LASD Deputy Juan Abel Escalante, 1981-2008
What started as the mission to find the murders of a fallen comrade has turn into a quest to reclaim a neighborhood.
Hundreds of police officers and federal law enforcement agents launched a major assault on the Avenues gang this morning, hoping to deal a blow to an elusive gang responsible for some of Los Angeles' most notorious street crime.
Under the cover of darkness around 3 a.m., roughly 1,200 heavily-armed officers from the Los Angeles Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration and several other agencies dispersed from a command post near the LAPD’s training academy in Elysian Park.
Warrants in hand, they descended on dozens of homes in search of 53 alleged members or associates of the Avenues gang wanted on an array of federal charges related to the gang's extensive drug dealing, unsolved murders and other crimes.
With 43 suspects already in custody on unrelated charges, the operation aimed to bring new charges against 88 Avenues members or associates, a significant share of a gang that is believed to have about 400 members.
Some suspects were sought elsewhere in the city, but the sweep focused on Glassell Park and other neighborhoods in the northeastern reaches of Los Angeles -- the center of Avenues territory since the gang first surfaced in the 1950s.
The ambush murder of Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputy Juan Abel Escalante, brought renew scrutiny on the Avenues Gang who also had been convicted of hate crimes, in targeting blacks within Highland Park for attacks as a part of a campaign to rid the neighborhood of African Americans.
Rubin reports that the motivation for this morning's raids were made clear during a planning meeting last week.
With the auditorium at LAPD headquarters filled with a few hundred officers, a recording was played of the phone call Escalante’s hysterical wife made to a 911 dispatcher after discovering him in the street. “If anyone has any doubt about the rationale or reason behind this operation, it was this,” a detective said.
The Department of Water and Power's proposed 85-mile-long Green Path North transmission line has faced fierce opposition from more than a dozen community and environmental groups, creating a political chink in Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's efforts to cast himself as the leader of the "cleanest, greenest big city in America."
Once again, the Oak Glen based "Wildlands Conservancy"
stands fast in preserving open space from encroachment for dubious efforts.
The city plans to spend as much as $1.8 million on the election. If no candidate wins a majority of the vote, the top two candidates will face a runoff election Dec. 8. The winner will finish Greuel’s term, which ends in June 2011.
Officials at the Los Angeles city clerk’s office plan to begin posting results by 8:30 p.m. here. The first tallies will be from vote-by-mail ballots. As of Monday afternoon, the clerk’s office had received just 7,386 ballots by mail – a fraction of the 124,955 voters who live in the 2nd Council District.
No need to remind you what fellow Westside native they are endorsing in this election.
The mayor's former deputy chief of staff Dan Grunfeld stepped down from his post Friday. Today, the law firm of Kaye Scholer announced that Grunfeld, 49, will work in its Los Angeles office representing clients in such fields as green technology, alternative energy and compliance with environmental laws.
Los Angeles City Board of Harbor Commissioners "are considering a new plan for improving the San Pedro port, including revitalizing the once-thriving Port O'Call village shopping and dining area".
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office has searched two homes in a probe of whether Democratic state Sen. Roderick Wright lives in the district he represents, officials confirmed today.
David Demerjian, who heads the DA's Public Integrity Division, told The Times that investigators searched two residences early Wednesday morning but he would not divulge exact addresses. One of the homes was in Wright's 25th District and the other was in the neighboring 26th District.
Labels: Avenues Gang, cd2 special election, Dan Grunfeld, Deputy Juan abel Escalante, green path north, State Senator Roderick Wright