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Maywood Community Exposes Police and City Corruption

by Cop Watch Los Angeles Friday, Apr. 13, 2007 at 3:13 PM
copwatchla@riseup.net (562) 252-8501

Maywood, CA -- A prime example of how the police, government officials, and local capitalists are working together in this police state to exploit and oppress our people.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Cop Watch LA Media

copwatchla@riseup.net

(562) 252-8501



Maywood Community Exposes Police and City Corruption

Maywood, Calif. (April 12, 2007) – Several Maywood police officers along with City Council Member Samuel Peña and Maywood Club Tow Owner Tooradj Khosroabadi have been exposed by Maywood community members who have experienced first-hand the city’s corruption and abuse.

The organization Padres Unidos de Maywood (United Parents of Maywood) with support from Cop Watch Los Angeles and a handful of dedicated lawyers has been organizing the community and fighting back against these outrageous cases of police brutality and against the greedy politicians and businesses’ exploitation of the people of Maywood. The following is a list of the individuals and their offenses.

Officer Pablo Cunningham is known for harassing young people and the community at large in Maywood. On September 2006, he choked a young Chicano man while he was handcuffed and in custody. He kneed the youth in his testicles and jumped on his kneecap. They disconnected the cameras in the holding cell before the young man was beaten. They tried to get him for resisting arrest, but the District Attorney never filed any charges. The youth was hospitalized, and Officer Cunningham told the hospital that he had gotten in a fight with another inmate which is why he had bruises. While in custody, they raised the youth's bail from 0,000 to 250,000. On another occasion, with the same family, he smacked a woman in the face then molested her 14-year-old daughter (groped and touched her vagina).

Officer Meza wanted to “help” a 14 year old girl when she was on drugs and made

her a Police Explorer. He took advantage of her, and she became pregnant at 15 years old. In 2005, they took a trip to Honduras where she got an abortion. Officer Mesa is also known as “The Champ” for taking away the most cars from people. From the cars he impounded, he gave his under age lover two cars, which were both registered in her father’s name. When he would take people’s cars away he would tell them, “Tell Father

David’s mom from the Church of Saint Rose of Lima to help get your car out.” (Father David is known for helping the community and supporting them when they get brutalized by the police to win people their civil rights).

City Council Member Samuel Peña was seen at the Copa Cabana/House Lounge getting drunk while four cops provided him private security. When a member of the community called him out at a City Council meeting, he showed up to the person's house later that same night with Officer Salgada, threatening the community member not to open her mouth. They continued to harass the woman and her family every night to intimidate them from speaking out. Council Member Peña also bought two mansions in Rosarito, paid for with cash that was given to him by Maywood Club Tow.

Maywood Club Tow Owner Tooradj Khosroabadi (also known as Tony Bravo) worked with the police to tow people's cars and sell them in Mexico and Maywood. The police would set up checkpoints in the city to check if people had licenses, and then call the towing company. Khosroabadi also paid for a full expenses trip to Las Vegas for the entire police force and bought them their own personal sex workers there with the money they got from selling people's cars. Community members discovered that their cars were being sold when they would go to pick up their cars that were placed on 30-day hold and the cars were not there.

Officer Menchaca was heard saying that when he was drunk and off duty that he would kill someone. Two weeks later, he killed an innocent person in Cudahy (Maywood and Cudahy share the same police department).

Officer Mike Murielo molested two young women, touching them on their chests and threatening to arrest them for unpaid tickets if they did not talk to him. He told one of the women to put her hands on her head then put his hands down her pants and touched her genitals. The two women left the state because they were scared for their life. Officer Murielo would return to their house every night and park outside.

Officer Dennis Acevedo paid under age women to have sex with him, and he is known throughout the city for harassing young people, especially under age women. In one incident, he detained a youth for sagging pants, saying “I don't allow that, in my city people have to dress properly.”

Officer Villegas beat his wife and was never punished for it. His girlfriend was a 14-year-old Police Explorer (a program where young people get to ride along with police). When his wife found out about it, he beat her, and she had to put a restraining order on him.

Other officers were also caught sexually assaulting women and harassing youth, including disabled youth, by taking them out of their homes at gunpoint while flashing lights at them. Former Maywood Police Chief Bruce Leflar was aware of all these cases and did nothing to address them, which has left the community on their own to stand up for themselves and fight back for justice.

The city of Maywood serves as an example of how the police conspire with and defend politicians and capitalists and have no interest in protecting the people who live in those communities. The people of Maywood live in fear of being targeted for resisting against the police who assault, rape, murder, and repress their neighbors and family members.

In a Maywood City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 27, 2007, there was a youth present who had missing teeth as a result of police brutality. His only crime was witnessing his neighbor being beat by cops, and was himself beat after he asked the cops for their badge numbers. He spoke out, “I'm not scared of gang members, I'm scared of the cops. They are the biggest gang.”

Cop Watch Los Angeles is a program dedicated to the struggle that will end police terrorism through collecting information on and observing police activity, by offering support to those caught in the criminal injustice system, fighting for change without a reformist consciousness, and working side-by-side with oppressed communities to create revolutionary alternatives to policing, prisons, and all systems of domination, oppression and exploitation.





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