LACP - NEWS of the Week
on some LACP issues of interest
NEWS of the Week
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following group of articles is but a small percentage of the info available to the community policing and neighborhood activist. It is by no means meant to cover every possible issue of interest, nor is it meant to convey any particular point of view. We present this simply as a convenience to our readership.
"News of the Week"  

July 2019 - Week 5
Terri Lanahan
Many thanks to NAASCA's Terri Lanahan, Butte, Montana,
for her research into the news that appears on
the LACP & NAASCA web sites.

First Tuesday of August each year - Aug 6th

National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie.

  National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community.

Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.

Millions of neighbors take part in National Night Out across thousands of communities from all fifty states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide on the first Tuesday in August (Texas celebrates on the first Tuesday in October). Neighborhoods host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and various other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel, exhibits and much, much more.


National Night Out is observed annually on the first Tuesday in August. This night focuses on the community and raising awareness in the United States.  Promoting police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer.

Shining a spotlight on community police programs, National Night Out increases connections between those who serve and their neighborhoods through the programs they provide.  Some of these programs include:

  • Drug prevention

  • Town watch

  • Neighborhood watch

  • Other anti-watch

Some of the largest National Night Out events include live music, food, and entertainment.


Block watches, not-for-profits, business, and police departments organize events around the country. They may be as small as a backyard barbecue or as large as a full-blown festival. Events around the country are normally organized by block watches, not-for-profit organizations, companies, and police departments.  Join a local National Night Out event near you. Post on social media using #NationalNightOutDay.


The National Association of Town Watch sponsors National Night Out in the United States and Canada. Although the origin dates back to the early 1970s the day has been celebrated since 1984. 

More recently 'Dog Walker Watch' has been incorporated into being a part of the program. Dog owners, 75 million of them, are out day and night with their dogs walking neighborhoods. These neighbors can assist local law enforcement as extra eyes and ears while out walking their dog. As extra pairs of eyes all over communities, these neighbors can assist local law enforcement to be more aware of the goings-on in communities.

Check your local area for the events near you !!!



(video on site)

'Multiple fatalities' in mass shooting at El Paso Walmart, male suspect in custody, officials say

by Lucia I. Suarez Sang

A gunman opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, Saturday morning, causing "multiple fatalities," city police and officials said.

Sgt. Robert Gomez, a police spokesman, told reporters in the afternoon that the suspect was a white male in his mid-20s who used a rifle. Police said the suspect was taken into custody without incident and no law enforcement fired their weapons.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told Fox News that there were between 15 and 20 "casualties" of the shooting, but did not give a number of fatalities. Ryan Mielke, a spokesman for University Medical Center of El Paso, told Fox News that 13 patients -- 1 of whom died at the hospital -- were being treated at the facility's Level 1 trauma center. Mielke told the Associated Press that two children, ages 2 and 9, were stabilized at the medical center before being transferred to the neighboring El Paso Children's Hospital.

Del Sol Medical Center told Fox News it has received 11 patients, 9 of whom were critical but stable condition and 2 who were in stable condition. The patients' ages ranged from 35 to 82, the hospital said. El Paso police tweeted that blood donations were "needed urgently" to aid the injured.

"Terrible shootings in ElPaso, Texas," President Trump tweeted. "Reports are very bad, many killed. Working with State and Local authorities, and Law Enforcement."

Terrible shootings in ElPaso, Texas. Reports are very bad, many killed. Working with State and Local authorities, and Law Enforcement. Spoke to Governor to pledge total support of Federal Government. God be with you all!

"Spoke to Governor to pledge total support of Federal Government. God be with you all!" Trump added. White House Deputy Press Secretary Steven Groves said earlier that Trump had been briefed on the shooting "and we continue to monitor the situation." Groves added that Trump had spoken to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott as well as Attorney General Willian Barr.

Police responded to reports of an active shooting in the area of the Cielo Vista Mall shortly before 11 a.m. and asked people to stay away from the area and to look for missing family members at a school being used as a reunification area. El Paso Police Sgt. Enrique Carrillo told reporters shortly before 1 p.m. that one person was in custody and there was no longer an "imminent threat" to the area.

Vanessa Saenz, a witness, told Fox News that she heard several "pops" near the area and saw a man in a black shirt and cargo pants with a weapon shooting outside the building before entering the Walmart.

"He was just pointing at people and just shooting," she added. Another witness told Fox News that his mother died at the scene.

A witness told CBS News that he was about to enter the Walmart when he heard at least 10 gunshots and saw an elderly lady fall to the ground. He said he was not sure if she was shot.

A family of three was among a dozen people waiting outside a bus station. They were trying to return to their car that was in a blocked-off Walmart parking lot.

"I heard the shots but I thought they were hits, like roof construction," Adriana Quezada, 39, who was in the women's clothing section of Walmart with her two children, told The Associated Press.

Videos showed some injured people being brought to a nearby Sam's Club.

Abbott said the shooting was "a heinous and senseless act of violence."

"Our hearts go out to the victims of this horrific shooting and to the entire community in this time of loss," he said.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said his office was "ready to give full support to all federal, state, and local law enforcement who are on the scene now and to those who will be conducting the ongoing investigation."

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourk, who used to represent El Paso in the House of Representatives, tweeted that the shooting was truly heartbreaking."

O'Rourke appeared shaken as he appeared at a candidate forum in Las Vegas on Saturday shortly after news of the shooting was reported. He said he had called his wife before taking the stage and said the shooting shatters "any illusion that we have that progress is inevitable" on tackling gun violence.

"We have to find some reason for optimism and hope or else we consign ourselves to a future where nearly 40,000 people are year will lose their lives to gun violence and I cannot accept that," O'Rourke said.

O'Rourke's campaign later said the candidate had canceled planned campaign events in Nevada and California. O'Rourke told reporters he was going back to El Paso to "be with my family and to be with my hometown."

The Democrat said he'd heard early reports that the shooter might have had a military-style weapon, saying we need to "keep that s--t on the battlefield and do not bring it into our communities."

Democratic Rep. Veronica Escobar tweeted that she is “utterly heartbroken” by the news of the shooting in El Paso and said she is monitoring the situation.

“Please stay safe,” she added.

Utterly heartbroken by the developing news in El Paso. Monitoring the situation and in communication with our law enforcement. Please stay safe.

“Stay safe, El Paso. Please follow all directions of emergency personnel as we continue to get more updates,” he tweeted.

My grandmother used to take me to Cielo Vista Mall. Now it's one more mass shooting scene. How many more must grieve before we act?

South Bend, Ind., Mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg also weighed, tweeting: "My grandmother used to take me to Cielo Vista Mall. Now it's one more mass shooting scene. How many more must grieve before we act? #ElPaso".

Saturday's shooting comes just days after a gunman opened fire at a Walmart in Northern Mississippi, leaving two dead and a police officer injured. In response to the latest shooting, Walmart tweeted: "We're in shock over the tragic events at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso ... We're praying for the victims, the community & our associates, as well as the first responders. We're working closely with law enforcement & will update as appropriate.

And last week, a gunman killed three people – including a 6-year-old boy – before turning the gun on himself at a Northern California food festival.

El Paso, which has about 680,000 residents, is in West Texas sits across the border from Juarez, Mexico.


Dayton, Ohio

9 killed in Ohio in second U.S. mass shooting within 24 hours

by Kevin Williams and Hannah Knowles

DAYTON — Nine people were killed and 27 were injured Sunday morning in a shooting in Dayton, Ohio, authorities said, the latest such incident in a grim week of mass shootings across the nation.

Officials say they have identified the suspected shooter, who is also dead, but are not releasing information yet.

The attack came less than a day after a man with an assault-style weapon killed 20 people in El Paso and a week after a gunman fired on a garlic festival in Gilroy, Calif., killing three people, including a 6-year-old boy, and wounding 12. With the country still grieving, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley noted that the tragedy in her city was just the latest.

