I began the second-to-the-last update on the Feb. 19 freeway-shooting rampage by mentioning Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer had hijacked an afternoon press conference by law enforcement. As a Los Angeles television station was cutting away from the live coverage because of this unwelcome intrusion, Spitzer got out that he was organizing a forum on Orange County violence.
It was supposed to be this week, but not anymore . . .
"This community discussion on violence is so important that I would rather do it right than do it fast," explains Spitzer in an email. "We've been contacted by so many who want to participate, and we are reaching out to an incredible group of speakers. I'm amazed by the support we've received for holding this difficult but necessary discussion."
So, his story goes, it's the availability of the right participants that is driving the date of the now-unscheduled event he is to co-host with Tustin Mayor Al Murray, the Orange County Human Relations Commission and the Orange County Health Care Agency.
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Tustin's top elected leader is included because so many of the murders, injuries and property damage blamed on the late Ali Syed happened in that city of about 75,000. Spitzer has said before he's heading up the forum because his supervisorial district includes Tustin; Villa Park, where 20-year-old Syed took his own life after allegedly killing three; and Irvine, where the first two murder victims tied to the late Christopher Dorner were discovered on Feb. 3. As Spitzer puts it in his email, it amounted to "17 days of bloodshed in Orange County."
Of course, Spitzer adds he is also uniquely qualified to head up the forum because he is a former police officer, Orange County assistant district attorney and, as a state legislator, the champion of Marsy's Law, which he calls "the nation's most comprehensive victims' bill of rights."