Mainstream News

Ex-Long Beach school safety officer charged with murder in fatal shooting of Mona Rodriguez

Ex-Long Beach school safety officer charged with murder in
fatal shooting of Mona Rodriguez 1

Murder charges have been filed against a former Long Beach school safety officer who shot an unarmed 18-year-old near a high school last month, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

Eddie F. Gonzalez fired into a fleeing vehicle after a fight between Manuela “Mona” Rodriguez and an unidentified 15-year-old girl one block away from Millikan High School in late September. Video from the scene appears to show Gonzalez fire at least two rounds after screaming at the vehicle when it speeds off.

Rodriguez, who was seated in the vehicle’s passenger seat, was struck in the upper body, police said. A hollow-point bullet exploded in her head, according to her family. Her 20-year-old boyfriend and his 16-year-old brother were inside the car when Gonzalez opened fire. They were not hit.

The injury left the 18-year-old mother brain-dead. Rodriguez was taken off life support and her organs were donated before she died Oct. 5, making Gonzalez the subject of a homicide investigation.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said the school district ‘absolutely made the right call’ in firing the officer who shot Mona Rodriguez.

Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón, who has promised to more aggressively pursue law enforcement officers who use excessive force, announced the charges during a news conference in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon.

Gonzalez could not immediately be reached for comment and it was not clear who his attorney was.

The shooting drew widespread criticism from law enforcement experts, who said it violated established police policies that warn against shooting at moving vehicles if they don’t pose a threat to an officer’s or another’s life, and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia had previously called for charges to be filed against Gonzalez. The Long Beach Unified School District Board of Education voted unanimously to fire Gonzalez earlier this month for violating its use-of-force policy.

Price & Product Availability Tracker

Discover where products are available & compare prices

Rodriguez was the mother of a 5-month-old son, Isael. Though investigators have said Rodriguez initiated the fight that preceded the shooting, there is no evidence that she or anyone else involved in the melee was armed.

Law enforcement officers rarely face criminal charges for their role in on-duty shootings in L.A. County. When then-Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey charged an L.A. County sheriff’s deputy with manslaughter in 2018 in a case somewhat similar to Rodriguez’s slaying, it was the first time such charges had been brought in nearly 18 years.

Earlier this year, Gascón also brought assault charges against a Torrance police officer who allegedly used excessive force in shooting a man armed with a knife during a 2018 confrontation.

The Long Beach school safety officer who opened fire on a moving car filled with young people may have violated policy, according to documents obtained by The Times and several law enforcement experts.

Prior to serving as a school safety officer, Gonzalez had two brief stints as a city police officer.

He worked for the Los Alamitos Police Department from January to April 2019, according to city officials who declined to provide details about his departure.

Gonzalez later joined the Sierra Madre Police Department in September 2019, but again left after less than a year on the job, according to police spokeswoman Laura Aguilar. She said the city “chose to separate from Officer Gonzalez” but would not provide additional information.

Police officer records are largely shielded from public view under California law, unless the officer has used deadly force, been accused of sexual misconduct or dishonesty on duty.

Read the Full Article

Mainstream News

Prepare Now Before its too Late

Discover where products are available & compare prices

Retired Patriots safety Patrick Chung arrested for domestic violence in Massachusetts
New Orleans Lifts Indoor Mask Mandate After Rise in Vaccination Rates

You might also like