Press Conference

LASD officials discuss the coc hearing on deputy subgroups 1024 512 SIB Staff

LASD officials discuss the coc hearing on deputy subgroups

Department Officials Discuss the Civilian Oversight commission’s Hearing on Deputy Subgroups and Cliques within the Sheriff’s Department

On Wednesday, June 15, 2022, Assistant Sheriff Holly Francisco and Chief April Tardy discussed developments and actions taken on alleged deputy subgroups and cliques within the Sheriff’s Department in response to allegations made by the Chair of the Civilian Oversight Commission, Sean Kennedy. 

In a news interview last week, Chair Sean Kennedy made the following statement: “It is time to hear from the Sheriff and Undersheriff Murakami and the other LASD officials who have the authority to address deputy gangs, but it appears have done nothing to do so.” 

His statement could not be further from the truth. Sheriff Villanueva has addressed and taken various steps to address the problem, build community trust, and counter the false narrative broadcasted by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) and Civilian Oversight Commission (COC). Assistant Sheriff Holly Francisco presented factual evidence of Sheriff Villanueva’s steps to address deputy subgroups and cliques. 

On his very first day as the Sheriff, Villanueva removed the captain of the East Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station and replaced the entire command staff. Throughout 2019, 36 East Los Angeles Deputies were transferred to other stations, four were terminated, and 22 that were part of the Kennedy Hall investigation were suspended without pay. 

In February of 2020, Sheriff Villanueva successfully implemented a department policy that prohibits employees from participating in any clique or subgroup that promotes conduct that violates the rights of other employees or members of the public, the first sheriff in the department’s history to do so. Department training videos on the topic were created and distributed, personnel viewed these training materials, and mandatory briefings regarding cliques were conducted. 

Additionally, Sheriff Villanueva sponsored AB 958 legislation for Peace Officer Cliques with Assembly Member Mike Gipson; AB958 was signed into law on October 2021. The legislation is intended to tackle the issue of “gangs” among peace officers that might undermine the professional standards of policing among California’s law enforcement agencies. 

In August 2020, the Kennedy Hall investigation was completed, and Sheriff Villanueva held a press conference to announce the investigation results, including the termination and suspension of the deputies involved. In September 2020, Sheriff Villanueva sent a message to all personnel requesting their participation in the RAND Corporation study on deputy subgroups. Deputies were encouraged to complete the anonymous survey.  

In March 2021, a subgroups and cliques policy re-briefing email was sent to department members, including a reminder that all employees would be held accountable for any policy violation. Unit commanders had their personnel sign a copy of the policy stating that they read and understood it.

In February 2022, the department created a portal on the department’s website so that the public could report any evidence of deputy gangs or employee misconduct in the department (https://lasd.org/report-employee-misconduct/). 

After Assistant Sheriff Francisco outlined the Sheriff’s actions to dispel rumors of inaction, Chief April Tardy spoke about her experience implementing all the subgroup policies to encourage compliance. “In addition, we’re holding our supervisors accountable to monitor the workplace and encourage our deputies to continue to work hard, rebuild our community relationships and make good decisions,” said Chief April Tardy. 

“Our goal today was to truly show the amount of work we have done and negate the headlines that the Sheriff and the department have done nothing regarding the deputy subgroups and cliques. I think you can see that this is the farthest from the truth,” said Assistant Sheriff Holly Francisco. 

Contrary to what the media or some politicians claim, many policies have been implemented regarding deputy subgroups and cliques so the community can trust that law enforcement and personnel are held accountable.   

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Sheriff Alex Villanueva is the FIRST Los Angeles County Sheriff to successfully implement a policy banning “deputy cliques.” The policy went into effect.
Image of LASD Leutenant standing at a podium with a flyer that reads Case Solved.
Sheriff and Homicide Detectives announce a Solved Cold Case from the 1980s 1024 819 SIB Staff

Sheriff and Homicide Detectives announce a Solved Cold Case from the 1980s

Sheriff Alex Villanueva and Homicide Detectives announce a Solved Cold Case from the 1980’s

On Sunday, October 13, 1985, Victim David R. Evans was brutally beaten to death inside his residence in Claremont, CA. His body was discovered by Claremont Police Officers when neighbors called to report a possible burglary. At the time of the murder, the 57-year-old victim was the Vice President at Pomona First Federal Bank and former Pomona Unified School District Superintendent. David was divorced and lived by himself. In 1985, the investigation had few leads, and no suspects were identified. 

