Four Arrested In Fatal Shooting Of Off-Duty LAPD Officer

Four people were arrested in connection to the shooting of an off-duty Los Angeles cop who was killed during an alleged botched robbery.

LA County Sheriff’s investigators said the four suspects were arrested on Wednesday— two days after LAPD Officer Fernando Arroyos was gunned down in South LA as he and his girlfriend were house hunting.

Sheriff’s officials didn’t release the names of the suspects or list the charges against them.

Arroyos, 27, and his girlfriend were crossing a street at about 9:15 p.m. on Monday in the Florence-Firestone neighborhood when a truck with three men approached the couple, officials said.

The men got out of the vehicle and confronted Arroyos, who then yelled at his girlfriend to run, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said. One of the men opened fire on Arroyos, Moore said.

Deputies who responded to the scene found Arroyos lying in the alleyway suffering from a gunshot wound, according to officials.

Arroyos was rushed to a local hospital where he later died from his injuries. 

Arroyos is survived by his mother, stepfather, and girlfriend. Arroyos’ family declined to comment on the arrests when reached by The Post on Wednesday.

The three-year LAPD veteran was assigned to the Olympic Division.

Click here to read the full article at the NY Post

Bay Area Freeway Shootings Have More Than Tripled In Four Years. In 2021, Almost Half Occurred In One County

The year had barely started when a major Bay Area freeway saw its first burst of gunfire, right at the onset of rush hour.

On the afternoon of Jan. 4, a bullet fired by a yet-unknown shooter hit Alameda County sheriff’s recruit David Nguyen as he drove his Toyota Prius west on Interstate 580 toward the Bay Bridge toll plaza. Nguyen apparently slumped over the wheel and crashed his car into a guardrail, becoming one of the latest victims of a surge in highway violence.

Over the past three years, shootings have more than tripled on the arterials that knit the region together — from 49 Bay Area freeway shootings in 2018, to 165 through October last year, according to the California Highway Patrol in response to a public records request from The Chronicle. Limited available records also show a spike in deaths — from two fatal freeway shootings for the whole Bay Area in 2018, to six gun deaths on Oakland freeways alone in 2021.

Among the lives claimed by these attacks were a toddler strapped in his car seat, teenagers packed onto a party bus and Amani Morris, a mother on her way to a job orientation. Their stories reflect the human toll of a trend that presents galling challenges for law enforcement.

“It just angers me so much,” said Alicia Benton, Morris’ mother. The two were FaceTiming minutes before gunfire killed Morris on I-80 near the Bay Bridge on the morning of Nov. 18.

Click here to read the full article at the San Francisco Chronicle

Burglars Hit At Least A Dozen Sacramento Lobbyists And Nonprofits In Downtown Break-In

Lobbying firms, nonprofits and a union were among the tenants affected by a burglary at the Forum Building on Thursday.

The 10-story building, located a block from the Capitol at the intersection of 9th and K Streets, houses a swath of government relations firms and other organizations that do business with the state. On the morning of Dec. 23, tenants were informed that the building had been broken into the night before.

Rubicon Property Management, which manages the Forum Building, declined to comment on the robbery. In an email to tenants obtained by The Sacramento Bee, management said more than a dozen offices had been compromised by forced entry.

The affected tenants included the California Federation of Teachers, California Strategic Advisors, Reeb, EdVoice, California Association for Adult Day Services, the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association, the California Association of Councils of Governments, the California Solar and Storage Association, Hispanic League of Colleges and Universities, Corbin & Kaiser, the Planning and Conservation League and Houston Magnani and Associates.

Sacramento Police told The Bee that officers responded about 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning, where they saw signs of forced entry and discovered multiple businesses within the building had been burglarized. The investigation is ongoing, police said.

Rubicon on Monday told tenants in an email that law enforcement was able to collect finger prints from the offices. Management will also install additional cameras in elevator lobbies and install security guards 24/7, the email said.

