The union leader, who represents Los Angeles police officers, praised the sheriff’s efforts to circumvent the local district attorney in favor of federal authorities after three suspected gang members and a woman were arrested in connection with the shooting death of an out-of-service employee. an officer who hunted at home with his girlfriend.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva handed the case over to the Department of Justice in a move that was seen as a rejection of instructions issued by District Attorney George Gascon.
“I think it’s a courageous move,” Los Angeles Police Defense League President Craig Lally said in an interview with Acesparks. “I think he did it because he knew DA Gascon didn’t want to improve the criminal group or improve the guns, and probably wouldn’t go after these people for the death penalty.”
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Since taking office in December 2020, Gascon has asked his prosecutors to increase penalties only for certain crimes. He took a position on a strict anti-crime policy, arguing that it would exacerbate racial and other inequalities in the criminal justice system.
On Thursday, the sheriff’s dervishes Luis Alfredo De La Rosa Rios, 29; Ernesto Sisneros, 22; Jesse Contreras, 34; and Rios ’girlfriend, 18-year-old Hayley Marie Grisham, was arrested this week and charged with the death of LAPD officer Fernando Arroyos. A 27-year-old officer on duty was killed Monday while trying to commit a robbery while searching homes with his girlfriend in South Los Angeles.
Officials say Arroyos Rios and Cisneros were shot after a confrontation with the couple. They are accused of committing a violent crime while aiding racketeering, leading to a minimal level of life without a role, as two silver chains around the neck of Arroyos and a purse were killed during the robbery.
A shootout broke out between Arroyos and the suspects and Cisneros struck, officials said. The criminal group, which belonged to the three suspects, was located in St. Louis.
His special counsel, Alex Bastian, said Gascon’s office had not been offered a job and had no opportunity to sue the suspects.
“We support the federal government’s work and liaise with all stakeholders,” Bastian said in a statement. “We were told that the case had been referred to the federal authorities who had filed the indictment. Thus, we were unable to hear the case.”
As crime continues to rise in and around Los Angeles, Lally predicted that more serious cases would be brought before federal prosecutors if Gascon continued to follow instructions that opponents only support criminals.
“I think when a verdict is handed down, you get a more fair outcome,” Lalli said.
The sheriff has strongly criticized Gascon, who is trying to recall for the second time because of prosecutorial reform.
At a press conference announcing the arrests on Thursday night, he denied allegations that he had not consulted with the district attorney’s office.
“We definitely interviewed local lawyers and their responses were not satisfactory given the gravity of the situation,” Villanueva said. “They were in accordance with a special order from the district attorney. I think their plan was to initiate a criminal case on simple murder and did not cover any weapons, strengthening criminal groups, anything and the corruption of this crime.”
Acesparks contacted him via email and SMS, but did not respond.
Prior to becoming Los Angeles County Attorney General, Gascon served as San Francisco District Attorney, Chief of Police in Mesa, Arizona, and Assistant Chief of LAPD. Lally, who has worked at Dertment for more than forty years, said others told her that Gascon’s time as a police officer was largely filled with administrative duties.
“I think he really lost touch with what these officers are going through every day,” Lalli said.