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"  

August 2019 - Week 1
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.

'Success is when we're all working together': Tulsa deputy police chief talks community policing and perception of its practices

What does community policing look like in Tulsa? Program in its infancy; positive changes are still to come

by Kendrick Marshall

Tulsa Police Deputy Chief Jonathan Brooks sat for five hours during a meeting on police use of force ignited by the city's Equality Indicators report.

He explained — as best he could — how the department has attempted to implement effective policing strategies through its Community Policing Program.

Brooks, who leads the program, listened to questions and comments about implicit bias and ways TPD as a whole could repair relationships within communities that had expressed skepticism over police tactics, which left some residents deeply embittered.

In that special City Council meeting last Wednesday night, Brooks acknowledged that the police need to rebuild credibility with residents. He also said the department had been in the process of adjusting its training and policies to prevent crime while not victimizing citizens.

Brooks still feels the same way he did that night, telling the Tulsa World recently that “the only way you could have community policing is through trust.”

The Tulsa World conducted an interview with Brooks and raised some of the concerns expressed by community members. He shared his thoughts about community policing, biases and how the Tulsa Police Department is perceived.

On how TPD has worked with city and community leaders through recommendations made by the Tulsa Commission on Community Policing

Not a lot of other police departments are doing all those 77 recommendations on the level that we are. So there was a lot of talk about community policing and the fact we were not doing those 77 recommendations, which in fact we are, but we never said that was our finish line. When President Obama set forth that commission (Task Force on 21st Century Policing), there was no standardized template for departments to follow that were best practices in everything that we do. And that's why we went with that. And if you remember when Mayor G.T. Bynum took office, he established that community policing commission (The Tulsa Commission on Community Policing) and there was a very diverse group that was there to represent that, the city councilors, just various community leaders and to have their input on that.

On police attempts to build trust within communities

One of the crucial things that you hear repeatedly in these Equality Indicators meetings is trust and building trust. And the only way you could have community policing is through trust and that trust is working together (with the community) as a two-way street. Community policing is just not the police doing the work.

On the Town Square Apartments situation

As a police officer, I observed specialized officers working an area that leadership has determined to be a priority. By that I mean, the data shows a high call volume for that complex and in addition, a high violence rate including shootings. In an effort to thwart more violence and victimization, I see officers dedicated to providing public safety to the residents that ask for it and deserve it. The officers conducted themselves in a professional manner, conducted investigations while respectfully interacting with those that they came into contact with.

Furthermore, I have taken the opportunity to walk Town Square myself. In my travels there, I spoke with many residents. Only 1 out the 27 did not want to talk. All the others, including those that were present during the incident you are referring to, were more than willing to talk about that night. The overwhelming majority want a police presence in their neighborhood. They understand the need for police and safety while maintaining a balance for them to live without fear and interruption.

On other areas in Tulsa where the department uses policing strategies similar to Town Square

There are many other areas that the Tulsa Police Department takes an organized approach and focused efforts to reduce crime. There are several to list, but if you see an area that is repeatedly victimized, has increased violence or shootings, you can guarantee that the Tulsa Police Department will be there to provide public safety.

On the conflict in policing tactics between law enforcement and community leaders

The conflict is the manner in which it's done. And that's where we have to have our alignment because we have way more (in) common than not, right? We want the same things. So it's coming together to provide those safe neighborhoods. You know, I've invited everybody that's part of that to come on a ride-along and see it from the perspective of the officer, as well. We've walked the streets from the other side. We've worked with kids, you know, and we explain the (legal) rights and everything like that. That's where I'm talking about when we start working together.

On whether officers understand why some citizens may feel community policing isn't working

We must understand that everybody has a perspective. And everybody's entitled to that perspective. What we're trying to do is prevent that next victim from having to call. Either a life has to be saved or attempt to be saved and somebody has to be brought to justice. We do understand. I think I said it in that (Equality Indicators) meeting, we're not going to have solutions in this meeting. The solution is going to happen when we're out there doing the work on the

On what successful community policing looks like

The one thing is that nobody can agree on is really what community policing is. You know, we've been working on it for a long time, and it involves a lot of facets of, you know, community engagement, community education, community partnerships and crime prevention, all these components. So if we were successful, the main measure that I would go by is our citizen response. We're here to serve and protect. Sometimes there may be disagreement because there is a job to do, but we have to be cognizant of that for everybody that we're trying to serve. I see success is when we're all working together, preventing crime before it even happens.

On policing mistakes that impact public perception

It's difficult sometimes. Everybody that was in that (Equality Indicators) meeting ... we sit with them outside of those meetings and talk about these things. And when we talk about it, it's like there's not that opportunity to explain everything. Every policeman is human. Are we going to make mistakes? Yeah. Because we're human, right? So they're going to. We have to have those relationships where we can sit down and talk about those before they even happen. Start building that trust is the first thing we have to have. Because if you don't feel like you can come to your police department or vice versa, the police department doesn't feel like it can get help from you, then that means one thing. We don't have a relationship. And so that has to be done first. And once we had that relationship, we build the trust and then we start working on those goals.

On how TPD handles criticism from those not involved in policing

I mean, I'm not going to say it's very difficult, but it's always kind of been there in policing. I think Chief (Egunwale Fagbenro) Amusan (president of the Tulsa African Ancestral Society) brought up consent decree. And right now there's the immigration stuff in the Hispanic community, and they look at the police as enforcing President Trump's “build the wall” campaign. It's difficult. But the interesting thing about it is that's what we like about the challenge of it is being able to build those bridges and making sure that we can get through it.

I'll say (it's) frustrating because I look out and I see the good work that the men and women out there are doing and there's no credit for that. But we get compared to the national police. There are mistakes, but I think if we communicated better about the things going on in Tulsa, they would see how much better the police department is in Tulsa than anywhere else.

On whether officers understand why minority communities might not be comfortable with the police

If you're a student of history, you can understand the comfort level because it's something that a lot of police today don't have knowledge of — the things that happened back in policing's past. So that's one level and we have to understand that. We have to understand that after the police come in and resolve a crime, we have to leave. We can't stay there 24/7. So that attributes to some will say, “Well, you can't protect me, so I'm not saying anything and I'm not working with the police.” And that further attributes to that because you can't be seen helping the police right now. And so that attributes to that, as well.

On how TPD can execute proactive policing without alienating citizens

I mean, that's the tough one is because we have to sit down and start having those conversations with the community about what's transpiring and coming up with those common goals. One of the things that we are trying to get better at is communicating. Policing has changed in just the last 20 years. You have to know the history of that. And then you also have to know the history of the community and everything that's happened. What we need to do specifically is communicate better about the policing methods. If you want to boil it down to one thing that we can do better, what the police department can do better is communicate. We have not done the greatest job of communicating.

On whether biases can be removed from police work

So now you're talking more about unconscious or implicit bias as opposed to explicit, which leads to police bias and profiling, right? So you're talking about the implicit part. Everybody has it. We all have biases that we don't know about. They're implicit. And I guarantee if we test everybody somewhere along the way, somebody's going to have an unconscious bias, whether it's racial, ethnic, gender, sociology, whatever it can be. And so what you're saying is to completely get rid of that, the police department then (in) effect you have robots. And those robots then become impersonal, which attributes to the problems that we're having today. So what we want is everybody to understand that officers are human and we can communicate and we can work together as humans. It's not this robotic state. One thing that we can address through policy training and supervision and all this other stuff, is addressing the bias when it affects the performance in the job.

On whether the department has addressed incidents of bias among its officers

Every time that we've ever had an incident? I'm not even thinking of any incidents or involving that, but every time we have any kind of behavioral issues or policy violations, it's always consistently addressed.

