Daily News: Critics assail purpose, makeup of DA’s use-of-force panel
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón is drawing fire for both the makeup and mission of his newly formed panel to reexamine deadly use-of-force incidents by police.
Chief among his critics is former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, who claims Gascon “is looking to give himself cover on what he was already planning on doing, and that is filing (criminal charges) against law enforcement officers.”
“He is hell-bent on putting some law enforcement filing notches on his belt,” said Cooley, who has led rallies to recall the progressive district attorney.
“These use-of-force incidents were duly investigated by the agency (where they occurred) and independently by the District Attorney’s Office, and decisions were based on fact and law,” Cooley said. “Now Gascón wants to sit in judgment against officers who have already been cleared by dedicated, professional prosecutors. He wants a different result that is consistent with his bizarre ideology.”
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, which represents nearly 10,000 rank-and-file LAPD officers, had equally harsh words for Gascon’s 16-member Factual Analysis Citizen Consulting Team, which is made up of community members, activists, scholars, civil rights attorneys and former police chiefs. Gascon says the panel is necessary “in order to restore trust and move forward as a community.”
“If George Gascón was truly interested in taking an honest and impartial look at previous police use of force cases, he would not have stacked this panel with anti-police activists, individuals who make money by suing police departments and organizations who openly state they want to abolish the police,” the union’s board of directors said in a statement. “That’s not seeking justice, that’s pander politics at its worst.
“He’d make our community safer if he spent some time reviewing the cases of repeat offenders that he’s given a free pass to or treated with kid gloves.”