“As a mayor, this is a day that we all dread happening,” she said in a Sunday morning news conference. “And certainly what's very sad as I've gotten messages from cities across the country is that so many of us have gone through it.”

The shooting shattered a typical summer weekend night's revelry in Dayton's Oregon District, outside the 400 block of East Fifth Street and amid a busy nightlife scene of bars and restaurants, according to authorities. Police said officers ended the violence “quickly” by shooting the gunman, who began firing at 1:07 a.m. with what Whalen called an “AK-like gun.”

The gunman used a .223-caliber high-capacity magazine and was wearing body armor, according to Whalen. The suspect had additional magazines. Officers neutralized him in under a minute, she said, and that quick response saved lives.

“While this is a terribly sad day for our city, I am amazed by the quick response of Dayton police that saved literally hundreds of lives,” she said, adding that the 26 injured are at area hospitals and that Gov. Mike DeWine — who she has been in contact with — conveyed his condolences.

Whalen said that as of 10 a.m., 27 hurt in the shooting and its aftermath have been treated and 15 have been discharged.

Miami Valley Hospital received 16 victims, 12 of which have been released, hospital staff said at a press conference. One of the remaining patients is in critical condition, and some have undergone or are undergoing surgery Sunday.

Kettering Health Network was treating multiple victims as well, spokeswoman Elizabeth Long said. The network's Grandview Medical Center received the most patients, she said, with nine people treated; seven were brought to the center by authorities, while two others walked in. Three of those nine are in serious conditions, while three more are in fair condition and others are discharged, according to Long.

Injuries ranged from gunshot wounds to the abdomen and extremities to a foot laceration sustained in the chaos after the shooting, Long said. Other Kettering Health Network facilities are treating more patients.

Authorities said they believe there was only one shooter and have yet to provide details about the suspect, though they are interviewing dozens of people. The FBI is aiding the investigation. Police have not yet provided the names of victims.

Whaley would not speculate on the gunman's motive.

“I can't get inside his head,” she said.

Police Lt. Col. Matt Carper said it is too early in the investigation to determine whether the gunman was targeting anyone or any place specifically.

A vigil for victims and their loved ones will be held at 8 p.m. Sunday. City officials have yet to announce a location.

Just hours after the shooting, the scene of the shooting had been cordoned off with police tape and the area was largely deserted. But as daybreak settled over the city, more and more people filed into Dayton's convention center seeking information about missing loved ones at a station set up by the city.

Joe Oglesby said he was “numb” when he found out that his niece, Lois Oglesby, was among those killed. Oglesby said his 29-year-old niece had just had a baby last month and had an older child.

“She was a nurse's aide and a very devoted mother,” Oglesby said.

Jazze Pigue, 26, of Dayton arrived at the convention center to find her cousin. Initial reports put the shooting around Ned Peppers nightclub, which Pigue said her cousin liked to visit. The recent rash of U.S. shootings and Dayton's addition to the long list of places attacked is “disheartening,” she said.

The shooting is one in a string of high-profile challenges the city has faced this year. A Ku Klux Klan rally drew hundreds of protesters to the city in May, followed by a round of tornadoes that chewed through the northern party of the city.

“Dayton has been through a lot lately, but I continue to be amazed at the grit and resiliency of the community,” Whaley said.

The governor ordered flags to fly at half-staff as people from around the world expressed sadness over the latest mass shooting in the United States. Pope Francis offered his condolences for the victims of U.S. shootings that hurt “defenseless people.” New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted out his sympathy, too.

President Trump has been briefed on the Dayton shooting and is monitoring the situation, deputy White House press secretary Steven Groves told the Associated Press.

Trump's first tweet on the shooting Sunday morning focused on law enforcement's response, praising the speed, and said that “information is rapidly being accumulated in Dayton.”

"Much has already [been] learned in El Paso,” he wrote.

“God bless the people of El Paso Texas,” he added in another tweet. “God bless the people of Dayton, Ohio.”

The Oregon District, sandwiched between the city's downtown and the nearby University of Dayton, wrote in a Facebook post, “We are heartbroken for the victims and their families.” The district will reopen Sunday afternoon, Whalen said, maintaining that the district is “one of the safest places in the whole region" while saying that recent attacks show any place in the country could be hit by gun violence.

Ohio leaders also shared their grief. Some went beyond condolences to call for stricter gun control, echoing Democratic leaders who renewed their condemnations of inaction on guns after the El Paso shooting.

“We are also angry — angry that shooting after shooting politicians in Washington and Columbus refuse to pass sensible gun-safety laws to protect our communities,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) tweeted.

Sen. Rob Portman (R- Ohio) did not mention gun control but said in a statement that these “senseless acts of violence must stop.”

Rep. Michael R. Turner (R-Ohio) wrote on Twitter that his daughter and a friend were across the street from the site of the shooting when it began. They watched as officers ran toward gunfire, he said.

“Thank you to @DaytonPolice for their bravery in stopping this evil,” Turner said.



(excellent graphics)

The terrible numbers that grow with each mass shooting

Nine people killed in a popular nightlife area in Dayton, Ohio

by Bonnie Berkowitz, Denise Lu and Chris Alcantara

The places change, the numbers change, but the choice of weapon remains the same. In the United States, people who want to kill a lot of other people most often do it with guns.

Public mass shootings account for a tiny fraction of the country's gun deaths, but they are uniquely terrifying because they occur without warning in the most mundane places. Most of the victims are chosen not for what they have done but simply for where they happen to be.

There is no universally accepted definition of a public mass shooting, and this piece defines it narrowly. It looks at the 165 shootings in which four or more people were killed by a lone shooter (two shooters in a few cases). It does not include shootings tied to gang disputes or robberies that went awry, and it does not include domestic shootings that took place exclusively in private homes. A broader definition would yield much higher numbers.

This tally begins Aug. 1, 1966, when a student sniper fired down on passersby from the observation deck of a clock tower at the University of Texas. By the time police killed him, 17 other people were dead or dying. As Texas Monthly's Pamela Colloff wrote, the shooting “ushered in the notion that any group of people, anywhere — even walking around a university campus on a summer day — could be killed at random by a stranger.”

1,194 killed

The people who were killed came from nearly every imaginable race, religion and socioeconomic background. Their ages range from the unborn to the elderly; 189 were children and teenagers . In addition, thousands of survivors were left with devastating injuries, shattered families and psychological scars.

The oldest victim

Louise De Kler, 98, still took her pool cue and boombox to the rec room at Pinelake Health and Rehab to play pool with the “young guys,” her daughter told the Associated Press. She was shot to death in 2009 by a man who had come to her Carthage, N.C., nursing home looking for his estranged wife.

The youngest victims

Eight-month-old Carlos Reyes was buried in a casket with his mother, Jackie, who had tried to shield him as an unemployed father of two opened fire at a busy McDonald's in San Ysidro, Calif., in 1984. Three unborn children are included in the official death tolls from shootings in Austin, Wilkinsburg, Pa., and Sutherland Springs, Texas.

315 guns

Shooters often carried more than one weapon; one was found with 24. At least 175 of mass shooters' weapons were obtained legally and 59 were obtained illegally . It's unclear how 81 weapons were acquired.

Semiautomatic rifles

Semiautomatic rifles have been used in some of the country's deadliest shootings, such as those in Newtown, Orlando, San Bernardino and Las Vegas. The AR-15, a lightweight, customizable version of the military's M16, soared in popularity after a 10-year federal ban on assault weapons expired in 2004. Some of the Las Vegas shooter's guns had been fitted with legal devices called “bump-fire stocks,” which allow semiautomatic rifles to fire as quickly as automatic ones.

