Activists taking part in a campaign to recall Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon are expected to deliver hundreds of thousands of petition signatures in support of the effort to the county Wednesday.
Organizers behind the months-long “Recall George Gascon” campaign said they will bring more than 566,857 signed petitions in a truck to the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters in the hope of triggering a recall election to unseat the controversial top prosecutor, who has been dogged by accusations of being soft on crime.
“The sheer magnitude of this effort, and time and investment required to get to this point, show how strong the public desire is to remove George Gascon from office,” campaign activists said in a statement to Fox News.
“From day one, this recall has been led by the very victims who Gascon has abandoned, ignored, and dismissed. When the recall qualifies, he will not be able to ignore them any longer.”
They also pointed to the 37 California cities that have taken “no confidence” votes against Gascon.
In order to force a recall vote in November, the campaigners had to collect signatures from 10 percent of all registered voters across Los Angeles County, which will then have to be counted and verified. The deadline to turn in the signatures is Wednesday.
Since taking office in Dec. 2020, Gascon has faced mounting criticism over his progressive directives to reform prosecutions in the county, including a rule against seeking the death penalty, a ban on transferring juvenile defendants to adult court and prohibitions on filing sentencing enhancements in most cases.
Gascon’s detractors have argued that the directives have undermined the criminal justice system and contributed to rising crime rates in LA County.
In recent weeks, the embattled head prosecutor has been blamed for the deaths of two El Monte police officers, who were killed in a June 14 shootout with suspect William Flores — a man with a lengthy criminal record who was out on probation at the time.
Gascon defended his office’s handling of the Flores case, saying the suspect had “no history of violence,” despite previously pleading guilty to gun and drug possession charges.
A little more than a week later, Gascon’s policies were back in the spotlight in connection with the case of Victor Bibiano, who allegedly killed a homeless man after being released from prison just eight years into a life sentence stemming from a double murder, of which he had been convicted as a juvenile.
Bibiano regained his freedom after Gascon’s office refused to take part in a transfer hearing to determine if he should be tried again as an adult.
Gascon has repeatedly defended his policies and painted the recall effort as a Republican-led political power grab.
In a fundraising message to his supporters last week, Gascon warned that if his opponents succeed in having him recalled, “they will reverse all our progress.”