In 2006, advancements in forensic technology prompted investigators to re-analyze evidence discovered at the scene of the crime. The analysis led to the identification of Hillery Marcus Dupleasis as a person of interest. Over the next several years, the ongoing investigation failed to further implicate Dupleasis to the case. Investigators were also unable to establish that Dupleasis resided in California at the time of the crime.

In 2020, Detectives Shaun McCarthy and Bill Marsh re-investigated the case with the help of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Scientific Services Bureau and they were able to link Dupleasis, a person of interest identified in 2006, as the suspect in the murder of David Evans. 

Investigators were able to definitively determine Dupleasis lived in the San Gabriel Valley during the time of the murder and were also able to link Dupleases to the Victim’s 1980 Chevrolet Monza that was stolen immediately after his murder and abandoned in Covina, approximately two hours later.

Dupleasis is currently incarcerated in a New York State Prison, serving an extensive sentence for an unrelated murder. He will be eligible for parole in that case, in 2033.

On May 2, 2022, 1stdegree murder charges were filed against Dupleasis by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The 36-year-old cold case murder was solved by detectives assigned to the Homicide Bureau’s Unsolved Unit. Detectives worked closely with investigators from the Claremont Police Department, New York State Police, and the New York Department of Corrections.

It is never too late to provide information that will assist detectives solve a case. If someone knows something about a crime, please contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. They can also provide information anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477) or use their smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile App on Google Play or the Apple App Store, or use the website http://lacrimestoppers.org/.

Image of Victim, David Evans
Image of suspect Hillery Marcus Dupleasis

Press Conference Video

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Help solve the Murder of Danah Rojo-Rivas Reward Offered

Homicide Detectives and Victim’s mother ask for the Public’s Help in Solving the Murder of 16-year-old Danah Rojo-Rivas; $20,000 Reward Offered

On Wednesday, November 23, 2016, a mother was driving her two children home from a church function when suddenly, their lives changed forever.  16-year-old Danah Rojo-Rivas was shot to death. 

Danah was the backseat passenger in a car driven by her mother. Her brother Ethan sat in the front passenger seat. The family was heading home from a church function the day before Thanksgiving. As they traveled through the city of Lynwood, they waited for the light to turn green on Euclid Avenue at the intersection with Long Beach Boulevard. The family was unaware of a car chase happening right behind them.

The intended targets of the shooting were being chased by a light-colored 4-door sedan occupied by three people. One of the intended targets exited his vehicle and ran behind the Rojo-Rivas car to avoid being hit by bullets.  As the intended target ran, the shooter tracked him with a succession of gunfire from a handgun, and a bullet entered the Rojo-Rivas car, striking Danah in the upper torso and fatally wounding her.

Danah loved sports and animals –especially dogs.  She played softball and was working toward becoming a volunteer at an animal shelter.  At the shooting, Danah’s dog “Luna” was with her in the car.  In the confusion after the shooting, when the door was opened to pull Danah from the vehicle, the frightened dog ran out and was hit and killed by a passing car, adding heartache to heartbreak for the grieving family.

On Thursday, June 2, 2022, Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau and Danah’s mother made a plea to the public to come forward and help identify the suspect who killed Danah.

“I’m a single mom. My son and my daughter were always with me all the time. My hands were always busy with the hands of my little kids. When that happened that night, and we were taken to the police station, my sister picked me up at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, and I was in denial. And when I went out, I was holding my son’s hand and my other hand… I didn’t have my daughter in my other hand, I realized that it was true. Since then, my hand always feels empty, ‘cause she is not here,” said a sobbing Sandra Rivas, Danah’s mother.  

To encourage witnesses to come forward, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors extended the $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for Danah’s death. The reward is sponsored by 4th District LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn. Unfortunately, Supervisor Hahn was not able to attend the press conference but sent a message to the community: “Danah’s family is still heartbroken and looking for answers. If you know anything about this terrible crime and who may be responsible for Danah’s death, I urge you to come forward.”

There were many witnesses to this murder, and some have come forward. Investigators have enhanced some surveillance video and have determined specific features that match witness and anonymous tipster’s statements.

Investigators also received information from an anonymous tipster who witnessed the shooting up close. Detectives are asking that person to contact Homicide investigators for a follow up interview.  Investigators also believe there were other possibly related shootings in the area before and after Danah’s murder. 

If you have information about this case, please contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.  If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may call “L.A. Crime Stoppers” at 800-222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 MOBILE APP” on Google Play or the App Store or use the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.

