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Jun 2022
NewsWatch June 17, 2022

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Law Enforcement News

Law Enforcement Families Grieving After 2 El Monte Officers Killed: 'That Could Have Been My Son'
Two days after two officers were gunned down while on duty, the community of El Monte continues to mourn - especially those with family members who work in law enforcement. "It's heartbreaking," said Gail Reneer, whose son is an El Monte police officer. "That could have been my son. It could have been any of these guys. It's just heart-wrenching ... I just can't understand. I know it's real, but it's just hard." As Reneer looked over a growing memorial outside of the El Monte Police Department Thursday, the question remains: How does one move forward from such tragedy? Corporal Michael Paredes and Officer Joseph Santana were investigating a report of a possible stabbing in the Siesta Inn motel on Tuesday when they were killed. The suspect - who has since been identified as Justin Flores - died at the scene, authorities said. Several surrounding law enforcement agencies have since taken over patrol duties in the city of El Monte while local police officers continue to mourn the loss of their colleagues. "All of these other departments that have come to take over our streets and give our guys time to be together and to grieve, and they need that," said Reneer. Paredes began his law enforcement career as a cadet with the police department before being sworn in as a full-time police officer in July 2000, the statement said. During his time with the agency, Paredes worked several specialized assignments before being promoted to the rank of corporal.
MSN News

Los Angeles' Gascon Torched After Career Criminal Allegedly Kills Cops: 'Recall Is Too Good For This Guy'
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon is under fire again for his habitual lax prosecutorial discretion after a career criminal and known gang member previously given a light sentence allegedly murdered two El Monte officers. Justin William Flores reportedly died at the scene of the shooting, but critics argue he should not have been free on the streets. Flores had a lengthy rap sheet, including a conviction on a possessing-a-firearm-as-a-felon charge on which Gascon handed down a 20-day-plus-probation sentence. On "The Five," Jesse Watters reported Gascon's office defending the prior sentence as "consistent with case resolutions in this type of offense." "Given his criminal history and the nature of the offense, it's not consistent," Watters said in response. Judge Jeanine Pirro replied Flores' prior conviction is only "consistent" with Gascon's habit of letting violent criminals roam freely. "It doesn't matter how violent you are. It doesn't matter what your record it is. It doesn't matter if you're a threat to society, we're going to let you loose because we believe in racial justice," she said, characterizing Gascon's office's approach. "We don't give a damn about the victims. Our job is to make sure that the criminals get out." Pirro, who held Gascon's elected prosecutor role in Westchester County, N.Y. for many years, said a recall would not do the community justice. "Recall is too good for this guy, Jesse. Recall is not enough. This guy should be prosecuted. I don't know what for, but the blood of those police officers is on his hands," she said.
FOX News

Investigation Underway After 2 Killed In Hollywood Shooting; Suspect Outstanding
Two people were killed in a shooting in Hollywood overnight, prompting a large police response in the area amid the search for the gunman. The shooting happened shortly after 11 p.m. Thursday near Carlos Avenue and Gower Street, according to authorities. The victims, only identified as a man and woman, were both shot multiple times and died at the scene. The woman's young children were found near the shooting scene, but they were not hurt. Investigators said the shooter fled from the scene and was last seen heading northbound on Vista Del Mar. The gunman was described as being a man in his early 20s who was wearing a white T-shirt. A motive for the shooting has not been determined, but police said it is possibly domestic.

Shooting Investigation Underway After Man Found Shot To Death In Van Nuys Home
Authorities are investigating a fatal shooting that took place in Van Nuys early Friday morning. They were called to the scene located in a residence on Kester Avenue just before 2:30 a.m., and when they arrived they found a man, expected to be in his 40s or 50s, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity has been withheld pending notification of next of kin. Los Angeles Police Department detectives were unable to provide any information on a suspect involved in the shooting, and were unsure if the incident was gang-related.

Third Man Killed In Boyle Heights Warehouse Party Shooting Identified
Authorities Thursday identified the third of three men fatally shot during a party at a warehouse in Boyle Heights. The shooting was reported about 12:30 a.m. Sunday in the 1400 block of South Lorena Street, the Los Angeles Police Department reported. Randy Tyson, 25, and Daniel Dunbar, 27, both of Los Angeles, died at the scene, the Los Angeles County coroner's office reported on Monday. James Anguiano, 22, of Los Angeles, died at hospital, the coroner's office reported on Thursday. One person was hospitalized in critical condition, two others were hospitalized in stable condition, and a fourth was treated and released, the LAPD reported. No arrests were reported. The shooting took place at a party that had featured a performance by the Huntington Park rapper Money Sign Suede, according to broadcast reports. Anyone with information on the case was urged to call 877-LAPD-247.
FOX 11

