This post is not a defense of Lucille Kring’s statements that offended so many. There are no backsies here and while Kring has apologized and redacted her offensive comments in the wake of Robert Moreno Jr.’s shooting death, it’s worth noting that, pending a final investigation, it appears the Anaheim Police Department conducted themselves professionally in responding to the threat posed by Moreno Jr.
APD and Fullerton Police are perhaps the most criticized departments in Orange County and residents in both cities along with those who “protect and serve” are still walking on eggshells in how they deal with each other. Kring stands accused of not caring about Moreno Jr.’s life and supporting “summary execution.” But as more details emerge about the case, it’s clear that Moreno Jr. certainly didn’t about the lives of others including the family he threatened with death if they told police where he was hiding.
From the Los Angeles Times: “Last Thursday, Robert Moreno Jr., 21, was fatally shot by officers following a police chase. Authorities said Moreno had fired at officers and injured a police dog, Bruno”
Moreno had a history of evading police, according to Orange County court records. In 2010 Moreno was sentenced to 30 days in county jail and three years’ probation for failing to register as a gang member. The following year he was sentenced to four years in state prison for multiple felony charges, including vehicle theft, possession of a controlled substance, evading an officer and battery on an officer.
His uncle, Max Figueroa, 30, of Santa Ana, said Kring’s comments were disrespectful and upset his family.
“What’s wrong with her?” Figueroa said. “She doesn’t give a damn about a life.”
From the Anaheim Police Blog:
Police identified the man who shot the dog as Robert Andrew Moreno, 21, an Orange gang member who was released from prison 10 days ago.
His rap sheet includes auto theft, narcotics violations and assault on a custodial officer, officials said.
He was killed Thursday when officers returned fire.
The action began to unfold about 2 p.m. near the intersection of La Palma Avenue and Citron Street when two probation officers approached three men.
At least one of them fired at the probation officer who chased him – and then the other who had detained the suspect who didn’t flee, police said.
Deputy Chief Julian Harvey said the probation officers were shaken up but otherwise okay.
As one of the suspects fled, he confronted a woman who was unloading groceries with her children, ages eight and 10.
The suspect brandished the gun at the children and threatened to kill them if they called police, Hittesdorf said.
About 3:15 p.m., Bruno joined SWAT officers in searching for the suspect. His handler had him on a roughly 20-foot leash when he gave the signal that the suspect was either inside or behind a black trashcan with a lid.
The suspect opened fire.
So for Moreno Jr.’s Uncle in Santa Ana, I ask this; didn’t your nephew give a damn about a life other than his own? Specifically the lives of the mother and two terrified children? I wonder how these children are to sleep at night and feel any semblance of safety? Sources tell TheLiberalOC the mother is grateful to police but won’t come forward due to pressure from her neighbors who hate the police. That’s retaliation. That’s intimidation. And that’s wrong. Where are the neighbors in support of this family?
By all accounts, this is an open and shut textbook case. Moreno Jr. ran from probation officers because someone on probation isn’t allowed to have a handgun, and Moreno did. He used a handgun to fire at officers and at the police dog. It’s the weapon he used to threaten a family. There is the usual investigation that will be conducted by authorities. I’ve read comments that suggest because there are no photos or video of the incident, some residents don’t believe the police account.
APD should have been praised by Mayor Tom Tait. They weren’t. Tait used the backlash against Kring’s comments to score political points. Tait told the LA Times: “It’s shocking and disturbing that any elected official would say that,” Tait said. “It’s in no way the city’s position and it’s a disturbing thing, a lack of sympathy for the family of the deceased.”
Hey Tom, how about some sympathy for the 10 year old boy Moreno pointed his gun at? How about reaching out to this family threatened with death?
The Tait Clown Car put on a fresh coat of face paint and stepped right in it. Greg Diamond accused Kring of supporting summary execution and called for her to resign. Diamond writes on OJ: “Let’s say that, as the official reports state, Moreno Jr. was hiding in or behind a trash bin after fleeing from an interaction with probation officers at whom he had fired shots. From there, he shot at Bruno — who presumably either had found him or was a good bet to find him. Now let’s add one other possible fact: realizing that he was cornered, let’s say that Moreno Jr. tossed away the gun, raised his hands over his head, and surrendered.
You’re a police officer, maybe standing near the bloody and mangled form of your unit’s beloved dog. What’s your proper response?
A. Get him away from the dumpster at gunpoint, put him face down on the ground, and arrest him.
B. Avenge the dog — and just shoot the perp to death right there.
It’s really tempting to say “B,” isn’t it? I understand the feeling. After all, that’s what happens in the movies. It’s called “summary execution” – police serving as “judge, jury and executioner” — and it has the theoretical advantage of “saving us the cost of a trial.”
The correct answer is “A.” I can’t say that loudly or often or clearly enough: the correct answer is “A.” Our justice system does not allow for summary executions.”