Press Conference Video

Sheriff Villanueva is standing at a podium infront of a TV that reads. "Dramatic Rise in crimes. Quality of life issues involving homlessnes on the Metro.
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LASD Operation Safe Travel

Sheriff Alex Villanueva announces LASD Operation Safe Travel

Within the last six months, there have been several crimes in the Metro system including people pushed on train tracks, unprovoked attacks on passengers by homeless individuals. Sexual assaults on female passengers, and a patron intentionally set on fire while riding the train have also been reported. Several of these crimes resulted in fatalities. 

According to Metro, approximately 5700 homeless people live on the train system and on the Metro platforms. This has created an enormous problem for those whose only transportation option is the train system.

On Tuesday, May 24, 2022, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva held a press conference to announce a new initiative to keep the public safe while they ride the Metro system. 

“The biggest problem we have right now on the entire transit system, is we have a homeless population that are living on the train system and on the platforms. And the intersection of that, and the people that are actually using the trains for their intended purpose, for travel, is colliding and it’s colliding with deadly results,” said Sheriff Villanueva.     

To halt the grave problem and to ensure the safety of Metro passengers, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) is launching Operation Safe Travel. This will be a multi-layered approach to conduct targeted operations along the train system. The goal of the operation will be the safety of commuters by having high law enforcement visibility and the removal of homeless individuals from trains and platforms through homeless outreach and early intervention. Right now, security officers request assistance from deputies when a situation is out of their control and sometimes that intervention comes late. With early intervention, deputies can interact with an individual showing distress so that the situation does not escalate.  

Resources for the operation will include members of various units and bureaus from the LASD including the Sheriff’s Response Team, Community Oriented Policing Services, Homeless Outreach Services Team, Transportation Services Bureau Special Assignment Team, Mounted Enforcement Detail, Narcotics Bureau, Operation Safe Streets, Human Trafficking Detail and other units and bureaus from the Sheriff’s Department.  

Operation Safe Travel will begin on June 1st, 2022, and the first step of the multi-layer approach will be to remove individuals living on the transit system. LASD wants train commuters to see the difference and feel safe while using the Metro.

Train commuters and riders are encouraged to call this number to report any Metro non-emergency concerns: (213) 229-2298

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Los Angeles County Sheriff and other Officials Announce Crack Down on Illegal Marijuana Operations

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva and other Officials Announce Crack Down on Illegal Marijuana Operations

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 17, 2022, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD), the California National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife conducted a joint operation to take down multiple illegal marijuana grows in the Antelope Valley.

Almost a year after the most extensive drug operation in the history of the Sheriff’s Department took place, Sheriff Alex Villanueva returned to let everyone know that the operation continues to this day. In the first four months of 2022, the Marijuana Eradication Team (MET) served 116 marijuana cultivation-related search warrants. One hundred seven people were arrested, 100 were misdemeanors, and seven were felony arrests. Approximately 101,090 marijuana plants were seized, 53 firearms were confiscated, and 14,980 pounds of harvested marijuana were destroyed. 

Continuing in the spring of 2022, LASD narcotics investigators conducted aerial reconnaissance with the California National Guard Counterdrug Task Force. They identified 350 outdoor cultivation sites in the Antelope Valley, down from over 750 locations in 2021. This reduction in cultivation sites is directly related to increased enforcement efforts in the Antelope Valley.

MET investigators served search warrants at 80% of the identified sites and anticipate they will have 100% eradicated by the end of the fall of 2022. Most of these sites are connected to Mexican Cartels, Asian organized crime, and other organized crime groups. These illegal cultivation sites threaten the safety of communities, the environment, and wildlife. The unpermitted water wells being drilled to water the illegal crops affect underground aquifers. 

“We’ve already identified the problems that this causes here in the Antelope Valley. Downstream, illegal cannabis dispensaries in the basin are a source of extreme amounts of violence. You have robberies, you have murders that we’re handling. Other agencies have to handle in the basin, and they’re all tied to the cash trade down in these illegal dispensaries. In fact, illegal dispensaries outnumber the legal one 50 to 1. That will give you the size of the magnitude of the problem that we’re handling right here,” said Sheriff Villanueva.

“Supervisor Barger is thankful to the partners that are gathered here today for their diligent efforts to keep combatting illegal cannabis cultivation. Please know that you can continue to count on Supervisor Barger’s support,” said Helen Chavez on behalf of Supervisor Barger.   

