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Law Enforcement News
Slain California Police Officers Honored At Memorial Service
Law enforcement and officials from around Los Angeles gathered for a memorial service Thursday to remember two police officers who were gunned down in the line of duty. The crowd packed the Toyota Arena in Ontario to remember El Monte police Sgt. Michael Paredes, 42, and 32-year-old Officer Joseph Santana. Both were killed June 14 while responding to a local motel east of Los Angeles over a reported stabbing. They both left behind wives and young children. The day began with a procession from the El Monte Police Department to the arena. At the memorial service, speakers remembered the men for their community service, bravery, sense of duty and devotion to their families. "Mike and Joseph were heroes. I’m not saying that because they died. I’m saying that because of how they lived," acting El Monte police Chief Ben Lowry said. "They were the best of us." "An entire community mourns their loss," said Bianca Santana, Joseph Santana’s younger sister said. Both men were raised in El Monte, where mourners have left flowers and messages of thanks since the killings. They were the third and fourth officers from the department to be killed in the line of duty. They were dispatched to the motel over a report that a woman was possibly stabbed. They then confronted the suspected gunman, identified as Justin Flores, and a gunfire exchange occurred.
Crime Without Punishment: A Look At Drastic Increase In Unsolved Murders, Especially For Black, Hispanic Victims
The loss of two sons is almost too much to bear for Barbara Pritchett-Hughes, but that one of their murders remains unsolved makes life even more agonizing. "Never in a million years would I ever think that I would be in the position I'm in today," she said over her son's gravestone at Inglewood Cemetery. "It's the last thing you would imagine for your children." Tragedy first visited Pritchett-Hughes when her 15-year-old son Devon Hughes was caught in the crossfire outside of a church in 2007. He died from a gunshot to the head, and his killer was captured within four days. "That person went to jail and is in jail until this day," she said. Nine years later, tragedy struck again. "Not again. Not again. and I prayed and I asked God to don't allow this to happen again," she said tearfully. Pritchett-Hughes said people came from the front shooting, and left gunshot holes in the concrete block walls. Her second son, DeAndre Hughes, was found dead just steps away from her front door. She hoped for swift justice again, as had happened with Devon. But since the July 2016 shooting that took DeAndre, his murder remains unsolved. Pritchett-Hughes says she called the detective in her son's case constantly, but there's been no developments. "Nothing. To this day, I still don't know who's the person responsible for killing my son 100% for sure," she said.
CBS 2 Video
Shooting Leaves One Man Dead In Wilmington
Authorities were investigating a fatal shooting that took place in Wilmington Wednesday evening. The shooting was said to have taken place just before 9 p.m. near the intersection of W. CT Street and Bay View Avenue. When Los Angeles Police Department officers arrived, they found one man, reportedly in his 30s, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene. There was no suspect information immediately available.
Man Pleads Not Guilty In Shooting That Wounded CHP Officer
A Van Nuys man who allegedly shot a California Highway Patrol officer multiple times during an altercation at a traffic stop in Studio City pleaded not guilty Thursday to attempted murder of a peace officer. Pejhmaun Iraj Khosroabadi, 33, remains behind bars while awaiting his next court appearance July 25 in Van Nuys. The shooting occurred just before 7:55 p.m. June 13 in the 4500 block of Laurel Canyon Boulevard, one block south of the Ventura (101) Freeway, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The 27-year-old officer, who has less than one year of service with the CHP, was seriously injured but is expected to recover, the agency said shortly after the shooting. “During the altercation, the suspect produced a firearm and fired several rounds, striking our officer multiple times,” CHP Officer Wes Haver of the agency’s West Valley Area office told City News Service. “The suspect fled the scene.” Police searched the area for a white Ford Fusion with Oregon plates in connection with the shooting, KCAL9 reported. Police later found a Fusion outside the apartment complex that matched the description.
