Well, this is awkward: The LAPD allegedly shuttled a convicted killer to a pricey downtown dinner to satisfy a group of elite business executives, the LA Times reports. According to an inspector general's report, police took Rene "Boxer" Enriquez—a former Mexican Mafia leader serving two life sentences for murder—from his cell to the private Jan. 28 event at a cost of $22,000. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck seemed to believe it was a "law enforcement training event," but it was really hosted by the Young Presidents' Organization, which calls itself "the world’s premier peer network of chief executives and business leaders," the AP reports. Among 175 attendees, there were also 4 LAPD officers and 10 high-ranking law enforcement executives.
It was dramatic, too: Enriquez appeared in silhouette until a curtain went up and he stood there in a black suit, with shackles on his hands and legs, according to the report. Then he apparently gave a talk about himself and the inner workings of the Mexican Mafia. Afterwards, Enriquez is said to have sat on a couch, signing copies of his book for guests. Why the special treatment? Enriquez has become "a law enforcement darling," the Times says, after testifying in criminal cases and dishing on his former organization. Now LA's police commissioner says he's "troubled" by the January event, and Commission President Steve Soboroff adds that shuttling Enriquez was risky: "The number of people put in harm's way by this, that is hugely problematic," he says. (Read more LAPD stories.)