LA County District Attorney Who Called Police ‘Barbarian’ Chosen As Acting Victims Office Chief – Daily News


Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has appointed a former public defender who once called the police “barbaric” as the acting director of the Victim Services Bureau, drawing criticism from a labor union. order and a former attorney general.

Tiffiny Blacknell, hired in January as Gascón’s special advisor, began her new role on Tuesday and will serve as a nationwide search is conducted to select a permanent director.

“This new director will bring trauma-informed care to victims of crime across Los Angeles County as they embark on the journey to become survivors,” Gascón said in a statement. “My goal is to provide victims of crime with clinical services that will help them throughout the healing process.

The director will be responsible for leading and developing the Bureau of Victim Services, which has nearly 100 employees who work in courthouses and police stations in Los Angeles County.

Blacknell replaces former office manager Michele Daniels, who has transferred to the airport branch to take on the role of chief deputy attorney general.

Alex Bastian, also a special advisor to Gascón, said on Thursday that Blacknell was an excellent choice to lead the office when looking for a permanent director.

“District Attorney George Gascón has the utmost confidence in Ms. Blacknell, as evidenced by her leadership roles within the office,” he said in an email. Ms. Blacknell has worked closely with victims of crime, both personally and professionally, and provided critical support to the office’s first Victims of Crime Advisory Committee. She worked tirelessly with – and for the benefit of – the community and victims of crime and is an invaluable member of the District Attorney’s leadership team.

Unfit to represent victims

However, Craig Lally, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, maintains that Blacknell’s anti-law rhetoric renders her unfit to represent victims of crime.

“The appointment of a career criminal defense lawyer, who supports the abolition of prisons and the funding of the police, as the main advocate for victims of crime is absurd,” Lally said in a statement. . “Does George Gascón honestly think that victims of crime will trust someone who fought for less accountability to criminals and who publicly expresses hatred towards the police? It is clear that Gascon does not care about the victims.

Former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, who is leading a recall effort to remove Gascón from office, agrees.

“The quote about ‘the fox guarding the henhouse’ comes to mind,” he said in an email. “(This is) just another example of Gascón abandoning victims as he once did in the courtroom and during parole hearings.”

Rhetoric against law enforcement

What seems to irritate critics the most are Blacknell’s social media posts expressing their contempt for law enforcement.

After the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in 2020, she took to Twitter to call the LAPD “barbarians” and an “occupying army.”

In an Instagram post, Blacknell is pictured wearing a t-shirt that reads “The police are trained to kill us,” while in a Facebook post she describes how she participated in the looting during the riots in Los Angeles. Angeles in 1992.

Tiffiny Blacknell, who was hired by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, is receiving criticism from unions representing prosecutors and law enforcement for this Instagram photo.

“I was 15,” she wrote in the post. “I was angry, sad and scared. I had no way of dealing with my emotions about the murder of Latasha Harlins or the beating of Rodney King. So we went out and watched our city burn. And when the opportunity arose, we took some sh…. It was one of the most formative moments of my life. “

In another article, Blacknell advocates “overthrowing the bench” by eliminating judges who disagree with Gascón’s policies.

“Before George, those same judges did whatever the prosecutor asked them to do,” she said in the post. “Then the truth comes out. It’s just the mass human caging that they believe in. It is not about bending to the will of the DA, it is about perpetrating the racist system. Now that we know who’s who, it’s time to act. The only thing that stands in the way of the will of the people is the bench. “

Compassion for Victims of Crime

Kathleen Cady, a former prosecutor who served as a special assistant in the Victim Services Office for nine years, declined to discuss Blacknell’s social media posts or her ability to lead the office.

However, she said it was essential for the director of the office to have strong leadership skills and unwavering compassion for victims of crime.

“The person who is responsible for helping victims of crime in Los Angeles County must be dedicated to their healing and well-being and respect their rights as they go through the criminal justice system,” said said Cady.

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