Posts Tagged “LAPD”

Mark Fitzpatrick, a sergeant with the LA County Sheriff, has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a woman and inappropriately searching two others while on duty last year, prosecutors said.

Fitzpatrick, 39, allegedly assaulted the women during traffic stops in Compton and threatened one with arrest or deportation during one incident.

The sergeant will face five felony charges, including sexual battery by restraint, penetration under threat to arrest or deport and three counts of false imprisonment by fraud and deceit, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Natalie Adomian.

Mark Fitzpatrick has posted $245,000 bail.

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LAPD Officer Found Dead at Long Beach Home

It was reported by the Los Angeles Police Department this morning that a police officer assigned to LAPD’s Hollywood Division was found dead at his residence in Long Beach. The officer in question was found just before 11PM on the 26th of October. The department said it appears the officer may have died from natural causes. There is no word yet on the name of the officer or the circumstances surrounding his death.

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By Robert Holguin

ATHENS, Calif. (KABC)
— A law enforcement “surge” operation is being carried out by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department four nights a week to combat gang activity.
The surge was under way in Athens Friday night.
This is the mobile command post here behind me… The sheriff’s department is essentially able establish a mobile substation inside neighborhoods where gang activity is heating up.
At the nerve center for the gang enforcement team, the sheriff’s department says this effort has already made a huge difference in some of L.A. County’s most troubled neighborhoods.
Story continues belowAdvertisementFirst they talk strategy. The sheriff’s deputies have just gotten word that a large group of gang members are gathering. The deputies form a plan, then more than two dozen deputies swarm into an Athens neighborhood.
It’s exactly how the gang enforcement team is designed to work, a surge of law enforcement in order to combat gang activity.
“It kind of gives them a sense of ‘a cop on every corner,’” said Sgt. John Hanson, a member of the sheriff’s department. “And for that period of time that we’re there, it’s not unusual for us to get 10 or 12 people coming up to say, ‘Hey, I appreciate you guys being here. Can you stick around for a while?’”
Hanson says the so-called “get team” has been around for 15 years. But since February, the 40 deputies and five sergeants now work under one lieutenant in a platoon formation. They operate Wednesday through Saturday, hitting the streets of L.A. County in hopes of saturating neighborhoods where gang activity is spiking.
“Instead of taking time to draw up a plan and bringing resources together that might take two or three weeks, we can deploy that night,” said Hanson.
The deputies in the enforcement unit are handpicked from the station from gang areas. They work alongside members of the Probation Department.
Inside the command post, crime analysts are working to map out the areas the team will target.
“Gang saturation is very specific,” said L.A. County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Crystal Miranda. “We focus on the gangs. The deputies in this enforcement unit are from the actual stations that we patrol.”
Friday night, the team responded to a car-to-car shooting, a stabbing and parole violations. Relatively speaking, a quiet Friday night.
Saturday night, the team will be in Bellflower.
(Copyright ©2009 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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From the LA Times

The Los Angeles Police Commission today completed two days of interviews with candidates vying to be the next LAPD chief. Officials hope to select three finalists by Tuesday.

The commission, a civilian panel that oversees the Los Angeles Police Department, met with 13 applicants. All but but two were LAPD deputy chiefs and assistant chiefs.

The interviews were held at the tony City Club downtown. The commission made no effort to conceal the identities of the in-house candidates from the assembled media, but it did sneak the two outside candidates into and out of the interview room through a back hallway. When a Times reporter attempted to pursue one of the candidates, an LAPD officer blocked the hall.

Commission President John Mack defended the the decision to keep the identities of the two outside applicants concealed. He said they were sitting police chiefs elsewhere and did not want it known that they were seeking the LAPD post. Mack said he believed that it was more important to protect the candidates’ identities than to inform the public about them.

With the interviews now complete, Mack said the commission would spend the next few days deliberating and vetting candidates. Barring any major delays, he said he was tentatively planning to pass the names of three finalists on to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Tuesday.

Villaraigosa will make the final selection, and has said he would like to do so by the time that outgoing Police Chief William J. Bratton departs Oct. 31.

—Joel Rubin

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The new LAPD Memorial Wall was unveiled and dedicated Wednesday night. The wall has the names of 202 officers inscribed on brass plates and weighs 11,000 pounds.

Due to rain, the dedication program was moved inside the new Police Administration Building. LAPD bag pipers and the honor guard then led guests outside for the formal dedication ceremony.

The Memorial was built with private funding from the Los Angeles Police Foundation. Architecture firm Gensler donated their services to design the sculpture.

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By Larry Altman Staff Writer “Daily Breeze”

The Los Angeles Police Department will hold the Metropolitan Division’s 2nd annual Randy Simmons 5K fundraising event on Saturday.

The run begins at 8 a.m. at the Los Angeles Police Academy, 1880 N. Academy Road, in Los Angeles.

The run honors Simmons, a SWAT officer who was killed Feb. 18, 2008, as he entered a building in the San Fernando Valley to rescue people.

