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LAPD Arranged Downtown Speaking Gig for Convicted Mexican Mafia Lord

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck is taking criticism after acknowledging that the LAPD and business leaders met with Rene “Boxer” Enriquez, 52, a former shot caller for the Mexican mafia, while using public resources to aid his transportation and security. Beck said Thursday “mistakes were made” and pledged to “more thoroughly review future events before committing LAPD resources,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

Yusef Robb , a spokesman for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, had blasted Beck, stating, “This was inappropriate and should have never happened. We expect a full accounting of why this occurred and we are going to make sure this sort of thing never happens again.” L.A. Police Commission President Steve Soboroff wants an investigation.

LAPD Deputy Chief Michael Downing explained that the meeting was useful as it helped “inform and create awareness” for several hundred police and business officials, adding that Enriquez offered a look at a “transnational criminal enterprise … He talked about how it grew, how it was branded, how it expanded, how it evolved.”

The meeting was held at a building in downtown Los Angeles, two floors below ground, rather than a secured law enforcement facility. Metal detectors and a police dog were used for security, the Times reports, and adds that Enriquez was shackled at the waist and legs as he spoke.

Enriquez’s autobiography, The Black Hand: The Story of Rene “Boxer” Enriquez and His Life in the Mexican Mafia, was distributed; it reportedly details his rise in the Mafia and his cooperation with federal authorities starting in 2003. The book acknowledges that Enriquez killed a rival gang leader and ordered the shooting of a female drug dealer, among his many violent activities.

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