'She should be ashamed of herself' Newsom responds to DA Smittcamp following Selma officer killing

Thursday, February 2, 2023
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Gov. Gavin Newsom has responded to a critical statement by Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp following the death of a Selma police officer in the line of duty.

On Tuesday, officer 24-year-old Gonzalo Carrasco Jr. was killed while checking on a suspicious person near a home in Selma.

Authorities say the suspect, Nathaniel Dixon, was known to law enforcement and out of prison early on probation due to AB 109.

"Governor Gavin Newsom, and every legislator in the state of California who supports this over-reaching phenomenon they try to disguise as legitimate criminal justice reform, has the blood of this officer on their hands," Smittcamp said in her statement.

RELATED: Selma police officer shot and killed identified as 24-year-old Gonzalo Carrasco Jr.

Newsom fired back at Smittcamp, placing the blame on the District Attorney for her actions, saying, "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."

Newsom also appeared visibly frustrated with recent comments from Smittcamp, adding, "I'm sick and tired of being lectured by her on public safety. With all due respect to her statement, she should be ashamed of herself and should look in the mirror."

Dixon was booked in the Fresno County Jail and faces charges of murder, being a felon in possession of a gun and ammunition and probation violation.

In a follow-up statement Wednesday night, Smittcamp responded to Newsom's remarks, writing, in part:

"Governor Newsom continues to demonstrate his ignorance and lack of understanding of how the criminal justice system works. His arrogant and defensive response is proof positive that he is attempting to deflect responsibility for his failed policies."

She went on to invite Newsom to her office to have a conversation about the state's policies.

Newsom's office then responded to Smittcamp's comments, saying, "On background: After initially charging the suspect with 10 offenses, the Fresno DA agreed to a plea agreement with only 2 charges that carried a sentence of 5 years and 4 months. He was not convicted for his violent conduct at the time of his arrest, during which he had two illegal loaded guns in his car, he lunged at an officer and tried to grab the officer's firearm, and forcefully resisted arrest. At the time of his crimes he was also under a domestic violence restraining order and had recently failed on probation for a prior strike conviction -- an armed robbery with a deadly weapon the year before."
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