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May 2024
Los Angeles Police Department Honors 239 Fallen Officers During Annual Ceremony
Law Enforcement News

Los Angeles Police Department Honors 239 Fallen Officers During Annual Ceremony

A day after Memorial Day, the Los Angeles Police Department honored 239 LAPD officers who died in the line of duty since the department was established in 1869. The memorial ceremony took place on Tuesday, May 28, in the courtyard of LAPD headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. Mayor Karen Bass and Interim Chief Dominic Choi attended, along with members of the Police Commission and family members of fallen officers. "I'm honored to join our city leaders in remembering these heroes. Please know that we will never forget the service and sacrifice of your loved one," said Mayor Karen Bass. "Your commitment and bravery will never go unnoticed." The program featured traditional police honors, including a roll call of the fallen, a rider-less horse, a rifle volley, the "missing man" formation helicopter flyover, bagpipers playing "Amazing Grace," a solo bugler playing "Taps" and an "End of Watch Broadcast." LAPD Interim Chief Dominic Choi as spoke at the ceremony saying, "their courage and dedication will forever be etched in our history and in the hearts of all who knew them." The ceremony also included a performance by the LAPD Choir, comprised of sworn and civilian LAPD employees.


With Victim's Death, Murder Charge Filed Against Suspect In Venice Attacks

A man who was previously charged with sexually assaulting and brutalizing two women in the Venice Canals area has been charged with murder following the death of one of the victims, the District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday. Anthony Francisco Jones, 29, is accused of attacking the two women on the night of April 6. One of the victims, 53-year-old Sarah Alden, had been in a coma since the attack but was taken off life support and died Friday. "Our hearts and deepest sympathies go out to the victim's family and friends during this unimaginably tragic time," District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement Tuesday announcing the murder charge. "We are committed to seeking justice for both victims of these heinous crimes. The additional murder charge carries a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, in addition to the life sentences for the crimes previously alleged." Jones was arrested in San Diego last month in connection with the assaults and was originally charged with two counts of forcible rape and one count each of sexual penetration by use of force, mayhem, torture, attempted murder and sodomy by use of force.

Westside Current

NoHo Woman Was On Lam After She Killed Son, 5, Believing He Was Demon: Report

What one North Hollywood woman thought was just an eccentric neighbor turned out to be a fugitive wanted for allegedly murdering her 5-year-old son during a prolonged mental-health episode in which she thought the child was a demon, the Los Angeles Times reports. The woman, who spoke to the Times anonymously, said Dejaune Anderson caused a ruckus in March by “using what appeared to be a broom to repeatedly smash the walls and ceiling.” “She also heard high-pitched chanting, as if someone were trying to summon something,” the Times added. Anderson’s 5-year-old son, Cairo Amman Jordan, was found dead in a suitcase in the southern Indiana woods in 2022. Though two others have been arrested in connection with Jordan’s death, Anderson remained on the loose until March. Before Anderson’s arrest, she used the alias “Olla” and claimed her North Hollywood apartment was being rented by her father, whom the apartment manager said appeared initially but wasn’t seen again. Anderson, meanwhile, told the manager that neighbors were trying to kill her, claimed to be a cousin of former President Donald Trump and taped on her walls “large strips of white paper scribbled with conspiracy theories in colored marker,” the Times reported, including asserting that she was the “rightful queen of Scotland.”


LAPD Searches For ‘General Hospital’ Actor’s Killers, Seeks Fingerprints, Video

Los Angeles police detectives are collecting surveillance video and searching for fingerprints as they look for the group of catalytic converter thieves who killed “General Hospital’s” Johnny Wactor on Saturday morning in downtown L.A. Wactor was killed around 3:25 a.m. while leaving a bar where he worked. He encountered three people near Pico Boulevard and Hope Street trying to steal the car part, authorities said. One of the thieves shot Wactor, 37, before fleeing. Law enforcement sources say police are trying to pull prints from Wactor’s car and are looking for video from the area. They also are checking to see whether there are any connections to other nearby catalytic converter thefts. LAPD investigators say they have seen an uptick in violence when such thieves are confronted. On Tuesday, LAPD officials released additional information about the crime. “When Wactor arrived at his vehicle, he was confronted by three individuals who had Wactor’s vehicle raised up with a floor jack and were in the process of stealing the catalytic converter,” authorities said in a news release. “Without provocation, the victim was shot by one of the individuals. The three suspects involved were wearing all dark clothing and driving a dark-colored sedan.”

