Entries in LAPD (13)


Christopher Dorner Manhunt: $1 Million Reward Offered For Capture of Fugitive Ex-Cop

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A $1 million reward was offered Sunday for information leading to the arrest of Christopher Dorner, as authorities in Big Bear, Calif., scaled back their search for the disgruntled ex-cop, who is suspected in three revenge killings.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said it is the largest local reward ever offered.

Although there have been no reported sightings of Dorner in the Big Bear area, authorities have zeroed in on the area after finding his burned out truck.

On day four of the manhunt, a scaled-back force of 25 officers and one helicopter spread out in the mountainous area, located 80 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles.

Officers have been going door-to-door at some 600 cabins, looking for signs of the fugitive ex-cop.

No new evidence has been found, authorites said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Christopher Dorner Manhunt: LAPD Reopens Case That Led to Suspected Cop-Killer's Firing

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The Los Angeles Police Department announced Saturday it will reopen the case of the firing of Christopher Dorner, but said the decision was not made to "appease" the fugitive former cop suspected of killing three people.

Dorner, a fired and disgruntled former Los Angeles police officer, said in the so-called "manifesto" he released that he was targeting LAPD officials and their families and will keep killing until the truth is known about his case.

"I have no doubt that the law enforcement community will bring to an end the reign of terror perpetrated on our region by Christopher Jordan Dorner and he will be held accountable for his evil actions," LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said in a statement released Saturday night.

He spoke of the "tremendous strides" the LAPD has made in regaining public trust after numerous scandals, but added: "I am aware of the ghosts of the LAPD's past and one of my biggest concerns is that they will be resurrected by Dorner's allegations of racism within the Department."

To do that, he said, a full re-investigation of the case that led to Dorner's firing is necessary.

"I feel we need to also publicly address Dorner's allegations regarding his termination of employment, and to do so I have directed our Professionals Standards Bureau and my Special Assistant for Constitutional Policing to completely review the Dorner complaint of 2007, to include a re-examination of all evidence and a re-interview of witnesses," he said. "We will also investigate any allegations made in his manifesto which were not included in his original complaint.

"I do this not to appease a murderer. I do it to reassure the public that their police department is transparent and fair in all the things we do."

As police searched for Dorner Saturday in the San Bernardino Mountains, sources told ABC News that investigators found two AR-15 assault rifles in the burned-out truck Dorner abandoned.

The truck had a broken axle, which may be the reason he decided to set fire to it, the police sources said.

A man identifying himself as Dorner taunted the father of Monica Quan four days after the former LAPD officer allegedly killed her and just 11 hours after he allegedly killed a police officer in Riverside, Calif., according to court documents obtained by ABC News

A man claiming to be Dorner called Randall Quan and told him that that he "should have done a better job of protecting his daughter," according to the documents.

In his 6,000-word "manifesto," Dorner named Randal Quan, a retired LAPD captain and attorney who represented him before a police review board that led to Dorner's dismissal from the force.

"I never had an opportunity to have a family of my own, I'm terminating yours," Dorner wrote, and directed Quan and other officials to "[l]ook your wives/husbands and surviving children directly in the face and tell them the truth as to why your children are dead."

Monica Quan and her fiancé Keith Lawrence were gunned down last Sunday in their car in the parking lot of their Irvine, Calif., condominium complex. Both were struck with multiple gunshot wounds.

The call, according to court records, was traced to Vancouver, Wash., but law enforcement officials do not believe Dorner was there at the time at the call.

Dorner is believed to have made the call early Thursday afternoon, less than half a day after he is suspected of killing a police officer and wounding two others early that morning, sparking an unprecedented man hunt involving more than a thousand police officers and federal agents spanning hundreds of miles.

Saturday the search continued on Bear Mountain, Dorner's last suspected location. His burned-out truck was discovered there Thursday at 8:30 a.m., four hours before the call to Quan.

