Tag Archives: LAPD

Truth In Media with Ben Swann, Episode 13: Massive Police Response To Child’s Birthday Party During Lockdown

LAPD sends out a massive response to a child’s birthday part because 40 people had gathered in one place. Meanwhile, a woman was arrested in NYC for violating social distancing guidelines and a Judge in Kentucky is ordering 2 Coronavirus patients to wear electronic ankle monitors so that they can be tracked.


Support Truth in Media by visiting our sponsors:


Unstoppable Domains: Buy one domain, get one free.



Pulse Cellular: Use code “TRUTH” for 10% off every plan for life. 



Pure VPN: Military grade VPN protection.



Brave Browser: Open source and built by a team of privacy-focused, performance-oriented pioneers of the web.



Two LAPD Officers Arrested on Multiple Sexual Assault Charges

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office issued a press release Wednesday announcing that two veteran Los Angeles Police Department officers are facing multiple charges after being accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting four women, often while on police duty, over a 3-year period.

According to the press release, LAPD Officers James Nichols, 44, and Luis Valenzuela, 43, were arrested by detectives Wednesday morning.

The press release stated:

“Beginning in December 2008, after they became partners, and continuing through March 2011, the two men allegedly began sexually assaulting women at various locations, including in their police vehicle, prosecutors said. All four women were arrested at various times by the officers during narcotics-related offenses.

At the time the alleged assaults occurred, the victims were 19, 24, 25 and 34 years of age. Most, but not all, of the alleged sexual assaults occurred while the officers were on duty.

Nichols and Valenzuela are charged with multiple counts each of sexual assaults, including forcible rape, rape under color of authority, oral copulation under color of authority and oral copulation by force.

In addition, Valenzuela is charged with one count of assault with a firearm for allegedly pointing a gun at one of the victims. The complaint alleges multiple victim allegations and principal armed as to each defendant.

If convicted, Nichols and Valenzuela each face up to life in state prison.”

Bail for both Nichols and Valenzuela have been set at $3 million each, according to CBS Los Angeles.

The arrest of the officers follows an investigative report made three years ago by the Los Angeles Times. In January 2013, the Los Angeles Times reported that Nichols and Valenzuela were under investigation for sexual assault against four women. The officers, who were working as partners as narcotics detectives, allegedly knew the women from making previous arrests.

“The pair repeatedly used the threat of jail to get women into their car and drove them to secluded areas where one of the officers demanded sex while the other kept watch, the warrant alleges,” the Los Angeles Times reported. The first accusation occurred in 2010 when a woman contacted authorities about Nichols and Valenzuela allegedly threatening her with prison time if she refused to comply with their demands.

The Los Angeles Times noted in their 2013 report that investigators “identified four women who encountered the pair and made similar independent accusations against them.” 

At a news conference Wednesday, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said that “These two officers have disgraced themselves. They disgraced this badge. They disgraced their oath of office,” and he also said Nichols and Valenzuela “preyed on folks that are sometimes reluctant witnesses, reluctant victims.” 

Nichols and Valenzuela are scheduled to appear in court for arraignment on Thursday.

LAPD Officers Caught on Video Killing Unarmed Homeless Man

Controversy has erupted from downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row as police officers with the Los Angeles Police Department were caught on tape fatally shooting an unarmed homeless man during a physical altercation on Sunday. The above-linked Reuters video notes that police have yet to release the name of the man who was shot, but bystanders told Los Angeles Times that the man goes by the moniker “Africa.”

According to LAPD Commander Andrew Smith, officers arrived on the scene that morning in response to a 911 report of a robbery. Bystander Dennis Horne said that, when police arrived, Africa was fighting with another individual in the tent in which he had been living at the time. Police then ordered the homeless man out of his tent, and, when he refused, officers deployed a Taser and dragged him out into the street. Africa then began struggling with the officers, throwing punches and kicks. The video below, which contains extremely graphic footage and language, shows what happened next.

At the beginning of the scuffle, six officers appear in the video, with four seen overpowering Africa as two others break away to respond to a female bystander who attempted to pick up a police baton that had been dropped. Africa drops immediately to the ground, and four officers hover over him, pinning him down. Then, a sound consistent with a Taser being fired can be heard in the video.

Moments later, an officer reportedly said, “Drop the gun. Drop the gun.” A single shot rang out, then four more, and Africa lay dead in the street, prompting uproar from angry bystanders who immediately noted that the homeless man was unarmed when police shot him multiple times. An unidentified eyewitness told Los Angeles Times that Africa had reached for an officer’s gun.

