District Attorney George Gascon has been a polarizing figure ever since he decided to run for DA of Los Angeles County. Of all his radical ideas, the discontinuation of cash bail and instead issuing offenders a citation with a date and time to return to court has had law enforcement and citizens on edge – and with good reason.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Gascon’s “zero bail” policy was given a chance, and the results were as expected. Many suspects who were arrested, cited, and released went on to commit additional crimes. Some defendants even committed several additional crimes the same day they were released, creating a ridiculous pattern of catch and release that law enforcement had to follow.
While the people of the Santa Clarita Valley have been complaining about Gascon’s policies since he entered office in 2020, the city council finally decided to take a stand and officially vote on, and approve, a resolution supporting the recall of DA George Gascon.
Among the key issues that sparked SCV residents’ collective ire were the removal of sentencing enhancements, the removal of the cash bail system for many misdemeanor-level crimes, and the penalty reduction for many non-violent crimes.
To be fair, Gascon’s policies were put in place to, ideally, deal with some of California’s biggest issues with law enforcement. Keeping the jails safer and less crowded while ensuring that poor people didn’t have to suffer unjustly were his goals. However, many believe his ideas were too much, too soon.
Technically, the Santa Clarita City Council can’t spend city money to collect the signatures they need to further the efforts to recall Gascon. But, as citizens, the council members are allowed to vote on any resolutions they like and act on their own personal politics.
Whether the efforts to recall Gascon will ultimately succeed won’t be known for a while, but it’s clear that some citizens are continuing to fight.