Last week’s cold-blooded murder of a Whittier police officer who had strong ties to the local community has me up in arms.
Officer Keith Boyer, a 27-year veteran of the Whittier Police Department and drummer for the popular band Mrs. Jones’ Revenge, was killed shortly after arriving to the scene of a car accident in the area of Colima Road and Mar Vista Street in Whittier Feb. 20. The man who allegedly shot and killed Boyer also injured Boyer’s partner, Officer Patrick Hazell.
That suspect, Michael Christopher Mejia, 26, of Los Angeles, who just happens to be a known gang member, is also suspected of shooting his cousin to death in East Los Angeles early Monday. Court records show Mejia’s criminal history includes charges of vandalism and resisting arrest and convictions for robbery, grand theft auto and vehicle theft. So, what was he doing out on the street? Well we have AB-109 to thank for that.
According to published reports Mejia was released on parole under Post Release Community Supervision as required by Assembly Bill 109, a bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown that moves certain felony offenders from state prisons to county jails. Authorities have confirmed he was released about two weeks ago, only 10 days before the fatal shooting that killed Boyer and injured Hazell.
I was livid when I heard this story so I decided to reach out to a few local lawmakers and see how they felt about the situation. As it turns out, they feel pretty much the same way I do.
Senator Jeff Stone (R-Palm Springs) was quick to issue a statement to Valley News regarding Boyle and these lenient laws.
“The tragic and senseless killing of veteran Whittier Police Officer Keith Boyer by a criminal felon recently released from incarceration appears to be another example of the danger created by the passage of misleading Propositions and bad legislation that have allowed dangerous criminals back onto the streets of California,” stone wrote in his statement. “On Monday I watched as Whittier Police Chief Jeff Piper said, ‘We need to wake up. Enough is enough. You’re passing these propositions; you’re creating these laws that are raising crime.’
“Chief Piper is exactly right and reflects the frustration I’ve heard from many in law enforcement from across California,” he continued.
According to Stone, since the passage of Proposition 47 by voters in 2014 and the signing of AB 109 in 2011, violent crime has been on the rise in California, up 12 percent in 2015 statewide according to the FBI.
“The passage of Proposition 57 last November will only make these problems worse,” he wrote. “I will continue to stand up here in Sacramento against laws that allow dangerous criminal to be released onto our streets.”
Stone ended his statement by sending his condolences to Boyer’s family.
“I also send my condolences to the family of Officer Boyer and my hopes for a swift recovery to Officer Patrick Hazel who was wounded in this brazen attack by a paroled felon who should have never been allowed to go free,” he wrote.
State Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) echoed Stone’s sentiments.
“Once again, an innocent man’s life was taken because of the revolving-jail-door policies of this state,” Melendez said. “The ‘social justice’ warriors in the legislature will lament over Officer Boyer’s death. They’ll talk about how tragic it is, how they ‘stand with our men in women in law enforcement,’ all the while coming up with more laws that further endanger innocent people. Whittier Police Chief Piper was right when he said enough is enough. The question is how long will it take for lawmakers to finally listen.”
Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff was also quick to speak out against the recently voter-approved Prop 47 which reclassified a large group of nonviolent felonies as misdemeanors under state law, purportedly to ease punishment for minor drug offenses while relieving state prison crowding. His response and thoughts about yet another ridiculous law that does nothing but puts the public at risk is being published in Valley News this week, as a matter of fact, it’s right here on this page so you can see for yourself how he feels about it. Ironically, he feels the exact same way I do.
With an increase in property crimes compared to the same time last year, the price is steep for the John Q. Public.
Ironically lawmakers in Sacramento, aren’t the only to blame. Of course, Mejia is responsible due to his criminal actions but voters checking the “yes” box on these terrible legislations, need to bear some of the responsibility for these crimes when they occur. Their votes are part of what put the wheels to this tragedy in motion. I implore those who are tempted to vote yes on any future legislations that makes life easier on criminals to hear us when we say, “enough is enough!”
But, hey it’s only my opinion!