“To any of those who are engaged in the illicit grows, I want you to know that there is a collective effort, and we’re coming after you. You can see, right here in these trailers, where your product is going to end up, and it’s not going to be on our streets. You’ve come after a very sacred thing: our community, you’ve come after our desert, and you’re stealing our water, you’re poisoning our land, and enough is enough! Said Assemblymember for CA 36th District, Tom Lackey.

In July of 2021, the LASD Narcotics investigators created the email address MarijuanaTips@lasd.org. This was done to facilitate and expedite the ability of residents to provide information directly to the detectives investigating marijuana cultivation cases. Detectives strongly encourage the public to use this email address to help eradicate this problem by the fall of 2022.

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Homicide Detectives ask for the Publics Help in the Murder of Reginald Thompson Sr.

Homicide Detectives and Family Members will ask for the Public’s Help for Information in the Murder of Reginald Thompson Sr.

On Tuesday, May 3, 2022, Homicide Bureau Detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) held a press conference to announce a $20,000 reward in exchange for information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the murder of Reginald Thompson Sr. The reward is sponsored by Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Second District.

On Tuesday, January 11, 2022, a little before 9:00 p.m., 34-year-old Reginald Thompson, Sr. was talking to friends in the parking lot of a shopping center, located in the 11400 block of South Vermont Ave., in the southwest corner of Imperial Highway and Vermont Avenue, in the unincorporated area of Los Angeles.  As they were talking, four suspects parked their vehicle on Vermont Avenue just south of the shopping center. The suspects exited a dark-colored sedan, approached and fired several times at Thompson and his friends. Thompson was struck by gunfire and later succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital. The suspects fled the location in the vehicle and headed south on Vermont Ave.

“My son was a father, he was a brother, he was a friend. He was fun, he was loving, and he did not deserve to be tragically struck. This could be anybody standing here, and I don’t want to see other mothers suffer the pain and sorrow that I’ve had to endure from my family. We are devastated and if you saw something, please say something,” said Reginald’s mom, Caren Stephens.

On April 19, 2022, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a reward in the amount of $20,000 in exchange for information leading to the apprehension and/or conviction of those responsible for the death of Reginald.

“I wish to share my heartfelt condolences with the family of Reginald Thompson, Sr. for their tragic loss,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Holly J. Mitchell, author of the motion that established this reward. “I encourage anyone who may have information that could help with this investigation to please come forward so that justice can be achieved for Reginald and his family.”

“My kid’s father was a very loving man. He was a great D.J., an amazing writer, he had a beautiful voice that was out of this world. I pictured my life, my whole future raising my kids with him in it. I never imagined that I would have to lose him so soon,” said a tearful Daysharee Vallier.    

LASD Homicide detectives believe there are witnesses who may have seen the suspects leave the area and/or know their identities. If you have information about Reginald’s murder, please contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500, or if you prefer to provide information anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile App on Google Play or the Apple App Store, or use the website http://lacrimestoppers.org/.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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Recent Lawsuit by a Disgruntled Employee

Recent Lawsuit by a Disgruntled Employee

On Tuesday, April 26, 2022, Sheriff Alex Villanueva held a press conference to discuss a recent lawsuit by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) employee. The Sheriff began with a timeline of events of the investigation related to them that can be viewed below the video under press conference material. 

Sheriff Villanueva reiterated that there was no “cover-up” or a “whistle-blower,” everything was documented from the beginning, and the investigation continued. 

The video of the UOF surrounding the lawsuit was part of an active criminal case when it was shared with the media. Sharing the video was not a leak; it was considered an obstruction of justice since it was part of an investigation. Pictures of three individuals involved in the video distribution were shown: retired LASD Commander Eliezer Vera, Inspector General Max Huntsman, and LA Times reporter Alene Tchekmedyian. 

Sheriff Villanueva concluded by stating that the foundation of the lawsuit in question was false. He shared he and his team are excited to testify on the matter under oath in front of a grand jury in a federal court. He named three command staff members and said he does not use “unnamed” or “multiple sources.”

“We have serious issues to handle out there. We have violent crime, we have homelessness out of control, defunding, and on top of that, I have this circus. This entirely orchestrated for political purposes only,” said Sheriff Villanueva.

When asked by a reporter if the department was investigating Alene from the LA Times, Sheriff Villanueva said the matter was under investigation. He said stolen property was removed illegally from people who had some intent and would be subject to investigation.

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Sheriff Villanueva Discusses Proposed 2022-23 County budget

Sheriff Villanueva Discusses Proposed 2022-23 County budget

On Wednesday, April 20, 2022, Sheriff Alex Villanueva held a press conference to discuss the implications the proposed 2022 – 23 fiscal year county budget will have on the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD). 