Law enforcement officials tell ABC News some evidence suggests the truck may have been torched and abandoned after it experienced mechanical difficulties.

Search teams comprised of local, state and federal law enforcement officials are combing the mountain on foot, using search dogs and helicopters equipped with infrared cameras.

Teams are going door to door to search nearly 400 homes in the area.

Rugged terrain and a snow storm have hampered efforts to hunt for Dorner, but officials say they have no reason to believe Dorner has left the Big Bear area, even though he has not been seen there.

Dorner, law enforcement sources say, could pose a threat to aviation security. A bulletin issued by the Transportation Security Administration urges aircraft and airport owners and operators to use "an increased level of awareness concerning any suspicious activity during the coming days."

Dorner, the bulletin says, is believed to have received "flight training during his time in the Navy, but the extent of his potential flying skills is unknown.

The "be on the lookout" alert tells operators to secure unattended aircraft and report persons "masquerading as pilots, security personnel, emergency medical technicians, or other personnel using uniforms and/or vehicles as methods to gain access to aviation facilities or aircraft."

Dorner is believed to have had access to military and police uniforms.

Saturday, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made a direct appeal to Dorner, telling ABC News, "Mr. Dorner, if you're watching, turn yourself in. You've caused a great deal of death and destruction. It's time that you turn yourself in."

Police described Dorner as black, 6-feet tall and weighing 270 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.


Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Christopher Dorner: Manhunt in the Mountains for Ex-LAPD Officer

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- More than 100 police officers headed into the San Bernardino Mountains on Saturday searching for suspected cop-killer Christopher Dorner, a former LAPD officer who has vowed "warfare" against the department.

The search was temporarily halted Friday due to blizzard conditions in the area, but after a foot of snow fell overnight, officers were searching hundreds of cabins in the Big Bear Lake on Saturday and were using helicopters with thermal imaging technology to find Dorner.

"We're going to continue searching until we find he either left the mountain or we find him, one or the other," San Bernardino, Calif., County Sheriff John McMahon told reporters.

On Thursday, Dorner's burned pick-up truck was found in the Big Bear area, prompting a lockdown of local schools and the temporary shutdown of the Bear Ski Resort. However, footprints initially thought to be Dorner's were determined to actually be tracks from a cross country skier.

Officials also searched property owned by Dorner's mother in nearby Arrowbear, but they found no sign of Dorner there.

"Unless he is an expert in living in the California mountains in this time of year, he is going to be hurting," said former Navy SEAL Clint Sparks, who now works in tactical training and security. "Cold is a huge stress factor. ... Not everybody is survivor-man."

Police released the last known pictures of Dorner on Friday. The photos were taken two weeks ago from a surveillance camera in Orange County, close to where his first two victims were found.

The 33-year-old former Los Angeles police officer and Navy reservist sparked a region-wide manhunt after allegedly shooting and killing a couple in Irvine, Calif. The woman killed in the shooting was the daughter of former Los Angeles Police Captain Randy Quan, who represented Dorner in disciplinary hearings that ended with Dorner being fired.

Dorner also released an angry "manifesto" that warned of coming violence towards cops and listed extensive grievances with the LAPD.

"Your lack of ethics and conspiring to wrong a just individual are over. Suppressing the truth will lead to deadly consequences for you and your family," Dorner wrote in his manifesto.

On Thursday Dorner is believed to have opened fire on two officers, killing one.

"He has a great deal of training and experience in using both offensive and defensive tactics," said Justin Gombos, who served with Dorner in the military.

Dorner is believed to be heavily armed, possibly with a powerful .50 caliber rifle that can pierce bullet-proof vests. His knowledge of police tactics has law enforcement officials "deeply concerned" according to ABC News sources.

