A longtime Los Angeles prosecutor has slammed the county’s liberal politicians and district attorney for the rising homicide rates in LA following the murders of a 24-year-old woman and a 70-year-old nurse this week.
Jon Hatami, a child abuse prosecutor who led the infamous Gabriel Fernandez case in 2014, warned cities across America to reject liberal district attorneys.
He has blamed the soft-on-crime policies of LA DA George Gascon for soaring violent crime and homicide rate in LA, including the recent murders of Brianna Kupfer, 24, and Sandra Shells, 70.
Hatami and other critics said Gascon has failed to stop rising homicide rates in LA, and said his policies allowed career criminal Shawn Smith, 31, to be out on a $1,000 bond when he allegedly stabbed Kupfer, a UCLA grad student, to death inside the Croft House luxury store last Thursday.
‘Nobody should have to be around a district attorney who fails to fight for victims and fails to fight for the family members of victims,’ Hatami told Fox News.
‘Nobody should have a district attorney who refuses to file charges against murderers and rapists and child abusers to the fullest extent of the law. That person does not deserve to be the D.A.’
Homicides in LA have grown nearly 40 per cent since 2019 after the county reported nearly 400 murders at the end of 2021.
Jon Hatami, a longtime LA prosecutor, (left) blamed DA George Gascon for not dealing with LA’s rising homicide rates. He said the liberal district attorney has allowed crime to run rampant with policies that imposed $0 bail for misdemeanors and lower-level felonies
Murders in Los Angeles reached an all time high in 2021 as the LA Police Department reported 397 homicides. The homicide rate took a sharp increase after Gascon took office in 2020
Brianna Kupfer, 24, (left) was stabbed to death in a random attack last Thursday while she was working alone in a luxury furniture store in Los Angeles. the attack occurred hours after Sandra Shells, 70, was fatally attacked at a bus stop
‘You have a large group of people who are out of custody, who are committing thefts, who are addicted to drugs… who are not being held accountable for their actions,’ he added. ‘And now they’re preying on innocent individuals.’
Among Hatami’s biggest problems with Gascon’s policies included the DA’s decision to retain California Proportions 47, a statewide policy of imposing $0 bail for misdemeanors and lower-level felonies.
The statewide policy ended last year, but it was kept in place within the LA County Superior Court system.
Gascon also came under fire last week for not sentencing Hannah Tubbs, 26, to jail after she pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old-girl when she was a teenager due to his policy to stop charging juveniles as adults.
‘When you say, ‘here’s a list of crimes I’m not going to prosecute,’ Yeah, you are not a good D.A.,’ Hatami told Fox.
‘And you are not a good prosecutor. That shouldn’t be the first thing you do when you become D.A.’
Hatami said these progressive policies don’t work and urged not only LA residents to vote out Garscon, but said all counties and cities across the US should reject liberal district attorneys.
Although overall crime in LA has seen a drop in the past month, the county continues to see a yearly surge in murders.
In 2019, the same year Garscon was ran for DA, LA reported a total of 252 homicides, the lowest since 2014.
Then in 2020, murders shot up to 343 and continued to rise in 2021 as LA reported 397 deaths by the end of the year.
The end of 2021 saw a drop in crime rate in an otherwise violent year with record high murders
He also slammed Gascon for his connection to liberal billionaire George Soros.
Soros has funneled millions into the successful campaigns of other progressive district attorneys across the country.
The billionaire, one of the most prolific Democratic donors, is most known for giving to Presidents Clinton and Obama but he has also been pumping money into a far-left effort to overhaul the criminal justice system which critics say is creating a lawless America.
Among those he backed is Kim Foxx, the State’s Attorney for Cook County, Chicago, where murder is at its highest in nearly 30 years.
It also includes Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who is also facing backlash over his progressive policies amid rampant crime in New York City.
George Soros has funneled millions into the successful campaigns of other progressive district attorneys across the country. He has also been pumping money into a far-left effort to overhaul the criminal justice system which critics say is creating a lawless America
Hatami ultimately blamed liberal catch-and release policies, which he said exacerbate the unaddressed issues of mental illness and substance abuse in LA’s homeless population, for the recent murders this week.
Shells, an ER nurse, was allegedly struck in the face without provocation by Kerry Bell, 48, a homeless man, as she waited for a bus to take her to work last Thursday.
Shells succumbed to her injuries three days later.
‘Sandy was a very hard worker. Very private person, stayed to herself but she was always working. I think her whole job, her whole life, was just helping other people,’ Shells’ neighbor Liz Anderson told ABC7.
‘Her personality would effect anybody. A very caring person that just loved everybody, and I know that this community will really, she’s just going to be missed.’
Bell, who had criminal histories in multiple states, was charged with murder.
Neighbors and colleagues described Shells as a compassionate and dedicated nurse
A makeshift memorial is seen at the spot where Shells was attacked last week
Shawn Laval Smith, 31, is wanted for the murder of Brianna Kupfer in Los Angeles. He has a lengthy rap sheet
Just hours after Shells’ attack, Kupfer was stabbed to death while working alone at the Croft House store on La Brea, just minutes after she texted a friend that a man in the store was ‘giving her a bad vibe’.
Smith is a career criminal with a long rap sheet spanning both coasts, and is currently free on a $1,000 bond from a misdemeanor arrest in Los Angeles County in October 2020, sheriff’s records show.
The nature of that charge wasn’t immediately clear, and it was also unclear why the case still hadn’t been brought to a trial or a plea deal 15 months later.
A spokesperson for Gascón’s office, who took office with a vow to stop prosecuting many misdemeanors, did not immediately respond to an inquiry from DailyMail.com on Tuesday night.
Smith is also currently free on a $50,000 bond in Charleston, South Carolina in relation to a November 2019 arrest on suspicion of firing a weapon into an occupied vehicle, court records show.
An indictment in that case was handed down on March 16, 2020, just before COVID-19 paralyzed the courts, and the docket shows no further action on the case.
Smith has a prolific criminal record, with dozens of prior charges in North Carolina and South Carolina
The suspected killer has a prolific criminal record, with dozens of prior charges in North Carolina and South Carolina, public records show.
Smith’s prior charges on the East Coast include assault with a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed weapon, assault on a police officer, trespassing, possession of a stolen vehicle, and misdemeanors for larceny and possession of stolen goods. The outcomes of those cases weren’t immediately clear.
He has a history of failing to appear in court, and has been repeatedly arrested on bench warrants. In one case in Charleston, he was convicted in abstentia after skipping court, and does not appear to have served the sentence, which is sealed in court records.