by Hristo Ivanov- Staff Writer
Los Angeles, California, the entertainment capital of the world. The natives here surf both land and sea on their longboards, wearing hats and socks with Marijuana leaf graphics and eat at In-N-Out religiously. Just ten years ago however, this was also the gang capital of the world, motherland to the Crips , Bloods and MS-13 gangs and host to both the “Watts Riots” of 1965 and the “LA Riots” of 1992. L.A. has always been the Wild West, and unfortunately, it shows no signs of taming. Two ex-sheriffs have been charged with at least two felony counts each, for planting evidence in and tampering with the security systems of a Medical Marijuana Dispensary.
Julio Cesar Martinez (39) and Anthony Manuel Paez (32) have been charged with Federal counts of conspiracy, perjury and altering evidence. The scene took place when Martinez and Paez were patrolling West 84th Place in Los Angeles on Aug. 11, 2013. The Officers claim they were monitoring a drug deal, when they noticed that one of the suspects “appeared” to be carrying a gun. As the deputies commenced the pursuit, the two suspects were seen running into a nearby Medical Dispensary. Martinez claimed that as soon as he followed the suspects into the building, he discovered a gun in a garbage bin and another on a desk next to some ecstasy pills. Naturally, the suspects were arrested on the grounds of owning and carrying an unregistered firearm and possession of a controlled substance while armed.
Fortunately, the charges were dropped. The police departments Internal Criminal Investigation Bureau found evidence “inconsistent” with that mentioned in the deputies’ report, prosecutors told the L.A. Times. Upon further questioning prosecutors revealed that the deputies not only did not have a warrant with which to justify entry on the premises, but also tapped the security cameras whilst performing their search and seizure . The ex-deputies are currently out on a $50,000 bail, and await arraignment on June 17- when they face more than seven years in state prison, if convicted.
Tampering and planting evidence are small fry counts when looking at the bigger picture. The LAPD and Los Angeles Sheriff’s Dept. have been scrutinized for decades about their use of violence and brutality to get the job done. This is not to say that the service men and women of L.A. are honestly represented by these few- but there is something gravely amiss. Viral videos of police beatings have begun spreading throughout social media and have infected the community (especially the youth) with fear and mistrust towards their supposed protectors.
This luxurious position of wrong-doing with no consequence is one the LAPD and Sheriff’s department are thoroughly enjoying. What should be dually noted by our courteous service men however- is that we pay their salaries. We paid for their Crown Vics, their 9mm Berretta’s and those ugly Oakley sun glasses they have elected to wear for some strange reason. The point being that their jobs exist solely for our comfort and protection. One only needs to imagine the fear and frustration of having to deal with a “Rooster Cogburn” wannabe, to realize the gravity of this issue LA has on its hands. The run and gun lifestyle has been long forsaken by the LA community. The LA atmosphere is transitioning into something much more refreshing and productive; an atmosphere of peace- and God knows we don’t need any more pollution.