June 2022 Newsletter

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Newsletter  |  June 8, 2022

District Attorney Gascón Supports
Gun Control Measures, Calls for Action
To Prevent Mass Shootings


District Attorney George Gascón has announced his support for two U.S. House of Representatives resolutions that would implement gun control measures to keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous people and save precious lives.

“In the wake of the mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, we must demand action now,” District Attorney Gascón said on June 2. “This is not a partisan issue, it’s a human issue. The majority of Americans support stricter gun laws. These bills are a commonsense response to this national health emergency created by the gun violence epidemic we face today.”

Click here to read about the legislation District Attorney Gascón is supporting.

Last month, District Attorney Gascón addressed steps that elected officials must take to prevent mass shootings, how his office has prepared to support victims should a mass shooting occur in Los Angeles County and his office’s violence prevention efforts.

He was joined in a May 18 news conference by Suzanne Verge (pictured above on the left), president of the Los Angeles Chapter of Brady: United to Prevent Gun Violence, and Donna Brown, a survivor volunteer with Moms Demand Action.

Click here to watch the news conference.

Read more…

District Attorney Gascón Announces Exoneration
of Man Wrongfully Convicted of Murder


District Attorney George Gascón announced the exoneration and release from prison of Alexander Torres, who was wrongfully convicted of murder in 2001. “While it is this office’s job to hold people accountable for the harm they cause, it is equally important that we critically re-examine past convictions,” District Attorney Gascón said on June 1. “We must be willing to own up to past errors, determine what went wrong and make sure we do not repeat those mistakes.”

He was joined at the announcement by Mr. Torres and members of his family, including his mother (pictured).

Click here to watch the news conference.

Read more…

District Attorney Gascón Emphasizes
Need for Police Accountability


On the second anniversary of George Floyd’s death, District Attorney George Gascón addressed police accountability and the actions taken by his office to restore trust in the community. “In the wake of the callous murder of George Floyd, we all promised to do better,” District Attorney Gascón said. “It is important to take a moment to acknowledge what we have achieved and to recognize that we have a long, long way to go in Los Angeles County.”

Read more…

Register Now for Today's Town Hall
Confronting M
isinformation on Violent Crime


In response to a wave of misinformation regarding his office’s policies, District Attorney George Gascón began a series of virtual discussions on key issues facing the criminal legal system.

Today, he’ll address violent crime. Click here to register.

Other For the Record sessions will be scheduled soon. Visit our website, or Twitter or Instagram pages for the dates.

District Attorney Tackles Bail Myths


District Attorney George Gascón first For the Record Town Hall took on myths and misunderstandings about pretrial release and cash bail. He also spelled out the role the District Attorney’s Office plays – and does not play – in setting bail and terms of pretrial release.

To watch the May 18 town hall, moderated by Special Advisor Tiffiny Blacknell, click here.

Statement on Venice Hit and Run Case

There is misinformation circulating about an incident that occurred last summer in which a minor, driving under the influence, struck a woman and her child with a car in Venice. It is important that the public knows the facts.

After reviewing the evidence, our office charged the minor with the most serious offenses possible under the law: two counts of felony assault and one count of felony leaving the scene of an accident that caused injury without exchanging information. The minor pleaded guilty.

Contrary to what some have claimed, it is not “attempted murder” under California law. To charge that offense, our office would have to be able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the minor specifically intended to kill the victims. There was no evidence of that.

Also contrary to media reports, our office did not make an offer, or select the sentence, in this case. After reviewing the evidence and the minor’s history with the juvenile system, the County Probation Department recommended a sentence that the judge agreed was appropriate.

The incident was undoubtedly terrifying for the victims, and we know the trauma will impact their family forever. Our Bureau of Victim Services reached out to the victim to offer its services and resources.

Unfortunately, opponents of the District Attorney are attempting to capitalize on this incident and are using the victim to advance the false premise that this sentencing is tied to the DA’s criminal reform policies. The truth is our office simply followed California law.

