OCDA Clears Sheriff's Deputy in Fatal Shooting of Connor Zion

Categories: Main

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Connor Zion
Just days after the mother of Connor Bishop Zion filed a $25 million wrongful death lawsuit, the Orange County District Attorney's (OCDA) office cleared Michael Higgins, the sheriff deputy that shot the 21-year-old dead.

On the morning of September 24, 2013, Kimberly Zion received a call from her son's roommate, concerned about the seizures Connor had suffered the past few days. She flew from her home in Washington and arrived at their Laguna Niguel condo later that evening.

According to the OCDA report, that's when trouble started...

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OC Prosecutors: Nothing Fishy in Theo Lacy Inmate Death

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In the early morning hours of September 1, 2012, Marco Ortiz noticed something wrong with his Theo Lacy cellmate Byron Ray Baker. Ortiz pressed the emergency button and told guards that Baker was having a seizure. Orange County Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Pawlikowski responded and found Baker lying unresponsive on the floor.

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FBI Informant Craig Monteilh Stars in New Al Jazeera Film

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Al Jazeera
Craig "The Bodybuilder" Monteilh
Craig Monteilh, the iron-pumping convicted con artist who spied on Orange County Muslims for the FBI, is now a movie star. Unfortunately for him, it's not as a comic book action hero in a Hollywood blockbuster, but rather an Al Jazeera documentary that has just been released online.

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

Categories: Main

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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

Categories: Main

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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

Categories: Main

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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

Categories: Main

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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

Categories: Main

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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

Categories: Main

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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*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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