Sgt. Richard Meulenberg also spoke to the Tulsa World about TPD defending against bias within in its ranks.

“We don't get people that apply for us that have a swastika tattooed on their forehead and say, ‘Hey, I'm a bigot,' and we say, ‘Oh, we're going to hire you anyway.' When we get them (recruits) in the academy, we have a very diverse group that actually oversees them, our class coordinators, and then they're watched closely there. They've got six months more in the academy and field training,” Meulenberg said.

“If they (police officers) are clearly violating someone's rights and they're violating a policy, they (citizens) have to call and complain about that person.

Everybody has a phone and has a camera, right? So if someone's left of center on the department, you need to let us know because the theory is (that) we police our own. Sure, but at the same time though, we have a track record of policing our own successfully. I can't have someone being corrosive in a squad who's bad because there are no exceptions. We have to have a higher standard.”


Mass Shootings, Militarism and Policing Are Chapters in the Same Manifesto

by Derecka Purnell

This weekend, after two mass shooters killed and injured dozens of people in Texas and Ohio,?Rep. Steve Cohen?tweeted, “You want to shoot an assault weapon? Go to Afghanistan or Iraq. Enlist!”

Cohen, a Democrat from Tennessee, apparently did not take issue with the El Paso shooter's desire to slaughter people of color — he merely wanted to redirect his bullets toward people of color outside of the United States. His tweet was a chilling reminder of?how the United States' militarism against other countries and its domestic manifestations of white supremacy replicate and reinforce each other.?

White people attack Brown and Black Muslims in the United States precisely because of the country's wars abroad.?The United States' destructive trade agreements and military intervention in Central and South America drive North American refugee border crossings, and armed white militia groups patrol the desert to catch or kill refugees seeking help. Many local police departments are trained in “community policing,” which police scholar Kristian Williams explains, is stylized after military patrols with locals during war.?In Ferguson, Missouri, white militiamen (mostly former military and police officers called “the Oathkeepers”) openly carried assault rifles alongside the police to assist in monitoring the protestors during rallies in 2014. They were not turned away, arrested, or discouraged from escalating violence.

These acts of violence and recent senseless mass shootings start making sense when evidence emerges showing that the actors have been inspired by a president who has called countries in Africa “shit-holes” and recently told four progressive congresswomen of color to?go back to the countries that they “came from”?(despite the fact that three of them were born in this country and they are all U.S. citizens). Ironically enough, the United States and European countries have exploited, colonized and pillaged African and Asian peoples for centuries, suppressed their resistance movements, and denied them entry into countries whose wealth comes from the cycle of violence against them.

Actually, the United States government, which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world,” commits the most routine violence against people of color on Earth, and has?800 military bases in 70 countries.?So when white supremacists attack people of color within the U.S., they are simply implementing on a local level the bloody work that their own government carries out day in and day out across the globe.

In truth, if anyone wanted to?get paid to?play around with military equipment, they do not have to leave the country, or even be a white supremacist. They could just join one of the 18,000 local law enforcement agencies in the United States. The military's leftover, gently used equipment is cycled and recycled through police departments, used in S.W.A.T raids against people of color, and to violate the rights of protesters. In fact, U.S. soldiers cannot legally use tear gas in war, but police officers are granted free rein to use it against protesters.

The militarization of racist policing within the U.S., the use of military force against people of color throughout the world, and white nationalists' vigilante attacks against people of color on U.S. soil are different chapters of the same manifesto.

Given that reality, why would a congressman like Cohen, who brags about being anti-Trump, make a call for would-be vigilantes to merely shift their violence to another place, rather than to stop it?

Musician, poet and author?Gil Scott-Heron said it best: “If we only work for peace, if everyone believed in peace the way they say they do, we'd have peace. The only thing wrong with peace, is that you can't make no money from it.”

Mass shootings and the wars abroad are both profitable to companies in the military- and prison-industrial complexes. For example, powerful companies and lobbyists cannot make money from removing guns from the streets or from the police, but they can make money from selling cameras to cities to surveil their streets and to put on officers' bodies and dashboards. It is no accident that Republicans argue that the only thing to stop a “bad guy with a gun” is a “good guy with a gun”; violence sells. Saving human lives interferes too much with capitalism.

These shooters have been indoctrinated with white supremacist ideologies found not only in each other's manifestos, but also in the United States constitution, in writings from the Supreme Court, on news channels, in movies and on social media. Some of them believe they are?under attack?and that there is an invasion?of nonwhite people threatening the supremacy of white people.?To them, any form of resistance to white supremacy also feels like an attack on white people and society,?and they are on high alert against the?mainstreaming of civil rights, Black power, LGBTQ rights and women's rights movements.

But activists and organizers must continue to combat the violent tools and violent logics of?white supremacists and?the intertwined military- and prison-industrial complexes. Social movements, education and progressive policy change can point us in the right direction; policing, militarism and the industries that profit from or perpetuate violence cannot. Since?white supremacy, militarism and capitalism are in solidarity, so must be the movements against all three.??

Doing so means divesting from the institutions, people and mindsets that perpetuate white supremacy, xenophobia and violence. Washington, D.C.'s, chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, for example, has a campaign to stop?the program?that trains U.S. police officers alongside Israel Defense Forces who occupy and oppress Palestinians.?In North Carolina, Working to Extend Anti-Racism Education (“we are”) is an organization that runs anti-racism summer camps for kids, which works with families and schools to dismantle systemic racism.?We need both types of intervention. We need robust educational, economic and environmental investments in human beings, communities and countries, and crucial divestment from the institutions, people and practices that perpetuate white supremacy, xenophobia and violence.

Similarly, we must also push to ensure that national conversations around immigration, policing, women's rights and climate change are influenced less by our white nationalist president than by all the people who are demanding bodily autonomy for women, environmental justice, open borders, abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and prisons, democratic socialism, the mattering and value of Black life, free health care and reparations.?

This is no small feat, but it is possible, and the pursuit is worthy. Gil Scott–Heron reminds us that the preservation of human life requires a struggle for peace: “Peace is not the absence of war. It is the absence of the rules of war and the threats of war and the preparation for war. Peace is not the absence of war. It is a time when we will all bring ourselves closer to each other, closer to building a structure that is unique within ourselves because we have finally come to peace within ourselves.”


UK security and counter-terrorism

Counter-terror chief says policing alone cannot beat extremism

Britain's most senior counter-terrorism officer has said the police and security services are no longer enough to win the fight against violent extremism, and the UK must instead improve community cohesion, social mobility and education.

In his first major interview since taking up his post last year, the Metropolitan police assistant commissioner Neil Basu told the Guardian that up to 80% of those who wanted to attack the UK were British-born or raised, which strongly indicated domestic social issues were among the root causes.

Grievances held by people who were “malleable” to terrorist recruitment were highly dangerous, he said, calling for sociologists and criminologists to take a leading role in helping police tackle the problem.

Basu, who is highly regarded in Whitehall, is seen as a potential next head of the Met. His comments are a significant break in tone, if not strategy, about how to combat terrorism and prevent it from becoming a multigenerational struggle that damages the UK's social fabric.

Basu said Prevent, which he sees as the most important plank of Britain's counter-terrorism strategy, had been “badly handled”, but its work was vital and had to become more transparent and community led.

He also said extreme rightwing terrorism was rising, with an increase in nationalism since the Brexit vote potentially fuelling violence.

