One Los Angeles area city council member is proposing that his individual city take over the prosecution of misdemeanor crimes, since the county di
One Los Angeles area city council member is proposing that his individual city take over the prosecution of misdemeanor crimes, since the county district attorney is declining to prosecute various misdemeanors.
Andrew Lara, a council member for Pico Rivera told Fox News Digital that he thinks the measure is warranted because Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón is “not doing his job.”
“We just can’t sit idly behind and do nothing,” Lara said. “If I can’t think of ways to protect my community in terms of crime, then what am I good for as an elected official? As one of the most fundamental things that I can do as an elected official is protect my neighbors.”
Lara and another council member for Pico Rivera asked City Manager Steve Carmona to study the feasibility of hiring a city attorney to prosecute misdemeanor crimes within the city limits.
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Cities have the ability to prosecute misdemeanor crimes under the California constitution, but Gascón would have to sign off on any proposal by a city, something that Lara thinks may be hard.
“I’m not just going to sit idly behind and watch crime skyrocket, watch criminals come and take advantage of my neighbors and do nothing,” Lara said.
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According to the Whittier Daily News, a newspaper in Los Angeles, the Whittier City Council also voted to direct their city manager to study the proposal to hire a city attorney.
Lara says that since Gascón has become the district attorney, crime has increased, but also said that the morale of police officers has gone down.
He recalled a ride-along done with a police officer where individuals were caught stealing catalytic converters. After a high-speed chase, Lara said one of the individuals was caught, but when asking the officer what will happen to the person caught stealing, he said that the individual will be back on the street before a formal report is written.
“These officers are out there risking their lives for crimes such as these and these guys are just walking the street,” Lara said.
Lara also said that there has been no community outreach in his area from Gascón’s office, which is something he believes is necessary and said that the district attorney is more concerned with the opinions of special interest groups like Black Lives Matter.
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“[Gascón] needs to start meeting with people and he needs to try to start making an argument. Otherwise, for once again, no engagement. They’re just concerned with special interest groups. If they’re concerned with Black Lives Matter, they’re concerned with what is with these groups that don’t operate in my community.”