LA district attorney race contenders on reforming law enforcement

George Gascón stepped down from being district attorney in San Francisco so he could challenge LA District Attorney Jackie Lacey. He bills himself as a progressive prosecutor who oversaw big reforms to the criminal justice system in San Francisco. Lacey calls herself a “reasonable reformer,” and she is the first woman and the first African American to be Los Angeles DA. Left photo by Amy Ta. Right photo by Los Angeles County

KCRW speaks with incumbent LA District Attorney Jackie Lacey, as well as her opponent George Gascón, who used to be district attorney in San Francisco. 

“The law is such that police officers are able to use deadly force if they feel their life is in danger or if someone else’s life is in danger. And that’s why you have very few of these prosecutions,” says Lacey. 

“I believe it is very important that we begin to move funding away from public safety agencies to start funding public health and social services. But that is not to say that we’re going to eliminate one to replace it with the other,” says Gascón.