Giving a personal view on the best ways to reduce terrorism, Basu said: “Policies that go towards more social inclusion, more social mobility and more education are much more likely to drive down violence … than all the policing and state security apparatus put together. It is much more likely to have a positive effect on society.

“The prescription for me is around social inclusion – it's social mobility, it's education, it's opportunity.”

Basu said counter-terrorism operations increased by 50% from 2015 to 2017 and have since remained at a high level. The terror threat is still severe despite Isis losing territory in Iraq and Syria.

Both Islamist and extreme rightwing terrorists have continued to recruit Britons, despite efforts to thwart them. “Nothing I am saying remotely excuses these heinous acts of criminal violence,” Basu said. “But the deeper causes need examining. My teams are world class at stopping attacks and locking terrorists up. But we need to stop the flow of recruits into terrorism.

“Don't forget that 70%-80% of the people we arrest, disrupt or commit an attack here, are born and raised here. Born or at least raised here. That has got to tell us something about our society – that we have got to look at why they would be prepared to do that.

“I want good academics, good sociologists, good criminologists … to be telling us exactly why that is.”

Basu accepted many people went through negative experiences without ever dreaming of committing violence, and some terrorists came from middle-class backgrounds and seemingly wanted for nothing.

But he said some people were more “malleable” than others to terrorist recruitment and there were common themes. “It might be everything from high anxiety, to lack of confidence, lack of education, things that may have happened to them when they are young, bullying, racism, bigotry, lack of opportunity, early experiences with law enforcement even, domestic violence,” he said.

The counter-terrorism network Basu heads had been stretched by the high volume of terrorist activity from Islamists. On top of this and rightwing extremism, he said there was a growing threat from states such as Russia, following the Salisbury novichok poisonings.

was no one path that led to terrorism and a list of factors could result in violence if not checked at some point. “All of those things will be as relevant to a terrorist cause as they will be to other people of violence in other crime types,” he said.

Policies were up to the government, he said, but they must tackle “education, access to health, not disproportionate outcomes in criminal justice, feeling like you've got an opportunity to get on in life”.

Basu added: “These are wider societal problems. They are not paying more police and more security services to stop more terrorist attacks. That's not the cure for this. Like every other aspect of law enforcement, we [counter-terrorism policing] are a suppression tool for a problem. We are dealing with the symptom and we do need to deal with the root causes of it.”

While the majority of the terrorism threat was from Islamist extremists, far-right propaganda could help create a permissive environment for some to commit violence, he said, and society needed to determine how much of that rhetoric was acceptable.

“At the moment, we seem to be accepting a level which I think is potentially breeding some intolerance,” he said. “That intolerance, for a small number of people, can spin up very quickly to a violent act, and we have some examples of that. We have some very awful examples of that.”

He said that despite its importance, Prevent had been the least successful part of the UK's counter-terrorism strategy so far, compared with the other three strands – Pursue, Protect and Prepare – which were all “outstanding”.

Prevent, which critics have called a “toxic brand”, needed “better communication, more transparency [and] an ability not to create a vacuum for people to attack it, by not actually trying to defend it”.

Asked whether Prevent, in its early years, when headed by a former senior intelligence officer, had come across as turning a community into a security issue, Basu said: “Not when it started. It morphed into that. It started off as a safeguarding, vulnerability program. It was, in my view, badly handled.

“This won't be won by government or by people like me. It will be won by people who walk into community halls up and down the country and explain.”

Basu rejected notions that British Muslims should “assimilate” and defended the rights of religious conservatives of all faiths, saying: “Assimilation implies that I have to hide myself in order to get on. We should not be a society that accepts that.

He added: “You should be able to practice your religion without suffering some condemnation of that; so my view is, do no harm. And that does not matter whether you are conservative Islamic, conservative Christian, conservative Hindu, conservative Sikh. You should be able to practice your culture or religion openly and still be accepting of others, and others be accepting of you. That is a socially inclusive society.


Police shootings are a leading cause of death for young American men, new research shows

For this group, death by police officer is the sixth most common way to die

by Christopher Ingraham

The phrase “leading causes of death” might bring to mind cancer, heart disease, suicide and drug overdose.

But new research published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds that young American men are at a surprisingly high risk of being killed by a police officer.

Among men of all races, ages 25 to 29, police killings are the sixth-leading cause of death, according to a study led by Frank Edwards of Rutgers University, with a total annual mortality risk of 1.8 deaths per 100,000 people.

Accidental death, a category that includes automotive accidents and drug overdoses, was the biggest cause at 76.6 deaths per 100,000, and followed by suicide (26.7), other homicides (22.0), heart disease (7.0), and cancer (6.3).

The data used in this study do not differentiate between police killings that were later determined to be justified and those that were not. FBI data, which is widely acknowledged to be incomplete, shows that 400 to 500 homicides each year are determined to be justified, which is defined as “the killing of a felon by a law enforcement officer in the line of duty”.

Those deaths represent about half of the roughly 1,000 annual police killings that independent tallies, including those by The Washington Post and The Guardian, have found.

For a black man, the risk of being killed by a police officer is about 2.5 times higher than that of a white man. “Our models predict that about 1 in 1,000 black men and boys will be killed by police over the life course,” the authors write.

In the 20 to 24 age group, black men represent nearly 2 per cent of such deaths, compared with 0.5 per cent for whites. A 40-year-old black man has about the same risk of being killed by a police officer as a 20-year-old white man.

Because no reliable federal data exists for police killings, the authors turned to the data compiled by Fatal Encounters, a project that uses news reports, public records requests and crowdsourced information to tally officer-involved fatalities.

The authors note that Fatal Encounters was “endorsed as a sound source of data” by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics in a 2016 report, but they warn that the data likely undercounts the number of officer-involved killings: “If any death is not covered by news organizations or is not documented in searchable public records,” they note, “it will not appear in the data.”

The study excludes police-involved deaths determined to be a suicide, the result of a car accident or an accident, like an overdose or fall.

Police killings are far more common in the United States than in other advanced democracies. That is partly because the US has a much higher homicide rate – “25.2 times higher” – than economically similar countries, according to a 2016 study.

One of the prime drivers of that difference, research shows, is the nation's high rate of gun ownership: Americans make up 4 per cent of the global population, but own nearly half the guns in the world.

The nation's high rates of violence and gun ownership make many police fearful for their lives, research shows. Data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund shows that, in recent years, 100 to 200 officers are killed annually in the line of duty. And other research shows that police are more likely to be killed in the line of duty in states with more permissive gun laws.

Officers can respond to the threat of violence by using lethal force of their own: more than half of the 544 people shot and killed by police to date in 2019 were found to be carrying firearms, according to data compiled by The Washington Post.

The authors of the PNAS report note another factor at play in the country's high rate of police shootings: “Austerity in social welfare and public health programs has led to police and prisons becoming catchall responses to social problems,” they wrote.

In his recent book, “The End of Policing,” sociologist Alex Vitale of Brooklyn College argues that police often end up being the de facto first responders for mental health issues because of “a decision that's been made by political leaders not to fund adequate community-based mental health services”.

At least 20 per cent of people fatally shot by police so far this year had documented mental health issues, according to The Post's data.

The study's authors say their findings reinforce calls “to treat police violence as a public health issue” with “profound consequences for public health, democracy, and racial stratification”.


Death toll in El Paso shooting rises to 22

A hospital official says another victim of the weekend mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, has died.

Dr. Stephen Flaherty, of the Del Sol Medical Center, says the patient was one of two victims of Saturday's attack to die at the hospital on Monday. Police earlier announced the death of one of the patients.

The new deaths bring the death toll from the attack to 22. More than two dozen other people were wounded.

