Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Commentary: Who is George Gascon' and what is all the fuss about?


La Mirada-  At least three cities will be discussing the merits tonight of a series of directives that District Attorney George Gascon' has issued to his Deputy DA's directing them to alter the course of justice in Los Angeles County exciting reform-minded progresses and angering advocates of law and order.

The La Mirada city council fearing such initiatives are a major threat to public safety along with councils in Whittier and Lancaster could join Santa Clarita, Pico Rivera, and Beverly Hills tonight by approving a resolution that is tantamount to a vote of no confidence in Gascon'

But who is George Gascon' and what are these directives that have proved so controversial that Gascon' could join Governor newsom on the ballot in a recall effort.

George Gascon', 65, was born in Havanna, Cuba moving to Bell in 1967. After a stint in the U.S. Army, he became a career cop at LAPD rising through the ranks to the level of Assistant Police Chief before departing to Mesa, Arizona then to San Francisco where he was chief of police of both departments.

Gascon', a co-author of Proposition 47 that reduced many felonies to misdemeanors became District Attorney in San Francisco after Governor Newsom then its mayor appointed him to fill the vacancy left by Kamala Harris who had become the state attorney general in 2011. 

It was there in San Francisco heading the D.A.'s office that Gascon' embarked on a series of directives that discouraged officers from making low-level arrests in favor of diversion. Crime rose 37% during his tenure that ended in 2019 when he resigned in order to run in the election for his current post.

The Directives

Deputy DA's were instructed to not request cash bail for any misdemeanor, non-serious or non-violent felony offense. 

Bail is to only be requested in cases of felony sexual assault, threats of great bodily injury and cases where felony acts of violence had been committed IF there was clear and convincing evidence that release would result in great bodily violence to another or a flight from justice.

Gascon' has instructed that his deputies not file charges in misdemeanor cases including those for trespassing, disturbing the peace, driving while suspended or unlicensed, criminal threats of violence, possession of drug paraphernalia as well as possession of controlled substances including meth, heroin, and fentanyl.  

Charges are also to be rejected in cases involving resisting arrest, drinking in public, being intoxicated in public or under the influence of a controlled substance, or loiter in public for the purpose of prostitution.

Exceptions can be made for repeated accusations in a 24 month period in cases of trespass, disturbing the peace, driving suspended or unlicensed or criminal threats or force was iused against a law enforcenet in a resisting arrest incident. 

In the case where an exception will be made instead of an outright D.A. reject is not handed down, the case will still be dismissed after  completion of a diversion program.

In more serious felong cases Deputy D.A. are not to enfore the voter-approved three strikes law or seek the death penalty.

Gascon' has banned charging juveniles accused of serious crimes as adults and shall not be charged with misdemeanor crimes.  When apprpriate juveniles accused of a misdemeanor or less serious felony can be referred to a diversion program. A juvenile age 16-17 is also not to be charged that a crime that carries a strike. A juvenile that commits an armed robbery will only be charged with grand theft person. An exceptions exists to allow a chjarge of rape and murder.

The sentence sought by the people will be probation of the charge allows with except in extraordinary circumstances with the approval of a Bureau Director.

It's clear that when the new guy makes it a point to meet and confer behind closed doors with the shots callers at Black Lives Matter after being sworn-in before even sitting down to meet the people who work for his office and long serious look is called for.

Tonight will be that night in La Mirada.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Vote of No Confidence for DA Gascon' back up for council consideration

La Mirada-  The city council will resume consideration of a vote of
no confidence for Los Angles County District Attorney George Gascon' after they are briefed on the response to concerns it voiced that public safety is being compromised by a series of directives handed down by the new chief prosecutor. 

During its March 23rd meeting, the city council accepted an invitation from Gascon's staff to meet and discuss their concerns before considering the matter any further.

Those meetings with Gascon's office have concluded and the topic will be reintroduced for consideration at the regular meeting of the city council on Tuesday, April 27.

The council and public will hear a report back from those that attended the two meetings and a possible vote of support or lack of for Gascon's justice reform initiatives is expected to follow.

