LASD Los Angeles County Sheriff Sheriff Alex Villanueva

LA County Supes Unanimously Call for Independent Oversight of Investigation Into LASD Shooting of Andres Guardado

Taylor Walker
Written by Taylor Walker

At the start of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas read in — and the rest of the board unanimously approved — an emergency motion meant to secure active independent oversight of the investigation into the death of 18-year-old Andres Guardado, whom LA Sheriff’s deputies fatally shot last Thursday evening.

At just before 6:00 p.m., on June 18, an LA County deputy fired six bullets into Guardado’s body, killing him. The act launched a weekend of protest in the community and outside of the Compton Sheriff’s Station, where deputies fired projectiles at protestors and threatened them with arrest for unlawful assembly.

The teen, who is said to have been recently employed to guard the auto body shop where deputies encountered him, was reportedly not wearing a uniform or otherwise identifiable as a security guard. (Guardado would not have been a licensed guard, as he was under age 21.) The sheriff’s department said that when deputies encountered Guardado, he “produced a handgun” before running away from the two deputies.

The deputies caught up with Guardado, and one of the officers fired six rounds at the teen, reportedly hitting him in the upper torso.

While the LASD took some security cameras from the area as part of the investigation, it’s not yet clear whether there is video footage of the shooting, which occurred just outside the border of Gardena. Any available video evidence will not come from deputy body worn cams, however. While the LAPD and most other large law enforcement agencies in California have equipped their officers with body cameras, the LASD has lagged far behind on purchasing and implementing its own body cam system.

Additionally, the sheriff’s department has chosen to place the case under a security hold, which means that the results of Guardado’s autopsy will not be released until that hold is lifted.

Meanwhile, “the community and family have been grieving and rightly seeking answers,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said on Tuesday. “The board must make sure that there is a robust, independent investigation of this case to ensure that the truth is uncovered and justice is served.”

“Unfortunately, the Sheriff’s department has a track record of not fully complying with requests and even subpoenas from the inspector general and the [Civilian Oversight Commission],” MRT said. “This raises questions as to whether the OIG will be able to fulfill its mandated role in overseeing investigations, including that of the fatal shooting of Andres.”

Citing a need for “immediate action,” the motion calls on the sheriff to give IG Huntsman “immediate and full access to all evidence requested in order to provide independent oversight.”

The motion also directs County Counsel to work with the OIG, the Civilian Oversight Commission, the Public Defender, and the Coroner/Medical-Examiner to identify alternative means of ensuring an independent investigation into Guardado’s death, including calling on the California Attorney General’s Office to step in and oversee the process.

On Monday, Sheriff Villanueva also sent a letter to AG Xavier Becerra asking for state oversight amid “civil disobedience” in response to Guardado’s death. “The current nation-wide political climate, lends itself to a public demand for police accountability, and the propensity of antagonists to assemble large amounts of people in a short amount of time in protest to any perception of impropriety,” Villanueva said. “Out of an abundance of caution, I am requesting that you monitor this investigation as it is conducted by our Department.”

Yet, on Tuesday, during the supervisors’ meeting, Villanueva hopped on Instagram to chat with followers about his personal feelings about the emergency independent oversight motion.

“This motion was done today – no input from anybody – it was just dumped onto this board meeting at the last minute,” Villanueva said.

“The sheriff’s department has already executed search warrants at the location,” he said. “It’s a tragedy. No way around it. An 18-year-old lost his life. Our condolences to the family of Guardado.”

“No investigation is going to bring him back to life,” Villanueva added. “So we need to keep that in mind.”

In a joint statement on Sunday, Reps. Maxine Waters and Nanette Diaz saw matters from a different point of view.

“Another day, and another Black or Brown kid has been shot in the back by police,” Waters and Diaz said. “These killings must stop. We demand it. The American people demand it.”

Addressing the board, Inspector General Max Huntsman called shooting investigations “the most difficult and most concerning process, particularly when there’s a fatality.”

“It’s necessary,” he said, “that that process be conducted carefully and meticulously.”

Huntsman called for the oversight to happen “immediately” in the case of Terron Boone, half-brother of Robert Fuller, the 24-year-old found hanging in Palmdale earlier this month. LASD deputies shot Boone, who was suspected of holding his girlfriend hostage, just days after Fuller’s body was found.

