The day after 18-year-old Mona Rodriguez—who was shot by a Southern California college security officer final week—was taken off life assist, the Lengthy Seaside Police Division introduced that it’s investigating the incident as a murder.
“Yesterday, Oct. 6, 2021, Manuela ‘Mona’ Rodriguez, who was struck within the higher physique in a capturing incident on Sep. 27, 2021, succumbed to her accidents,” the department said in a statement released Thursday. “In mild of this information, detectives at the moment are investigating this matter as a murder.”
A Lengthy Seaside PD spokesman confirmed to The Every day Beast that an investigation is underway, however couldn’t present a timeline for its completion.
The announcement follows Wednesday’s firing by the Lengthy Seaside Unified Faculty District (LBUSD) of the officer concerned, Eddie F. Gonzalez, for violating district coverage on the usage of power, Superintendent Jill Baker stated at a information convention.
“After our inner evaluation, we clearly noticed areas the place the worker violated district coverage and didn’t meet our requirements and expectations,” Baker informed reporters. “We imagine the choice to terminate this officer’s employment is warranted, justified and fairly frankly, the appropriate factor to do.”
Jerlene Tatum, a neighborhood advocate working with the Rodriguez household, informed The Every day Beast that they’re “grateful” Gonzalez’s employment has been terminated, however that the household is hopeful he’ll quickly be arrested and charged.
Rodriguez was shot on the afternoon of Sept. 27, whereas sitting in a automobile close to Lengthy Seaside’s Millikan Excessive Faculty. Moments earlier, Rodriguez had been in the course of the road, combating a 15-year-old lady shortly after college set free for the day. When Gonzalez occurred upon the scene, he reportedly warned the pair he would pepper spray them in the event that they didn’t break it up. Rodriguez then bought again within the automobile, which began to tug away, in response to bystander video of the interaction. Immediately, Gonzalez, who was standing beside the entrance passenger door, fired two photographs on the shifting automobile, putting Rodriguez.
“Investigators have decided a 20-year-old male grownup and a 16-year-old male juvenile have been additionally concerned; nonetheless, their participation stage stays below investigation,” in response to the Lengthy Seaside PD’s launch. Detectives imagine that Rodriguez and the 15-year-old knew one another, and that Rodriguez instigated the battle.
Rodriguez spent greater than per week on life assist. On Tuesday, she donated her coronary heart, liver, lungs, and each kidneys, stated Luis Carrillo, the lawyer representing them. The medical workers on Rodriguez’s ground stood within the hallway to honor her as she was taken to the working room for her organs to be harvested. Her favourite tune, “Letter to My Son,” by Skeezy, was performed on repeat in the course of the process, Carrillo informed The Every day Beast.
And though Carrillo is happy that the Lengthy Seaside PD now considers the case to be a murder, he desires Gonzalez to be charged with homicide.
“We’re simply midway there,” Carrillo stated. “The phrase ‘murder’ is usually utilized by the county coroner right here—if it’s not unintended, and it’s not suicide, if it’s brought on by the hands of one other, it’s murder. However that doesn’t assure they’re going to arrest him.”
Lengthy Seaside college security officers are armed, however are usually not totally accredited peace officers like common cops. The official job description for Long Beach school safety officers includes patrolling college websites “and adjoining areas to supply security and safety for college kids, workers, tools and property; guarantee compliance with relevant legal guidelines, codes, guidelines and laws.” They don’t seem to be members of the Lengthy Seaside Police Division, nor are the 2 formally affiliated.
Particulars about Gonzalez’s previous have emerged slowly, and are removed from exhaustive. However the data that’s been revealed affords a small peek on the man who touched off a firestorm some 10 days in the past.
State data reviewed by the Long Beach Post show Gonzalez worked as a sworn police officer within the Southern California cities of Los Alamitos and Sierra Madre, however solely stayed on the job for a couple of months at every. Gonzalez was a member of the Los Alamitos power from January 8, 2019 to April 8, 2019, in response to the report. In September 2019, Gonzalez joined the Sierra Madre PD, staying on the job till July 2020, his now-deleted LinkedIn profile acknowledged.
As a younger man, Gonzalez was a police explorer, according to footage of a 2019 Los Alamitos City Council meeting at which he and different new cops have been launched. He served within the U.S. Marines, then went to work for Time Warner Cable, the place he stayed for twenty-four years earlier than getting laid off. In January 2021, Gonzalez was employed by the Lengthy Seaside Unified Faculty District as a college security officer.
It’s unclear why Gonzalez spent such brief durations of time as a full-fledged police officer, and if he resigned or was fired. Lengthy Seaside Unified Faculty District spokesman Chris Eftychiou told the Long Beach Post that the college district was conscious of Gonzalez’s previous employment and vetted him totally, however discovered nothing disqualifying.
In California, a cop’s personnel data are protected, “in order that the general public won’t ever know when an officer is fired for misconduct, for instance,” Carrillo informed The Every day Beast. However, he stated, the Rodriguez household plans to file a lawsuit searching for damages for Mona’s loss of life. And in civil court docket, a choose can order personnel recordsdata to be turned over to a plaintiff’s attorneys, he defined. Nevertheless, that data can’t be launched publicly.
“What we’re going to do is ship preservation of proof letters to these police departments, telling them, ‘Don’t destroy these recordsdata,’” stated Carrillo.
But, the civil course of will not be an instantaneous precedence for Carrillo, who earlier this week held a press convention outdoors the places of work of Los Angeles County DA George Gascón, to demand Gonzalez be held accountable for Rodriguez’s loss of life.
“The primary precedence is to get him arrested,” stated Carrillo. “The quantity two precedence is the disappointment, bereavement, therapeutic, and the funeral. The civil course of is coming third.”
Finally evening’s information convention, Baker, the LBUSD superintendent, provided condolences to Mona Rodriguez’s household and mates, including, “The actions of 1 worker don’t signify our 1000’s of staff who work every day to supply our college students the perfect schooling attainable.”
A GoFundMe marketing campaign has so far raised more than $30,000 to assist the Rodriguez household pay for the funeral and different bills.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/school-cop-eddie-f-gonzalez-who-shot-california-teen-mona-rodriguez-is-fired-as-police-open-homicide-probe?supply=articles&by way of=rss | Faculty Cop Eddie F. Gonzalez Who Shot California Teen Mona Rodriguez is Fired as Police Open Murder Probe