The attack happened hours before a separate mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, in which nine people were killed and others were wounded.

More than two dozen people were wounded in the El Paso attack. The suspected gunman, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, has been booked on capital murder charges.

Speaking from the White House on Monday, President Trump condemned both mass shootings in his first public remarks since the attacks.

Police said Sunday that all bodies have been removed from the El Paso store and its parking lot, and that the attack did not spread to other nearby shopping areas. Police Sgt. Robert Gomez says most of the victims were inside the store.

Crusius, of Allen, Texas, has been jailed without bond. KDFW-TV reports his grandparents issued a statement Sunday saying they were “devastated” by Saturday's rampage.

Allen is more than 600 miles from where the attack occurred. The FBI says the suspect didn't have any contacts in El Paso.

Detectives are also trying to determine whether a racist, anti-immigrant screed posted online shortly before Saturday's shooting was written by Crusius.


25 ways policing has changed (and why you should embrace it)

We all are experts at change on the street, but when change happens inside the department, everyone seems to lose their mind

from PoliceOne

We all want change in our department in one form or another, but when it happens, we loathe the conversion. Most of our changes have been good – some not. All were met with resistance.

In order to truly thrive in your chosen career, it's best to get used to the fact that there will always be change and quit fighting it. If you're going to come with a problem, then come with a solution. You can't have it both ways.

Let's examine some changes to our profession over the years, and then consider a mindset change to help with our changing times. We've gone from...

1. Wheel guns to semi-auto pistols.

2. Hickory sticks to expandable batons.

3. Hand-written tickets to automated ticket gizmos.

4. Our word being enough to needing video evidence to vindicate us.

5. Wearing hats to not wearing them (and then back to hats again).

6. A preference for police academy candidates with military experience to requiring a college degree (and then back to looking for military experience).

7. Policy based on community-oriented policing to “broken windows theory” (and back to community oriented policing again).

8. Forming a perimeter around an active shooter and waiting for SWAT to giving active shooter training to all patrol officers (and expecting them to run into the building alone if needed).

9. Shotguns in the squad car to rifles in the squad car.

10. Carrying saps to carrying ECDs.

11. Chasing criminals to no-chase policies.

12. No ballistic vests to wearing Level III rifle plates.

13. A gum-drop rotator on the roof to an array of LEDs in a light bar.

14. Widespread public support to a deterioration in public support.

15. An almost universal reliance on radio dispatch to getting most of our calls on MDCs.

16. Being taught how do to CPR on someone else to learning how to apply a tourniquet to oneself.

17. Bullhorns for SWAT negotiations to throw phones.

18. SWAT teams in a converted bread truck to purpose-built Bearcats.

19. Hand-writing all your forms in triplicate to using computer-based reports.

20. Being judged on ‘Shock the Conscience' standard to using the ‘Objectively Reasonable' standard.

21. PIOs using spoken words to using social media.

22. Walking the beat to sitting in a squad.

23. 35mm cameras to digital cameras.

24. Line ups and six packs for ID-ing the bad guy to using DNA evidence.

25. Honest mistakes seen by few to honest mistakes seen by the whole world.

Think about changes that have been implemented since you've been on the job. If you've been in this career for any length of time, you've experienced at least half of the above changes. Which ones have you felt at the time hurt us but ended up actually helping us?

Face this fact: as times change, so does this job. The bigger tides turn for us about once a decade – sometimes in our favor and sometimes not. Embrace the good and “the suck” equally. Doing anything else is a waste of your energy.

As you go about whatever changes are coming your way, I encourage you to think about the following:

1. Public opinion will not always be for or against us. It moves.

2. The job you do today will not be the job you do next year.

3. The officer you hired this year is completely different than the one you hired three years ago.

4. Being disgruntled is a conscious decision that you make – and it's contagious.

5. Being the best you can be every day is a conscious decision that you make – and it is also contagious.

6. Never give up on an idea because of time. Time will pass anyway.

7. The first person through the wall always gets bloodied. The first departments to embrace an unpopular change may experience the same problem.

8. The only good thing soap boxes ever did was carry soap. Make a positive change for yourself and burn yours.


Advancing Policing Through Innovation and Science

'Peace Officers' are the guardians of our society

Police officers and deputies viewing themselves as 'peace officers' is consistent with the approach of training officers to be guardians of society

by Chief David G. Dominguez

In 2016, Executive Director Sue Rahr of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission wrote on the National Police Foundation blog about how law enforcement has become very good at fighting crime, yet as a profession, we are struggling.

I would agree, law enforcement in the United States is at a crossroads with continuous challenges. Police chiefs and law enforcement executives around the country are examining how training and development occurs so that recruits and officers are steeped in community and cohesion – and understand they are guardians in addition to warriors.


There will always be an element of warrior, it is the part of the profession. One just needs to look at the recent increase in line-of-duty deaths, mass shootings and the dangerous life-threatening situations police officers face daily.

For many, the guardian vs. warrior discussion poses the question: Guardians of what? I submit that police officers are guardians of the fabric of society, not just the people.

Recently, I was introduced to a non-profit organization formed to address this issue. The mission of Police2Peace is unique and straightforward – to include the designation “Peace Officer” on law enforcement vehicles. By employing cutting-edge social science to deliver a powerful message, Police2Peace wants to strengthen the fabric of society.

When I first met Police2Peace's founder and Executive Director Lisa Broderick she explained why this concept would work with an example from mainstream advertising.

“Pepsi displays the words ‘cool' and ‘refreshing' as a positive suggestion hoping you'll feel that way when you consume their product. It's called priming, and it is well known in advertising,” Broderick said.

Police2Peace believes the use of priming can be applied with the application of “Peace Officer” on patrol vehicles to result in enhanced community outreach and obtain positive results.

The Police2Peace foundation's work is being supported by the Joint Public Policy Institute of New York University and UCLA to perform independent research to gauge the impact of the changed vehicles on public perception. In 2017, a feasibility study concluded with the LA-area suburb Redlands (Calif.) Police Department, who changed over vehicles in 2017. Results showed the public highly supported the use of the decals. Citizens surveyed reported that the decals would improve or significantly improve the community's perception of law enforcement.

The Richland County Sheriff's Department (RCSD) also conducted a pilot study with the expectation of statistically valid results that would show improvements in public perception of law enforcement in the short term, and a decrease of negative interactions and negative perception between departments and their communities in the long run. Read more about RCSD's findings here.


While the research behind the program is interesting, the message being delivered is captivating. Police officers and deputies viewing themselves as “Peace Officers” is consistent with the approach of training officers to be guardians of society.

California, like all states, has a Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) and is responsible for setting minimum selection and training standards for California law enforcement. Thus, the term peace officer is a significant part of history in law enforcement and interwoven with police officer.

Recruits and law enforcement professionals need continued education in what it means to be a “peace officer.” A considerable number of situations involve addiction, homelessness, mental illness and domestic violence. Law enforcement continues to need recruits who are capable of diffusing situations, problem solving and thinking like guardians when enforcing the law when applicable. Being a guardian doesn't mean responding to situations and being soft on crime. Sometimes, the role of law enforcement officers is not to enforce the law, it is to diffuse the situation – to keep people safe with as little violence as possible. Once that is done, then officers can enforce and apply the law.

There is an evolving trend and growing acceptance of the guardian concept within law enforcement. To that end, the work of Police2Peace goes a long way to positively influencing the impression some citizens have of law enforcement using a simple phrase, while reminding officers of their chosen profession – to keep the peace.


