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ximena meza

9-year old Ximena Meza, murdered in a gang shoot-out crossfire on Thursday evening.

 

Welcome news. The Anaheim Police Department issued this press release today:

Anaheim Police Arrest Two Suspects in Murder of Ximena Meza – Press Conference Scheduled to Discuss the Investigation Incident Overview

On Wednesday, October 22, 2014 around 7:15 P.M. Anaheim Police Officers were called to the 2300 block of W. Greenacre Ave. to investigate the shooting of 9 year-old Anaheim resident Ximena Meza. Meza had been to the front of her apartment complex playing with her sisters when gunshots rang out. Meza was struck once in her chest by an assailant’s bullet. She was rushed to a local hospital and succumbed to her injuries around 8:00 P.M.

Investigation
In the short time since the shooting, Anaheim Police Department Homicide Detectives have been tirelessly working to find the person(s) responsible for the murder of Meza. The investigation included a community meeting at Brookhurst Park, the interview of numerous witnesses, and the processing / collection of evidence. Preliminarily the investigation suggests two or more suspects drove down Greenacre Ave. from Crescent Ave. in a white vehicle. Near where Meza and her sisters played, a male suspect exited the white car and opened fire with a handgun. His intended targets were a group of men who were congregated just west of where Meza played. Meza and her sisters were caught in the line of fire. The group of men fled the scene on foot while the white car, containing the suspect, sped away. It is believed the shooting was gang motivated. To date, no additional victims have been located.

On October 24, 2014 shortly after 11:00 P.M. two suspects were arrested at the Anaheim Police Department for the shooting death of Ximena Meza. Ricardo Cruz, 19, of Buena Park and Alfredo Miguel Aquino, 20, of Anaheim were arrested and booked for Murder.  They are currently being held, on 1 million dollars bail, at the Anaheim Police Department Temporary Detention Facility. At the time of this writing, booking photographs of the suspects are not available. However, they will be available at the press conference.

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This mailer hitting Mayor Tom Tait on crime and public safety started landing in voter mailboxes yesterday:

Citizens hit on Tait with TR 10-23-14_Page_1 Read the rest of this entry »

This came over the transom this morning from the Anaheim Police Association, in response to recent mailers from the Tat for Mayor campaign. The APA says the mailers use “photographs of Tom Tait with Anaheim Police Officers and Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada…without consent from these officers and violate California Government Code Section 3206” and criticizes the Tait campaign for “suggest[ing] that Mayor Tait has Anaheim Public Safety support” when the “Anaheim Police Association has strongly endorsed Lucille Kring against Mayor Tom Tait in the 2014 election.“:

Cease  Desist Tait 2014_Page_1

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Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray

Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray

Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray published this op-ed in the Orange County Register:

As the mayor pro tem for the city of Anaheim, public safety is my top priority. There is nothing more important we can do as public servants than to ensure the security of our residents.

At a recent City Council meeting, I proposed a new budgetary initiative to restore the Anaheim Police Department to pre-recession levels. My proposal seeks to hire 40 additional officers over the next four years.

The city’s police officers place their lives on the line every day to serve Anaheim. Following the recent attack on an Anaheim family and officers, which resulted in the serious injury of Anaheim’s K-9 officer Bruno, our city came together to honor our men and women in uniform. We were so heartened when Bruno was able to return home to his family and handler, Officer R.J. Young. My fellow council members and I were honored to host Bruno for his official retirement ceremony on Tuesday at City Hall. Special thanks is owed to all the members of the community who have shown their support for Bruno and our officers.

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Anti-police graffiti spray-painted on Anaheim City Hall by protester.

Anti-police graffiti spray-painted on Anaheim City Hall by protester.

The OC Register has a few photos from yesterday’s anti-police protest in front of Anaheim City hall and the Anaheim Police Department.

It’s amazing (but not really surprising) how the OCR managed to almost completely avoid posting pictures of the red flags emblazoned with the likeness of the murderous Communist thug Che Guevara; the plenitude of signs (often carried by children) calling the police (Anaheim and otherwise) murderers and racists or the many placards supplied by the Party for Socialism and Liberation; or even a single photo of the omnipresent platoon of National Brown Berets, who seemed to be function as protest security.