LAPD Task Force Arrests Suspect In Multiple Hollywood Robberies
A man was arrested Thursday for his alleged connection in a pair of robberies that occurred in Hollywood back in May. Grachik Melkonyan, 30-years-old, is suspected of committing both robberies within a span of 10 minutes on Sunset Boulevard on May 8. The first instance saw Melkonyan approach a pair of customers sitting outside of a cafe in the 6400 block of Sunset Blvd. He simulated holding a firearm under a towel, demanding money and stealing one of their cellphones. He reportedly left the area in a white Volvo. Just 10 minutes later, Melkonyan again approached a victim while simulating holding a firearm, as the woman was withdrawing money from her bank in the 6300 block of Sunset Blvd. The victim, frightened, withdrew money and gave it to Melkonyan before he walked back to his Volvo. Using a photo taken by a witness to one of the two incidents, Los Angeles Police Department detectives were able to determine Melkonyan's involvement in both robberies and obtained a search warrant for his residence.

LAPD Issuing New Warnings To Prevent Illegal Firework Activity Over 4th Of July Weekend
Every Fourth of July week, Los Angeles fills the night sky with illegal fireworks. This year, officials will be ramping up their efforts to prevent that. In a news conference led by officials with the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Fire Department and Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian, the dangers of illegal fireworks were laid out as a message to citizens. Krekorian said his office secured funding to grant police overtime, allowing more officers to go on patrol and undercover in the San Fernando Valley. "Particularly, now that we have the drought, these hillsides are ripped for wildfire," said LAFD Capt. Erik Scott. Some areas in the San Fernando Valley are considered high-risk fire zones. LAPD Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton said they will be citing and arresting those who are in possession of illegal fireworks, especially in areas that have high severity fire zones throughout L.A. Officers will be patrolling before and after Fourth of July. A list of professional and permitted fireworks shows is available at

Marine Corps Veteran Charged With Shooting CHP Officer In Studio City
A Marine Corps veteran was charged Thursday with attempted murder of a peace officer after authorities alleged he shot a California Highway Patrol officer during a traffic stop Monday night in Studio City. According to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, the charge filed against Pejhmaun Iraj Khosroabadi of Van Nuys comes with an enhancement for allegedly using a firearm causing great bodily injury. “Based on the facts of this case, I have taken the step of authorizing the filing of a felony attempted murder charge with a gun enhancement that, if found true, could result in a sentence of 40 years to life in prison,” Dist. Atty. George Gascón said Thursday. “I believe these are appropriate charges for the person accused in the horrific shooting of a CHP officer.” Khosroabadi, 33, was taken into custody by Los Angeles police about 12 hours after the CHP officer was shot multiple times during a traffic stop in the Campbell Hall Episcopal School parking lot shortly before 8 p.m. Monday. The 27-year-old officer, who has not been publicly identified, suffered severe injuries from gunshot wounds after the assailant delayed complying with a traffic stop in the 4500 block of Laurel Canyon Boulevard, according to the CHP. The officer had been on the job about a year.
LA Times

Convicted Murderer Charged With Special Circumstance In Killing Of His Girlfriend In South L.A.
A man who was convicted of two murders in 1998 is now facing a special circumstance in the killing of his girlfriend who was found bound in her South Los Angeles home last summer, officials announced Wednesday. Darryl Lamar Collins, 51, of Baldwin Park, has been charged with one count of murder with the special circumstance allegation of a prior first-degree murder conviction, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. The June 10 complaint against Collins was amended to include the special circumstance filing. Collins allegedly killed 53-year-old Fatima Johnson on July 2. Her daughters found her body two days later, on July 4, after they grew concerned because she failed to show up to work the day before and wasn’t responding to text messages. Her hands were tied and her body was wrapped in a blanket. Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner records show she died of asphyxia; a secondary cause was listed as neck pressure and possible smothering.

Testimony Begins In Trial Of Accused Nipsey Hussle Killer
Testimony is set to continue Thursday day in the trial of Eric Ronald Holder Jr., who is charged with murder in the March 2019 shooting that left rapper Nipsey Hussle dead and injured two other men in front of the musician's clothing store in South Los Angeles. Holder, 32, an aspiring rapper, is also charged with two counts of attempted murder and assault with a firearm and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon, along with allegations that he personally and intentionally discharged a handgun and that he personally inflicted great bodily injury. Testimony began Wednesday, with a prosecutor telling jurors that Holder opened fire with two guns on Hussle -- whose real name was Ermias Joseph Asghedom -- outside the rapper's Hyde Park-area store. While a defense attorney acknowledged Holder killed the musician, he insisted the crime occurred in the "heat of passion.'' In his opening statement, Deputy District Attorney John McKinney told the downtown Los Angeles jury that Holder, "pulls out not one but two guns and starts shooting'' after a conversation with the rapper that included allegations of "snitching.'' The prosecutor said the rapper had told Holder there was word on the street that he had been "snitching,'' but there was "no hostility'' before Holder left the parking lot and then returned soon afterward to the strip mall.

