George Gascón (born 1954) is the District Attorney of San Francisco. He was appointed by Mayor Gavin Newsom in January 2011 to succeed California Attorney General Kamala Harris. In November 2011, Gascón was elected as District Attorney of San Francisco.
Gascón was born in Havana, Cuba, Gascón and his family immigrated to the United States in 1967 and settled in Bell, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. After dropping out of Bell High School, Gascón served in the United States Army from 1972 to 1975, receiving an honorable discharge as a sergeant (E-5), and earned his high school diploma. In 1978, Gascón joined the Los Angeles Police Department. He then became a sales manager at a Ford Motor Company dealership and pursued higher education. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from California State University, Long Beach and a Juris Doctor from Western State University College of Law. In 1987, he became a full-time police officer again and then assistant police chief and director of the office of operations. Gascón has been an active member of the California State Bar since 1996.
Gascón was chief of the San Francisco Police Department from August 2009 to January 2011, succeeding Heather Fong. He was replaced by Greg Suhr. During his tenure, murder rates were the lowest in over half a century.
He appointed retired judges Cruz Reynoso, LaDoris Hazzard Cordell and Dickran Tevrizian to review the cases.
Gascón has received criticism for comments against ethnic minorities. In March 2010, Gascón made remarks about San Francisco’s susceptibility to terrorism by the „Middle Eastern community“ that upset Arab-Americans. Gascón was accused of calling African-Americans „those people“ in „a derogatory way“ at a dinner in 2010 by San Francisco Police Department officers under oath in depositions. In January 2016, Gascón’s office was sued for an employee who allegedly made a racial slur to another employee of the District Attorney’s Office.