News Releases

April 29, 2022: District Attorney Gascón, Community Leaders Commemorate 30th Anniversary of Watts Peace Treaty

Greg Risling, Assistant Chief
(213) 257-2000

Today, community leaders joined Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Watts Peace Treaty. District Attorney Gascón recognized the significance of community-led prevention efforts and he pledged to use his office to support community-based initiatives to improve public safety and prevent violence.

“The treaty entered into that day in Watts, spread throughout the city and dramatically reduced the amount of gang violence in Los Angeles,” District Attorney Gascón said. “It was not only an inspiring show of unity, it also proved to all of us that violence prevention must begin in our neighborhoods with the commitment of our residents. Without that commitment, it won’t work.”

In April 1992, leaders from four street gangs entered into the treaty to curb violent crime. The treaty is credited with helping reduce street gang violence in the years that followed.

District Attorney Gascón listened to concerns from the community and promised to work with them for meaningful and lasting change that promotes public safety.

“I think today is very important because pure common sense did not bring us together. It was the conditions in the community that made everybody say ‘enough is enough,’” said Skipp Townsend, community leader and Executive Director of 2nd Call. “This is a memorable moment because now the community and government can work together on public safety. We understand now it’s not us against them and we can come together with common sense.”

Last year, District Attorney Gascón announced the office’s new Community Violence Reduction Division, which has been a collaborative effort between prosecutors and police to look at the most troubling incidents of street violence. They have connected and worked with community leaders and organizations in hopes of addressing the root causes of street violence and stopping it before it occurs.