A councilman in Orange County has canceled his plans for hosting a wake for a wanted man who died in a shootout with police officers.
Gary Monahan, a Costa Mesa councilman who has been at odds with police in the past, had planned to host a memorial at his restaurant for Julius Pinson, who was wanted on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, embezzlement and sexual assault.
But after being criticized, Monahan told the Daily Pilot this weekend that he was canceling the wake but would continue to take donations for Pinson’s wife and her son.
Monahan said he was scuttling plans for the wake “due to the publicity.”
The wake for the wanted man -- identified as an antiques dealer -- was originally proposed by former pastor David Trotter, who also invited the officers involved in the December shootout.
"I would love to see those police officers at the memorial," he said.
Some residents and police officers criticized Monahan for agreeing to host an event for a accused criminal who allegedly pulled a gun on police.
"Our officers had a gun pulled on them during an arrest with two shots fired by the suspect," Costa Mesa Police Assn. President Rob Dimel said. "Our officers' lives and those of the nearby public were in danger."
Dimel, however, stopped short of saying it was inappropriate for Monahan to host the event.
Still, one resident, Mary Spadoni, had planned an opposing police appreciation rally across the street from the councilman’s restaurant during the wake. She has since canceled her plans, too.