LOS ANGELES – Three Los Angeles-area mothers who lost their children to violent crime told Fox News they are pushing to recall Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon because he does not care about victims.
“I think he empathizes with every criminal out there and not with us. What did we do?” asked Imelda Hernandez whose son, Christian David Silva, was shot and killed in February 2020.
“What does he think we’re going to do to him if we sit across the table?” she continued. “How come he doesn’t want to hear us out?
The recall campaign’s organizers have said Gascon’s policies are “soft on crime,” and that he should be ousted to “keep communities safe.” The campaign announced last week that it had gathered 350,000 signatures. Nearly 567,000 are needed by the July 6 deadline.
Hernandez told Fox News she participated in two virtual meetings with Gascon, but said he “just reads from a prompter.”
This is the second recall attempt Gascon has faced since he took office in December 2020. The 2021 attempt didn’t gather enough signatures by the filing deadline to go to a vote.
Hernandez, who worked on the first recall attempt, has since moved to Orange County, where she’s helping with District Attorney Todd Spitzer’s reelection campaign. Spitzer’s campaign slogan is #NoLAinOC.
A Recall George Gascon sign and Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon. The group leading the recall effort said Wednesday it was getting more signatures in hopes of getting the recall question on a ballot. (Getty Images collage)
“We have to have some kind of law and order,” Emma Rivas told Fox News. “George Gascon just doesn’t care about victims.”
Rivas’ son, Christopher Beasley, was shot and killed in 2016 when he was 25. Rivas has since become a board member of the Los Angeles chapter of Parents of Murdered Children.
She said she regrets voting for Gascon in 2020.
“I have voter’s remorse,” Rivas told Fox News. “I’m ashamed because I didn’t do my research.”
She frequently attends Gascon recall rallies.
“I’m here because I regret voting for you,” she told Fox News. “But now that I have the opportunity to remove you, that’s exactly what I’m doing.”
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon speaks at a press conference, December 8, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Two veteran prosecutors are suing him over demotions they allege were in retaliation over their opposition to his reform policies. More lawsuits are expected to be filed alleging similar allegations, their attorney said.
(Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)
Gascon issued a series of directives after taking office in December 2020 that have come under scrutiny.
Some include ordering his deputy district attorneys to stop seeking enhancement allegations, which can significantly extend prison sentences, not seeking the death penalty and barring prosecutors from charging juveniles as adults, regardless of the severity of the allegations.
Gascon’s office defended his actions and his support for victims in a statement provided to Fox News.
“District Attorney Gascón’s top priorities have been community safety and increasing support for victims,” the statement said. “This includes strengthening the Bureau of Victim Services and seeking serious penalties for serious crimes.”
“The false dichotomy between reform and caring for victims is just that – false,” the statement continued. “Justice should be about accountability and healing, not politics.”
During the campaign, Gascon responded to a Ballotpedia survey saying “LA County deserves a more effective and progressive DA that enhances community safety without over incarcerating our communities.”
“I think it’s very important, people should realize when a DA runs for office, and he says ‘reform’ and ‘progressive’ and ‘science and data,’ watch out, because he’s not for you, he’s not for the public,” Rivas said.
Anna Estevez and Emma Rivas hold photos of their deceased sons
Another victim’s mother, Anna Estevez, told Fox News: Gascon “doesn’t see the trauma, the agony and the destruction that losing a child causes.”
Estevez’s 5-year-old son, Aramazd Andressian Jr., was murdered by his father, her ex-husband, in 2017.
Gascon “is pro-criminal, and I disagree wholeheartedly with his philosophy,” Estevez told Fox News.
“What’s happening in LA County—I do not wish this to happen to your county, if you still have a county that’s civilized,” Hernandez said. “Do not be fearmongered by thinking differently on how you can change your community and your city.”
Estevez told Fox News that removing Gascon will not immediately fix Los Angeles’ crime issues.
“With public support, I believe that we can reduce crime,” she said. “I believe that we can have a safe community.”
Matt Leach is a Fox Digital Originals reporter based in Tampa, FL.