Another Cop Killer Set to Be Released
ALADS President Ron Hernandez
Joevone Elster, the organizer of the bungled armed robbery of a gas station money courier in 1988, which led to the murder of Inglewood police officer Sgt. George Aguilar is the latest cop killer that could be freed. 
As detailed in media accounts at the time, the evil plot unfolded on March 31, 1988 when five friends robbed a money courier. Joevone Elster and four other Crip gang members senselessly gunned down and murdered Sergeant George Aguilar , an 18-year police veteran with the Inglewood Police Department. Joevone Elster was the mastermind behind the robbery at the gas station where he worked which resulted in the murder of Sergeant Aguilar. George was only 46 years old at the time and he died leaving behind three young children to grow up without their father. In 1989, a jury found Elster guilty of  first-degree murder  and second-degree robbery; each count carried an enhancement for being "a principal armed with a firearm." Elster was sentenced to a prison term of 32 years to life.
Sergeant George Aguilar.
Joevone Elster was granted parole, but Governor Jerry Brown reversed the decision. An Appellate Court overturned the Governor's reversal, allowing the original parole grant to be reinstated.  Only 28 years into his sentence, Elster is going to be set free despite the Governor's and law enforcement communities' vehement opposition.
In a heart-wrenching story on KABC-TV , Sergeant Aguilar's family is once again pleading for the Governor's help and asking the public to speak out. "My dad lost his life when he was 46 years old. Now here we are, the man responsible for my dad's death - his life is about to begin at just about the same age. Where is the fairness in that?" said the Sergeant's son, George Aguilar Jr. " He absolutely loved his job. He gave his life for it, and now our justice system is going to allow the person responsible for his murder to walk the streets," daughter Camille Zamorano said. "It was a nightmare for all of us and it never has ended. There should be a law that anybody that kills a police officer should never see the outside of prison walls," brother Larry Aguilar said.
It is outrageous that cop-killers like Elster are able to seek parole. It is crucial to the security of the state of California, and to the safety of the men and women who enforce its laws, that cop killers forfeit their freedom for life when they murder a law enforcement officer. If not, the underlying message is that killing a police officer is worth the risk, because you may not have to be in prison for life. Law enforcement organizations throughout California strenuously oppose parole of any anyone who participates in the murder of a peace officer. 
Unfortunately, with the national " war on cops " as confirmed by the FBI, because of recent   social experiments   that have benefited hardened   criminals at the expense of law-abiding residents, it is likely to become more dangerous in our communities for both the public and law enforcement. If anyone is skeptical of our concerns, please take a look at three recent measures 
  • Proposition 47 reduced a host of serious felonies - including gun theft, drug possession and possession of date-rape drugs - to misdemeanors. 
  • Assembly Bill 109 shifted inmates from state prisons to local jails, forcing officials to create space for them by releasing lower-level offenders onto the streets.
  • Proposition 57, which state voters passed in November, made felons eligible for parole after serving 50 percent of the sentence for their primary offense.
How many cop killers being released or new victims of crime  will it take before everyone starts saying enough is enough?  

Ron Hernandez is the president of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs and can be reached at The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS) is the collective bargaining agent representing more than 7,900 deputy sheriffs and district attorney investigators working in Los Angeles County.  

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