California cop killer was on probation the night they were killed; probation officer says he hadn’t seen him in months

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LOS ANGELES, CA – Law Enforcement Today brought you coverage of a gang member who executed two El Monte, California police officers on June 14, detailing that he should have been in prison the night they were killed.

We are learning more about Justin Flores today and aspects of this case that could have resulted in Officer Joseph Santana and Corporal Michael Paredes still being with us, patrolling the streets of El Monte.

According to the LA Times, the Los Angeles County probation department was notified that Flores was in possession of a gun, which is prohibited due to his felony conviction. It was also reported that he had beaten a woman he was linked to romantically.

The Times said that their information came directly from three members of the law enforcement community with a direct connection to the case.

Flores’ mother even called his probation officer to inform him that her son was on drugs again after his release. She begged him for help, but the probation officer refused to discuss her son’s case with her.

It turns out, the probation officer had not seen Flores in over six months. All of these listed offenses were violations of his probation and should have put him back behind bars.

The probation department had ample opportunities to have him apprehended, but never did.

Now, two officers are dead, Flores committed suicide, and multiple families are left asking why.

Former federal prosecutor Laurie Levenson weighed in.

“Nobody made it a priority. I think everybody saw this guy as a potential problem, but everyone was playing the odds that he would be brought in before there was a potential problem,” she said. “And they lost on those odds.”

As we have previously documented, Flores was a member of the Quiet Village Gang and carried quite a lengthy criminal record.

He was convicted for burglary, driving violations and numerous drug possessions.

In 2021, he was placed on probation as part of a plea deal after he was convicted of being a felon in possession of a gun.

LA DA George Gascon’s office faced heavy criticism for the plea deal, as has the probation department for their handling of Flores after he became their responsibility.

He was most recently instructed to appear in person with his probation officer on June 6th. He was a no show.

That is when his mother, Lynn Covarrubias, called in to express her concerns.

“I told them my son and his wife were doing drugs and he needed help and him going back to jail wouldn’t help him, and the probation officer told me he couldn’t discuss his case with me,” Covarrubias said.  “He said the only way he could get my son back into a program was if he did something wrong and to report it to the [sheriff’s department.]”

The officer couldn’t help her because Flores’ wife was listed as his next of kin.

While she extended her condolences to the families of the slain officers, Covarrubias maintains that her son wasn’t abusing anyone and that he didn’t kill himself in that shootout at the Siesta Inn. She says the blame for all three deaths lay in the hands of the probation department.

“I do feel the probation department should have stepped in and did more to help, to get him help. And they didn’t,” she said.

Following the murders of Santana and Paredes, an email was sent out within the probation department.

The Times said that it read, in part:

“Our field contact numbers reflect that staff are not going out enough in the community. Our caseloads are at an all-time low … we are also having a high rate of unsuccessful contacts.”

A spokesperson told the newspaper that it was unrelated to Flores. But they are starting an internal investigation on how things went where they did.

However, a person internal to the department, spoke anonymously, saying that the department chief called an emergency meeting to discuss the failures of officers to see their probationers face-to-race.

“He said, ‘we need to make sure that everybody is conducting supervision, have all your officers conduct an audit to make sure we’re making the supervision contacts.’ The words [the chief used] were ‘all hands on-deck,'” the person said.

Was it just a general conversation, or is the department doing damage control in case the fingers all come back pointed at them?

But Levinson said that the probation office is not the only one to blame. Multiple agencies missed the warning signs with Flores.

“We don’t do a lot to individualize our defendants. You’re either the drug defendant and it’s just a drug problem, or a violent defendant who we have to take seriously,” Levenson said. “What we don’t anticipate is how a person on drugs can quickly become violent.”

https://fundourpolice.com/

Suspect who murdered two El Monte police officers was on probation for gun charge, should have been behind bars

 

LOS ANGELES, CA- According to a report from Fox News, the suspect who murdered two El Monte police officers was on probation for a gun charge.

Justin Flores, who has been accused of killing two police officers during a shootout, was a known gang member and was on probation for a weapons charge after receiving a lenient sentence under a plea deal thanks to District Attorney George Gascon’s progressive policies.

