George Gascón on ending cash bail and reviewing police use of force

George Gascón at an election night party on March 3, 2020. He tells KCRW today, “There are some people that will continue to oppose reform as they have for many years. They have questions, but they're looking for answers too, and they will work with us. This is going to be an evolution. It's not going to happen overnight." Photo by Angel De Leon.

George Gascón was sworn in on Monday as LA’s new district attorney. He announced big reforms, including no more cash bail for nonviolent crimes. He won’t seek the death penalty. Juveniles will no longer be charged as adults for some crimes. He’s barring prosecutors from seeking enhanced sentencing for gang members. And he promises to review thousands of cases to see if there should be lighter sentences, or if some of the prisoners should be released. He’s doing all this as violent crime is increasing in LA.

“We are creating alternative intervention. What we're saying is locking up somebody for two or three days for this offense never gets us anywhere. All you're doing is you're recycling people in and out. … The underlying problems continue to exist. … Let's get this person into the type of intervention that is going to stop them from continuing to harm the community and harm themself,” he tells KCRW.