We’re not against the police. We’re not against the police department, but we are against police who commit misconduct (and those who help to cover it up).
It’s been 26 days since Omar Abrego, 37, was pulled over by LAPD officers in front of his home in the 6900 block of Main Street in South L.A. According to the LAPD, Abrego was pulled over for allegedly driving erratically, speeding and had almost hit a pedestrian. He did not immediately pull over when signaled to by the police.
“After the vehicle stopped at 69th and Main, the suspect started to flee and the two supervisors caught the individual and an altercation ensued,” LAPD Commander Andrew Smith said. “As a result of that altercation … the suspect had a laceration and that’s one of the reasons they called the ambulance.”
The father of three died about 12 hours after the incident occurred which coincidentally was just four blocks from where Ezell Ford would be shot and killed nine days later.
Family members and witnesses told KTLA they saw officers beating Abrego.
“They were beating him real bad, and he died of the wounds,” said Yair Abrego, the victim’s brother.
A witness who did not want to be identified said he saw officers strike Abrego’s face while he was down. Cellphone video from the scene appeared to show Abrego bleeding when he was on the ground.
“I witnessed the officer, the sergeant for LAPD, strike the individual twice in the face with his fist. Then officers arrived on the scene,” the witness said. “I saw a lot of blood on the suspect’s face.”
Another witness, who also wished to remain anonymous, added that police appeared to punch the man for about 10 minutes.
The witness also told KTLA that officers beat Abrego with a baton.
Despite pressure from the community, Chief Charlie Beck and the Los Angeles Police Department continue to refuse to name the officers involved. I get that, but it’s been 26 days and the community deserves an answer to a very basic question.
I’ve been given the names of the officers allegedly involved. I hadn’t revealed that information up until now because I had hopes that the Department would do the right thing and tell the community in a timely manner. I also didn’t want to create any additional victims in this situation by not giving the Department and the officer’s the opportunity to batten down the hatches. You know, get their affairs and families in order. An opportunity that Omar Abrego and his family was not afforded.
So…according to reliable sources, the officers allegedly involved in the August 2, 2014 altercation that led to the death of Omar Abrego are LAPD’s Newton Division gang unit supervisors Sergeant II Roberto Calderon (Serial No. 27569) and Sergeant Jeff Mares (Serial No. 31233). They work directly under Newton Division Lieutenant Andrew Barboza and Captain Ed Prokop whose shenanigans we’ve discussed in previous articles.