Samantha Corbin, CEO of the firm Corbin & Kaiser, said thieves entered office suits by breaking door handles, locks and door frames. She speculated they might have had a key card.

Corbin said the burglars took brand new computer equipment, banking and routing information, and employee payroll information like Social Security numbers from the filing cabinets in her office suite.

Corbin said she and other tenants have become increasingly wary of working downtown, and say the empty storefronts and rundown streets contribute to crime and theft.

“It’s been so bad on K Street in general,” Corbin said. “I don’t think this is a building owner issue. This is a Sacramento city government issue.”

Ron Kingston, a lobbyist and president of California Strategic Advisors, said things were “strewn everywhere” in his office. His door was busted open and documents from like invoices and billing statements with bank account and routing information, were taken. Kingston said he’s concerned the area isn’t safe.

Click here to read the full article at the Sacramento Bee

California Democrats Embrace Tough-On-Crime Rhetoric

“It is time that the reign of criminals who are destroying our city … come to an end. And it comes to an end when we take the steps to be more aggressive with law enforcement … and less tolerant of all the bulls—t that has destroyed our city.”

“We need to … ensure that those who commit crime are held to account and that no one gets a free pass.”

“The need for a system that can … alert law enforcement to vehicles associated with violent crime, in real time, has never been more apparent.”

“Once we had the issue of a lot of folks coming to Melrose to do crime, we said, ‘We have to hit this with everything we have,’ so we put in some extra funding.”

“I will not wait out this holiday season and let these organized groups continue to believe they can prey on California shoppers and retailers with no repercussions.”

These Tuesday comments did not come from Fox News commentators or even California conservatives. They came from California Democrats — San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Attorney General Rob Bonta, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz and Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin of Thousand Oaks, respectively — signaling a definitive shift in the party’s approach to crime ahead of the 2022 elections.

Case in point were the politicians’ Tuesday announcements:

The tough-on-crime rhetoric comes amid a sea of sobering statistics: Oakland police on Monday announced they’re investigating the 131st homicide of the year — the city’s highest total in a decade. And a Tuesday report from the Public Policy Institute of California found that homicides, aggravated assaults and violent and property crime rates in Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego and San Francisco are all up in 2021 compared to last year.

Also cracking down on crime is the state Employment Development Department, which announced Tuesday that it has suspended payments on certain disability insurance claims and is subjecting medical and health providers to increased vetting to halt “a recent move by organized criminal elements to file false disability insurance claims.” The department, which has already confirmed paying at least $20 billion worth of fraudulent claims, said its actions would help prevent “further fraud” but could result in longer wait times for legitimate claimants.

This article originally appeared on CalMatters

Mayor Breed Wants to Flood Tenderloin With Police To Confront Drug Dealers — And Those Using Drugs

Mayor London Breed wants to significantly boost the police presence in the Tenderloin over the next few months as part of a public safety blitz, which includes a crackdown on those who are selling drugs — and those who are using them — in the long-troubled neighborhood.

On Tuesday, Breed called for increased funding for police overtime to help pay for the move, which includes tackling the resale of stolen goods. She told residents last week that she believes policing is an “important tool” to address some of the neighborhood’s woes, which include widespread drug dealing, a surge in fatal overdoses and a spike in gun violence.

“It’s time that the reign of criminals who are destroying our city … come(s) to an end,” Breed said at a news conference in City Hall on Tuesday, flanked by department heads and Supervisors Catherine Stefani and Ahsha Safaí. “It comes to an end when we take the steps to be more aggressive with law enforcement, more aggressive with the changes in our policies and less tolerant of all the bulls— that destroyed our city.”

The Department of Emergency Management will lead the two- to three-month intervention that officials hope will result in more sustainable changes. Increased spending for police overtime is just one component of the plan, which will also focus on basic infrastructure needs like more cleaning, public toilets and streetlights.