“My office requested documents,” Huntsman said, regarding “the basis of the arrest” and the manner in which the officers carried it out. “We were denied,” the inspector general said. “We have a history of a problem of establishing cooperation with Measure R,” the measure that gave the Civilian Oversight Commission the power to subpoena documents from the sheriff’s department.

Even in cases in which the investigation process must be “secretive,” said Huntsman, referring to the sheriff’s department’s decision to hold the autopsy results, there still must be “a means of verifying the integrity in this process.” That’s where the OIG comes in: to “see the evidence as collected.”

On Tuesday, after the board meeting, Sheriff Villanueva, LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, and LAPD Chief Michel Moore announced that they would be partnering on a county-wide taskforce focused on investigating officer involved shootings and other fatal uses of force.

Yet systems that allow “police to police” themselves and each other, is where problems arise, says IG Huntsman.

“When you ask the police to police themselves, inevitably members of the public wonder if that process is being done fairly, in a manner that puts evidence out that will lead to the truth no matter what, no matter who it points to,” he told the board.

35 Comments

  • The police have policed themselves since the dawn of law enforcement. What’s the need for an independent review? It’s more acquiescence to the criminal mobs running the streets these days, not to mention the war between the BoS and the Sheriff.

    They’ll check the pistol for the suspect’s DNA and will find it. Is that enough to quiet the doubters? Of course not.

    • “The police have policed themselves since the dawn of law enforcement”

      Unfortunately it has not been working.

      • Sole Survivor,

        As one who has worked that very assignment and put cops in jail when they deserved it, you have no idea what you’re talking about. It’s just a reflexive reaction for you based on your biased perception.

        • @ Dose,
          No perception, only 30 plus years in LASD.

          The names of who should have been jailed outnumber those that you jailed if you’re talking the same Department.

          The Federal Bureau Investigation did what you failed to do, lastly & specifically with Tanaka and his cronies.

          Spare me the “Jack of all trades” narrative.

  • This is RIDICULOUS! These racist cops are running AMOK! It is unconscionable that in 2020, you can’t work illegally as a “security guard” carrying an illegal, ghost gun with an illegal extended magazine and run from the cops when they approach….without getting killed!

    Just like the poor guy in Atlanta who was minding his own business, passed out drunk in a car in a drive though, who was forced to fight with cops when they bothered him, steal one of their tasers and shoot it at the cop. And the SHOT HIM! For (almost) NOTHING!

    What has this world come to? WHY can’t cops just mind their own business and leave all these young men of color ALONE?

    • This case is no where comparable to the Atlanta shooting.

      The guy was drunk, attacked the cops, stole the cops taser and shot it at them. That was a good shoot.

      So with your logic if the Atlanta man crashed and killed someone he should probably get a fine right?

  • Maybe if we only had the “Civilian Rapid Action Patrol”, also known as C.R.A.P, available to respond, these incidents would have never happened. When a criminal pulls a gain or weapon on members of C.R.A.P they will use their Jedi mind tricks and convince the scoundrel to “come along peaceble like”or sacrifice their body and take one for the team.

    I look forward to these human shields putting themselves in harm’s way and allowing police officers to go through more training classes, become obsolete and go the way of the dinosaurs.

    Guns clearly aren’t the answer when other people who have guns try to shoot you.

    • Maybe if we a CRASH ( Crooked Resources Against Street Hoodlums) this would not happen ?
      They could accept payoffs and to not shoot anybody.

  • Why are they trying to make this kids death about race? The deputy that shot him I heard is hispanic as well. Man that deputy must hate himself every time he looks into a mirror.

    • I agree with you.
      I believe the network media, civil rights attorney and social media outlets like WLA feed off the continuous the narrative of a one sided youth justice.

