Police Arrests are Plummeting Across California, Fueling Alarm and Questions

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Anthony Federico talks to a homeless couple in Compton after getting a report about a public disturbance. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Federico talks to a homeless couple in Compton after getting a report about a public disturbance. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

What’s going on in California?

James Queally, Kate Mather and Cindy Chang report: In 2013, something changed on the streets of Los Angeles.

Police officers began making fewer arrests. The following year, the Los Angeles Police Department’s arrest numbers dipped even lower and continued to fall, dropping by 25% from 2013 to 2015.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the San Diego Police Department also saw significant drops in arrests during that period.

The statewide numbers are just as striking: Police recorded the lowest number of arrests in nearly 50 years, according to the California attorney general’s office, with about 1.1 million arrests in 2015 compared with 1.5 million in 2006.

It is unclear why officers are making fewer arrests. Some in law enforcement cite diminished manpower and changes in deployment strategies. Others say officers have lost motivation in the face of increased scrutiny — from the public as well as their supervisors.

The picture is further complicated by Proposition 47, a November 2014 ballot measure that downgraded some drug and property felonies to misdemeanors. Many police officers say an arrest isn’t worth the time it takes to process when the suspect will spend at most a few months in jail.

In Los Angeles, the drop in arrests comes amid a persistent increase in crime, which began in 2014. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck noted that arrests for the most serious crimes have risen along with the numbers of those offenses, while the decrease comes largely from narcotics arrests.

Protesters stare down Los Angeles police officers during a November 2014 demonstration against a Missouri grand jury's decision not to indict the officer who fatally shot Michael Brown. Protests erupted across the country after the announcement. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Protesters stare down Los Angeles police officers during a November 2014 demonstration against a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict the officer who fatally shot Michael Brown. Protests erupted across the country after the announcement. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

The arrest data include both felonies and misdemeanors — crimes ranging from homicide to disorderly conduct. From 2010 to 2015, felony arrests made by Los Angeles police officers were down 29% and misdemeanor arrests were down 32%.

Two other measures of police productivity, citations and field interviews, have also declined significantly.

The LAPD could not provide final tallies for arrests in 2016. But based on numbers that include arrests by other agencies within city limits, the downward trend continued last year, Assistant Chief Michel Moore said.

[Read the full story here, at LATimes]

A direct link between the crime pattern and the drop in arrests is difficult to draw, in part because the arrest data include minor offenses not counted in the tally the city uses to measure crime. Still, some city officials are concerned.

“Those are dramatic numbers that definitely demand scrutiny and explanation,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin, who sits on the Public Safety Committee and represents the Westside. “If crime was dramatically down, I wouldn’t have a problem with arrests going down. But if crime is going up, I want to see arrests going up.”

Beck said although arrests are an important component of policing, they are not the sole barometer of officer productivity. As an example, he pointed to community policing programs that he credits with reducing homicides in housing developments hit hard by violent crime.

Modern policing includes an array of strategies, such as swarming hot spots to prevent crimes from occurring, that may increase public safety without generating many arrests, he said.

Read the rest of this entry »


Woman Who Bailed from High-speed Pursuit: Detained!


New York Daily News, Feb 8, 2015: Bruce Jenner Reportedly Blamed Paparazzi for the Crash, Sergeant Disputes that Claim

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Bruce Jenner blamed a pursuing pack of paparazzi Saturday for a horrific California four-car pileup that left one woman dead and five more hospitalized.

The fatal wreck occurred on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, with one-time Olympic gold medalist Jenner luckily able to walk away from the carnage, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Matt Dunn.

“He is not under any investigation right now as far as driving while intoxicated. Mr. Jenner did not appear to be injured in the accident, nor does it appear he was the cause of the accident.”

A 1-month-old baby inside a Hummer involved in the wreck also escaped without injury, authorities said.

The pony-tailed Jenner, 65, who is reportedly transitioning from a man to a woman, was fleeing five photographers when his Cadillac Escalade rear-ended a white Lexus, sources in his family told TMZ.

The chain-reaction wreck at 12:12 p.m. killed the woman at the wheel of the Lexus while scattering pieces of glass, plastic and shredded steel on the highway.

A witness told USA Today that photographers stood snapping photos of the shaken Jenner — who was driving the Escalade — in the minutes after the harrowing fatal accident.

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“It happened so fast,” said Veronica Bermudez, an employee at the nearby Malibu Roadhouse who echoed Jenner’s charge about the chase by the celebrity shutterbugs.

“They (paparazzi) were here right away,” she told the newspaper. “How could they have gotten here that fast otherwise? I don’t know why they have to follow him, and not just leave him alone.”

Photos captured the actual moment of impact when Jenner’s black SUV slammed into the rear of the stopped Lexus. Jenner slammed on the brakes, leaving skidmarks in his wake before the massive crash, said Sgt. Philip Brooks of the sheriff’s department.

But the sergeant disputed the reports of a paparazzi chase preceding the wreck.

“That wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense, but it’s always possible,” said Brooks. “We can’t confirm that.”

