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Aug 2022
Families Feel ‘Tricked’ By LA County DA George Gascón Over Resentencing Of Death Row Inmates

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Law Enforcement News

Families Feel ‘Tricked’ By LA County DA George Gascón Over Resentencing Of Death Row Inmates
The daughter of a construction manager who was brutally murdered three decades ago said her family was “tricked” by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, which is pushing to commute the killer’s death sentence to life without the possibility of parole — despite their opposition. Other families said they are also feeling “unheard” and manipulated by embattled LA County District Attorney George Gascón, who is a fierce opponent of the death penalty. “When you take someone’s life, there has to be consequences … and there have been massive consequences for my family that is permanent,” said Heather Scott, who was only 12 years old when her father, Fred, was slain. Scott, 43, said she was blindsided when DA officials told her they filed a motion to resentence Scott Forrest Collins, the man who killed her father “execution-style” in 1992, but assured her and her family that “it would be the same thing” since California has a moratorium on death row cases. The Golden State has not had an execution since 2006, and Gov. Gavin Newsom placed a moratorium on executions three years ago when he took office. But prosecutors who support maintaining capital punishment said the moratorium could end if and when Newsom were to leave office. Earlier this year, Newsom went even further and moved to dismantle the country’s largest death row, San Quentin State Prison, within two years and transfer condemned prisoners to other facilities where they could be housed with other inmates where it is deemed safe. The LA DA’s Office, meanwhile, has so far said it is reviewing just two cases where the defendants are seeking death row appeals — but sources told The Post that Gascón could file motions to resentence at least 65 post-conviction death penalty cases. Grieving families said Gascón’s “resentencing crusade” only further victimizes them because the office that once supported their wishes has turned its back on them.
New York Post

LA City Council Renews $50,000 Reward For Information On Unsolved Murder Of LADWP Worker
The City Council Friday reinstated for the second time a $50,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of an unidentified assailant who gunned down a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power electrical worker in front of his home. Friday's action came on the two-year anniversary of the death of Akeem "AJ'' Coburn, who was standing in his driveway near South Vermont Avenue and 135th Street in the Harbor Gateway neighborhood on July 29, 2020, when a person approached and shot him, Councilman Joe Buscaino's office said. The suspect might have arrived in a dark-colored sedan. "Akeem was a gentle giant and was loved by everyone he met,'' said Brandie Harris, Coburn's fiance. "He was a son, father, soon-to-be husband and friend. His life mattered and he is truly missed by all of his family and friends.'' Buscaino said in a statement Friday that Coburn was "a part of our city family and his death leaves a hole that can never be filled.'' "If you have any information, we are begging you to please come forward, even anonymously, to help us solve this horrific and tragic crime,'' Buscaino added. "Two years later, I have not lost hope that we can find justice for AJ and his family.'' The council first reinstated the $50,000 reward last August. People with information about the case are urged to contact South Bureau homicide investigators at 323-786-5111, or during weekends and non-business hours, 1-877-LAPD-24-7.

1 Dead In DUI Crash In Hollywood: LAPD
A crash that killed a passenger near Hollywood Forever Cemetery Saturday morning was at least partially caused by a driver’s use of drugs or alcohol, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The two-car collision at 6078 W. Santa Monica Blvd. occurred just before 2 a.m. when a car attempted to turn left onto Santa Monica Boulevard, but was T-boned by another vehicle. The passenger in the turning vehicle, a man in his 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Los Angeles Fire Department, LAPD Officer Lee told KTLA. The driver of the other vehicle remained at the scene and was detained, Lee said, adding that alcohol and drugs played a factor, though it is not yet known if speed contributed as well. No information was provided as to the condition of the other driver, and the investigation is ongoing, Lee said.

Homeless Man Shot In Boyle Heights
A man was wounded early Saturday in a shooting in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles. The shooting occurred at about 5 a.m. in the 1800 block of Bridge Street, said Officer Matthew Cruz of the Los Angeles Police Department's Media Relations Section. The victim, a man experiencing homelessness believed to be in his 40s, was walking when a man in a vehicle pulled up, got out and approached him, then shot him and fled, Cruz said. Paramedics took the wounded man to a hospital where he had stable vital signs, the officer said.
FOX 11

LAPD Looking For Suspect In Venice Shooting
The Los Angeles Police Department is looking for a suspect who was involved in a shooting early Saturday morning. It happened around 12:48 a.m. on Windward Circle. Police say the suspect, a 30-year-old male, shot the victim, also a 30-year-old male, multiple times during an altercation. The victim was transported to the hospital and is in critical condition. The suspect is on foot. It’s unknown if the shooting was gang related. The incident is believed to be isolated.
WestSide Current