During a Board of Supervisors’ (BOS) meeting on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, the BOS unveiled a proposed $38.5 billion LA County budget. A total of four new Los Angeles County Departments were created. $100 million in funds were re-allocated from the Sheriff’s Department to Measure J, and the commitment to close Men’s Central Jail without an alternative plan continues. The budget recommendation includes funding for a total of 513 new positions. However, the LASD hiring freeze will continue, and academy classes are restricted to an unsustainable level. 

The Sheriff emphasized that the minimum number of academy classes to keep up with attrition is eight. Yet, the Sheriff’s Department has only had three academy classes per year for the last two years. During 2020 – 2021, 586 sworn and 695 professional staff positions were eliminated from LASD. The total dollar value of those positions was $139,439,000. Sadly, the 1281 positions have not been returned, and neither has the money. The workload, however, has remained the same for all members of the department. During the past ten years, the LASD budget as a percent of the total County budget was 11.7%. The current budget is at a low of 8.9%.

Sheriff Villanueva also mentioned a motion introduced by Supervisors Mitchell and Solis, attempting to oversee LASD’s participation within the Joint Regional Intelligence Center (JRIC), a federal agency. An excerpt of the motion reads: “…as well as reports of potential abuse by the Sheriff of his investigative powers, including investigations and intimidation of the Sheriff’s political enemies.” 

Sheriff Villanueva added that the Attorney General is responsible for holding Sheriffs and District Attorneys throughout California accountable. The Sheriff noted JRIC conducts intelligence and analysis; they’re not a primary investigative body. As a result of their intelligence gathering, they hand over potential crimes to the appropriate agency to investigate them. Everyone there has a ‘need to know and a right to know.’ 

The Sheriff further stated, “Having a political entity (Board of Supervisors) interject themselves in this operation, they’re only doing it for one purpose. They want to see what they’re possibly criminally involved in and what the investigative entities and the intelligence community view of them. So basically, they’re trying to insert the fox into the hen house”.  Sheriff Villanueva concluded the press conference by asking the community to get involved and contact the Board of Supervisors. Tell them to make public safety a priority. 

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Sheriff is standing behind a podium. Undersheriff Murakami is over the sheriff's shoulder. A TV screen has an image of the METRO board of supervisors on it.
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Sheriff MTA announcement

Sheriff Alex Villanueva Makes a Major Announcement Regarding LASD’s MTA Contract Bid

Sheriff Alex Villanueva held a press conference to make a significant announcement regarding the Los Angeles Sheriff Department and the MTA. The Sheriff expressed his concern regarding public safety on the Metro Transit System in Los Angeles.

Sheriff Villanueva provided statistical information regarding the increase in crime dating back to September 2020 and highlighted examples of violent assaults that occurred on the railways: two LASD deputies ambushed at the Metro Compton Station in September of 2020; A Metro train operator was shot at the Metro Indiana Gold Line Station while operating the train In January 2021; 4 passengers inside the train were shot by known gang members at the Wilmington Station in September 2021. Lastly, in November 2021, a passenger was fatally shot in the head. The suspect also attempted to kill responding Deputies at the Wilmington station. 

Sheriff Villanueva expressed how the MTA has turned into an unsafe environment, as several critical incidents have occurred this past year alone. In March 2020, a patron was pushed on the tracks at 7th and Metro Station by a homeless person. That patron suffered severe head trauma. February 2022, a homeless man was cut in half after sleeping on the tracks. January 2022, Sandra Shells was attacked and killed at a bus stop near Union Station. Sheriff Alex Villanueva expressed that the various law enforcement agencies covering the railways and bus routes does not provide adequate coverage due to jurisdictional issues and the stifling of enforcement placed upon peace officers by Metro Board regulations.  

Sheriff Villanueva discussed the Metro Board’s policy on private security and the inability to enforce quality of life issues on the metro system. The Sheriff stated, “cops cannot remove an unruly passenger from the trains. This has caused MTA patrons to fear for their safety while onboard the system, and at times, the paying patrons are asked to exit the train. The MTA board only allows the homeless, unruly, drunk, and criminal people on board the trains and buses.” 

LASD has provided law enforcement services for Metro since 1997. The LASD has always had full-time personnel strictly assigned and trained for public transit policing. Currently, LASD deploys 300 deputies assigned to Transit Services Bureau. 

