A law enforcement group is blaming the shooting death of Sacramento County sheriff's deputy Robert French on a prison reform measure signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown.
French was killed Aug. 30 in a gun battle that took place between law enforcement officers and Thomas Littlecloud, 32.
“The blood is on the governor’s hands,” said Mike Rushford, president of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, a group that advocates for crime victims.
Rushford was referencing a prison realignment measure known as AB 109, passed by the California Legislature in 2011.
Littlecloud was a felon released from state prison. Under AB 109, responsibility for supervising him was transferred from state parole agents to county probation officers. But Littlecloud committed new crimes upon his release.
“This individual was a violent man,” said Jim Nielsen, a Republican senator from Tehama County. “He had many, many violent acts, weapon possessions, knives, guns, he’s done it all. This guy was a bomb waiting to go off, and now we have another dead officer.”
Late Wednesday, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) sent this statement to KCRA 3:
“AB 109 didn't reduce the amount of time this suspect -- or any other -- was incarcerated,” press secretary Vicky Waters wrote.
Waters added, "To be clear, no laws signed since 2011, including AB 109, reduced the amount of time this person was incarcerated or supervised by law enforcement after release. In 2007 he was sentenced to six years in state prison for vehicle theft and assault with a firearm and went to state prison in January 2007 where he served a full sentence until July 2011. (Under laws that have been on the books for decades, inmates get credit for time they were incarcerated during trial.) In July 2011, he was released from state prison to three years of state parole supervision. In 2013 he was sent back to prison for three years for driving recklessly while evading a peace officer and possessing a firearm. (Again, he received credit for time served and other credits that have been on the books for many years.) He was released in November 2014 to the custody of Alameda County Probation where he remained until this incident. Questions about the requirements or restrictions imposed on probationers should be directed to Alameda County Probation Department.”