In a unanimous vote, the Board of Supervisors approved an urgent motion authored by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas whose objective it is to make sure there is an independent investigation into the death of 18-year old Andres Guardado, who was shot to death by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies in Gardena on Thursday, June 18, according to a press release by the office of Ridley-Thomas.
“I’ve always been a strong advocate for law enforcement accountability, and the fatal shooting of this young man is no different,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said. “It is imperative that an immediate and independent investigation be conducted by the Office of the Inspector General into the killing of Andres Guardado. The community is grieving and deserves answers.”
The board requested that the Sheriff give the Inspector General full access to all of the evidence that has been asked for immediately to ensure independent oversight, per the motion by Supervisor Ridley-Thomas.
Additionally, the County Counsel, in consultation with the Inspector General, the Civilian Oversight Commission and others are instructed to report back to the Board with “alternative” plans to make sure an independent investigation in this case, which includes the involvement of the Attorney General overseeing the investigation.
The Board increased the duties and powers of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) earlier this year. This also applied to the Civilian Oversight Commission (COC) and included the granting of subpoena power. The move increases oversight after reports of “department-wide misconduct within LASD,” the press release stated.
The press release goes on to state that despite the efforts, LASD has a history of not complying fully with OIG and COC requests or subpoenas.
“This is a disturbing trend that raises questions into whether the OIG will be able to fulfill its mandated role in overseeing investigations, bringing rise to the Board action taken today,” the press release said.
“After the LASD refusal to provide the OIG with important information in another fatal officer-involved shooting, and after the placing of a hold on the Andres Guardado autopsy,” Los Angeles County Inspector General Max Hunstsman said, in support of the Board’s action today. “I am very concerned that the absence of robust third-party monitoring will permanently damage public confidence in this investigation.