Instead, the OC Register article by Jessica Terrell described the scene this way:

Carrying signs with words like “We are not anti police, we are anti police brutality” and “protect and serve, not attack and kill,” local protesters said they hoped the event would raise awareness about police tactics and inspire more residents to attend council meetings and become politically active in the city.

Was Ms. Terrell at the same protest I was? You really had to make to make an effort to cherry pick out such atypically milquetoast placards from the more typical ones like “APD Are Known To Murder Young Fathers.”

Click on this link to the AnaheimBlog’s Flickr photostream and view photos I took at the protest, which will provide you with a much more complete and truthful portrait of the nature of yesterday’s protest – which may have been mostly peaceful in terms of violent or belligerent behavior (excluding the incident where one of the protesters grabbed my iPhone and threatened to fight me for it), it was definitely not peaceable in attitude.

The OC District Attorney’s office has published its letter from OCDA Senior Deputy District Attorney Stephen J. McGreevy to interim Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada, detailing its “official investigation and legal conclusion” regarding the officer-involved shooting of Joel Acevedo on July 22, 2012.

Here’s the letter. I haven’t read the letter, but here is the conclusion:

“Based on all evidence provided to the OCDA, the entirety of the facts contained in the reports reviewed, and pursuant to the applicable legal principles, it is our legal opinion that the evidence does not support a finding of criminal culpability on the part of Officer Phillips and there is substantial evidence that the officer’s actions were justified under the circumstances when he shot Acevedo on July 22, 2012.”

“Accordingly, the OCDA is closing its inquiry into this incident.”

UPDATE: After reading the letter, I don’t see how any reasonable person can conclude the shooting wasn’t justified.  The evidence supports the testimony of Officers Kelly Phillips, Trang Pham and Daniel Lambaren. There is no evidence to support the cockamamie theory that the officers “executed” Acevedo and planted the gun on him.

As the letter summarizes the evidence:

  • Officer Phillips knew the individuals involved attempted to flee from police even before the police had attempted to stop them, that they had engaged in a high speed chase, that the driver was affiliated with a criminal street gang, that they were in the main area of the gang’s criminal activity, and that one of the fleeing passengers of this car dropped and then picked up a heavy object that was consistent with a weapon.
  • Officers Phillips, Pham and Lambaren were dressed as police officers and engaged in a foot pursuit of these three individuals;
  • Officer Philips saw Acevedo in close proximity to his location and then heard gunfire from Acevedo’s direction;
  • When Officer Phillips heard the gunshots, Acevedo was in a position of advantage — i.e., Acevedo was concealed in the darkness behind a car while Officer Phillips was standing vulnerable in the parking lot;
  • Officer Phillips then saw Acevedo moving behind a car and he believed that he was in a “kill or be killed” scenario when he shot Acevedo;
  • After shooting Acevedo, Officer Phillips saw a gun in Acevedo’s hands;
  • Acevedo’s DNA was found on a gun located by CSI investiogator’s by Acevedo’;s feet;
  • 3 expended cartridges were found near Acevedo that were found to have been fired from Acevedo’s firearm;
  • A bullet fired from Acevedo’s gun was located in the parking lot behind the area where Officer Phillips had stood prior to shooting at Acevedo.

Put more simply: Joel Acevedo was a gang member with a  criminal record. He was high on drugs while a passenger in a stolen car whose driver was fleeing police; he jumped out of the car and ran away from the police; he then hid among parked cars and fired several rounds from a concealed position at the pursuing officer, who was in an exposed position — and the officer fired back. Three ejected casings and a fired bullet from Acevedo’s gun were recovered and Acevedo’s DNA was on the pistol.

The driver of the stolen SUV and source of the “Joel Acevedo was executed” story is shown to have no credibility.

Of course, there are those who will persist in believing — against all evidence — that the Anaheim police executed Acevedo and planted the gun. That is because to the conspiracist, the lack of evidence proves the conspiracy.

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