Sunday, April 29, 2007

Residents recall life amid the anarchy

LOS ANGELES - A Los Angeles police officer takes aim at a looter in a market at Alvarado and Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles on April 30, 1992, during the second night of rioting in the city. VICTORVILLE — Christopher Anderson was living in Baldwin Hills on April 29, 1992 — the day that all hell broke lose in South Central Los Angeles, not far from his neighborhood.
His mother called him earlier that day, concerned about the Rodney King verdict.
“My mom told me and my sisters and brothers to come over and leave work early. She said, ‘I have a vibe something is going to happen if they do not find these cops guilty,’ ” said the Victorville resident.
But the premonition did not prepare Anderson for the devastation he would encounter.
That day, three police officers were acquitted by a predominantly white jury in the beating of motorist Rodney King, while the panel could not agree on one count for the fourth police officer.
What ensued was the worst riot in modern U.S. history, with damage estimated from $800 million to $1 billion. Rioters looted stores, set fires, beat innocent bystanders and shot at police, with 53 people killed in the process.
On the 15-year anniversary of the Los Angeles riots, Anderson mused about the conditions that led to the chaos.
“If (elected officials) don’t sit down and try to get to the roots of the problem, who knows? Maybe we’ll wake up one day and this city will be on fire like that,” he said.
Though the conditions that led to the riots are not exactly duplicated here, the population has grown considerably in the last 15 years, putting ethnic groups in close proximity who have not previously had a presence in the valley.
With gangs from Los Angeles added to the mix, tensions have erupted in the schools between Latinos and blacks. Anderson, whose parents had moved to Los Angeles from Alabama not long after the 1965 Watts riots, found it hard to believe that residents would destroy their own neighborhoods.
“Why are you stealing from your own community? You're hurting yourself,” he said. “Here I am driving down Crenshaw Boulevard and there’s people losing their minds. You go out in the street and there’s the National Guard. It was like a different country, it wasn’t America.”
William Lundelius, a retired chief warrant officer with the United States Army, was called in with the 49th Military Police Brigade to assist when rioting broke out.
“I’m in a quandary as to why it took L.A. so long to ask for the National Guard’s assistance when everything was going to hell in a hand basket,” said the Phelan resident.
“They were doing all the damage on their own home turf,” he said. “Nothing makes sense. I couldn’t understand the rationale behind it. Rioters were taking pot shots at firefighters who were trying to put the fires out.”
Racial tensions in South Central Los Angeles provided fertile ground for the rioting. Between 1980 and 1990, about 22,000 manufacturing jobs in the area were lost, with Firestone, Goodyear and General Motors closing their plants.
Many local businesses were owned by Korean Americans, who had been struggling with harassment from gangs and lived on edge trying to protect their property.
Not long after the Rodney King beating in 1991, a 15-year-old black girl named Latasha Harlins was shot and killed by a Korean-American store owner, Soon Ja Du. Soon Ja had observed the girl putting juice in her backpack, but a court review of the security video revealed that Harlins was planning to pay for her purchase. After a scuffle, Harlins put the money on the counter and fled, only to be shot in the back. When bedlam broke out, Du’s store was burned to the ground.
“What I think took place let off some steam, but I don’t think it solved the group problem,” said Lundelius.
While the four officers in the King case were originally mostly acquitted, two lawmen, Laurence Powell and Stacy Koon, were found guilty in a 1993 civil trial.
The retired Army officer also reviewed the video of the Rodney King beating, noting that King was under the influence of PCP at the time and was resisting arrest.
“I've been in situations like that, and I’ve actually had to deal with people on crack or PCP.”
Lundelius said that when someone is resisting arrest who is impaired, the training is to use your baton on the fleshy parts of the arms and legs to wear down the muscles.
“When it went to the head, that’s when you overstep your bounds,” he said. “You just don’t do that, I don’t care who you are, it’s not right. ... The officers who stepped over the line deserved what they got.”

The LAPD 15 years later

How the police force has changed -- and stayed tough -- after the 1992 riots.

By Will Beall

WILL BEALL, author of the novel "L.A. Rex," is an officer with the LAPD's South Bureau gang homicide unit.April 29, 2007

I WAS IN MY DORM ROOM at San Diego State, listening to the Led Zeppelin cover of "When the Levee Breaks," when I first saw George Holliday's amateur video of the Rodney King incident on CNN. It looked like those grainy films of Selma, Ala., in 1965, and the brutality turned my stomach. They didn't really talk about Rodney King when I went through the Los Angeles Police Academy a few years later. The department just tore its clothes and sat shiva for those officers, and we didn't speak of them or the deadly riots that followed their acquittals 15 years ago. I went on thinking that those cops were racist brutes.
My first year as a cop, 1998, my perspective was changed a little by a third-striker who went by the moniker of Nine-Nine. He carjacked a woman right in front of my partner and me — at Florence and Normandie, no less, the infamous epicenter of the riots, where Damian "Football" Williams bashed in Reginald Denny's head with a concrete block and danced his sadistic jig for the news helicopters.
After Nine-Nine's carjacking, there followed a vehicle pursuit, a foot pursuit and a fight. That was the first time I had to use my baton. It wasn't pleasant for me, and I know it wasn't pleasant for Nine-Nine. And if there'd been a video, it wouldn't have been pleasant to watch.
I'm not an LAPD apologist, and this isn't John Wayne in "The Green Berets" telling David Janssen that you can't make an omelet without breaking a few skulls. It's just that civilians have the option of walking away from a fight. But cops often don't. Some of these hard-core felons are apex predators, red in tooth and claw, and they don't want to be arrested. They'll run from you. If you catch them, they'll fight you. And if you let them, they'll kill you. It happens faster than you think, and you don't have the option of slowing the fight down to advance it frame by frame.

After Rodney King and after the riots, it became fashionable for journalists, politicians and activists to talk about the need to change the culture of the LAPD, as though we're a bunch of hold-out Confederates who refused to turn in our sabers after Appomattox. Formal critiques came from two blue-ribbon panels — the Christopher and Webster commissions — that changed how the chief is appointed and the police commission operates, and they demanded an emphasis on community policing.
So, has the LAPD evolved since the riots? You bet. We're better equipped, more diverse, more sophisticated, more racially sensitive. I also honestly believe that, as a result, we are more responsive to the communities we serve. Still, no amount of racial sensitivity will make an ex-con want to go back to prison. And the next time officers have to arrest some dude with his head full of PCP, I can promise you it's still going to be ugly, because the application of physical violence is ugly.
When Bernard Parks was police chief, we had to watch Nordstrom's customer service training videos, and we had to refer to arrestees as "clients." I still don't intend to let a client take away my gun and give me an unscheduled lobotomy with it. In police work, violence isn't always a failure of diplomacy.
Sure, we've had our share of thugs in uniform through the years, but I have to say that hasn't been my experience of this department's culture. Make no mistake. It's still us against them, our magic against theirs. But the "them" we battle isn't the community we serve, it's the jackals who prey on it.
Last Tuesday, I stood humbled in the courtyard behind 77th Street Station with 100 other cops. Lt. Doug Young, Dets. D.C. Webb, Guy Bourgeois, Chuck Tizano, Rich McCauley and Officer Charles Howard were retiring. These men embody the culture of the LAPD, and there's nothing recalcitrant or retrograde about them.
Each of them has more time on the job than I have on the planet. Into their 60s and 70s, these guys were still clearing cases, still arresting bad guys, still serving the people of South-Central. They stood shoulder to shoulder during the 1992 riots, protecting South-Central even as its residents raged against everything they stood for. In the years that followed, they watched chiefs arrive beloved and leave beleaguered. They worked through the Rampart scandal and finally a consent decree — monitored for civil rights violations by a federal government that favors secret tribunals and condones torture. None of it changed the way these men conducted themselves because this was never just a job for them. It was their vocation.
They were treating addicts and gangsters with humanity and respect long before the Christopher Commission told them they had to. Because they're honorable men.
This is the culture of the LAPD. Pray it never changes.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Man sentenced for LAPD crash that killed 80-year-old man

LOS ANGELES- A driver who killed an 80-year-old motorist during a police chase received a potential life sentence. Robert Chavez was sentenced to 15 years and eight months to life in prison on Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Chavez was driving a sport utility vehicle that was fleeing police when it crashed into a car pulling out of a driveway on July 8, 2002. The crashed killed the other driver, Teruyuki Terao.
A jury convicted Chavez of second-degree murder in January.
Chavez initially was convicted of murder and other charges in 2003 but an appeals court reversed the conviction and sent the case back for retrial.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

LAPD Command Staff Promotion Ceremony - 4/30/2007

LOS ANGELES - The Command Staff promotion ceremony on Monday, April 30, 2007 will be the largest in the modern era of the Department. The ceremony involves the promotion of 13 command and staff officers, including a Deputy Chief, three Commanders and nine Captains. Additionally, 13 existing commanding officers will be recognized for advancement (upgrades)within their current rank of Captain.

