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Apr 2024
Murders Are Dropping Across The Country, But Not In LA
Law Enforcement News

Murders Are Dropping Across The Country, But Not In LA

The number of murders in Los Angeles increased in the first months of 2024, making LA an outlier among many of the nation’s other large cities where homicides have steadily declined following significant reductions last year. Data from the Los Angeles Police Department shows, as of mid-March, the murder rate had climbed to about 30% above the same period in 2023, and the number of people shot, comprising both murders and people who survived shootings, also crept above early 2023 numbers. LAPD Chief Dominic Choi told the Board of Police commissioners this week, that since mid-March, the 30% increase had "dropped" to about 9.5% with the city recording 81 murders compared with 74 during the same period in 2023. “I’m happy to say though, for this prior week, we had zero homicides,” Choi said, referring to the week ending April 6. Within this year’s murders, crime reports analyzed by the I-Team show most of the victims were men between 19 and 29 years old, guns were the most frequent weapon used, and the majority occurred in Central and South Los Angeles. During the same time period other large cities in California recorded fewer murders, including a near 31% drop in San Francisco, a 47% drop in San Diego, and a 17% drop in Oakland, according to a data dashboard assembled by AH Datalytics, a firm that provides crime and other data analysis. 


LA City Councilwoman Says Crime Is Making Residents ‘Sick And Tired Of Feeling Unsafe'

Los Angeles City Councilwoman Traci Park lashed out Thursday at the problem of public safety in the city, blaming "catch-and-release" and "criminals-are-the-victims" policies for making the city unsafe. Speaking at a news conference, she said crimes like the brutal attacks of two women at the Venice Canals are unacceptable. "People in the city of Los Angeles are sick and tired of feeling unsafe," she said. "No woman, no visitor, no family should be unsafe walking in any neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles, much less our city's number one tourist destination," she said. "Our businesses are being pushed to the brink and consumers are paying for it." The first incident happened around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 6, in the 2700 block of Strongs Drive, when the suspect approached a woman walking from behind and hit her over the head with a hard object, knocking her out. About an hour later, the second woman was attacked in a "similar fashion" near the Sherman Canal, police said. Both victims sustained significant injuries. Park said there are "unstable and potentially dangerous" people roaming the streets, and said Los Angeles "is getting a bad reputation." 


Transient Arrested For Attacking 2 Women Along The Venice Canals

Authorities have arrested a man suspected of beating and sexually assaulting two women along the famed Venice Canals in separate attacks last weekend, the Los Angeles Police Department announced on Friday. Anthony Jones, 29, was apprehended late Thursday evening in San Diego. According to police, Jones is a Black male who is 6 feet 1 inch tall, 200 pounds, and a transient. He was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center on two counts of attempted murder with bail set at $3.25 million. Police did not immediately reveal what evidence led to his arrest or if he has a prior criminal record. The attacks occurred late in the evening on April 6. In the first incident, police say a man approached a woman from behind in the 2700 block of Strongs Drive near the Grand Canal and struck her in the head with a hard object, knocking her unconscious. In the second incident, which occurred about an hour later, police say the same man assaulted a woman who was walking near the Sherman Canal. The horrific, bloody scenes shocked the community.


Man Stabs Another Man On Metro Bus During Argument In Silver Lake, Officials Say; Arrest Made

A man was arrested Saturday after he stabbed another man on a Metro bus in Silver Lake, authorities said. The incident happened just around 1:35 a.m. in the 2700 block of W Sunset Boulevard near Benton Way. According to Metro, a man stabbed another man during some sort of argument while riding the Metro Line 4 bus that was heading westbound on Sunset. Police called it "an unprovoked attack." The victim, a 70-year-old man, was rushed to USC Medical Center where he remains in stable condition. The suspect was arrested shortly after. Police say it's unclear if the two men knew each other. "Metro extends its sympathies to the victim," said Metro in a statement. The incident remains under investigation. Anyone with information is urged to call police or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.


Police Seek Possible Victims Of Pair Arrested In Ambush Robbery

Police are seeking potential additional victims of a man and a woman arrested in connection with an ambush robbery near Lincoln Park. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the female suspect, 23-year-old Magdalena Gallegos, lured two victims she met on social media to an apartment in the 2900 block of North Main Street on Tuesday. Once they were inside the apartment, two male suspects — one of whom was allegedly 26-year-old Sergio Carrillo — emerged from hiding and held the victims at gunpoint while demanding their property, police said. One of the victims was struck by a handgun. The suspects were seen driving a 2008 four-door blue Chevrolet Malibu, police said. Carrillo and Gallegos were arrested Wednesday and booked on suspicion of robbery. They were both held on $100,000 bail. The third suspect remains at large.


LA Law Enforcement Monitoring Places Of Worship As Conflict Continues In Middle East

Los Angeles area law enforcement departments are monitoring the ongoing conflict in the Middle East to ensure public safety this weekend. The announcement comes after Iran launched a series of drones to attack Israel on Saturday retaliatory attack after a consulate strike in Syria in early April. "The LAPD is closely monitoring the developments between Iran and Israel. While there are no credible threats to Los Angeles at this time, we are committed to ensuring safeguards to houses of worship and sensitive areas throughout all communities in Los Angeles," said a post on X from the Los Angeles Police Department. "Collaboration with our law enforcement partners, religious institutions, and community leaders remains paramount in ensuring the safety of Los Angeles," said a followup post from LAPD. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department shared a similar message on X as well. "We are closely monitoring the conflict between Israel and Iran and working with our federal and regional partners to ensure the safety of our communities in LA County," the post said. 


