Mitrice Richardson Disappearance Prompts Public Policy Forum
• Police Nighttime Custody Release Policies to Be Explored
BY ANNE SOBLE
BY ANNE SOBLE
Family members of the 24-year-old Cal State Fullerton honor graduate, Mitrice Richardson, who now has been missing for over five months, continue wrangling with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department over information related to the Lost Hills Station’s release of the woman who has not been seen since the morning of Sept. 17.
The unusual specifics of Mitrice Richardson’s booking on two field-citable counts, the issue of her mental stability, her subsequent disappearance, and family allegations that LASD personnel know more than they are divulging, are the subject of over a dozen articles in the Malibu Surfside News (www. malibusurfsidenews.com).
Concern that a woman exhibiting signs of mental illness would be released at 12:35 a.m., alone and on foot from Lost Hills, with her purse and cell phone left in her impounded vehicle in Malibu, has begun generating public interest in whether there is a need to reassess current police guidelines for nighttime custodial releases.
A forum on this topic is being hosted by the Friends Group/Friends of the Pasadena Commission on the Status of Women on March 17. See the public notice on page 5 of this week’s issue for time, place and other specifics.
Among the panelists are Ronda Hampton, the psychologist who was Richardson’s college mentor and a family friend; LASD’s chief of field operations for the region that includes Malibu, Neal Tyler (Tyler was present when family members met with Sheriff Lee Baca); and Deputy Chief Attorney Benjamin Jones of the Office of Independent Review (the body with oversight on LASD practices], which has yet to rule on Lost Hills and the Richardson case that Sheriff Baca has publicly stated was handled “by the book.”