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People v. Ledesma
updated: Dec 04, 2012, 3:12 PM

Source: Santa Barbara District Attorney

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced today that that she has sent a letter to the California Highway Patrol stating her finding that the CHP Officer involved in the shooting of Michael Paul Ledesma used an appropriate amount of force, under the circumstances; therefore, the shooting of Mr. Ledesma was lawful.

Mr. Ledesma survived the shooting and is presently being prosecuted by Senior Deputy District Attorney Megan Ross. He is charged with Attempted Murder of a Peace Officer, Assault upon a Peace Officer, Assault With Personal Use of Deadly Weapon, and Child Abuse, along with the special allegations of Use of Deadly Weapon and Street Terrorism (committing the offense for the benefit of or at the direction of or in association with a criminal street gang, to wit: Northwest (Santa Maria).

The case against Mr. Ledesma will be back in Department 8 of the Santa Barbara Superior Court, Santa Maria Division, on January 16, 2013, for a preliminary hearing setting.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley has found a California Highway Patrol officer's use of force was lawful in the July officer-involved shooting of Michael Ledesma, 18, near Los Alamos. (12/05/12)
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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 350221 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 03:48 PM

Yes, we know that the police never make mistakes or use poor judgment. I'm amazed at how perfectly they perform and how often citizens need to be taught a lesson.


 COMMENT 350226P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 03:54 PM

Plus they never get mentioned by name.


 COMMENT 350230 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 03:59 PM

You know, sometimes police officers are put in extraordinary situations and they have to act in an instant. I bet if the officer had been killed in this circumstance 221 and 226 would have a different oppinion of the matter.


 COMMENT 350231P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 04:02 PM

Does anyone know whether the DA's office has ever determined that the police officer used excessive force and if there was a time, how long ago?


 COMMENT 350238 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 04:16 PM

221 It's good to hear that protecting yourself is using poor judgement, but if a gang-banger was trying to kill me and I had my 9mm at hand, I'm thinking I would try to stop him.


 COMMENT 350246P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 04:53 PM

How can anyone pass judgment either for or against without knowing the facts?


 BECKY agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 05:11 PM

Those who would question an officer's use of force should really stop to think about what we demand of them. They aren't allowed to act in self-defense unless directly threatened. (It's almost 'don't fire unless fired upon.') They have to make split second decisions in rapidly evolving situations that have potentially lethal consequences to them, to the perpetrator/suspect, and to innocent bystanders. No matter what they do, they are subject to a thorough investigation after the fact by numerous folks, including those with a chip on their shoulder due to some past perceived injustice by some other officer. It's an impossible job, and I and most other fair or sane people will almost always give the officer the benefit of the doubt.


 COMMENT 350254P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 05:12 PM

I have to agree with #246, I wasn't there. But, based on the outcome, I like the result. The perp is alive to stand trial and the officer is unharmed.


 COMMENT 350257 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 05:26 PM

good grief. here we go again.


 COMMENT 350259 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 05:32 PM

good grief. here we go again.


 COMMENT 350307 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 07:15 PM

cops are liars


 COMMENT 350339 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 08:19 PM

The laws are written to protect police actions. It is almost impossible to find situations where police are at fault. It has taken months to get any action against the police who killed Kelly Thomas in Fullerton. No quick kill. A team of police beat him to death. They took time to put on rubber gloves before the killing.


 COMMENT 350357 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 11:17 PM

Two of the officers involved the the Kelly Thomas tragedy are being prosecuted. Hello??


 COMMENT 350366 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 06:29 AM

I guess some folks just don't want to have ANY police around. I wonder why or, more to the point, what age group they represent.


 COMMENT 350386 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 07:28 AM

For those who've spoken out against police, go to Oakland. There the force has been drastically cut back (25% fewer cops than the city ordinance calls for) and crime rates have risen to appalling numbers, 23% just this year. Mayor Jean Quan's program to go soft on criminals is backfiring on innocent people trying to go about their lives working and making a life without having their cars stolen or houses broken into.


 COMMENT 350395 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 07:54 AM

Cops can't tell the difference between a gang banger and a community member, so overuse their authority almost every time.


 COMMENT 350432 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 09:22 AM

Cops + Parents=increased safety. Less crime. Kids will earn money to buy those silly Lebron James shoes, those ridiculous beatz headphones that look like an 80's roller rink instead of stealing. They'll be proud of their friends new cars instead of jealous because they know that their saving account almost has enough for that new _________.


 COMMENT 350437P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 09:29 AM

i agree with skooby, oakland has four times the population of santa barbara and a hundred times as many homicides each year. a little perspective helps sometimes. that said oakland is a beautiful city with a lot to offer.


 COMMENT 350451 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 09:48 AM

As usual, people are for or against based on their ideology, not on facts.


 COMMENT 350478 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 10:32 AM

I don't have neck tats, I don't hang out at bars til 2am, I don't associate with criminals, I don't drive recklessly, and I do my best to obey the law.

Lo and behold, I have never been harrassed by the police in my life. Funny how that works.


 RESIDENT agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 10:50 AM

While it is completely appropriate for police officers to defend themselves in situations such as the one referenced here, the same should be true of us "ordinary citizens."

There are far too many people in our society these days that think we must depend only on the police to defend us from people like Ledesma and have no responsibility for our own self-defense. The police can't be everywhere we are at all times.


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