Progressive Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon is facing mounting efforts to oust him amid outrage that his “reckless” policies left a violent gang member behind. free to shoot two cops.
The prosecutor woke up — already facing impeachment efforts – was blamed for cop killer Justin Flores, 35, going free when he shot an El Monte police corporal. Michael Paredes and Officer Joseph Santana on Tuesday.
The offender, who had his allegiance to the gang tattooed on his face, was free despite being charged with violating his probation for illegally carrying a weapon.
US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was among those who criticized Gascón after the DA issued a statement offering “deepest condolences” to the grieving loved ones of the slain police officers.
“Officers Paredes and Santana gave their lives in the service of their fellow citizens,” Cruz tweeted Wednesday afternoon.
“It is outrageous that the killer was not in jail due to the reckless actions of George Gascon, a radical, crime-soft, Soros-backed district attorney,” the Texas senator wrote.
Kurt Schlichter, an Army veteran and attorney with more than 450,000 Twitter followers, went even further.
“Gascón flat out murdered those guys,” he said. he tweeted angrily. “Remember this piece of garbage.”
Jennifer Van Laar, editorial director of the conservative outlet Red State, said she was “heartbroken and mad as hell.”
“George Gascon, you are causing police officers, and many other people, to be killed. TIME TO GO,” he tweeted.
Los Angeles Board of Supervisors candidate Kevin Dalton also said police “would still be alive today if it weren’t for George Gascon’s policies.”
“George Gascon should be charged with accessory to murder x 2,” he tweeted.
Cop killer Flores had been banned from carrying a gun since 2011, but was at large despite pleading not guilty in February 2021 to felonious possession of a firearm. Los Angeles Times revealed Wednesday.
That gun conviction could have sent him to prison for three years. Instead, he was sentenced to two years probation and 20 days in jail, which he had already served, a prosecutor said at a plea hearing.
He was warned that if he was found with any weapons, including guns, ammunition and knives, he could still receive a three-year prison sentence, the LA Times said.
His parole officer had filed a revocation hearing request for “desertion” on Monday, just a day before the massacre, the outlet said.
He had been accused of assaulting his girlfriend but was not arrested, with officials only saying they were “currently looking into” why not.
Flores, who had “Quiet” tattooed on his face, marking his allegiance to the Quiet Village gang, had stabbed his ex-wife, Diana Flores, just days before, she told NBCLA, a clear violation of his probation.
He was trying to confront her at the motel where she was hiding from him on Tuesday when he opened fire on the two officers, he told the outlet.
Flores was pronounced dead at the scene, while the officers later died at a local hospital.
The new indignation for the soft policies with Gascón’s crime came the same day that a group trying to remember it said it had reached the required 567,000 signatures.
The effort follows ultra-liberals in San Francisco who voted overwhelmingly to get rid of their own progressive district attorney, Chesa Boudin.
Meanwhile, fallen officers will be honored at a candlelight vigil at El Monte on Saturday. A fundraiser organized to benefit his wives and children had eclipsed $61,000 as of Thursday.
Several of the officers’ relatives said they were too distraught to speak when contacted by The Post. Paredes’ sister, Angelina, updated her Facebook cover photo to show the badge numbers of the deceased officers. She also thanked friends and family on Instagram for their “love and support” since the killings.
“On behalf of our family, we want you to know that having caring people like you has made going through a difficult time like this much more bearable,” she wrote. “God bless you all!”
Paredes’ aunt, Martha Paredes, 61, told The Post that the pain of losing her nephew was overwhelming.
“It’s really hard right now for all of us,” he said during a brief interview Thursday. “It is difficult to accept what happened. I only know that he died doing what he loved most, and that was serving the El Monte community.”
Paredes declined to discuss Flores or his parole violation.
“I just pray that God forgives him,” she said. “But I’m also glad he’s dead too.”