DALLAS — Attorney Elizabeth Frizell is blunt in her assessment of the Dallas County district attorney’s decision to no longer prosecute theft of “necessary” personal items under $750.
The Democrat, who’s running for the office in the March primary, says John Creuzot's policy doesn’t keep residents safe.
“I don’t think when someone steals from you, you should feel like I can’t call the police, no one’s going to help me, no one’s going to do anything,” Frizell said on Inside Texas Politics.
If she’s ultimately elected, Frizell promises she would get rid of this policy, which she says encourages folks to ignore crime.
"When you have a policy that you won’t prosecute any case of theft of $750 or less, what happens is the cashiers and the clerks don’t call the police, because when they call the police and they come out and take their time to write a police report and send it to the DA’s office, the DA’s office won’t prosecute it," she said. "And so, you’re not really documenting who’s committing those offenses."
Watch the segment below:
Another policy she calls “dangerous” involves grand jury recommendations.
Under the current district attorney, prosecutors no longer make any indictment recommendations to a grand jury in any criminal case.
Legal experts say recommending whether a grand jury should indict in a criminal case is standard practice among prosecutors in most places in not just Texas, but the rest of the country.
“I think what Dallas County expects from our district attorney is to advocate,” said Frizell.
There is one current policy Frizell says she would keep, even with some minor adjustments: the decision to stop prosecuting first-time misdemeanor marijuana cases. Frizell says, in those cases, there is a way to avoid prosecution and still help the person.
“If it’s a first time offense, I think our goals should be within the DA’s office to make sure that you don’t become a repeat offender,” said Frizell. “So, even though I wouldn’t prosecute first time misdemeanor marijuana, I would try to help them and get them in a program.”
Frizell and Creuzot are no strangers in this 2022 race. Frizell narrowly lost to Creuzot, by only hundreds of votes, in the 2018 Democratic primary.
The winner will face Republican candidate Faith Johnson, who is running unopposed in her primary and who is also a former Dallas County district attorney.
“This time I’m hoping to win by a lot rather than lose by a little,” Frizell said.
Frizell is also a former state district judge, spending nearly two decades on the bench before retiring for her initial run in 2018. She is now back in private practice.
The Texas primary is currently scheduled for March 1, 2022.