Man Killed in Drive-By Shooting
SAN PEDRO — A man, believed to be in his 20s, was killed on June 23 at 2 a.m., while walking near the intersection of Palos Verdes Street and 9th Street in San Pedro. The man’s name is being withheld pending notification of his next of kin.
Los Angeles Police Department officials said that a maroon vehicle drove up to the man and someone opened fire. The man tried running but collapsed and died, officials said.
Investigators do not believe the shooting was gang related.
Best Western Plus Comes to San Pedro
SAN PEDRO — San Diego-based hotel management and consulting company, RAR Hospitality, recently announced the addition of Best Western Plus San Pedro Hotel & Suites to the Harbor Area.
The boutique 60-room Best Western Plus San Pedro Hotel & Suites is a Victorian-style hotel attracting both business and leisure guests, accommodating from one-night to extended stays.
San Pedro provides complimentary shuttle service to cruise terminals at San Pedro World Cruise Terminal and is near Long Beach Convention Center, Catalina Island, and Port of Los Angeles. The hotel features a renovated 2,000 square-foot meeting and conference space, exercise facility with panoramic bay views, outdoor pool and jacuzzi, 24-hour business center and multilingual staff fluent in English, Spanish and French.
Best Western Plus San Pedro Hotel & Suites is at 111 S Gaffey Street in San Pedro, 90731. Details: (858) 239-1800; www.RARHospitality.com
SAN PEDRO — In April, the Emergency Response Team met with 145 homeless people, 85 percent of whom are from the Harbor Area. A common narrative is that many people lost their homes during the recession and have been homeless since. In April, six shelter placements were made including one family (three of the placements were from Wilmington and three from San Pedro).
In May, the Emergency Response Team participated in a four day consecutive joint outreach with Harbor Interfaith, Veteran Resources and the County Department of Mental Health SB-82 team. The ERT met with 61 people and took them to the Department of Motor Vehicles and Social Security offices. For the entire month of May the team met with 170 people, 88 percent of whom were from the Harbor area. The team also made seven housing placements including three permanent housing and four shelter placements.
Three People Charged with the Murder of Teenager
LONG BEACH — On June 27, the Long Beach Police Department announced it has arrested three people in connection with the murder of 16-year-old Geron Lacy of Long Beach.
Police arrested Maria Martha Macias, Tryone Devonte and Marvin Tyree Lard in connection to a May 3 shooting that resulted in Geron’s death.
The incident took place at about 7 p.m. in the 3300 block of 65th Street in Long Beach. Officers found Geron with a gunshot to the upper torso. Geron was declared dead at the scene. Investigators determined that Geron was involved in a physical fight with the suspects. The incident is being investigated as gang related and the investigation remains ongoing.
Macias, 23, is a resident of Long Beach. She was arrested on June 17, arraigned on June 20 and charged with murder. She is being held at the Los Angeles County Jail with a bail set at $3 million.
Devonte, 19, is a resident of Los Angeles. He was arrested June 22, arraigned June 24 and charged with murder as an ex-felon with a gun. He is being held at the Los Angeles County Jail with bail set at $3.035 million.
Lard, 19, is a resident of Bellflower. He was arrested June 25, arraigned June 27 and was charged with murder. He is being held at Los Angeles County Jail with bail set at $3 million.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to call (562) 570-7244 or visit www.LACrimeStoppers.org.
Two Cars Hit Woman
LONG BEACH — On June 26, a woman died after crossing the street near the intersection of Anaheim Street and Ohio Avenue.
Police officials said that a white or beige Ford Expedition was traveling west on Anaheim Street, and hit her while she walked through an unmarked crosswalk. The vehicle then reversed and made a right turn on Ohio Avenue, hitting the woman again before leaving the scene. A second car, a 2006 Cadillac, later hit the woman, but the driver remained.
Long Beach Fire Department personnel pronounced the woman dead at the scene. The woman’s name is being withheld next of kin notification.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call (562) 570-7355 or visit www.lacrimestoppers.org.
