From the City Manager's Report

Please see below for an important update from the City Manager's Report in which Oliver discusses how various laws affect us, as residents. Are you subscribed to Oliver's City Manager's Report? If not, click here to see past reports and subscribe!!

MONROVIA POLICE DEPARTMENT RESPONDS WITH EXCELLENCE IN SOLVING AN ATTEMPTED MURDER CASE WHERE SHOTS WERE FIRED – DETAILS RELATED TO THE CASE HIGHLIGHT HOW THE IMPACTS OF AB 109, PROPOSITION 47, AND PROPOSITION 57 HAVE MADE CALIFORNIA LESS SAFE

As you may recall, we recently shared that in 2016, Monrovia experienced a nearly 20% increase in Part I crimes when compared against the prior calendar year in 2015.  We also shared that across all of Los Angeles County and throughout the State of California, we are seeing similar dramatic increases in criminal activity, much of which can be attributed to recent legislative changes that have occurred in the State during the past few years.

Specifically, law enforcement personnel have reported how AB 109, Proposition 47, and Proposition 57 have collectively reduced our law enforcement capabilities and allowed for expanded criminal behavior with reduced consequences.  Collectively, those three measures have impacted our police operations in the following manner:

AB 109 transferred nearly 45,000 felons from the State prison system back to local jails, which due to prison overcrowding, has resulted in the early release of tens of thousands of criminals from throughout California, the majority of whom are from LA County.

Proposition 47 has resulted in numerous profound changes to State law, including the reclassification of shoplifting, theft, forgery, or fraud – where the value of the crime does not exceed $950 – a misdemeanor

Proposition 47 also resulted in the reclassification of illegal drug use – including use of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine – from felonies to misdemeanors

According to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, Proposition 57 would allow the early release of around 30,000 inmates in California State prison

In discussions with numerous law enforcement personnel, there is little doubt that these regulatory changes have resulted in crime increasing everywhere in California.  And here in Monrovia, we had an attempted murder / shooting situation occur a little more than a week ago which illustrates just how these changes in State law are impacting communities locally.

On February 9, 2017, at 6:50 p.m., Monrovia police officers responded to reports of shots fired in the 100 block of East Los Angeles Street.  As the investigation unfolded, it was determined that the victim – who has no apparent gang ties – was sitting in his vehicle waiting on a family member who was inside a residence, when two suspects approached him and brandished a firearm.  When the victim attempted to flee in his vehicle by driving in reverse, one of the suspects began firing rounds at the victim in an attempt to kill the victim.  Fortunately, the victim was not hit and the suspects fled west on foot on Los Angeles Street.

Our police officers responded to the location and contacted the victim.  Additional police officers responding to the situation located the two suspects, who were attempting to meet a third suspect waiting for them in a vehicle near the Taco Bell on West Huntington Drive.  Based on the situation, our police officer was able to detain all three suspects, and the victim later identified the two suspects who had approached him and shot at him in his vehicle.  Those two suspects were arrested and taken into custody.

As the situation was unfolding, our police officers initiated a coordinated search for the weapon used in the attempted murder.  In order to secure a conviction, it would be important to find the gun, as it was not recovered on either of the suspects detained.  After searching all night, our day watch police officers were asked to continue the search.  Eventually, our police officers located a handgun inside the riser arms of a trash dumpster located near 132 West Cypress Avenue.

Throughout this entire investigation, our Detective Bureau was working in unison with our patrol officers.  In particular, given this terrific collaboration, Detective John Donchig was involved in the assessment and interviewed the suspects involved with the attempted murder.  This questioning resulted in one of the suspects admitting to the shooting, using the handgun, and hiding the handgun in the dumpster.

In addition, Detective Donchig presented the case to the District Attorney’s Office, who filed felony charges against the primary suspect who possessed the firearm, including charges of attempted murder, shooting at an occupied vehicle, unlawful possession of ammunition, and possession of a firearm by a felon.  Also, the investigation is continuing and additional charges may be filed on the other two suspects involved.

This case highlights some tremendous work by our entire Police Department, and illustrates just how fortunate we are to have law enforcement personnel here in Monrovia who are willing to mobilize and respond to a violent crime with such precision and excellence.  We were only able to achieve such a positive outcome to this situation because of the quick response of our police officers to capture these violent criminals.  The hard work by our police officers in searching for evidence resulted in the recovery of the handgun used by the suspects, and great work by our team of detectives during the interview process resulted in the suspect admitting to the crime.

However… there is an unfortunate part to this entire story, and that is… the attempted murder and shooting should never have even been allowed to happen.

The suspect that was arrested and charged with attempted murder is one of the few remaining gang members that live in Monrovia.  As our team has been processing details related to the case, we found out some interesting facts about his background, including the following:

He had been arrested in Ontario, California, in September 2015, as he was suspected of attempted murder at a party where a victim was shot and stabbed.

He was arrested and charged with attempted murder in connection with the situation in Ontario.

He plead down to and was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon.

He served six months in county jail, and three months at North Kern State Prison in Delano.

Based on his time served, he was released on parole last summer.

Nine months.

This particular individual, who was charged with attempted murder and convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, served nine months in prison for his crime.

And then, just a few months after he was released from prison, he attempted to kill another individual here in Monrovia.

This overall situation illustrates how the new set laws in California have resulted in criminals – and even violent criminals – being able to repeat their crimes over and over, and in the process, continue to create more victims of crime.  AB 109, Proposition 47, and Proposition 57 have made lasting changes to our criminal justice system in California that are carelessly geared more towards releasing prisoners… rather than rehabilitating individuals and protecting our communities.

Fortunately for us here in Monrovia, our dedicated and committed and talented Monrovia Police Department personnel will continue working hard every day to keep violent gang members off of our streets, and the City will continue to make protecting our community members among our very highest of priorities.  And please feel free to let me know if you should have any questions regarding this particular matter.


See Police Chief Jim Hunt go into further detail at last night's council meeting starting around the 1 hour and 57 minute mark! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnGKEqJ8n4A 

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