Semiautomatic pistols

The country's most popular type of firearm, 9mm semiautomatic handguns, are used by many law enforcement officers. They are generally light and inexpensive, easy to conceal and control, and they fire as quickly as a person can pull the trigger. The gunman who killed 32 students and teachers at Virginia Tech in 2007 used a 9mm semiautomatic Glock 19 (and a .22-caliber Walther P22, another popular caliber). In this data, 9mm semiautomatic handguns show up more than any other weapon.

169 shooters

Some of these mass shooters were known to have violent tendencies or criminal pasts. Others seemed largely fine until they attacked. All but 3 were male. The vast majority were between the ages of 20 and 49. More than half — 95 of them — died at or near the scene of the shooting, often by killing themselves.


The most recent female shooter was a Pakistani mother who helped kill 14 partygoers at her husband's workplace in San Bernardino, Calif., in 2015. The others are an ex-postal worker who killed a former neighbor and six employees at a Goleta, Calif., mail-processing facility in 2006; and a former tribal council chairwoman who killed her brother and three others during an eviction hearing in Alturas, Calif., in 2014.


Andrew Golden, 11, and Mitchell Johnson, 13, pulled a fire alarm to flush students and teachers out of their Jonesboro, Ark., middle school in 1998, and began shooting from a wooded perch nearby. They killed four girls and a teacher and wounded 10 others.

165 shootings

In the 50 years before the Texas tower shooting, there were just 25 public mass shootings in which four or more people were killed, according to author and criminologist Grant Duwe. Since then, the number has risen dramatically, and many of the deadliest shootings have occurred within the past few years.

42 states and the District

Shootings in schools and houses of worship tend to stand out in our minds, but they make up a relatively small portion of public mass shootings. More common are those in offices and retail establishments such as restaurants and stores. California has had more of these public mass shootings than any other state, with 25.

Some locations have simply become shorthand for the horrors that occurred there — Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook. And some have added other tragic phrases to the national vocabulary:

“Going postal”

One of the most notorious workplace shootings was carried out by an ex-Marine in an Edmond, Okla., post office in 1986. He killed 14 and wounded six before killing himself. It was the deadliest in a string of rage-fueled killings by current and former postal employees that gave rise to the phrase “going postal.”

“Active shooter”

The 1999 siege by two seniors at Columbine High School in Colorado became a turning point after which school shootings could no longer be considered unthinkable aberrations. After a confused response that played out over several hours while a wounded teacher bled to death, U.S. law enforcement agencies overhauled procedures and officer training to create protocols for stopping an “active shooter.”

“Lockdown drill”

After Columbine, many schools created safety plans so that children and educators would know what to do during an attack. After Sandy Hook, “lockdown drills” became as common as fire drills. No children were killed at the Rancho Tehama Elementary School shooting in California in 2017, when fast-acting educators and students executed lockdown procedures that kept the gunman out of the school.


About this story

This data is compiled from Mother Jones; Grant Duwe, author of “Mass Murder in the United States: A History,” and Washington Post research.

Death tolls include victims killed by shooters within a day of the main shooting, including any who were killed in another way. Totals also include people who later died from injuries received during the shootings. Injuries include everyone reportedly hurt in the event, not just gunshot injuries. A gun purchase that should have been rejected but was allowed because of a bureaucratic or reporting glitch is considered illegal. Reports disagree on some ages in this dataset.

Additional sources: Violence Policy Center,
Gun Violence Archive; FBI 2014 Study of Active Shooter Incidents; published reports.

This is an updated version of a piece originally published in December 2015.

Originally published Feb. 14, 2018.



A Guide to Understanding Mass Shootings in America

A gun rampage in El Paso, Texas was followed hours later by another in Dayton, Ohio. Here's the essential context for the latest examples of a deadly phenomenon.


A nation still processing the news of the latest mass shooting woke up Sunday to reports that another American community had been scarred by a gunman spraying bullets into a crowd.

The first incident occurred Saturday morning, August 3, in El Paso, Texas, where at least 20 people were fatally shot at a Walmart in a busy shopping center. Another 26 people were injured and a suspect is in custody. He has been unofficially identified as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius of Dallas, Texas.

Thirteen hours later, nine people were shot and killed and 16 others were wounded in downtown Dayton, Ohio, according to preliminary reports from the local police. The shooting began at 1 a.m. in a downtown entertainment district. Officers on the scene “put an end to it quickly” by killing the suspect, who was reportedly wearing body armor, police said.

The rampages come one weekend after 15 people were shot, three of them fatally, at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California, and another 12 people were shot, one of them fatally, at a block party in Brooklyn, New York.

Here's the big picture on mass shootings in America, and how they fit into our country's epidemic of gun violence.

Tragedy and spectacle

There is no official definition of “mass shooting,” though it is often understood as an incident in a public place that claims four or more lives, and attracts widespread media coverage. In the last five decades, these events have become far more common.

Other groups use a much broader definition for what counts as a mass shooting, sweeping in incidents that happen in homes, and where there are four or more casualties — not just deaths.  According to Gun Violence Archive, the there have now been 150 mass shootings in 2019.

The random nature of indiscriminate gunfire unleashed without warning is all the more frightening because it can happen anywhere. In recent years, gunmen have killed worshipers at a church, moviegoers at a theater, people at a gay nightclub, and young children at an elementary school. In July 2016, a 25-year-old Army reservist who was reportedly angry over police shootings of unarmed black men killed five officers and wounded 11 others during a rampage in Dallas.

Mass shootings are both tragedy and spectacle. As a result, they attract a huge amount of attention, which tends to distort views about the prevalence of incidents, the most common victims, and how the weapons that are used are obtained.

Most of the deadliest mass shootings in modern American history have occurred within the past 10 years. 

Despite the attention they garner, mass shootings account for just 2 percent of gun deaths.

Roughly two out of three Americans who die from a gunshot wound are victims of homicide, according to the latest federal data. Everyday gun homicides comprise the second largest share of firearm fatalities and disproportionately kill young black men. 

The majority of mass shooters obtained their weapons legally.

Omar Mateen, the gunman who killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, purchased the rifle and handgun he used in the assault from a federally licensed firearms dealer. Syed Farook purchased two of the handguns used in the San Bernardino massacre from a California gun shop.

An analysis of recent large-scale mass shootings by the New York Times found that 13 of 16 purchased their guns in a similar fashion — legally, after undergoing a background check administered by a federally licensed dealer.

Here's a step-by-step guide to what that entails.

Would a ban on assault weapons curb mass shootings?

Probably not. Many experts believe it is not what the gun looks like that matters most — it's how many rounds it can fire without reloading.

An examination by the New York Times found that gunmen who perpetrated 16 recent mass shootings used a variety of firearms in their attacks, including handguns and assault-style weapons. While rifles like the AR-15 could increase the lethality of an attack in some situations, experts say that the use of high capacity magazines that can hold dozens of rounds of ammunition may give shooters an even greater advantage, allowing for more bullets to be fired without reloading without pause — breaks that can provide an opportunity for an officer or civilian to interrupt an attack.

Mass shooters often fit a psychological and behavioral profile.

America's most notorious mass shooters have been young, angry men who displayed antisocial behavior before they carried out attacks. Many perpetrators of mass killing also have a history of domestic violence; social scientists have found that the same factors drive the two phenomena.

A 2015 HuffPost analysis looked at incidents over a five year period in which at least four people were killed with a gun, including shootings in domestic settings (a criteria which the FBI's definition excludes). A majority of the shootings involved a family member or intimate partner — women and children comprised 64 percent of victims.

Media coverage of the mentally ill exaggerates their role in gun violence.

While mental illness may drive some mass shooters to kill, media coverage of the mentally ill exaggerates their role in gun violence. Less than 4 percent of violent acts are carried out by someone who is mentally ill — and research shows that individuals with mental illness are a greater risk to themselves.

Violent behavior and substance abuse is a better predictor of future violence than a mental health diagnosis. The substance most often associated with violent crimes is alcohol.

Mass shooters in America often target workplaces and schools.

