The president of the Los Angeles Police Commission called for an investigation late Wednesday into the decision to use LAPD resources to arrange a downtown meeting between a convicted ex-member of the Mexican Mafia, a group of business leaders and local police chiefs.

From about noon until the evening, police secured a section of downtown L.A. near Spring and 6th streets, where the meeting took place. Unmarked sedans dropped off uniformed officers who filed into the building. Later, a bomb squad vehicle briefly stopped outside.

It's a giant waste of public resources. I have all the obvious questions. - Steve Soboroff, Police Commission president

LAPD Deputy Chief Michael Downing described the meeting as an "LAPD-sponsored event" where attendees listened to the man describe his experience with a "transnational criminal enterprise."

Downing declined to name the person or criminal organization, citing security concerns. But people seen leaving the meeting Wednesday evening were carrying copies of the book "The Black Hand: The Bloody Rise and Redemption of 'Boxer' Enriquez, a Mexican Mob Killer."

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said he was aware of the meeting. When asked what benefit the meeting with Enriquez brought the attendees, the chief said it was "not an endorsement."

"He offers a perspective on organizations and leadership that is unknown to much of this audience," Beck said via text message.

 

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