Violent Crime Is Up, and Critics Say L.A.'s Mayor Is "Hiding Out"
Critics allege that Mayor Eric Garcetti, who's up for re-election March 7, is hiding from the issue because it won't do him much good at the polls. City officials say scheduling conflicts have prevented him from appearing with Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck to discuss the statistics. LAPPL board secretary Robert Harris said the union isn't blaming Garcetti for the city's crime woes. But, he said, the problem of rising lawlessness needs to be addressed by unleashing more overtime, hiring more cops and hiring more civilians to do desk jobs being done by sworn personnel. "Crime is up, and our staffing and patrol is down," he says. "What are we going to do to fix it?"
Fugitive Arrested in South L.A. After Trying to Run Over Officers, Police Say
A fugitive from out of state was arrested in South Los Angeles early Wednesday after allegedly attempting to run over police officers in a stolen vehicle. LAPD officers were in the area of Florence and Vermont avenues around 1:25 a.m. when they approached a vehicle stopped in a parking lot. As they drew closer, the driver backed the vehicle toward the officers, forcing one of them to jump out of the way, said Officer Liliana Preciado. The driver hit the officers' patrol car on the driver's side and then struck at least one other vehicle, Preciado said. “The officers have to jump out of the way to avoid being hit this whole time,” Preciado said.
Los Angeles Times
‘Willpower Defeated Firepower': LAPD Honors Heroes of North Hollywood Shootout
The dispatcher's voice had crackled through police radios across Los Angeles: “Shots fired … AK-47 … there's an officer down.” She'd been a voice of calm 20 years ago today during 44 minutes of abject terror. Once again, she was heard at 9:17 a.m. during a tribute to those who had risked their lives during the North Hollywood shootout — one of the longest gun battles in police history. “And with that series of broadcasts to that chaos and initial terror began an incident that ended with a true demonstration of the character of this organization that we call the Los Angeles Police Department — a demonstration of valor,” said Capt. Donald Graham, commander of the North Hollywood Division.
Los Angeles Daily News
LAPD Officers Cleared in Shooting Incident Involving Accused Rapist Posing as Uber Driver
Two officers who helped save a woman allegedly kidnapped and raped by a man posing as an Uber driver were cleared of any wrongdoing Tuesday by the Los Angeles Police Commission after one of the officers shot at the suspect. The 5-0 vote by the commission agreed with Chief Charlie Beck's assertion that the officers' use of force was within department policy. The incident occurred on April 3, 2016 in the Westlake district after a woman was allegedly approached by the suspect, Dartanyun Lamar Smith, as she was waiting for an Uber and he convinced her he was from the ride-sharing service.
Judge to Decide Restraining Order to Protect L.A. Police Commission President Against Black Lives Matter Protester
A judge is expected to rule Wednesday on a request for a restraining order to protect Los Angeles Police Commission President Matt Johnson against a Black Lives Matter activist accused of threatening him and appearing at his home and law office. The city's attempt to obtain the order against Trevor Ferguson represents a new high-water mark in the conflict between Black Lives Matter protesters and the commission. Ferguson, who denies that he threatened Johnson, is part of a group that often disrupts the Police Commission's weekly meetings by chanting and speaking out of turn to express outrage at Los Angeles Police Department shootings of black and Latino people.
Los Angeles Times
Arrest Made In Connection With Deadly Hit-And-Run Crash In South LA
Police will hold a news conference Wednesday to announce the arrest of a hit-and-run driver who is accused of killing a 64-year-old woman in South Los Angeles. According to police, a Jeep Renegade blew through a stop sign and T-boned Brenda Joyce Scott's car just before 6 p.m. on Feb. 24, near 95th Street and Hoover Boulevard. Witnesses heard the loud crash, which took place just 10 blocks from Scott's mother's house. The hit-and-run driver fled from the scene. The passenger hung around for a few minutes but ran away before police arrived.
LAPD Asks for Help Identifying 3 Men in Hollywood Hills Burglary That Was Caught on Camera
Officials are asking for the public's help identifying three men involved in a burglary that was caught on camera at a Hollywood Hills home earlier this month. The incident occurred between 6:05 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. on Feb. 10. Three men are seen breaking into a residence in the 1600 block of Marmont Avenue, Los Angeles Police Department officials said. One of the burglars knocked on the front door and waited for an answer, then all three of them went through a back door. The men went through each room and took about $40,000 in property, including jewelry and camera equipment, police said.
Police: Man Steals Taco Van, Caught In Granada Hills After Wild Chase
A man who police said lead them on a wild pursuit in a stolen taco-catering van was captured and arrested in Granada Hills on Tuesday night. The incident began when the suspect stole the truck during a catering event in Pacoima, Los Angeles police say. “We were unloading and finishing the work day, and we just started unloading all the equipment and finished up, and once we noticed somebody jumped in the vehicle, opened the door, closed the door, and left in the van,” said Edgar Ruiz, owner of Epic Tacos.
Armed Robber Who Terrorized San Fernando Valley Sentenced to 30 Years
A Reseda man pleaded no contest to a series of armed robberies in the west San Fernando Valley and was immediately sentenced Tuesday to 30 years behind bars. Jason Paul Holman, 35, entered his plea to six counts of second-degree robbery and admitted being armed with a rifle during the heists, according to Deputy District Attorney Kaveh Faturechi. Seventeen other counts against him were dismissed as a result of his plea, according to the prosecutor. The charges stemmed from robberies at a dozen locations, including fast- food restaurants and gas stations, between July 2014 and December 2015, Faturechi said. Holman has remained in jail since he was arrested in December 2015 by detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department's Robbery-Homicide Division.
California Has Some of the Toughest Laws Keeping Police Discipline Private. That Seems Unlikely to Change
In the nearly three years since nationwide protests erupted after a Ferguson, Mo., police officer shot and killed teenager Michael Brown, state lawmakers introduced multiple bills designed to overhaul how much Californians are allowed to know about officer-involved shootings and internal investigations, and increase access to body camera videos. But most of the major efforts have failed, and this year civil rights and pro-transparency groups have been unable to find a legislator willing to try to unwind some of the state's strict protections against disclosing information about officer discipline. The lack of legislation speaks to the substantial political influence of law enforcement within the Capitol and a waning sense of urgency on police accountability issues as some of the highest-profile examples of alleged misconduct fade from the headlines, advocates said.
Los Angeles Times
NY Deputy Killed in Single-Vehicle Crash
A Greene County sheriff's deputy killed in a crash on Route 23 early Tuesday was remembered as an "awesome worker." Deputy Kevin Haverly, 26, was driving on duty at 6:15 a.m. on Route 23 in Ashland when his car struck a telephone pole, State Police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Lt. Adam Brainard told the Catskill Daily Mail that Haverly was in the final hour of his 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift when the crash happened. "It was a pretty severe accident," Brainard said. Part of Route 23 was closed for hours as troopers investigated the crash Tuesday morning and afternoon.