Flores had a previous strike conviction and received two years probation for a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. This sentence is in accordance with Gascon’s policies that put convicted felons back on the streets without any remorse for the victims.

Those policies allowed Flores to plead no contest and receive a light sentence despite having a strike on his criminal record.

Sources with the district attorney’s office said that if Flores had been prosecuted under the normal procedure, instead of Gascon’s progressive policies, he would have likely been sentenced for up to three years in prison.

Instead, Flores was released back to the streets and murdered two police officers. This incident is likely to direct more criticism at Gascon, who is facing a second recall of his policies. The recall campaign announced that it has collected the number of signatures required to let the voters decide.

Reportedly, Flores’ first strike stems from a conviction for burglarizing his own grandparent’s home nearly a decade ago. The felony firearm charge comes from a 2020 arrest where he was also charged for possession of drugs for personal use. A statement from Gascon’s office said:

“The sentence he received in the firearm case was consistent with case resolutions for this type of offense given his criminal history and the nature of the offense. At the time the court sentenced him, Mr. Flores did not have a documented history of violence.”

LA Superior Court records show that Flores was sentenced in February 2021 to 20 days in jail and two years probation after he pleaded no contest to a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm following an arrest in March of 2020.

Prosecutors also dismissed two other counts when Flores entered the plea; one for being a felon in possession of ammunition and another of being in possession of methamphetamine. Records show that Flores was considered a felon because of a 2011 conviction for a burglary that led to a two-year term in state prison.

Court records also showed nearly a dozen other prosecutions, many resolved with no contest pleas and probationary sentences for charges such as driving with a suspended license, being under the influence of a controlled substance, or resisting arrest.

Flores wife, Diana Flores, said that the 911 call was made when she was with her husband at the motel. Diana said:

“I’m so deeply sorry. My condolences for saving me. I’m so sorry. They didn’t deserve that. They were trying to help me.”

According to a report from the New York Post, a day before the deadly shooting, Flores’ probation officer filed for a revocation hearing after the suspect allegedly assaulted his girlfriend, which is a violation of his probation.

Instead of being arrested and put in jail, Flores was allowed to stay on the streets ahead of a June 27th hearing. The two officers came under fire after knocking on the door of a room at the Siesta Inn.

Flores reportedly followed his wife to the hotel, where she booked a room to escape him after he allegedly stabbed her a day earlier. Diana said she warned the officers that her husband was not in the right state of mind and that he had a gun. She said:

“I love my husband to death, but … this wasn’t my husband. This was a monster. I didn’t want anyone to get hurt in this. I am so deeply sorry. They didn’t deserve that or their families. They really didn’t. They were trying to help me.”

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Report: Recorded prison phone call shows convicted murderer and LA gang member praising Gascon’s policies that will get him out of prison early

April 19th, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CA- According to an exclusive report from Fox News, a convicted murderer and Los Angeles Los Angeles just decided cops need to explain in ridiculous detail why they pulled over potential criminals

March 3rd, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CA- As of Tuesday, March 1st,gang member told an unidentified caller that District Attorney (DA) George Gascón’s new policies are going to get him released from prison early.

In the obtained audio, the violent man said that he was going to get Gascón’s name tattooed on his face because the progressive prosecutor massively reduced the charges in his case. In the phone call that was made while in prison, Luis Angel Hernandez said:

“I’m going to get that (expletive) name on my face. That’s a champ right there. (Expletive) Gascón.”

Hernandez is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. He said to the unknown caller:

“This (expletive) looking real good. Now we got a new DA in LA. I got court on the 14th, right here in Compton.”

According to law enforcement, Hernandez shot and killed a delivery person for a marijuana delivery service during an armed robbery in 2018. He is allegedly a member of the OTF gang.

Upon taking office, Gascón implemented a policy that barred prosecutors from applying “sentencing enhancements” in practically all cases, even the violent ones. Michele Hanisee, a current Los Angeles deputy district attorney, said in a statement:

“A robbery can be a purse snatch with no injury or it can be a gun in your face. Sentencing enhancements make sure that the perpetrator of the first and the perpetrator of the second are treated differently.”