Op-Ed: Boudin Recall Reveals Democrats' Rift With Minority Voters
As the dust has settled in the days since a political earthquake hit California with the landslide recall of San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, a distinct voting pattern has emerged. Precinct-by-precinct voting maps show minority voters backing the recall in much higher numbers than college-educated, affluent white progressives, with very few exceptions. It's not difficult to understand why, California political analysts across the spectrum tell RealClearPolitics. Minority communities suffer more when crimes rates are soaring than insulated wealthier neighborhoods with more protections and money for security. "While we are fewer in number [than in the city's past], we saw more African Americans resist the narrative that you have to reject this recall, it's racist, it's not progressive, it's about conservatism, and they're trying to dupe you," Andrea Shorter, spokeswoman for Safer SF Without Boudin, the largest Boudin recall group, told RCP. "We're looking around, and a lot of the bodies that are stacking up, whether it's from fentanyl or from violent assaults from folks who should not have been on our streets … are people of color."

More Than 150 Police Officers Shot So Far This Year, Records Show
More than 150 American police officers have been shot this year, at least 24 of them killed in the line of duty, statistics compiled by Fox News Digital show. "Criminals feel free to engage in crime," said Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith, spokesperson for the National Police Association and a retired officer with nearly three decades of experience. "You see videos all over TikTok and Instagram, where criminals are doing things, and they appear to have no fear of the police, of a security guard, of a store manager, none of that." In all, at least 156 officers have been shot around the country in 2022 as of Tuesday, according to Fraternal Order of Police data combined with additional information from the Gun Violence Archive. The numbers include two officers shot and killed in El Monte, California, Tuesday – Cpl. Michael Paredes and Officer Joseph Santana. The suspect was a known gang member, Justin William Flores, who was on probation despite being convicted of unlawfully possessing a firearm as a felon. "The sentence he received in the firearm case was consistent with case resolutions for this type of offense given his criminal history and the nature of the offense," embattled Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon's office told Fox News Wednesday. "At the time the court sentenced him, Mr. Flores did not have a documented history of violence."
FOX News

How Oakley Came To Be Accused Of ‘Fascism’ For Selling Thin Blue Line Sunglasses
In the last few years, if you have come face-to-face with a police officer in riot gear at a Black Lives Matter protest, a masked militia man with a big gun outside a statehouse, or an in-your-face, flag-waving Trump supporter, there is a decent chance they are wearing Oakley sunglasses. The futuristic shades have become a fashion shorthand for a wider set of identities and their associated politics, just like the Patagonia puffer vests of the San Francisco tech elite, or canvas Carhartt jackets of blue collar Midwesterners and the hipsters who imitate them. For Oakley, this symbolism is a long time coming. Colin Baden, CEO of Oakley until 2015, remembers a trade show in the 1990s in Southern California. A rival brand put up a sign that said, “Cops wear Oakleys,” thinking it would damage the company’s standing among the region’s massive (and lucrative) surf market, not a group known for its excessive fondness for law enforcement. “We thought that was great,” Mr Baden told The Independent. “We made our own signs that said cops wear Oakleys, and we had cops wearing Oakleys. It was very well received. It’s a great legacy. If you want to see how good your eyewear is, put it on the battlefield and see how good it is.”
Yahoo! News

Public Safety News

LA County On Track For ‘High Transmission' By Late June, Would Mean Return Of Indoor Masking
Nearly 4,600 new COVID-19 infections were reported Thursday in Los Angeles County, with the public health director again noting the actual figure is likely much higher due to the prevalence of take-home testing, while the number of virus-positive hospital patients held mostly steady. The 4,583 new cases gave the county a cumulative total from throughout the pandemic of 3,051,930. The county also reported nine more virus-related deaths, raising the death toll to 32,245. According to state figures, there were 605 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals as of Thursday, down slightly from 606 the previous day. Of those patients, 65 were being treated in intensive care, the same number as Wednesday. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said the county has actually started to see a decline in the average daily number of new infections, with the seven-day average now about 4,700, compared to 4,900 a week ago. But she stressed that the actual number of COVID infections in the community is likely much higher, since many people are now using take-home tests, the results of which are not typically reported to the county.
FOX 11

Local Government News

City Council Set To Vote On Venice Median Project
A motion to approve the Venice Median project is set to go before the Los Angeles City Council today. The mixed use project -- planned on two city-owned parking -- has been met with opposition from many Venice residents and has been voted down by the Venice Neighborhood Council. Councilman Mike Bonin -- a proponent of the project -- said it will certainly face litigation. Two weeks ago, motions to approve a Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) – an agreement to sell the property where a specific type of project is developed-- and a motion to forgo a California Environmental Quality Act review were approved by the Homelessness and Poverty Committee. Then last week, the Planning and Land Use Committee voted to approve zone changes to move the project forward despite a community impact statement from the Venice Neighborhood Council and dozens of residents who called in and voiced their concerns about the project.
WestSide Current



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