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Criminal Justice

DA Gascón’s Office Installs Its First LGBTQ+ Advisory Board

A person helps carry a large rainbow flag over their head while they march down the street next to a sheriff's deputy.
A scene from the 2016 Gay Pride Parade in Los Angeles
(Mark Ralston
AFP via Getty Images)
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It’s a first for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office: an LGBTQ+ advisory board.

Tiffiny Blacknell, DA special advisor, said it’s an effort to address concerns of LGBTQ+ people dealing with the criminal justice system.

“We have folks who may not be trained properly on how to engage the communities that we serve,” Blacknell said. “[We] need to hear from them on what they feel would make them feel more comfortable in these spaces.”

DA George Gascón said in a statement that the advisory board gives the department a chance for prosecutors to “truly listen and learn.”

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“The contributions that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people have made to society make up a rich part of U.S. history,” the statement reads. “Sadly, LGBTQ+ people have long been subjected to public hostility, discrimination, and violence.”

The board will weigh in on everything from best practices to priority issues in the criminal justice system. Nine people will be advising the department, including figures from the TransLatin@ Coalition and the LGBTQ+ centers in Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The board is expected to seek input from the community and give feedback to the department to better serve LGBTQ+ people.

“We are just beginning that work and we look forward to their suggestions in terms of how we can improve our touch,” Blacknell said.

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