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A Lynwood, Calif., city manager is looking at disciplinary action that could include his being fired for posting a highly controversial Malcolm X quote to describe the shootings of two L.A. Sheriff’s Department deputies earlier this week.
Councilman Salvador Alatorre says he’ll introduce a motion on Tuesday to call for disciplining or dismissing Jose Ometeotl during a special session after he posted the quote, “Chickens come home to roost,” along with an image of Malcolm X in response to the shootings, the Daily Mail reports.
“For some reason, he decided to go beyond his authority,” Alatorre said.
Two deputies — a 24-year-old male and a 31-year-old female who has been identified as Deputy Claudia Apolinar — were ambushed Saturday by a lone gunman as they sat in their police SUV near a rail station in Compton.
Both deputies were new to the force.
NEW: Jose Ometeotl, the city manager of Lynwood, posted on his Instagram that “Chickens come home to roost” following the ambush shooting of two LASD deputies in Compton. One is a 31 y/o mom of a young boy, the other is a 24 year old male deputy, both very new. @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/CpMmmEZp5z
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) September 13, 2020
Apolinar was wounded in her jaw and her upper torso, while her partner was shot in the forehead, arms and a hand. A manhunt for the suspect, believed to be between 28 and 30 years old, is underway. There is a $100,000 reward being offered for information leading to the suspect’s arrest.
Ometeotl posted the image on Instagram following the shootings with a message noting, in part, “The shooting of anyone is a wholly unacceptable occurrence in society. I do not condone the type of violence seen in the shooting of the deputies yesterday in Compton.”
He went on to say that “communities like Compton have been plagued by deputy gangs that inflict fear and violence in the community. These deputies murdered, framed and stole from the community just because they could.”
“Good deputies never turned on bad deputies for fear of retaliation and when caught most of these bad deputies kept their jobs and continued on their criminal career,” he added.
Malcolm X used the ‘chickens’ phrase in 1963 following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy as a response to what he claimed was JFK’s lack of response to violence.
The reference to “deputy gangs” refers to an alleged group of about 100 deputies at the Compton Station who are part of a gang known as “The Executioners.”
According to reports, whistleblower LASD Deputy Sheriff Austreberto Gonzalez filed a complaint in June claiming that about one-fifth of the 100-member Compton force belongs to the gang. His report claims that all Executioner members sport a matching tattoo that is comprised of a skull utilizing Nazi imagery and an AK-47 assault rifle. Black deputies and women are not permitted to join, the complaint says.
In his post, Ometeotl demanded justice for people who have been killed by police.
“The fact that someone randomly opened fire on deputies is to be expected in the society we live in today,” he wrote.
“The political climate and leadership of Sheriff [Alex] Villanueva has only sowed the seeds of anger and frustration in the community. I pray for the deputies and their families while still demanding justice for Andres Guardado, Breona Taylor, Tamir Rice, Ahmaud Arbery.”
FOX-LA reporter Bill Melugin posted on his Twitter account that the City of Lynwood disavowed Ometeotl’s remarks.
“The city of Lynwood has responded to their city manager’s public Instagram post that said ‘Chickens come home to roost’ after the ambush of two LASD deputies. The city council says Jose Ometeotl’s comments were his personal opinion & do not reflect the city’s position,” he wrote in a post that included a statement from the city.
NEW: The city of Lynwood has responded to their city manager’s public Instagram post that said “Chickens come home to roost” after the ambush of two LASD deputies. The city council says Jose Ometeotl’s comments were his personal opinion & do not reflect the city’s position @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/g3jxYuCvRl
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) September 14, 2020
“He’s not an elected official. He represents the city of Lynwood 24/7. He cannot make statements while he’s employed by our city, especially when he jeopardizes public safety,” Alatorre noted.
“Now what’s going to happen? We have the top administrator against public safety, then what do they expect from the rest of us,” he added.
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