National Police Week 2007 Schedule of Events

Tuesday, May 8
13th Annual Blue Mass Noon at St. Patrick's Catholic Church 10th & G Streets, NW Washington, DC 202-347-2713
Friday, May 11
8th Annual National Police Week Challenge 50-Kilometer Relay Race Coordinated by the U.S. Secret Service Employee Recreation Association 8:00 am - 1:00 pm Secret Service Training Center in Laurel, MD Contact: Kam Flynn
28th Annual Memorial Service for Law Enforcement Officers in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore Region 11 a.m. Washington Area Police Memorial Fountain Outside Henry J. Daly Building (Metropolitan Police Headquarters) 300 Indiana Avenue, NW Washington, DC Contact: 202-408-7767
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Saturday, May 12
Police Unity Tour Arrival Ceremony Since the Police Unity Tour’s inception in 1997, a total of $3.2 million has been raised for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. $2 million of the total donation has been designated towards the Police Unity Tour’s $5 million pledge to support A Matter of Honor: The Campaign to Support the National Law Enforcement Museum. Contact: Harry Phillips, 973-443-0030 or email: or go to
14th Annual TOP COPS Awards Ceremony Hosted by the National Association of Police Organizations 7:00 p.m. at the Warner Theatre, 513 Thirteenth Street, NW, Washington, DC Contact: Jill Cameron 202-842-4420
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Sunday, May 13
12th Annual Law Ride Line up begins at 9:00 a.m. in Lot 8 of R.F.K. Stadium in Washington, DC. The procession will leave RFK promptly at 11:00 a.m. and ride to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, located on the 400 Block of E Street, NW. Contact:
19th Annual Candlelight Vigil 8:00 p.m. at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial 400 Block of E Street, NW 202-737-3400 It is advised that anyone attending take the Metro Red Line to Judiciary Square.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Monday, May 14
Fifth Annual Steve Young Honor Guard Competition Fraternal Order of Police Grand Lodge 8:30 a.m. at John Marshall Park, between the Federal Court House and the Canadian Embassy. Contact: Ken Roske via email: or visit
National Police Survivors’ Conference Concerns of Police Survivors 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Hilton Alexandria Mark Center (Registration is Mandatory)
National Shomrim Society Annual Wreathlaying Ceremony 10:00am National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Contact: Jeff Wennar,
Twelfth Annual Emerald Society & Pipeband March and Service National Conference of Law Enforcement Emerald Societies, Inc. Assemble at 4:30 p.m. at New Jersey Avenue & F Street, NW. Step-off promptly at 6:00 p.m. March will proceed to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Contact: Mike Roe: 314-304-1915 or email:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Tuesday, May 15
26th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day Services Grand Lodge, Fraternal Order of Police Grand Lodge, Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary Noon at the West Front of the United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
FOP/FOPA Wreathlaying Ceremony National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial 3:30 p.m. at the 400 Block of E Street, NW
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Wednesday, May 16
National Police Survivors’ Conference Concerns of Police Survivors 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Hilton Alexandria Mark Center (Registration is Mandatory)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Please stop by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Visitors Center during your visit to Washington. Come see our museum to law enforcement and visit our gift shop. The Visitors Center is located at 605 E Street, NW, and will be open extended hours during National Police Week.
Visitors Center Hours for National Police Week 2007:
Thursday, May 10, 9:00 a.m - 5:00 p.m. Friday, May 11th, 9:00 a.m - 9:00 p.m. Saturday, May 12th, 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Sunday, May 13th, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. - Midnight Monday, May 14th, 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 15th, 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 16th, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Thursday, May 17th, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Regular hours (9 am – 5 pm) before and after these dates.

Garden Grove, CA Officer Hailed as a Hero

Garden Grove, CA - A woman whose car caught fire after a rear-end collision on the Garden Grove Freeway remained in critical condition Wednesday with second- and third-degree burns. Meanwhile, a Garden Grove police motorcycle officer who helped free her from the fiery wreck was hailed as a hero. Officer Ed DesBiens arrived and cut the woman's seat belt, freeing her from the fiery wreck.

Suspect Leads LAPD on 90 minute Wild Chase

Los Angeles -- A man driving erratically in a stolen car with two flat tires led police on a 90-minute chase this afternoon on surface streets in downtown and south Los Angeles before being taken into custody.
The pursuit began downtown just after 3 p.m. and ended at 4:30 p.m. in south Los Angeles, when an LAPD patrol unit hit the rear of the disabled sedan, sending it into the center divider, and the man got out of the car and surrendered.
The driver had kept going for miles, even though several police vehicles had previously rammed the car, which had two flat tires from spike stripes set down by officers.
The car's bumper dangled behind throughout the chase, making for an odd sight as the driver variously ran red lights, traveled on the wrong side of the road, narrowly avoided collisions and, at one point, drove in circles in an intersection.
Throughout the trip, he also threw items out of the car, including clothing, and drove across one bridge with a door open.

Rapper Eve arrested in Hollywood DUI crash

HOLLYWOOD - Actress/rapper Eve was arrested by LAPD officers early today on suspicion of drunk driving after crashing a Maserati in Hollywood, authorities said.
The 28-year-old Grammy winner, whose full name is Eve Jeffers, was booked at Hollywood Station at 2:45 a.m. for investigation of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs after the crash at Hollywood Boulevard and Sycamore Avenue, officials said.

Jeffers was released after posting $30,000 bail, officials said.


NEW YORK - POLICE used the ultimate bait in trying to capture online perverts - Miss America.
The beauty queen posed as a 14-year-old girl as part of an undercover operation to target sexual predators in the US.
Lauren Nelson, 20, posed as the teen and logged into chatrooms frequented by men hoping to meet underage girls for sex.
Police had created an online profile of a 14-year-old girl that included photographs of Nelson as a teenager.
And the "sting" was a success, with four men later arrested and a further six under investigation.
Nelson posed as a girl from Long Island, New York. She said it didn't take long for some men to make explicit suggestions while they talked online.
With police monitoring the "chats", Nelson agreed to meet the men at a house in Long Island.
Film crews from the TV show America's Most Wanted were also at the scene to film the arrests.
Nelson said: "The story was they knew I was 14 and I told them I was cutting school to meet with them.
"I stood outside on the porch and I would say 'Hi' to them and wave them inside."
Nelson said as soon as she went into the house, the host of the TV show John Walsh confronted the suspects.
She said: "That part was very scary but the police were all over the place. I was nervous, of course, but it was a very controlled environment, very safe."
Nelson was crowned Miss America last month. She took over from Tara Conner, 21, who was almost sacked from the role after admitting taking drugs.
The beauty queen, whose platform issue is internet safety for children, said: "As many as we caught on that day, there are a lot more out there."

USC Students Hold Off Gunman

April 25, 2007 - AP

DISCLAIMER: Photo has nothing to do with story - save being USC cuties!

LOS ANGELES - Students wrested a gun away from a University of Southern California student who had been asked to leave an off-campus party after threatening a young woman, police said Tuesday.
Zao Xing Yang, 19, was arrested early Sunday and is being held without bail, Chief William Bratton said at a news conference.
Some students at the party, held at a student's home, overheard Yang making intimidating statements to the woman and threatening her with violence about 3 a.m. Sunday, Bratton said.
Yang began arguing with the host, who noticed Yang was holding a gun, he said.
'Several students wrestled the gun away from Yang and held him until campus security and then LAPD officers arrived,' Bratton said.
Detectives searched Yang's off-campus room Monday and found a safe containing methamphetamine packaged for sale, a .44-caliber Magnum revolver and several hundred dollars in cash, Bratton said.
Yang is charged with making criminal threats, assault with a firearm and personal use of a handgun. If convicted, he faces up to 18 years in prison.
Defense attorney Nina Marino declined to comment.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Order of finish:

