22Feb

Supervisor Hahn and Supervisor Barger Seek Review of Probation Policies in Wake of Shooting of Whittier Police Officer

Los Angeles, CA—In the wake of a shooting that left Whittier Police Officer Keith Boyer dead and another officer injured, Supervisor Janice Hahn and Supervisor Kathryn Barger are seeking more information as to the circumstances that led to the release of the gunman from jail, including a review of his criminal history and the policies and procedures used to identify his potential risks to public safety.

“I attended last night’s prayer vigil and it was powerful to see so many people come out to support their law enforcement community,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “But there was a lot of concern last night amongst the community members about how this tragedy happened and whether or not it could have been prevented.”

The suspected gunman, identified as Michael C. Mejia, reportedly has an extensive criminal history and at the time of the shooting was on supervised release to the Los Angeles County Probation Department. Mejia had violated the terms of his release multiple times and had been jailed several times for short periods over the past year at the request of the Probation Department. The circumstances surrounding the shooting of Officer Boyer highlight law enforcement concerns about state law AB 109 and Proposition 47.

“We do not yet know if those laws contributed in any way to this tragedy,” said Supervisor Hahn. “But we do know that Mejia was under the County’s supervision. We need the facts and we need to look if there was any failure of protocol that led to this terrible tragedy.  I am hopeful that with this motion we will be able to get some answers for Whittier residents and the entire law enforcement community.”

Today, Supervisor Barger and Supervisor Hahn co-authored a motion directing the Chief Probation Officer to investigate and report back on the criminal history of the gunman and his involvement with the State Parole system and Probation supervision.  The motion also requested a review of the County’s policies and procedures used to identify a parolee’s potential risk to public safety.  It further directed the Superior Court to explain its role in the probation revocation process.

The motion passed with unanimous support.

 

Contact: Liz Odendahl

lodendahl@bos.lacounty.gov

(213) 379-6301