Denver cops may start carrying food for people in need

The move aims to serve as both a crime prevention and community policing tactic

by PoliceOne

DENVER – The Denver Department of Public Safety may start equipping first responders with nonperishable food items to hand out to those in need.

Denverite reports the move aims to serve as both a crime prevention and community policing tactic.

“This steps slightly out of what their traditional job duties have been,” Zach Fleck, a Denver DPS senior financial analyst, told Denverite. “With the idea that if we can get ahead of some of these issues – poverty, food security, behavioral health – then ultimately what will happen is the instances of crime will be lower in the future than they are today.”

The city is planning to partner with local churches, nonprofits and other aid groups in the effort. In addition to having food on hand, first responders will be able to connect those in need with city resources. The Denver DPS hopes the plan will curtail crimes of desperation.


Law Enforcement News - Fri, Aug 10

Police Sergeant Shot And Wounded In Baltimore
Authorities are investigating a shooting in Baltimore that left a police sergeant wounded. Baltimore police say the officer was taken to R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center after being shot Thursday afternoon in northeast Baltimore. Police did not immediately release any other details. Gov. Larry Hogan issued a tweet asking people to keep the officer in their prayers as he fights for his life. Hogan added that thoughts and prayers alone are not enough, and that state and local leaders must join together to get violent shooters off the streets. A woman who claimed to witness the shooting told local media outlets that the officer was in plain clothes and that it appeared he was targeted in a robbery attempt.
Associated Press

Inmate Charged With Attempted Murder Of Pennsylvania Troopers During Transport
An inmate at Indiana County's Pine Grove state prison is charged with attempting to kill two state troopers when he seized a gun from one of the troopers and fired it twice as they were driving him back to the prison from a district court hearing. In addition to two counts of attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, Simere Maurice Alford, 20, of Philadelphia, is charged by state police with two counts each of aggravated assault, assault of a law enforcement officer, reckless endangerment and assault and aggravated harassment by a prisoner during the June 24 incident that happened as the police vehicle approached the entrance to the prison in White Township. Other charges include escape, resisting arrest, disarming a law enforcement officer, discharging a firearm into an occupied structure and other firearms offenses.
Tribune-Review, Greensburg, Pa.

Shooting Death Of Man, 35, In North Hills Was Likely Gang-Related, Police Say
A man was found dead Thursday, the apparent victim of a gang-related gunshot wound. The man, 35, and described as Hispanic, was found unresponsive on a sidewalk by police officers, following a report of a man down in the area of Parthenia Street and Aqueduct Avenue at 6:55 a.m., said LAPD Officer Jeff Lee. Firefighters pronounced the unidentified man dead at the scene. No arrests were reported, and no suspect description was available. But police believe the shooting was gang-related.
Los Angeles Daily News

Man Sentenced To Life In Fatal Stabbing At South L.A. Hamburger Joint That Led To Barricade In Santa Monica
A man was sentenced Tuesday to 16 years to life in state prison for the 2015 killing of a man he met in a substance abuse program outside a fast-food restaurant in South Los Angeles, prosecutors said. David Carrillo, a 33-year-old L.A. man, was on the run for weeks after the fatal stabbing before authorities tracked him to an apartment complex in Santa Monica, where they used tear gas to coax him out in an hourslong standoff, the L.A. County District Attorney's Office said in a news release. The ordeal began Feb. 10, when a fight broke out between Carrillo and 30-year-old Wesley Morejon outside a hamburger eatery on the 8900 block of Vermont Avenue, in the Vermont Vista neighborhood. Carrillo was convicted of pulling out a folding knife and using it to fatally stab Morejon. About two weeks later, on Feb. 21, a SWAT team responded when Carrillo refused to come out of an apartment on the 800 block of Ocean Park Boulevard. Although he tried reenter the gassed residence he'd been forced from, the suspect was detained after a K-9 grabbed hold of him, officials said at the time.

Jury To Deliberate Monday In California Serial-Killing Case
A jury has received the case of a man charged with fatally stabbing two women in their Southern California homes and attempting to kill a third. Jurors were given the case of 43-year-old Michael Gargiulo on Thursday and are scheduled to begin deliberating Monday. Earlier Thursday in the prosecution's rebuttal to the defense's closing arguments, Deputy District Attorney Daniel Akemon said Gargiulo had "the mind of a serial killer" as he reviewed the evidence of attacks he said were chillingly similar. Akemon dismissed a defense argument that another man had killed 22-year-old Ashley Ellerin in 2001 out of jealousy when he learned she was about to go on a date with actor Ashton Kutcher, who testified during the trial. Akemon said the defense's alternate suspect had been thoroughly investigated and cleared. 

LA County Detectives Investigating Disappearance Of Monrovia Woman
As Homicide Detectives revealed more details Thursday, Aug. 8, on where a Monrovia man suspected of assaulting and kidnapping his girlfriend had been seen, while the father of the victim made a plea for information that will help find his daughter. Robert Camou, 27, was spotted placing the lifeless body of Amanda Custer, 31, in the cargo area of a Prius the morning of July 29, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide Lt. Scott Hoglund, before driving away from his Monrovia neighborhood. He said investigators later found blood and a “digging tool” in the vehicles's cargo area. Camou is the prime suspect in what is now a homicide case, he said. Camou hasn't yet been arrested or charged in this case. During a news conference Thursday at the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau in Monterey Park, Rick Custer said he told his daughter she needed to get away from Camou. He said she was leaving for a job. “She was trying to get away from him,” Rick Custer said. Authorities using dogs and a helicopter have been searching the areas of Azusa Canyon, Mt. Baldy and Lytle Creek since Amanda Custer disappeared.
Los Angeles Daily News

UCLA, Former Gynecologist Accused Of Sexual Assault Facing Class-Action Lawsuit
Two women who claim they were sexually assaulted by a former University of California, Los Angeles gynecologist have filed a federal class-action lawsuit. The suit alleges that the university failed to protect Dr. James Heaps' patients and acted negligently. Heaps was charged in June with the sexual battery and exploitation of two patients who he treated at UCLA in 2017 and 2018, but he has pleaded not guilty. Heaps worked as an obstetrician-gynecologist at the student health center from 1983 to 2010 and then was hired by UCLA Health in 2014. He also held medical staff privileges at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center from 1988 to 2018. The university has paid more than $3.5 million in settlements over allegations against Heaps. When allegations first came forward last year, the school says it investigated and reported Heaps to law enforcement and the state medical board. He decided to retire as the school was moving to fire him. Heaps is scheduled to return to court Aug. 29.

Records: Festival Gunman Had Passport, Survival Guide In Car
The gunman in the deadly California food festival shooting had a passport, clown mask, wilderness survival guide and bottle rockets in his car at the time of the attack, court documents released Thursday show. Authorities said they found the items in Santino William Legan's parked Honda Accord. Investigators also searched his family's home in Gilroy, California, as well as his apartment in a remote area of Nevada. Legan, 19, killed three people, including two children, on July 28 at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. He took his own life during a shootout with police. Funeral services for one of the victims, 25-year-old Trevor Irby , were held Thursday in Romulus, New York. The search warrant records also show Legan had a pamphlet from the garlic festival in his car. Gilroy police referred questions to the FBI, which declined to comment. Authorities say his motive isn't known but he had been interested in conflicting violent ideologies.
Associated Press