      We have great honest cops out there and the BLM movement’s focus is on systemic unequal treatment of the many unarmed black men shot by trigger happy cops. The racist ideology is embedded in our countries DNA and it negatively impacts people of color starting from the top official (President) down to our city leaders on how certain groups of or are treated.
      This was clearly a bad accident and that cop is feeling terribly. The public can’t claim it was a racist white cop. Cause he wasn’t. So, now they (that community) want to paint all cops as bad. I feel for the families lost. But, to much public pressure on our political leaders, law enforcement and mayor is beginning to categorize every cop as bad and racist and I don’t buy it. However, our society has passed judgement on black and brown youth living in lower economic areas from LA, to Chicago, to Minneapolis to New York for years. The mainstream media has portrayed them with a broad negative brush stroke as being animals unless they can hit home runs, be like Mike on the basketball court or score touchdowns for UCLA. Survival Cop training in the academy dictates this population of youth has a higher percentage of being associated in some form of gang activity or may be carrying a gun, so proceed with self caution all times. Split second decisions must be made for everyone’s safety. Most times the criminals, gang members, or an 11 – 18 year old with a loaded Handgun will not try to engage in de-escalation techniques when approached by law enforcement- they run. And, if they have a handgun, and the cop gives chase and orders commands to stop and drop the weapon… draw your own conclusion. Cops are unprotected and become fearful of their lives too, when giving chase. It seems the public is asking for law enforcement to allow anyone and everyone to fire upon them while attempting non- lethal techniques. Criminals who run will not practice non- lethal techniques. Is the BOS and WLA now saying it’s ok for this 18 year old kid to be in possession of a loaded gun.
      What’s California legal age limit to be able to buy a gun, let alone get qualified to carry one. It’s sad that another life was lost. I see this young generation has no respect for rules or the the law and sometimes its there own careless decision to act out that may causes a cop to choose between his life or the others. This was an unfortunate accident in my view and I pray for both the officers involved and the young mans family.

  • Good Lord…how embarrassing. Supervisor Barger of the 5th District (traditionally VERY pro-Sheriff’s Department) joins a growing group who call Villanueva what he was as a lieutenant and what he IS as a sheriff:

    https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2020/06/24/supervisor-kathryn-barger-talks-coronavirus-response-sheriffs-department-feud/

    “He (Villanueva) has the money for the cameras,” she said. “And so now it’s on his back. Get it done. Stop complaining. You wanted this office, act like a sheriff.”

    “Stop whining, and saying, ‘They’re picking on me.’ Because at the end of the day, he was elected to do his job.”

    To the deputies who STILL think he’s in your corner, make no mistake, cameras will SAVE you in this climate of cop-hating where your word means NOTHING in court. You should be DEMANDING them.

  • The primary culprit responsible for LASD’s failures to have BWC is Jim McDonnell. If he would have put more effort into the procurement process for BWC verse the disciplinary process deputies would be wearing cameras today. A secondary culprit for this failure is the Board. They set procurement policy. If you ever tried to write a SOW and RFP for a technology project and get it through the Internal Service Department, you just don’t understand the challenge. It is a five year project minimum, just to land the contract. That does not include implementation. The pace is controlled by ISD, the CEO and the Board. We continue to struggle with COVID19. The BOS initiated emergency purchasing powers and bypassed standard procurement policy to increase testing among other priorities. They enjoys broad authority to adjust procurement policy. If it is important to them, they get it done. The fact that only 19 months in office Villanueva has and RFP on the streets and will soon award a contract is great. This should have been a victory lap for him but he attacked the board on the issue and is now paying the price.

    • Seeking, Villanueva just got “bitch slapped” by Supervisor Barger. She asked him to do his job for which he was elected to do. In the humble words of Supervisor Sheila Kuehl “put on your big boy pantys” and stop self-fellating. The Sheriff has turned into a bald-faced pathological lying bull-shit artist. All he does in those pressers is deflect attention from his spectrum of responsibilities by pretending to possess some secret evil BOS agenda.

      The people of LA County have discovered they can’t trust a word he says. I must say, it took a while for them to realize he wasn’t playing a dumb and dangerous liar; he is one, and always was. The long arc of Villanueva’s ” Reform, Re-build BS” goes from the beginning of his campaign, one built on “self-victimization”.

      He is in full un-controlled fuckery mode. Have fun… more to come

    • That’s right, Blame Jim McDonnell for everything and don’t take responsibility for any of LASD’S embedded sins.

