The union representing rank-and-file Los Angeles police officers says the rape and murder of Venice resident Eun Kang last week is the kind of crime that we could see more of if the state releases 40,000 prison inmates under a federal mandate.

Kang, 38, was about four months pregnant with twins, who also perished in the attack on Electric Avenue near Venice Boulevard. A suspect allegedly captured after fleeing from the scene was identified as Boneetio Kentro Washington, a 22-year-old who is on probation for burglary.

Washington had mental problems and had spent time in a mental facility in summer but was allowed to be tried for the 2008 burglary, a case for which he was ultimately released in September based on time already served.

The union, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, quotes a statement by Earl Ofari Hutchinson, President of Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, and Eddie Jones, President of the Los Angeles Civil Rights Association: “The alleged assailant of Ms. Kang was a former convicted felon with serious mental problems. Yet, he was released. State officials must immediately re-examine their policies on the release of convicted felons with serious mental challenges.”

The union's board of directors echoes this sentiment, stating that more criminals will be on the street if the state goes forward with its plan to release inmates next year.

“This murder just proves again the case we have been making for months now,” states the board: “The budget-driven decision to provide early releases to criminals has, and will continue, to result in tragedy.”

LA Weekly