LOS ANGELES, CA – Jonathan Hatami, the Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney known for convicting child killers in high-profile cases, including that of Gabriel Fernandez. and Anthony AvalosOn Wednesday, he announced a challenge campaign against his boss, Georges Gascon.
Gascon, a controversial progressive Democrat who has been accused of soft-on-crime policies that protect criminals, not the public, has faced sharp criticism from his office and has been involved in several lawsuits against his deputies, including more than a dozen lawsuits against his deputies. Allegations of wrongful retaliation.
“Because of George, L.A. is the hate crime capital of America,” Hatami said at a rally in the Los Angeles suburb of Whittier, where he initially vowed to stand up to Gascon two years ago. “Fentanyl deaths are on the rise Our children have been killed, crime on public transportation has increased dramatically, and gun violence on our streets has affected many of the most vulnerable in our communities. These aren’t just stats – they’re real people! “
Hatami gained fame in 2017 as the lead prosecutor in the case of Gabriel Fernandez – an 8-year-old boy who was abused and killed by his parents. And earlier this month, he secured convictions against a 10-year-old Anthony Avalos’ Mother and Boyfriendwho tortured and killed him in 2018.
If elected, he promised to undo dozens of directives by Gascon critics that they have cited as incubating criminals and putting crime victims last. Some of them include not charging minor offenders as adults and barring prosecutors from attending parole hearings.
“The victims feel abandoned,” Hatami told Fox News Digital. “They feel that Georges Gascon cared more about the criminal…and his actions say so.”
He made his campaign announcement alongside the families of crime victims and families who have lost loved ones to what he called “fentanyl poisoning and street takeover,” as well as relatives of fallen police officers.
Gascon was criticized for announcing his own campaign in 2019 outside the city jail. He also noted that Gascon had never tried a case in court, in Los Angeles, or in San Francisco as he was also the district attorney there.
Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smitkamp criticized Gascon during Hatami’s announcement for not prosecuting fentanyl dealers for murder. She noted that the Los Angeles County office, which is the largest in the country, influences what happens in other parts of the state.
“In order for him to have control, he sends waves of terror across the state,” she said. “When I speak of him and write letters to him, Mr. Gascon calls him because he is not a local solicitor.”
Hatami is Gascon’s latest rival from within the DA’s private office.
John McKinneythe former major crime prosecutor who recently secured a conviction against Eric Holder Jr., the man who killed rapper Nipsey Hussle, announced his campaign last month.
WATCH: Deputy Attorney General John McKinney discusses his campaign against George Gascon
Critics note that Gascon, who has worked in California law enforcement for decades, never tried a case himself or was a police officer while serving as a member of the Los Angeles Police Department. He took the position in a civil suit last month brought by another deputy attorney general who accused him of retaliation.
“He just doesn’t know what we are going through as deputy prosecutors,” Hatami said. “He’s unwilling to bend over. He’s unwilling to cooperate. He’s not willing to meet with people with experience to help him understand how things are. It’s absolutely appalling that we voted for someone who has no experience on the job at all.”
He admitted that he did not do it directly Deal with a felony case He was not aware of how the state law governing attempted assault worked.