Politics

After an Officer Was Killed by a Just-Released Felon, Police Chief Tells Voters it’s Their Fault.

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Two police officers were shot Monday in Whittier, California. Once has since died from his injuries. Now word is spreading that the suspect in the shooting was a recently released felon and this has many enraged.

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Officer Keith Boyer was a 27 year veteran of the Whittier Police force. He and his partner were shot during what began as a routine traffic stop on Monday.

Whittier Police Chief Jeff Piper, though, has more to say on the matter. He’s blaming the killing on a law signed by Governor Jerry Brown that aims to reduce prison overcrowding by letting inmates out early. In addition, he pointed the finger at voters who passed similar ballot initiatives.

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“What I want to say to the community of Whittier, community surrounding Whittier and the state is, we need to wake up. Enough is enough. Passing these propositions, you’re creating these laws that are raising crime. It’s not good for our communities and it is not good for our officers. What you have today is an example of that.”

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Prison overcrowding has been an issue nationwide. California, though, has not addressed the problem by increasing prison space. Instead, they are legislating away the problem. Brown’s law AB 109, moved inmates housed by the state to county jails.

Proposition 47 prevents “non violent” criminals from being housed in state prisons. Proposition 57 reduced the time even serious criminals would serve in prisons.

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Officer Boyer is far from the first officer to have been killed by a former prisoner, and not the first to have been killed by someone who had his or her prison sentence reduced. As recently as October, a L.A. sheriff’s deputy was killed by a felon on parole. The Palm Springs police claim two of their officers were killed by early release prisoners, too.

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As for Boyer, The Whittier Daily News has named 26-year-old Michael Mejia as the killer. Mejia was released from state prison AB 109. He’d been arrested “five times since July 2016,” and is believed to have committed another murder the same day he shot Boyer. Police believe he killed his own cousin in order to steal his car.