Representatives Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, and Laura Friedman, D-Glendale, have withdrawn their endorsements of Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey in her bid for a third term this November.
On Saturday, Schiff posted a statement on twitter explaining his decision to withdraw the endorsement he issued last year.
“This is a rare time in our nation’s history,” Schiff wrote. “We have a responsibility to make profound changes to end systemic racism & reform criminal justice.”
Rep. Laura Friedman, D-Glendale, joined Schiff and withdrew her endorsement of Lacey Saturday, echoing his statement in a similar tweet.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also seemed to walk back his endorsement of Lacey last week, saying during an interview that “it may be” time for a change in the district attorney’s office.
Lacey’s campaign staff said Schiff informed them he was pulling his endorsement. Later Saturday Lacey released a statement to the media.
“As the first African American woman to hold the LA County D.A.’s office, I am proud of my record of taking on systemic racism and reforming criminal justice — from bail reform, to reducing juvenile cases by nearly 50%, to increasing our office’s focus on mental health treatment instead of incarceration,” she said. “I am singularly focused on doing the work of the people of L.A. County during this time of crisis.”
In November, she faces former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, who is part of a nationwide effort to elect prosecutors who are considered progressive.
Just hours after Schiff posted his statement, former presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), posted a tweet in support of Gascon.
“(Gascon) has been a national leader in criminal justice reform and a powerful advocate for rethinking our approach to public safety and ending mass incarceration.”
The announcements came the same day about 100 protesters descended on a park near Lacey’s Granada Hills home to demand she charge the LAPD officers who fatally shot Alex Flores and Daniel Hernandez in late 2019 and April 2020, respectively. Family members of both men led the protests, calling for her to be voted out of office.
Lacey has repeatedly refused to prosecute police officers involved in controversial shootings during her two terms in office.
Since being elected in 2012, Lacey’s office has never charged a police officer with misconduct for an on-duty shooting, despite repeated appeals for her to do so.
Legal scholars say the law is heavily weighted in favor of officers who justify their actions by saying they reasonably perceived a threat to themselves or others when they opened fire — even if that belief was mistaken.
And some of Lacey’s supporters say she has been prudent in determining she would not win at trial, sparing police officers from “unnecessary” criminal charges and avoiding the humiliation of repeatedly losing high-profile cases.