Flawed Criminal Justice Reform Efforts Claim Yet  Another Victim, This Time
A 28-Year Law Enforcement Veteran

by ALADS Board of Directors
Whittier PD Officer
Keith Boyer
On Monday,
Officer Keith Boyer , a dedicated 28-year law enforcement veteran of the Whittier Police Department and another man were murdered by a man who was free to roam the streets of Los Angeles County due to California's flawed prisoner-release policies. 
Whittier Police Chief Jeff Piper shone a spotlight on these policies when he said at an emotional press conference on Monday, "Passing these propositions, you're creating these laws that are raising crime. It's not good for our communities, and it's not good for our officers. What you have today is an example of that. So, we need to pull our head out of the sand and start realizing what we're doing to our communities and to our officers who give their life like Officer Boyer did today."
As detailed by KFI reporter Eric Leonard , the suspect, 26-year-old Michael C. Mejia, is a known gang member with prior convictions and subsequent incarceration in Pelican Bay State Prison for robbery and grand theft auto. Assembly Bill 109 dictated that upon his release from state prison he was to be supervised by the Los Angeles County Probation Department. That bill was the legislature's response to court decisions on overcrowded prisons; shifting inmates from state prisons to local jails and placing responsibility for supervising these former inmates upon release on local probation departments.
In an attempt to refute Chief Piper, a Los Angeles Times editorial asserted that Officer Boyer's killer had not been the beneficiary of "early release." The editorial claimed "AB 109 - despite the assertions of law enforcement leaders, elected officials and far too many news outlets that ought to know better - neither mandates nor permits 'early release' from prison or jail." Well, just like the CCDR, the Times assertion is a careful parsing of words intended to reach a misleading conclusion.
Make no mistake, had AB 109 not been in effect it is doubtful that a former inmate who violated parole multiple times would have been given a series of 10-day custodial sanctions for violation. Here's why. The killer of Officer Boyer had been arrested and released at least  five separate times  since he was initially released from his two-year prison sentence for auto theft. Under the parole system that existed for decades prior to AB 109, Mejia could have been sent back to prison for up to one year for each violation. Instead, AB109 allowed him to remain on the streets, where he then committed two murders. Echoing the line of CCDR, the Times seems to forget that AB109 eviscerated the ability to effectively deal with repeat parole violators through meaningful incarceration.
Thanks to AB109, this killer served short and inconsequential stints called " flash incarcerations for his parole violations, allowing him to return to the community where he then shot and killed both his cousin and Officer Keith Boyer. Flash stays as they are commonly called, last usually no more than 10-day.

 "Enough is enough!" Chief Jeff Piper declared when expressing the failing legislation of California's prisoner-release policies which led to this week's latest tragedy. This was the sixth shooting-related death of an officer in the United States this year . "This is a senseless, senseless tragedy that did not need to be," said Piper.

ALADS, public safety organizations and law enforcement agencies alike have continuously warned California legislators of the significant  danger of these policies on law enforcement personnel and the community while catering to criminals and repeat offenders. "We're putting people back on the street that aren't ready to be back on the street," Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said Monday echoing the accurate assessments of Chief Piper.
How much longer will it take for legislators and residents to realize that we were duped by flawed legislation such as AB 109, Prop 47 and Prop 57? How many more officers and residents of California need to be caught in the cross-hairs before we wake up and realize there must be a change in this legislation? 
While politicians, newspaper editorials, and former judges attempt to defend these flawed propositions by claiming there is no direct correlation between the rise in violent crime, property crime, and rising assaults on police officers, the truth is the opposite. On Monday, a dedicated 28-year police officer and the suspect's cousin paid with their lives because of legislation which prioritizes the release of criminals from custody over public safety. 
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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