A University of Alabama researcher found that a uniquely American cultural and mental strain leads mass shooters to target workplaces and schools — as opposed to the military installations often targeted by international mass shooters — because these institutions represent the social systems that the gunmen believe mistreated them.

Most mass shooting victims are black.

The gun violence burden is disproportionately carried by men of color, who comprise half of American gun death victims — despite making up just 6 percent of the population. A New York Times analysis of shootings that killed or wounded four or more people in 2015 found that two-thirds of the victims were black. Seventy-two percent of the victims were men.

Some urban neighborhoods are plagued by persistent, truly epidemic shooting rates. Violent gun crime varies even more within American cities than between them. A glance at murder rates by neighborhood — not just by city — reveals a terrible murder inequality that is ensnaring men of color in a cycle of killing.

It's rare for a “good guy with a gun” to intervene during an active shooting.

Gun rights activists say they want to abolish so-called gun-free zones — areas where guns are not permitted, including schools and many private businesses — because they deny civilians carrying concealed handguns the opportunity to stop a massacre, while providing an unprotected target for mass shooters looking to perpetrate large-scale carnage.

Indeed, the foundational tenet of the National Rifle Association's agenda is that more “good guys” carrying guns in public will reduce crime and make society safer. There is no evidence to support this claim. Of the 160 active-shooting incidents from 2000 to 2013 that were analyzed by the FBI in 2014, only one active shooting was stopped by a concealed-carry license holder. Twenty-one were stopped by unarmed civilians.

See if a mass shooting has happened near your home.

To find out how many mass shootings have happened near you, type an address here to see how much gun violence has touched your community. If you spot a cluster of four or more victims, that counts as a mass shooting, according to one definition of the terrible phenomenon.


New York City

NYPD judge recommends Daniel Pantaleo be fired over Eric Garner's chokehold death

by Tina Moore, Larry Celona and Jorge Fitz-Gibbon

Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo should be fired for the chokehold incident involving Eric Garner, an NYPD judge ruled.

NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Trials Rosemarie Maldonado had been weighing whether Pantaleo, whom a grand jury declined to indict and whom the feds chose not to hit with civil rights charges, should face department discipline.

Garner's July 17, 2014, death on Staten Island became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement after cellphone video captured the 43-year-old repeatedly yelling, “I can't breathe!” while being busted on suspicion of illegally selling loose cigarettes.

Under NYPD rules, the verdict will now go to the Civilian Complaint Review Board, which prosecuted the case, according to Stuart London, Pantaleo's lawyer. Each side will have two weeks to submit responses to NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill, who can go along with or overrule Maldonado's verdict.

“This decision is pure political insanity. If it is allowed to stand, it will paralyze the NYPD for years to come,” Police Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch said. “This judge ignored the evidence and trampled P.O. Pantaleo's due process rights in order to deliver the result that the grandstanding politicians and protesters demanded.

“The only hope for justice now lies with Police Commissioner O'Neill,” the police union boss said. “He knows the message that this decision sends to every cop: We are expendable, and we cannot expect any support from the city we protect. He knows that if he affirms this horrendous decision, he will lose his police department.”

O'Neill has previously declined to say if he will follow the administrative judge's decision. But law enforcement sources told The Post he will go along with the ruling.

Pantaleo was suspended immediately after the administrative judge's decision was made public, NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Philip Walzak said in a statement, “as is the longstanding practice in these matters when the recommendation is termination.”

Walzak said O'Neill's decision on Pantaleo's employment is expected sometime this month, but that the commissioner has not been provided with a copy of Maldonado's ruling.

“It has been shared with the CCRB and the defense, for a standard period of final comment from each,” he said. Maldonado “will then deliver the completed report, with those comments, to the police commissioner for final disposition.”

Garner's family reacted after the ruling, calling on the commissioner to fire Pantaleo.

“This has been a long battle — five years too long,” Emerald Snipes Garner, Eric Garner's daughter, said Friday in a brief press conference at the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network. “And finally somebody has said that there is some information that this cop has done something wrong.”

“Commissioner O'Neill, fire Pantaleo. That's all we are asking. We are asking for the congressional hearing. We are going to keep fighting for the Eric Garner law,” she said. “But five years is too long. Commissioner O'Neill, do your job.”

The Garner family and supporters have circulated petitions seeking a law that would ban the chokehold allegedly used on the day that Garner died.

But the recommendation is not sitting well with some cops. “I don't think he should be fired. The man resisted arrest. No matter how minor the charge was, he shouldn't have resisted arrest. They told him he had to leave and he didn't leave. He said, ‘No, I'm not going to leave.' But you guys don't report that part,” said a high-ranking NYPD source.

“What do you do? Walk away. He grabbed him to get him down to the ground. If his arm slipped while he was going down, that was an accident. The stupid mayor gave them money before there was any trial or anything. That tainted the jury. It's just ridiculous.”

In a statement Friday, the Civilian Complaint Review Board said the evidence presented by prosecutors at the hearing “was more than sufficient to prove that Pantaleo is unfit to serve.”


New York City

NYPD union rips de Blasio over Eric Garner cop case, warns police department is ‘frozen'

by Adam Shaw

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio makes remarks after NYPD judge recommends firing police officer in Eric Garner's death.

The New York Police Department union on Friday tore into Mayor Bill de Blasio over his handling of the case of the officer charged in the 2014 death of Eric Garner -- accusing him of creating a "chilling effect."

“Over the last number of years since this mayor walked into City Hall, I've stood at this podium and said [de Blasio's] decisions will have a chilling effect on New York City police officers,” a furious New York City Police Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch told reporters Friday. “Well, the criminal advocates have gotten what they want -- the police department is frozen.”

The union, which represents the 24,000 rank-and-file of New York's Finest, has had a tense relationship with the left-wing mayor, particularly in relation to de Blasio's comments about policing and race. But that has deteriorated even further with his handling of the Garner case and Friday's decision by a NYPD judge to recommend the officer involved be fired.

Garner died in 2014 after his arrest for the sale of untaxed cigarettes. After Garner refused to be handcuffed, Officer Daniel Pantaleo took him down using what prosecutors said was a banned chokehold. The officer's attorney argued the hold used an approved “seat belt” technique.

Garner died of cardiac arrest and video of him saying “I can't breathe” during the confrontation before passing out went viral. It became a rallying cry for the “Black Lives Matter” movement, with activists using the incident as a example of alleged racist discrimination by police. (Garner was black; Pantaleo is white.)

A grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo, and last month the Justice Department ruled against the Civil Rights Division's recommendation that charges be brought against him. But on Friday, NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Trials Rosemarie Maldonado recommended Pantaleo be fired.

The case now goes to Police Commissioner James O'Neill, who will decide later this month whether to accept the recommendation.

De Blasio, who is running for president, angered officers when he commented on the pending case during Wednesday's Democratic primary debate, when he promised the Garner family would get “justice.”

“I know the Garner family,” de Blasio said at the debate in Detroit. “They've gone through extraordinary pain. They are waiting for justice and are going to get justice. There's finally going to be justice.”

De Blasio was surrounded by other Democrats demanding Pantaleo be fired, and was interrupted by protesters demanding the same.

“How dare the mayor say it was a clean process. How dare the mayor say ‘I didn't give my opinion, I didn't talk to anyone,'” Lynch said, before addressing de Blasio. “You didn't have to talk to anyone, you're talking to the cameras, you talked to the nation the other day and you said justice will be served for that family and you sent your message to the judge advocate.”

Approximately 20 police officers followed de Blasio to Detroit, where they protested over pay, alleging that they are paid on average 30 percent less than other police forces in the region.

“Can't run the city, can't run the country,” the officers chanted outside the site of the debate.

But it is what cops see as de Blasio's failure to back his officers that has angered the union the most. On Friday, Lynch said de Blasio has lost the confidence of the force and “brought the police department to the gutter.”

