Thoughts from the Publisher | Feb. 19

Many of our readers are aware that my husband Steve was a Long Beach police officer for 31 years. During his tenure, he experienced many poignant moments and was, as well, subjected to witnessing many horrific events.

According to Steve, knowing that on a daily basis he was putting his life on the line while at work kept his adrenaline running and caused many sleepless nights.

Besides his day-to-day duties, I would imagine that when he learned that there was violence committed on a fellow officer, who was either wounded or killed on duty, it brought on a whole other set of emotions to not only Steve, but to all his brothers and sisters-in-arms.

Nearly two dozen years ago, one of Long Beach Police Department’s officers was shot several times. Although Officer Dominguez survived the brutal attack, he was left quite disabled.

Recently learning that there was an upcoming parole consideration hearing for the convicted perpetrator, the Long Beach Police Officers Association has reached out asking officers and others to sign a letter stating that he or she is opposed to early release for that inmate.

Learning of the letter, my husband not only signed it but asked for permission for us to run it in our paper. Below is the unedited version of that letter.

If you agree with the sentiments of the letter, and want to make sure it gets into the hands of the parole board, cut out the letter, sign it, bring it to our office (939 E. 27th Street in Signal Hill) no later than 3pm on Tuesday, Feb. 23, and my hubby Steve will hand-carry it Wednesday morning to the detective handling the case.

Your letter could help keep a dangerous criminal behind bars. Thank you for your consideration

Re: Nathan Sims – CDC #J-32468
Parole Hearing Scheduled for Thursday, February 25, 2016

Dear Representative:

With reference to the parole consideration hearing for inmate Nathan Sims, I am strongly opposed to an early release for the inmate.
On August 6, 1993, at approximately 1:30 PM, Officer Abel Dominguez was working alone in a marked black and white police vehicle when he made a traffic stop on a vehicle near 49th Street and Ruth Avenue. Officer Dominguez detained the driver and sat him in the rear seat of the police vehicle, un-handcuffed, while he sat in the front seat writing a citation. While his attention was focused on his paperwork, inmate Sims and co-defendant Cashus Ward crept up to the passenger side of the police vehicle. Inmate Sims fired three or four times gunshots through the closed front passenger side window, striking Officer Dominguez three times. After inmate Sims stopped firing, Ward opened the rear door of the police vehicle, allowing the detained subject to exit and flee.
As a result of the cooperation of numerous witnesses and the rapid response of detectives and officers from several surrounding police agencies, the suspects were quickly identified and taken into custody within ten hours of the assault.
Officer Dominguez suffered gunshot wounds to his right temple, right cheek and right arm. He was transported to the hospital where he was placed on life support. He remained in a coma for more than a week. The bullet that entered Officer Dominguez’ head fragmented in his brain. During the initial surgery, the surgeon removed approximately 1/2 cup of damaged brain and as much of the fragmented bullet as possible. This injury disrupted all motor skills on his left side, and he lost all peripheral vision. He was hospitalized for three months and continued intense rehabilitation for one year. The shooting also deeply affected his wife and his three children, who were 2, 4 and 11 years at the time. Mrs. Dominguez was forced to leave her job in order to provide nursing care for her husband.
In interviews with detectives, inmate Sims admitted he was a Rollin’ 20’s Crip gang member and said that he had just been released from the California Youth Authority after serving four years. Inmate Sims denied shooting the officer. He also denied ever having used drugs and told detectives he didn’t own a gun and that there was no gun in his house. A check of his criminal history showed three arrests as a juvenile: one for burglary; a second for carrying a concealed weapon, carrying a loaded firearm and commission of a crime while armed; and a third for possession of a controlled substance.
In inmate Sims’ own words, the officer was just doing his job. Sims’ unprovoked, murderous attack on the unsuspecting officer, whose job it is to protect the public against people like inmate Sims, calls for nothing less than that he be held accountable for his crime. Inmate Sims is not suitable for release and should serve out the term of life in prison as prescribed by the sentencing court.

Sincerely,

_________________

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