Hernandez reportedly faced sentencing enhancements for being a gang member, using a firearm in the commission of a crime, and for the “special circumstance” of committing a murder during an armed robbery.

http://lawnft.celebrium.com/

However, according to law enforcement sources who are familiar with the case, the sentencing enhancements were dropped because of Gascón’s policy. This seemingly was cause for celebration for Hernandez who said during his phone call:

“…So, they’re going to drop a gang of, um, like my gun enhancement, my gang enhancement. My gang enhancement is 10 years fool, for being a gang member And then the gun in the commission of a crime.”

He initially faced life without the possibility of parole, but that is now barred by Gascón’s policies as well. Hernandez pleaded guilty to murder and the personal use of a firearm. He will be eligible for youthful offender parole, which would limit his time in prison to 25 years. He said on the phone call:

“…He’s [Gascón] making historic changes for all of us, fool. I’m just grateful, fool. Like, I got good news off that (expletive).”

He added:

“They’re like, ‘You’re coming home, blood.’ They already told me, my lawyer told me, ‘You’re coming home.'”

According to Fox News, this is not the first violent offender getting released early due to Gascón’s progressive policies. In February, Fox News obtained and published audio of a convicted sex offender named James Tubbs who was gloating over the light punishment he received for his pedophilia-related conviction.

Tubbs was reportedly convicted of sexually assaulting a minor in a Denny’s restaurant in East Palmdale, California in 2014. In the phone recording, he refers to his victims as a “piece of meat.”

Another leaked video shows convicted murderer Phillip Dorsett drinking prison moonshine and toasting to Gascón. He said in the video:

“Right here with my cellie. Some white lightning, a little cup, boom! Celebrating us going home on this Gascón directive.”

Dorsett was serving a 40-year prison sentence for the 2005 execution-style murder of a rival gang member.

Los Angeles police officers are now required to articulate in the moment why a traffic or other minor violation has turned into a criminal investigation.

When making these “pretextual stops,” officers must now record themselves on their body-worn cameras stating their reasons for suspecting a more serious crime has occurred. According to the new rules, officers who fail to do so will be required to first undergo additional training and will then face increasingly severe discipline for subsequent violations of the new policy.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) defines a pretextual stop as one in “which officers conducting a minor traffic or code violation escalate it into an investigation of a more serious crime unrelated to the initial violation.”

According to reports, the five-member Los Angeles Police Commission unanimously approved the new policy, which takes effect immediately.

The vote was made over objections by the police union that represents rank-and-file officers, which stated that pretextual stops are critical to ensuring public safety and should not be restricted.

However, critics of the LAPD also spoke out against the measure, saying that these types of stops disproportionately impact people of color and should be banned in their entirety.

According to the Office of the Inspector General, there were “pretty substantial racial disparities” in stops, many of which were pretextual stops, conducted by the department in 2019.

The Office of the Inspector General added that “a fairly small number of them yielded evidence of serious crimes or ended up resulting in any kind of arrests.”

According to Commission President William Briggs, those findings let the commission to request that the LAPD update its current policy. Briggs said in a statement:

“Those pretextual stops do not result in guns being taken off the streets. Those pretextual stops do not result in curtailing murders and curtailing shootings … there is no data that anyone can point to that establishes that pretextual stops curtail violent crime in our city.”

https://fundourpolice.com/

On Tuesday, March 1st, Police Chief Michael Moore responded to several concerns about the new policy. He said in a statement:

“I’ve heard thoroughly members of this organization who believe that this policy will stop us from identifying those responsible for violent crime, stop us from identifying those that are carrying weapons, firearms, engaged in street violence. I firmly believe that this is not the case.”

Union leaders from the Los Angeles Police Protective League warned that the new rules were a threat to public safety. The also said that the process by which the commission followed to change the policy violated the union’s collective bargaining agreement with the city.

The union added that they are considering legal options to challenge the new policy. The Los Angles Times reported that in a statement, the union said Briggs “should get off his soapbox, do his homework, and tell the truth about pretext stops and the important role they play in taking guns off our streets.”

The statement allegedly cited data suggesting there were 817 firearms seized during 726 stops in the Newton Division in 2021 and that those seizures “prevented our residents from being shot, shot at, intimidated, victimized, and murdered.”


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