Nipsey Hussle Murder Trial: What To Know, After Closing Arguments
More than three years after the fatal shooting of the rapper Nipsey Hussle, a proudly local Los Angeles artist whose killing reverberated far beyond the world of West Coast hip-hop, the trial of the accused gunman, Eric R. Holder Jr., is nearing its conclusion. The case, which had been repeatedly delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, began earlier this month, and lawyers made their closing arguments on Thursday. Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom, was shot and killed on March 31, 2019, outside a clothing store he owned in South Los Angeles, with the police soon attributing the attack to a personal dispute. Two days after the shooting, which also wounded two bystanders, Mr. Holder, then 29, turned himself in at a mental health clinic, his lawyer said at trial. Mr. Holder was then charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and possession of a firearm by a felon. He pleaded not guilty and has since been held in lieu of $6.5 million bail. At trial, Los Angeles County prosecutors have argued that Mr. Holder and the 33-year-old Hussle, two old acquaintances who belonged to the same street gang, had a chance encounter in a strip mall parking lot, during which the rapper mentioned neighborhood rumors that Mr. Holder had cooperated with law enforcement — “a very serious offense” in the gang world. Minutes later, prosecutors and witnesses have said, Mr. Holder returned with two handguns and began firing repeatedly.
Cigarettes Worth $3K Stolen In SFV 7-Eleven Crime Spree
Authorities are searching for a suspect who stole around $3,000 worth of cigarettes from a 7-Eleven in Reseda then tried to do the same thing at another 7-Eleven in the area. According to the LAPD, the suspect hit the 7-Eleven at Vanowen and Tampa first - that's where he stole the cigarettes. He then tried to commit the same crime at the 7-Eleven store on Ventura and Corbin in Tarzana, where he allegedly threatened the store clerk. It's unclear at this time if anything was stolen in the second incident. Right now detectives are investigating if any similar crimes were committed by the same suspect at any other stores in the area. The suspect was described as a man about 5'5" tall and was wearing a hoodie and shorts. Anyone with information is asked to call police.
This L.A. Restaurant Was Excited To Open. Then The Graffiti And Protests Happened
Early Wednesday, long before the doors first opened to Glassell Park’s newest restaurant, the Dunsmoor team arrived to bold red-and-white letters spray-painted across its windows. “Gentrification Is Genocide,” it read in all caps and in both Spanish and English, each tag on one side of the corner building, according to the owners. It was just the beginning. The day would culminate in a protest that saw handmade signs stating, “GENTRIFIERS ARE ON THE MENU TONIGHT!” pressed against the restaurant’s windows as patrons dined inside. Another neon sign bemoaned the restaurant’s prices: “F— YOUR $23 LENTILS!!!” The new restaurant from former Hatchet Hall chef Brian Dunsmoor opened Wednesday night in a historically Latino neighborhood that has seen a rise in property value and demographic changes of late. Coupled with its proximity to Highland Park, Glassell Park is one of a number of Los Angeles-area neighborhoods central to the city’s ongoing discussion of gentrification and displacement. “Last night we did close to 100 covers [served guests], and I touched every table,” restaurant partner Taylor Parsons said Thursday morning. “I would say that 50% were from the neighborhood, like walked here, and they were all really excited. Some of them got in verbal altercations with the protesters outside, going in or out, and some walked over when they saw the protest was happening.
With Restrictions Lifted, Sheriff Villanueva Says Gun Permits Will Rise In L.A. County
People in Los Angeles County are no longer required to explain why they need to be armed when applying for permits to carry guns in public, Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced Wednesday. The change in the permitting process comes in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last week that such restrictions are unconstitutional. As state legislators scramble to rewrite California’s gun laws to adhere to the high court’s decision while also trying to keep some checks in place on the ability to be armed in public, Villanueva said the Sheriff’s Department is seeing an increase in so-called concealed carry permit applications. He speculated that eventually 50,000 people in L.A. County could receive permission to arm themselves in public. “We are retooling our operation to a shall-issue standard,” Villanueva said during a live social media broadcast on Wednesday, referring to a lenient standard under which law enforcement agencies must issue a weapon permit if the applicant has satisfied some minimal requirements. Villanueva said his estimate of how many people in L.A. County might seek permits was based on the county’s population and the number of permits that have been issued in other counties already using the lax standard.