Tuesday's city council meeting gets underway at 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday: An in-depth look at Gascon's directives that have created a growing wave of pushback from cities and crime victims across the county.

Note:  The Whittier City Council will consider a similar resolution at its next meeting on Tuesday.  The city council in Pico Rivera passed a vote of no confidence on Tuesday, April 20th.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

La Mirada Sheriff's News Briefs April 25, 2021

La Mirada- 
Deputies were questioning a man Sunday evening that reportedly broke into a home through a rear window a short time ago in the 14600 block of Algeciras Dr in the La Pluma School neighborhood.

A neighbor spotted the alleged ex-boyfriend of the resident enter the home shortly before 6 p.m. and reported what had been seen.

The home was quickly surrounded with the help of several deputies from unincorporated Whittier and a sheriff's helicopter overhead.

A short time later the man surrendered after the observer in the sheriff's air unit spotted him emerge from the home waving a broom.

No further details were immediately available and no crime had been confirmed to have occurred at the time of this post.

Whittier- La Mirada deputies assisted with the capture of two men and a woman suspected of carjacking a victim in the city of Whittier after a high-speed chase overnight.

Just before 3 a.m. deputies patrolling in the area near the South Whittier DMV office at Painter Av and Mulberry Dr spotted a 2008 Infiniti G35 that had been taken by suspects earlier armed with a gun and knife and began following the vehicle while backup units responded to assist.

The suspects deciding a night at the Graybar Hotel was not in their plans fled north on La Mirada Blvd from Mulberry Dr, continuing onto Colima Rd and over the hill into Rowland Heights where they collided into the center divider near Nogales St. 

The three emerged unscathed from the vehicle and ran into a nearby golf course.

With the assistance of deputies from Industry and Walnut station, the three were taken into custody and nobody was injured during the incident.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Sheriff's/ Public Safety News Man shot by deputies charged with felony

Norwalk- A 27 year-old East Whittier man shot by deputies on April 9th during a stand-off with deputies at his home in the 15800 block of Creswick Dr. was released from the hospital last Wednesday and was booked into Los Angeles County Men's Central Jail where he is currently held on $5,000 bail.

Deputies responded to the home after receiving a report that the man was suicidal. A stand-off ensued after the man who La Mirada Newsbeat is not naming at this time refused to come outside and speak with deputies. 

The man was shot after he stepped outside brandishing a shotgun before re-entering the house for a period of time, later surrendering to deputies.

A plea of not guilty was entered at an arraignment last Friday, and a hearing on the charge is scheduled for Friday, April 23 at Norwalk Superior Court.


South Whittier-  Five people were injured in a two-vehicle collision last Sunday night at Florence Ave and Telegraph Rd.

Four were critically injured in the crash reported at 10:55 p.m. and the fifth had minor injuries. The critically injured were transported to trauma centers in the area.

The city is in good hands with Ed Eng as its new mayor

Mayor Ed Eng


Councilmember Ed Eng was selected as the new mayor during last week's city council meeting and Dr. Anthiny Otero, an LAPD lieutenent was chosen mayor pro-tem.

Eng represents the 3rd council district encompassing Hillsborough, most of Green Hills, and the Behringer Park area.

Eng is the Director of the Economy and Efficiency Commission, which functions as an advisory body for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

This will be the second time Eng serves as mayor and he credits the support and inspiration he receives from his wife Cathy a teacher, his son Brandon and his extended family for his current success.

In a general law city, the mayor's position is often described as nothing more than a ceremonial function with little added responsibility. There was nothing ceremonial or routine by the year outgoing mayor Lewis experienced.

John Lewis

Eng will likely experience much of the uncertainty John Lewis experienced when he was handed the gavel last April just as the coronavirus was tightening its grip on the city.

In the year that followed the city was faced with local food shortages, civil unrest, and prolonged redeployment of some of its public safety resources to help quell the unrest and to battle wildfires. 

