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Chicano victory: Judge rejects killer sheriff’s plea bargain

By Sol Márquez

Members of the Ordaz family with supporters from Centro CSO demand justice at LA court

By Sol Marquez and Avery Raimondo

Los Angeles, CA – On Friday, October 20, Judge Michael E. Pastor rejected the plea bargain that killer and ex-sheriff Remin Pineda had agreed to for the 2021 murder of Chicano David Ordaz Jr. in East Los Angeles. This marks a rare victory in the midst of historical oppression by killer sheriffs.

On March 14, 2021, the Ordaz family called the sheriffs for support while 34-year-old Ordaz Jr was experiencing a mental health crisis. Pineda and three other sheriff's deputies arrived at the scene outside of the family’s home in East Los Angeles. Rather than de-escalating the situation, the four deputies murdered Ordaz Jr. as his family screamed for them to stop. Pineda fired a series of shots execution-style, while Ordaz Jr. was lying on the sidewalk.

On November 10, 2022, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón charged Pineda with two charges related to the killing – assault with a semiautomatic firearm and assault under color of authority, while clearing the other three sheriff deputies. Pineda’s attorneys and the district attorney’s office had agreed to complete 200 hours of community service, probation and avoid jail time.

At the hearing on October 20, Judge Pastor heard testimonials from Ordaz Jr’s family, including his father, mother, sisters, nieces and daughter. Their family only had a two-week notice to prepare their testimonials. They entered the hearing with the understanding that it was unlikely that their statements would influence the judge's ruling.

In her testimonial, Hilda Pedroza, sister of Ordaz Jr said, “In the very first court appearance, we saw Pineda and his bailiff friend shake hands. That shake symbolized to me that this entire process wasn’t going to be fair. David was my younger brother and as the oldest, my job and responsibility has always been to protect my siblings and my entire family. All I wanted was help, all David needed was help!”

Emily Ordaz, daughter of David Ordaz Jr. said, “It’s obvious, shameful, and repulsive that a man like him has the opportunity to live while my father is in his grave. It isn’t normal and shouldn’t be.”

Court preliminaries will begin in December, and Fight Back! will be ready to report. The impacted family of David Ordaz Jr. has teamed up with Centro CSO to create a list of demands to advance community control on the LA County sheriff’s department. Together they’ve created a petition demanding the removal of deputy gangs. To sign the petition, click here

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