JAMES WOO HAS TO GO! The Buena Park Cop’s Last-Ditch Attempt to Crucify Jesús.


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“I will make sure you either spend the rest of your life in jail or get killed.” – Woo, 2010.

Where to start?  Let’s see, how about Thursday July 26, three weeks ago.  If we happened to think about Jesús Aguirre Jr that day, it was happy thoughts of how he was now free and at home, eight years after having been tried as an adult for a stupid minor crime he committed at the age of 16 that shoulda got him 2-4 years, but instead getting an insane LIFE SENTENCE in Pelican Bay thanks to a vicious lying cop and an ambitious draconian assistant DA using every tool in California’s “justice system” such as it existed in 2012.

Jesúses, dad and son.

Free and at home after finally, thanks to the work of his heroic parents’ tireless advocacy, the activism of hundreds of caring people, and Jesús’ own exemplary behavior in prison, having his sentence commuted by Governor Brown.

Free and at home, and in two more days he’d be driving with his parents up to San Francisco to get a degree at a computer college, on his way to a promising career, an exemplar of rehabilitation!

Except, what happened at 8:30 pm that Thursday night at the Aguirre house?  Eight Buena Park gang unit officers came banging on the door, led by the brutal James Woo and his new partner, Barney Fife-like rookie William Lopez, demanding to search the place.  Jesús Jr. wasn’t there – he was with his mom at Kohl’s, shopping for clothes for college!  So it was Jesús Sr. who answered the door.  When he saw Woo at the head of the posse, he said, “You can all come in except for THIS GUY – he lied on the stand to send my son to jail for life, and he wants him dead!”

Woo laughed and pushed on past.  It was true – for reasons nobody really understands, the cop has ALWAYS had a vendetta against the young man, beating him up at the age of 14, and promising him at 16 (in front of witnesses) that he’d either see him dead or in prison for life.  Somehow, while much more dangerous young men go about their business unmolested, harmless smart alecks like Jesús really bring out the BULLY in some cops.  And Woo did his best to keep his promise, lying under oath to the jury that Jesús had committed crimes that he had nothing to do with and was provably miles away from, as we described here.  Apoplectic when the young man was finally released earlier this year, Woo swore that Governor Brown had made a big stupid mistake and the world would soon see what a dangerous criminal Jesús was.  And here Woo was, at the last moment, trying to prove SOMETHING bad about him before young Jesús finally slipped from his grasp for good.

So the cops pored through every room of the house searching for SOME kind of contraband to pin on Jesús, while Woo-worshiping rookie Lopez drove the father crazy, telling him what a terrible menace his son was (whom he’d never met.)  FINALLY they found … SOMETHING.  The following day we were told it was a “prohibited item,” not allowed to be in the possession of a young man on parole.  “Oh shit,” we all thought.  “I hope it wasn’t a weapon, or drugs.  No, probably not… by all accounts he’s been well-behaved.  Could be a pocketknife or screwdriver, you can even get in trouble for those if you’re on parole and local law enforcement hates you.  Or God forbid did they plant something?”  Pero no!  What these eight cops found in Jesús’ house was…

A Baseball Cap with the letter “B” on it!

(Dramatization – not Jesús’ cousin’s actual cap.)

The cap didn’t even belong to Jesús Jr, but to his cousin who lived there, and nobody had any idea what the “B” stood for, but it was the best the Woo posse could do – they insisted that it MUST be a GANG CAP, with the “B” secretly standing for the “Buena” in “Eastside Buena Park.”  So off they went to arrest Jesús.

Buena Park’s Finest caught up with the young man on his way home from Kohl’s with his mother driving.  By now there were TWENTY cops – the minimum required to safely apprehend a cap-connected computer coder.  His mother cried out, “What are you arresting him for?” and they told her he was being arrested because his Dad had “fought with them!”  That didn’t make any sense.  What they told Jesús’ parole officer was that they had caught him with a “prohibited item.”  They also seized his phone, hoping to prove SOMETHING sinister… but that didn’t pan out either.  

Jesús did end up spending the night in the Santa Ana Main Jail, probably thinking he’d never make it to college and was doomed to lifelong criminalization and punishment.

The first most of us heard about all this was the following (Friday) morning in a Facebook alert, and the phones at the BPPD began ringing off the hook.  Eventually the parole officer ordered him released.  And long story short he made it to his college in San Francisco that weekend, and is safe for now from Woo and the Buena Park Gang Unit.

But really, what kind of bullshit was that?

Three things:  What Woo and the Buena Park Gang Unit did to Jesús and his family on July 26-7 should not be normalized or go unpunished.  The Aguirres had been through enough, Jesús had done everything to be rehabilitated, crossed every “t” and dotted every “i,” but the bitter local enforcers just can’t accept letting him out of the system, so they put everyone through hell for two days.  Jesús Sr is currently looking at legal remedies against Woo and the BPPD.

And what’s up with bitter sadistic cops pursuing vendettas against non-violent kids who just rub them the wrong way, while real criminals roam free?  I’ve seen this all over Anaheim too and assume it’s a common pathology of power.  (Remember Bob Marley’s “Sherrif John Brown always hated me – for what, I don’t know.”)  This phenomenon needs to be identified and dealt with somehow.  I think it’s the reason my wife’s totally non-violent son was executed in 2012.

And finally, of course, think of all the black, brown, and poor kids that these kind of injustices must happen to every day across America, kids who don’t have the vast support network that Jesús has acquired over these eight years. Continue to support the ACLU and similar groups that work on these vital problems, as well as our state’s sporadic legislative lurches toward reforms.  (Like AB 931 and SB 1421.)

But for now, a bad dirty cop such as James Woo has to go.  Call BPPD 714-562-3901.


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.