The 23rd annual Baker-to-Vegas Challenge Cup race order of finish (top three in each category), according to statistics released by Baker-to-Vegas timers and scorers at 1:30 p.m. Monday:
Open (Any gender, any age) -- Overall winner: California Highway Patrol, Sacramento, 13 hours, 3 minutes, 40 seconds (6:31 per mile); Men's Central Jail of Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, 13:04.50 (6:32); San Diego PD, 13:18:18, 6:49; Anaheim PD, 14:10:22 (7:05). CDC Open, 14:19:55 (7:09); LAPD Metro Red, 14:31:24 (7:15); Riverside County Sheriff, 14:51:16 (7:25); Orange County SD-Open, 15:12.30 (7:36); U.S. Border Patrol No. 1, 15:22:05, 7:41; LA Sheriff TTCF, 15:24:01, 7:42.
800 (Ages of runners must total 800 years old) -- Los Angeles FBI, 13:48. 64, (6:54 per mile, fourth overall); Los Angeles Sheriff's Department SEB, 14:13:11 (7:06, seventh overall); LASD Star Center, 14:40:42 (7:20, 10th).
99 (Agencies with less than 99 sworn personnel) -- Murietta, Calif., Police Department, 15:55:11 (7:57); Vernon PD, 16:38:47 (8:19); El Segundo PD, 16:53:05 (8:26).
Guest (Invited team with unknown ability) -- LAPD Metro-Cavalry, 16:42:27 (8:21).
Invitational (Mixed Teams) -- Albuquerque, N.M., PD, 14:53:42 (7:26, 13th); LA Sheriff's Department-North, 15:52:18 (7:56); California Department of Justice Gold, 16:11:47 (8:05).
Invitational -- United States Marine Corps, 14:56.18 (7:28, 14th); Orange County District Attorney's Office, 15:11:54 (7:35, 18th); Arizona FBI, 15:45:28 (7:52).
Mixed -- LAPD Training Division, 15:11:10 (7:35, 17th); San Francisco FBI, 15:27:15 (7:43); San Diego Probation, 15:48:29 (7:54).
Station (Geographic stations for LAPD and LASD, using only those personnel assigned to those stations) -- U.S. Secret Service, 14:48:42 (7:24); San Diego FBI, 15:13:57 (7:36); San Diego DEA, 15:15:05 (7:37).
Women -- Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, 17:08:26 (8:34); LA FBI, 17:12:02 (8:36); Orange County Sheriff's Office, 17:19:00 (8:39).
1000 (Agencies with less than 1,000 sworn personnel) -- Santa Ana PD, 14:11:36 (7:05, sixth overall); Long Beach PD No. 1, 14:57:13 (7:28); California State Parks, 15:01:44 (7:30).
150 (Agencies with less than 150 sworn personnel) -- Newport Beach PD, 15:19:21 (7:39); Orange County PD, 16:01:26 (8:00); Culver City PD, 16:36:25 (8:18).
300 (Agencies with less than 300 sworn personnel) -- Huntington Beach PD, 15:27:11 (7:43); Los Angeles DA's Office, Bureau of Investigations, 15:36:09 (7:48); Santa Monica PD, 15:39:14 (7:49).
500 Invitational -- LA County Police, 17:32:50 (8:46); Southeast Cities, 17:48:33 (8:54); Cypress-Fountain Valley, 18:04.46 (9:02).
Finishing 227th and last was the Claremont-LaVerne PD in 23 hours, 31 minutes, 49 seconds, an average of 11:45 miles per mile.

Manhunt Underway for N.Y. Cop-Killer


Some LAPD efforts unconstitutional

LOS ANGELES April 25 (UPI) -- A U.S. district judge ruled Wednesday that certain aspects of the Los Angeles Police Department's efforts to improve downtown conditions are unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson ruled that police officers had to eliminate unconstitutional searches of probationers and parolees without proper evidence as part of their efforts to rid downtown of crime and homeless people, The Los Angeles Times said.
The searches were part of an increased police presence in downtown Los Angeles that have resulted in a 35 percent drop in area crime during the last six months.
While city officials disagreed with Pregerson's decision in the American Civil Liberties Union suit, some legal experts applauded the court's attempt to protect individual citizen's constitutional rights.
"It's an important decision," Loyola Law School Professor Laurie Levenson told the Times. "It sort of resolves an argument percolating out there, that ... the LAPD would have permission to stop anybody."
In addition to ordering the police to alter such unconstitutional tactics, Pregerson set a review date of the injunction for August, the Times said.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cops to help make Special Olympics great

(LA DAILY NEWS) LOS ANGELES - The 750 special-needs kids who will be competing in the upcoming Tri-Valley Region Special Olympics at Birmingham High School already know the importance of those big hearts behind the badges, Jan Maseda says.
They know that without Tip-A-Cop Night on Thursday, there would be no way their families and friends could afford to put on a full-scale competition, complete with aquatic, basketball, tennis and track-and-field events.
No way they'd be marching into the Birmingham High stadium, their faces illuminated with smiles that elate - and break - your heart.
"It cost us $10,000 for the games last year, and $8,000 of that came from law enforcement officers who raised the money serving as waiters and waitresses for Tip-A-Cop Night," said Maseda, director of the San Fernando Valley Region for Special Olympics, Southern California.
"There is no charge to any athlete who wants to compete in Special Olympics. The money all comes from the community, from individuals and groups like these law enforcement officers who open their hearts and give us their time so our kids can win an Olympic medal," Maseda said.
Los Angeles Police Department Reserve Officer David Bush still remembers sitting in the stands a few years ago and watching the Special Olympics opening ceremonies. "It was one of the most moving, beautiful events I'd ever witnessed, and I knew the men and women I serve with would feel the same way," said Bush, who is in charge of the LAPD's 641 reserve officers.
Many of his reserves, along with FBI agents and sworn officers from the LAPD, California Highway Patrol and California State University, Northridge - more than 100 of them - will be working during Tip-A-Cop Night.
They'll be waiting tables, but also spending as much time as possible talking with diners about the importance of Special Olympics.
"We don't take the tips of the regular waiting staff, only any extra tips customers want to give us for the kids," said Bush, a sales engineer when he's not on patrol as a reserve officer.
You may remember one of his reserve LAPD officers who will be there - Bobby Sherman, a TV actor and pop singing sensation back in the 1970s.
"I was fortunate to keep the money I made in show business and manage it well so I could do something in life I really love," said Sherman, who now lives in Van Nuys.
A trained emergency medical technician since 1988, Sherman has been an LAPD reserve officer for 18 years.
"I was not about to sit on my hands and do nothing," Sherman said. "Serving the community and helping great organizations, like Special Olympics, is a heck of a lot more important and fulfilling than being a teen idol."

NYPD vs. LAPD Boxing Spectacular - Event for 9/11 Charity

LOS ANGELES - On Thursday, June 7, 2007 at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers from 6pm to 11pm, boxers from the New York Police Department will duke it out against their counterparts from Los Angeles at “Heroes and Legends… a Night at the Fights,” a fundraiser to support Tuesday’s Children, a nonprofit organization committed to assisting families who lost a loved one on 9/11..
Los Angeles will be represented by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). Both teams are comprised of active officers who are all highly-trained, amateur boxers.
The event, which will feature a cocktail reception, dinner, and a silent and live auction, will be attended by numerous boxing and sports legends from the NHL, NFL, MLB and NBA.
All proceeds will benefit Tuesday’s Children’s wide-range of programs and services including, Next Steps, Career Paths, Mentoring and First Steps.
WHAT: Police Officers from New York square off in the boxing ring against law enforcement officers from L.A. at “Heroes and Legends…a Night at the Fights” -- a special gala fundraising dinner to benefit Tuesday’s Children (9/11 Families)
WHEN: Thursday, June 7, 2006 6:00pm – 11:00pm
WHERE: Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers811 7th Avenue on 53rd Street
TICKET PRICE: Individual tickets are $500Tables range from $3,500 to $10,000. All tables include seating for ten, fine cigars and recognition in the evening’s program.
TICKET INFORMATION: Amy Wright (212) 319-3988

Monday, April 23, 2007


Crook wins damages for injury during theft

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - A Canadian man who admitted shoplifting C$106 in razor blades has been awarded C$12,000 ($10,645) for injuries he suffered when he was tackled by store security guards.
A British Columbia Supreme Court judge said that just because Daniel Baines admitted the store had a right to arrest him in the 2004 incident, it did not mean he lacked credibility as a witness about being beaten while being apprehended.
"Listening to Mr Baines testify, I found him to be remarkably forthright. He did not minimize or deny circumstances that might seem embarrassing or harmful to his case," Justice William Ehrcke said in a ruling published this week.
Baines, who represented himself, said employees of the supermarket in a Vancouver suburb used unreasonable force when he struggled during his capture. Baines lost a tooth in the incident, and said he now has trouble speaking.


LAFD probes alleged hazing

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles City Fire Department is investigating allegations that a young African American firefighter found his locker at a North Hollywood station vandalized in a racist manner in recent days.
Although top officials with the city's fire and police departments would not disclose the nature of the incident at Fire Station 89 because of the internal investigation, others familiar with the probe said the rookie firefighter opened his locker to find a banana and his clothing -- including his uniform -- covered with a white lotion or foam.
To date, the sources said, one firefighter has acknowledged being involved in the incident, although no one has been disciplined pending the outcome of the investigation.
"The Fire Department has zero tolerance for any kind of behavior that involves hazing, racial discrimination or mistreatment of people," Battalion Chief Kwame Cooper said late Friday. "So we are actively and aggressively investigating this incident to determine the details of what happened. We are taking it very seriously and will take appropriate action when our investigation is complete."
Matt Szabo, press secretary for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, said the department's "swift and thorough" response was "evidence that the zero tolerance policy of the mayor and chief is taking effect and that the culture of the Fire Department is changing."
Word of the incident comes a week after a Los Angeles jury awarded $1.7 million to a former city firefighter who said he was the victim of retaliation for helping a black female firefighter who had accused the department of discrimination.
And in December, Fire Chief William Bamattre resigned in the wake of a number of discrimination allegations against the department. The highest-profile case involved a lawsuit by Tennie Pierce, a black firefighter who alleged he was fed dog food in 2004 by fellow firefighters at a station in Westchester. The City Council's $2.7-million settlement with Pierce was vetoed by Villaraigosa after photos surfaced of the firefighter himself engaging in pranks. His lawsuit is scheduled for trial in September.
In the latest incident, fire officials opened an administrative investigation after allegations of the hazing surfaced. As part of that investigation, the department contacted the LAPD's North Hollywood Division, which provided "technical assistance," including dusting the locker for fingerprints, according to LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon.
The firefighter who was allegedly targeted in the incident has been assigned to another station.
"I just cannot fathom this happening ... after all of the other [discrimination] lawsuits we have had," said veteran Fire Capt. Jerry Thomas, a vocal critic of the department who is retiring after 32 years. "Until people start getting terminated for these offenses, these types of conditions will continue."