California Woman Sentenced For Fatally Running Down Pregnant Woman While High On Drugs

With the 3-year-old daughter of the victim in the courtroom, an Orange County woman with three previous convictions for driving under the influence was sentenced to 15 years to life on Friday for killing a pregnant woman that she hit with her car in 2020. Courtney Fritz Pandolfi, 44, of Garden Grove pleaded guilty in February to two felonies, including murder and driving under the influence of drugs causing bodily injury with two or more priors. She also pleaded guilty to several misdemeanors, prosecutors said. According to the Orange County Office of the District Attorney, Pandolfi was driving in Anaheim while under the influence of a drug cocktail, including cocaine and methamphetamine, when she jumped a curb around 7:30 p.m. on August 11, 2020. She plowed into a metal newspaper stand on the sidewalk with her white Jeep SUV before hitting 23-year-old Yesenia Aguilar, who was pregnant and holding hands with her husband on Katella Avenue near Bayless Street. Pandolfi continued driving even after striking Aguilar. She drove an additional 347 feet before the Jeep became disabled. Aguilar died from her injuries, but her baby was saved in an emergency C-section. That baby, now a 3-year-old girl, was in court Friday with her father, Aguilar’s widower, James Alvarez.


Tennessee Officer Killed, 2 Others Wounded In Shootout

A Tennessee police chief made an impassioned plea to her community to help stop gun violence after a Memphis police officer and an 18-year-old suspect were killed as officers investigated a suspicious vehicle early Friday. A second suspect, who is 17, was in critical condition and another Memphis police officer was injured but not in critical condition, interim Police Director CJ Davis said at a news conference. A third officer was grazed and treated at the scene. “We’re not just concerned about, you know, our officers. We’re concerned about the public in general,” David said. “This could have been anybody. And we’re just really, really disturbed at the boldness and the use of weapons in just all these different situations that we’re seeing in our community.” Davis identified the officer who was killed as Joseph McKinney and said he had been on the force for about three years. The 18-year-old suspect, whom she declined to identify, was arrested last month in a stolen vehicle with an illegally modified semiautomatic weapon that converted it to what the chief described as a “fully automatic machine gun.” “He was also charged at that time for two stolen vehicles and having a programming device commonly used to steal cars,” Davis said. However, he was released without bond. Messages left with the Shelby County prosecutor’s about the release were not immediately returned.

Associated Press

Public Safety News

Woman Injured In Florence Area House Fire

A woman was injured during a house fire in the Florence area on Saturday. Firefighters were dispatched to the building in the 300 block of W. 82nd Street at around 9:30 p.m. after learning of the fire, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. It took just over 15 minutes for 40 firefighters to extinguish the fire, LAFD noted. "One adult female civilian was discovered outside the building with unspecified injury," LAFD's statement said. The woman was taken to a nearby hospital in unknown condition. Nobody else was found inside of the house. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation. 


L.A. Public Health Officials Issue Measles Exposure Warning For Universal Studios, Other Locations

Los Angeles County health officials issued an exposure warning Saturday after a traveler with measles visited Universal Studios and several other locations in the county between March 30 and April 1. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said in a news release that it had received notification from the California Department of Public Health of a nonresident traveler who had visited nearly a dozen locations those three days, mostly in Universal City and at the Sheraton hotel on West Century Boulevard. Health officials encouraged anyone who was at one of the exposure locations on those days to confirm they’ve been vaccinated against measles, a highly infectious disease that causes a rash and other serious symptoms that may become life-threatening for certain people. Those who are not immunized and haven’t had measles before are at risk of developing symptoms between one and three weeks after exposure.

Los Angeles Times

Local Government News

Los Angeles Expands Its Overnight RV Parking Ban On The Westside

Los Angeles is cracking down on RV encampments after the city council voted Friday to restrict overnight parking for the large vehicles in about 30 streets in neighborhoods on the westside. New signs regarding the change are already being posted along several streets in neighborhoods including Arlington Heights, Van Nuys, Porter Ranch and more. They state overnight parking from 2 to 6 a.m. is prohibited for vehicles more than 22 feet long or more than 7 feet high. The move comes as LA Mayor Karen Bass’ plan to dismantle RV encampments as part of her Inside Safe program, which aims to move unhoused individuals to motel rooms. Neighbors in Westside Village told NBC4 they try to avoid the RV encampments, especially while walking. “The problem is that some dogs are without leash and I’m scared the dogs attack my dogs,” one woman, who wished not to be named, said. “And another problem is sometimes, we can’t walk in the alley because they have a lot of things and we have to walk outside the alley, the street. And, I don’t know, I feel bad for them, too.” According to the city council’s resolution, the areas where the new parking ban has been enacted are in spaces where “an RV task force operation has taken place.” In addition to the signs stating the new rules, signs warning about tows have also been posted in the last 24 hours.


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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