He also warned officers that the case shows they won't have the backing of City Hall if they are put in a situation where they have to put their hands on an alleged perpetrator.

“Don't believe when they give you that story in the academy, ‘let's get out there and do it for the gipper' because they're not going to back you,” he said. "The gipper's not going to be there, the mayor's not going to be there.”

“Is the police commissioner going to be there?” he asked. “We'll find out.”


New York City

Here's what happens next after Daniel Pantaleo's suspension

by Jorge Fitz-Gibbon

An administrative judge's recommendation Friday that NYPD cop Daniel Pantaleo be fired over the 2014 death of Eric Garner is far from the end of the controversial case.

Here are the next steps:

  • The Civilian Complaint Review Board, which prosecuted the case against Pantaleo at the departmental hearing, and Stuart London, the officer's attorney, have two weeks to review the findings by NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Trials Rosemarie Maldonado.

  • The CCRB and London have the opportunity to submit comments or motions either contesting or supporting the findings during that ­period.

  • Police Commissioner James O'Neill will review the final report and decide if he'll follow Maldonado's recommendation or not.

  • Police sources said ­Panta­leo could also choose to resign before the commissioner's ruling.


Dept of Justice


Former Santa Ana Police Officer Criminally Charged with Using Unreasonable Force, Filing False Reports in Connection with Beating

by Nicola T. Hanna - United States Attorney Central District of California

SANTA ANA, California
– A retired Santa Ana Police officer was charged today by a federal grand jury that accused him of violating the civil rights of a man by using unreasonable force during an arrest and then lying about the incident in official reports.

Brian Patric Booker, 50, of Chino Hills, was named in an indictment that charges him with one felony count of deprivation of rights under color of law and two felony counts of falsification of records. He will be arraigned on the indictment on August 12 in United States District Court in Santa Ana.

According to the indictment, on June 19, 2014, Booker used unreasonable force in connection with the arrest of the victim. The victim was not resisting arrest.

Following the incident, Booker allegedly caused false police reports to be filed. Booker falsely claimed that the victim reached toward Booker and grabbed Booker by his right leg, the indictment alleges. Booker also falsely stated that he delivered three or four punches to the back of the victim's head because he believed the victim was about to tackle him and possibly have access to Booker's firearm, according to the indictment. Booker allegedly knew these statements were false when the reports were filed.

Booker retired from the Santa Ana Police Department last year after approximately 19 years of service.

If convicted of all counts, Booker would face a statutory maximum sentence of 60 years in federal prison.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Santa Ana Police Department cooperated fully with the FBI's investigation.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jennifer L. Waier and Robert J. Keenan of the Santa Ana Branch Office.


from Ciaran McEvoy
Public Information Officer


Law Enforcement News - Friday, August 2

STATEMENT: LA Police Protective League Statement on Arrest of Suspects in Officer Diaz's Murder
"We are grateful that the cowards and thugs accused of the cold-blooded murder of Officer Juan Diaz are in custody. We appreciate the relentless effort our detectives and officers put in to finding these killers. We urge District Attorney Jackie Lacey to prosecute these cop killers to the fullest extent of the law, including seeking the death penalty. We continue to pray for and support Officer Diaz's family during this time of grief."

Morning Raids Carried Out in Connection With Fatal Shooting of LAPD Officer
Dozens of Los Angeles Police Department officers and detectives mobilized across Los Angeles and Riverside counties early Friday to attempt the arrests at least three people allegedly tied to the killing last weekend of an off-duty officer, law enforcement sources told NBCLA. Early morning action by members of the LAPD's SWAT team and Metropolitan Division took place at five locations, including Mt. Washington, about a mile from the murder scene, and in a neighborhood in Murrieta in Riverside County, to where law enforcement sources told NBCLA one of the suspects had been tracked earlier in the week.

Police: Man Flees After Killing Girlfriend, Wounding Georgia Officer
Police in an Atlanta suburb are hunting for a man who they say fatally shot his girlfriend and wounded a police officer. News outlets report DeKalb County police are seeking 27-year-old Otis Walker who ambushed police responding to a domestic disturbance call. Police are offering $10,000 for information leading to his arrest. DeKalb police Maj. Jerry Lewis says officers arrived at the home early Thursday morning and were "immediately fired upon" by a hidden person. An officer was hit multiple times. Officers discovered a woman who had been shot. Lewis said she died at the scene. The officer is expected to recover. Court documents say Walker was released from jail July 13 after being arrested July 13 on a family violence charge. His arraignment was scheduled for October. 
Associated Press

Female LAPD Officers Go Undercover In City's Battle Against Human Trafficking
A team of female Los Angeles police officers routinely pose as sex workers as part of an effort to battle human trafficking in the city. KTLA's Christina Pascucci went for a ride-along during a recent operation.
KTLA 5 Video

Bird Scooter Rider Killed In Chain-Reaction Crash In Fairfax; Driver In Custody
A person riding an electric scooter was killed in a crash involving two vehicles on Melrose Avenue in Fairfax, and one driver has been taken into custody, authorities said Friday. The chain-reaction collision happened around 10:30 p.m. Thursday on the busy street near Martel Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. A driver suspected of speeding crashed into another car, which then hit a man riding a Bird scooter, police said. One of the vehicles took down a traffic signal. Video from the scene shows one of the vehicles involved heavily damaged with its front right wheel detached. A registered nurse and other witnesses tried to help the victim before paramedics arrived and transported him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, LAPD said. The driver who allegedly caused the crash has been detained, according to police. Alcohol may have been a factor, officials said. Authorities provided no further details.

Traveling Bay Area Burglary Crews Target Tourists In Hollywood
Detectives who busted another burglary crew from the Bay Area targeting tourists at Southern California attractions say they're seeing a trend. As one detective put it, "The word is out among known Bay Area criminals." Police say the burglary crews drive down to Hollywood and target Southern California tourists in Hollywood. "It's a little scary," Nathan Jorgensen, a visitor from Iowa, said. "One extra thing to plan for when you're going on vacation, walking down Hollywood Boulevard, looking at stars--where am I keeping my belongings?" The short police pursuit of four thieves inside a silver Toyota Pathfinder that was rented in the Bay Area ended in Beverly Hills Wednesday morning. In the SUV, investigators found more than $1,000 in cash, high-end jewelry and a gun. Wednesday's pursuit started after burglars targeted a Hollywood I-HOP parking lot, which was the same parking lot where another group of thieves--also from the San Francisco Bay Area--broke into several cars last month, police said. That burglary ring led police on a dangerous high-speed chase that ended at the Sherman Oaks Galleria. While several members of that crew were arrested, police believe they now have several more burglars from Northern California making trips to Hollywood with the intention to target tourists in Hollywood.

Police Seek Man Who Elbowed Victim's Breast On Bus Near CSUN
Police Thursday sought the public's help in identifying a man suspected of committing a sexual battery against a woman on a bus in Northridge. The battery occurred about 4:50 p.m. Tuesday on a bus that was en route from the intersection of Saticoy Street and Reseda Boulevard to the Cal State Northridge Transit Center, according to campus police. “The suspect boarded the bus and sat next to the victim,” according to a police statement. “During the commute the suspect extended his elbow up along the right side of her rib and breast. The suspect followed the victim off the bus and continued to loiter in the area near the victim.” The suspect was described as Asian, about 30 years old, 5 feet 4 inches tall with an average build and facial stubble. He was wearing glasses, a light blue T-shirt with white stripes on the shoulders and a white emblem on the left side of the chest, tan shorts and numerous bracelets on each wrist. He also carried a dark-colored backpack. Anyone with information about the suspect was urged to call the CSUN police investigations unit at 818-677-3826.

