Reports On Inmate Abortion and Officer-Involved Shooting? All In a Day's Work for OCDA

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The Orange County district attorney's (OCDA) office published reports from two completed investigations last week. The first dealt with a non-fatal, officer-involved shooting in Santa Ana; the suspect had tugged at his waistband, only to get slugged by police -- all within policy. And all familiar territory.

The second is more curious, as it details an in-custody death -- not of a homeless person, or someone felled by drug overdose, but of a fetus.

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Federal Lawsuit Seeks $15 Million for OC Inmate Death

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Placentia Police arrested 31-year-old Matthew Shawn Gordon on September 8, 2013 for possession of heroin. Authorities transferred him to Orange County Central Men's Jail later that day. The very next night fellow inmates found him dead in his cell. The circumstances of the in-custody death are currently being investigated by the Orange County District Attorney's (OCDA) office. Meanwhile, a $15 million lawsuit filed by Gordon's mother alleges that jail staff failed to address and monitor his severe heroin withdrawal symptoms.

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OC Prosecutors: Santa Ana Jail Inmate's Workout Was A Real Killer

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By all accounts, 51-year-old Francisco Mendoza exhibited great health for his age. Since being arrested in September 2011 by U.S. Marshals, he spent part of his time at Santa Ana City Jail doing intense one-hour workout routines. Mendoza's sole complaints to nursing staff over the years were of constipation and athlete's foot. Why then, did he collapse in the recreation yard on the morning of October 21, 2013 after doing 40 burpees?

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Remembering Transgender Immigrant Activist Zoraida Reyes

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Aimee Murillo / OC Weekly
A procession made its way down West Fourth Street in Santa Ana Friday evening in memory of Zoraida "Ale" Reyes, a 28-year-old transgender immigrant rights activist whose body turned up the day before near a Dairy Queen in Anaheim. A somber mood hung over the gathering of about 200 that ended at Sasscer Park, with mourners offering flowers, prayers, and testimonies in remembering Reyes' life. Her mother attended, as did friends and those in the activist community.

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OC DA Deems Deadly Santa Ana Police Shooting of Hans Arellano Justified

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'Justice for Kevin Arellano' Facebook page
On July 30, 2013, Santa Ana police officer Stephen Chavez conducted a homeless sweep around 2:45 p.m. in the city's Harbor Place Shopping Center. The owner of Cafe Lu in the plaza off South Harbor Blvd. and West McFadden Street told Chavez the day before that a transient refused to leave his business and made female employees uncomfortable. Chavez returned to Cafe Lu, but no problems were reported. Upon leaving the establishment, the officer crossed paths with 22-year-old Hans Arellano, though, at a makeshift mattress shelter. He issued commands in vain for Arellano to leave and later attempted to arrest him but the man fled on foot.

What happened next ultimately ended with Arellano being killed by another officer responding to the scene. The Orange County District Attorney's (OCDA) office justified the fatal shooting in a report made public this week.

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It's Clearance Week at the OC DA's Office: Two Cop Shootings, Two In-Custody Deaths Deemed A-OK! Update

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See the update at the end of this post with findings from yet another OCDA letter

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ORIGINAL POST, MAY 22, 7:03 A.M.: By Taco Tuesday, the Orange County District Attorney's (OCDA) office already put out four investigation letters. Two of them dealt with officer-involved shootings; the others looked into the circumstances surrounding in-custody deaths. Surprise, surprise! All of them cleared law enforcement of any wrong doing. Being the locos that we are, the Weekly took them all at once.

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Long Beach Cops Fatally Shoot Man With Wooden Stick: UPDATE

Categories: Long Beach, Main

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Special-FX/Flickr
*See end of story for an update with news of the family's lawsuit and a link to a video of the shooting filmed by an eyewitness.

Original Post, April 28, 2:08 p.m.: Yesterday was one of those typically beautiful and blustery spring days in coastal Long Beach. At Bixby Park, one of the city's oldest and largest, which sits on a bluff overlooking the ocean, families picnicked and played soccer. On the beach below the bluff, people took advantage of the weather to play on the sand or bike or run along the boardwalk.

That was the scene at about 3:30 p.m. yesterday when several shots rang out, according to witnesses, and yellow police tape shut off Ocean Blvd. at Cherry St., creating a large traffic jam. The tape was put up at the orders of homicide detectives: Long Beach police had just shot to death a man who it turns out was wielding a wooden stick.


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OC DA Blames Schizophrenic Man For His Death after Fight with Santa Ana PD, Hospital Staff

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On the night of December 28, 2011, Mario Marin was angry with Santa Ana churchgoers. Outside the City Lights Dream Center Church, he cursed out congregates and clocked a pastor in the face. Unable to be subdued by church members, the Santa Ana Police Department were called in.

Officers Brian Booker and Sergio Gutierrez arrived on scene. Booker tased Marin, but it eventually took five cops in total to cuff and tie-up his hands and legs, restraining him with their knees and body weight.

Did the fight cause Marin's death five days later? An investigation by the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) finds no fault with officer actions, saying Marin "was the aggressor" in a number of fights in the days leading up to his death, and that any number of them may have caused it--but definitely not the cop one!

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OC DA Clears Orange Police in Shooting of Unarmed Woman

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On June 22, 2012, Olivia Reil went to Danny K's Sports Bar in Orange with her boyfriend Robert to celebrate a friend's birthday. Everything went well enough that summer night until Reil and her man got into a lover's quarrel as they sat in his truck. The two had been going out for a year, but she hadn't yet heard those three magic words: "I love you."

Robert drove Reil to a friend's place after leaving Danny K's, but she didn't get down with him. When Robert came back out, he found that she took off with his truck.

Later on that night, according to an investigation by the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA), Reil essentially called the police on herself saying a woman was armed and seated inside a truck.

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OCDA Says No Foul Play Or Negligence in 'Hospital Booking' Death

Categories: Main

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The latest custodial death cleared by the Orange County District Attorney's (OCDA) office involved no actual jail cell. That's because the booking and arresting of Chad E. Smith in 2012 occurred in a hospital after he attempted suicide.

When he actually shot himself in the head is unclear since the OCDA's report fails to mention the date, but apparently it happened not long after Smith's girlfriend broke up with him over the phone.


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