George Gascón called on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education to disband the Los Angeles School Police Department. The Board of Education is weighing three proposals at its meeting today, one of which calls for a 90 percent reduction in the LAUSD police budget by 2023-2024.
“Our schools can be a haven of safety without armed police officers walking the halls,” said former District Attorney and Assistant Chief of the LAPD, George Gascón. “Unfortunately, our schools have become yet another place where black and brown students feel targeted by law enforcement, rather than supported in a safe learning environment. Indeed, a disproportionate number of black, latino, LGBTQ and those who have disabilities are taken out of their classes for minor incidents. Those who are disciplined are far more likely to drop out of school and become entwined in the legal system, as dropouts are disproportionately likely to turn to crime.
The future of our children and the safety of our communities depends heavily on keeping kids in school, and there’s no science or data that suggests large numbers of police are helping, rather than hurting, that fundamental reality. In the event of a violent event, local police can respond just like they would to any other facility in our community. Ultimately, onsite unarmed personnel can protect the safety of students in school at a fraction of the cost. That, in turn, would enable scarce resources to be diverted to counselors, psychologists, and nurses who are notoriously underfunded within our education system, and whose involvement in a young person’s life is far more likely to produce favorable longterm outcomes for students and the broader community.”
George Gascón is the Democratic Party’s nominee. He is endorsed by the LA Times, the LA Daily News, U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders, Kamal
Mr. Gascón grew up in Los Angeles after his family immigrated from Cuba. An army veteran, Gascón served as a Los Angeles Police Department Officer for 30 years, rising to the rank of Assistant Chief of Operations. In 2006 he became Chief of Police in Mesa, Arizona, where he stood up to the hateful and anti-immigrant policies of then Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. In 2009, then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed Gascón Chief of Police. Newsom turned to Gascón again in 2011 when he tapped him to be District Attorney to fill the seat vacated by an outgoing Kamala Harris who had been elected Attorney General. During his tenure Gascón implemented reforms that are being duplicated across the country while overseeing violent crime and homicides drop to rates not seen in 50 years. After being elected to two terms, Gascón returned to Los Angeles to care for his elderly mother and to be closer to his two daughters and grandchildren in Long Beach. Gascón is married to Fabiola Kramsky, a three-time Emmy Award winning journalist and recipient of the “Premio Nacional de Periodismo,” the highest recognition given to journalists in Mexico.