The problem here is Diamond suggests it was possible Moreno Jr. tossed the gun. But there’s no evidence he did so. I’m unclear why Diamond, who’s running for DA, would introduce an element of doubt without evidence of fact. I’m sure local police unions everywhere are contacting Tony Rack to lend their endorsement in November. A possible fact is Diamond has millions of dollars stashed away somewhere. A possible fact is he might have run a 9.9 in the 100-yard dash two years ago. It’s possible your plane seat can be used as a floatation device. A possible fact is a snowball can stay frozen in hell provided hell exists and it freezes over. It’s all possible, but not likely.
Further, Diamond writes:(1) It’s not my first instinct to blame the police in a situation like Thursday’s fatal shooting. I may come to that conclusion eventually, but I don’t do it easily or happily. I’m just open to that possibility.
(1) I think that valid questions have been raised about this shooting that deserve answers — through an investigatory process that all people in the county can trust.
In this post alone, Diamond has hurt himself with the law enforcement community, not just in Anaheim but all over Orange County. He’s given Tony Rack all the fodder he needs for any mailers if the DA chooses to spend any money on the race at all. I’d also argue that Diamond’s comments in the post will be Kryptonite to any Democrat Diamond approaches for an endorsement.
Commentary in the blogsphere went after Kring, but not Moreno Jr.
Cynthia Ward, president of CATER, which caters to Tom Tait’s every wish, posted this comment on Voice of OC:
“Now at the March 11 Council meeting Lucille admitted to being not very good at math, even confessing to difficulty handling the checkbook and taxes (which makes her such an admirable candidate for public office) but wow, this is pretty bad. While Bruno is a BIG dog, no doubt about that, did he take the bullets meant for three full-grown officers? Really, Lucille? One German Shepherd acted as a K9 shield for 3 adults? Lucille Kring, the gift that keeps on giving. Has she not learned yet to simply shut up before she makes it worse?”
I ask, how fast can a perp shoot three shots? Faster than it took you to read that sentence I’ll bet.
Ryan Cantor, an OJ blogger and commenter, left this gem up suggesting Anaheim would have to write a check to Moreno Jr.’s family:
“Alright, here’s a question: Just how much money is Kring’s stupidity going to cost the Anaheim taxpayer? I’d put her statement right at the top of the complaint and schedule her deposition first.
Save a trial, indeed. Way to go, Lucy. Maybe you’ll do the right thing and cut the city a check from your family trust to right your own wrong.”
That was one Cantor gem. Here are others:
“This young man’s choices have no bearing on his inalienable humanity. That was stripped from him by his elected official, which ought to shock you– which clearly it does not.”
Not sure how Kring did this when her comments came well after it was over. That said, any man that points a gun at the head of a 10 year old kid isn’t a man; he’s a coward.
“While Kring’s comments regarding the injured dog were appropriate, an individual who publicly demonstrates more compassion and respect towards an injured DOG than a dead MAN clearly lacks the moral authority required to serve a public body.
I don’t care what choices this individual made in his life. To be stripped of both his rights and his humanity in the way that Kring did isn’t forgivable.
She was elected to speak for and represent all her constituents, not just the ones whose lifestyles she approves of. This demonstrates she’s clearly not up to her charge. If I had my name on her endorsement list . . . I’d better be first in line to demand she step down.”
The dog is considered Anaheim Police. Considerable tax dollars went to train that dog and others to serve the public. The dog did his job and deserve all the respect Cantor is unwilling to acknowledge. Moreno Jr. deserves no respect at all. Why is Cantor showing more respect to a career criminal who threatened to kill a family? Simple, Kring is a threat to Tait and therefore she must be attacked.
Moral outrage indeed.
Cantor wants to know where Lorri Galloway is on this. Pretty simple: watching Tate and Kring bloody themselves with gaffes and lack of leadership. It’s March and there’s a ways to go to November and when it comes to an actual record of supporting the Latino community in Anaheim, Galloway’s record far exceeds either Tait’s or Kring’s.
Damion Ramirez, who spoke at the council meeting, and launched into a F-bomb filled diatribe, said one thing I completely agree with. He looked at Mayor Tom Tait and suggested the Mayor was impotent on the dais and “lacked the power to stop him” from launching a verbal assault on the police. Tait took it. A full on F3@% the Police.
No testicular fortitude.
It’s clear Tait has lost control of the council chambers as the presiding officer. He and Kring have left APD out to dry. Not only are the police less safe because if it, so is the public the police are sworn to protect.
We contact the DA’s office for comment. “At the end of the investigation and legal analysis, we will either file a criminal complaint or release a detailed factual and legal analysis on this incident,” said Orange County District Attorney Chief of Staff Susan Kang Schroeder.
“At the end of the investigation and legal analysis, we will either file a criminal complaint or release a detailed factual and legal analysis on this incident.” Orange County District Attorney Chief of Staff Susan Kang Schroeder