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Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies took into custody a carjacking suspect late Tuesday, ending a nearly nine-hour standoff in Lynwood rife with speculation that the Sheriff’s Department had cornered the gunman who shot two deputies at point-blank range four days earlier.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Bob Boese skewered that theory Tuesday night, telling reporters that the man in custody, Deonte Murray, was suspected not of ambushing the sheriff’s deputies but of shooting a man and stealing his car two weeks earlier.

The massive police presence in Lynwood was prompted by the fact that Murray, 36, had shot his carjacking victim with a “high-powered rifle,” Boese said, as well as a “heightened sense of awareness” after the attack on the deputies Saturday.

The deputies, a 31-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man, were sitting in a patrol car outside a Metro station in Compton when a gunman approached and fired multiple rounds into their bodies. They survived and are recovering.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva promised an exhaustive search for the gunman. When the department said Tuesday afternoon that it had dispatched its Special Enforcement Bureau — the sheriff’s shock troops — to deal with a barricaded suspect in Lynwood, social media hummed with speculation that they had cornered the shooter.

Boese poured cold water on the theory.

“At this time,” he said in announcing Murray’s arrest, “there is no information that would lead us to believe that he is involved in the shooting of our deputies.

“He is a carjacking suspect and he will be booked for carjacking and assault with a deadly weapon,” Boese said.

Two weeks ago, Boese said, deputies stationed in Compton responded to a carjacking in the 500 block of Essey Avenue and found a 51-year-old whose car had been stolen and who had been shot in the leg.

Gang investigators obtained an arrest warrant and began searching for Murray, who was spotted Tuesday near the intersection of Alondra Boulevard and Bradfield Avenue, Boese said. Deputies attempted to stop him in his Toyota Solara, Boese said, but Murray took off, with the deputies in pursuit.

Murray ditched the car in the 3000 block of Carlin Avenue in Lynwood and hid in a home, Boese said.

Into the evening, deputies blocked residents from entering or leaving a taped-off area. Helicopters buzzed overhead.

Christina Carrillo, 30, waited Tuesday night with her wife outside the area, hoping to reach their two children soon.

Carrillo, who has lived in the area for about 10 years, said she worried that the shooting of the two deputies in nearby Compton would increase mistrust between the community and law enforcement.

“It came close to home,” she said. “The tension is something we don’t need.”

After nearly nine hours, deputies used tear gas and a police dog to flush Murray from the property. They found him hiding inside a trash bin behind the property, Boese said.

News Source: latimes.com

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Texas Ex-Deputies Say Leaders Rewarded Force With Steakhouse Gift Cards

GEORGETOWN, Texas (CBSDFW/AP) – Two former employees of a Texas sheriff’s office say leaders rewarded officers with steakhouse gift cards when they used force on the job.

The Texas Rangers and the Williamson County prosecutor’s office are investigating at least five use-of-force incidents involving the Williamson County sheriff’s office in suburban Austin. A former deputy whose use of force is under investigation told investigators about the gift cards in a recorded interview obtained by the Austin American Statesman and KVUE-TV. A second former deputy confirmed the account to the outlets.

Deputies who received the gift cards include two involved in the 2019 death of Javier Ambler, according to former deputy Christopher Pisa. The two deputies, J.J. Johnson and Zach Camden, repeatedly used stun guns on the 40-year-old, despite his pleas that he was sick and couldn’t breathe. Pisa did not say what incident led to Cmdr. Steve Deaton giving Johnson and Camden the gift cards, and the investigator did not ask, according to the Statesman.

Former Sgt. Troy Brogden, who resigned from the department in 2019, corroborated Pisa’s allegation, telling the newspaper and TV station that Deaton gave the cards “for what he considered good uses of force.” Deaton resigned from the department last year after facing criticism for Facebook posts making light of date rape, kidnapping and the amputation of a football player.

Sheriff Robert Chody said in a statement: “Literally, the only use of cards I recall specifically was for a deputy who was able to recover some excellent fingerprints that ended up helping an investigation resulting in a warrant for that suspect and for a capture of a burglary suspect.”

“I have no idea what ‘good use of force’ means,” Chody said.

Incidents that the Texas Rangers and local prosecutors are investigating include a violent arrest that was broadcast on “Live PD” and a deputy’s attack on a 20-year-old domestic violence victim.

One incident involved an April 2019 traffic stop Pisa conducted in which he used force on an African American woman. Details were not released, but Pisa said that afterward he had expected to receive a gift card from his supervisors.

Law enforcement experts said they were alarmed by the allegations.

“That makes no sense to me at all,” said Jeff Noble, a retired deputy chief with the Irvine, California, Police Department and a national policing expert. “The incentive is, ‘Let’s go out and use more force so we can get more gift cards.’ The fear is that you are (rewarding) bad behavior.”

Williamson County District Attorney Shawn Dick declined to comment to the outlets because of ongoing investigation.

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