Pearce Names Chief of Staff
LONG BEACH — Councilwoman-elect Jeannine Pearce announced Devin Cotter as her choice for chief of staff. Pearce is preparing to take office in the second district on the Long Beach City Council.
Cotter has worked in Mayor Robert Garcia’s office since 2014, and served as campaign manager for both Garcia and Measure A and B. Prior to working in Long Beach, Cotter worked in public policy on the local and state level. He also consulted on numerous political campaigns.
As chief of staff, Cotter will be responsible for advising Pearce on district staff selection and implementing policy agendas. He will also oversee the district’s budget and manage community engagement initiatives.
Man Dies After Apartment Fire in Long Beach
LONG BEACH — On June 22, a man was killed in a residential structure fire in the 500 block of West 7th Street.
The man was pronounced deceased at the hospital. He had suspicious injuries. The Long Beach Homicide Detective is conducting an investigation into the cause of the fire as well as the man’s death.
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office will identify the victim and the cause of death pending next of kin notification.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call (562) 570-7244 or visit www.lacrimestoppers.org.
Long Beach to Pay $3 Million to Family of Tyler Woods
LONG BEACH — On June 22, a federal jury in Los Angeles awarded $1.05 million to the family of Tyler Woods.
Woods, 19, was shot by Long Beach Police in 2013, after fleeing from officers at a traffic stop. Woods was wanted in connection to a carjacking in Los Angeles. Woods fled to the rooftop of an apartment building along the 500 block of Nebraska, where he was shot at least 19 times by police, despite being unarmed and holding up his hands to surrender.
His parents, Trevor and Tyra Woods, filed a $10 million lawsuit alleging excessive force against the Long Beach Police Department.
Long Beach also agreed to pay an additional $1.9 million to Woods’ son.
Motorcyclist Killed in Traffic Collision
LONG BEACH — On June 20, a motorcyclist was killed after a collision with a pick-up truck at 7th Street and Newport Avenue. Despite the attempts of officers, the man was pronounced dead at the scene.
The preliminary investigation revealed that a 2000 Toyota Tacoma, driven by a 70-year-old man, tried to turn left on Newport Avenue before hitting a 2008 Harley Davidson Sportster. A 33-year-old man who was a resident of the City of Commerce was driving the motorcycle.
The motorcyclist’s identification is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Anyone who may have information regarding this incident is asked to call (562) 570-7355.
LB Council Votes on Med-pot Alternative
LONG BEACH — On June 22, the Long Beach City Council voted 7-1 to allow a petition-driven initiative for medical marijuana dispensaries to be on the November ballot.
In early June, a group led by Bob Kelton, turned in about 35,000 signatures proposing an ordinance that would allow numerous medical marijuana dispensaries in Long Beach, with some operating restrictions and a 6 percent tax level.
The city clerk is still verifying that enough of the signatures are from legally registered voters.
Councilwoman Suzie Price offered a delivery-only proposal before expanding to storefronts. But, she wanted to postpone a vote until the July 5 meeting because Mayor Robert Garcia and Councilman Al Austin were absent. She asked the city manager and city attorney to start preparing an impact analysis if the ballot initiative were to pass.
Ninth District Councilman Rex Richardson said he couldn’t support Price’s alternative, but that a study might make sense. Then Uranga said that the council had turned down Price’s proposal once and didn’t need to address it again. He made a motion to receive and file Price’s request.
Price’s motion failed 6-2, with Councilwoman Stacy Mungo voting in Price’s favor.
St. Mary’s Foundation Raised $220,000
LONG BEACH – St. Mary Medical Center announced June 27 that it has exceeded its goal to raise $175,000 through this year’s Hospital Family Campaign with a grand total of $220,680.
About 664 St. Mary Medical Center employees donated money to support vital programs and services at the hospital, including the areas of greatest need at the Low Vision Center, the Bazzeni Wellness Center and the healthcare access program, Families in Good Health.
The Hospital Family Campaign set a new record for St. Mary, both in revenue generated and employee participation with having exceeded 60 percent.
