Keith Boyer spent 27 years patrolling the streets of Whittier, Ca., and had become something of a legend at the Whittier Police Department. Whittier Police Chief Jeff Piper broke down in tears talking about Boyer, 53, who was fatally shot yesterday. “He was the best of the best,” Piper said. “This is an unbelievably senseless tragedy.” Piper said the suspect in the shooting was released from custody too early. The chief blamed the release on new laws designed to reduce incarcerations in California, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Neither Piper nor the Sheriff’s Department offered specific information about the suspect’s record or how he was released. The chief said Boyer’s killing showed how these laws have made the streets less safe. Boyer and two other police officers were responding to the scene of a traffic collision about 8 a.m. when a 26-year-old recently paroled man driving a stolen car opened fire with a semiautomatic pistol, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lt. John Corina.