LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — In a letter released Wednesday, UNITE HERE Local 11, Black Lives Matter – Los Angeles, the ACLU of Southern California and other groups demanded the resignation of Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
“For decades, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has been rife with corruption, abuse of power, and impunity,” the letter starts. “When you took office, many hoped you would work to repair the wreckage that your predecessors, including now-imprisoned former Sheriff Lee Baca, left behind.”
Instead, the groups allege, the sheriff “utterly failed to fulfill your campaign promises to reform the department,” and has made matters worse by “undermining basic mechanisms of accountability and civilian oversight at every turn.”
The letter comes as a direct response to the investigation of the shooting death of 18-year-old Andres Guardado by an LASD deputy in June. Guardado is the son of a longtime UNITE HERE union member.
“Your mishandling of the killing of Andres Guardado reflects a pattern of abuse, secrecy, and thwarted accountability that has marred your tenure,” the letter states. “You have allowed the systematic harassment of grieving families of community members whom deputies have killed—in retaliation against their seeking the truth about their deaths and justice.”
The letter concludes that Villanueva “cannot lead the Sheriff’s Department through the process of much-needed transformative work during these historic times,” and should resign.
The groups will officially launch their #AdiosVillanueva campaign Thursday outside of the Hall of Justice as they continue the call for the sheriff’s immediate resignation.