Simmons, a Rancho Palos Verdes resident, was a member of Carson’s Glory Christian Fellowship International Church and devoted his off-duty time to helping youth in troubled areas.

The Randal D. Simmons Outreach Foundation is a nonprofit organization designed to serve, empower and encourage families and individuals in underserved areas. The organization was established by Simmons’ wife, Lisa, to continue his legacy of spreading love and serving the community.

The proceeds of this event will benefit the Randal Simmons Foundation.

Runners can register for this event online at www.active.com.

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From the LA Daily News

Deputy Sheriff Sentenced for DUI
By Steven Mikulan in crime
Wed., Sep. 30 2009 @ 4:15PM

Our sister publication the O.C. Weekly has a wrap-up today on the tale of L.A. County deputy sheriff Robert Andrew Moran. Make that convicted deputy sheriff Moran, as a judge sentenced him to six months in jail for causing an injury accident while driving under the influence last year. What made this case a cut above the usual DUI-cop story was that the vehicle Moran was driving at the time was a marked, LASD SUV, and that Orange County deputies allegedly tried to cover up the crash, which took place in the O.C. town of Stanton.

“An eyewitness at the scene,” writes the O.C. Weekly’s Matt Coker, “previously told the Weekly’s R. Scott Moxley that some unnamed Orange County sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene and tried to help their LA County colleague by quickly giving him water before any field sobriety tests could be given by other officers working the accident. The local deputies also tried to prevent for as long as they could the blood test that would ulimately seal Moran’s fate, Moxley was told.”

The O.C. Weekly piece concludes by noting that a lawyer for Moran, who is currently on unpaid leave, says the deputy will seek reinstatement. According to the O.C. Register and other sources, Moran has served nearly all of the six-month sentence under home confinement since pleading no contest last February. Earlier this year the L.A. Times carried a piece about the L.A. County Office of Independent Review’s claim that alcoholism is a growing problem within the department, and that alcohol-related arrests of LASD employees have nearly tripled since 2004.

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CAUGHT ON VIDEO:
LYNWOOD SHERIFF’S DEPUTIES INTERRUPT ARMED ROBBERY

From the Sheriff’s website:

Deputies from Century Sheriff’s Station arrested two armed robbery suspects after a brief foot
chase in Lynwood. The incident was caught on video, and is another example of the Sheriff’s
Department combining advanced crime fighting technology with good old fashioned police work.
The incident began August 26, 2009, shortly before 9:00 A.M. at “ Goyos Check Cashing, 3598
Imperial Highway, Lynwood, when two male Black suspects entered the location, held employees
at gunpoint and demanded cash. Deputies from Century Sheriff’s Station received a robbery
alarm call and arrived at the scene within minutes. Upon their arrival, deputies observed a getaway
vehicle with its engine running, as well as suspicious activity inside the location.

The incident was monitored and recorded on video at the Century Station ASAP Command Center
(ASAP – Advanced Surveillance and Protection). The live video feed provided deputies with the
advantage of knowing where the suspects were fleeing, as well as evidence for prosecution. As
shown on video, deputies at the scene were alerted that suspects were fleeing the location.
Deputies contained the area and arrested the suspects as they ran through a residential area.
Nobody was injured during the robbery. A firearm and stolen cash were recovered at the scene.

SUSPECT #1: MALOSI TRAHAN, MB/19
SUSPECT #2: IJAHMAN GENTLE, MB/19

For additional information, please contact Century Sheriff’s Station at (323) 568-4811 or Sheriff’s
Headquarters Bureau at (323) 267-4800.

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From the Contra Cosa Times

CANOGA PARK – In an abrupt reversal, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Monday appeared to back a plan to freeze hiring at the Police Academy at least throughout the rest of this year.

Villaraigosa had previously denounced the idea of a freeze at the Los Angeles Police Department, adamant that the size of the force be maintained at 10,000 officers.

But in a news conference Monday at LAPD’s Topanga Station in Canoga Park, Villaraigosa sided with the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, which has recommended not hiring cadets in November and December to help reduce the LAPD’s record $129 million budget deficit.

“I care more about results than process,” Villaraigosa said. “I will support any proposal that maintains the police force at its current level. But I will oppose any measure that puts our police department in jeopardy and goes back on the promise that we made to the people of this city to make public safety the No. 1 priority.”

In endorsing the hiring freeze, the committee has noted that the pace of retirements and resignations at the LAPD has been slower than expected, and the Police Academy already has about 1,000 prospective applicants in its candidate pool.

Speaking ahead of a City Council vote on police hiring that was scheduled for today but could be delayed, the mayor said his administration’s progress in fighting crime could be set back with force reduction.

“This is progress we can’t take for granted,” Villaraigosa
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said, citing the city’s best per-capita crime rates since 1954. “Crime in Los Angeles is at a record low because our police force is at a record high.”

Villaraigosa said he could accept a slower rate of hiring for the Los Angeles Police Department in the face of the city’s projected $400 million budget shortfall.

“What I can’t accept is our going one officer lower” than the current staff of about 10,000 sworn officers, the mayor said.