DNA Links Convicted Felon To Opossum Found Stabbed, Beaten, Burned, And Hung With Noose In Lynwood
The killer and torturer of an opossum found stabbed, beaten, burned, and hung from a fence in Lynwood was caught by investigators after DNA on the noose around its neck was matched to a convicted felon who lived nearby. The opossum was found hanging in April 2018 at Yvonne-Burke-John D. Ham park, and SPCALA's Captain Cesar Perea told FOX 11 it was one of the most sadistic cases he's ever seen. "It's up there, I'd say top 10 in my career," he said. "He stabbed it several times, hung it with a noose, and then set it on fire." But it was the noose around its neck that ended up bringing down its killer. "We removed the noose, and we submitted the noose to the crime lab, and the crime lab pulled DNA from the noose and we got a hit on our suspect," Perea said. The DNA matched to a convicted felon named Jonathan Aldama, who lived just 400 feet away from the park. When police went to his house to arrest him, they were horrified at what was in his bedroom. "God, I wanna say we found like 15-20 weapons that were all sharpened and handmade," Perea said. "We found a large amount of blood around these two makeshift bedrooms he had built in the garage."
FOX 11

Cedars-Sinai Division Director And UCLA Instructor Pleads Not Guilty To Felony Child Porn Charges
A UCLA instructor and division director at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of distributing and possessing child pornography. Guido Germano of Santa Monica is charged with one felony count each of distribution of obscene matter and possession of child or youth pornography, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said in a release. Germano, 59, is suspected of distributing child pornography videos using peer-to-peer software and downloading them onto his personal computer at his home. Germano, who was arrested on June 19 and released on bond before his arraignment Thursday afternoon at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center, is the director of artificial intelligence medicine at Cedars-Sinai in Beverly Grove, prosecutors said. Biographies that have since been deleted from the hospital's website said Germano researched technology related to analyzing the human heart, served as a board member of three medical journals as well as professional organizations and was “widely recognized as an expert in the field of cardiovascular nuclear medicine.”
Los Angeles Times

Gilroy Shooter Did Not Appear To Target People Based On Race, Authorities Say
The man who opened fire Sunday at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, killing three people, did not appear to target people of a particular race, a law enforcement official said Thursday, pushing back on speculation — fueled by racist comments posted on the gunman's Instagram account — that he was motivated by white supremacist beliefs. “We've not yet determined the ideology, if ever,” said John F. Bennett, special agent in charge of the FBI's San Francisco office. Asked at a news conference Thursday about a slur, directed at people of mixed race, that the gunman posted shortly before the attack, Bennet said it “doesn't seem clear he was targeting any particular group. It seems very random at this point.” Santino William Legan, 19, cut through a fence encircling the popular food festival Sunday evening and opened fire with an AK-47-style rifle. Three Gilroy police officers engaged Legan and killed him within a minute, but not before he shot to death three people: Stephen Romero, 6; Keyla Salazar, 13; and Trevor Irby, 25. Thirteen people were wounded. Authorities previously tallied a dozen injuries, but Scot Smithee, Gilroy's police chief, said Thursday that a 13th person had suffered a graze wound.
Los Angeles Times

FBI: Motive For Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooting May Never Be Known
The motive behind Sunday's mass shooting at the Garlic Festival may never be known, authorities said at a news conference Thursday, as their investigation into what drove Santino Legan to open fire on a crowd of families in his hometown dragged into a sixth day. Law enforcement agencies are examining Legan's digital footprint, including his social media presence, electronic devices, and computer hardware seized in searches Monday at the shooter's family home in Gilroy, and a remote Nevada apartment where he had been living since May. Federal investigators and FBI profilers from around the country have been brought into assist in the investigation, special agent-in-charge John Bennett said — but they have still yet to figure out a motive. “We have not yet determined the ideology” of the shooter, Bennett said. So far, authorities have been circumspect about whether Legan may have been fueled by extremist views, a question born out messages the 19-year-old posted to his Instagram page shortly before the shooting, including one that encouraged people to read a 1890 white supremacy manifesto popular among right-wing extremists, and another referencing the Garlic Festival.
Mercury News

Local Government News

City Controller Report Seeks To Strengthen, Coordinate L.A. Youth Programs
Los Angeles Controller Ron Galperin proposed Wednesday that a city department or other official body be designated to oversee the city's more than 160 youth programs. The report, “Room to Grow: A Framework for Youth Development in Los Angeles,” lays out a road map for the city to coordinate its youth programs, with specific oversight of programs at risk of failing or those that aren't meeting the needs of their neighborhoods they serve. “Challenges like poverty, homelessness, domestic violence and other social and economic concerns take a toll on too many of our youth,” Galperin said. “It is imperative that we focus the city's resources on programs that allow young Angelenos to grow up in supportive environments surrounded by positive community influences.

How Should Metro Connect The Valley To The Westside Via Public Transit? Say Your Piece On Saturday
Saturday's Metro meeting seeking public input on the Sepulveda Transit Boulevard Corridor project at the Marvin Braude Center in Van Nuys — the only such meeting in the San Fernando Valley — will be a key opportunity for residents to weigh in on the much-anticipated transit project connecting the Valley to the Westside. The project, aimed at developing a subway or monorail rail transit alternative to the 405 freeway, is nearing the end of its feasibility study with an eye on next steps. A December Metro board meeting is expected to narrow the four proposed options to two or three for further environmental study next year. The series of Metro's five public input meetings began July 24 with one near LAX and two in Westside neighborhoods. But in the Valley, dissent about some of Metro's plans has been brewing in the wake of a well-attended meeting and campaign by the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association.
Los Angeles Daily News


Law Enforcement News - Thursday, August 1

LAPD Leads Country in Suicide Prevention Among Officers
Around the country, police officers are dying in record numbers from suicide. Lolita Lopez and the I-Team report on NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 31, 2019. 
NBC 4 Video

Alabama K-9 Who Died After Drug Contact Honored At Memorial
An Alabama K-9 known as both the best narcotics-sniffing dog in the state and a “knucklehead” was honored at a memorial service Tuesday after he died searching for drugs during a prison sweep. The 5-year-old Belgian Malinois named Jake suddenly became ill on July 18 after he came into contact with a powdery synthetic street drug known as flakka during a routine contraband search. He died two days later after developing pneumonia and other complications. Fellow four-legged law enforcement officers yapped in the background at the Staton Kennel Complex in Elmore as Jake received a 21-gun salute, a traditional bugle playing of taps, a commendation from Gov. Kay Ivey and eulogies from law enforcement officials. “Jake was a very playful animal, a very docile canine, but when he meant business, he meant business,” said Arnaldo Mercado, an official at the state's Department of Corrections. “Nothing ever slipped through the cracks with Jake.”

LAPD Dashcam, Bodycam Videos Show Arrest Of Suspect Allegedly Armed With Machete In South Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Police Department on Tuesday released dramatic videos that show officers chasing down a man who was allegedly armed with a machete during an incident last month. Dashboard-camera footage shows a police vehicle approaching the suspect in the drive-thru of a McDonald's near the intersection of Slauson and Western avenues in South Los Angeles on June 15. The man falls to the ground after apparently being struck by the vehicle, the runs away on foot with officers in pursuit. One officer's body camera captured video of a chase through the parking lot before the suspect was taken to the ground and handcuffed. The suspect was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, and a machete was recovered at the scene, according to the LAPD. No officers or civilians were injured.

Deputy Returns Fire, Fatally Shoots Man During Traffic Stop In Hyde Park: LASD
A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy fatally shot a man who opened fire at him while trying to flee during a traffic stop in South L.A.'s Hyde Park early Thursday, the agency said. The shooting broke out after the lone officer pulled over a vehicle for some type of moving violation around 1 a.m. near Brynhurst Avenue and 71st Street, Lt. Brandon Dean told reporters. After the driver stopped, the man in the front passenger seat exited the vehicle and started walking away, Dean said. The deputy told him to stop and show his hands, but the man continued, took out a firearm and shot at the officer, according to the Sheriff's Department. That's when the deputy fired numerous rounds at the man, striking him in the torso, officials said. Paramedics responded to the scene and pronounced him dead. Authorities have not released his identity but described him as a man about 20 to 25 years old. The driver, also a man, fled in a tan mid-2000s SUV, Dean said.

