original recall Gascon campaign have formed a new committee called Recall District Attorney George Gascon,” the group Recall DA George Gascon tweeted in September.
Recall District Attorney Gascon describes itself as a nonpartisan group on its website and is supported by victims of crimes in the city.
“Today this movement is growing rapidly and gathering the support and resources needed to flip the script on DA George Gascon, reverse his anti-crime victim/pro-criminal policies, and provide hope for the millions of law-abiding people living in Los Angeles County—citizens who, because of DA Gascon, today feel less safe, and believe he has tipped that the scales of justice against them,” the website states.
Los Angeles has faced an increase in follow-home robberies in recent weeks, repeated smash-and-grab incidents, and the fatal shooting of philanthropist Jacqueline Avant at her Beverly Hills home.
Avant, wife of music executive Clarence Avant, was shot and killed early in the morning on Dec. 1. Police arrested a suspect in the case following an unrelated burglary in Hollywood Hills the same day, but the “motive remains under investigation.”
Jacqueline Avant and Clarence Avant appear at the 11th Annual AAFCA Awards in Los Angeles on Jan. 22, 2020. She was fatally shot early Wednesday in Beverly Hills. (Associated Press)
In another recent crime, two men were seen on camera circling a home in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of LA during a Christmas party on Saturday evening. The armed men entered the home and reportedly threatened two party-goers, demanding their belongings.
“I’m feeling disturbed, violated that people were in our house with guns,” the unidentified homeowner told CBS LA.
The Los Angeles Police Department has also reported repeated follow-home robberies in recent weeks. Suspects in the follow-home robberies target victims in affluent areas of Los Angeles, follow them until they are in a remote area and rob them. The Los Angeles Police Department announced a “Follow Home Task Force” on Nov. 23 in response to the crimes. In one case last month, the robbery turned into homicide.
The increase in crime has police officials in the area laying blame on liberal justice policies.
“It’s a s— show over here,” LAPD detective Jamie McBride, a director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, told the New York Post. “Bad guys are released quicker than we can finish the paperwork, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”
In Avant’s case, the suspect, 29-year-old Aariel Maynor, is a career criminal who was sentenced to a five-year prison term in 2013 for second-degree robbery and inflicting bodily harm, and recently served a four-year sentence for second-degree robbery with enhancements, the New York Post reported. Maynor was released on supervised parole on Sept. 1.
Aariel Maynor, 29, was released on parole in September and has convictions for robbery and inflicting bodily harm. He is accused of killing Jacqueline Avant.
(California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)
“With this guy’s history, with prison priors, he absolutely should still be in jail,” said McBride “He should have gotten a longer sentence. For his rap sheet and the violent crimes he’s been involved in, he should never have been offered a plea bargain.”
Police officials have also laid blame on Proposition 47 for the recent rash of smash-and-grab robberies that have occurred in Los Angeles and in the San Francisco area. Under Proposition 47, passed in 2014, shoplifting charges regarding the theft of $950 or less were lowered from felonies to misdemeanors. Supporters of the ballot measure included then-Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, then-state Sen. Darrell Steinberg and other Democrats in the state. Among organizations that supported the measure was the ACLU.
A Los Angeles police officer badge.
“When society removes accountability for bad behavior, criminals get emboldened to commit more crimes, drug addicts thumb their noses at mandatory treatment and vandalism and petty theft turn into riotous looting and murder,” the president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, Craig Lally, told Fox News last week.
“One does not need to be clairvoyant to have predicted that in California the ACLU’s Proposition 47 would turn a family trip to the mall or a Home Depot into a dangerous gamble for our residents.”