District Attorney Makes Request in Letter in Which He Characterizes Himself As Leader of Movement
By a MetNews Staff Writer
On the agenda for today’s meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is a request by District Attorney George Gascón for authority to hire a special prosecutor to go after police officers involved in shootings, with that request coming in a letter in which Gascón lauds himself in, the third person.
“Newly elected District Attorney Gascon has led the growing movement of progressive prosecutors. To that end and acknowledging concerns raised by law enforcement officials, civil rights attorneys, activists, and others, the DA has committed to reevaluating fatal officer-involved shooting cases previously declined for prosecution.”
The district attorney added:
“To promote public confidence in the decision-making process and the outcome of any such investigations, the DA has determined the need for a Special Prosecutor to reevaluate, and if the facts support it, to criminally prosecute any officers whose actions unlawfully caused the death of the victims in those cases. The Special Prosecutor will take all actions necessary to investigate, and if warranted by the evidence, prosecute on behalf of the DA any potential criminal activity by law enforcement officers in the designated cases at the direction of the DA. This will be a positive step in rebuilding relationships in our community.”
Gascón is asking for authority to hire Lawrence S. Middleton, former chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. The request says:
“Funding of up to $750,000 for the contract is included in the DA’s Fiscal Year 2020-21 Final Budget. Not including Fiscal Year 2020-21, all future years’ budgets will not allocate more than $1,500,000 annually for the term of this contract.
“Total expenditures under the contract will vary from year to year based on the needs of the DA subject to the financial limits above. The DA is responsible for ensuring it has adequate funding in its operating budgets prior to requesting and approving services under the contract.”
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