"If someone's got background in law enforcement, they've trained in tactics, they're going to have the knowledge and ability to predict our actions more than somebody that hasn't," Mike Parker, a captain with the L.A. County Sheriff's Department told affiliate KABC-TV.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Former LAPD Cop Sought in Shootings of Three Cops, Two Slayings

Comstock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Police in Southern California say they suspect that a fired cop is connected to the shootings -- one fatal -- of three police officers Thursday morning, as well as the weekend slayings of an assistant women's college basketball coach and her fiancé in what cops believe are acts of revenge against the LAPD, as suggested in the suspect's online manifesto.

Former police officer Christopher Jordan Dorner, 33, has been publically named as a suspect in the killings of Monica Quan, 28, and her 27-year-old fiancé, Keith Lawrence, Irvine police Chief David L. Maggard said at a news conference Wednesday night.

"We are considering him armed and dangerous," Lt. Julia Engen of the Irvine Police Department said.

Police say Dorner shot at four officers in two incidents overnight, hitting three of them: one in Corona, Calif., and two in Riverside, Calif.

Sgt. Rudy Lopez of the LAPD said two LAPD officers were in Corona and were heading out on special detail to check on one of the individuals named in Dorner's manifesto.  Dorner allegedly grazed one of them but missed the other.

The Riverside Police Department said two of its officers were shot before one of them died, ABC News affiliate KABC-TV reported.  The extent of the other's injuries is unclear.

Police suspected a connection to Dorner.

"They were on routine patrol stopped at a stop light when they were ambushed," Lt. Guy Toussant of the Riverside police department said.

Police around Southern California are wearing tactical gear, including helmets and guns across their chests.  The light-up signs along California highways show the license plate number of Dorner's car, and say to call 911 if it is seen.  The problem, police say, is that they believe Dorner is switching license plates on his car, a 2005 charcoal gray Nissan Titan pickup truck.

Lawrence was found slumped behind the wheel of his white Kia in the parking lot of their upscale apartment complex on Sunday and Quan was in the passenger seat.

"Of particular interest at this point in the investigation is a multi-page manifesto in which the suspect has implicated himself in the slayings," Maggard said.

Police said Dorner's manifesto included threats against members of the LAPD.  Police say they are taking extra measures to ensure the safety of officers and their families.

The document, allegedly posted on an Internet message board this week, blames Quan's father, retired LAPD Capt. Randy Quan, for his firing from the department in 2008.

One passage from the manifesto reads, "I will bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare to those in LAPD uniform whether on or off duty."

"I never had the opportunity to have a family of my own," Dorner allegedly writes.  "I'm terminating yours."

Police say Dorner is 6 feet tall and weighs 270 pounds.  He has black hair and brown eyes.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


LA County Deputy Arrested on Murder Charge

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- A 17-year veteran deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is being held on murder charges in connection with a June homicide in the Sylmar section of L.A.

Francisco Gamez, 41, was booked by the LAPD Wednesday on charges of murder, attempted murder and use of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Gamez is being held on $4 million bail. He was not on duty at the time of his arrest.

Gamez is accused of involvement in the June 17 murder of 38-year-old Armando Casillas, who was shot dead outside of his parents' Sylmar home.

Another person was shot at during the homicide but was not injured, police said.

Mission Homicide Unit detectives investigating the murder developed leads that connected a deputy sheriff to the crime, and as the case progressed, Robbery Homicide Division assumed primary investigative responsibility in the case, according to police.

Investigators believe before the fatal shooting Gamez and Casillas got into an argument, possibly involving Gamez' son, KABC reported. Police allege that Gamez then shot at another bystander, but missed.

Gamez had been working out of the West Hollywood sheriff's station since 2005. He was relieved of duty with pay on July 3 pending the outcome of the investigation, Sheriff Lee Baca said.

"The off-duty acts that led to the arrest of Francisco Games are deeply disturbing to me and to the entire Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department,'' Baca said in a statement. "The sheriff's department has been fully cooperating with the Los Angeles Police Department since first learning of the investigation.''