Villaraigosa won support from neighborhood councils five years ago to impose a trash collection fee to pay for expanding the LAPD. The mayor said Monday he hopes that solving the budget crisis by trimming other services would allow the LAPD expansion to resume eventually.

He said he is “optimistic we can avoid a fight.”

Villaraigosa appeared with Councilman Dennis Zine, council president Eric Garcetti, LAPD brass and community leaders at the Topanga Station, itself a monument to the force’s growth by more than 800 officers citywide in the past four years.

The station’s opening in January is credited for many of the 316 officers added in the San Fernando Valley in the past three years.

Michel Moore, the LAPD’s deputy chief for the San Fernando Valley, said a decrease of 10 percent in violent crime in the Valley means there have been 488 fewer violent crime victims in the past year than in the previous 12 months.

In addition to proposing the cancellation of two months of academy classes, Zine suggests using officers restricted to light duty – because of injuries and other reasons – to perform LAPD civilian jobs unfilled because of budget cuts.

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It’s about making money, say prosecutors

JOHN HOEFFEL
October 11, 2009

Dispensations … a man holds a placard at a clinic at Venice Beach, Los Angeles. Critics say some doctors will prescribe marijuana for people who are not ill. Photo: AFP/Mark Ralston

LOS ANGELES: Californian laws legalising medical marijuana and permitting collectives to cultivate the plant have had some unexpected consequences: one is the challenge local growers are posing to the profits of Mexican drug barons; another is an explosion in the number of marijuana stores, or dispensaries, in Southern California.

Law enforcement is arguing that most are for-profit enterprises that violate the 1996 Compassionate Use Act and the 2003 collective cultivation law.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney, Steve Cooley, has announced he will prosecute medical marijuana dispensaries for over-the-counter sales.

”The vast, vast, vast majority – about 100 per cent – of dispensaries in Los Angeles County and the city are operating illegally; they are dealing marijuana illegally,” he said. ”The time is right to deal with this problem.”

Mr Cooley recently concluded that state law bars sales of medical marijuana, an opinion that could spark a renewed effort by law enforcement across the state to rein in its use.

This comes as polls show a majority of state voters back legalisation of marijuana, and supporters are working to put the issue on the ballot next year.

The district attorney’s office is investigating a dozen dispensaries, following police raids.

”We have our strategy and we think we are on good legal ground,” Mr Cooley said.

Medical marijuana advocates say the prosecutors are misinterpreting the law.

”I’m confident that they are not right,” said Joe Elford, chief counsel for Americans for Safe Access. ”If they are right, it would mean that thousands of seriously ill Californians for whom the Compassionate Use Act was intended to help would not be able to get the medicine that they need.”

In the City of Los Angeles, some estimates put the number of dispensaries as high as 800.

In August, Mr Cooley and the Sheriff, Lee Baca, wrote to all mayors and police chiefs in the county, saying they believed over-the-counter sales were illegal and encouraging cities to adopt permanent bans on dispensaries.

Mark Kleiman, a professor of public policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, was not surprised by the move. ”I think it’s a natural response to the rather flagrant marketing practices of a bunch of the dispensaries. The medical veneer has been wearing thinner and thinner,” he said. ”I’ve always wondered why those things were legal when they didn’t look legal to me.”

Mr Cooley said he believed that under state law collectives must raise their own marijuana and can recoup only their costs. ”That’s absolutely legal.

”We’re going to respect that.” But he said none of them currently do that. Mr Cooley said he would also consider going after doctors who write medical marijuana recommendations for healthy people.

Critics of medical marijuana say some doctors freely prescribe the drug for people who are not ill.

Medical marijuana advocates celebrated a brief thaw in the enforcement climate after the Obama Administration signalled earlier this year that it would not prosecute dispensaries that followed state law. That spurred many entrepreneurs to open dispensaries in Los Angeles.

As stores popped up near schools and parks, neighbourhood activists reacted with outrage, and police took notice.

A Los Angeles City councillor, Dennis Zine, welcomed Mr Cooley’s decision to prosecute dispensaries.

”There are many that are operating illegally, and it’s not a secret,” he said, but added that he believes ”a few” collectives in the city are operating legally.

When Californians voted for Proposition 215 (also known as the Compassionate Use Act) in 1996, they made it legal for patients with a doctor’s recommendation and their caregivers to possess and raise pot for the patient’s medical use.

In 2003, the legislature allowed patients and caregivers ”collectively or co-operatively to cultivate marijuana for medical purposes,” but said they could not do it for profit.

Mr Cooley, after reviewing a state Supreme Court decision last year, concluded that the law protects collectives from prosecution only in the cultivation of marijuana, not sales or distribution.

Medical marijuana advocates note that the state requires dispensaries to collect sales taxes on marijuana, and that guidelines drawn up by the Attorney-General conclude that ”a properly organised and operated collective or co-operative that dispenses medical marijuana through a storefront may be lawful”.

The guidelines, however, do not deal directly with over-the-counter sales.

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