Man Accused of Killing Whittier Cop Appears in Bellflower Court as 19 Officers Watch
An East Los Angeles gang member stood impassively in a courtroom Monday as 19 Whittier police officers grimly bore witness to a legal proceeding for the man accused of killing one of their colleagues. Michael C. Mejia, 26, showed little emotion during a hearing in Bellflower where more than half the audience was made up of police officers who had worked with Whittier Officer Keith Boyer. Mejia is accused of killing Boyer on Feb. 20 during a gunfight, which also left a second police officer, Patrick Hazell, wounded. His plea was delayed until April 5 so that a permanent attorney could be assigned to his defense. The Whittier officers kept their eyes fixed on Mejia throughout the short proceeding; he avoided eye contact with the men and women dressed in blue.
Los Angeles Times
LAPD, Long Beach Police Will Soon Patrol Metro Stations
The Los Angeles and Long Beach police departments will soon have officers covering Metro stations, which is good news for riders in Koreatown after a man was stabbed to death at the Purple Line platform. It was a busy Monday afternoon outside that station near Wilshire Boulevard and Normandie Avenue . There were no signs of the violence that had erupted Sunday night on the underground platform. Now that the LAPD and Long Beach police will be covering the stations and routes within their areas, it should mean faster response times, according to a recent study.
Burglary Suspect Barricades Himself in California Pizza Kitchen
A Studio City plaza was evacuated Sunday night when a burglary suspect barricaded himself inside a California Pizza Kitchen storage unit. A California Pizza Kitchen employee and his manager discovered that the second floor storage unit was locked around 6 p.m. They heard noises coming from inside so they called police. "They were just yelling at us," employee Jalen McKoy said. Officers evacuated the plaza, located on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City. The suspect eventually made his way to the attic, which allowed him access to the entire building. The suspect became violent and a threat to officers, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Jurors Award $1.5 Million to LAPD Detective Who Claimed He was Victim of Retaliation
Jamie McBride, an outspoken leader of the union that represents Los Angeles Police Department officers, won $1.5 million Monday in a lawsuit alleging that his supervisors retaliated against him. McBride alleged that he was unfairly punished for refusing to sign a declaration prepared by a federal prosecutor in a case involving 38th Street gang members. One of the gang members charged in the case was McBride's confidential informant. McBride thought the declaration was inaccurate because it did not reflect his role in encouraging the informant to get close to a Mexican Mafia leader. Jurors awarded McBride, who said he suffers from hypothyroidism brought on by stress, $1 million for pain and suffering and another $500,000 for future pain and suffering.
Los Angeles Times
Loz Feliz Robbery Suspects Caught on Video, Public's Help Sought
Investigators hoping to generate tips from the public released surveillance video Monday of two robbery suspects who targeted homes in Los Feliz, where one victim was threatened at gunpoint. About 12:50 p.m. Feb. 9, the suspects drove to the front of a home in the 3800 block of Amesbury Road, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. “The suspects sat in their car in front of the residence for approximately 20 minutes and observed the patterns of the homeowners,” according to the LAPD. “Once the homeowner left the residence to walk her dog, the suspects went up to the front door of the residence and opened the front door to commit a burglary.”
Baby Who Was Not Breathing at North Hollywood Day Care Later Dies, LAPD Investigating
A baby boy who was not breathing while at a day care facility in North Hollywood later died at a hospital and the Los Angeles Police Department is investigating, officials said Monday. Authorities responded to the licensed facility in the 11100 block of Tiara Street about 2:30 p.m., Officer Mike Lopez told KTLA. The 3-month-old baby was put down for a nap and when an employee came back, the baby was unresponsive, the officer said. The baby was taken to a hospital by the Los Angeles Fire Department where he later died.
Woman Armed With Gun Shot By Officers, LAPD Says
Authorities say a woman has been hospitalized after being shot by police in Los Angeles. A Los Angeles police spokesman says officers were called to Sunset Boulevard and Edgecliffe Drive in the Silver Lake neighborhood around 3:30 p.m. for a call reporting a “combative woman.” Officer Mike Lopez says the officers arrived and found the woman armed with a gun. He says the woman was shot by police during the encounter. Police couldn't immediately provide additional information about the circumstances surrounding the shooting. Lopez says an investigation is still underway. Police say a weapon was recovered at the scene.
Immigrant Charged in Crash Was Deported 5 Times, Family says Victim's Death ‘Could Have Been Prevented'
On the afternoon of Feb. 19, Sandra Duran, 42 — a mother, daughter and sister — was killed in a violent car crash on a rain-slicked road in North Hills. Los Angeles police say Estuardo Alvarado, the man who allegedly caused the collision, was speeding down Sepulveda Boulevard as he tried to flee the scene of another crash and slammed into a car being driven by Duran, who died at the scene. Alvarado was arrested moments after the crash. The 45-year-old Lakeview Terrace resident is an undocumented immigrant with a lengthy criminal record who was deported five times before the collision, according to federal authorities and court records.
Los Angeles Daily News
Rally Held for Highland Park Dad Detained by ICE While Dropping Kids Off at School
About 75 people gathered in Pershing Square on Monday to show their support for an undocumented immigrant who was detained by agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement while dropping his children off at school. Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, 48, was detained by ICE agents Tuesday while dropping his daughters off at school in Highland Park . His arrest was captured on video by his 13-year-old daughter, Fatima Avelica, who could be heard sobbing as agents took her father away.
FBI Agent: Conspiracy Trail Leads to Former LA County Sheriff Lee Baca
FBI special agent Leah Tanner took the stand Monday to walk the jury through her investigation into the Los Angeles County jails — and how it ultimately took her to the door of then-Sheriff Lee Baca. Tanner, who then went by her maiden name Marx, was assigned to investigate the jails in June 2010 after an inmate wrote a letter saying deputies were using excessive force for "no reason." "It quickly started to expand," Tanner told the jury, as she identified more inmate sources. Tanner eventually began routine conversations with inmate Anthony Brown and got him a cell phone, smuggled in by a jail deputy bribed in an undercover FBI operation.
California Assemblyman Wants to Criminalize Recording Violent Crime
A California assemblyman believes those who film violent crimes should face charges along with the attacker. He is introducing a bill to crack down on conspirators. In December, a teen sucker-punched high school student Jordan Peisner, who he didn't even know. Jordan suffered multiple injuries, including permanent hearing loss. The incident, which was recorded and shared on social media, sparked outrage among community members, who demanded an end to such bullying. State Assemblymember Matt Dababneh (D-Encino) says the filmed attack is part of a shocking surge of violent attacks for the purpose of filming and sharing on social media.
Gun Store Burglaries Soar by 30%, Smashing ATF Record
Thieves are breaking into more gun stores, and stealing more weapons, than at any time since the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives began tracking burglaries and robberies five years ago. A total of 558 burglaries were reported at licensed firearms dealers in 2016, a 30 percent jump over 2015, which had previously been the busiest year on record for gun store break-ins. The number of guns stolen in these heists soared as well. The ATF recorded 7,488 firearms lost to burglars last year, 59 percent more than were stolen in burglaries in 2015, when thieves took 4,721 weapons.
Utah trooper in critical condition after driver strikes patrol car
A Utah Highway Patrol trooper was critically injured Monday after he was hit by his own car while standing on I-15 during a three-vehicle crash caused by a driver who fell asleep, investigators said. Trooper Devin Gurney, 27, who has been with the highway patrol for three years, was taken to Utah Valley Hospital in critical condition, though his injuries are not considered to be life-threatening, according to UHP Sgt. Todd Royce.