With many local businesses and residents facing financial ruin, it was the leadership of the outgoing mayor and a refusal to place a closed for business sign in front of City Hall that helped steer the city and community towards stability.

Lewis, city staff, and the rest of the city council invested a lot of time and effort helping businesses in town keep their doors open by quickly enacting rules that allowed outdoor dining, developing an online directory of businesses, and programs for struggling small businesses and residents that included grants that helped pay the rent or mortgage.

The result is the city projects it will receive 30.4% more or  $2.4 million in additional sales tax revenue going into the general fund that helps turn what started out as a $2.2 million deficit into a $2.7 million surplus forecast for the current fiscal year.

City leaders have many more achievements that good leadership has made possible that include rising 12 spots on the Safewise safest cities in the state list to #38, and 5th in the county, a crime rate that saw reported crime fall in all categories except one, vehicle theft.

More than $8 million in capital projects are underway or have been completed with more to come in the next budget year including traffic signals at Imperial Hwy and Burgess Ave, and a second at Telegraph Rd. and Hutchins Dr.

City staff and council members put together three drive-thru events for the kids last Halloween, Christmas, and Easter, and the expansion at Splash! featuring a new slide has been completed.

While there is a light at the end of the tunnel, city leaders are aware that many will continue to experience hard times for years to come and they are fast at work designing a plan to shift $9.06 million in federal funds for pandemic relief to those that need assistance.

While it will probably be another year until the July 3rd celebration returns to Regional Park, the high school has just received approval for indoor sports competition while the reopening of Splash! is expected in the not too distant future. An abbreviated schedule of events at the theatre should begin in the latter part of 2020.

Ed Eng is a proven leader with a resume of career achievements that indicate the city will be in good hands as our mayor.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Resident finds man wearing no pants in backyard

La Mirada-   Deputies had no idea what they would encounter when dispatchers rushed them to the 14500 block of Florita Rd. Thursday after multiple 911 callers reported a man was pointing a gun at another man ordering him to get on the ground.

Deputies arriving within three minutes of the 5:13 p.m. call found a resident who was an off-duty law enforcement officer found an intruder wearing no pants in his backyard and confronted him about his presence.

The resident drew his weapon after the suspect began throwing lawn furniture at the homeowner.

Deputies immediately recognized the suspect as someone they had arrested several times recently.

The sheriff's Mental Evaluation Team was contacted and the man was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. 

This is the second such type of incident recently in La Mirada. On February 19 a woman living in the 14600 block of Richvale Dr observed a man around 7 a.m. in her backyard who attempted to open a door to get inside the home.

Deputies were summoned quickly and able to detain the man who was also transported to a hospital.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

This book is must if you love La Mirada

The local writing team of Glen Cantrell and Ray Fernandez have come back strong from their first exploration back into local history in 'Reflections from Mc Nally's Mirror' with an even better second volume with, La Mirada: A Brief History, which just hit bookshelves last week.

The writers have smartly avoided taking a  chronological, textbook approach and instead take the reader on a mystical trip back through time to meet the founders of this community. 

The first stop is a visit 120 years ago to McNally Ranch and its acres and acres of olive groves.

Some of the builders of this place called La Mirada you will get to know are Anna J. Martin, the first City Clerk, our first postmaster Lela Criswell and Wayne Grisham a former two-term congressman and longtime city council member.

With each new introduction, it becomes quite apparent that La Mirada's past is more than just idyllic images from the past.  It's a full-fledged community moving forward with a plan created and put into motion by the very same people featured in this book.

La Mirada: A Brief History is available in paperback from Arcadia Publishing for $21.99 and can be purchased at the La Mirada Activity Center and at City Hall.

As of Sunday, the Fullerton Barnes and Noble was sold out of all its copies and the distribution had not yet caught up with the Arcadia rack of local pictorial books at the Rosecrans Av. CVS yet.

The book can be purchased online at Amazon (free one-day delivery with Prime) as well as at the Arcadia Publishing website.

Mr. Fernandez is donating 25% of his proceeds from the book to the LMHS Football program.