But the push for more officers will likely draw the most attention, landing amid a national reckoning over the role of police in vulnerable communities. It also marks a shift in messaging from the Breed administration, which for the past year has focused on creating programs that remove law enforcement from interactions with those struggling with homelessness, mental health issues and drug use.

Breed’s public safety plan comes as the Tenderloin continues to grab national headlines and the mayor feels heat to get the city’s spiraling homelessness and overdoses crisis under control. It also lands a day after the mayor announced a plan to rein in the school board. Both initiatives could score her political points, but have also sparked criticism.

The mayor’s office said overtime pay will also be used for other priorities, such as deterring retail theft in Union Square. Breed also introduced legislation Tuesday, co-sponsored by Safaí, to tackle reselling of stolen goods on the streets by prohibiting street vending in existing “problematic” areas such as UN Plaza and requiring vendors to post approved permits.

Click here to read the full article at the San Francisco Chronicle

Brazen Thefts Bring Out Prop. 47 Critics

For many, the lead villain in the rash of smash-and-grab thefts plaguing California is a sentencing reduction ballot measure that voters approved overwhelmingly seven years ago.

“I think it was the biggest con job in California history,” says Sacramento County Dist. Atty. Anne Marie Schubert, a former Republican who intends to run for state attorney general next year as an independent.

“Criminals have been laughing at us…. There’s a clear belief — and very large reality — that there’s no consequences anymore to theft…. You tell everybody we’re not going to hold anybody accountable, and guess what’s going to happen?”

The measure was Proposition 47, co-written by then-San Francisco — now Los Angeles — Dist. Atty. George Gascón and strongly supported by then-Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who later was elected governor. Proposition 47 was approved by a landslide vote of roughly 60% to 40%.

The measure reduced from a possible felony to a misdemeanor the possession of narcotics for personal use and certain property crimes. The narcotics piece isn’t an issue, but the sentence reduction for thefts is.

Under 47, the crimes of petty theft, receiving stolen property and writing bad checks were lowered to misdemeanors when the value was less than $950. No prison time. In some counties, maybe a short time in jail or a wrist slap.

In 2020, voters lopsidedly rejected Proposition 20, which would have tweaked 47 by lowering the felony threshold to $250 for serial thieves.

The $950 threshold is deceiving, critics say. A thief can go from store to store, grabbing $900 worth of merchandise at each, and it’s still a misdemeanor.

“If you steal $3,500 from five stores, it’s not a felony,” Schubert says.

Newsom and Gascón still passionately defend Proposition 47.

“These organized crime waves, millions of dollars of materials have been taken. That has nothing to do with Prop. 47 and $950 because it well exceeds that,” Newsom told reporters last week. “Prop. 47 has been conveniently used, from my humble perspective, as an excuse for things that don’t necessarily have to be.

“Meaning [law enforcement] can arrest. They can hold people accountable. And they should.”

Newsom emphasized: “We need arrests and we need prosecutions. We need people held to account.… Prop. 47 seems rather insignificant in relationship to what’s been happening with these organized crime units because it’s well beyond the $950 limit.”

But Proposition 47 critics contend that the measure sent a signal that stores are easy pickings for shoplifting. And that attitude blossomed into more daring smash-and-grab attacks.

In his news conference, Newsom asserted that after 47 passed, “shoplifting dropped significantly. Property crimes dropped significantly.”

But critics counter that’s because these crimes stopped being reported.

“We have seen rampant thefts across California,” Schubert told me. “Those who say thefts are down have no concept of reality. You can walk into any grocery store and spend a half-hour and watch it happen.

“People are not reporting anymore because they know nothing will happen. Nothing. The effort it takes to report something when there are no consequences, it’s too much effort.”

Assemblyman Jim Cooper of Elk Grove, a retired Sacramento County sheriff’s captain, disagrees with fellow Democrat Newsom.

“The governor is wrong,” Cooper told me. “Shoplifting has been decriminalized, so it’s underreported. They’re not going to file a report. Police don’t respond.”