Others painted a different story. Bystanders in the above-embedded raw video can be heard immediately protesting the shooting, commenting on the fact that Africa was unarmed. Another witness who goes by the name Booker T. Washington told Los Angeles Times that the initial altercation had actually broken out over the illegal placement of Africa’s tent, rather than a robbery, contradicting police accounts of the incident. He said that police would frequently come by and evict Africa from his tent, which was not allowed to remain there after 6 AM each morning.

Ceola Wadell, who witnessed the incident, said it began when police shook Africa’s tent and deployed a Taser on him, prompting him to become violent. Bystander Ina Murphy said that Africa had been living in the area for several months following his release from a ten-year stay in a mental health facility. In response to the shooting, a spontaneous protest erupted at 9:30 PM on Sunday at the scene of the altercation.

Two of the cops on the scene were reportedly treated for injuries, and the female seen picking up the baton in the above video is expected to be charged with a crime.

Police Commission President Steve Soboroff said that it is unclear based on the video as to why the officers used deadly force. Said Soboroff, “To me, [the theory] that [Africa reached for an officer’s gun] would be the only explanation that something would happen that quickly… It escalated right in front of our eyes.”

LAPD Commander Smith says that the district attorney’s office and an independent inspector general will be investigating the case and noted that two surveillance cameras and at least one police body camera also caught footage of the incident. LAPD investigators are asking eyewitnesses to come forward and provide any additional videos that could help with the investigation. Said Commander Smith, “It’s not an incident taken lightly by any police officer. But we are committed to everyone involved and to the public to conduct a thorough and complete investigation.”

LA Protesters Push Back Against Drone Use by LAPD

Back in February of 2013, The Seattle Times reported that Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn ordered the Seattle Police Department to abandon its drone program following pushback from local protesters. Consequently, the city donated its Draganflyer X-6 drones to the Los Angeles Police Department back in May of this year. Now, civil liberties advocates in the City of Angels are equally concerned that police use of drones will escalate beyond the boundaries of the Constitution and have launched a protest similar to the one that succeeded in Seattle.

According to NBC Los Angeles, a vocal and large group of protesters representing the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition demonstrated outside of the Los Angeles City Hall on Thursday morning, chanting “drone-free LAPD.” The group intended to and successfully delivered a letter to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti requesting that the city abandon its plans to use the spy technology. Protesters are concerned that the silent and inexpensive nature of the drones will lead to a future in which the LAPD engages in widespread warrantless snooping on citizens.

LAPD spokesman Bruce Borihahn said that Los Angeles’ drone program still awaits approval by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, a civilian police commission, and local civil rights groups. He also indicated that a federal agency is storing the drones until proper approval is attained. The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California issued a statement in June tepidly thanking officials for being open about the fact that the city received the drones, but cautioning that actually using them might harm citizens’ privacy more than it improves security for the community.

In a statement on June 5, Police Chief Charlie Beck left open the possibility that the LAPD might abandon its drone program before it starts, if there is enough community pushback. “We are going to thoroughly vet the public’s opinion on the use of aerial surveillance platforms by the LA Police Department before they are ever deployed… If we don’t have the public’s confidence in the use of these systems, they won’t be used.” He expressed that officials are working with the ACLU and other civil liberties groups to determine if workable policies can be employed to limit the potential for drones to be used by police in a manner that might abuse citizens’ privacy. Chief Beck gave manhunts and standoffs as examples of the limited situations that might call for the use of an unmanned drone.

During a June appearance on KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO that was reported on by CBS Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti gave his position on using the drones, “I’ve asked them to be grounded until we have a policy, until we have community input. I don’t want these things up in the air until we know for sure they’re not going to be used against innocent folks.” Going further, he said, “I don’t want to have UAVs flying over the city looking at the general population, trying to find crime. That’s creepy, that’s not the place for these things.”

Despite the fact that officials have acknowledged the privacy implications associated with the use of drones, protesters simply want them grounded out of the fear that the temptation will be too great for law enforcement officers to expand their use over time. Given the statements made by officials and the recent victory by Seattle’s anti-drone activists, it would seem that, if there is enough pushback from voices in the community, LAPD’s drone program may ultimately end up facing the same fate that befell Seattle’s.

It is worth noting that the LAPD also recently complained when activist Daniel Saulmon flew a drone over the Hollywood police station, alleging, without pressing charges, that he had committed a form of trespassing.