Is Gascon the Progressive Hero He Claims to Be?
By Eric Siddall
Candidate George Gascon has claimed he will be a progressive district attorney. He often speaks of racial disparities in the criminal justice system and mass incarceration. He talks passionately about how communities of color are arrested and targeted at unacceptable rates.
Yet, his record tells a different story. His county has higher arrest rates of African-Americans, both when he was Chief of Police and as District Attorney, than most other California counties.
In 2016, almost 40 percent of those arrested in San Francisco were African-American despite being 5.1 percent of the population. In other words, arrest rates for African-Americans are nearly 8 times higher than the African-American population. Los Angeles, in contrast, has one of the lowest arrest rates for African-Americans in California.
Angelenos should be asking the former Chief of Police and District Attorney of San Francisco how this record qualifies him a progressive. Look beyond his words and look instead at his record.
Eric Siddall is Vice President of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys, the collective bargaining agent representing nearly 1,000 Deputy District Attorneys who work for the County of Los Angeles.