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Apr 2024
‘Never Happened Before’: Key Oversight Officials Leave As LAPD Searches For Chief
Law Enforcement News

‘Never Happened Before’: Key Oversight Officials Leave As LAPD Searches For Chief

In the market for senior police officials, Los Angeles is hiring. As of this week, the city faces an unprecedented three vacancies in key LAPD leadership and oversight positions: chief, inspector general and executive director of the Board of Police Commissioners. The current inspector general, Mark Smith, was named Monday as an independent monitor to oversee police reforms in Portland, Ore. Another top oversight official, Richard Tefank, who served as executive director for the Board of Police Commissioners for nearly two decades, retired at the end of last month. The department is already without a permanent police chief after Michel Moore unexpectedly announced his retirement in January after 5½ years as chief. Last month, the Police Commission appointed Assistant Chief Dominic Choi to take over on an interim basis. A Northern California headhunting firm was hired last month conduct a nationwide search for the city’s next top cop, a process that is expected to last through August. The all-civilian Police Commission, which functions much like a board of directors for the department, will now be tasked with picking replacements for Tefank and Smith — while also selecting three police chief candidates for Mayor Karen Bass to consider.

Los Angeles Times

Police Discover Woman’s Body Stuffed Inside Sunland Trash Can

Los Angeles police are investigating after a woman’s body was found inside a trash can in Sunland on Tuesday morning, a department spokesperson said. Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department responded to a call from a residential neighborhood around 10:30 a.m. When they arrived, they discovered the body of what appeared to be a 30- to 40-year-old female inside the trash can. Helicopter video from KTLA showed police investigating near a closed black bin at a curb in the neighborhood. No other information was immediately provided by the police. LAPD Operations-Valley Bureau detectives are in charge of the investigation. 

Los Angeles Times

Innocent Driver Struck, Killed By Motorist Who Ran Red Light: Los Angeles Police

A young man was struck and killed by a speeding SUV that police say ran a red light in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Los Angeles Tuesday night. The collision was reported around 11:15 p.m. when a black BMW SUV was traveling westbound on West Florence Avenue at a high rate of speed, Los Angeles Police Department Detective Gerald Chavarria confirmed. The SUV then slammed into the side of a gray sedan when it reached the Crenshaw Blvd. intersection. “We have evidence that it [the SUV] ran the red light,” Chavarria said. The sedan spun out of control and came to a stop about 70 to 80 feet from the crash site, Chavarria said. The driver of the sedan, identified only as a 25-year-old man, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the SUV remained at the scene and was detained in the back of a patrol vehicle. “We are going to talk to him and determine if any other crimes occurred other than the red light violation,” Chavarria said. Officers at the scene determined the SUV driver was not under the influence of any drugs or alcoholic beverages.


Man Stabbed In Face Near Alla Road And Culver Blvd, LAPD Investigating

A 50-year-old man was hospitalized Thursday after he walked into the Marina del Rey Sheriff's Station with a stab wound to his face, prompting an investigation by Los Angeles police. The stabbing occurred near the intersection of Alla Road and Culver Boulevard, according to sheriff's officials. The victim sought help at the sheriff's station around 3:26 p.m. Los Angeles Police Department officers are investigating the incident as an assault with a deadly weapon. Details about the suspect or what led to the stabbing were not immediately available. Authorities have not released the name of the victim. The investigation is ongoing. 

Westside Current

Group Of Possible LAUSD Students Behind Retail ‘Flash Robbery' Spree, LAPD Says

The Los Angeles Police Department says a group of boys and young men, possibly LAUSD students, are rushing into businesses and stealing what they can carry out. Police believe the series of "flash robberies" started March 3 at stores throughout Boyle Heights and South L.A. Authorities say the group responsible is made up of 10 to 20 suspects. They are believed to be between 15-25 years old. Police say in each incident, the suspects rush into a store, steal clothing and other merchandise before getting away on bicycles. "The suspects have used force and displayed a lack of regard for the safety of witnesses and victims," the department said in a press release. Investigators believe the suspects are likely LAUSD students in schools near the targeted stores. 


Investigators Searching For Man Who Brutally Attacked Metro Bus Driver Over Weekend

Authorities are searching for a man who brutally attacked a Metro bus driver over the weekend, leaving him hospitalized with serious injuries. The attack happened on Saturday at around 10:30 p.m. on 119th Street and Wilmington Avenue, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department investigators. They say that the bus driver was driving his route when the suspect, identified as 31-year-old Darnell Marshon Bray, began to yell at him. When he stopped the bus, the suspect "without provocation punched the victim in the facial area then proceeded to stab the victim in the chest," said a release from LASD. Deputies say that the victim was able to briefly get away from Bray, exiting the bus in an attempt to flee. Bray followed him outside, but walked in the opposite direction northbound on Wilmington Avenue. The victim, who is recovering after spending time in the hospital for treatment on injuries suffered during the attack, told investigators that the suspect used brass knuckles and a knife that was attached to them. Bray is wanted for attempted murder and is believed to be armed and dangerous. Investigators say that they are also investigating the incident as a hate crime because of some comments that were made during the attack. Anyone who spots him is urged to contact LASD's Transit Services Bureau at (213) 541-2558 or by calling 911. 