California Man Pleads Guilty In Florida To $1.3B Fraud Scam
A California man pleaded guilty in Florida to orchestrating a $1.3 billion real estate fraud scheme that stole money from thousands of investors nationwide and agreed to forfeit valuable jewelry, wine and paintings by artists such as Picasso and Renoir. Court records show 61-year-old Robert Shapiro, of Sherman Oaks, California, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Miami federal court to mail and wire fraud and tax evasion. He faces up to 25 years in prison at sentencing in October before U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga. At least 9,000 people, many of them elderly who invested their retirement savings, suffered losses in the scheme, Miami federal prosecutors say. Prosecutors say Shapiro's Woodbridge Group had offices employing 130 people in California, Florida, Tennessee, Colorado and Connecticut. The pitch to investors was that Woodbridge held real estate loans that would pay them rates of interest between 5% and 10%. In fact, the real estate was also owned by Shapiro through 270 shell companies and did not generate the necessary money for investors. Sometimes, the properties didn't even exist. It became a Ponzi scheme that paid older investors with money from newer ones, court records show. 
Associated Press

Public Safety News

Man Killed Attempting To Save Neighbors; 3 Hospitalized After House Fire In Sunland
A 65-year-old man died rushing to save his neighbors and three remain hospitalized after a house fire in Sunland late Wednesday night, said officials. The victim, identified by neighbors as Mike Reinhart, went into cardiac arrest after his neighbor's home caught fire. He was in grave condition and treated at the scene by pracademics. Reinhart died at a hospital Thursday morning, said authorities. A total of 31 firefighters responded about 9:50 p.m. to the 10700 block of North Big Bend Avenue, near Oro Vista Avenue, and were able to contain the fire to an attached garage. Knockdown was declared at 10:09 p.m., according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Two people who live in the home, a 49-year-old woman and an 89-year-old woman, were taken to a hospital, the younger woman in fair condition, the older woman in serious condition, Stewart said. 
FOX 11

Man Hospitalized Since Camp Fire Dies, Bringing Toll In California's Deadliest Blaze To 86

A man who had been hospitalized since the deadliest wildfire in California history incinerated a town in November has died, raising the number of people killed to 86, authorities said Thursday. The Butte County Sheriff's Office said 72-year-old Paul Ernest of Paradise succumbed to his wounds, but gave no other information. Ernest's son, Jessee Ernest, said his father died Monday of complications from burns on one-third of his body. “He had a hard time keeping his lungs functioning,” Jessee Ernest said. “He put up a really good fight.” Paul Ernest had been hospitalized since Nov. 8, when the fast-moving fire raced across the Sierra Nevada foothills, destroying nearly 15,000 homes in the city of 27,000 and surrounding hamlets. That day he had to be flown to a Sacramento-area hospital, Jessee Ernest said. Jessee Ernest said that on the day of the fire, his father and mother, Suzie Ernest, tried to flee in their car but abandoned vehicles and fallen power lines blocked their path and they returned home and jumped on their all-terrain vehicles along with a neighbor to try and escape the inferno. The road was impassable and soon they were flanked by flames and had to take shelter behind a boulder, Ernest said.

Local Government News

L.A. City Council Considering Motion To Ban The Possession Of Assault Weapons
The Los Angeles City Council is considering a motion to prohibit the possession of all assault weapons within the city, following a pair of mass shootings over the weekend that left 31 people dead in Texas and Ohio. Councilman Paul Koretz introduced the motion Wednesday, saying assault weapons "are clearly one of the things that make it easiest to do these massive shootings." Two other council members, Greig Smith from the West Valley and Council President Herb Wesson, introduced separate motions that would push for laws at the state and federal level. In addition to an assault weapons ban, they would like to see universal background checks for firearms and ammunition, a ban on high capacity magazines and harsher penalties for offenders. "Now, I want to see all those off the streets. There's no reason for any American (to) own a weapon who shoots a lot of rounds or rapidly shoots rounds," said Smith. Koretz expects there will be a lawsuit by pro-gun groups, but he says he fought a similar battle when he was in the city of West Hollywood.

Warner Center Arena Approval Elicits 2 Very Different Appeals From Residents And Developer Of Woodland Hills Project
About two weeks after Los Angeles planning officials approved a fully enclosed arena as part of a megadevelopment proposed for Warner Center, a group of Woodland Hills residents along with a developer, have filed an appeal against the project. If approved, the 34-acre proposed site developed by global firm Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield will turn a largely vacant Promenade mall into a district with 5,610 on-site parking spaces along with a mixed-use district with about 1,400 multi-family residential units, roughly 244,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, about 630,000 square feet of office space, with a hotel with up to 570 hotel rooms. In a 13-page appeal, Gina K. Thornburg, a Woodland Hills resident, community organizer and founder of Coalition for Valley Neighborhoods, wrote that she was concerned that the city didn't require the developer to build affordable units.
Los Angeles Daily News


Law Enforcement News - Thur, Aug 9

Suspects Charged In Killing Of LAPD Officer Juan Diaz Shot At Others The Same Night: Police
A man accused of killing Los Angeles Police Department Officer Juan Diaz outside a taco stand in Lincoln Heights after the policeman and a friend told him to stop tagging a sidewalk has been charged with murder, authorities said Tuesday. Diaz, 24, was off-duty when he was gunned down near Avenue 26 and Humboldt Street around 1 a.m. on July 27. But those accused of killing him were involved in a series of other crimes that same night, including another shooting, according to LAPD. That second shooting allegedly targeted an ex-boyfriend. Cristian Adrian Facundo, the 20-year-old suspected of fatally shooting Diaz, and Francisco Talamantes, 23, have been charged with murder while Ashlynn Smith, 18, has been charged with accessory to murder, according to LAPD. The three suspects were arrested Friday morning. LAPD Chief Michel Moore said the department continues to piece together hundreds of pieces of evidence — tying together a string of crimes that started just after midnight. The three suspects were allegedly also with a 21-year-old Los Angeles woman who has not been identified by police.

How Many More Did Manson Family Kill? LAPD Investigating 12 Unsolved Murders

The Manson murders mostly are remembered as two events that occurred 50 years ago this month: the killing of actress Sharon Tate and four others in Benedict Canyon and then the butchering of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in Los Feliz. But cold-case investigators and others long have believed that Charles Manson and his cult followers were responsible for many more deaths. The Los Angeles Police Department officially has a dozen unsolved homicide cases linked to Manson. And there are additional slayings outside the jurisdiction that some believe to be the work of his “family.” Some of those ties seem more plausible than others, but all have been extensively examined and theorized — as are all things involving Manson. The supposed suicide of one Manson follower's boyfriend in England. The drowning of an attorney whom Manson declared during the middle of his trial he never wanted to see again. A young man killed during a game of Russian roulette with family members present. Two young women stabbed to death off Mulholland Drive and a couple of young Scientology followers who met a similar fate. “Manson repeatedly told others they murdered many others. We may never know or identify all their victims,” said Cliff Shepard, a former LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division detective who worked some of those cold cases.
Los Angeles Times

Police Search For Gunman After Shots Fired In Canoga Park

Police recovered a gun and searched Wednesday morning for at least one suspect in Canoga Park after hearing shots fired. Officers swarmed the 16100 block of Wyandotte Street after receiving an officer-needs-help call about 11:25 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The officers reported hearing shots in the area, but it was unclear if police were the target of the gunfire, the LAPD said. A gun was recovered and a perimeter was set up between Valeria Street to the north, Wyandotte Street to the south, Gaviota Avenue to the west and Valjean Avenue to the east. A description of the suspect was not immediately available.

