This story was published on July 29, 2015 and was corrected on September 20, 2015 as follows: Based on statements by multiple sources, this page had identified the Marshal who attacked Beatriz Paez as Steven Kays. The Aging Rebel now doubts the veracity of those sources and cannot, at this point, further substantiate or correct the identity of the Marshal. Consequently Kays name has been removed from the story. The Aging Rebel regrets the error.
David Martinez, a Mongols Motorcycle Club member who is accused of fatally shooting Pomona Swat officer Shaun Diamond in the early morning hours of October 28, 2014 is innocent. He has always been innocent. He didn’t do it. But he has been the victim of nine months of pro-police propaganda so it is now questionable whether he can prove his innocence beyond any shadow of a doubt, which is the burden of proof a Mongol accused of killing a cop must meet.
Martinez’ family home was one of seven Mongols homes in Los Angeles County that were simultaneously raided at four in the morning – literally in the darkest hour of the night, a little more than three hours before dawn – last fall. The raids were supposed to be in search of a gun. No gun was found.
The warrants were issued five days before on the basis of an affidavit that was sealed because the underlying intelligence was supplied by a confidential informant. The extensive operation was planned by agents in the Glendale, California office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Bureau is at war with motorcycle clubs in general and the Mongols in particular. It is a secret war which is never mentioned in mass news media. The point of the raids was not so much to find a gun as to punish the seven Mongols with a violent, destructive, terrifying home invasion by heavily armed, militarized police.
Diamond was shot just outside Martinez’ front door and he died the next day after he was removed from life support. Since his death he has been almost universally eulogized. For days after his death Los Angeles was festooned with blue ribbons in his honor. His memorial service was held in a sports arena. The Governor and Attorney General of California attended. His casket was draped with an American flag. Dozens of doves were released to symbolize his soaring spirit. The service was more about cop glorifying rhetoric than it was about the grief of those who had actually known the man. He was a “top notch guy,” a “wonderful human being,’ a “hero” and he was “a rock.”
California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris said, “Pomona Police Officer Shaun Diamond bravely gave his life in the line of duty, and we are enormously grateful for his courage and sacrifice.”
There is now a plaza in downtown Pomona, California named in his honor. He died, radio talk show hosts in the nation’s second largest media market explained, while “he was only trying to serve a search warrant.” Martinez was routinely described as a gang member.
War On The Mongols
Diamond’s death became a standard around which local police could rally in the ongoing domestic war against motorcycle clubs. In the last nine months multi-agency police task forces have been regularly assembled to ruin virtually any gathering of Mongols.
Last January, such a task force stopped and harassed everyone who came too close to a Mongols party in an industrial section of Los Angeles called Maywood. Tickets were issued and cars and motorcycles were seized for what were obviously manufactured reasons. Members of other clubs were harassed. Men who belonged to no club were harassed. Women were harassed. Afterward, one Mongol said, “They made it clear to certain brothers that this was a direct result of what happened to the cop in the Martinez case.”
Last April, another multi-agency task force criminally harassed attendees at a Mongols’ legal defense fundraiser. Within the last month, Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Brunwin has categorized that fundraiser as a racketeering act. A school teacher named Beatriz Paez, who happened to be out taking a walk and who was aware of recent episodes in the national epidemic of police violence, stopped to video record the harassment on her smart phone. Police told her to stop and when she persisted she was attacked by a United States Deputy Marshal. She was assaulted and her phone was stolen and smashed. YouTube video briefly made the assault seem sensational rather than routine.
The arch irony in all this self righteous police outrage is that it is almost certain that Shaun Diamond died as a result of friendly fire. Police have always been vague about how Diamond, who was wearing body armor and a Fritz helmet, came to be shot in the back of the head. Martinez was inside the home. Diamond, depending on which if the disparate police versions you are inclined to believe, was either on the porch or in the doorway. Usual Swat practice in such raids overwhelmingly suggests that Diamond was facing where Martinez should have been and yet he was shot either in the back of the head or the side of his neck. Police have suggested that Diamond must have turned around at the last, fatal moment.
The Los Angeles Times reported, “As Diamond tried to get through an exterior door, an interior door opened and the suspect fired a shotgun at the officer…. Diamond was struck above a tactical vest but – despite wearing a Kevlar helmet – was likely hit in the back of his head…. The suspect’s father was also struck in the arm by the blast.”
Fox News reported that “Diamond was helping to open the outer door of a home in the 100 block of San Marino Avenue when an interior door of the home was opened and a single shotgun blast rang out. Diamond was struck in the back of the head. Police did not return fire.”
The Los Angeles News Group quoted a police source that, “Diamond was on the porch when the suspect shot him.”
Last October, in a story titled “Framing David Martinez,” The Aging Rebel reported that the fatal shot was apparently fired by “a Swat officer standing behind Diamond with his finger on the trigger of a shotgun (who) was jostled as the team broke into the Martinez home.” In the same story this page also reported, “Immediately after Diamond was shot the Swat officer standing directly behind the fatally wounded man was heard to exclaim, “I’m so sorry man! I’m so sorry man! I’m so sorry man!”
The quote was deliberately unattributed in order to protect its source.
Yesterday, in a preliminary hearing on the case, a police corporal named Richard Aguiar, who was the nearest Swat officer to Diamond when he was shot, testified that when Diamond was wounded he saw Martinez inside his home holding a shotgun. “He was saying ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I thought you were the Mongols,’ ” Aguiar testified under oath.
David Martinez’ father Arturo, who was standing just inside his front door as the police broke in was wounded by a flash bang grenade. He testified yesterday that when he was wounded he screamed “The police shot me! the police shot me!”
David Martinez’ mother Guadalupe, who was standing next to Arturo Martinez, said that as she heard her husband scream she saw a Swat officer fall backwards on her front porch. She also testified that she did not see her son until after Swat officers entered their house and took him out of a bedroom in chains.