Federal Prison For Ex-Gang Member Who Helped Firebomb Homes
A former gang member was sentenced Wednesday to 63 months in federal prison for firebombing the homes of black residents in the Boyle Heights area five years ago in an effort to drive them out of their neighborhood. Jonathan “Pelon” Portillo, 24, of Los Angeles was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release after completing his prison term. Portillo — the fourth of eight defendants to be sentenced in the case — pleaded guilty last year to four felonies, admitting that he conspired to violate the civil rights of the black families, specifically the constitutional right to live in a residence free from “injury, intimidation and interference based on race.” He also pleaded guilty to using explosives and fire to injure, intimidate and interfere with the residents because of their race and because they were living in the Ramona Gardens public housing development.

Alleged Chinese Scheme Sought To Avoid $1.8 Billion In Aluminum Tariffs Using LA And Long Beach Ports, Inland And OC Warehouses
A Chinese billionaire has been charged in Los Angeles in a complex scheme to avoid $1.8 billion in aluminum tariffs, that involved importing the metal through the ports of LA and Long Beach and storing it in Inland Empire and Orange County warehouses, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday. Zhongtian Liu, the founder of China Zhongwang Holdings Limited, and the aluminum company he previously headed, were charged with conspiracy, wire fraud and international money laundering. The charges come as the U.S. and China try to reach a trade agreement aimed at ending a tariff war. Liu, 55, schemed to import aluminum in the shape of pallets, which would avoid 2011 customs duties up to 400% that were not imposed on finished merchandise, prosecutors said. The pallets, however, were three to four times heavier than typical aluminum pallets, and were sold to U.S.-based companies controlled by Liu and stockpiled at Southern California warehouses.
Los Angeles Daily News

Texas Man Facing 350 Years In Prison For Hacking Into L.A. Superior Court, Sending 2 Million Phishing Emails
A Texas man was found guilty Thursday of hacking into the Los Angeles Superior Court computer system and then using it to send about 2 million phishing emails, the U.S. Department of Justice said. A jury found 33-year-old Oriyomi Sadiq Aloba guilty of 27 federal criminal charges, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, attempted wire fraud, unauthorized impairment of a protected computer, unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information and aggravated identity theft, authorities said. He faces a statutory maximum sentence of more than 350 years in federal prison, according to the Department of Justice. Aloba and his co-conspirators gained access to an employee's email account in 2017 and then sent out emails with a link to a phishing website disguised as a Dropbox link, and asked employees for email addresses and passwords, authorities said. Thousands of employees gave out their email credentials to the hacker, who then used them to send out millions of phishing emails, the DOJ said.

Southern California's Most Wanted: FBI Focusing On Tracking Down A Dozen Dangerous Fugitives
You could call them the dirty dozen: Twelve dangerous fugitives that are some of the most wanted in Southern California. "They are a danger. No matter where they are, they're a continued threat and danger to the community," says FBI Special Agent Scott Garriola. He has tracked the most violent criminals in the Los Angeles region for more than three decades. He says many escape to Mexico hoping to blend in. He wants to get people off the streets who have been wanted for years. "Maybe get some locations, some new information. This is our version of cold cases," says Garriola. Manuel Virgen-Galvan allegedly shot and killed teenager Ramiro Guardado back in 2005. It happened in front of the boy's home. "The victim in this case was a 15-year-old boy who is painting a bicycle, and whether it was intended or not is not important. The fact is this 15-year-old lost his life," says Garriola. One of the older cases is Saul Aguilar, wanted in connection with the murder of his ex-girlfriend. It happened just before Christmas 1997. Garriola says he can't forget that crime scene.

Public Safety News

Gavin Newsom Adds Hundreds More Firefighters Amid Fears Of ‘Large And Damaging' Fire Season
California will hire 393 more firefighters in anticipation of an upcoming wildfire season that has the potential to be even worse than last year's, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday. The long rainy season promoted heavy growth of grass and other underbrush in which fires can start and spread once the vegetation dries out. Cal Fire and the state firefighter union have said the state needs more firefighters to face the escalating threat. Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday authorizing more seasonal firefighters to boost staffing on a third of Cal Fire's 340 engines. “I think that's going to help morale, it's going to help with rotation, it's certainly going to help with women and man power as it relates to suppression efforts and mitigation efforts,” Newsom told reporters in Colfax, where he toured a site where workers have been clearing vegetation to reduce potential kindling if a fire sparks in the area.
Sacramento Bee

Local Government News

Los Angeles Council Members Introduce Laws For Equal Pay At City Competitions
City Council President Herb Wesson, along with Councilwomen Nury Martinez and Monica Rodriguez, introduced a motion Wednesday that would require equal compensation at any competition within Los Angeles that features both men's and women's divisions and requires a city permit. “The gender pay disparity in professional sports is not just a disservice to these female athletes — it's a disservice to women everywhere,” Wesson said. “It's time that we reward our athletes not on the basis of their gender but rather on their talent and ability.” Additionally, Wesson, Martinez and Rodriguez introduced a resolution in support of legislation that would prohibit the use of federal funds to support the 2026 World Cup unless the U.S. Soccer Federation provides equitable pay for both men's and women's teams.


Law Enforcement News - Wednesday, July 31

LAPD Will Honor Slain Officer Juan Diaz At Cathedral Of Our Lady Of The Angels
Slain Los Angeles police officer Juan Jose Diaz will be honored at services on Aug. 11 and Aug. 12, according to an internal department notice Tuesday. Diaz's family will receive visitors from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Aug. 11 at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive. The following day, a memorial service will begin at 9 a.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on West Temple Street downtown. Interment will immediately follow at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills. Diaz, 24, was fatally shot near a taco stand with his girlfriend and her two brothers in Lincoln Heights shortly after midnight on Saturday. Moments earlier, the off-duty officer had seen someone tagging a wall and told the person to stop, spurring a confrontation that led to his death, according to law enforcement sources. A group of young men approached Diaz sometime after the tagging exchange and began threatening him and his friends, the sources said. One of the young men lifted his shirt to reveal a handgun. Diaz and his group tried to hurry to their car and drive away to avoid a violent confrontation, a source said. As they got into the vehicle, the gunman opened fire, fatally wounding Diaz and injuring one of his girlfriend's brothers. A witness flagged down an LAPD motorcycle officer, who found the two men with gunshot wounds about 1 a.m.
Los Angeles Times

'Thank You Officer Diaz, For Your Sacrifice': City Council Honors Slain Officer
With his killer still at large, a slain off-duty police officer was honored Tuesday by the Los Angeles City Council, which began its meeting with a moment of silence in his memory. The council and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors both adjourned their meetings Tuesday in honor of Officer Juan Jose Diaz. Diaz, 24, was shot around 1 a.m. Saturday outside a taco stand near Avenue 26 and Artesian Street in Lincoln Heights and was pronounced dead at the scene. Diaz had been with the department for two years and was last assigned to the Professional Standards Bureau. Beginning Tuesday's city council meeting, Council President Herb Wesson led a moment of silence, saying "young officer Juan Jose Diaz, a man who committed to protect and to serve this city, lost his life while out with friends." Wesson also noted the killings of three people at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on Sunday, and the recent death of longtime Democratic political activist Darren Parker. "In the last 14 to 16 days, there's been a lot of pain and we've lost a lot," Wesson said. "The only thing we can count on in this world is this moment, this breath and the last word." Councilman Gil Cedillo added, "It is with tremendous loss that we thank you Officer Diaz, for your sacrifice and dedication to the city of Los Angeles. We'll find justice and bring anyone responsible for the death of Officer Diaz to justice."