    • Word. Seeking the truth understands the ISD Procurement system. ISD needs to be broken up and reconstituted in a county department-friendly manner, not the old entrepreneurial model invented by Supervisor Schabarum.

  • “Villanueva predicted L.A. County sheriff’s deputies will wear body cameras by the first quarter of 2019.

    “The sheriff said the department has reduced startup costs that caused the initial program “sticker shock.” He said body cameras can get underway for $13 million run by a department of 11 employees, instead of the original quote of 239 employees and $55 million.”

    https://abc7.com/alex-villanueva-new-lasd-sheriff-newsmakers/4900387/

  • Why would the IG need to be involved in a criminal investigation? What authority do they have for this? Even the CDCR OIG only reviews the investigations after the fact.

    The CA AG is pointless and has been watered down ever since they got rid of BNE. Almost no one who works there on the sworn side or legal side has experience investigating homicides and OIS. If people really want to fix these things, come up with a state police or bureau of investigation that can attract retired or experienced homicide investigators to investigate police shootings.

    Why does anyone not have a problem with an 18 yr old armed working as an unlicensed security guard? Security guards don’t run from cops and usually chat them up. None of this sounds like typical “security guard work.” This sounds like a justified shooting, but I will wait for the facts to be public.

  • sildaholis, why why why. I will give you the why. Because Villanueva has burned all his bridges. Because they do not trust Villanueva. Furthermore, he has shown a willful ability to hinder investigations. Because, he has no strategy to adopt given the unprecedented circumstances LE faces in today’s world.

    • I think you have lack of understanding how criminal investigations work. Homicide Bureau is very decentralized from management and any charges (which is unlikely in this case) brought by LADA will be based upon what can be proven in court, not the whims of Villanueva. The discipline for the eventual administrative investigation will be governed by civil service rules. Ultimately, if the IG wants to get involved in that, that is fine, but they have no business being involved during the criminal investigation stage.

      • Oh to be so naive… if you think Homicide brass isn’t getting pressure from AV, the DA’s office (with Lacey up for re-election), the BOS and OIG you are nuts. Question is…who does AV want to be the DA? Lacey who is always being sweated about going after LE or Gascon, a communist and avowed anti- law enforcement (even though he supposedly once was a cop in name only) zealot.
        AV (and his progressive cronies) will steer this thing to favor his pick for DA. Sad but true, I am afraid. So sad and wrong!!!

      • silda, after almost one and-a-half year of his chaotic reign at LASD, Villanueva’s constant string of awful decision making, and fumbles come as no surprise. In this case, even his trusted snake – oil salesman Captain John McBride (who is comfortable in that corner office) failed to come to his defense for his dismissive attitude to provide the facts in this case.

  • AB, you vastly overestimate Alex’ political influence. No one with a grain of common sense wants to be associated with him. Neither of the candidates will be seeking his endorsement, or trumpeting it if they should get it unsolicited.

    • He’s working to gain influence and political capital. Not in the interest of LASO. Think about it. He works to not have Lacey bring charges- he has one group get pissed off and fronts her off. He works to allow charges to be brought, puts Lacey in corner and if she doesn’t charge, Gacson swoops in and tells how he would have. Making the libtard progressives happy!!
      It’s a crazy and irresponsible playbook but it is what is.

  • My guess:

    It’s possible we may see a day where every city and county employee who works with the public will have to wear body cameras.

    The BOS is pushing for law enforcement reforms and increased training. It’s to bad most great officers take the brunt of a few bad apples.

    I think Community stakeholders are forcing local governments eliminate school campus police in favor of mental health and social workers, and other Contracted community organizations and mentoring programs. Who’s going to protect students, teachers, and support staff from destructive/ combative students, gang activity, drug sale, female trafficking, rape, campus riots, and assaults?

    I think Mr. Gacson will unseat Jackie Lacey in November election to become the new DA.

    The BOS will vote for more releases of low level inmates back onto our streets with little to no housing opportunities, or a chance to get a job because they were locked up. Thus, contributing to the growth of homelessness in LACo.

    With the pandemic and community pressure, BOS May vote to close all juvenile halls in favor of sending kids home to there parents while waiting on their court date for their offenses or be assign to their local community Check in centers staffed by Child Protective Services, mental health and social workers.