The Campaign was comprised of 85 team captains representing various departments throughout St. Mary. About 160 employees joined the Foundation 21 Society (donors of $500 or more) and 49 Champion Leaders (donors of $1,000 or more.
St. Mary relies on charitable donations from community friends, private foundations, grateful patients, physicians and other supporters.
“Donations from employees directly impact patient care while demonstrating that charitable support of St. Mary starts with our own employees,” Foundation President Drew Gagner said.
Trump Protest No. 3
Rancho Palos Verdes — On June 22, members of Berners Against Militarism and San Pedro Neighbors for Peace and Justice protested outside Trump “National” Golf Course.
Participants called for an end to the U.S. promotion of violence at home and abroad, and a focus on human and planetary needs as the only means to peace, justice and sustainability.
Trump private security was called on the participants. Later the local sheriff’s department also showed up. The demonstrators were told that the sheriff’s department said they were not allowed to take pictures of the “Trump National Golf Course” sign. The group replied that they were within their First Amendment rights, not only to protest on public property, but to take pictures of the Trump sign. The golf course, they said, was not-as of yet-a military installation, and that they therefore had a First Amendment Right to photograph it, and to promote their political opposition to Donald Trump and to U.S. militarism through the press, social media outlets and in peaceful assembly. The group freely left their demonstration as planned.
Tanaka Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison
LOS ANGELES – Paul Tanaka, who was the second in command of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, was sentenced June 27 to 60 months in federal prison for his conviction on obstruction of justice charges stemming from him leading the LASD’s efforts to derail a federal investigation into corruption and civil rights violations by sheriff’s deputies at two downtown jail complexes.
Tanaka, 57, a resident of Gardena, left the LASD in 2013 when he was the undersheriff. In addition to the five-year prison term, which Tanaka was ordered to begin serving on Aug. 1, he was ordered to pay a $7,500 fine.
A federal jury on April 6 found Tanaka guilty of two felony offenses – conspiring to obstruct justice and a substantive count of obstructing justice. After a 10-day trial, a federal jury deliberated for only a few hours before convicting Tanaka of being the head of a broad conspiracy to obstruct the federal investigation, a scheme that started when the LASD learned that an inmate at the Men’s Central Jail was an FBI informant. Tanaka directed a conspiracy that has resulted in the conviction of other former LASD officials who received sentences of up to 41 months in prison.
Tanaka ran an unsuccessful campaign for sheriff in 2014. As he rose through ranks during a 31-year career with the LASD, Tanaka became well aware of problems with deputies at the jails, allegations of rampant abuse of inmates and insufficient internal investigations into deputy misconduct.
“During his time as an executive, defendant threatened to discipline
supervisors who frequently referred deputies to Internal Affairs, transferred captains who tried to reduce deputy abuse and break up cliques, instructed deputies to work in the ‘gray area’ of law enforcement, and expressed his desire to gut Internal Affairs,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed with the court.
The scheme to disrupt the federal investigation started in August 2011 when deputies recovered a mobile phone from an inmate in Men’s Central Jail, linked the phone to the FBI, and determined that the inmate was an informant in the FBI’s corruption and civil rights investigation. The phone was given to the inmate as part of an undercover investigation by a corrupt deputy, who subsequently pleaded guilty to a federal bribery charge and was recently sentenced to federal prison.
In response to the federal investigation, members of the Tanaka-led conspiracy took steps to hide the cooperator from the FBI and the United States Marshals Service, which was attempting to bring the inmate to testify before a federal grand jury. The evidence presented during Tanaka’s trial showed that the deputies altered records to make it appear that the cooperator had been released from jail, when in fact he had been re-booked into custody under a fake name and moved to an LASD patrol station. Members of the conspiracy prohibited FBI access to the informant, and then told the cooperator that he had been abandoned by the FBI.