Surprise Suprise..3 gang members charged in triple murder

LOS ANGELES - Prosecutors charged three black gang members today with killing two Latino boys and an adult as they talked in the frontyard of their South Los Angeles home last year, saying the assailants picked the victims at random because they could not find any gang rivals to shoot.
The charges cap a nearly one-year investigation, with detectives concluding that the members of the Rollin' 30s gang fired on the victims -- who had no gang ties -- while driving around the neighborhood looking for members of another gang, the Eastside Treys.
The shooting stirred concerns about race-related violence in South L.A., especially at a time when the LAPD says that race-motivated gang crimes are on the increase. But the Los Angeles Police Department insists that the shooting was not race-motivated, rather it was fueled by a gang feud.
The gunmen -- identified as Ryan T. Moore, Lawrence William Island Jr. and Charles Ray Smith -- fired more than 30 rounds from two AK-47 assault rifles on a June 30 afternoon after climbing out of a vehicle.
David Marcial, 10; his 22-year-old uncle, Larry Marcial; and a neighbor, Luis Cervantes, 17, were fatally shot outside their families' homes in the 1100 block of East 49th Street.
David's brother, Sergio Marcial Jr., 12, was wounded but survived the shooting described by investigators as an "execution."
Moore, 33, and Island, 24, were to be arraigned this afternoon downtown. Smith, 37, is a fugitive wanted on a murder arrest warrant.
Each of the three faces three counts of murder, with the special circumstance of multiple murder and murder to further a gang, and one count each of attempted premeditated murder.
Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office, said a decision on whether to seek the death penalty will be made by prosecutors later.
Both Moore and Smith have been in custody for several months on other charges while detectives tried to build a case.
The Rollin' 30s is one of the top 11 gangs being targeted by the LAPD as part of a wider push against gang violence in the city.
Dubbed the "49th Street massacre" by Chief William J. Bratton last summer, detectives determined that what at first looked like a drive-up shooting now appeared to be a calculated, execution-style slaying. They concluded that the gunmen got out of a car and approached each of the victims, firing from point-blank range with AK-47 assault-style rifles.
"These were not gang members. These were just kids," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in announcing a $105,000 reward in the killings. "It is just absolutely obscene that people would just shoot kids this way -- with automatic weapons, multiple times, even when they were on the ground. It's outrageous," he said.

Man Shot In Chest Walks Into LAPD Station

(CBS) LOS ANGELES A man who had been shot in the chest walked into the lobby of the Los Angeles Police Department's Foothill Station tonight, police said.The man, said to be in his 20s, went to the station, 12760 Osborne St., at about 8:35 p.m., Officer Martha Garcia said.The man came to the station shortly after being shot at Haddon Avenue and Glamis Street, Lt. Robert Marino said.The victim was hospitalized in stable condition, Marino said.No one has been arrested, he said.

LAPD investigating 2 home invasion robberies

Los Angeles police said today they are investigating two home invasion robberies that netted sizable amounts of cash and jewelry.
At about 2:30 a.m. today, three masked gunmen broke into a Mar Vista home and took a "substantial amount of cash," Officer Marjan Mobasser, an LAPD spokeswoman, said in a telephone interview.
Three female residents were tied up and a man was pistol-whipped in the robbery, she said.
The man was forced to open a safe where the cash was kept, she said.
In Playa del Rey last night, a masked gunman robbed about $400,000 worth of jewelry from a couple who were treated at a hospital, police said.
The robber carried a .25-calibre handgun, Mobasser said.
The robberies are not believed to be connected.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Mayor's budget is kind to LAPD

Proposed spending plan would put more officers on the street and fund new anti-gang efforts. Mayor says other services won't suffer.

By Duke Helfand and Steve Hymon
Times Staff Writers

April 20, 2007

LOS ANGELES - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa unveiled a $6.8-billion budget Thursday that reflects his top priority for the coming fiscal year — public safety — by continuing to boost the size of the police force and concentrate money on a broad strategy for combating gangs.
Villaraigosa's budget plan comes amid signs of slumping revenues, but the mayor said it nonetheless holds the line on most city services, avoiding cuts in library hours and efforts to combat gridlock.
And the spending blueprint will continue to chip away at a long-standing imbalance between what the city takes in and what it spends. In 2007-08, the mayor proposes taking $138 million less from city reserves to balance the books.
Villaraigosa also is proposing to add $8 million to the city's contingency fund, raising it to $187 million.
The mayor said he would accomplish all this by cutting spending in several city departments, slashing workers' compensation costs, setting firm expenditure levels and undertaking other efficiencies.
"This budget proves that we can put more cops on the street, work to reduce gang violence, provide necessary city services and guarantee the city of Los Angeles remains on sound financial footing as we head into an uncertain fiscal year," Villaraigosa said during a news conference in Baldwin Village.
Villaraigosa released his budget, which must be approved by the City Council, one day after announcing an initiative to reduce gang violence in some of Los Angeles' most troubled neighborhoods. His spending plan would focus $168 million, including $15 million in new money, on more police and prevention programs in eight "gang reduction zones" in South Los Angeles, the Eastside and the northeast Valley.
But his budget — and future spending plans — could be blown apart if the city and other municipalities lose a group of lawsuits over its right to collect cellphone user taxes. The litigation could cost the city $271 million a year, and the mayor said Thursday his proposal for the fiscal year starting July 1 contains no contingency plan to counter the potential loss.
The city faces other challenges as well, including upcoming labor negotiations with a union representing more than 11,000 city workers. Villaraigosa said he had budgeted money for those contracts but would not say how much.
The mayor said he decided to focus on public safety in December, when two bystanders — a 9-year-old girl in Angelino Heights and a 14-year-old girl in Harbor Gateway — died after being shot by gang members.
"The two incidents really hit me — and once I saw gang crime was up, I felt like we had to make this a priority," he said, referring to a 15.7% increase in gang crime last year.
As a result, the Los Angeles Police Department, which accounts for 48% of city spending, will get a 4.5% increase, an additional $53 million, thanks in part to an increase in trash pickup fees approved last year by city officials.
The coming year's budget contains no tax increases, the mayor said.
Villaraigosa said his goal is to add 235 officers to the LAPD in 2008 to eclipse its previous high mark of 9,852 sworn officers in June 1998. Los Angeles continues to have fewer police officers per resident than most other large cities.
"The budget that the mayor is proposing … is a good news budget for the Police Department because it is in fact prioritizing public safety," said Chief William J. Bratton, who joined Villaraigosa at his Baldwin Village news conference.
Villaraigosa's budget would maintain most city services at current levels or, in some cases, increase levels. Twenty-four library branches, for example, would be open more hours.
But some fees would rise. Developers would pay more for planning permits, and homeowners would be charged more for false alarms to police and for brush clearance.
The budgets of City Controller Laura Chick, a strong Villaraigosa ally, and the Bureau of Street Services would be cut, as would that of City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo.
The relationship between the mayor and Delgadillo has been tempestuous at times, but the cut raised eyebrows because the city attorney's office obtains gang injunctions and prosecutes some gang crimes.
"We're still reviewing the details of the budget but the city attorney is troubled because it appears, in terms of necessary funding for the fight against gang violence, instead of moving forward, we're actually going backward," said Delgadillo spokesman Nick Velasquez, declining to elaborate.
Other departments were clear winners. The city's planning agency — with the vocal and well-known Gail Goldberg at the helm — got the money to hire 35 more employees.
City Council President Eric Garcetti said the council would not be shy about tweaking Villaraigosa's budget as it weighs the spending plan with an eye toward improving constituent services and saving money.
"I think there will be a council stamp on this; it won't be some sort of drawn-out fight over priorities," Garcetti said. "I think there are ways to make this a tighter budget."
Though the mayor tried to balance revenues and expenses, he did not outline any new big-ticket items other than police hiring and gang initiatives. He said Thursday he would seek a housing bond, or perhaps higher fees for developers, to pay for more affordable housing.
Councilmen Tony Cardenas and Greig Smith have been discussing putting a $1-billion-plus bond measure before voters next year for street repairs. Councilwoman Janice Hahn is pushing for a $50-million bond issue in 2008 for anti-gang programs.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

