George Gascón is the godfather of progressive prosecuting. Will LA elect him DA? - Jewish Insider


When George Gascón was a young boy in Cuba growing up under Fidel Castro’s regime, he witnessed a litany of injustices that influenced his view of authority. On one occasion, he recalled, the police swept into his neighborhood unannounced and arrested a man who lived across the street. “I remember this man being taken out in handcuffs, and he never came back,” Gascón recounted in a recent interview with Jewish Insider. “We learned several months later that he was executed.”

“I grew up in a system where the police were everywhere,” Gascón added, an experience that imbued in him a strong and early sense of skepticism toward law enforcement. He carried that distrust with him into his teenage years after his family fled to Los Angeles in the late 1960s. “I did not have a lot of respect for police,” he said bluntly. The feeling was mutual. “I bought a lowrider, and that was probably the biggest mistake of my life,” Gascón told JI, referring to a type of car with a lowered body. “I had weeks that I would get stopped three or four times.”

Still, those who are familiar with Gascón’s trajectory know that he long ago overcame his aversion to law enforcement by joining its ranks. The former Los Angeles cop worked his way through the system to become police chief in Mesa, Ariz., and then San Francisco, where he most recently served as district attorney, earning plaudits for his innovative prosecutorial reforms. Now that he is running for Los Angeles County district attorney, Gascón, 66, is hoping he can bring what he regards as sorely needed change to a city — and a legal system — that once treated him with suspicion.

“I believe that L.A. is this incredible place that is so vibrant in almost every walk of life,” Gascón told JI. “Except for public safety.”

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For Colorado House and Senate: Michaelson, Jenet, Weissman, Sullivan, Ricks, Jodeh, Bridges, Kolker, Buckner and Fields - Sentinel Colorado


Colorado senators work as lawmakers try to wrap up the 2020 session in the State Capitol, Monday, June 15, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The need for studious, thoughtful and persistent representatives in the legislature hasn’t been this keen for generations.

And your vote for who will guide Colorado through the pandemic crisis, and back out, matters greatly.

Colorado lawmakers must decide not only how to keep public education, roads and public safety intact, but legislators must also look beyond the day when our lives are guided by where and when to wear a mask.

Next year, besides the priority of salvaging businesses, schools, roads and other dire services, lawmakers must push toward addressing serious issues surrounding incarceration, policing, health care, global warming and transportation. This next general assembly, more than ever, must be ready on Day One.

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U. pays Carole Baskin to promote social distancing in #PrincetonPromise video - The Daily Princetonian

Earlier today, “Tiger King” star Carole Baskin made an appearance in a video posted on the University’s social media, in which she urged students to refrain from large gatherings and observe public health protocols.

In an email to The Daily Princetonian, Baskin said the University paid a fee for her cameo, “whatever [the standard fee] was at the time.” Though she said she does not recall the exact fee, she speculated it was “probably” $299.00, a figure that corresponds to her publicly listed Cameo fee.

The 2020 documentary series “Tiger King” catapulted Baskin, a big-cat rights activist and the CEO of Big Cat Rescue, to international fame. Some animal-rights activists, including Baskin herself, have criticized the series, however, for missing an opportunity to highlight the cruelty animals face in confinement, choosing instead to focus on a sensational feud between Baskin and zookeeper Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic.

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What You Need to Know About Today's City Council Vote on the Dallas Budget - D Magazine


When the Dallas City Council votes this afternoon on the budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, it will consider giving the police department an additional $8 million over what the department spent this year. The Council will also vote on nearly $30 million of infrastructure improvements, expanded mental health services, housing, and employment programs that the city manager has said were prioritized after protesters spent months marching through the streets after the killing of George Floyd.

For many activists, this budget doesn’t go far enough. They want millions taken from the police department and spread out to other services in the city to help lift up neighborhoods where jobs are lacking, streets are crumbling, and amenities don’t match what’s available in the more affluent corners of Dallas. To them, the disparity in money allocated to the police budget — which, at a proposed $509 million after cutting overtime by $7 million, is about a third of the entire general fund spend — and most other services is so significant that it requires reallocation.

Many on Council, however, believe this budget is a compromise between the conflicting priorities of activists and other constituents who they say list public safety as their top concern during a second straight year of violent crime increases.

“There will hopefully be a point in time when there isn’t as much need in the normal residents’ eyes for law enforcement, but right now that’s just not the case when you knock on the average resident’s door,” says Councilman Adam Bazaldua, who represents South Dallas and Fair Park. “I do believe this is somewhat of a middle ground.”

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Calls for reform bring renewed focus to community policing, but does it work? - PBS NewsHour


Amid protests over racial injustice spurred by the killing of George Floyd by police in May, the concept of community policing is getting a new look as lawmakers, reform advocates and some law enforcement consider whether it could help promote systemic changes in policing.

In a June column for USA Today, former Vice President and Democratic nominee Joe Biden discussed his proposal for a $300 million investment in community policing initiatives aimed at “getting cops out of their cruisers and building relationships with the people and the communities they are there to serve and protect.”

That same month, President Donald Trump signed an executive order calling for legislation that would enhance existing federal grant programs to help police agencies grow community engagement.

For about 60 years, law enforcement agencies have turned to the community policing philosophy to serve a variety of purposes, including crime reduction and changes to how police interact with the residents they serve. Despite funding from the federal government and support among many police departments, community policing has become a broad, amorphous concept that encompasses a myriad of tactics that departments use to engage civilians. The outcomes of these strategies will differ depending on a particular department’s implementation, as well as the specific needs of the residents, researchers told the PBS NewsHour.

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