The city manager of a Los Angeles-area suburb was put on paid administrative leave Tuesday after his social media post on the ambush shooting of two sheriffs’ deputies over the weekend was heavily criticized.
Jose Ometeotl was put on leave pending an internal investigation, Lynwood City Councilman Salvador Alatorre told Fox News following the council’s closed session meeting Tuesday night. Alatorre put forth the motion to discipline or dismiss Ometeotl following his personal Instagram post that read “chickens come home to roost” after two deputies were shot multiple times while sitting in their patrol vehicle Saturday in the nearby city of Compton.
Michelle Ramirez, the city’s director of community development, will step in as acting city manager.
Alatorre told Fox News in a text message that the move against Ometeotl was “Protocal” [sic] and that “he is gone, will not represent Lynwood anymore.”
“It’s a legal process to protect the city,” Alatorre added.
He previously said the city manager went beyond his authority with his remarks, even though it was posted to his private account.
“He represents the city of Lynwood 24/7,” Alatorre said Monday. “He cannot make statements while he’s employed by our city, especially when he jeopardizes public safety.”
The council received 78 written comments regarding the post, with only three defending Ometeotl. However, nearly all of the public speakers who commented during Tuesday’s virtual meeting showed support for him. Some said that much of the criticism about his social media post came from people who live outside the city.
Many cited the sheriff’s department’s involvement in several high-profile shootings and other incidents while accusing the agency over over-policing the community.
In his post, Ometeotl said 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,” the post read.
Lynwood borders Compton to its south. Ometeotl added that he prayed for the wounded deputies but also demanded justice for victims of police shootings. He did not immediately return messages from Fox News seeking comment.
A video of the brazen attack appears to show a gunman approaching an LASD patrol vehicle parked near a Metro rail station and firing several shots into the passenger window. The deputies — identified as a 31-year-old female deputy and 24-year-old male deputy — were wounded.
They underwent surgery and are recovering in a hospital.