First San Francisco district attorney debate kicks off 

The first debate for district attorney of San Francisco centered largely around whether voters want a cop with managerial experience, a veteran prosecutor or a knowledgeable criminal justice policy expert.

Current district attorney and former police chief George Gascon, criminal justice scholar and former police commissioner David Onek, and Alameda County prosecutor Sharmin Bock faced off before a large crowd at the LGBT Community Center Wednesday night.

Bock stressed her 22-year record as a prosecutor.

"Experience matters," she said, adding that the office of District Attorney was "not a management job," a job for police, or a job "for someone with just a law degree," a swipe at both Gascon, the former police chief, and Onek.

Gascon said he came to San Francisco as a reformer police chief, and has continued that as district attorney.

Both Bock and Onek criticized Gascon's ability to independently investigate police misconduct, and Onek targeted Bock and Gascon for not being as commited to opposing the death penalty.

“I will not seek the death penalty under any circumstances," Onek said.

Gascon stressed that he had the managerial experience.

“I am the only one in this group that actually has led large organizations and moved policy forward in an effective manner," he said.

aburack@sfexaminer.com

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Monday, Oct 20, 2014

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