The reality show star and former decathlon champion became the center of massive media attention in recent weeks over reports that he was going to become a woman. Read the rest of this entry »


Bruce Jenner in Car Crash, 1 Person Dead

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Update: 3:45 PM PT  Law enforcement sources tell TMZ … Bruce volunteered to go to the hospital to have his blood drawn for blood alcohol testing.  He was taken in a Sheriff’s cruiser.  We’ve also learned the woman who was killed in the white car was coming to a stop at a red light when Bruce hit her.  We’re told law enforcement has already determined Bruce was not speeding.

And we’re told there was a 4th car involved in the accident.  The woman in the white car hit a Prius in front of her before moving into oncoming traffic.

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Bruce Jenner was involved in a horrific car accident on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu at around noon Saturday, one person is dead, and it looks like Bruce caused the accident … TMZ has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell us … there were 4 vehicles involved in the crash.  We’re told there were 8 people involved and all sustained some sort of injury … but one person died at the scene.

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Eyewitnesses say Bruce rear ended the white car and that car went into oncoming traffic and was struck by the Hummer.  You can see the impact in the pics below.  The woman driving the white car died. Read the rest of this entry »


Suge Knight Arrested in Fatal Hit-and-Run

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Terrence McCoy and J. Freedom du Lac report; Rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight has been arrested on suspicion of murder in the death of a man in Compton, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office.

“Looks like he drove backwards and struck the victims and drove forwards and struck them again. The people we talked to say it looked like it was an intentional act.”

— Lt. John Corina, sheriff’s office spokesman

A spokesman said late Thursday that it appeared Knight, the notorious Death Row Records founder, had run over two men with his truck after an argument on a movie set. One was killed; the other was injured. Authorities have not yet identified the victims, though the sheriff’s department said both men were in their 50s and that at least one was a member of the film crew.

“Looks like he drove backwards and struck the victims and drove forwards and struck them again,” Lt. John Corina, a sheriff’s office spokesman, told reporters. “The people we talked to say it looked like it was an intentional act.”

Authorities said Knight left the scene following the afternoon incident but turned himself in early Friday morning in West Hollywood. He was arrested a short while later and is being held on $2 million bail, according to the sheriff’s office.

This image from video shows Suge Knight arriving at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department West Hollywood station. (OnSceneVideo via AP Television)

This image from video shows Suge Knight arriving at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department West Hollywood station. (OnSceneVideo via AP Television)

The incident reportedly occurred following a dispute on the set of a movie called “Straight Outta Compton,” about the rise and fall of N.W.A., the pioneering rap group that included Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Eazy-E.

“Mr. Knight was attacked by a group of men while he was in his vehicle. They were beating him, threatening to kill him and attempting to drag him outside of the vehicle. He made an effort to escape, he was in fear for his life. And that’s exactly what he did…He was the victim, he was not the aggressor.”

— Knight’s attorney James Blatt

Knight’s attorney acknowledged that his client ran over two people while driving a red pickup truck in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant in Compton. But, he said, it was an accident.

The attorney, James Blatt, told the Los Angeles Times that the man killed was Terry Carter, a friend of Knight’s. The second victim, who suffered injuries, was actor Cle “Bone” Sloan, Blatt told the Times.

Tupac Shakur, left, and Suge Knight, one month before Shakur’s 1996 death. (Frank Wiese/AP file)

Tupac Shakur, left, and Suge Knight, one month before Shakur’s 1996 death. (Frank Wiese/AP file)

Blatt told the Times that Carter was trying to break up a fight between Knight and others when he was run over — and that Knight “had no knowledge whatsoever he ran over anyone.”

“Mr. Knight was attacked by a group of men while he was in his vehicle,” Blatt said, according to the Times. “They were beating him, threatening to kill him and attempting to drag him outside of the vehicle. He made an effort to escape, he was in fear for his life. And that’s exactly what he did.”

The attorney said he expects Knight to be exonerated.

“He was the victim, he was not the aggressor,” Blatt said, according to the Times.

The incident in question occurred Thursday afternoon at Tam’s Burgers in Compton. Homicide detectives were dispatched to the scene to investigate a fatal hit-and-run accident, according a sheriff’s office news release. Read the rest of this entry »


Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. Confirms that Suspect in Bellflower Standoff was Shot and Killed During Hostage Rescue

Read the rest of this entry »


Apple Takes a Bullet: LA County sheriff’s deputy saved by iPhone charger cable

"If it weren't for that Bible, the bullet woulda gone right through my heart"

“If it weren’t for that Bible iPhone charger cable in my pocket, the bullet would’a gone right through my hip”

Steven Sande reports:  A Los Angeles (Calif.) County sheriff’s deputy was injured in a shooting Tuesday morning in Inglewood, Calif., but things could have been worse had it not been for an Apple Lightning charger cable that was in her pocket. The charger cable actually deflected a bullet that would have otherwise been embedded in the deputy’s hip.

In a tweet from the LA County Sheriff official Twitter account, the brave sacrifice of the Lightning cable in taking one for its owner was referred to as a “miracle.” From the looks of the cable, the USB end took the brunt of the bullet. Needless to say, the deputy may need to visit an Apple Store soon and get a replacement.

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