LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Just three days after outgoing Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey conceded that she had lost in her effort to obtain a third term, her successor, George Gascon, followed up on a campaign promise by meeting with Black Lives Matter leaders Monday.
The meeting, which was held at McCarty Memorial Christian Church in South L.A., included several families of people who had been killed by police.
The 66-year-old Gascon says he called the meeting to assure the community that he will fully investigate abuses of power by police, as well as maintain strong, open relationships with Black and Latinx communities.
"My intention as a district attorney is a very open office," Gascon told CBSLA Monday. "We're going to involve the community in all of our work and this is the beginning of that process."
The hot-button issue of police brutality took on growing significance in the wake of the George Floyd protests. Lacey faced growing criticism during her tenure over claims she was not aggressive enough in prosecuting law enforcement officers for misconduct.
"Well I think it's really important that we get him (Gascon) on record saying that he's going to follow through with his promise to reopen cases, to reexamine cases that have not been determined, and really say that he's going to prosecute police who kill and abuse and brutalize our people," BLM leader Melina Abdulah told CBSLA.
BLM members said they tried unsuccessfully for years to get a meeting with Lacey, who has held the DA's post since 2012. For months, protesters held weekly demonstrations outside of her downtown office and her home calling on her to resign. In August, the California Attorney General filed misdemeanor gun charges against her husband for an incident back in March in which he allegedly pointed a gun at BLM protesters outside the couple's home. A pretrial hearing is scheduled in the case for Dec. 11.
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