California prison reform laws under fire in aftermath suspected gang member’s murder of Whittier cop

After the killing of a Whittier police officer by a man with suspected gang ties, new focus is being drawn onto California Assembly Bill 109 – legislation signed into law by Gov. Brown in 2011 that critics say illustrates the danger of putting repeat offenders back on the street too soon.

Michael Christopher Mejia, 26, had been arrested five times in the last year before he killed veteran officer Keith Boyer during the scene of an accident on February 20. Mejia was under the supervision of a probation officer, benefiting from the provisions under AB109, the bill enacting so-called “realignment” by shifting prisoners from state prisons to local jails, or releasing them entirely under supervision to deal with overcrowding.

Since its enactment, law enforcement agencies and politicians have warned it poses a threat to public safety, with Southern California police chiefs calling it “dangerous public policy” back in 2013.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors cited AB109, as well as Propositions 47 and 57, for creating “additional and considerable” safety threats to police departments.

“We need to wake up. Enough is enough. You’re passing these propositions, you’re creating these laws. … It’s not good for our community (and) it’s not good for our officers,” Whittier police chief Jeff Piper told the media in an emotionally charged press conference.

During a time of heightened scrutiny of law enforcement nationwide, in part due to the perceived anti-cop rhetoric from groups like Black Lives Matter, California is becoming more and more of a flashpoint in the debate over how to confront the issue of violent crime and police engagement.

“As soon as realignment became a reality here in California, we knew as police chiefs that it was going to be a big problem,” said Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas.

However, UC Irvine criminologist Charis Kubrin says the research indicates that AB109 isn’t responsible for an increase in violent criminal activity in the state, declaring that “there is no doubt in my mind that AB109 had zero impact.”

But as The Mercury News notes, few reviews of the law exist because the state did not apportion funds for studying AB109’s effects. Furthermore, four officers killed in Southern California in the last six months were by repeat offenders, including the murders of a Palm Springs officer and an L.A. County Deputy Sheriff, both which made national headlines.

While it appears more inquiry may be needed to understand the full effects of prison reform legislation, cities like Los Angeles are continuing to grapple with an increase in violent crime, with homicides rising for a third year in a row, reversing a decline that began in the 1990s.

Drew Gregory Lynch is a CalWatchdog contributer



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  1. Luddite
    Luddite 3 March, 2017, 09:56

    California needs its own border guards, like we had in the Great Depression. Then, when we release repeat offenders, give them one-way tickets to Chicago, and don’t let them back in!

    Reply this comment
  2. Standing Fast
    Standing Fast 3 March, 2017, 10:02

    Wasn’t this the outcome predicted by all those mean-spirited folks who pay the bills around here?

    Reply this comment
  3. Queeg
    Queeg 3 March, 2017, 12:13


    If Plutocrats make State sanctuary, you will see rise of regional and city militias to provide encouragement of local law enforcement to protect patriots and innocents from the ravages of the Thurlingen and Visigoth invasion.

    For who can you trust when rule of law succumbs to PC maddens.


    Reply this comment
  4. Mike
    Mike 4 March, 2017, 05:59

    The police officer’s demise is not a goid thing, but there will

    Reply this comment
  5. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 4 March, 2017, 07:09

    Another liberal bill signed into law by Moonbeam Brown another liberal law Moonbeam has left his hoof print on more reasons he needs to be voted out of office next year along with the sponsor of the bill and more reasons gangs need to be controled

    Reply this comment
  6. JPR11
    JPR11 4 March, 2017, 09:53

    CA should release prison criminals/gang members in Sanctuary Cities/Counties where law enforcement has been told to stand down. This will provide immediate employment for those seeking study pay.

    Reply this comment
  7. Bubba
    Bubba 5 March, 2017, 06:40

    I wonder if that gang banger, repete felon who shot that Whitter policeman waited ten days and passed a background check before he got his gun?
    But folks don’t worry now the here in the land of the fruits and the nuts Moonbeam Newsome et al have convinced the liberal morons of this state that background checks and waiting periods to purchase ammunition Dr the few remaining guns we pesants are allowed to own will some how make us even safer from criminals!

    Reply this comment
  8. Dork
    Dork 6 March, 2017, 07:01

    SO WHAT? Nobody, especially the various Police Agencies GAVE A DAMN when Innocent Civilians are slaughtered at the hand of Political Correctness. Only when a man in a Magic Blue Costume pays the Ultimate Price for Political Correctness does ANYONE say Anything or care.

    Now is the Time to DISARM ALL POLICE OFFICERS in California so that they can have the SAME chances for survival as Regular Citizens.

    Reply this comment
    • American Patriot
      American Patriot 7 March, 2017, 22:55

      Dork, YOU ARE A MORON!!!!

      I hope that you or someone you love’s life depends on a brave police officer to save soon and he or she fails to show in time!!!!!

      Reply this comment
  9. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 6 March, 2017, 15:22

    All those fools who want us to welcome the so called refugees from islamic nations should just house them and give their living space in their vast estates that includes the hollywood airheads and the demacrats

    Reply this comment
  10. Standing Fast
    Standing Fast 7 March, 2017, 12:34

    Dear Friends:

    Well, how does the saying go? “You reap what you sow.”

    Call in the reapers because the corn is coming up a cropper.

    Reply this comment

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