LAPD Kill Reputed Gang Member In Shootout

LOS ANGELES -- A reputed gang member was shot to death in a gun battle with police in South Los Angeles, authorities said.
Patrolling officers stopped a man on a skateboard for questioning at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday in the Jefferson Park area, Officer Norma Eisenman said.
The man, whose identity was not immediately released, got off the board and ran between some houses with officers in pursuit, she said.
As the officers turned a corner, the man began firing a handgun, Eisenman said.
The officers fired back, hitting the man. No officers were hurt, Eisenman said.
A .357-caliber revolver was recovered near his body, she said.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

LAPD Cop arrested in moonlighting scam

Detective accused of working while collecting injury pay

LOS ANGELES - A veteran LAPD detective was arrested Tuesday after a 16-month investigation showed he was moonlighting as a security guard while collecting thousands of dollars in workers' compensation, authorities said.
Gil Barrow, 37, who works out of the Rampart Community Police Station and makes at least $75,000 a year, was supposed to be recuperating from an on-duty knee injury.
But for six of the nine months he was off, police said, Barrow made extra cash working for a private security firm.
He was arrested on suspicion of grand theft and attempted perjury and is the fifth Los Angeles Police Department employee accused of benefits-abuse in the last two years.
"The taxpayers of Los Angeles provide excellent benefits for police officers," Police Chief William Bratton said in a statement. "We take seriously any misuse of those benefits and pursue criminal charges when appropriate."
After supervisors became suspicious that Barrow might have prolonged his off-duty recovery time, investigators from the LAPD's Professional Standards Bureau secretly watched him several times as he worked as a guard while he was supposed to be recovering from his injury.
The perjury charge stems from
Barrow's testimony during an April 31, 2006, deposition related to his injuries. He is charged with grand theft, accused of receiving salary benefits under false pretenses. If convicted, he faces a maximum of five years in prison. His bail has been set at $30,000.
"Like all community members, we find it disturbing when an officer is accused of abusing this public trust and commits a crime against those he is sworn to protect," said Hank Hernandez, an attorney for the Los Angeles Police Protective League, which represents more than 9,000 officers.
"While it is important to know all the facts in this case and not rush to judgment, we recognize that Los Angeles residents place their trust in law enforcement to uphold the law."
Last year, three LAPD employees were fired over benefits-abuse related charges and another was suspended for 15 days.
One of those employees, an officer assigned to Internal Affairs, was working as an armed security guard in the parking lot at Staples Center and at a concession area at Dodger Stadium in summer 2003. She was sentenced to 180 days in jail.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

5-month gap in record of LAPD complaints

LOS ANGELES - For five months, a toll-free LAPD hotline set up to monitor citizen complaints against officers didn't record any of the calls that came in - and nobody noticed, according to an internal audit the Police Commission will discuss today.
"It's an obvious concern when the mechanism to intake complaints is not working," LAPD Inspector General André Birotte said. "It's something that needs to be remedied sooner rather than later."
Listed on the back of all LAPD business cards, the 800 number connects the public to an internal affairs investigator. The recording says that all calls are monitored, but between April 27 and Sept. 29 last year, not a single call was recorded.
"Despite the recording system's malfunction, all complaints phoned in to the toll-free number were taken, documented and investigated," LAPD spokesman Lt. Paul Vernon said. "The malfunction has now been corrected, and persons calling the toll-free number will now have their complaints recorded on tape at the point of contact."
The system, required by a 2001 federal consent decree, was put in place to ensure complaints about alleged officer misconduct were recorded.
This year, the department hopes to get out from under the decree that stemmed from a lawsuit alleging the L

Rapper Snoop Dog Charged! AGAIN!

LOS ANGELES -- Rapper Snoop Dogg -- who is already facing a weapon charge in Orange County -- was charged Tuesday in Los Angeles County with one felony count each of sale or transportation of marijuana and possession of a firearm by a felon.

The 35-year-old musician, whose real name is Cordozar Calvin Broadus, will be arraigned Wednesday in Pasadena Superior Court, said Deputy District Attorney Marian Thompson.
Broadus was arrested Oct. 26 by officers from the Burbank/Glendale/Pasadena Airport Authority Police Department at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank on suspicion of transporting marijuana, authorities said.

He was released on $35,000 bail.

The firearm charge stems from the alleged discovery of a weapon by Burbank police during a search of his home on Nov. 28. The rapper was arrested that night outside NBC Studios in Burbank. He was released a day later on $60,000 bail.

The criminal complaint alleges that Broadus was convicted of felony drug possession and possession for sale in 1990.

Meanwhile, the Long Beach native is awaiting a May 15 hearing in Orange County Superior Court on a felony charge of carrying a 20-inch collapsible baton, which authorities consider a dangerous weapon, into John Wayne Airport on Sept. 27.

The rapper said he did not know the object was illegal and that it was to have been a prop in a video he was to tape in New York, Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino reported. He was charged last November with a felony count of possession of a deadly weapon.

Sunday, April 8, 2007


SWAT Member Thought FBI Agent Was Bank Robber

Star-Ledger Of Newark Reports

NEWARK, N.J. -- During the arrest of suspects thought to be involved in a string of violent bank heists, one FBI agent may have mistook a fellow agent for a robber and fired the shot that killed him, according to a newspaper report.

Special Agent Barry Lee Bush, 52, died Thursday after being shot while helping take down the suspected robbers at a Readington Township bank.Bureau officials have released few details of Bush's death, pending an investigation, saying in a statement Thursday only that he "may have been fatally wounded as a result of the accidental discharge of another agent's weapon during a dynamic arrest situation.

"But a report by The Star-Ledger of Newark for Sunday's newspapers that cites two law enforcement sources close to the investigation says Bush's death may have been a case of mistaken identity.

Officials are looking into whether Bush stepped too close to the robbers' getaway vehicle as the arrest was going down and drew the fire of a SWAT team member who was on his first mission and mistook him for a robber, the newspaper reported.At least three shots were fired, two of which hit Bush's car door and one that entered his shoulder before it tore through his chest, the newspaper reported.

"You see that coming out of the fog, what do you do?" a law enforcement source told the newspaper. "You are trying to recognize friend or foe within a half-second. It was a friendly fire in the fog of war.

"Bush died soon after arriving at University Hospital in Newark.A spokesman for the FBI declined to comment Sunday on the newspaper's report.

The agents had been investigating a group of bank robbers who were suspected of robbing four banks while wearing trench coats, brandishing weapons and on two occasions even firing into the air.

On Thursday, law enforcement officials followed three of the four men suspected of being involved in the ring to a PNC Bank in Readington Township, where they were then arrested.

Two men were arrested on the scene at which agents also confiscated two assault rifles and a handgun. A third suspect escaped on foot and was captured Friday morning. A fourth suspect was arrested at another location Thursday in connection with one of the earlier holdups.


Yikes... Ahh.. Central we got a... TC -Involved x3

NEW YORK - Six police officers were injured in a car chase on the Bronx River Parkway Wednesday morning. The chase ended in an accident – involving three police cruisers – just after 9 a.m. near exit five. Police say officers saw a driver in a Chevy Malibu blow through a stop sign. The driver got back on the parkway heading south, and when officers tried to get him to pull over, he struck a police vehicle then got out on foot. He was caught a short time later. The six officers were taken to Jacobi Hospital with minor injuries. All southbound lanes were shut down during the morning rush. The driver, Harold Boyce, has been charged with reckless endangerment, reckless driving and resisting arrest.

