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Child Abuse Prosecutor Jonathan Hatami Challenges Incumbent Gascón for LA District Attorney Position

Hatami, a prosecutor in the Complex Child Abuse Unit at the Hall of Justice in downtown LA, has been vocal in his opposition to DA George Gascón’s policies

Jonathan Hatami, a prosecutor in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, announced on Wednesday his candidacy for the district attorney position in the 2024 election. Hatami, who has prosecuted several high-profile cases against the parents of tortured and murdered children, promised “truth and justice over politics” on his campaign website and in a video announcing his bid for office.

In his announcement video, Hatami criticized the current District Attorney George Gascón for his policies, stating that “in the midst of our public safety crisis, I’ve seen the failures of our elected leaders who promised to do better but only end up making things worse.”

Hatami, a prosecutor in the Complex Child Abuse Unit at the Hall of Justice in downtown LA, has been vocal in his opposition to Gascón’s policies, which have drawn criticism from various groups. In 2020, Gascón ordered Hatami to remove charges against a parent accused of torturing and murdering her young daughter, which Hatami publicly criticized.
Gascón, a criminal justice reformer who opposes the death penalty and over-incarceration of people of color, narrowly defeated incumbent Jackie Lacey in the 2020 election. However, he has faced two failed recall petitions in 2021 and 2022 for being perceived as soft on crime.

Hatami, a child abuse survivor, says that personal experiences prompted him to dedicate his life to helping abused and neglected children. He has worked on thousands of domestic violence, hate crime, and complex homicide cases, as well as physical and sexual abuse cases involving children. Hatami was a prosecutor in the trial against the mother of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez and her boyfriend, both of whom are now serving prison time for torture and murder.

If elected, Hatami says he plans to prioritize public safety with the implementation of strategies to prevent crime, maintain peace, hold violent offenders accountable, and establish a path to success for low-level offenders. He is a graduate of California State University-Northridge and the University of Nebraska law school, and he served as a deputy district attorney in various locations before being selected to serve in the country’s first Complex Child Abuse unit in LA’s Hall of Justice in 2016.

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