By Nick Domenici
LOS ANGELES – In downtown Los Angeles, crowds have been gathering and singing loudly every Wednesday for two and a half years: “Jackie Lacey has to go! Jackie Lacey has to go! "
Jackie Lacey, the current Los Angeles District Attorney, is fighting for re-election against former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón.
It is challenged from the left side. Hundreds of critics claim that they have failed to hold the police accountable for the excessive use of violence and police execution. Throughout her career, she has had strong backlashes due to race differences in district prisons and high detention rates, with African Americans making up a large proportion of this population.
Gascón, who runs Lacey, was named San Francisco District Attorney by Governor Gavin Newsom after serving as chief of the San Francisco Police Department.
He pays off as a reformer and was a co-author of Proposition 47, which reduced the sentences for certain non-violent crimes. Gascón is responsible for overturning minor marijuana convictions, experimenting with technologies to limit racial prejudice among prosecutors, and supporting a law that requires the Justice Department to delete conviction records once a perpetrator has completed his conviction.
In the area code, Gascón received 50 percent of the vote, while Lacey received 48.7 percent.
The winner of the DA race will lead the country's largest public prosecutor with the highest detention rates in our country and will have a lot of responsibility today.
Lacey has built her career in the field of criminal justice reform and has worked as a district attorney general since 1986, serving as a prosecutor, manager and executive in the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office.
And she was sworn in as the 42nd district attorney in LA history on December 3, 2012 – but more importantly, she was the first woman and first African American to take on the role. She has focused her efforts on fighting sex trafficking for younger women, putting mentally ill people in healthcare systems rather than prisons, and eliminating fraudsters who exploit immigrants.
Lacey has set up the Conviction Review Unit, which is responsible for evaluating innocent claims based on newly discovered evidence in certain cases. She also heads the Criminal Justice Mental Health Project, whose job is to redirect mentally ill people from the criminal justice system for non-violent crimes.
And, of course, she heads the largest U.S. attorney's office and oversees 1,000 attorneys, 300 investigators, and 800 L.A. County employees.
Despite the legacy she left in office, she is fighting for her career with this upcoming election in November.
"If you put this story on film, no one would fund it because no one would believe it," she said.
After George Floyd's death, she saw thousands of Black Lives Matter protesters calling for her resignation. The same protesters plead for reform of the criminal justice system, claiming that they have not held police officers accountable for their violent acts in cases.
However, she argues that she adheres to the law and says to critics, “The system says the prosecutor must be convinced that there is enough evidence to convince 12 people before their freedom can be withdrawn before they do so Criminal charges can lead to reasonable doubts that you are guilty. "
She emphasizes that the de-escalation program she installed in the county has resulted in fewer officials being shot.
She was heavily criticized for not delaying the prosecution of Ed Buck, a democratic party donor who allegedly ran a drug needle company at his West Hollywood residence. Two men died of an overdose of methamphetamine in his home.
Lacey was not known to be actively involved in the reform of the criminal justice system and did not indict controversial police shootings. Many are aware that she has been classified as a cautious leader without making any major changes.
According to LA Magazine, Lacey has done its part to train more than 2,000 officers in de-escalation techniques. In addition, she ordered racist bias training for lawyers and investigators in her office and rechecked 1,300 cases by setting up a conviction review unit that resulted in three men being released from prison.
In recent years, demonstrations have taken place outside her office in the judicial hall and even outside her home.
Melina Abdullah, a Black Lives protester, said: "We want LA voters to understand that Jackie Lacey does not represent the collective interests of blacks."
There was a national upward trend in which the police killed innocent unarmed black men and women. But times have changed since she was first elected when it comes to the relationship between police accountability and reform policies.
As a black woman, Jackie Lacey claims that she hasn't forgotten her roots and that racism still exists in today's world. She said she understood that most people behind bars were colored people and that there was systematic racism on all platforms.
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