Reseda Man Charged In Alleged $21M Cryptocurrency Fraud Scheme
A Reseda man is facing a federal charge for his alleged role in a $21 million cryptocurrency fraud scheme that prosecutors say used fake business relationships with Apple Inc., Pfizer Inc. and The Walt Disney Company to create the appearance of legitimacy, the Department of Justice announced Thursday. Michael Stollery, 54 — the CEO and founder of Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services, a purported cryptocurrency investment platform, was charged in L.A. federal court with one count of securities fraud, the DOJ said. The alleged scheme involved TBIS’ initial coin offering, which raised $21 million from investors in the United States and overseas. Prosecutors contend that in order to lure investors, Stollery falsified TBIS white papers — documents for prospective investors that typically explain how the technology underlying the cryptocurrency works and the purpose of the cryptocurrency project — planted fake testimonials on TBIS’ website and fabricated purported business relationships with the U.S. Federal Reserve Board and dozens of prominent companies to create the appearance of legitimacy.
Man Killed In Fiery Hit-and-Run Collision In Compton
The search for a hit-and-run driver in Compton continued Friday morning after they fled from what ended up being a fiery scene. Authorities were called to the crash site just after 10:30 p.m. at Alondra Boulevard and Petrolia Avenue, where they found a Nissan Altima engulfed in flames. The driver of that vehicle, a man, was pronounced dead at the scene. After investigation, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies were able to deduce that the victim and the suspect, behind the wheel of an unknown vehicle, were both heading in the same direction when a collision occurred, causing the Nissan to slam into a tree in the center divider of the road and burst into flames. Deputies had no information on the suspect or their vehicle. Compton Fire Department crews assisted with containing the fire.
CHP’s Fourth Of July Weekend `Maximum Enforcement’ Campaign Starts Friday
California Highway Patrol officers will be ramping up patrols on state highways and roads in Riverside County Friday to catch drunken and drug-impaired drivers as part of the agency’s annual Fourth of July weekend crackdown. The agency’s “maximum enforcement period” will begin at 6 p.m. and conclude at 11:59 p.m. Monday, during which all available officers will hit the streets for targeted patrols. “Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said. “Speeding not only endangers your life, but the lives of everyone on the roadway. Fill the holiday weekend with celebration and fun activities, not reckless choices that lead to tragedy.” During last year’s Independence Day MEP, officers arrested 997 motorists on suspicion of DUI statewide, compared to 738 arrests during the 2020 campaign, according to the CHP. Forty-three people were killed in crashes within the CHP’s jurisdiction during the 2021 Fourth of July weekend, and the agency noted that one-third of those victims were not wearing any type of safety restraint.
2 Alabama Deputies Shot, 1 Mortally Wounded, Sheriff Says
The shooting of two Alabama deputies has stunned the community, and those who know the two wounded public servants. Brad Johnson, 32, has served with the sheriff’s office just over seven years. He is engaged to be married and is the father two daughters. His father, Steven Johnson, said his son was shot in the head. The deputy on Thursday remained on life support and was going through the organ donor process. Chris Poole, a 30-year-old husband and father, has been released from UAB Hospital and is recovering at home. “We ask that you continue to remember Deputy Brad Johnson’s family in your prayers as they’re still with him at the hospital and he’s going through the final processes to continue to save lives,’' said an emotional Bibb County Sheriff Jody Wade. “It’s been said that a coward dies a thousand deaths, but a hero but one,’' the sheriff said. “Brad Johnson was a hero.” Steven Johnson on Thursday afternoon posted a photo of his son in the hospital and wrote this: “ This is the toughest thing I have had to do. This is the son that called me just a few hours before hand to ask me to help him find a good place for a beach trip. A son that loved playing the guitar,fishing,riding four-wheelers, and so much more. This is not the way your day is suppose to end. Blue line forever.”