    I think the new LA Co Interim Probation Chief will probably be BOS man of choice to oppose Alex Villanueva in the next LA Co Sheriff’ election.

  • My guess:

    It’s possible we may see a day where every city and county employee who works with the public will have to wear body cameras.

    The BOS is pushing for law enforcement reforms and increased training. It’s to bad most great officers take the brunt of a few bad apples.

    I think Community stakeholders are forcing local governments to eliminate school campus police in favor of mental health and social workers, and other Contracted community organizations and mentoring programs. Who’s going to protect students, teachers, and support staff from destructive/ combative students, gang activity, drug sale, female trafficking, rape, campus riots, and assaults?

    I think Mr. Gacson will unseat Jackie Lacey in November election to become the new DA.

    The BOS will vote for more releases of low level inmates back onto our streets with little to no housing opportunities, or a chance to get a job because they were locked up. Thus, contributing to the growth of homelessness in LACo.

    With the pandemic and community pressure, BOS May vote to close all juvenile halls in favor of sending kids home to there parents while waiting on their court date for their offenses or be assign to their local community Check in centers staffed by Child Protective Services, mental health and social workers.

    I think the new LA Co Interim Probation Chief will probably be BOS man of choice to oppose Alex Villanueva in the next LA Co Sheriff’ election.

    • @Mark Ridley
      What are you talking about? Andres Guardado was a criminal carrying a gun. Who till this day no one can prove he was working as a security guard. But everyone fails to see that. He had a gun, obliterated serial number, and a 30 round magazine for his gun. I’m sure you would rather have him running around the streets of LA County terrorizing LA County residents.

      Kids that are 18 years old should be going to college or in high school not working at a business front that is selling “NOS”. Media wake up. The simple fact that he cannot worked as an armed security guard at 18 should tell you everything about this case.

  • Guardado could have obtained a security guard license at 18 years old:

    https://www.bsis.ca.gov/forms_pubs/guard_fact.pdf

    He could not have obtained a license to carry an exposed firearm until he turned 21:

    https://www.bsis.ca.gov/forms_pubs/fire_fact.pdf

    Having neither, he was a walking, talking liability for the company that employed him and allowed an underage young man to bring an illegal weapon onto their property. Of course, none of that justifies an officer involved shooting, but it helps to understand his mentality about being armed and confronted by deputies. And it shows how he set himself up for failure, which apparently culminated in running from the deputies and pulling out his pistol at some point.

    I assume driver training is still something taught in school. Maybe it’s high time we also teach a civics class in junior high or high school that provides information about how to behave around law enforcement personnel and their duty to comply with orders.

    • As viewed on video in a TV news report, the business owner disputed that Guardado was working as a security guard at his business. Additionally, Guardado illegally being armed with an illegal firearm and illegal firearm components fled from deputies. This was at a location where a shooting murder had very recently taken place and there was no suspect in custody.

      The deputies involved appeared to do exactly what they are trained to do and what the law-abiding citizens they are protecting expect them to do.

      There are no reported facts from anuone at the scene at the time of the incident that validates any impropriety by the LASD.

      ONCE AGAIN, POLITICS AND BIASED INCOMPLETE INCOMPETENT SENSATIONALIZED MEDIA REPORTS ARE DRIVING THE NARRATIVE REGARDLESS OF THE FACTS OR THE LAW OR SOMETHING MORE SCARCE LIKE COMMON SENSE.

      For anyone other than the family and friends of Guardado who apparently and maybe even understandably seem to believe that when the lights went out a Halo appeared over his head, this incident should not be a questionable or divisive issue. Unfortunately in today’s world were the uninformed are easily manipulated, it is.

      Tragic and sad but dictated from beginning to end by Mr. Guardado.

  • @AV Clown Show….
    LOL. The facts are all there for you to read and dissect. You are ass blind as a bat. Guardado and all the other guys like him can go and provide security in your neighborhood. I’m sure he was not providing neighborhood watch services. You sound like the kind of guy that believes stranger that walks up to you is a wallet inspector lol……

    Of course a shooting is never pretty and it doesn’t come with a bow. I’m sure you make all your allegations based on what the media feeds you.

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