It wasn't immediately clear whether Gamez has retained a lawyer in the case.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


LAPD Officers Investigated in Death of Woman

Thinkstock/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Five Los Angeles Police Department officers have been placed on administrative duty during criminal and administrative investigations after a woman died in their custody last month, police officials said Friday.

An "in-car video was reviewed which revealed some questionable tactics and improper comments" during the officers' encounter with the woman, Alesia Thomas, the department said in statement Thursday.

The video has not been made public and the officers have not been named.

"The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Justice System Integrity Division (JSID) and the OIG [Office of the Inspector General] were present at the scene and will conduct a comprehensive and independent review of the facts of the in-custody death," according to the Thursday statement.

Police arrested Thomas, 35, for child endangerment after she left her 3-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son at the Southeast police station at 2 a.m. July 22. The children were stranded with a backpack full of clothes and told police their mom didn't want them anymore, LAPD Commander Andrew Smith told ABC News Friday.

The children also told police they hadn't eaten anything in a couple of days, Smith said.

Officers contacted Thomas at the children's home and believed they had a legitimate reason to arrest her, according to a police statement released July 23.

Thomas resisted arrest, according to the statement, prompting one officer to perform a leg sweep and take her to the ground to control her. Two other officers handcuffed her, the police statement said.

Officers also restrained Thomas' ankles with a "hobble restraint device," then placed her in a seated position in their patrol car, according to the statement.

At that point, Smith said Friday, police noticed that Thomas had stopped breathing and pulled her out of the car before contacting paramedics. Thomas died at the hospital.

Thomas' grandmother, Ada Moses, told ABC News Friday that her granddaughter was "a beautiful person" and questioned the events of her death.

"Alesia came to see me on that Friday, and that Sunday morning I was getting ready to go to Sunday school and my doorbell rings, and when I went to the door, it was the social worker with her oldest child," Moses said.

The social worker, along with Thomas' son, told Moses that Thomas had died.

Moses said Thomas' children are now in the custody of their grandmother, Sandra Thomas.

Smith said the department is awaiting toxicology reports from the coroner's office to determine whether intoxicants or drugs played a role in Thomas' death.

"I take all in-custody death investigations very seriously," LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said in a statement Thursday. "I am confident we will get to the truth no matter where that leads us."

This investigation coincides with the LAPD's investigation of an Aug. 21 incident in which two officers were caught on camera body slamming a handcuffed nurse to the pavement, then apparently fist bumping afterwards.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rodney King Case Changed Perceptions of Police Brutality

Jerod Harris/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Twenty years after Rodney King pleaded for blacks and whites to "get along," cases like the killing of black Florida teen Trayvon Martin prove that the lessons of King's brutal beating at the hands of Los Angeles police have still not been learned, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and other civil rights leaders said on Sunday.

King, who was found dead Sunday at his California home, emerged as a sort of reluctant, "countercultural hero" after he suffered a savage attack from four LAPD officers and a bystander's video camera captured the violence, Jackson told ABC News.

That videotape, when shared with a Los Angeles TV station, sent shock waves around the world, catapulting police brutality and race relations in the United States to center stage and turning King into a symbol of the bitter conflict.

"It was his beating that made America focus on the presence of profiling and police misconduct," said civil rights advocate Rev. Al Sharpton in a statement.  "History will record that it was Rodney King's beating and his actions that made America deal with the excessive misconduct of law enforcement."

"Rodney King's case was a symbol of police abuse," Sharpton said at a march on Sunday to protest the New York Police Department's stop-and-frisk policy.  "I remember before the tape of Rodney King, we talk about police abuse people thought we were making it up."

Jackson compared King's case, in which his attackers were acquitted, with Martin's case today, in which killer George Zimmerman wasn't initially arrested for shooting Martin, due to Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law.

"We seem not to have learned the lesson of the ugliness of racial profiling and police brutality and all the pain it causes," he said.

The wake of the violent attacks on King and the subsequent L.A. riots in 1992 spurred the resignation of LAPD Chief Daryl Gates and a drastic overhaul of the department, including years of federal oversight to monitor racial profiling and police brutality.