Porsche Driver Sought After Wounding 2 In Car-to-Car Shooting In Pico-Union: LAPD
A Porsche-driving gunman was at large after opening fire on the occupants of another vehicle in the Pico-Union neighborhood of Los Angeles Tuesday, officials said. The shooting that left two wounded was reported shortly after 2:45 p.m., said L.A. Police Officer Rosario Cervantes. Video from the scene showed the investigation was centered on the intersection of Normandie Avenue and 11th Street, just south of Koreatown and east of Harvard Heights. A stretch of the avenue between 11th and 12th streets was taped off for investigation. Two people were sitting in their vehicle when the shooter drove up in a white Porsche and fired multiple rounds at them, according to Officer Drake Madison. One was left in critical condition while the other was stable, but Madison said both were expected to survive. There was no identifying information available on those shot, nor was there a suspect description, Madison said. Investigators were unsure whether the shooting could be gang-related. 

Police Investigating Crash Into South LA Auto Shop Find Marijuana Growing Operation
A marijuana growing operation was revealed early Thursday after a car crashed into the South Los Angeles building it was being housed in. Officers responding to a crash just before midnight at Manchester Avenue and Kansas discovered what appeared to be a marijuana grow house in the auto shop the car had smashed into. Police say the car that crashed into the building had backed in. When officers arrived, the driver was nowhere to be found and no one was inside the building. It's not clear if the marijuana growing operation was legal, and investigators are also trying to determine if the crash was an attempt to steal the plants. No suspect information has been released.

LAPD Investigates After YouTuber Brooke Houts Accidentally Uploaded Video Showing Alleged Dog Abuse
A YouTube personality with more than 300,000 subscribers was facing strong backlash and was the center of a Los Angeles Police Department investigation Wednesday after apparently accidentally uploading a video that showed her allegedly abusing her dog. In the uncut video, which has since been removed from her YouTube page, Brooke Houts says she is going to prank her pup using cling wrap, before she is seen spitting on, shoving and slapping her dog. The backlash came fast and furious on social media Wednesday, with users also leaving comments on her other YouTube videos, some saying they have reported her to LA Animal Services. Within hours, the LAPD's Animal Cruelty Unit began investigating. 

Detectives Working To ID Gunmen In Historic South-Central Homicides; $50K Rewards Offered
Officials announced a pair of $50,000 rewards Wednesday as they search for leads in separate shootings that left two men dead earlier this year in Historic South-Central. Los Angeles police investigators say they've been unable to compile suspect descriptions in the months since Donte Jones, 28, and 24-year-old Eduardo Garcia were fatally shot. So far, the cases are not considered related. On Feb. 15, Jones was sitting in his vehicle with a female in the passenger seat when someone opened fire on them just before 10 p.m. on the 4100 block of South Wall Street, according to detectives. Jones was struck, but his passenger was not. She was able to call 911, officials said. Jones was taken to a nearby hospital, where he later died. On May 8, Garcia was shot and killed shortly after 3 a.m. at the Gilbert Lindsay Recreation Center, a public park at 429 E. 42nd Place. After being flagged down by a witness, officers say they found the 24-year-old lying in the grass along the recreation center's east side with a gunshot wound in his upper torso. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

Tesla Security Feature Helps LAPD Identify The Car's Burglars
A Los Angeles Tesla owner said thieves picked the wrong smart cart to mess with. Nishant Patel, a Santa Clarita urologist, bought a 2017 Tesla Model-S because of its speed and innovation, but it wasn't until a car burglary that he was able to see one of the vehicle's newest security features in action. Patel said his vehicle was burglarized July 24 in downtown Los Angeles on the corner of Spring and Wilhardt Street. He had stopped to eat at a restaurant, and when he returned to his car, the front right window was shattered. His bag, which contained his computer, his checkbook, and an expired prescription pad, was missing from the back seat. Patel said he missed the initial emergency alarm sent to his phone, but when he returned to the car, he discovered that he had video, stills and closeups of the thieves to show to police. The Tesla's security footage shows two heavy-set men approaching and looking into the vehicle through the tinted windows. The men are then shown breaking through the front passenger window and grabbing the bag. The men, however, are not aware that the vehicle is recording their faces and their every move in full color. Patel said his car is like its own police officer.

Arraignment Delayed For Reputed Gang Member Charged In USC Student's Slaying
Arraignment was postponed again Wednesday for a reputed gang member accused of killing a USC jazz student, who was the son of an Oakland city councilwoman, during an attempted robbery just blocks from campus. Ivan Hernandez, 23, is charged with murder for the March 10 death of 21-year-old Victor McElhaney. Hernandez was charged July 2 with one count each of murder and attempted second-degree robbery — the latter charge involving a friend who was with McElhaney. Hernandez appeared in court after being charged, but his arraignment was postponed. On Wednesday, it was postponed again until Sept. 9. The murder charge includes the special circumstance allegations of murder during an attempted robbery and murder by an active participant in a criminal street gang, along with an allegation that he personally and intentionally discharged a handgun. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty against Hernandez, who was arrested June 28 by detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department's Robbery-Homicide Division.

Public Safety News

Latest Measles Case Travels Through LAX
A person with a confirmed case of measles traveled through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Los Angeles County Public Health officials announced Wednesday. This is the second case in a non-resident in as many days, with the previous case traveling through Union Station in downtown LA. The latest possible exposure point occurred at LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on July 23. There is no current risk of measles exposure at the location, according to health officials. There have been 16 measles cases involving residents in LA County in 2019, while another 10 cases involving non-residents that traveled through LA County, public health officials said. For more information about measles, click here or call 211.

Local Government News

City Councilman Seeks Enforcement On L.A. River, Citing `Drugs, E. Coli'
Los Angeles City Councilman Bob Blumenfield proposed Wednesday that a pilot program be created to focus on enforcement and cleanup along portions of the Los Angeles River in the West San Fernando Valley. Blumenfield introduced a motion that says “recent drug and gang activity appears to have increased in the river area, resulting in at lease one homicide,” and that residents have reported “significant problem areas” along the river from Canoga Park to Reseda, citing evidence of drug use, crime, homeless encampments and other unsanitary conditions. “Additionally, the use of the river paths and adjacent areas for habitation could potentially be the cause of increased bacterial loads on recreation zone days in the areas where water quality is regularly tested,” Blumenfield's motion says. The councilman pointed to sampling that took place July 23-25 along the river between Canoga Park and Reseda that showed a fivefold spike in the levels of E. Coli found in the Middle Sepulveda Basin and the Elysian Valley kayak zones, which he said could be caused by illegal dumping.

Metro Bike-Sharing Program Launches In North Hollywood
Metro's bike sharing program has arrived in the San Fernando Valley, and its first stop is North Hollywood. Bicycles are now available to rent using a TAP card from 16 stations sprinkled near the Orange and Red Line stations in North Hollywood and surrounding areas, such as Valley Village and Studio City. The 150 bikes rolled out this week in North Hollywood are part of a larger bike-sharing program that Metro has already launched in other parts of the city, including the Harbor area, Los Angeles's Westside, downtown Los Angeles and near USC. The “Smart Metro” bike model chosen for the North Hollywood program can be locked to any public bike rack for a convenience charge ($2 if it is within the bike share zone, $20 if outside). There are no extra costs if the bike is returned to a designated Metro bike share station, beyond the cost of the pass to ride. The cost to ride for 30 minutes is $1.75, with 30-day passes available for $17 and a year-long pass costing $150. Metro also has a Bike Share smartphone app that provides information on the location of the closest bike stations.
Los Angeles Daily News