Los Angeles Times

Mother Of Two Killed When Car Slams Into Building In Vermont Square Area

A 33-year-old mother of two was killed on Tuesday after getting pinned between a car and a building in the Vermont Square area. The crash happened at around 4:30 p.m. in the 1300 block of W. 46th Street, near Normandie Avenue, where firefighters arrived to find the person pinned between an SUV and a two-story building, according to a statement from the Los Angeles Fire Department. The victim, identified as Lisbeth Estrada Rodriguez, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say that her husband and both of her children live down the street from the site of the crash and that she was a business owner in the area. Investigators say that the crash happened when the driver, who has since been identified as 31-year-old Dwight Williams, made an illegal right at a high speed before hitting the woman and throwing her into the building. Williams, who police say was not under the influence, has been arrested for vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. 


DOJ: Los Angeles Man Found Guilty In Utah Of Selling Narcotics On Dark Web 

A federal jury in Salt Lake City found two foreign nationals – one of whom is a Los Angeles resident – guilty of running a “multi-year, multi-million dollar” scheme that shipped narcotics to buyers across America via the dark web. According to the United States Department of Justice, 54-year-old Oluwole Adegboruwa of Las Vegas and 49-year-old L.A. resident Enrique Isong used the United States Postal Service and interstate commerce to commit their crimes, which made them more than $8 million in criminal proceeds. The men began selling drugs in October 2016, and by May 2019, Adegboruwa had sold more than 300,000 oxycodone pills to customers on several different dark web marketplaces, including Hansa, Dream Market, Wall Street Market and Alphabay; all have since been dismantled by law enforcement, the justice department said. Customers paid Adegboruwa with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum for the drugs, which he later sold for traditional currency. He was convicted under what is commonly referred to as the “kingpin statute” for organizing a continuing criminal enterprise and directing at least five others in the drug distribution conspiracy. 


More Than 1,100 Arrested For DUI In California Over Memorial Day Weekend

More than 1,100 people in California were arrested for driving under the influence over Memorial Day weekend, officials with the California Highway Patrol announced. Over the holiday weekend, CHP conducted a “maximum enforcement period” that began at 6:01 p.m. on Friday, May 24 and ran until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 27. Officials said 1,350 arrests were made, with 1,106 of them being DUI-related, an average of one DUI arrest every four minutes over the 78-hour enforcement period. “Sadly, 42 people were killed in crashes on California’s roads during the MEP,” CHP said in a news release. “Among the 17 vehicle occupants who were killed in a crash within CHP jurisdiction, eight were not wearing a seatbelt.” Nearly 32,000 traffic citations were issued during the same period for violations that included: 19,000 citations issued for excessive speed; 800 citations issued for drivers exceeding 100 miles per hour; Some 1,850 citations for seatbelt violations; and More than 2,000 distracted driving citations. According to the highway safety agency, Memorial Day to Labor Day are the “100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers and passengers.  


Massachusetts Fugitive Dubbed "Bad Breath Rapist" Captured In California After 16 Years On The Run

Police in Northern California on Tuesday helped U.S. Marshals arrest a fugitive wanted in a Massachusetts rape case nearly two decades after he fled that state during his trial, authorities said. According to a press release issued by the U.S. Marshals Service, the man taken into custody was identified as Tuen Kit Lee, who faced trial in the 2005 kidnapping and raping of a young woman at knifepoint in Quincy, Mass. The release said Lee was found guilty in a September 2007 trial, but fled before he was sentenced. Massachusetts State Police have offered a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to Lee's arrest and appeared multiple times on the television show "America's Most Wanted" to discuss the case. Lee was dubbed the "Bad Breath Rapist" after the media learned one of the pieces of evidence that established Lee as the assailant was his foul breath. According to the U.S. Marshals Service, Lee was believed to have fled Massachusetts. His whereabouts were unknown until Massachusetts State Police investigators developed information on the fugitive earlier this year that indicated he was possibly staying in Diablo, a census-designated place in Contra Costa County a couple miles away from the East Bay suburb of Danville.  


Missouri Prosecutors To Seek Death Penalty In Killing Of Police Officer, Court Employee

Missouri prosecutors said Wednesday that they intend to seek the death penalty against a Kansas City-area man who is charged with murder in the killings of a court employee who tried to serve an eviction notice on him and a police officer who responded. Larry Acree, 70, of Independence, is accused of shooting court employee Drexel Mack on Feb. 29, plus two police officers who came to the scene, including Cody Allen, who was killed. Officers returned fire and arrested Acree, who suffered minor injuries. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker’s office filed a notice with the court saying the state will prove there are aggravating circumstances sufficient to warrant the death penalty. Acree is charged with 18 total counts including two of first-degree murder. According to court papers, Acree owed delinquent taxes dating back to at least 2019. His 9-acre (3.6-hectare) property and three-bedroom home was sold last August for $260,000, and the new owner paid the taxes. A “Notice to Vacate” sign was posted at the property in February, and authorities have said Acree had no right to be there. At a brief hearing Wednesday, Acree’s attorney, Edward Berrigan of the Missouri State Public Defender’s office, asked for a continuance so that the public defenders who handle death penalty cases could be reassigned, the Kansas City Star reported.