Kidnapping Suspect Arrested After Hours-Long Standoff In DTLA
A man who may have kidnapped a woman in Monrovia was arrested in downtown Los Angeles this morning following a standoff with LAPD SWAT team officers who surrounded his parked Toyota Prius for several hours before flushing him out with tear gas. But the location and status of the kidnap victim was not immediately determined. The car was located by Los Angeles Police Department officers around 3 a.m. near Hill and Second Streets. Video from the scene showed officers with guns drawn taking positions behind the car and the SWAT vehicle next to the Prius. The alleged victim was identified as 31-year-old Amanda Kathleen Custer and the suspect as 27-year-old Robert Anthony Camou, according to the sheriff's department. Camou surrendered to authorities about 7:30 a.m., and he will be turned over to Monrovia police and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, said LAPD Lt. Chris Ramirez.
FOX 11

Man Charged With Killing 4 In San Fernando Valley Shooting Rampage Could Face Death Penalty: DA
A 26-year-old man suspected of killing four people and injuring two others during a shooting rampage in the San Fernando Valley made his first court appearance Monday, where he pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges. Gerry Dean Zaragoza of Canoga Park is charged with four counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and a count of attempted robbery, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Zaragoza could face the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted, prosecutors said. A decision on whether to seek capital punishment will be made at a later time, according to a news release from the DA's office. Zaragoza is accused of fatally shooting his father and brother, a woman he knew and a stranger on a bus over a 12-hour period last Thursday. The series of crimes prompted a valley-wide tactical alert.

L.A. Officials Announce Expanded Effort Aimed At Helping Trafficking Victims
In conjunction with United Nations World Day Against Trafficking Persons, Los Angeles city officials and a local nonprofit announced Tuesday a stepped-up effort to publicly post hotline numbers aimed at assisting victims of human trafficking. “When a victim doesn't know who to call, simply seeing a poster with the right numbers (can) give them a little window of escape,” City Councilwoman Nury Martinez said. “These posters help save lives.” A state law passed in 2012 requires select businesses where trafficking victims might be more prevalent — strip clubs, massage parlors, emergency rooms, bars, etc. — to display a poster with a human trafficking hotline number. According to city officials and organizations involved in the effort, calls regarding possible human trafficking increased by 1,000% between 2013 and 2017. It was not immediately clear how many of those calls resulted in arrests or convictions, but City Attorney Mike Feuer said his office has been looking to provide resources — not prosecution — to human trafficking victims, who otherwise may have been booked for sex solicitation.

LAPD Finds 'Super Cute' Pair Of Ducklings In Arrested Person's Backpack
Los Angeles police confiscate various illegal drugs and weapons while on the job, but it's not every day that they come across "super cute" and furry contraband. Two ducklings were found in the backpack of a person who was arrested for possession of narcotics Sunday afternoon in downtown Los Angeles, LAPD Central tweeted Monday. The man did not explain why he had the animals, police said. LAPD turned the ducklings over to the LA Animal Services, but not before snapping some pictures and inviting their followers to come up with some duck and cop puns--"Dragnest" and "jailbird" among them. Captain Timothy Scott Harrelson joined in on the pun, tweeting, "Task Force has come across a lot of narcotics, but this is the first time they found 'quack!'" Harrelson said the ducks are a protected animal and will be sent to a wildlife rescue. This isn't the first time these officers have intervened in the well-being of an animal. In February, they recovered a rare English bulldog puppy who was stolen from an Illinois family.

Ex-Inglewood Postal Worker To Plead Guilty To Armed Robbery Of Cash-Filled USPS Trucks
A former U.S. Postal Service employee is expected to plead guilty Wednesday to charges stemming from the armed robberies of USPS trucks in Los Angeles. William Crosby, 32, of Inglewood has agreed to plead guilty in Los Angeles federal court to two counts: robbery of United States property and use of a gun in a crime of violence, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Crosby and his 28-year-old half brother, Myron, were named in an eight-count indictment unsealed in November. The Crosbys allegedly participated in the armed robbery of a USPS truck driver on March 1, 2018, after the vehicle was forced to stop on a 110 Freeway off-ramp. The indictment also alleges that William Crosby participated in the Feb. 1, 2018, armed robbery of a Postal Service driver, as well as the burglary of a Postal Service truck on Aug. 1, 2017. As a former supervisor, William Crosby knew when the USPS transported cash generated from the sale of money orders and USPS merchandise — information that is not known to all Postal Service employees, according to the indictment, which alleges that the burglary and two armed robberies caused cash losses of about $240,000. Myron Crosby faces trial in September.
Los Angeles Daily News

California Sex Workers Who Report Crimes, Carry Condoms Are Protected From Arrest Under New Law
A new California law would protect sex workers from arrest if they report crimes or are caught with condoms. Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco said his legislation is the first in the nation to provide such health and safety protections. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the measure into law on Tuesday, but SB233 will take effect in January. It protects workers from arrest for misdemeanor-level sex-related crimes if they report that they are victims or witnesses to serious or violent felonies, such as rape. It also bars police and prosecutors from using condoms as evidence that the person is engaged in sex work. Wiener said current law deters sex workers from reporting crimes or protecting themselves from sexually transmitted diseases. “When sex workers believe that reporting violent crimes or carrying condoms will get them arrested, they simply won't take these steps, and we will all be less safe as a result,” he said in a statement.

Public Safety News

LA Fire Department Tackles Brush Fire In The Sepulveda Basin, Homeless People In The Area Are Relocated
A fire tore through about 7 acres of thick brush in the Sepulveda Basin on Tuesday and displaced as many as 100 homeless people, some of whom watched as the flames consumed their tents and belongings. The blaze — earlier reported as being 10 acres — was reported about 3:30 p.m. in the 6300 block of Balboa Boulevard near Balboa Park, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Ground and air crews battled the blaze as the flames gobbled up tents that dotted the area. The Metro Orange Line busway was temporarily shut down between White Oak and Woodley avenues, as was Burbank Boulevard between Balboa Boulevard and the San Diego (405) Freeway, according to the fire department and reports from the scene. Several small explosions could be seen as the fire burned homeless encampments and at least one vehicle. About a half-dozen propane tanks exploded, hampering firefighters' efforts, according to the fire department.
Los Angeles Daily News

Local Government News

L.A. City Council Votes To Reinstate Ordinance Allowing Citations For People Living In Their Cars
Sleeping overnight in cars, vans and RVs will be prohibited again in many parts of Los Angeles, after the City Council voted Tuesday to reinstate rules that limit where people can live in their vehicles. The decision extends the L.A. regulations, which had expired at the beginning of July, until January. Under the rules, people cannot spend the night in their cars on residential streets, or live in their vehicles at any time within a block of a park, school, preschool or day care facility. At a hearing at City Hall, activists argued it was cruel and counterproductive to punish people for bunking down in vehicles while housing, shelters and “safe parking” programs remain inadequate. Despite the impassioned pleas from opponents, the council voted 13-0 without any discussion to reinstate the rules. Immediately after the vote, activists began shouting in disbelief and anger, bringing the council meeting to a halt. Opponents began chanting, “Shame on you!”

L.A. County Sets Honesty Policy
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a policy Tuesday clarifying that county employees shall be held accountable for lying. The policy stems from an April 2017 board motion aimed at making it easier to fire deputies, social workers or other county employees who cannot be trusted. Then-Sheriff Jim McDonnell was pushing back against a Civil Service Commission that allowed deputies to keep their jobs despite having lied. And four social workers and supervisors — who are still awaiting trial — were charged with falsifying records related to Gabriel Fernandez, an 8-year-old Palmdale boy who was tortured to death by his mother and her boyfriend. Chief Executive Officer Sachi Hamai recommended the honesty policy in November 2017 as one way to improve accountability within the civil service process. While Hamai said there were already mechanisms in place to deal with acts of workplace dishonesty, the new policy would put public safety employees and others in critical positions on notice that they would be held to the highest standards.