An ex-Mexican Mafia leader serving life in prison for murder was escorted by police to speak at a gathering of police chiefs and business leaders,

The move on Wednesday prompted criticism and a call for a probe from the head of the civilian oversight commission for the Los Angeles Police Department, which organized the event.

Steve Soboroff says the public was unnecessarily endangered by having Rene "Boxer" Enriquez speak in a downtown Los Angeles building that required 23 elite LAPD officers to secure.

Participants were provided refreshments and a book about Enriquez's life and rise to power.

LAPD Deputy Chief Michael Downing says the event, first suggested by the Young Presidents' Organization, provided valuable information on the growth and operations of a transnational criminal enterprise, but in retrospect could have been held elsewhere.