‘A Tsunami of Change’: How Protests Fueled a New Crop of Prosecutors


LOS ANGELES — After George Floyd was killed by the police in Minneapolis this summer and America erupted in protest, cash started flooding the race for district attorney of Los Angeles County.

George Gascón, the former top prosecutor in San Francisco, seized the momentum swirling in the streets and honed his promises to reduce incarceration, tackle racial bias and reopen old police shooting cases that the incumbent had declined to prosecute. At his swearing-in ceremony on Monday, Mr. Gascón immediately put his plans in motion, announcing an end to seeking cash bail and other sweeping policy changes.

Los Angeles, with the nation’s largest prosecutor’s office and its biggest jail system, was at the vanguard of communities, urban and rural, in liberal and conservative states, that went in the opposite direction of President Trump’s law-and-order message last month by electing…

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