Lynwood, California’s city manager was placed on paid administrative leave on Tuesday, after he made a social media post about the shooting of two deputies in Los Angeles that stated, “Chickens come home to roost.”
Jose Ometeotl posted a photo of Malcolm X on Sunday with “Chickens come home to roost” written over it, which the civil rights activist said following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. He used the phrase to suggest that Kennedy’s death was a result of an atmosphere of violence in the U.S.
Shortly after Ometeotl’s post, the city of Lynwood issued a statement on their Twitter, writing that the comments made by Ometeotl “are his personal opinions and don’t reflect the position of the Lynwood City Council.”
“Today we are only thinking of the two deputies and are praying for their recovery,” the statement added.
In another statement, issued on Tuesday, the city of Lynwood announced that “the Council has placed City Manager Jose Ometeotl on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation,” while also adding that the city council named Michelle Ramirez “Acting City Manager Tuesday night.”
— City of Lynwood (@MyLynwoodca) September 16, 2020
Ometeotl made his post private not long after facing backlash, but a screenshot of it was taken by Bill Melugin of Fox 11 news in Los Angeles.
The screenshot of the post shows Ometeotl attempting to explain the image as he wrote, “The shooting of anyone is a wholly unacceptable occurrence in society. I do not condone the type of violence seen in the shooting of the deputies yesterday in Compton.”
Here is the full post from before he made his account private. @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/ETAmv3ekcg
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) September 13, 2020
“I will say that communities like Compton have been plagued by deputy gangs that inflict fear and violence in the community. These deputies murdered, framed and stole from the community just because they could,” he added in the caption. “The fact that someone randomly opened fire on deputies is expected in the society we live in today. The political climate and leadership of Sheriff Villanueva has only sowed the seeds of anger and frustration in the community. I pray for the deputies and their families while still demanding justice for Andres Guardado, [Breonna] Taylor, Tamir Rice, Ahmaud Arbery.…”
Ometeotl’s post on Instagram came shortly after a gunman in Compton shot two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies on Saturday at the MLK Transit Center. According to the sheriff’s department, the gunman walked up to the passenger side of the deputies’ vehicle aimed a gun and shot them and a video released by the department shows the gunman running away immediately after.
Surveillance video showed the female deputy attempting to save her partner by placing a tourniquet on him, despite suffering from gunshot wounds herself.
“She helped the other wounded deputy, got on the radio, provided medical care, got him to a place of safety ’cause they didn’t know if there was another attack coming their way,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti described the deputies’ bravery as “amazing” and stated that, by an “absolute miracle,” it appears both deputies will survive.
Newsweek reached out to Lynwood Mayor Aide Castro and Ometeotl for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.
Start your unlimited Newsweek trial