The Metro Board defunded LASD and, in 2017, decided to move to a multi-agency contract with LAPD and Long Beach Police Department. LASD was reduced to the lowest possible staffing levels, which endangered public and rider safety. Metro Board has expressed its desire to shift from armed law enforcement response to nonviolent crimes and code of conduct violations. 

Sheriff Villanueva added the Department intends to bid for the complete Metro Board contract to provide comprehensive law enforcement and public safety services to the entire Bus and railway system. If the bid is denied, LASD personnel will be deployed elsewhere in the county to fulfill staffing vacancies. Sheriff Villanueva further stated, “Effective July 1, 2022, LASD will redeploy our personnel to other critical public safety needs, absent a commitment by the Metro Board upon expiration of the contract.”

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Help us Solve The Murder of Lentrail Hicks

Detectives and Family Members Seek Help from the Public to Solve The Murder of LeNtrail Hicks; Detectives Announce $20K Reward

On Thursday, March 24, 2022, Homicide Bureau Detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department held a press conference to announce a $20,000 reward in exchange for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the murder of Lentrail Hicks. The reward was sponsored by Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Second District.

Shortly before noon on November 7, 2020, deputies from the Century Sheriff Station responded to a call at a residence in the area of 66th Street and Compton Avenue, in the Florence-Firestone area of Los Angeles County. Upon arriving at the location, they located Victim Lentrail Hicks suffering from a single stab wound to his abdomen. At that time, Hicks was unable to give deputies any information that would assist them to identify or locate the suspect(s). He was also unable to provide the location of the incident.

On Monday, November 9, 2020, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Investigators were notified that Victim Lentrail Hicks had died from the injuries he sustained on November 7, 2020. 

Upon obtaining and viewing surveillance footage, Investigators observed an incident involving three male Hispanics walking southbound on the west sidewalk of Compton Ave. The male Hispanics included a young boy, approximately 10 to 12 years of age, a male approximately 18 years old wearing all black clothing; and a male approximately 35 years old wearing a black t-shirt with a large white logo on the front, khaki-colored pants and had a ball cap in his hands.  The victim, wearing a white t-shirt, dark colored pants, and a ball cap, walked northbound on the west sidewalk of Compton Ave. The Hispanics and the victim crossed paths on the northwest corner of 68th St. and Compton Ave. It appeared there were words exchanged, but no physical altercation. The victim continued walking northbound on Compton Ave, possibly entering a local business on the block. The group of Hispanic males continued walking southbound on the west sidewalk of Compton Ave. and out of view.  The entire contact took approximately 30 seconds. 

Approximately two minutes later, Investigators observed the victim enter the camera view on the west sidewalk of Compton Ave, near the businesses in the 6700 block of Compton Ave. The victim looks southbound but starts walking northbound.  All of a sudden, a dark colored Prius is seen driving at a high-rate speed northbound Compton Ave in the southbound lanes. The Prius stops in the number 2 southbound lane, just north of 68th Street, parallel to the victim. A male Hispanic, wearing the same black t-shirt with a large white logo on the front and khaki-colored pants from the earlier confrontation with the victim, exited the front passenger door of the Prius.  He walked straight to the victim and began a physical altercation with him on the sidewalk.  It appeared the driver also exited the Prius and confronted the victim.  The altercation spilled out into the lanes of traffic. The two male Hispanics appear to be assaulting the victim, and at one point, the victim attempts to protect himself by kicking at them. During the altercation, the Hispanic male in khaki pants can be seen making a stabbing motion toward the victim. The victim stops and looks down at his shirt.  The second Hispanic male takes a large swing at the victim, who avoids contact by spinning around.  Suddenly, the three males stop fighting. The two male Hispanics get back into the Prius, while the victim is seen walking northbound. The Prius makes a u-turn on Compton Ave, then drives west on 68th Street at a high-rate speed and out of view.

According to the Victim’s mother, Paula Stringer, when Lentrail got home he yelled to her to call 911 because he had just been stabbed. Ms. Stringer called 911 and paramedics performed first aid and lifesaving measures and transported him to St. Francis Medical Center for further treatment. Despite advanced life-saving measures, Victim Hicks ultimately succumbed to his injuries.

“I’m not angry, I’m more hurt than anything. My anger has passed. My son was a lovely father, a devoted brother, a loving son, and he did not deserve this. Whatever was going on out there, please come forward and let us know that Lentrail’s death won’t go in vain,” said Lentrail’s mom.     

If you have information about Lentrail’s murder, please contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500, or if you prefer to provide information anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile App on Google Play or the Apple App Store, or use the website http://lacrimestoppers.org/.

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