GANG-BANGER/REPEAT OFFENDER KILLS COP: Why Was He On The Street?

Something is seriously wrong here.

Whittier police officer Keith Boyer; Courtesy of Whittier Police Department.

Another member of law enforcement has fallen prey to a filthy thug – gang member Michael Mejia gunned down two Whittier police officers this week, killing one and injuring another.  Keith Boyer was a 28-year veteran of law enforcement and father of two grown sons. Officer Patrick Hazell is hospitalized in stable condition.

This latest tragedy is shining a bright light on California’s revolving door of incarceration, where we spit out dangerous offenders like a Pez dispenser spits out candy.

What the heck was this guy doing on the street?  And what the heck was he doing with a gun?  Isn’t that… illegal?

Gavin Newsom said “It’s easier to get a gun than a Happy Meal in California.” That being said, how does he think Mejia got the semi-auto handgun?  Does he really believe Mejia, who is a felon – followed all California firearm laws, walked into the local gun store, offered up his ID, paid money, underwent a background check and patiently waited 10 days before he murdered Boyer – and (allegedly) his cousin earlier the same day?  Newsom really believes any Tom, Dick or Harry can waltz into a gun store and walk out with whatever they want.

Let’s get real.  Even gun-control researchers concede that that criminals don’t pay attention to what’s legal if they want a gun.  They don’t buy weapons “retail” or at gun shows or online.  They generally get them from sources they trust – which means other criminals or friends, but certainly not from Cabelas or Bass Pro Shops, so can we just forget the pretense that gun laws are going to make an ounce of difference to a killer like Mejia?

Reported gang member Michael Mejia; courtesy LA Sheriff’s Department

Whittier Police Chief Jeff Piper thinks the answers can be found in the negative impacts of Governor Brown’s pet “prison reform” projects: Assembly Bill 109, a state law mandating early prisoner release, and Proposition 47, which reduces drug possession charges from felonies to misdemeanors and also classifies $950 petty theft charges the same.

In a tearful press conference where Piper spoke about his friendship with Officer Boyer, he said:

“We need to wake up. Enough is enough. You’re passing these propositions, you’re creating these laws. … It’s not good for our community (and) it’s not good for our officers…You have no idea how it’s changed in the last four years. We have statistics to show it.”

Unfortunately, the LA Times sharply criticized Chief Piper’s remarks, and some state officials dispute Mejia’s release was due to “reform” measures, but the union representing the Los Angeles Police Department officers has made an official request of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to review the effect both measures have had on public safety in our state.

Many questions have yet to be answered, but we do know that gun laws (or lack thereof according to the left) are not responsible for the devastating loss of Officer Boyer. To the contrary.  Consider the following:

  • Mejia had cycled in and out of jail; he was imprisoned in 2010 – 2014 for robbery.
  • In 2014, Mejia served a two-year sentence for grand theft auto and attempted vehicle theft, and just three short months following his 2016 release from Pelican Bay, he committed his first probation violation, for which he received 10 days in jail.
  • He violated his probation again in September – his second – and then again in January – his third, serving just days in jail for each offense. He was then arrested after he ran from police on Feb. 2 – his fourth – for violating the terms of his release and was let out of jail on Feb. 11, according to Sheriff’s Homicide Lt. John Corina.  (Some media has reported he had 5 probation violations).
  • Because of AB 109, Mejia’s release was supervised by Los Angeles County probation officials rather than state prison officials. This clearly isn’t working; why did they not revoke his “supervised” release?

It’s no wonder that Los Angeles violent crime has risen for the third straight year and police are trying to get a handle on an escalation in homicides and gang-related shootings.  After years of declining crime rates, violent offenses were up by 10% in 2015 and 38% from the previous two years.

Something is definitely wrong, but we must look in the right place to find the answers, and more laws directed at the good guys won’t do the trick.

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