Family Demands Answers After Man Seriously Injured In West Hollywood

A 53-year-old Hairstylist recovered at Cedars Sinai Medical Center Tuesday nearly two weeks after he was seriously injured in West Hollywood as West Hollywood Sheriff’s detectives and Albert Vasquez family tried to figure out what happened. “He’s not a violent guy at all, and we’re like in shock,” Gloria Jimenez, Vasquez’s sister, said. Jimenez said her brother stopped by at a few bars in West Hollywood’s Rainbow District on April 5. Then at around 11 p.m., he was found bleeding and unconscious near Heart, a gay nightclub, on Santa Monica Boulevard. Jimenez said she and her family didn’t even learn of the incident until days later when a friend called her brother on the phone. A nurse, who answered the phone, said that hospital staffers needed to talk to his family. At this point, Vasquez can barely communicate, and all he’s been able to say so far is he was attacked, according to Jimenez. “It’s just been horrible more than anything, just not knowing what happened.” the sister said. “How did he even come about all this?” After he arrived at the hospital, doctors removed part of his scalp. “His scalp was actually fractured in two spots. [That] is what we are told,” Jimenez said. The Sheriff’s Department said investigators are still trying to figure out what happened and whether a crime was committed.


Police Seeking Help Locating Man Who Sexually Assaulted Woman At Knifepoint In Pasadena

Police are seeking public assistance to locate a man who held a woman at knifepoint and sexually assaulted her in Pasadena over the weekend. It happened before 8:40 p.m. on Saturday, when officers were called to Sierra Villa Avenue and Foothill Boulevard regarding a report of sexual assault, according to a statement from the Pasadena Police Department. They learned that the suspect got into the victim's car and threatened her with a knife, forcing her to drive to another area where he sexually assaulted her, police said. At some point the victim was able to escape from the man and call 911. By the time they arrived, however, he had already fled from the scene. Investigators describe the man, between 30 and 40 years old, as standing around 6-feet tall. He was last seen wearing a black face mask, a gray hooded rain jacket, light blue jeans and black shoes. "The suspect also has a distinctive raspy voice and is possibly a transient," police said. Anyone with further details is urged to contact investigators at (626) 744-4241. 


Robbery Crew In California Nets $90K From Stolen Lotto Scratchers

A four-person robbery crew that targeted 7-Eleven stores across Los Angeles County collected more than $90,000 from stolen lottery scratchers, authorities announced Tuesday. Detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Major Crimes Bureau say the crew was responsible for some 44 strong-arm robberies, which resulted in retail losses of $250,000 over a two-month span. While the suspects were under surveillance, detectives observed them robbing one of the 7-Eleven stores. “The suspects jumped the counter and forcibly stole over $3,000 worth of California Lottery Scratchers,” an LASD news release stated. All four of the suspects, three adults and one juvenile, were quickly arrested and the stolen scratchers were recovered. The three adult suspects, whose identities were not released, were booked on robbery charges at the Century Regional Detention Facility, where each one of them was being held on $100,000 bail. The juvenile was booked at Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall on robbery charges. LASD’s Major Crimes Bureau’s Burglary-Robbery Task Force works with the Los Angeles Police Department and other participating law enforcement throughout L.A. County in the recently formed Organized Retail Theft Task Force.  


Public Safety News

Fire Knocked Down At Westlake Hamburger Restaurant In 14 Minutes

Firefighters extinguished a fire at a hamburger restaurant in the Westlake district in 14 minutes Tuesday evening with no injuries reported. The fire at Jim’s Burgers at 3033 Beverly Blvd., between Hoover Street and Rampart Boulevard, was reported at 9:34 p.m. and 32 firefighters were sent to the scene, according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Nicholas Prange. The cause of the fire is under investigation, Prange said.


Local Government News

LA City Council To Consider Labor Contracts Costing $1 Billion Through 2028

The Los Angeles City Council is expected to vote on new contracts with labor groups representing thousands of employees that would result in pay raises totaling 22% over the course of five years, as well as improved benefits. On Wednesday, the council's Personnel, Audits and Hiring Committee voted unanimously in favor of the contracts. The agreements are expected to spread out wage increases for the next several years, increasing the minimum wage for city workers to $20 per hour, starting this year, with the goal of reaching $25 per hour by 2026. City Administrative Officer Matt Szabo said the unions -- the Coalition of City Unions, Engineers and Architects Association, and the City Attorney Units -- representing the workers already ratified the contracts. The City Council will need to approve them before they can be enacted. More than 33,450 workers from recreation and parks employees to sanitation, custodians, traffic control officers, accountants, among others, would receive a 6% boost to their wages by the end of 2024, the first year of the contract.

Westside Current

LA City Council Members Look To Fix Golf Tee Time Reservation System

Four Los Angeles City Council members have introduced a motion seeking to crack down on what they describe as “black-market tee time brokers” from booking and reselling tee times for profit, and are waiting for a review and report Wednesday on operation and management procedures. The motion requests a report back on the operation and management of the tee-time reservation system, as well as ongoing efforts to prohibit the use of automated programs to book tee times — similar to concert and sporting event ticket scalpers. Additionally, it would instruct a review and report on any potential fee adjustments needed to monitor or upgrade the current system. Council members Katy Yaroslavsky and Nithya Raman filed the motion Tuesday, seconded by Imelda Padilla and Bob Blumenfield. The Department of Recreation and Parks operates multiple golf courses throughout the city. Residents can purchase an L.A. City Golf Player Card and book tee times up to nine days in advance at all golf courses. Without the player card, the general public can book tee times up to seven days in advance.


About the LAPPL: Formed in 1923, the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) represents more than 8,900 dedicated and professional sworn members of the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPPL serves to advance the interests of LAPD officers through legislative and legal advocacy, political action and education.

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