LAPD, Police Union Unhappy After Early-Releasd Parolee Tries to Kill Officers
From a separate police shooting | Photo by Greg Lilly Photos via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
Javier Rueda was supposed to serve 10 years for a number of crimes, but after two years he was released in January. Crimes he was jailed for included possession of a controlled substance while armed with a gun, possession of a silencer, vehicle theft and evading a police officer. When released as a parolee, he was deemed "low-level, nonviolent" and given the status as a non-revocable parole, meaning he wouldn't have to report to a parolee officer. Last Saturday, officers patrolling in the San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Sun Valley observed him apparently driving erratically and tried to pull him over in. A pursuit ensued and when it came to an end, Rueda is said to have gotten out of his car and began shooting at officers, hitting the windshield, doors and one officer, who was listed in stable condition. The officers responded by firing back, fatally hitting Rueda, while another officer suffered a fracture after falling during the incident.
Upon investigation, Rueda was found to be a Vineland Boys gangmember known as “Jayboy” or “Ghost.” They also found out about his parolee status, which prompted LAPD Chief Beck to send a letter of concern to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
The L.A. Police Protective League, the union that represents officers, had more choice words, calling the state's early-release program flawed.. "For months we have repeatedly warned it’s only a matter of time before the Department of Corrections’ ‘non-revocable’ parole policy—which pushes prisoners back onto the streets and prevents their return to prison — enables a parolee to kill a police officer or an innocent member of our community," said Paul M. Weber, the union's president. "It was only by the sheer grace of God that these officers were not killed by this parolee, who still should have been in prison."
Weber said that the state misclassified hundreds of felons in May, releasing 656 inmates that posed a danger to public safety and needed to be put back behind bars.
A corrections spokesperson said it was not immediately clear on why Rueda was classified as he was. "Obviously, offense history is taken into account," the spokesperson told the LA Times. "But when we are looking at gang affiliation, we are looking at documented proof of his involvement in a prison gang. We look at not only the commitment offense of the individual but his overall behavior in prison, which includes prison gang involvement and overall behavior."