Southern California breaking news and trends

Niece arrested in killing of LAPD officer's elderly mother


The South L.A. home where 79-year-old Cleo Hughes, the mother of an LAPD officer, was found shot to death on Sunday, June 3, 2012.

Police say the 79-year-old mother of a South Los Angeles police officer was murdered by her niece. L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck announced the arrest of Barbara Jean Davenport, 60, for homicide on Thursday afternoon. He said the motive for the murder was robbery and that the suspect, Davenport, has a mild criminal background, but nothing that would have indicated her allegedly capable of such violence.

Cleo Hughes was found dead in her West 66th Street apartment on June 3 by her son, Chris Hughes, an LAPD officer who was checking on his mother because she wasn't answering her phone.

Immediately after the crime, police thought that Hughes might have been targeted for having law enforcement in her family. Now they believe it was Hughes' niece who committed the crime. Police say DNA evidence was key to identifying the suspect, also indicating that items had been stolen from Hughes' home. Davenport is being held on $1 million bail. 


Family of teen killed by LAPD officers suing the City of Los Angeles

Abdul Arian

Shereen Marisol Meraji

Photo of 19 year old Abdul Arian stands outside his memorial service at Valhalla Memorial Park. Arian was shot to death by LAPD after he led them on a high speed chase and reportedly told 911 he was armed.

Abdul Arian was shot and killed by LAPD officers after a freeway chase April 11, 2012. His family is expected to announce Monday that they're suing the city for $120 million in federal court.

After a chase, Arian, 19, stopped his car, blocking lanes on the 101. A police car then hit the car's drivers side door, and Arian ran out the other side of the car. Video from a news chopper shows Arian running back and forth across the freeway, sometimes taking an odd stance (which some have described as a "shooting stance"), before he's fatally shot. 

Arian was unarmed, but police have said he called 911 and told dispatch he was carrying a gun and was ready to engage with police. That recording hasn't been released, but police did release a partial transcript of the conversation. In it, Arian is quoted as telling the dispatcher, "I have a gun," and "If they pull their guns, I'm gonna have to pull my gun out on them."


After a car chase, officers shoot homicide suspect


Andres Aguila/KPCC

A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department said officers shot a suspect Thursday. Police had approached a shooting in progresss at about 4:17pm. The suspects, who allegely killed one victim and wounded another, apparently fled in their car, which led to a chase. The pursuit came to a head near the Burbank exit of the 170 freeway, at which point shots were fired, hitting one of the two suspects. His or her condition is not known. At the moment, no further details are available. 

Update (7:58pm): Officer Rosario Herrera says the suspect who was shot by officers was dead at the scene. The man, whose name and age have not been released, allegedly didn't comply with officers' orders after the chase ended. He allegedly reached back into his car, grabbed an object, and pointed it at officers. Contrary to initial reports, the man was alone in the car. 


The four men arrested in Sunday's fight at Dodger stadium will not face felonies

Mercer 18335

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

A police officers walks in the seats before the game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 18, 2011 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.

Four men were arrested post-game Sunday after a minor traffic collision escalated into what appeared to be a beating in the Dodger Stadium parking lot. The victim was treated and released from a local hospital. His pregnant passenger was not injured.

Originally, the four men were booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. It now appears that they will not face felony charges.

Today, District Attorney Spokeswoman Jane Robison said the office referred the case to the City Attorney because the injuries were not serious enough to warrant a felony charge. The City Attorney will decide whether or not to charge any of the suspects with misdemeanor battery.

There's additional speculation that the victim may have had a hand in starting the fight. LAPD Commander Andrew Smith said he wasn't sure of the particulars, but "there may have been an incident at the beginning where there was some type of mutual combat that escalated into these other individuals joining in."


Post-Dodgers game fight had 'nothing to do' with stadium security


Photo by The West End via Flickr Creative Commons

A parking lot fight over the weekend renewed concerns about stadium security.

A traffic accident outside Dodger Stadium escalated into a beating after Sunday's win against the St. Louis Cardinals. Four men have since been arrested and the victim was treated and released from the hospital (along with an un-harmed pregnant passenger), but the incident sparked reminders of last year's horrific beating of Giants' fan Bryan Stow, who suffered brain damage. 

LAPD, however, says this weekend's violence shouldn't be seen as an indication of lax security at the stadium, as Stow's beating was. 

"If two hotheads get in a traffic accident, sometimes that happens," said Officer Bruce Borihanh, who characterized the incident as a fight. 

As for stadium security, "we have more visibility, there's cops everywhere," he said.

In a statement issued Monday, Dodger President Stan Kasten agreed with the police's assessment.