The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board
at Whittier Chief Jeff Piper when he linked the murder of his officer, Keith Boyer, to the "criminal justice reforms" enacted in California in recent years. In strident language, the Editorial Board called on the Chief to be to "held accountable for false or misleading statements that are calculated to sway opinion on important policy matters." An abject apology is owed to the Chief by the Times Editorial Board; emerging publicly available facts regarding Officer Boyer's killer prove the Chief's words to be factual and accurate.
Prop 47, enacted in 2014, reduced the offense of drug possession from a felony to a misdemeanor. That change meant that state prison is no longer an option for drug possession. As detailed in a
, after his most recent release from prison, Michael C. Mejia who is gang member with prior convictions and subsequent incarceration in Pelican Bay State Prison for robbery and grand theft auto, had been arrested for drug possession on two separate occasions. Prior to Prop 47, a conviction for that offense would have resulted in a state prison sentence, with that sentence lengthened for his strike prior. Thus, Chief Piper's assertion regarding the killer being free thanks to Prop 47 was correct.
Similarly, the Chief's assertion that AB 109 contributed to the killer remaining free on the streets is correct. The killer had been on parole following his release from prison in April 2016, and in the next few months violated parole--five separate times in seven months--for possessing drugs and failing to comply with police officers. Prior to AB 109, he would have been supervised by state parole agents, returned to state prison on a parole revocation for up to one year for each parole violation, and held in custody without bail pending a parole revocation hearing.
Instead, under AB 109, this killer was "supervised" by local county probation agents, with "10-day" incarcerations invented by AB 109 imposed for each violation instead of an actual parole revocation. Further, under AB 109, even if there had been a parole revocation it would have been limited to a maximum of 180 days to be served in local custody, not state prison.
Given the facts above, any claim that
and Prop 47 did not contribute to a killer being on the street to murder Officer Boyer is ridiculous. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has called for an investigation into the supervision by county probation of the Officer Boyer's killer. We fully support that action and will await that report, as well as the apology by the LA Times Editorial Board to Chief Piper.