A resolution that would have requested Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon to follow state law regarding sentencing and bail was pulled by its author, Santa Monica Councilmember Phil Brock, who says he was unable to get support from other council members. The resolution took issue with three policy directives of Gascon’s since he took office: forbidding requests for cash bail, dismissing misdemeanors without conditions, and elimination of nearly all sentencing enhancements.
Now Brock told The Observer he would like to bring the resolution back in a different form, focusing on what he deems the most significant issue. “The 13 motion I introduced cut too broad a stroke, when I wanted to address a central issue, keeping bad guys off the street when they have just committed a crime.” He added, “I am concerned about criminals who are arrested for committing felonies and the district attorney’s office reducing the potential charges to misdemeanors when filing the charges. This has happened numerous times over the past eight months, including several cases within Santa Monica. That is my only concern.”
This would be different from the original resolution, which addressed the misdemeanors Gascon has directed his staff to dismiss. According to Michele Hanisee, President of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys, these crimes include trespassing, disturbing the peace, criminal threats, drinking in public, drug and paraphernalia possession, under the influence of controlled substance in public, public intoxication, resisting arrest, driving without a valid license or with a suspended license, minor in possession of alcohol, loitering, and loitering to commit prostitution. While Gascon is district attorney, individuals may commit these crimes with complete impunity. Police have no reason to intervene and therefore will not.