The unsolved murder of a 15-year-old in Boyle Heights lead officials to schedule a December 30 press conference to announce a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. But, at the last minute, the press conference was canceled and eventually rescheduled more than a week later. The reason? The Voice Newspaper said it was primarily because Boyle Heights Councilman Jose Huizar could not attend the press conference. Publisher Carlos Morales, in this month’s issue of The Voice, took the councilman to task for the delaying awareness of the reward: “We ask our readers the following question: Should our community continue to be at risk by a murderer because a politician is not available for a photo opportunity with the press?”
Rick Coca, a spokesman for Huizar, confirmed that the councilman was not available for the Dec. 30 press conference, but neither was the family of the victim, Luis Perez, who was gunned down on Cesar Chavez Avenue. Also, since the city council was on a holiday break, no motion could be introduced seeking a reward until after New Year’s, Coca said. While the January 30 press conference was postponed, some news sites mentioned plans to seek a reward, generating publicity about the issue, Coca said. Huizar’s ofice and the Los Angeles Police Department agreed to hold a January 8 press conference, which attracted several TV stations and other media, perhaps more than would have come during the holiday. “Literally every station was there,” said Coca, who noted that Huizar had not attended a previous press conference announcing a reward in his district.
Hollenbeck Dect. Victor Marin, who is handling the case, said that postponing press conference did not make much of a difference. So far, he said, news of the reward has failed to generate any calls.