Police: Van Nuys Man Met 15-Year-Old Girl For Sex
Authorities in Victor Valley have released the booking photo of a 28-year-old Van Nuys man who they say arranged to meet a 15-year-old girl for sex last week. Lance Mari Ramil Cortez was arrested Thursday afternoon in Adelanto. According to the Victor Valley Sheriff’s Station, Cortez was in contact with the victim through social media and made plans to meet her at John Mgrdichian Park. Cortez arrived at the park Thursday with “multiple items to commit the illegal sexual act,” authorities said. He was arrested without incident and booked into the High Desert Detention Center where he was being held in lieu of $600,000 bond as of Sunday. Cortez faces charges of solicitation of a minor for sexual acts and arrival at a meeting place after soliciting a child for sex. “There is an ongoing investigation with the Los Angeles Police Department in which Cortez was involved in a similar incident,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a news release. “We are including Cortez’s current (booking) photo, as investigators believe there may be additional victims in the High Desert area.”

LAPD Searching For Missing Panorama City Woman, 24
Authorities were searching Sunday for a 24-year-old woman who went missing in Panorama City. Noellia Goodwin was last seen around 10 p.m. Wednesday leaving a supermarket near Parthenia Street and Cedros Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. She was last seen carrying a gray bag, wearing a gray long-sleeved shirt, light pink sweatpants and yellow slip-on shoes, the LAPD said. Goodwin is white, stands 5-feet-11 inches tall and weighs an estimated 110 pounds. She has brown shoulder length hair and burgundy eyes. She has a tattoo of “fan” on her inner right bicep and an anime character on her rib cage area. Goodwin does not have a phone in her possession. She borrowed someone else’s phone to call home and tell her family she was on her way home. However, she never showed up, police said. Anyone with information on her whereabouts was asked to call the LAPD’s Missing Persons Unit at 213-996-1800.

Suspect Arrested In Stabbing Death At Santa Monica Main Library
A suspect was arrested Sunday in the stabbing death of a man at the Santa Monica Main Library, police said. The attack occurred Friday around 7:15 p.m. in the library’s north courtyard at 601 Santa Monica Blvd. Police said Quade Larry Colbert, 34, was speaking with the victim when he allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed the man twice. The suspect fled before police arrived. The victim died at the scene. His name has been withheld pending notification of next of kin. After a search, homicide detectives identified and arrested Colbert. Police said both the victim and the suspect were believed to be unhoused.
LA Times

LASD Releases New Sketches Of Suspects Involved In 2004 Murder
It has been almost 20 years since the murder of Jessie Crook, and for a long time the case was cold. But there have been new developments that are leading investigators to think they might be able to crack the case with some help from the public. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department released two new sketches of men believed to be involved in the murder, which dates back to 2004. "We also want to bring this case back to the forefront. We know there's people in the community, even though it was 18 years ago, that know what happened to Jesse Crook," said sheriff's department Lt. Derrick Alfred. Crook, 19, was murdered near the intersection of Slauson and Central avenues on the night of Aug. 19, 2004. Crook's GMC vehicle came to a stop when it hit a pole. Footage from that night showed bullet holes all over the side of the SUV. Investigators say Crook was driving westbound on Slauson Avenue, approaching Central when a burgundy SUV or van with four people inside pulled next to him and started shooting. "We believe this is a gang-related murder, but they're still family involved in this that are seeking justice for their son, that want answers to what happened," Alfred said. "Somebody needs to be responsible." At the time, investigators were able to interview witnesses and get some information on two of the suspects. Sketches of two suspects were released back in 2004. Since then authorities identified new witnesses and now have two additional sketches of the two other people they believe were also in the vehicle.

Soros Can't Save Soft-on-Crime Prosecutors
With his defendant-friendly prosecutors facing pushback and even recall elections, left-wing financier George Soros recently felt the need to defend his criminal justice agenda, claiming, "Like most of us, I'm concerned about crime." If that's true, he has a very funny way of showing it. Soros's essay was supposed to defend and justify his backing of prosecutors who are extraordinary for being soft on crime. But time and again, such prosecutors have shown that their philosophy is inconsistent with justice. Again and again, they release violent career criminals who victimize ordinary citizens going about their business. Soros donated to one prosecutor in Fairfax County, Virginia, who needlessly released a man who went on a spree shooting homeless people up and down the East Coast. The alleged perpetrator, Gerald Brevard, had been apprehended for abduction and attempted rape, but Soros-backed prosecutor Steve Descano let him plead down to lesser charges and even dropped several slam-dunk charges that police later brought against him for a separate incident. As a direct result of Descano's decisions, Brevard was free and out on the street when the homeless shootings occurred. Blood is on his hands and on those of his donor. Similarly, Soros-backed state's attorney Kim Foxx of Cook County, Illinois, deliberately avoided charging an alleged drug dealer with gun possession last month, even after he was caught with $8,000 worth of marijuana and an illegal gun. Torrence Reese had beaten a drug dealing-related murder rap as recently as 2017. In the eyes of the law, he is, of course, innocent of that charge. But Foxx's office, which prosecuted him in that case ostensibly believing him to be quite guilty, chose voluntarily, without any prompting from a judge or any negotiation with a defense team, to pretend the gun just wasn't there.
Washington Examiner

