Raylene Brooks was the 17-year-old driver of a vehicle that made a u-turn in order to head toward two undercover officers who were then fired on, with Officer Daniel Pratt succumbing to wounds from an AR-15 assault rifle used by passenger Kirkton Moore.
It unfolded on the night of Sept. 3, 1988 when Pratt and partner Veronica Delao Jenkins were staking out the Pine Liquor store in South L.A. in a neighborhood said to be claimed by the Rolling 60s Crips gang.
The pair heard gunfire, saw a car take off from what appeared to be a drive-by, and gave chase to a gas station at Florence Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard. The suspects' vehicle made a u-turn and assault-weapon shots rang out as Pratt returned fire only to succumb on the spot to a fatal wound.
The suspects turned themselves in after appearing on Fox's America's Most Wanted television show. Moore maintains his innocence, however, and says that he was convicted solely because he's a black ex-gang member accused of killing a white cop.
For her part in the crime, Brooks was convicted of first-degree murder on a peace officer. Although she had no prior record, the then-teenager was tried as an adult. The Los Angeles Police Protective League argues that "it is crucial to the security of the state of California, and to the safety of the men and women who enforce its laws, that the murderers of police officers must forfeit their freedom for life when they kill a law enforcement officer."
The union asks that citizens write to the parole board in support of its denial-of-parole position: Parole Board Central Calif. Women's Facility, Classification and Parole Rep. life/desk, 23370 Road 22, Chowchilla, CA 93610.