What was once a culture of low morale and a code of silence within a police force that had been scandalized even further by the O.J. Simpson murder trial, was turned on its head under the leadership of former LAPD Chief William Bratton.

His emphasis on community-based policing and crackdowns on excessive use of force brought murders down to just 297 in 2011, the lowest they've been in more than 40 years, according to ABC News affiliate KABC-TV in Los Angeles.

"The culture of the Los Angeles Police Department has been transformed," said Erwin Chemerinsky, a professor and the founding dean of the School of Law at the University of California Irvine, to KABC-TV.

Bratton has since gone on to advise the police forces of other major cities including London, where he now serves as a consultant to police following the city's spate of riots last year.

But 20 years after the 1992 acquittal of the LAPD officers ignited days of deadly riots in Los Angeles, Jackson said the shooting of Trayvon Martin shows that race relations are still far from where they should be.

The NYPD, for example, has come under increasing criticism for its stop-and-frisk program, in which it detained more than than 685,000 people in 2011, the majority of them young blacks and Hispanics, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union.  That's up from about 97,300 stop-and-frisk incidents back in 2002.

Jackson said the persistent present-day bias is also reflected by the 8,000 blacks killed in the United States each year.

"It isn't just the police," he said.  "Our concern now, of course, is too much racially-targeted violence.

"We had a redemptive moment with President Barack Obama's election," Jackson said.  But contrary to King's "resounding appeal for us to get along," he said, "it seems that we're not."

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Victim Identified in Hollywood Murder Mystery

Thinkstock/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The victim of a gruesome Hollywood murder mystery has been identified, but investigators have not released his name.

A decapitated head, severed hands and feet and no leads seemed to be the perfect recipe for a Hollywood whodunnit.   Except this time, the Los Angeles Police Department has been facing a real homicide.

The search for more body parts in rugged terrain beneath the famous Hollywood sign ended Thursday, but police still did not have many leads in the case. According to ABC affiliate KABC7 in Los Angeles, the LAPD has searched an apartment building in connection to the investigation. Officials said no one was detained for questioning, but a car was towed during the search.

The Los Angeles Police Department told KABC7 the apartment complex is located two miles south from Bronson Canyon park where the body parts were found.

The discovery of a man’s head in a bag on Tuesday and set of hands and feet on Wednesday launched a search for more body parts. The investigation centered along a hiking trail beneath the iconic Hollywood sign and not far from Brad Pitt’s house.

The victim has only been identified as a male between the age of 40 and 60 years old.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Occupy Los Angeles Protesters Ordered to Evict Encampment

Alex Stone/ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- Hundreds of police officers moved in on Occupy Los Angeles protesters camped out at a park near City Hall early Wednesday morning, ordering them to leave their encampment or face arrest.

The LAPD gave the order to dispense shortly after midnight.  Officers were seen wearing what looked like white HAZMAT suits, with gun belts on the outside and latex gloves, as they went in to clean up the camp and tear down tents.

Protesters who refused to leave were arrested with plastic handcuffs; some were even carried out.  As of 3:30 a.m. PT, 200 people had been arrested, according to LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.

In a statement, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said, "Once the park is cleared, it will be repaired and returned to all Angelenos to exercise their First Amendment rights."

In the meantime, Villaraigosa said "a First Amendment area will remain open on the Spring Street City Hall steps" while the park is closed.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


LAPD Arrests Two Men in Fan Beating Case

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- After nearly four months, police announced Friday evening that they have made arrests in relation to the beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow.

Police have charged Louie Sanchez, 29, and Marvin Norwood, 30, with one count each of mayhem, assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, all felonies.  Both men are being held on $500,000 bail.

Police initially arrested a man named Giovanni Ramirez, but now say he is innocent.

Stow's condition appeared to improve recently, but regressed this week after he suffered seizures and had emergency surgery, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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