A California district attorney unloaded on Gov. Gavin Newsom Friday as the state officials remain locked in a war of words over the death of a police officer allegedly gunned down by a released convict while on duty.
Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp has squarely blamed liberal leaders’ criminal justice reforms for the tragedy, saying Newsom has “blood” on his hands. Newsom, in a heated response, pointed the finger at Smittcamp’s prosecutorial discretion in the case.
Gonzalo Carrasco Jr., a 24-year-old officer with the Selma Police Department, was allegedly gunned down by a released convict on the job Tuesday. Authorities have identified the suspect as 23-year-old Nathaniel Dixon and said he was serving on probation as part of California’s AB 109 law.
Dixon was sentenced to over five years in prison in March 2022 for “charges related to robbery, weapons and drugs” but was released in August after only serving five months.
“The Dixon case was handled in an appropriate manner,” Smittcamp told “Fox & Friends First.” “He was exposed to six years, eight months. He pled to charges that exposed him to five years and four months in the California Department of Corrections. This is just Gavin Newsom doing what he does best, which is shifting the blame, creating a sound bite for himself, because he knows deep in his heart that his policies are failing… He’s a menace to public safety in the state of California.”
Smittcamp said Dixon was charged with “every crime that we know he committed” and would have served 80 percent of his sentence before the state’s introduction of Proposition 57, which allows parole consideration for nonviolent felons based on credits for rehabilitation, good behavior and education.
“When [criminals] get to Gavin Newsom’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, he’s arbitrarily giving them bonus credits,” she said.
“It’s really Prop 57 and these failed state-wide measures that Gavin Newsom has supported… they’re giving these inmates get out of jail free cards.”
Newsom was asked to respond to Smittcamp’s previous statements during a scheduled press conference on gun reform Wednesday, when he pointed the finger back at the DA for her handling of Dixon’s case.
“She should blame herself,” he said. “I’ve been listening to this for years from her. She has the prosecutorial discretion. Ask her what she did in terms of prosecuting that case. I’m sick and tired of being lectured by her on public safety. Sick and tired.”
“So, with all due respect to her statement, she should be ashamed of herself, and she should look in the mirror,” he added.
Smittcamp invited Newsom to her office for a “discussion regarding his policies.”
She also said she supported a Republican-led initiative in the California Assembly, AB 15, which would provide that Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation records pertaining to an inmate’s release date and their early release credits are public records and are subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act.
Newsom’s office responded to Smittcamp in a statement provided to Fox News Digital, saying, “The Fresno DA chose not to charge this suspect to the full extent of the law, which would have ensured that he spent decades in prison.”
Fox News’ Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.
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