New Arizona Law Will Make It Illegal To Record Police Officers Within 8 Feet
A bill signed into law in Arizona Wednesday will make it illegal to take videos of police within 8 feet of law enforcement activity. The law, which will go into effect in September, was sponsored by state Rep. John Kavanagh and signed by Gov. Doug Ducey, both Republicans. "It is unlawful for a person to knowingly make a video recording of law enforcement activity if the person making the video recording is within eight feet of where the person knows or reasonably should know that law enforcement activity is occurring," the law states. A person recording police within 8 feet can face a misdemeanor charge, after they are warned once to back up. The law applies to situations in which a police officer is questioning a suspicious person, conducting an arrest, issuing a summons or enforcing the law and handling an emotionally disturbed person who is exhibiting abnormal behavior, the law says. It makes exceptions for police activity on private property, in which the person who is recording is authorized to be on the property, but specified that an officer can order the person recording to leave the area if the "law enforcement officer determines that the person is interfering in the law enforcement activity." The law also says that a person who is the subject of police activity can record as long as they're not being handcuffed, searched or subjected to a field sobriety test.
NBC News

Alabama Chief: 'Community Has To Be A Stakeholder' After 22% Spike In Homicides
Birmingham’s homicide rate is up nearly 22 percent, fueled in part by a violent July in the Magic City. Thirteen people have been killed in the first 26 days of the month, up from eight in July of last year. Of those 13 slayings, six happened between Friday and Tuesday. Police Chief Scott Thurmond there is no explanation for the string of violent deaths over that four-day period. “None of those crimes were related in any way, shape, form or fashion,’’ he said. “Something we constantly track is are these related? Is there a possibility it’s retaliation, things of that nature, and that wasn’t the case in any of these.” There have been 80 homicides in the city so far this year. Of those, six have been ruled justifiable and therefore aren’t deemed criminal. As of July 26, 2021, there had been 67 homicides in the city for the year. In all of Jefferson County, there have been 105 homicides, including the 80 in Birmingham. As of this time last year, there were 115 homicides countywide. The city ended 2021 with 132 homicides in Birmingham, coming within just nine slayings of its all-time high record. Countywide last year there were 213. On Friday, 23-year-old Reed Anderson Rigsby was found dead in an Airbnb in Birmingham.

Public Safety News

LA County Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby Officially Retires
Los Angeles County Fire Department announced the retirement of its long-time chief Saturday morning. Chief Daryl L. Osby served with the department for 38 years, the last 11 of which were spent in the department's highest role. "We commend Chief Osby for his outstanding and dedicated County service and extend our very best wishes to him and his family for a healthy, prosperous, well-deserved, and rewarding retirement," the department tweeted. Osby was the ninth fire chief in the department's 99-year history. "Chief Osby's strategic vision & commitment redefined fire protection & life safety services for the communities & 4.1 million residents entrusted to our care," the department tweeted.

More People Are Catching Coronavirus A Second Time, Heightening Long COVID Risk, Experts Say
Emerging evidence suggests that catching the coronavirus a second time can heighten long-term health risks, a worrisome development as the circulation of increasingly contagious Omicron subvariants leads to greater numbers of Californians being reinfected. Earlier in the pandemic, it was assumed that getting infected afforded some degree of lasting protection, for perhaps a few months. As the coronavirus mutates, though, that’s no longer a given. And each individual infection carries the risk not only for acute illness but the potential to develop long COVID. “The additive risk is really not trivial, not insignificant. It’s really substantial,” said Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, clinical epidemiologist at Washington University in St. Louis and chief of research and development at the Veterans Affairs Saint Louis Healthcare System. According to a preprint study examining U.S. veterans, of which Al-Aly was the lead author, getting infected twice or more “contributes to additional risks of all-cause mortality, hospitalization and adverse health outcomes” in various organ systems, and can additionally worsen risk for diabetes, fatigue and mental health disorders.
LA Times



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