Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and her opponent in November’s runoff election, former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, will appear at a virtual forum Sunday at All Saints Church in Pasadena.
The one-hour forum will include a panel discussion with prosecutor and All Saints Senior Warden Juan Mejia, civil rights activist Patricia Coulter, Deputy Public Defender Elizabeth Lashley-Haynes and All Saints Rector Mike Kinman.
Lacey, who was elected to the DA’s post in 2012, narrowly avoided winning re-election outright in the March 3 primary, finishing with 48.6% of the vote to Gascon’s 28.2%. She needed a majority to avoid the runoff.
Lacey is the first woman and first Black person to serve as Los Angeles County district attorney.
Gascon served as San Francisco’s DA from 2011-19. He is also a former Los Angeles Police Department officer who became an assistant chief under former LAPD Chief William Bratton, and a former police chief in Mesa, Arizona.
Both Lacey and Gascon are Democrats.
Lacey ran unopposed in 2016, but her second term has been more contentious. She has drawn persistent criticism from Black Lives Matter activists who say she has been reluctant to bring charges against law enforcement officers.
The issue came to a head on March 2, when Lacey’s husband drew a gun on BLM protesters who came to the couple’s home. David Allan Lacey — who is set to be arraigned Sept. 10 in a San Fernando courtroom — was charged Aug. 3 with three misdemeanor counts of assault with a firearm.
Lacey said in June that “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. I am singularly focused on doing the work of the people of L.A. County during this time of crisis.”
Gascon touts his record as top prosecutor in San Francisco, where his campaign says he more than doubled the national average of sexual assault cases, and his experience overseeing the LAPD’s use of force review process.