LAPD Mobile Command Communications

Microwave Radio Communications
City of Los Angeles Mobile Command Center

Billerica, Massachusetts - Microwave Radio Communications (MRC) announced that a microwave communications system has been installed and is in use by the City of Los Angeles (LA) for public safety inter-departmental communications. The system allows LA law enforcement and public safety personnel to move video, voice, and data between mobile command vehicles and the City's infrastructure through use of a fixed central site. Portable communication systems can be deployed as repeaters, or in locations not readily accessible to their vehicles. This type of communications solution enables Public Safety personnel to establish necessary communications in the event of a catastrophic event, such as an earthquake or terrorism response. Other potential uses include security at major events including demonstrations, sporting events, concerts, and public gatherings where the public's safety is of critical concern.
"The City of LA System provides an on demand self sufficient network that does not require existing infrastructure, such as power grid or communication network," states Tony Finizio, President of MRC. "It's a system that will allow LA to keep transmitting in the event of a disaster when land lines are lost similar to that experienced during Katrina. This system will allow LA public safety personnel to remain informed and in control," he said.
MRC faced major challenges in custom tailoring this system. It was tasked with enabling the City to transmit and receive video, voice and data over the allocated 4.9 GHz Band in which Public Safety agencies are allotted 50 MHz of Bandwidth. This limited amount of bandwidth meant MRC had to design an efficient system that would allow video, voice, and data to be simultaneously transmitted and received while granting the user the flexibility of switching across multiple channels within the band to avoid interference.
MRC met the City's requirements by setting up a bandwidth-efficient system which transports four T1 lines over microwave using only 7 MHz of bandwidth. It also allows the City flexibility to change channels to accommodate other transmissions, for instance live video from an airborne unit can be accommodated by moving the 7 MHz of T1 transmission anywhere within the 50 MHz Bandwidth.
"MRC was a logical choice for us," states Raul Velasco, Communications Engineer. "The City has a significant investment in MRC systems, and they have proven to be very reliable. Our maintenance staff has significant experience on systems built with MRC equipment. In addition, MRC's diverse product line gives us a tremendous amount of flexibility. This latest system was tailored to meet our communications requirements today, but the same MRC equipment can be reconfigured as needed to meet our communications requirements tomorrow."
"The system is performing as expected and has already proved its value on several occasions," said Raul. "Most recently, the MRC systems were deployed to support Incident Command Posts for the 2007 LA Marathon and the Academy Awards," he said.
"How can we best utilize this 50 MHz band? What can we do with it? These are the questions that public safety departments are asking," said Mike Payne, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at MRC. "Well, we can do a lot with it," he said. "In any emergency scenario, a video feed mounted on the van can be transmitted over to headquarters. From there the video can be put out over their network and made available to all law enforcement agencies in LA."
In addition to mobile vehicles, portable transport units were also used and designed with the same capabilities as the mobile command vehicles. These portable units will allow the City the flexibility to set up communications in areas where a mobile command vehicle may not be able to access, or in some cases to expand the communications infrastructure by providing additional inter-communication services.
Microwave Radio Communications (MRC) is the leading manufacturer of video microwave systems for television broadcast operations worldwide and a key supplier to the Defense, Law Enforcement and Security Markets. MRC designs and manufactures microwave systems for point-to-point, point-to-multi-point, and multi-point-to-point applications that support terrestrial, satellite and video downlink systems. Founded in 1963, MRC has built a sound reputation for engineering, research and development that supports high-quality video transmission requirements. Only one company has the breadth of knowledge and experience, engineering resource, commitment to excellence, and the financial backing to continue to be the leader in microwave products and technological advancements, MRC.

Oldest Active Duty LAPD Police Officer

Oldest Active Duty LAPD Police Officer
By Gene Gleeson

VAN NUYS - The oldest police officer on active duty at the LAPD can still remember his first day on the job, like it was yesterday.

Sgt. John O'Toole remembers a lot from his 53 years as a cop. O'Toole recently turned 80, which makes him the most senior officer on the department. When he started, the LAPD was all male and nearly all white. Then it's image was fine tuned by Sgt. Joe Friday in the TV show, 'Dragnet.'
O'Toole may be 80, but he shows up for work every morning at 4:30 with a smile and gleam in his Irish eyes. He's a detective at Valley Traffic. Working felony pursuit and DUI cases. Co-workers say he's like a walking history book.
O'Toole's the only World War II vet left on the LAPD. He fibbed about his age and enlisted when he was only 16. Serving in the Pacific as a tail gunner on a navy bomber. After the war he bounced around, until he found his calling, as a cop.
O'Toole served for years on the Metro squad. Helping provide security for visiting dignataries; including then Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960 and the year before Soviet Leader Nikita Kruschev.
All that's behind him now. But Sgt. John O'Toole is not quite ready to say goodbye to police work.

Here we go again....

Officers: Race still an issue in LAPD
Group reviews promotions, saying minorities are not advancing at a fast enough pace. Chief says progress is being made.

By Rachel Uranga STAFF WRITER

Despite a 15-year-old consent decree requiring the promotion of more minorities to command positions in the LAPD, some officer groups say the upper ranks still lack diversity, which fans tensions with Los Angeles' various communities.
Racial and ethnic minorities make up about 59 percent of all sworn personnel, but only 31 percent of all captains, commanders and chiefs, according to figures provided by the Los Angeles Police Department.

That disparity has prompted an organization representing about half of the department's 1,170 black officers to initiate its own review of promotions. It maintains there is bias in the selection process, with all minorities -- not just blacks -- being underrepresented among the LAPD's top brass.

"We have to pretend that this race thing doesn't exist," said Ronnie Cato, president of the Oscar Joel Bryant Foundation, which represents 600 black officers. "Race is an issue. You feel comfortable with people who look like you."
But Chief William Bratton and other top officials say the department has worked hard to reform itself.

In 1992 -- when the city erupted in violence after the acquittal of four white officers in the beating of black motorist Rodney King -- the LAPD was nearly 60 percent white. Today, just more than 41 percent of the 9,432-member department is white.
Bratton said the shift is a result of heavy recruiting efforts in minority neighborhoods. In addition, a mentoring program will be launched this month to help prepare minority officers for leadership roles. "We are a work in progress," he said, "but we are progressing very well."
Bratton said that during his five years as chief, he's promoted a black to head the elite Robbery-Homicide Division and that about half of the 22 newly promoted captains are Latino or black.
Two of Bratton's three hand-picked assistant chiefs are minorities -- one female, the other black -- and two of nine deputy chiefs are Latino.

"Have we gotten there yet? Absolutely not," said Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger, the department's highest-ranking black and its operations director. "There are many areas throughout the community in Los Angeles where we need to be more responsive, not only in our work, but in the manner of how we look.

"But we have come a long way in the three decades that I have been with the LAPD. We have a much larger feeder pool today of African-Americans, Latinos, women and other ethnicities that are destined to matriculate to higher levels. Simple logistics will compel it to be so."
Promotions will be key over the coming years if the LAPD wants to gain the trust of the city's minority communities, said Art Placencia, president of the Latin American Law Enforcement Association's Los Angeles chapter.

Roughly one-third of the command staff and half of the deputy chiefs are expected to retire over the next five years, officials say, creating more opportunities at the top. Currently, two-thirds of the commanders, deputy chiefs and assistant chiefs are white, as is Bratton, who is seeking his second five-year term.

According to the LAPD, about 41 percent of its officers are white; 38 percent Latino; 12 percent black; 6 percent Asian; 2 percent Filipino; and 0.4 percent American Indian.
By comparison, the 2000 Census showed the city's makeup as roughly 47 percent white; 47 percent Latino; 12 percent black; 10 percent Asian; and 1 percent American Indian.

NYPD Proposes $1 Billion Police Academy

(NEW YORK) The search is over for a new Police Academy, and it is going to be spectacular - a 30-acre campus in Queens complete with 250 classrooms, firing ranges, indoor and outdoor tracks, a "tactical village" and a simulated subway station.
The projected price tag is equally breathtaking: $1 billion - and, perhaps, a lot more.
Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced yesterday that the current tow pound in College Point had been selected as the site of the new academy, replacing the woefully inadequate Manhattan facility that opened in 1964.
Also on hand were Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and City Council members Tony Avella and Peter Vallone Jr.
The mayor conceded that the cost was substantial. "Now that's a lot of money, but this is a smart and essential investment," he declared.
The debate over where to build a new academy has been going on for decades. In fact, Kelly produced a newspaper editorial from 1987 demanding that the East 20th Street police training facility be replaced.
Kelly explained that the current academy is so outmoded that to accommodate female recruits, the men's rooms had to be divided in half.
There's no track, so recruits jog along the FDR Drive. Classes are conducted in split day and night sessions.
"Our officers deserve it, and so do all New Yorkers," Kelly said. "The public is going to be the ultimate beneficiary of this facility."
Weapons training now conducted at a firing range in The Bronx and emergency-vehicle training conducted at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn would be consolidated at the new 30-acre campus.
To train against subway terror attacks, a simulated station would be built.
Bloomberg said no decision has been made on the fate of the current academy or firing range. But he suggested the academy building might be sold to a developer, who'd have to agree to make room for the existing police precinct.
With elected officials cheering the selection, the major issue facing the academy appears to be the cost, not the usual community opposition.
"It's hard to be against it, but you have to take a hard look at this," said one source who predicted tough questions from the City Council. "One billion dollars is a big number."