Criminalization of Reproductive Rights
Focus of Town Hall Discussion


District Attorney George Gascón was joined by Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl; Dr. Susie Baldwin, Medical Director of the Office of Women’s Health with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health; Brad Sears, Executive Director at The Williams Institute at UCLA Law; and Celinda M. Vázquez of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles for a discussion on the criminalization of reproductive rights. The panelists addressed the threats posed to women’s rights if a draft United States Supreme Court opinion that would overturn the Roe v. Wade decision is approved by the court’s majority.

To watch the May 26 town hall, click here.


African American Advisory Board Introduced


District Attorney George Gascón announced the creation of the office’s first-ever African American Advisory Board, one of several advisory boards he formed to open dialogue toward building safer, healthier and more equitable communities.


Deputy District Attorney Colby Cano
Named Project LEAD Facilitator of the Year


Congratulations to Deputy District Attorney Colby Cano who was named Project Lead Facilitator of the Year. He was presented with the award by District Attorney George Gascón at Constitutional Rights Foundation’s Justice James A. Cobey Honors Reception on June 1.

Colby has taught Project LEAD since he joined the office in 2008, guiding fifth graders in Redondo Beach, Torrance, Downey and Downtown Los Angeles. He helped spark another prosecutorial agency’s interest in the program through a video testimonial posted on the Project LEAD website. Click here to view Colby’s video and others.

Project LEAD is the office’s law-related education program established in 1993 to teach students about the criminal justice system. The program’s curriculum was created in collaboration with the Constitutional Rights Foundation.

Investigator Krist Mason Recognized
for Army, Community Service


Senior Investigator and United States Army veteran Krist Mason was a co-recipient of Los Angeles Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s Hector F. Elizalde Service Award, which recognizes county employees who are veterans and serve their community.

Krist served in the Army for 11 years and received numerous accolades, including the Army Good Conduct Medal. Krist started at LADA in 2011, is a Project LEAD facilitator and assists the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services’ Cultural Brokers Program. She is currently assigned to the Prison Crimes Unit and handles cases originating in facilities run by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Anti-Defamation League Salutes
Deputy District Attorney Paul Kim


Congratulations to Deputy District Attorney Paul Kim, who the Anti-Defamation League of Southern California recognized for his commitment to combating extremism, bigotry and hatred. Kim received the Helene and Joseph Sherwood Prize, which honors individuals so committed to their work they make a significant difference in their communities and serve as role models for their departments.

Paul joined the office in 2000 and has been part of the office’s Hate Crimes Unit for more than seven years. Beyond prosecuting complex cases, he excels in community outreach, helping raise awareness of and develop strategies against hate crimes.

Nexus of Legal System and
Mental Illness Highlighted


As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, District Attorney George Gascón led a discussion about the challenges posed when the criminal legal system engages with people living with mental illness. The town hall meeting featured Mark Gale, Criminal Justice Chair of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Greater Los Angeles County (pictured bottom right); Dr. Gary Tsai, Director of Substance Abuse Prevention and Control with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and Deputy District Attorney Tracey Whitney (center). To watch the March 31 discussion, click here.

LADA Helps Annual Food Drive


More than two dozen office staff and friends helped sort produce and other groceries for families in need as part of the annual Food From The Bar drive to benefit the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

Food From The Bar brings together public agencies, law offices, law schools and legal service groups in a community effort to aid and raise money for the Food Bank.

You can help by visiting https://www.lafoodbank.org and donating. Every dollar helps bring four meals to people in need.


Los Angeles Sentinel: Highlighting Empowered Women Impacting the L.A. Criminal Justice System

ABC7: Tujunga doctor accused of issuing fake COVID vaccine cards, injecting patients with blood plasma

Los Angeles Times: Man accused of attacking Dave Chappelle charged with unrelated attempted murder