In a sworn declaration, former president of the Police Officers Association, Gary Delagnes, submitted assertions to the blue-ribbon task force. The district attorney, George Gascon, set up the task force to probe allegations of homophobia as well as racism against the police department.
According to Delagnes, attorney Gascon was close to the police union that he is currently criticizing. In addition, he was unconcerned about the diversity in the police department. Gascon also made racially disparaging comments during a booze-fueled evening occasion with the union leaders.
Chief Gascon testified before the panel that the police union adversely affects the ability of the chief of police and the police commission to actualize reforms. Delagnes tendered his declaration eight days after Gascon’s submission. He served as the POA president for 9 years. He also spent 25 years in the force prior to retiring.
Delagnes recalls a 2010 dinner that he had with Gascon, current president Martin Halloran, and another union representative. The dinner was held during a police leadership forum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the Harvard Law School. Delagnes notes that chief Gascon drunk heavily and began reminiscing his time with LA Police Department during that dinner. Gascon made a number of statements that angered minorities. Gascon became animated and so loud. An African American patron requested him to control himself because his acts were offending his family.
In an interview, Hallaron complimented Delagnes’ claims. Alex Bastian, spokesperson for the district attorney’s office, did not make a direct response to Delagnes’ charge when presented with a print of the sworn declaration. However, he noted that Delagnes’ imagination compensated what he lacked in credibility.
Through a statement, Delagnes revealed that he decided to speak about the issue after getting to know what Gascon had told the panel. Gascon said that he was concerned about the present state of the Police Department more than the time when he was chief. He served as the chief of the police department between 2009 and 2011. According to Delagnes, Gascon may have had issues with the officers and leaders when he headed the department. Additionally, he noted that Gascon’s public comments were different from how he conducted himself during his tenure as the police department’s chief.
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