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Los Angeles DA Gascon Says Office 'Evaluating' Options After Reported Plan To Downsize Longtime Gang Division

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - District Attorney George Gascon, who is already facing a recall effort after less than 100 days in office, did not directly comment on a report Wednesday that his office is considering plans to downsize or dissolve its gang unit.

During a media event Wednesday recapping his first months as the city's top prosecutor, Gascon avoided addressing the reported elimination of the Hardcore Gang Unit, which was established in 1979 by the District Attorney's Office.

The unit is known for prosecuting high-profile gang cases and targeting habitual gang offenders countywide for prosecution in juvenile or criminal courts.

Calling the matter a "personnel" issue, Gascon would only say his office is "evaluating functions".

"Since I took office, we have been evaluating...all the functions in this office, and I want to make sure that we move into a 21st century that will become a 21st century approach to our work," he said. "In the interim, we're evaluating functions and we will continue to do so and look where the areas that we want to provide more resources and areas that we're going to deemphasize."

The report came hours before the Beverly Hills City Council passed a no-confidence vote against Gascon, citing many of the moves the prosecutor has claimed as accomplishments, including the elimination of cash bail for misdemeanor, non-serious felony, and non-violent felony crimes and a ban on future sentencing enhancements and the withdrawal of previously issued enhancements.

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