“There’s a direct correlation between rampant serial theft and voters being duped by proponents of Proposition 47,” Cooper asserted in a statement last month after flash mobs hit high-end stores. “We are watching an epidemic of theft caused by Proposition 47 that over promised and under delivered.”

Schubert contends voters were “conned” into believing that reduced sentences would save hundreds of millions of dollars — most of it to be used for mental health and drug treatment programs.

“We’re not getting people into treatment,” she says.

But that’s disputed in a study released last December by 47’s main sponsor, Californians for Safety and Justice. It reported that $200 million was being spent on mental health, substance abuse, diversion and housing programs for people charged or convicted of crimes.

Will Matthews, the group’s public affairs manager, sent me an email denouncing “baseless potshots at Prop. 47.”

Click here to read the full article at LA Times

Questions About Crime Ruin Soros-funded George Gascón’s One-Year Anniversary Party

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón gathered “progressive” prosecutors from around the country to celebrate the one-year anniversary of his time in office, but the party was derailed by questions about rising violent crime.

Gascón, who ran against the first black woman to hold the job, and who received millions of dollars in donations from left-wing billionaire George Soros, has pursued an aggressive, radical agenda of “criminal justice reform” since taking office.

But crime has spiked, leaving the city in the throes of what the Los Angeles Times has called a spate of “brutal, brazen” crimes.

Last week, Jacqueline Avant, a prominent philanthropist in the black community who was married to legendary music producer Clarence Avant, was gunned down in her home, allegedly by a man recently freed from state prison.

In a statement touting his achievements after a year in office, Gascón was short on crime numbers, but heavy on “reforms.” For example, he touted ending the death penalty — a controversial policy that he has applied to cases like child murder:

Death sentences are no longer sought in Los Angeles County. Nor will the office seek execution dates for people sentenced to death. In addition, post-conviction death penalty cases currently are being reviewed to determine if thereis [sic] ameritorious [sic] legal reason to vacate the death sentence or resentence the individuals in the interest of justice. To date, five people, including four with cognitive or intellectual disabilities, have been resentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Gascón had hoped to celebrate, as he did after 100 days in office, when he celebrated thousands of hours in reduced prison sentences. But as the Times reports, his party was crashed by reporters seeking answers to the public’s urgent questions:

One year and one day later, Gascón was flanked by progressive prosecutors from around the country as he stood before a room full of reporters during a 90-minute news conference meant to celebrate what he saw as his successes during his first 12 months on the job.

But on the heels of weeks of high-profile crimes, including the killing of a beloved Beverly Hills philanthropist, an explosion of gunfire that left one child dead in Wilmington and viral videos of smash-and-grab robberies at retail stores, Gascón instead spent much of his time sparring with reporters and trying to counter questions about criticism levied by those seeking to recall him.

Click here to read the full article at Breitbart

SF Restaurant Apologizes for Denying Service to Armed, On-Duty Police Officers

The owners of a restaurant in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood apologized Sunday for asking police officers to leave their eatery because the officers’ guns made employees uncomfortable.

In a statement posted Sunday on social media, Hilda and Jesse owners Rachel Sillcocks and Kristina Liedags Compton said “these are stressful times and we handled this badly.”

Three officers were asked to leave the brunch spot on Friday and the restaurant posted an explanation on its Instagram channel Saturday that read: “The restaurant is a safe space. The presence of the officers’ weapons in the restaurant made us feel uncomfortable. We respect the San Francisco Police Department and are grateful for the work they do. We welcome them into the restaurant when they are off duty, out of uniform and without their weapons.”

Outcry soon followed on social media, including a response from San Francisco police chief William Scott, who said his department “stands for safety with respect, even when it means respecting wishes that our officers and I find discouraging and personally disappointing.”

The restaurant owners backtracked on Sunday with the apology on Instagram.

