Tags: US | LAPD | Mexican | mafia

LAPD Criticized for Event Featuring Ex-Mexican Mafia Leader

Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 06:42 PM

An ex-Mexican Mafia leader serving life in prison for murder was escorted by police to speak at a gathering of police chiefs and business leaders, prompting criticism and a call for a probe from the head of the civilian oversight commission for the Los Angeles Police Department, which organized the event.

Steve Soboroff said the public was unnecessarily endangered Wednesday by having Rene "Boxer" Enriquez speak in a downtown Los Angeles building that required 23 elite LAPD officers to secure.

Participants were provided refreshments and a book about Enriquez's life and rise to power.

"If you step back and look, the perception is it's like 'meet a real-life Mexican Mafia informant and have some hors d'oeuvres and get a book,'" Soboroff said. "That's not the purpose of training ... those were the true judgment errors."

Soboroff said he has asked the LAPD's independent Inspector General Alex Bustamante to review the event.

The roughly 90-minute meeting, first suggested by a chapter of the Young Presidents' Organization, provided valuable information on the growth and operations of a transnational criminal enterprise, said LAPD Deputy Chief Michael Downing, who heads the department's counter-terrorism and special operations bureau.

SWAT officers had to be in place six hours in advance to secure the area, according to Soboroff. He said the event could have instead been held in an already secure location such as a police station, the police academy or even Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

Soboroff said the group of business executives could have been briefed afterward, but "in retrospect, I think it was a mistake to have them attend."

Linda Fisk, a spokeswoman for the Young Presidents' Organization, didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Enriquez gave a PowerPoint presentation and spoke about how he was instrumental in building a transnational criminal enterprise and about the group's influence on tens of thousands of violent gang members, Downing said.

"This guy talked like he was a sophisticated CEO of a major corporation and even though he did that, we realized he's manipulative, deceptive and a violent criminal," Downing said.

Soboroff said the training may have been valuable but its location and who was allowed to attend was problematic.

It was "something we should take responsibility for and make sure that doesn't happen again," he said.

Downing said that in retrospect the event, which was held two floors below ground and didn't impact traffic or close streets, could have been held in a more secure offsite area to avoid potential disruptions.

Enriquez has previously talked to law enforcement officers, including personnel from federal agencies, 15 times or so over the years, Downing said.

Police chiefs from at least eight departments around the region attended the event on Wednesday along with detectives from LAPD Robbery-Homicide, FBI officers and others, Downing said.

Downing said other people might be brought out of prison for similar events. He declined to comment on whether he would restage the event Wednesday with Enriquez.

"I don't think we should be ... afraid," he said, noting the event had been approved by the district attorney. "I think it helps us work smarter; I think it helps us look over the horizon to see what threats are coming [and] what we can do to build better strategies."

 

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
1Like our page
2Share
US
An ex-Mexican Mafia leader serving life in prison for murder was escorted by police to speak at a gathering of police chiefs and business leaders, prompting a call for a probe from the head of the civilian oversight commission for the Los Angeles Police Department.
US, LAPD, Mexican, mafia
542
2015-42-29
Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 06:42 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved