A federal judge has handed a three-year prison sentence to Leroy “Lee” Baca, who was sheriff of Los Angeles County for 15 years, for his role in covering up abuses in the county’s jail system that was being investgated by the FBI. The L.A. Sheriff’s Department has more than 18,000 employees and is responsible for policing over 4,000 square miles and the nation’s largest jail system.
By Christopher Zoukis If you were to judge only by what’s shown on detective-procedural television shows like CSI, you might think forensic investigations and crime lab results are virtually infallible. But from time to time, a government study comes along to point out how that’s frequently far from the truth. Take, for example, a groundbreaking […]
By Christopher Zoukis Last week, I summarized a report on the prisoners who were exonerated last year of major crimes for which they had been incarcerated, often for decades. Issued by the University of Michigan Law School’s National Registry of Exonerations, the report is the latest annual summary tracking trends in this often ignored area. […]
In December 1999, Supreme and one of his associates, Colbert ‘Black Just’ Johnson, were in Southeast Queens, where they ran into Eric ‘E Money Bags’ Smith. Smith was a gangbanger, who was a wanna-be Rapper. Smith confronted Black Just about some money Black Just owed him. Tempers flared and Smith pulled a gun, shooting Black Just in the leg. Supreme dragged Black Just into his SUV and took off. Because he didn’t want to be implicated in a shooting, Supreme simply drove around. He didn’t know what to do. As he tried to figure a way out of the situation, Black Just died. Finally, Supreme dumped the body at the Southeast Queens Hospital. Then he drove off. Colbert ‘Black Just’ Johnson / Photo courtesy vibe.com
Meanwhile, the Rapper known as 50 Cent put out a song called Ghetto Qu’ran. The song celebrated the street hustling exploits of Supreme. Only Supreme didn’t see it as flattery. He saw it as “dry snitching.” Angry words and accusations were exchanged, leaving only bad blood between Supreme and 50 Cent. The Source magazine described 50 Cent as “a snitch.”
On May 24, 2000, 50 Cent sat in a car in front of his grandmother’s house in South Jamaica. Another car pulled up beside 50 Cent’s car. The man inside the car pointed a gun at 50 Cent and opened fire. The man fired nine shots. All nine shots hit home. The gunman’s car squealed away.
Somehow 50 Cent drove himself to the hospital. Except for a hole in the side of his jaw and a piece of bullet in his tongue, 50 Cent made a full recovery. The police and the feds began an investigation. Supreme’s name came up and he was considered a suspect.
Then on July 16, 2001, E Money Bags – who had shot Black Just in the leg – was sitting in his Navigator in Queens Village. A black Mercedes pulled up next to the Navigator. Inside the Mercedes were four men wearing white gloves. The men opened fire on the Navigator, riddling the vehicle with bullets. E Money Bags died from ten 9mm bullets. Over 40 rounds pierced the Navigator, according to the forensic experts.