The district attorney of Los Angeles County is under fire after he hired a public defender who called for the abolition of prisons and referred to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) as “barbarians.”
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón hired Tiffiny Blacknell as a Grade 4 deputy district attorney in his administration, FOX11 reported Thursday.
Gascón’s decision to hire Blacknell has stoked controversy due to her past online comments and lack of experience as a prosecutor.
During the unrest in LA following George Floyd’s death last summer, Blacknell posted a tweet referring to the LAPD as “barbarians” and “an occupying army.” She also used the hashtag “#DefundPolice” — a call that has grown in popularity among left-wingers.
Blacknell also said that “prison is obsolete” and called to “reimagine America without it.”
“Angela Davis said it years ago. Prisons disappear problems, they don’t solve them,” Gascón’s new deputy DA continued in the tweet. “We’ve been warehousing people for a generation it’s time to free America.”
Additionally, Blacknell — who would presumably be working with police in her new role — posted a picture of herself wearing a shirt bearing the words “the police are trained to kill us.” Blacknell has also said publicly on Facebook that she participated in the looting that took place during the Rodney King riots.
Gascón’s office told FOX11 that the DA has “the utmost confidence in his Executive Team” and was “looking forward to having” Blacknell join his ranks. The DA’s office didn’t immediately return Fox News’ request for further comment.
Blacknell came under fire in 2020 after she allegedly went behind the prosecutor’s and family’s backs during a gang murder case to offer a “sweetheart” deal to the defendant. She had previously worked on the policy committee for Gascón’s campaign and served as a public defender. Her new job as Grade 4 deputy district attorney can pay up to as much as $15,000 a month.
Gascón has sparked controversy during his tenure as LA district attorney. He decided earlier this week to not seek the death penalty for an admitted gang member who is charged with murdering a police officer as well as the defendant’s own cousin.
The district attorney also recently cut ties with the California District Attorneys Association, citing the lack of diversity in its all-White board.
The leader of the CDAA called Gascón’s decision a “publicity stunt” and said that he had not been involved with the board for several years.
Earlier this month, Gascón was blocked by a judge from getting rid of sentencing enhancements — such as harsher penalties for repeat offenders — after he was sued by his own prosecutors.