Associated Press

Public Safety News

Firefighters Knock Down Detached Garage Fire In Westchester

Firefighters Tuesday knocked down a detached, converted garage fire in the rear of a single-story home in the Westchester area of Los Angeles, authorities said. The 32 firefighters dispatched at 12:05 p.m. to 7401 W. Manchester Ave. had the fire out within 18 minutes of their arrival, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported. “No occupants or pets were found during the search of the occupancy,” the LAFD’s Jennifer Middleton said. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire was under investigation.


Measles Case Reported In Traveler Heading Through LAX

Los Angeles County public health officials have been notified of a measles case in a traveler heading through Los Angeles International Airport last week. The person arrived at LAX's Tom Bradley International Terminal B, at Gate 156 at around 3 p.m. aboard Lufthansa Flight LH 452 on Sunday before connecting to Flight LH 7852 at Terminal 7, Gate 82 at 8 p.m. that evening, said a statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. "There are no additional locations where possible exposures to this traveler may have occurred," the statement said. Because of this, health officials say that people who were possibly exposed should confirm with their physician that they have been vaccinated against measles. If people have not had measles in the past and have not been vaccinated, they are at risk of contracting the disease, officials said. The development period could be between seven and 21 days after exposure. "Measles is spread by air and by direct contact even before you know you have it and can lead to severe disease," said LA County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis. "Measles is highly contagious for those who are not immune to it. Initially causing fever, cough, red, watery eyes and followed by a rash, it can result in serious complications for young children and vulnerable adults."


COVID Is Rising In California. Here’s How To Protect Yourself From FLiRT Subvariants

There are growing signs of an uptick in COVID-19 in California thanks to the new FLiRT subvariants. It’s far too early to know if FLiRT will be a major change in the COVID picture, and so far the impacts have been small. But health officials are taking note and are urging Californians — especially those at risk — to be prepared. Here’s rundown of what we know and how you can protect yourself. The FLiRT subvariants — officially known as KP.2, KP.3 and KP.1.1 — have overtaken the dominant winter variant, JN.1. For the two-week period that ended Saturday, they were estimated to account for a combined 50.4% of the nation’s coronavirus infections, up from 20% a month earlier. Despite their increased transmissibility, the new mutations don’t appear to result in more severe disease. And the vaccine is expected to continue working well, given the new subvariants are only slightly different from the winter version.

Los Angeles Times

Local Government News

L.A. Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson Wins The Council Presidency, Will Replace Krekorian

Los Angeles City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson won his bid for the council’s top leadership post on Tuesday, saying he intends to use the presidency to focus heavily on homelessness. The council voted 14 to 0 to select Harris-Dawson to replace Paul Krekorian, who has held the position since October 2022, after the audio leak scandal that spurred the resignation of Council President Nury Martinez. Harris-Dawson, 54, is slated to take over the presidency on Sept. 20. After Tuesday’s vote, he said homelessness would be the council’s “No. 1, 2 and 3” issues under his leadership. “There’s no issue more important than the tens of thousands of people sleeping in the street every night, so we need to zero in on that as much as possible,” he said. “I don’t think there any other business that supersedes that for the council.” Krekorian, who must leave city office at the end of the year due to term limits, is set to continue as president for the next four months. Councilmember Monica Rodriguez was absent from Tuesday’s vote. Harris-Dawson, first elected in 2015, represents a South Los Angeles district that consists of all or a portion of Baldwin Hills, Hyde Park, Park Mesa Heights and several other neighborhoods.

Los Angeles Times

Three LA City Council Members Look To Scale Up Social Housing

Three Los Angeles City Council members introduced a motion Tuesday seeking to build the city's capacity to establish a large-scale social housing program, which could also include a pathway for low-income homeownership. Council members Nithya Raman, Eunisses Hernandez and Marqueece Harris- Dawson's motion instructs the L.A. Housing Department to identify financing tools that would support the program, and identify solutions for low-income households to take part in social housing ownership. The motion is expected to be heard by the Housing and Homelessness Committee at a later date. "Two years ago, almost 60% of voters in the city of Los Angeles supported Measure ULA, a community-led initiative to create funding for housing and homelessness prevention in Los Angeles, a city in a desperate moment of crisis," Raman said in a statement. "Using a social housing framework in crafting Measure ULA programs has the potential to transform how Angelenos access housing -- opening up possibilities for new housing that is both affordable and community-controlled, both as tenants and as new homeowners."

Westside Current

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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