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Mar 2023
L.A. County D.A. Gascón’s Own Prosecutors Begin Lining Up To Challenge Him In 2024
Law Enforcement News

L.A. County D.A. Gascón’s Own Prosecutors Begin Lining Up To Challenge Him In 2024

Standing in front of a packed room in Whittier, longtime line prosecutor Jonathan Hatami promised to “restore civility” to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office and stand up for the crime victims he insists George Gascón has forgotten. Deputy Dist. Atty. Maria Ramirez — who along with Hatami is one of at least 16 L.A. County prosecutors suing Gascón for retaliation or defamation — says she’ll bring her 30 years of experience to the helm of the nation’s largest prosecutor’s office, hoping to provide a calming presence after what she calls the “chaotic” nature of Gascón’s tenure. And prosecutor John McKinney — fresh off winning a high-profile conviction in the murder of beloved rapper Nipsey Hussle — promised to work to undo what he sees as the chronic dysfunction in the office, caused by the divide between Gascón and his own staff. After two years spent trashing Gascón in media appearances, courtroom hallways and lawsuits, many of the progressive prosecutor’s in-house opponents are now taking their complaints to the campaign trail. These three deputy district attorneys have already announced their intentions to deny Gascón a second term in office. Eric Siddall, vice president of the union representing rank-and-file prosecutors, has also said he is “considering” entering the fray.

Los Angeles Times

Venice Homicide Suspect Turns Himself In To LAPD

A Sunday night fatal shooting in the 400 block of Indiana, which led LAPD into a massive presence Monday night near the Staples store on Lincoln in search of the suspect, has ended. The suspect, Donald Ray Boyce, 57, has turned himself in to authorities and was booked for murder. The shooting was originally reported about 6 p.m. Sunday according the LAPD Pacific Division. A man in this 50s was found suffering a gun shot wound and citiens providing aid. First responders from LAPD continued life saving measures until LAFD EMS arrived. Paramedics transported the man to the hospital where he was declared dead. The suspected shooter had fled and the incident was determined to be a family violence situation by the West Bureau Homicide Team. Neither the shooter nor the victim were residents of the address where the crime occurred. On Monday night, the suspect was thought to be in a parked car near Staples and a large police presence formed to make an arrest. After more than an hour of street closures and other maneuvers, the suspect was not located. Boyce has been charged with murder by the LA County District Attorney's office and is being held in lieu of $2M bail. At present, no other details have been released on the case.

Westside Current

Teenager Injured After Being Struck By Motorcycle Rider In Boyle Heights; Search For Suspect Underway

A teenage boy was injured Thursday while walking across the street in Boyle Heights when he was struck by a motorcycle rider. According to Los Angeles Police Department, the boy was crossing near the intersection of Whittier Boulevard and Orme Avenue when he was hit by a motorcycle rider who then sped away from the area. Officers say that the teen suffered severe injuries as a result of the collision. His condition is not immediately known.


Tarzana Garage Fire, Explosion Caused By Suspected Illegal Honey Oil Lab, LAPD Says

An illegal THC extraction lab inside the garage of a Tarzana home caused a devastating fire and explosion according to police. The investigation started with a 911 call about a fire on Redwing Street, just south of Ventura Boulevard before 11 p.m. Thursday. Fire officials determined the blaze led to an explosion inside the attached garage although flames burned themselves out in about 20 minutes. But as investigators were examining the scene, they soon discovered signs of illicit activities and shared the information with the LAPD. “We met with fire the department, and they advised us that they had found what they believed to be a possible clandestine THC lab located in the garage,” Cecil Mangrum, an LAPD detective, said. A 26-year-old woman and a 52-year-old man were hospitalized in critical condition after the explosion, which witnesses described as “terrifying.” “I was sitting at a restaurant and heard a loud explosion,” Justin Yacobi recalled. “I saw fire, flames and residue, and I’m pretty in shock of what happened."


