Lynwood manager put on paid leave over social media post

Wave Wire Services

LYNWOOD — City Manager Jose Ometeotl was placed on paid administrative leave Sept. 15 pending an internal investigation after he posted a response to the shooting of two sheriff’s deputies in Compton Sept. 12.

Ometeotl posted a response on his Instagram account Sept. 13 with a photo of Malcolm X with writing over it that said “Chickens come home to roost.” After the post was made public by FoxLA, Ometeotl made his account private.

“The shooting of anyone is a wholly unacceptable occurrence in society,” Ometeotl wrote on Instagram. “I do not condone the type of violence seen in the shooting of the deputies yesterday in Compton. I will say that communities like Compton have been plagued by deputy gangs that inflict fear and violence in the community.

These deputies murdered, framed and stole from the community just because they could. Good deputies never turned on bad deputies for fear of retaliation and, when caught, most of these bad deputies kept their jobs and continued on their criminal career. The fact that someone randomly opened fire on deputies is to be expected in the society we live in today,” The Instagram post continued.

“The political climate and leadership of Sheriff Villanueva has only sowed the seeds of anger and frustration in the community. I pray for the deputies and their families while still demanding justice for Andres Guardado, Breona Taylor, Tamir Rice, Ahmaud Arbery.”

The city of Lynwood officially responded to the post Sept. 13 with the following statement:

On behalf of the hard-working families of Lynwood as well as the city’s employees and elected officials, we wish to send our heartfelt prayers to the families of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies recently injured in the line of duty. We also support every effort by the sheriff’s department to track down their attacker.

There have been comments made [Sunday] by our city manager on his personal social media that are his personal opinions and don’t reflect the position of the Lynwood City Council.”

Two nights later, the Lynwood City Council voted to place Ometeotl on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation, and Community Development Director Michelle Ramirez was appointed acting city manager.

A petition calling for Ometeotl to resign had received over 1,200 signatures as of 8 p.m. Sept. 15.

City News Service reported that Lynwood Mayor Aide Castro supported Ometeotl’s original comment by hitting the “like” button.