California Cops Generate Two More Drug War Deathsby Phillip Smith
Feb. 05, 2014
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California police have shot and killed two people in separate drug law enforcement incidents in the past week. Luis Morin of Coachella and Mark Ayala of El Centro become the 7th and 8th persons to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.
According to the San Bernardino Sun, citing police sources, the first killing, which occurred last Monday night, happened when a Riverside County sheriff's deputy attempted to arrest Morin on felony warrants.
"When the officer attempted to take the subject into custody, an altercation occurred, which resulted in an officer-involved shooting," Deputy Armando Munoz said.
Morin died at the scene, according to the coroner's office.
Police didn't specify what the warrants were for, but later in the week, Morin's family members told KESQ TV News that one was for possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and the other was for grand theft auto. The family also expressed anger with the unnamed deputy who shot Morin.
"He did not come to serve a warrant," said Morin's father. "He came with bad intentions. I would love to see him prosecuted."
The deputy has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation by Riverside County prosecutors.
Two days later, according to KSWT 13 News, citing police sources, members of the Imperial County Narcotics Task Force shot and killed Ayala in a taxi in El Centro. The Imperial Valley Press reported that task force members present included Border Patrol and DEA agents, as well as agents from the Imperial County District Attorney's Office.
Police said Ayala was wanted for unspecified parole or probation violations and that he was armed. But they did not say whether he had brandished a weapon or fired at them. Ayala was hit by multiple shots and died at the scene. No police were injured.
A witness, who didn't want her name used, told KSWT 13 that Ayala was still in the back seat of the taxi when officers opened fire.
"I was in the kitchen and heard tires screeching and then I went outside," said the woman identified only as Guadelupe, whose remarks were printed in Spanish. "When I got outside, I saw a taxi and the officers were already pointing their guns at the guy in the back seat. "There was a lot of shooting," she said.