The families of crime victims in Los Angeles County spoke out against liberal Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, who faces an impeachment effort similar to that faced by California Governor Gavin Newsom.
The families said in interviews aired on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday that they want to remove the newly elected district attorney, and told “Fox News Primetime” guest host Lawrence Jones that they believe Gascón’s criminal justice reforms prioritize criminals over their victims.
Jones traveled to Los Angeles to speak with state district attorney officials and families who have been affected by Gascón’s policies.
One of those families, that of the murdered Los Angeles County sergeant. Steven Owen has asked that his murderer face the death penalty, but Gascón has prohibited it.
“I’ve always believed in the justice system, but with my husband not just murdered … executed, this new district attorney has completely changed this working justice system,” said Owen’s wife, Tania, who served alongside her husband. Jones.
“It just takes you back to the scene,” said Millie Owen, Sgt. Owen’s mother said. “They robbed us, they robbed her husband, they robbed a dad, they robbed my son and then for this lawyer to do this, it’s like a robbery again.”
A gunman shot and wounded Owen for the first time before standing on top of him and firing four bullets into his body in 2016, according to authorities.
The 53-year-old man was shot while responding to a report of an ongoing robbery at an apartment building in Lancaster.
Tania Owen shared her message for other families of crime victims in Los Angeles County.
“I would tell them to be strong, this is not over,” he told Jones. “We still have a voice, we can do something about it. Remember this man.”
LA DA GASCON GIVES A DEATH PENALTY FOR A MAN ACCUSED OF MURDERING A POLICE OFFICER
The recall organizers held a “victim vigil” over the weekend to gather the 20 signatures needed from Los Angeles County residents to formally begin the recall process.
The effort needs to gather just under 600,000 signatures from Los Angeles registered voters, or 10 percent of the voter census, to force Gascón to run again.
On the day he took office in December, Gascón announced a series of sweeping changes including halting the use of sentence enhancements, restricting when prosecutors can detain defendants without bail, ending the use of the death penalty. in Los Angeles County and prohibit the practice of trying minors as adults.
A Los Angeles County mother said she feels “sick” after learning that special circumstances charges against three of the men accused of murdering her 20-year-old son and throwing him off a cliff in 2018 were dropped. in December under the extensive reforms of Gascón.
Desiree Andrade told Fox 11 Los Angeles that the death of her son, Julian Andrade, left her devastated. Speaking to Jones, an emotional Andrade said: “I never thought that I would ever have to lose a child, to say goodbye to a child.”
“The day I found out what he was doing, I felt like it was a slap in the face,” he added.
Investigators have said that Julian Andrade was repeatedly beaten and stabbed until he lost consciousness. The suspects, believing he was dead, took him to the mountains in Azusa to dispose of the body. Realizing that he was still alive, the suspects allegedly stomped on his head.
They dumped his body off a cliff, according to investigators, but they still heard him fight. A suspect allegedly got out to attack the 20-year-old again.
The three suspects were charged with special circumstances of deadly weapon, kidnapping and robbery, charges that would have sentenced them to life in prison without parole, if found guilty. With those charges dismissed in court in December, they could be eligible for parole in 20 to 30 years.
Julian Andrade was the father of a 9-month-old boy and had a second on the way when he was killed, according to KTLA-TV.
As Andrade held back tears, he told Jones that he would “love” for Gascón to tell him his “rationale for all of this.”
“I wake up every day, one child less, every day,” he said. “And every day that I have to look into the eyes of my grandchildren it hurts.”
Jones also spoke with other California district attorneys and even one of Gascón’s deputies in his own office who are against his policies.
Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami told Jones that criminals “really love the district attorney.”
Jones asked Hatami, “Is it typical for a deputy attorney to confront his district attorney?”
“No, it’s not typical,” he replied.
Jones went on to ask, “Can you look into the eyes of the victims in Los Angeles County and tell them they are safe?”
“I can’t now,” he replied.
“Within minutes of being sworn in, he adopted a series of … policies that really are the total neglect of the rights of crime victims,” Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert told Jones. “He can no longer seek capital punishment, he can no longer seek life in prison without the possibility of parole.”
“These directives are dangerous, not just for Los Angeles, but for this state and this nation,” said Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward.
Speaking on “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday, Jones noted that “people from all over Los Angeles” have been affected by Gascon’s policies.
“We cannot allow this to happen this way because he is becoming a model for the country,” said the Fox Nation host. “If we don’t defend the people of Los Angeles, it may be coming to a city close to you. In some cases, it already has.”
Gascón declined Fox News’ request for an interview. He said in a statement to Fox News on Tuesday that “the pain and trauma of losing a loved one is immeasurable.”
“While a minority of victims want the maximum punishment imposed on their case, research shows that these views are not shared by most survivors of violent crimes, as most survivors find no cure by putting another person in a cage, “he continued. .
“Furthermore, studies show that excessive sentencing practices have exacerbated recidivism, leading to more crime victims.”
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Gascón went on to write: “Our justice system cannot continue to rely on policies that create more victims tomorrow simply because a minority of victims want the maximum punishment imposed on their case today.”
Morgan Phillips of Fox News. Stephen Sorace and The Associated Press contributed to this report.