L.A. Daily News Editorial - Five more years

Bratton's brashness irks the council - get over it!
WHEN William Bratton agreed to head the Los Angeles Police Department in 2002, many speculated about whether the celebrity cop would stay for his full first term. After leading the New York Police Department, the LAPD - barely one-fourth the size - might seem like small potatoes.
There was also some question about whether the New Englander's brash style would get him in trouble with the community or elected officials.
But here it is, 4 1/2 years later, and Bratton wants another five-year term. And he has no intention of changing his style. He has the support of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and he ought to get the full support of the city's elected leaders - even if he steps on their toes from time to time.
The reason for that is simple: Bratton is doing a good job. That's something few at City Hall can claim, and certainly not the City Council, which has done so little to face L.A.'s real issues.
While Bratton can boast that the streets are safer, the city keeps losing good jobs, traffic congestion gets worse, overdevelopment keeps on ruining the quality of life, and City Hall keeps spending more than it has, robbing the public of vital services.
Unlike the city's elected officials,
Bratton isn't trying to win a popularity contest. He's trying to make the LAPD a better police department, and provide security for nearly 4 million people, not tiptoe around the tender sensitivities of do-nothing politicians. But with the chance to confirm or deny Bratton a second term as chief, we challenge the council to stand up to him in public because he had the temerity to suggest last summer that some of its members "don't know what the hell they're talking about."
Instead of confronting the chief directly, the council went over his head to his bosses, whining in writing to the Police Commission to investigate his unseemly conduct. Well, it's taken nine months or so, but the commission has finally ruled that Bratton did nothing wrong, suggesting that "ideally" he should choose his words more carefully when insulting the council.
A better suggestion might be for the council to take lessons in straight talk rather than engaging in the kind of obfuscation that is the hallmark of its public pronouncements.
Well, now is members' chance to make a stand, but the odds favor their ducking a fight and signing off quickly on giving Bratton another five years to fix the LAPD. But in doing so, they would be doing what's right for the city, and that in itself would be progress.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Anti-terrorism audit of LAPD reveals lapses

By Beth Barrett

The first audit of the Los Angeles Police Department's anti-terrorism activities in a decade has found officers were allowed into the highly sensitive unit without polygraphs, confidential information was handled sloppily and the police commission didn't get required updates.
The audit was released a year and a half after the Los Angeles Daily News disclosed the mandatory annual police commission audits of the LAPD's Anti-Terrorist Intelligence Section hadn't been done since 1997 -- a failing that raised concerns about the potential for abuse and lack of public transparency.

Ramona Ripston, executive director of the ACLU of Southern California, said the audit -- a requirement following a court settlement intended to end police abuses of keeping secret dossiers on prominent individuals -- was long overdue.
She noted a finding in which two investigations were opened on grounds of reasonable suspicion that "appeared questionable." And she questioned why the audit didn't include the number of terrorist investigations, as the 1997 audit did.
"On balance, it's a pretty good report, but it shows the importance of why these reports should be issued," Ripston said. "We were dismayed to find out they weren't keeping track of the agreement in the settlement they made."
Monday's release of the audit's first phase, overseen by Commissioner Alan J. Skobin and Inspector General Andre Birotte, found a series of problems that went undetected or unreported to the public during the years the audits were neglected. But it didn't identify any improper police tracking of individuals involved in political dissent, or other constitutionally protected activity.
"We were very thorough. This is a very important area: people's constitutional rights, their liberties. We were painstakingly careful in reviewing this and found (no violations) whatsoever. ... The type of abuses that were the target of the audit were not happening in LAPD, not in the areas that violate peoples' rights."
Skobin said that while there was no evidence of "wrongdoing," auditors found "room for improvement." The audit did find lapses, including the discontinuation of giving new investigators a lie-detector test.
"In the past (anti-terrorism) personnel submitted to a lie-detector examination prior to being placed in the section," the audit said. "Due to limited resources within the department and a need to transfer personnel into the section in a relatively short time frame, this process was eliminated from the selection process."
Major Crimes Division Commanding Officer Capt. Gary S. Williams, who is retiring this month, told auditors he was delayed in re-implementing the lie-detector test due to "employment and legal considerations." Still, the test has been reinstituted for new transfers. Williams could not be reached for comment Monday.
The audit said Williams failed to provide the commission with "written certification" each year that all intelligence investigations had been internally reviewed, and that those no longer considered viable had been closed, as regulations required.
The audits of the Major Crimes Division, which includes the antiterrorism section, were a key condition of a $1.8 million settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California in 1984 after a high-profile department scandal.
The ACLU settlement came over the activities of the LAPD's Public Disorder Intelligence Division, which kept extensive secret files on public officials and prominent civilians.
The department was accused of abuses in how those files were used after a detective was found to have more than 100 boxes of dossiers in his home and garage, and to have shared some of the material with right-wing groups and individuals.
Birotte said he was troubled, in particular, by instances where the documentation in the anti-terrorism files didn't back up the actions taken by investigators.
Williams, he said, blamed investigators' lack of experience. The audit said protocols intended to keep track of sensitive materials, including time stamps and other tracking devices, had been largely abandoned, the audit found. Williams reinstated the documentation requirement last April.

'Onion Field' convict dies in Calif. jail at 76

LOS ANGELES- Jimmy Lee Smith, the notorious, lifelong criminal whose role in the 1963 kidnapping and killing of a police officer inspired Joseph Wambaugh's true-life crime novel "The Onion Field," has died in jail at age 76, a state prisons official said Saturday. Smith died Friday at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic, where he was being held for failing to report to a parole officer, said Bill Sessa, a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesman.
The cause of death was under investigation, according to the county coroner's office, although foul play was not suspected.

Smith was once sentenced to death for the killing of Officer Ian Campbell, and his parole after 19 years in prison prompted a wave of public outrage when he was released in 1982.
His crimes were documented in 1973's "The Onion Field" and the 1979 film of the same name, both written by Wambaugh, a former Los Angeles police officer himself.
Smith, who was on parole when he killed Campbell, spent the last 25 years of his life in and out of prison, usually for drug crimes.
"He was a hype and murderer and we let him out of prison," former Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates told the Los Angeles Times on Saturday. "He should have gone to his death in the gas chamber."

He and Gregory Powell were convicted of abducting Campbell and his partner, Officer Karl Hettinger, from a Hollywood street on March 6, 1963, after the officers stopped
their car for an illegal U-turn. After Powell disarmed the pair by pulling a gun on Campbell and threatening to kill him, he and Smith drove them to an onion field near Bakersfield.
There, Powell shot Campbell in the face. Hettinger bolted, running four miles to the safety of a farmhouse.

Powell was arrested that night and Smith the next day.
The two were originally sentenced to death but the sentences were reduced to life in prison after the California Supreme Court briefly overturned the state's death penalty in the 1970s.
Powell, who remains in prison, has been denied parole several times.
Months after he was paroled in 1982, Smith was returned to prison for failing a drug test.
Paroled again, he was arrested soon after for selling heroin.
In subsequent years he would be arrested again and again on various charges.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Berkow Starts Police Academy

The chief of police is going back to school.

Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Chief Michael Berkow is scheduled to begin training at the police academy today.

He will sit beside some of his department's recruits, learning Georgia law, how to shoot and how to drive an emergency vehicle.
It's something the 30-year law enforcement veteran would rather not do.
Last month, Berkow submitted a request to the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council in Atlanta to be exempt from having to attend the academy.
Berkow said he doesn't mind learning Georgia law, but he doesn't want to take the "basic recruit curriculum," such as firearms and emergency driving.
"I am deeply committed to the idea of state certification and will follow the rules of Georgia," he said. "But when a lawyer comes into the state, we don't require him to go back to law school. When a doctor comes, we don't require him to go back to medical school."
The council denied the request on March 21, saying the academy is mandated by Georgia law, said Patrice Kerner, POST director of program support. The council ordered Berkow to complete an abbreviated curriculum, which is 204 hours for any officer who is certified in another state. The regular police academy is 408 hours.
"We have an abbreviated course, where you learn Georgia law, liability and all the extra stuff that deals with Georgia," Kerner said. "He (Berkow) felt like he was an attorney and didn't need to go through the extra stuff."
"There are different laws for different states," said Harlan Proveaux, assistant director of the Georgia Public Safety Training Center's Regional Police Academy in Savannah.
Berkow said he offered to take an exam similar to the one he took in California to test his law enforcement skills and knowledge before joining the Los Angeles Police Department.
"It was a process that made a great deal of sense to me. I would be happy to take any test," he said.
Berkow attended the New York police academy in Rochester in 1976.
During his three-decade career, he has taught courses at various police academies across the nation, including California, New York, Florida and other states, he said. He also has served as instructor for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, teaching terrorism, investigations, leadership and other courses.
Berkow will get the more than 200 hours of training at the regional academy at Armstrong Atlantic State University. In addition to Georgia law courses, Berkow will learn peace officer liability and use of deadly force, Proveaux said.
The courses will be spread out over the next several months so it does not interrupt his job, he said.


By NYPD Captain Ernie Naspretto (Ret.)

It was one of the darkest days among the many dark days that the NYPD has had to endure throughout its history, so believe many New York cops, past and present, when discussing the murder of Police Officer Philip Cardillo at the Harlem Mosque in 1972. Saturday will mark the 35th anniversary of the shooting that reeked of racially charged politics and polarized cops.

“Political expediency won over cops’ lives and justice, said retired Detective Sonny Grosso, 74, of “French Connection” fame who responded to the infamous shooting and penned “Murder at the Harlem Mosque” in 1977 detailing the horrific treatment the Cardillo murder got from then Mayor John Lindsay and the police hierarchy.Lindsay was campaigning for the Democratic Presidential nomination and didn’t want his image tainted in any way, explained Grosso.