Law Enforcement News - Wed, Aug 8

Two Temecula Residents Face Murder Charges In Fatal Shooting Of LAPD Officer Juan Diaz
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore announced charges Tuesday against three out-of-town gang members accused of fatally shooting an off-duty Los Angeles police officer at a taco stand during a 90-minute crime spree in northeast Los Angeles last month. The three — two men and a woman — were identified as Francisco Talamantes, 23; Cristian Facundo, 20; and Ashlynn Smith, 18. All three are residents of Temecula and were being held without bail since their arrest on Friday. Facundo fired the fatal shot that killed Officer Juan Diaz, Moore said. Talamantes and Facundo face charges including murder with special circumstances and other counts. That would make them eligible for the death penalty if convicted. Smith faces charges including shooting into an inhabited vehicle and accessory to murder. “This is an ongoing investigation and prosecution,” Moore said. “This was part of a larger crime spree.” Friday's arrests ended a six-day manhunt for the suspects. The department would not release photos of the suspects because investigators are still gathering evidence and interviewing people, Moore said.
Los Angeles Times

Pedestrian In Critical Condition Following Hit-And-Run In South LA
A pedestrian is in critical condition following a hit-and-run in South Los Angeles Tuesday night. The accident happened shortly after 9 p.m. at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Woodlawn Avenue. According to police, the victim was a 15-year-old boy who was riding a bicycle when he was dragged 1,000 feet down the road to an intersection. The boy's mother was notified and was at the hospital with her son, according to police. Police said they were looking for a 2007 or 2008 dark blue or green Honda Accord with tinted windows with front-end damage. Anyone with information is asked to call police. There is currently a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver.

Shooting In Harvard Heights Injures 2 People

LAPD is investigating a shooting in the Harvard Heights area of Los Angeles Tuesday afternoon. Two people were rushed to the hospital in an unknown condition, according to the Los Angeles police. Authorities say the victims were inside a vehicle at the time of the shooting. The shooting was reported at about 2:48 p.m. in the area of Normandie Avenue and Olympic Boulevard. Authorities are investigating reports of this incident being a car-to-car shooting in which the victims were able to drive a short distance before coming to a complete stop. A description of the suspect was not immediately known, but investigators say a white Porsche was seen leaving the scene. Police did not release additional details. SkyFOX aerial images show a large crime scene. Normandie between Olympic Boulevard and 12th Street is closed fort the investigation. The public is asked to avoid the area.
FOX 11

LA County Sheriff's Department Says Public Plays Important Role In Stopping Active Shooters
After a weekend that saw two mass shootings in Ohio and Texas, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department wants people to know there are measures you can take to protect yourself and family. "Unfortunately, this can easily happen anywhere in Los Angeles County at any time," Sheriff Alex Villanueva said. The department held a briefing to discuss what the public can do during active shooter situations and department response systems in place. While there are no current active threats, in the coming weeks, sheriff department personnel are charged with reviewing and discussing the recent shootings and applying any lessons learned. "We are constantly improving and changing our protocols based on current tactics being employed by the bad guys, and we learn from every single active shooter event, such as the ones recently happened in Ohio, as well as in Texas," said Sgt. Mike Harding. Officials say the public plays an important role in the fight against active shooters. "For example, the shooter at El Paso, he was seen walking through a parking lot carrying a rifle and wearing hearing protection," Harding said. "That should be a red flag to anyone that should have watched it to realize that something is wrong with this picture."

3 Men Sentenced In East Compton Gang Shooting That Wounded 4-Year-Old Boy
Three men were sentenced Tuesday in connection with wounding a 4-year-old boy in a 2017 East Compton shooting, officials announced. Luis Julian Beltran Perez, 24 was sentenced to 120 years to life in prison, while Edgar Manuel Rosas, 26 and Salvador Sanchez, 21, were both sentenced to 30 years to life, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. The three men, who were described as gang members, were also ordered to pay $4,097 to the California Victim Compensation Board. The defendants were convicted last November of two counts of attempted murder and three counts of shooting at an occupied vehicle in connection with the June 7, 2017 shooting. The jury also found true the allegations of use of a firearm and that the shooting was committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang.

Ex-Wells Fargo Manager Pleads Guilty To Aiding $14 Million Identity Theft Scheme
The former manager of a Wells Fargo branch in Glendale accused of unfreezing suspicious accounts tied to a $14 million scheme to defraud the Internal Revenue Service pleaded guilty on Monday, August 5. Hakop Zakaryan, 34, of Glendale, admitted to one count of felony bank fraud as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, officials from the U.S. Attorney's office said in a statement. He was accused of lying to his company's loss prevention department in order to give clients suspected of fraud access to their accounts, which had been flagged for suspicious activity. The defendant allegedly knew that those bank customers were using phony identities, and was paid thousands of dollars in cash to lift restrictions on their accounts, officials said. In one instance, fraudsters managed to withdraw $29,453 from a suspicious account after Zakaryan was paid $3,000 to help unfreeze it. The accounts were opened using fake Armenian passports, and part of a scheme to launder about $14 million in federal tax returns that were fraudulently obtained from the IRS, prosecutors said.
Los Angeles Daily News

FBI: California Gunman Had List Of Possible Targets
The FBI has opened a domestic terrorism investigation into the mass shooting at a California food festival after it discovered a “target list” compiled by the gunman whose relatives apologized Tuesday and said they were “horrified” by his actions. The FBI disclosure came during a funeral mass for Keyla Salazar, a 13-year-old middle schooler who was one of three people killed on July 28 by gunman Santino William Legan during the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Thirteen others were injured. It was the first of three mass shootings within a week that killed a total of 34 people in Gilroy, Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas. The attacks have prompted widespread calls for gun reform and heightened mental health care. The FBI has opened domestic terrorism cases in two of the attacks. In Gilroy, the FBI cited the 19-year-old Legan's list of targets that included religious institutions, courthouses, federal buildings and both major political parties in the U.S. Authorities say the gunman in Texas posted a racist, anti-Hispanic screed online. The FBI has not said if it is considering the Ohio case to be domestic terrorism, even though the shooter expressed a desire to commit a mass shooting.
Associated Press

Public Safety News

L.A. County Confirms 16th Local Measles Case; Union Station Travelers May Have Been Exposed
Public health officials are investigating what effect, if any, a person with measles who traveled through Union Station in late July had on the community. The person, who authorities said doesn't live in Los Angeles County, came through Union Station at Bay No. 8 of the Patsaouras Transit Plaza on July 23 between 12:15 and 2:15 p.m. Other people could have been exposed to the virus, but there is no known risk related to measles currently at the location, according to a Los Angeles Department of Public Health statement released Tuesday. There have been 16 cases of measles in Los Angeles County residents in 2019, in addition to nine non-resident cases that traveled through the county. The majority of cases were people who weren't immunized or did not know if they had ever been immunized. The July case is not connected to outbreaks reported earlier this year, health officials said.

Local Government News

Latest Sepulveda Basin Encampment Cleanup To Be First Of More To Come, Says Councilwoman
An effort is underway to clear away homeless encampments throughout the 4-mile-wide Sepulveda Basin and to enforce existing laws that restrict staying past sunset in the areas of the park under the city's control, according to Councilwoman Nury Martinez. Martinez, whose district includes most of the Sepulveda Basin area, said Tuesday that an encampment cleanup that began this week is part of a larger effort that her office has been coordinating over the past several months to address the persistence of homeless encampments at the basin, which authorities say was not built for or intended for human habitation. The councilwoman first announced the effort in a statement last week, after a fire broke out in a large homeless encampment in the northwest portion of the Sepulveda Basin. The fire happened just before a planned cleanup in the same general area that launched Monday and is expected to last a week or less. While there were no casualties from the fire, Martinez said in an interview with the Los Angeles Daily News that “we'd be having a very different conversation had someone gotten hurt in last week's fire.”
Los Angeles Daily News