2 Arrested For String Of Bicycle Shop Robberies Dating Back To Late 2022

 Two men were arrested earlier this week after investigators found them to be connected to a number of bicycle shop burglaries that have happened in recent months. According to Los Angeles Police Department, officers were dispatched at around 12:50 a.m. on March 24 after learning of a burglary in-progress at a bicycle shop. Upon arrival, officers found two men and took them into custody. They have since been identified as Jose Figueroa, 29, and Ismael Contreras, 40, both of Los Angeles. They were booked on suspicion of commercial burglary and remain behind bars. Figueroa is being held on $70,000 bail and Contreras on $20,000 bail. While investigating the incident, detectives connected the pair to at least three other bicycle shop burglaries dating back to November 2022 thanks to video surveillance from each scene. In an effort to connect the crimes to other similar incidents, police released surveillance footage for other law enforcement agencies to review.


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Longtime LA Politician Mark Ridley-Thomas Convicted In Corruption Trial

Guilty verdicts were handed down Thursday in the corruption trial of suspended Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas. A giant figure in Los Angles politics, Ridley-Thomas was convicted on single counts of bribery and conspiracy, along with one count of honest services mail fraud and four counts of honest services wire fraud. Jurors acquitted Ridley-Thomas on 12 other fraud counts. The verdicts were reached on the fifth day of deliberations. Ridley-Thomas showed no reaction as the verdicts were read in the downtown Los Angeles courtroom. Details about a sentencing date were not immediately available. He did not testify in his own defense. Prosecutors alleged that the longtime local politician, while serving as a county supervisor, "put his hand out" and accepted perks from USC to benefit his son, Sebastian. The defense put up an equally strong attack, suggesting to the jury that there was enough reasonable doubt to acquit.


Man Fatally Shot Outside 7-Eleven In Culver City

Police are investigating the fatal shooting of a man in Culver City Thursday night. The unidentified man was found at about 10:45 p.m. inside a vehicle in the 5900 block of West Washington Boulevard, according to the Culver City Police Department. He was suffering from a gunshot wound to his chest, and he was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Footage from the scene shows police tape around a 7-Eleven parking lot, with a white Mitsubishi sedan crashed into a building adjacent to the convenience store parking lot. No suspect information was immediately available.


Innocent people continue to fall victim to deadly police chases across Southern California

Over the last several weeks, and some happening as recent as Wednesday, innocent bystanders in Southern California are getting hurt – even killed – in police chases ending in a crash. FOX 11 spoke with a survivor of one of the crashes happening in SoCal. Back in February, Michael Rodriguez-Sambrano was on his way home from his girlfriend's house when an alleged armed robbery suspect ran a red light and smashed into the young man's car in Fullerton.

Fox 11

Monica de Leon Barba Missing: FBI Offers $40k Reward To Solve Kidnapping

The FBI on Thursday announced it is offering a reward of up to $40,000 for information about the disappearance of a San Mateo woman who was kidnapped in Mexico four months ago. The financial incentive is to help find Monica de Leon Barba, who was forced into a van in Tepatitlán, Jalisco, Mexico, while walking home from work with her dog on November 29, 2022. She was on her way to a gym called FIT 4 LIFE, according to a Facebook group called, Help Us Find Monica De Leon. "We believe this was a targeted kidnapping," FBI Special Agent in Charge in San Francisco, Robert Tripp, told KTVU Thursday. "We believe she is still being held hostage. The hostage takers have been in contact with her family and the FBI is working very close with her family and with authorities in Mexico to bring her home safely." The 29-year-old was wearing a black T-shirt and black pants the evening she was taken. She has short hair with black and blonde highlights and is about 5'5" tall. Her family has urged California Senator Alex Padilla and Congresswoman Jackie Speier to help in the search.