“(Lindsay) sacrificed this cop in hopes of getting black votes,” he said.Then and now, all bets are off when a signal 10-13 - cop needs emergency assistance - comes over the police radio. At 11:41 AM Cardillo and his partner, Vito Navarra, along with every other cop working in the 28th precinct that day, rushed to assist the “detective” who called for assistance on the second floor of 102 West 116th Street -the Harlem Mosque. Cardillo, Navarra and another team from the bordering 25th precinct, Police Officers Victor Padilla and Ivan Negron, were the first to arrive and rushed inside on a mission to find and rescue their fellow officer.

That call would turn out to be bogus but the violence and bloodshed that erupted within seconds were all too real and would leave an indelible scar on the NYPD. As Cardillo and Navarra rushed up a staircase toward the second floor they were intercepted by 15 to 20 men who forced the officers back down to the hallway just as Padilla and Negron ran in. More mosque members appeared from inside and a group now numbering 20 to 25 started plummeting the cops with fists, feet and blackjacks. Cardillo and Padilla would have their service revolvers taken from them as shots rang out.

Padilla was beaten into semi-consciousness while Cardillo was shot point blank in the chest. Navarra and Negron would fire their weapons at the murderous mob. To this day, it is not known if any of the cops’ bullets hit anyone as the mob scatteredThe murder of a fellow cop was bad enough. But, the political posturing by Lindsay, fueled by Congressman Charles Rangel and Minister Louis Farrakhan, prevented a thorough investigation of the shooting which would have resulted in a swift arrest, said Grosso.Neither Rangel or Farrakhan responded to a request for a comment.

The most basic crime scene preservation procedures were not followed. At least 17 suspects being held after backup cops, including Grosso, stormed in were released without being interrogated on direct orders from Lindsa’sy and then Police Commissioner Patrick V. Murphy, said Grosso.“There was a riot within minutes of the shooting. Police cars were overturned, bricks came flying off of rooftops, TV reporters were assaulted. It was a riot, plain and simple, yet Lindsay refused to even call it that. Bad press would hurt his (presidential) chances and Murphy wanted to be the next FBI director. What a joke,” said a still angry Grosso.

Even after Cardillo, a 31 year old father of three children, died six days later, Lindsay and Murphy were no where to be seen.“What bothers me the most was that he was lying in his death bed and neither Lindsay or Murphy came to visit him. Then after he dies, they are conveniently out of town and don’t attend his funeral,” said Vito Navarra, 63, who retired as a detective in 1995, and lives “with this every day of my life.”

A young cop named Ray Kelly was assigned to the St. Luke’s hospital to assist family members of cops injured in the melee.A Mosque member was arrested four years later but was acquitted after two trials, the first ending in a hung jury with 11-1 for conviction.Cardillo’s young widow, Joy, would win 4 million dollars from the city in a wrongful death lawsuit. The city had offered her one million to settle. The case was revisited in last fall’s publication of “Circle of Six”, a book written by retired Detective Randy Jurgensen, the lead detective who tried desperately to salvage the botched investigation.

The Blue Knights, a police fraternal organization of motorcyclists, will have a memorial ride next Sunday which will pass the Harlem Mosque. Hundreds of active and retired cops from as far away as Virginia will participate.
“We’re not out to open wounds or disturb the community, but we want everyone to know we’ll never forget this murder and the fact that politics allowed the killer to get away with it,” said retired Police Officer John Malandrino, 67, president of the Blue Knights Nassau Chapter.

Los Angeles to use cell-phone cameras to improve public safety

A lawmaker in Los Angeles, the second-largest U.S. city, has proposed using image-producing devices like cell-phone cameras to improve public safety.
Two motions to this effect were presented on Wednesday by Councilman Eric Garcetti, city officials said.
Garcetti's first proposal calls for purchasing equipment that would allow residents to snap photos of accident and crime scenes with cameras on cellular telephones, and then transmit the images to 911 call centers.
The software program, known as Incident Media Link, would be used by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).
"Sending cell-phone pictures to 911 will empower communities to fight crime in a way not seen since the start of the Neighborhood Watch program," Garcetti said. "The LAPD has been using innovative technologies and strategies to reduce crime for decades. Camera phones can help build the next stage of community-police partnership."
Garcetti also introduced a plan urging the installation of security cameras in the city's parks as part of an effort to heighten security. Cameras are already in place in two public parks in downtown Hollywood.
"Cameras give the police eyes and ears on a 24-hour basis to protect our open spaces," Garcetti said.


Chlorine Truck Bomber Kills 27 in Ramadi
By BASSEM MROUE Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD (AP) -- A suicide bomber driving a truck loaded with TNT and toxic chlorine gas crashed into a police checkpoint in western Ramadi on Friday, killing at least 27 people and wounding dozens, police in the Anbar provincial capital said.
In the deep south of the country, the Basra police commander said the type of roadside bomb used in an attack that killed four British soldiers on Thursday had not been seen in the region previously. Maj. Gen. Mohammed al-Moussawi's description of the deadly weapon indicated it was a feared Iranian-designed explosively formed penetrator.
Two more of the bombs were discovered planted along routes heavily traveled by U.S. and British diplomats in Basra. Weeks earlier, the American military had claimed Iran was supplying Shiite militia fighters in Iraq with the powerful weapons, known as EFPs. They hurl a molten, fist-sized copper slug capable of piercing armored vehicles.
The bombing in Anbar province marked the ninth use of suicide chlorine bombs in the sprawling, mainly desert territory that has been a stronghold of the Sunni insurgency.
Recently, however, many Anbar tribes have switched allegiance, with large numbers of military-age men joining the police force and Iraqi army in a bid to expel al-Qaida in Iraq fighters. Suicide bombings are an al-Qaida trademark.
Police Maj. Mohammed Mahmoud al Nattah, member of the Anbar Salvation council, told state-run Iraqiya television the bomber hit a residential complex and dozens of wounded were taken to the Ramadi hospital.
Police opened fire as the suicide car bomber sped toward a checkpoint, three miles west of the city, according to police Col. Tariq al-Dulaimi. Nearby buildings were heavily damaged and police were searching the rubble for more victims.
South of Baghdad, Iraqi forces backed by American paratroopers swept into a troubled, predominantly Shiite city before dawn, and the U.S. military said as many as six militia fighters had been killed.
Lt. Col. Scott Bleichwehl, a U.S. military spokesman, said eight others were wounded and five detained. There were no reports of civilian casualties in the assault on Diwaniyah, he said.
Residents reported heavy fighting between the U.S. and Iraqi forces and gunmen of the Mahdi Army militia in the city, 80 miles south of Baghdad.
Dr. Hameed Jaafi, the director of Diwaniyah Health Directorate, said an American helicopter fired on a house in the Askari neighborhood, seriously wounding 12 people as the early morning assault began.
Bleichwehl said there were no U.S. air strikes either by helicopters or planes.
Also Thursday, the U.S. military confirmed an American helicopter carrying nine people had been downed south of Baghdad and that four were injured.
An Iraqi army official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of security concerns, said the helicopter crashed after coming under fire near the Sunni insurgent stronghold of Latifiyah, about 20 miles south of Baghdad. The U.S. military did not confirm that account.
It was the ninth U.S. helicopter to go down in Iraq this year. The U.S. military has studied new evasive techniques, fearing insurgents have acquired more sophisticated weapons or have figured out how to use their arms in new and effective ways.
The four British soldiers - including two women - were killed Thursday as the American military announced the deaths of nine more U.S. soldiers since Tuesday.
The Basra region police commander, al-Moussawi, said two similar bombs had been discovered Friday morning; one was discovered on the road leading to Basra Palace, the compound that houses a British base and the British and U.S. consulates. A second was uncovered in the western Hayaniyah district where Thursday's attack occurred. The area is known as a stronghold of the Mahdi Army, a militia loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
The reported deaths of the American forces and the bomb attack on the British unit marked the start of the eighth week of the joint U.S.-Iraqi security crackdown in Baghdad and surrounding territory.
Prime Minister Tony Blair called the Basra attack an "act of terrorism" and suggested it may have been the work of militiamen linked to Iran. He stopped short of accusing Tehran, however.
"Now it is far too early to say that the particular terrorist act that killed our forces was an act committed by terrorists that were backed by any elements of the Iranian regime, so I make no allegation in respect of that particular incident," Blair said.
He added, however, "This is maybe the right moment to reflect on our relationship with Iran."
The U.S. military reported Saturday that one American soldier was killed and a second wounded in shooting in Kirkuk province.
One U.S. soldier died and two were wounded in a roadside bombing Thursday in restive Diyala province north of Baghdad, the military said. Four others died Wednesday in two roadside bomb explosions in southern Baghdad and north of the capital, while a fifth was killed by small-arms fire in the eastern part of the city. Two other soldiers were killed by small-arms fire on Tuesday - one in eastern Baghdad and another on foot patrol in the southern outskirts of the capital.