“We made a mistake and apologize for the unfortunate incident on Friday when we asked members of the San Francisco Police Department to leave our restaurant,” said Sillcocks and Liedags Compton. “We are grateful to all members of the force who work hard to keep us safe, especially during these challenging times.”

The incident drew comments supporting both sides. Some commenters were clearly upset at the incident, calling it discriminatory and pointing out that if there were to be an emergency the officers would be there to help.

“How disrespectful and entitled of the business to treat people who risk their lives to protect us,” wrote one poster. “It’s a bit heartbreaking actually.”

Local resident John Perri agreed.

Click here to read the full article at CBS SF Bay Area

Violent LA Crime Wave, Jacqueline Avant Killing Result of Liberal Justice Reforms: Critics

A day after a career criminal was arrested in the fatal shooting of philanthropist Jacqueline Avant at the lavish Beverly Hills home she shared with her husband Clarence, a 90-year-old music producer inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year, her family issued a statement that read in part, “Now, let justice be served.”

But in Los Angeles, where left-wing lawmakers and activists have pushed a litany of progressive reforms that help violent criminals spend less-time behind bars, justice is not only fleeting — it’s twisted, critics say.

“It’s a s–t show over here,” said LAPD Det. Jamie McBride, a director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, a police union. “Bad guys are released quicker than we can finish the paper work, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”

The Avants — whose daughter Nicole is a former ambassador to the Bahamas and married to Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos, had been living a comfortable life in their sprawling 4,000 square foot , $7 million home in the ritzy Trousdale Estates neighborhood for decades, friends said.

But the elderly couple’s quiet lives were upended at around 2:23 a.m. Wednesday when cops say career criminal Aariel Maynor broke into their home and fatally shot Jacqueline Avant, 81. Clarence Avant was home but not hurt.

The couple also employed a security guard, who was shot at by the suspect but not hit or injured in any way, according to Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook.

The Avants hired the guard to protect them from a different type of L.A intruder — fans of the recent Netflix documentary about Avant called the “Black Godfather” who were dropping by the house uninvited, he said.

Avant’s alleged killer was arrested Thursday in Jacqueline Avant’s murder after being caught in another botched robbery in nearby Hollywood in which he shot himself in the foot.

Maynor, who is currently hospitalized under armed guard, was in violation of parole at the time of his arrest and “it didn’t sound as if he was reporting to his parole agent at all,” Stainbrook said. Police say he will be charged Monday.

Click here to read the full article at NYPost

California Crime Crackdown Inevitable in 2022

Commentary

crime wave is stalking California. Some of the latest in a long line of incidents:

  • The Seasons 52 restaurant at South Coast Plaza was held up.
  • Thieves attacked Louis Vuitton and Sacks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, smashing windows but unable to get inside.
  • In Walnut Creek, a flash mob of 80 thieves robbed a Nordstrom store and assaulted two employees.
  • Thieves hit the Louis Vuitton store in San Francisco’s Union Square, robbing and “ransacking” it, according to one account.

We’ve seen this before, during the “permissiveness” of the 1960s. The liberal Warren Court put a lot more limitations on police and prosecutors. It was named after Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, a former California attorney general and governor.

That crime wave was part of the reason Ronald Reagan was elected governor in 1966 to replace liberal Gov. Pat Brown. Amid violent protests on California university campuses, much like today’s Antifa riots, Reagan took action. During riots in 1969 at UC Berkeley, he ordered in the California National Guard and threatened, “If it takes a bloodbath, let’s get it over with. No more appeasement.”

Voters later elected to the attorney general position such tough-on-crime candidates as Evelle Younger in 1970 and George Deukmejian in 1978, both Republicans. The latter became California’s governor in 1982, narrowly defeating Democratic Los Angeles Mayor Tom Brown. Deukmejian was a major proponent of the death penalty, a contrast to his anti-death penalty predecessor, Jerry Brown.

Click here to read the rest of the article at the Epoch Times