The LAPD have caused a firestorm after giving a convicted hit man who killed for the Mexican Mafia, a police escort to a meeting with local police chiefs and wealthy business leader.
Law enforcement officials acknowledged that Rene “The Boxer” Enriquez, who is serving decades in prison, received the police escort to downtown Los Angeles Wednesday afternoon where the meeting took place.
Sources said the reasoning for Rene Enriquez appearance was to give first-hand insight to the group regarding inner-workings of the criminal enterprise.
Enriquez, started out as an enforcer but worked his way up to boss type status in the organization, known as “La Eme”
He was sentenced to two 20-to-life sentences for murder, which he is currently serving.
A furious LAPD Commission President Steve Soboroff Wednesday night called the episode “embarrassing” and is ordering a “thorough investigation.”
Soboroff, who chairs the commission, which is the civilian body charged with overseeing the police department said: “There were some decisions made that in retrospect were the wrong decisions.”
According to NBC news, A source who was in attendance at the event said Enriquez had the air of a corporate leader, providing “a rare look into life of a criminal corporate executive.” The source, who asked not to be named, said Enriquez discussed “gang franchising, marketing, sales, merchandising and branding” before a crowd of about 125.
Enriquez is the subject of the book “The Black Hand: The Bloody Rise and Redemption of “Boxer” Enriquez, a Mexican Mob Killer.” In 2003, Enriquez began helping authorities lay out the hierarchy and methods of the gang.
The cost of the secretive operation, including the police escort and securing the Spring Street location where Enriquez was brought, was not immediately known.
Nor could anyone immediately say if something like had happened in the past, although some sources said they were unaware of similar session that went beyond immediate law enforcement officials or took place off-site.
A spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, who are responsible for Enriquez, had no immediate comment on the appearance, and was checking late Wednesday to see whether it had been approved.
Law enforcement sources familiar with the case said they did not publicize the event because of the potential to compromise officer and public safety. It was not immediately known why Enriquez was brought to address business leaders.
Beyond the LAPD, it was not immediately clear how many agencies were involved in the security operation. The LAPD did not comment on the specific topics of the session but explained it served an educational purpose.
“LAPD in conjunction with local police chiefs from Los Angeles County and Young Presidents Organization (YPO) met this evening with a convicted criminal who was part of an ongoing criminal enterprise,” the LAPD said in a statement to NBC News.
The Young Presidents’ Organization bills itself as “the world’s premier peer network of chief executives and business leaders” on its website.
“The purpose was to learn how a transnational criminal enterprise was built, branded and marketed. Threats to our region remain terrorism and transnational criminal enterprises. It is the hope that we can learn and develop better strategies to counter these threats to our region,” the police statement added.