The widow of a slain Los Angeles police officer has filed a $25 million lawsuit against LA District Attorney George Gascón, claiming the violent gang member who gunned down her husband should have been in prison.
Janine Paredes, whose 42-year-old husband Michael was one of two El Monte police officers who were shot dead during a gun battle at a motel in June, filed the lawsuit Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The notice, which is the first step toward filing a lawsuit, blames Gascon’s far-left criminal justice reform policies and lax oversight by the LA County Parole Board for allowing gunman Justin Flores to carry out the deadly killing spree.
“A man like Michael deserves better,” said Janine Paredes during a news conference on Tuesday.
“He deserved to be protected by directives and directives from the prosecutor, who had a legal duty to ensure the safety of not only the public but the people who serve the public. It is time Gascón was held accountable and held accountable.”
Flores, who had his gang affiliation tattooed on his face, had multiple convictions for burglary and drug possession.
He was also on probation on a weapons charge when Paredes and 31-year-old Officer Joseph Santana confronted him at the motel when responding to reports of a stabbing.
“For reasons currently unknown, and with overwhelming indifference, Justin Flores has been allowed to continue his rampage of criminal violence against unsuspecting people, including two dedicated police officers,” Paredes attorney Mark Peacock said in a statement.
“The District Attorney’s Office and County Parole Department have given an already violent man the opportunity to take the life of Michael Paredes, a beloved husband, father, friend, son and police officer.”
Flores shot both officers in the head before fleeing the motel and engaging in a firefight with other officers in the parking lot, authorities said.
The suspect was also killed in the ordeal, but coroner records later showed he died from a gunshot wound to the head and his death was ruled a suicide.
In the days after the shooting, the grieving families of the killed officers slammed Gascon – arguing that Flores should not have been paroled on the weapons charge.
Critics also claimed Flores, who was sentenced to two years’ probation as part of a plea deal, would have been in prison had prosecutors not refused to file surcharges against defendants.
Gascón has repeatedly defended the conviction, saying the plea deal is compatible with previous governments.
The prosecutor’s office said it has not yet been informed that Paredes’ widow intends to file a lawsuit against her.
“Our hearts go out to the family of Sgt. Paredes. His tragic murder is a devastating loss to his family, friends and the community he valiantly served. We have nothing but empathy for those who are suffering,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
“We were not informed that Sgt. Paredes’ widow wanted to file a lawsuit against our office. We have not reviewed the legal documents and cannot comment at this time. Again, our hearts go out to the victims of this terrible tragedy.”
https://nypost.com/2022/11/30/widow-of-slain-cop-michael-paredes-files-25m-claim-against-la-da-gascon/ Michael Paredes’ widow files lawsuit against LA DA George Gascón