Lynwood city manager Jose Ometeotl (pictured) has been put on leave after controversial comments on Instagram
A California city official who responded to the shooting of two LA deputies with a quote from Malcolm X about “ chickens coming home to sleep, ” has been placed on leave.
Jose Ometeotl posted the quote on Instagram, saying the shooting was “ to be expected in the society we live in today ” after the two deputies were seriously injured in their parked police car in Compton, California.
Following calls for Ometeotl’s resignation, the City of Lynwood announced last night that he had been placed on “paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation.”
The city has also distanced itself from Ometeotl’s “personal views” which “do not reflect the position of the Lynwood City Council.”
Earlier, Lynwood City Councilor Salvador Alatorre said he would file a motion to discipline or fire Ometeotl.
“For some reason he decided to go beyond his authority,” said Alatorre.
The LA sheriff’s deputies, a 31-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man, were ambushed by an unknown attacker on Saturday night while sitting in their patrol car at a Blue Line subway station.
Both agents were shot in the head and underwent surgery, although both are currently in a stable condition and are expected to recover.
Police are still hunting the shooter and have offered $ 100,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.
Ometeotl shared a photo of Malcolm X in his post, using the civil rights activist’s quote that ‘chickens come home to sleep’ – said in reference to the JFK murder
Following calls for Ometeotl to be fired, the City of Lynwood announced last night that the city manager had been placed on “paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation.”
In response to the shootings, Ometeotl posted an image saying ‘chickens come home to sleep’ accompanied by a photo of Malcolm X.
In 1963, Malcolm X used the phrase to describe the assassination of John F. Kennedy in response to what he saw as the president’s lack of action against violence.
“The hatred in white men had not stopped killing defenseless black people, but that hatred, which had spread uncontrollably, had finally knocked down the chief magistrate of this country,” the civil rights activist said of JFK’s death.
Ometeotl used the phrase to describe the Compton Police Department, saying that the neighborhood was “plagued by deputy gangs inflicting fear and violence in the community.”
“These deputies have been murdered, framed and stolen from the community just because they could,” he said.
“Good deputies never turned against bad deputies for fear of retaliation, and when caught, most of these bad deputies kept their jobs and continued their criminal careers.”
The reference to ‘deputy gangs’ refers to an alleged group of 100 delegates at Compton Station who are part of a gang called ‘The Executioners’.
A whistleblower complaint filed with LA County claims that nearly all members have a matching tattoo to symbolize their status in the gang – consisting of a skull with Nazi images and an AK-47.
African American deputies and women are not allowed to join the “ gang, ” the complaint filed in June said.
Video released by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department shows the moment when male suspect opened fire on two sheriffs at a bus station in Compton
Ometeotl said: ‘The shooting of someone is a completely unacceptable event in society. I do not approve of the kind of violence we saw in the shooting of the delegates yesterday in Compton. ‘
But he added: ‘The fact that someone randomly opened fire on delegates is to be expected in the society we live in today.
Sheriff Villanueva’s political climate and leadership has only sowed the seeds of anger and frustration in the community. I pray for the delegates and their families while still demanding justice for Andres Guardado, Breona Taylor, Tamir Rice, Ahmaud Arbery … ‘
Alatorre said Ometeotl has put the city of Lynwood in an untenable position.
“He is not an elected official. He represents the City of Lynwood 24/7. He cannot make any statements while he is in the service of our city, especially when he is endangering public safety, ”Alatorre said.
‘What is going to happen now? We have the top driver against public safety, what do they expect from the rest of us. ‘
A petition has begun to urge him to resign; so far more than 1,000 people have signed it.
“A city administrator should not condone the violence against precisely those people who risk their lives for his protection,” said one supporter.
“He needs to keep his mouth shut and manage the finances of the city he has sworn to protect as a city official.”
The shooting took place in Compton, an area near South Los Angeles that has long been a focus of racial tension and distrust of the police.
Hundreds marched to the sheriff’s South LA station on Saturday to protest the deadly shootings of a black man and a black teen in 2018.
Both were killed by delegates from the station, which is about six miles from where the delegates were targeted on Saturday.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the angry rhetoric makes the deputies’ job more difficult.
‘They do their job out there and yet we have people who fan the flames of hate and just turn up the volume when we don’t need it. We have to turn it down, ”Villanueva said.
Heavily armed police officers arrived in Compton
The two officers were shot while sitting in their patrol car shortly before 7pm on Saturday
Donald Trump said on Sunday that the man who opened fire at the weekend should receive a “ quick-trial death sentence ” if the delegates die.
At a meeting in Nevada on Sunday night, he said, “If you kill a police officer, you should be sentenced to death.”
To loud cheers, he continued, “I just saw a video of that animal going to the car. They were unsuspecting, nice people – very nice people. ‘
Democratic candidate Joe Biden said that “this cold-blooded shooting is unscrupulous,” and said the perpetrator “should be brought to justice.”
“Jill and I hold the delegates and their loved ones in our hearts and pray for a full recovery,” said the former vice president.
Both deputies graduated from the academy 14 months ago. Neither has been officially named.
At a press conference, Sheriff Villanueva said the two deputies began radio contact after being shot. They were transported with the help of other delegates, ”he shared.
“That was a cowardly act,” added Villanueva.
“The two deputies did their job, looked after their own affairs, and looked after the safety of the people on the train.”
‘See someone, just walk upstairs and shoot them. It’s killing me. It horrifies me at the same time. There is no fancy way to put it. ‘
The sheriff’s office later said protesters were blocking the entrance and exit of the hospital’s emergency room, shouting ‘we hope they died’.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has offered a $ 100,000 reward for information leading to the gunman’s arrest and conviction.