Spokane Leaders Blame Recent Violence On '850-1,500' Gang Members, Soft-On-Crime Laws
Days after multiple drive-by shootings rocked the Spokane community, local elected officials and law enforcement leaders affirmed their commitment at a news conference Thursday to targeting gang and violent crime. "The violence absolutely has to stop," said Mayor Nadine Woodward. Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich estimates there are between 850 and 1,500 "gang members" in the county. That estimate was based on his experience and investigative work by deputies, the Sheriff's Office said. On Sunday, Spokane Police Officer Kris Honaker was shot while responding to a drive-by shooting. Honaker has since been released from the hospital, and two felons remain in jail after being arrested in connection with the shooting. In a separate incident, two teens were shot after a fight broke out in northwest Spokane Wednesday, adding to the 81 shootings reported by Spokane law enforcement since the start of the year. Officials on Thursday tied the increase in crimes to gang activity. The Spokane Police Department on Thursday said they do not track the specific number of people affiliated with gangs within city limits.
The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash./a>
Law Enforcement News
LAFD Repsonds To RV Fire At Ballona Wetlands
The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to an RV fire at the Ballona Wetlands Wednesday night. A call came in at 8:54 p.m. at 137000 Jefferson Boulevard for the vehicle fire. Crews were able to put the fire out almost immediately. This is the second fire in the area in less than a month. On June 18, a brushfire consumed more than three acres of vegetation after a vehicle fire was unable to be contained in time. Last year two fires destroyed parts of the wetlands. In September of 2021, a fire burned half and acre of land and March of 2021, a fire that, according to firefighters, may well have been started by someone in one of the encampments, burned five acres of the wetlands. The Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve is a protected area of 577 acres. It is the second-largest open space within the city limits of Los Angeles, behind Griffith Park. More than 50 RVs remain parked in the area even though parking enforcement of vehicle dwellings was supposed to resume immediately on May 15 for oversized vehicles that pose an environmental or public health hazard, including those that have been present a threat to environmentally sensitive habitats.
Firefighters Rescue Two From Vehicle After Collision With Light Pole In South Gate
Firefighters rescued the driver of a vehicle that collided with a light pole in South Gate Thursday morning. The crash was first reported at around 5:45 a.m. near Tweedy Boulevard and Stanford Avenue. When Los Angeles County Fire Department units arrived at the scene, they quickly rescued the driver and occupant of the vehicle who were trapped inside due to the damage his vehicle sustained. Both people inside the car were rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment, one of which was said to be in critical condition.
LA County Might Return To Mask Mandate Indoors By Late July If Hospitalizations Keep Rising
Just days after reporting a slowdown in the pace of COVID-19-positive residents being hospitalized, Los Angeles County's public health director announced Thursday a sharp upturn in admissions, increasing the likelihood of a return to an indoor mask-wearing mandate by late July. On Tuesday, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told the Board of Supervisors the average daily rate of new COVID admissions to hospitals in the county had fallen to 6.6 per 100,000 residents, down from 7.3 per 100,000 a week earlier. But on Thursday, Ferrer said that number has jumped to 8.1 per 100,000. If the county reaches 10 new daily admissions per 100,000 residents, it will move into the "high" virus activity category as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If the county stays in the "high" category for two consecutive weeks, it will reimpose a mandatory indoor mask-wearing mandate. At the current rate of increase, the county will hit the "high" category by July 19, Ferrer said. That projection has changed repeatedly in the past few weeks as the admission rate has fluctuated, and Ferrer said it could shift again.