Over the course of several weeks, members of the conspiracy sought an order from a Los Angeles Superior Court judge to compel the FBI to turn over information about its investigation to the LASD. After the judge refused to issue the order because he had no jurisdiction over the federal law enforcement agency – and even though it was clear that the FBI was acting legally – two LASD sergeants confronted the lead FBI agent at her residence in an attempt to intimidate her. The sergeants threatened the agent with arrest and later reiterated this threat to her supervisor, stating that the agent’s arrest was imminent.
Tanaka oversaw co-conspirators who told fellow deputies not to cooperate in the federal investigation. Members of the conspiracy engaged in witness tampering by ordering fellow deputies not to speak to the federal government and telling them that the FBI would lie, threaten, manipulate and blackmail them to obtain information about the Sheriff’s Department.
Tanaka was indicted this past year along with William Thomas Carey, a former LASD Captain who headed the Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau. Carey pleaded guilty last year and is pending sentencing. A total of 10 members of the department – including former Sheriff Leroy Baca – have been convicted in relation to the scheme to obstruct justice. Baca, who pleaded guilty in February pursuant to a plea agreement, is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11.
Six other defendants, including former Sheriff Leroy Baca, are scheduled for sentencing later this year.
Assembly Committee Passes Bill for Traffic Amnesty
SACRAMENTO — On June 20, the Assembly Transportation Committee voted 8-4 in favor of legislation preventing automatic suspension of driver’s licenses for those who fail to appear in court or pay fines for minor traffic offenses. The legislation has already passed in the Senate, and will go on to the Assembly Public Safety Committee for consideration.
Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, said that the bill would end an overly harsh punishment.
“The truth of the matter is we have created the modern equivalent of debtor’s prison by taking away people’s driver’s licenses or throwing them in jail simply because they are too poor to pay a fine,” Hertzberg said. “We must restore common sense to our justice system, treat the poor with decency and fairness and give working Californians a chance to make amends without jeopardizing their jobs or families.”
The legislation does not apply to offenses involving reckless driving or driving under the influence.
Congress Members Calls for Action on Gun Violence
Washington, D.C. — On June 22, Georgia Rep. John Lewis and Massachusetts Rep. Katherine Clark led member of the House Democratic Caucus in sit-in protest.
The representatives declared their intention to remain on the floor until Republican Speaker Paul Ryan allowed for votes on gun safety legislation.
About 60 legislators, including Rep. Janice Hahn, joined the sit in, which came on the heels of the June 12, mass-shooting in Orlando, Fla.
“The American people are sick of silence,” Hahn said. “They are demanding that Congress take action and protect their families. This nation has just witnessed the deadliest mass shooting in history and more people are dying every day. If we do not take action now, when will we? Inaction is tantamount to being complicit in the next attack. I cannot stand for that.
“I am proud to join this sit-in with Congressman John Lewis (who knows a thing or two about sit-ins). We will not yield the floor until we get a vote on gun reform.”
Two days prior to the sit in, on June 20, four gun control measures failed to pass in the Senate.
Speaker pro tempore Dan Webster, ordered a recess in an attempt to circumvent media coverage. C-SPAN shut off. However, Democrats refused to leave the floor during this recess. Instead, they used their own cell phones to stream their speeches using Facebook and other social media tool.
“No Bill, No Break!” legislators chanted.
Ryan reconvened the House at about 10 p.m. June 22, and again at 2:30 am. June. He adjourned the House until July 5.
Democrats remained on the floor. The sit-in ended at around noon on June 23.
SCOTUS Deadlocks on Immigration Plan
WASHINGTON D.C. — On June 23, the Supreme Court ruled 4-4 on the case United States v. Texas. The case is related to the Deferred Action for Parents of American and Lawful Permanent Residents plan, which would give certain illegal immigrants an exemption from deportation, as well as a three-year, renewable work permit.
The decision allows a lower court’s ruling against President Obama’s immigration policy to stand.
The split decision is a consequence of Republican refusal to consider Judge Merrick B. Garland to fill the space left when Justice Antonin Scalia died earlier this year.
The ruling also means a congressional compromise must take place to change immigration laws.