Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón allegedly “gutted” the county’s Hardcore Gang Unit and Major Narcotics Unit, according to Fox 11 News.
Multiple sources tell Fox 11 that the DA’s office plans on severely downsizing or outright dissolve the Hardcore Gang Unit, which could happen next month at the earliest. The unit is tasked with prosecuting the city’s gang-related crimes.
“What we’re hearing is that the Hardcore Gang Unit will be dissolved,” said one of the sources.
“My understanding is there’s going to be a dissolution of the unit either April 1 or April 2,” said the second prosecutor.
The prosecutors feel that the decisions by the district attorney to ban them from using gang and gun enhancements and the disbanding of the unit is a “disaster waiting to happen,” especially since violent crime has drastically increased in the county.
“We can already hear in jail calls and interviews with officers on the street telling us that the gang members are laughing at them, I mean it’s undermined the credibility of law enforcement in its entirety,” said one of the prosecutors to Fox 11.
“They were told that George Gascón wants to, quote, ‘reimagine’ the unit, make it more community-based, that they want to change the name because Gascón and the administration don’t like the name,” said Bill Melugin, an investigative reporter for Fox 11, told KFI’s John and Ken Show. “An hour before this meeting, the Major Narcotics Unit had a similar meeting, and they were told that half of their unit is going to be wiped out as well. And those transfer lists have already started going out. So in one afternoon, Gascón and his administration decided to downsize the major narco unit as well as the hardcore gangs unit.”
Meanwhile, L.A County Sherriff Alex Villanueva criticized the decision to downside the Hardcore Gang Unit.
“While gang members are busy driving up LA County’s homicide rate, LA DA @GeorgeGascon is now dismantling the Hardcore Gang Unit that works in collaboration with local law enforcement,” said Villanueva. “This can only serve to add gasoline to a raging fire of gang violence that threatens the safety of all. This is not reform, it’s beginning to look more and more like a suicide pact.”