FOX 11

5 Missouri Officers, K-9 Struck By Car While On Scene; Driver Arrested

A man was charged with several counts of impaired driving on Wednesday after authorities say he hit five police officers early Wednesday on Interstate 70 in Maryland Heights. One of the officers, from Lake Saint Louis, was critically injured. Two others from Lake Saint Louis were seriously hurt, and two from the St. Charles County Police Department were treated and released from a hospital. The officers were hit about 1:40 a.m. Wednesday on eastbound I-70, just west of Interstate 270, as they waited for a tow truck after a suspected car thief crashed in a chase. All five were part of a regional Criminal Interdiction Task Force, said Cpl. Barry Bayles of the St. Charles County Police Department. Bayles said the task force used to be an auto theft task force but has expanded duties now. After chasing a suspected car thief who crashed, the officers used their patrol cars to block the far two left lanes of the highway. They were blocking the crash site and waiting for a tow truck to remove the wreckage. Their vehicle lights were flashing, said Cpl. Logan Bolton of the Missouri Highway Patrol.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Gun Injuries Sent More Kids To The ER During The Pandemic

Hospitals saw a dramatic uptick in emergency department visits for gunshot injuries since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly among children, according to a March 30 report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report found that by the end of 2020, emergency visits for firearm injuries were 37 percent higher than in 2019. The number increased for every age group, and for both males and females, but the biggest increase was among children. Visits among children ages 0 to 14 went up 44 percent, with the biggest jump — 69 percent — among girls under 15. In 2021, ER visits for gunshot wounds were still 36 percent higher than pre-pandemic levels, and the surge among those under 15 was even more pronounced than in 2020: up 50 percent over 2019. For girls under 15, ER visits were more than 70 percent higher in 2021 than in 2019.

The Trace

Public Safety News

House Fire In Van Nuys Knocked Down In 23 Minutes With No Reported Injures

A fire in a two-story house in Van Nuys Thursday evening was knocked down in 23 minutes by 30 firefighters with no injuries reported. The fire in the 14000 block of Califa Street, two blocks south of Oxnard Street, was reported at 8:34 p.m., according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department. There was heavy smoke showing when firefighters arrived, Stewart said. Firefighters were in offensive mode. The bulk of the fire appeared to be contents in one room and firefighters prevented it from extending through the home, Stewart said. The residents of the house were outside by the time firefighters arrived, Stewart said. The monetary loss and cause of the fire have not been determined.


LA County To Lift COVID-19 Emergency Declarations Friday

Los Angeles County's local emergency declarations due to COVID-19 will be lifted at the end of the day Friday, resulting in the closure of county-run virus-testing centers and prompting a warning for Medi- Cal beneficiaries to ensure their case information is up to date. Medi-Cal coverage will not stop on Friday, but the county Department of Public Social Services will be re-evaluating cases to ensure people are still eligible for the program, which provides health coverage for those with limited income and resources. "Therefore, it is essential that beneficiaries ensure that the department has their most updated contact information, including names, addresses, telephone numbers and email address," according to a statement from DPSS. County officials said local beneficiaries will be receiving renewal forms in the mail, and residents should complete and return them as quickly as possible. Roughly 3.7 million Los Angeles County residents are covered through Medi-Cal. With the county's emergency declarations ending, the county Department of Health Services will be closing its COVID-19 PCR testing centers at the end of the day Friday.


Local Government News

Los Angeles Mayor, City Attorney Announce Skid Row Housing Preservation And Rehabilitation Initiative

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass was joined by City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto on Thursday to announce an initiative to preserve and rehabilitate 2,000 housing units in Skid Row. The announcement comes after the Skid Row Housing Trust’s recent announcement that it would no longer be able to continue operating its 29 buildings across the city. The plan aims to turn the city’s aging downtown real estate into housing for the homeless. “We approached this crisis from the stance that failure is not an option,” said Mayor Karen Bass. “Losing nearly 2,000 units of housing would be devastating to Skid Row, would be felt citywide, and undoubtedly, people would have lost their lives.” City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto will be at the helm of the endeavor to move the properties into the control of entities capable of operating them in the long term. “Preventing people from falling into homelessness and preserving the housing we’ve already got are essential to this work,” said Feldstein Soto. “We are seeking this…not only to protect and keep housed the 1,500 people who live in these buildings now, but to enable hundreds more to move off the streets.” 


About the LAPPL: Formed in 1923, the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) represents more than 9,200 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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