A California teen who allegedly posted threats against a school on social media and was allegedly caught carrying stolen guns almost escaped criminal charges under Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, according to police.
"On March 21, 2023, the filing District Attorney at Downey Superior Court initially
rejected the entire case, stating they needed additional information regarding the criminal threat," Bell Gardens police said in a statement.
The unnamed juvenile suspect was allegedly carrying two stolen pistols, body armor, high-capacity magazines and ammunition when police arrested him, but the social media company had not yet turned over information requested by detectives.
The delay prompted the local police chief to go directly to the Democrat DA's office.
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"Upon receiving the temporary reject, Bell Gardens Police Chief Scott Fairfield contacted the District Attorney's Office and demanded a second review of the case," police said in a statement. "Inconsistencies and issues with the DA's office were addressed."
After the conversation, Gascon's office filed three felony weapons charges against the potential school shooter: possession of a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school, having a concealed firearm in a vehicle and carrying a loaded handgun.
"The Bell Gardens Police Department is committed to ensuring the safety of students, school staff, and community members and is working in conjunction with the Montebello Unified School District to provide additional officers and police presence at all Bell Gardens Schools," the department said.
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"George Gascon refuses to prosecute juveniles in possession of firearms," Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami, who has a long track record of convicting criminals who target children, told Fox News Digital Wednesday morning. "It’s dangerous and a failure of the system."
The Bell Gardens incident came days after news of a double shooting in Newhall left two people dead, including a 16-year-old.
"George’s policies hurt the juvenile and the public," Hatami said. "As you see in Newhall, the juvenile wasn’t prosecuted or rehabilitated for possession of a firearm and a few months later he’s armed with another firearm and killed a 16-year-old."
The suspect in that case, an 18-year-old suspected gang member, had been accused of a firearms charge as a minor but Gascon declined to prosecute under a blanket policy avoiding gun charges for juveniles, according to the Santa Clarita Valley Signal newspaper.
"This isn’t progress or a reform," Hatami said. "The juvenile is now going to be charged with murder. Another juvenile is dead. Two families are torn apart. George Gascon's policies have been a complete failure. We have no justice and no peace in L.A. under Gascon."
Gascon's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.