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A Los Angeles prosecutor blasts Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon after two police officers were killed Tuesday night by a gang member who was on probation for a weapons charge after receiving a lenient sentence in under a plea bargain.
Justin William Flores allegedly killed two El Monte, Calif., police officers on Tuesday night. He had a previous strike conviction and also received two years probation for being a felon in possession of a firearm. The sentence is aligned with the policy of Gascon, who was taken to court for his refusal to pursue the three-stroke cases.
The Gascony policy allowed Flores to plead no challenge, then to obtain a light sentence, despite a strike registered on his criminal record.
Los Angeles Assistant District Attorney Jon Hatami said on Twitter that Gascon promotes a culture of “no accountability and no public safety.”
CALIFORNIA SUSPECT WHO KILLED TWO EL MONTE POLICE OFFICERS WAS ON PROBATION FOR GUN CHARGE, SOURCES SAY
“George Gascón says he cares about gun violence. Actions speak louder than words! He refuses to fully charge and prosecute existing firearms cases. A criminal in possession of a firearm fire with an earlier strike – no jail, no accountability and no public safety,” Hatami said.
Hatami is part of a movement to have Gascon recalled. The Recall George Gascon campaign recently announced that it has collected the number of signatures needed to put Gascon’s recall on the ballot.
He also hit out at Gascon for supposedly not caring about “violent criminal history”.
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Sources within the district attorney’s office told UKTN News that Flores likely would have been sentenced to up to three years in prison had he been prosecuted in February 2021.
Gascon’s office told UKTN News that Flores had no “documented history of violence” when he was sentenced.
“The sentence he received in the firearms case was consistent with case resolutions for this type of offense given his criminal history and the nature of the offense,” the statement said. “At the time the court sentenced him, Mr. Flores had no documented history of violence.”
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Policemen from El Monte, Cpl. Michael Paredes and Officer Joseph Santana were killed on Tuesday while responding to reports of a stabbing at a local motel. As the suspect approached, a shootout ensued and both officers were shot.
Officials said the officers later died at a hospital in Los Angeles.
UKTN News’ Louis Casiano and Bill Melugin contributed to this report