Los Angeles County residents were outraged over the seemingly avoidable deaths of two police officers. According to the Washington Examiner, “The shooting deaths of two Los Angeles-area police force members by a gang member are due to policies enacted by District Attorney George Gascon that minimize charges against suspects using guns, current, and former prosecutors say.”

Cpl. Michael Paredes and Officer Joseph Santana of the El Monte Police Department were shot to death by a felon on probation in an ambush at a motel. The shooter would likely have been in jail on a previous gun charge if not for Gascon’s soft-on-crime policies, said former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley.

“Apparently, the indulgent sentence given to this ex-con with a gun enabled him to be out when he should have been in. And when he was out, he got another gun and murdered two police officers,” Cooley told the Washington Examiner. “This is a direct result of Gascon’s policies, which required the least charges and minimal sentences.”

One of those outraged residents of L.A. County is actor James Woods, who took to social media and blasted DA Gascon. “Let’s put it as simply as we can. If George Gascon obeyed the law these two El Monte police officers would be alive today,” Woods posted to his 2.5 million followers on Twitter. “George Gascon has blood on his hands. Not only should he be recalled; he should be in prison. #RecallGascon.”

After he took office in 2020, one of Gascon’s first mandates was to forbid prosecutors from filing additional charges for the use of a gun, which could result in a maximum sentence of life in prison. Woods referred to these policies and the killer of the two police officers, Juan William Flores, in another tweet. “Flores had a previous strike conviction and received two years probation for being a felon in possession of a firearm. The sentence is in accordance with the policies of George Gascon, who refuses to prosecute three-strike cases as REQUIRED BY LAW,” Woods posted.

Gang member Justin Flores was given a 20-day jail sentence in 2021 and had a part of a gun possession charge dropped in exchange for a no-contest plea in court, said Lt. Omar Camacho with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Making matters worse, another one of Gascon’s policies ensured the cop killer would be buried at the expense of taxpayers after he was killed in the shootout with officers.

“Los Angeles County will pay for the funeral of a gang member who died in a police shootout after killing two officers, according to a mandate issued by beleaguered District Attorney George Gascon,” Washington Examiner reported. “Gascon, who has been sued by his own prosecutors and blasted by law enforcement due to policies seen as anti-victim, issued a directive on Dec. 7, 2020, that funds funerals, burials, and mental health services for ‘individuals killed by police’ and others.”

“It is so far from my way of thinking [that] I can’t imagine such a concept,” former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley said. “This is beyond disgusting. It insults the memories of the two fallen officers. Shame on Gascon.”

Another staunch critic of Gascon is Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. “It’s just so tone-deaf to the harm inflicted on the families by this coward,” Villanueva said. “It’s a blanket policy that all cops are wrong and murderers and those who are killed are always the victims. I don’t think taxpayers should be underwriting criminal conduct.”

As news of this outrage at the hands of DA Gascon spread, one of his own prosecutors blasted him. “George Gascon, how dare you even try to justify your incompetence and dereliction of duty!” Assistant Prosecutor John Lewin wrote. “The blood of those two dead police officers, because you illegally refused to follow the law and file a strike against their killer, is clearly on your hands! Had you done your job and not broken the law these two brave men would still be alive!! You and your pro-criminal agenda are responsible for this tragedy!”

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