December 12, 2013

LAWT News Service


Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson has announced a $75,000 reward for information in the shooting death of 7 year old Taalib Pecantte and the attempted murder of his mother Sawan Mock.

Wesson and the Los Angeles Police Department are asking for the public’s help in identifying and bringing to justice the perpetrators of this terrible crime.

On Monday, December 2, 2013, at 8:55 p.m., Taalib Pecantte, a 7 year old boy, his mother and her friend were seated in her vehicle in the 1900 block of South Corning Street.  Four male suspects wearing black hoodie jackets ambushed them and fired multiple gunshots into the vehicle.  Taalib and his mother were struck by the gunfire.  Taalib died the following day from his injuries at Children’s Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery

LAPD Detectives have been unable to identify any suspects or eye-witnesses to the crime and are seeking the public’s help.

“We need the public’s help in getting the person or persons who committed this crime off the streets before they can do it to someone else’s child,” said Wesson.  “Somebody saw something.”  

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD’s 24-hour toll-free number, (877) LAPD-24-7.  Anonymous tips can be conveyed by calling Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.

Parent Category: News
Category: Community

December 05, 2013

By Kenneth D. Miller

Assistant Managing Editor


[“Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” —Harry S. Truman]


More than two decades ago his father embarked upon a leading legacy as a pubic servant and more than two years ago his mother retired as one of the city of Los Angeles’ more trusted and respected employees. But, on Tuesday 26-year old Sebastian Ridley stepped out of those lofty shadows and into his own, becoming assemblyman of the 54th District. From South Los Angeles to Morehouse in Atlanta, Georgia and now on to the State Capitol in California, the overwhelming favorite to win his first election for public office, voters of the 54th stamped his candidacy with rousing approval this week.

It is a journey that did not begin with his mother’s or father’s aspirations, but by his steadfastness to lead, to inspire hope and to make the region in which he resides a better place for those less fortunate.

Thus, the young twin son of retired expert of conflict resolution Avis and Los Angels County Board of Supervisors Board Chair Mark Ridley-Thomas defeated Culver City Mayor Christopher R. Armenta and real estate broker John Jake by securing 60 percent of the vote (with 11,182 votes to Armenta’s 6,704 and Jake’s 744) and winning the seat vacated by Holly Robinson Mitchell who won a State Senate seat.

An upbeat and enthusiastic crowd of supporters that included his father, his former senator boss, 9th District Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price, Council President Herb Wesson, Laphonza Butler (President, California SEIU State Council), former Congresswoman Diane E. Watson, newly elected Hawthorne mayor Chris Brown, former City Controller Wendy Greuel, Assembly member Steve Bradford and scores of others who joined him for his campaign celebration at the Post & Beam.

The father reflected on the new assemblymember’s childhood when he was nine years old running for offices in elementary school and suggesting to him what he should say on the campaign trail.

The Supervisor remembered his first election, one that he lost.

“I Lost! My first election in 1987, I ran for school board and I vowed that I would work as hard as I could and I have won every race since then,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas told the Sentinel.

“This is his day! It’s Sebastain’s Day! It’s his constituents Day,” he added.

“Clearly, Sebastian has always had a sense of purpose and he’s absolutely working that out. It is not hard to understand how and why he is doing what he’s doing.”

Reflecting on the significance of the moment of generation next grabbing the political mantel and running with it, Butler compared it to the presidential election of 2008 when American voted in its first Black President.

“I think that Sebastian represents the future of Los Angeles and the future of California and he represents a lot of people’s hopes and dreams,” said Butler.

“To be a young man from Los Angeles who didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth, but took the instruments that he did have to find enough in him to make other people’s lives better means he represents a whole lot of hope. No he’s not a skinny senator from Illinois, but he’s a young Black man from South Los Angeles. Those are big hopes and big dreams to fill.”

The historical implications were not lost on Assembly member Bradford.

“Let me say right now we’re at a critical stage in California especially for African American representation in politics both in the state, local and federal level,” he said. “Sebastian Ridley-Thomas represents the future. At his young age he will definitely have an opportunity to have a long term impact on politics in California. Most folks are not elected until they’re mid mid 40s and here he is at 26 years of age. I am excited about Sebastian joining me in the legislature and I am excited about it and I believe that it’s going be good for the future of California.”

Councilman Price whose supervision Sebastain has been under for the past four and a half years also had loads of praise for the new legislator.

“I think that he has the kind of background training and experience that enables him to be the kind of leader that our community needs,” Price said.

“He has demonstrated that he is a good scholar, a good staffer and I think it’s his turn to step up and provide some leadership and our community is ready for it.”

Council President Wesson explained the totality of the moment.

“I think he’s a natural. I do believe that there’re people in this business who are naturals and I believe that he’s one. He’s an unbelievably bright, energetic young man who’s been training for this moment since he was in his teens. I think that he’s ready and we get an extra dose of energy from him.

Veteran retired Congresswoman Watson said that it’s important that the baton is passed on.

“It is just as import for us today to understand that we must pass the baton and this young man is well prepared to accept it and make all of us proud that we did pass it to him.”

Endorsed by the highest-ranking elected officials in the Democratic party including Gov. Jerry Brown and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Kamala Harris, the California Legislative Black Caucus and other legislators, U.S. Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein to name a few, powerful religious leaders, The Sentinel and others, his victory was a mere formality.

“My experiences have prepared me for the policy responsibilities and the commitment needed to represent the people of the 54th Assembly District,” said Sebastian Ridley Thomas.

The 54th Assembly District encompasses parts of the west side including Culver City

 Los Angeles, Century City, Crenshaw, Leimert Park Mar Vista, Mid-City, UCLA, West Los Angeles, Westwood, Inglewood, Ladera Heights and View Park-Windsor Hills.

His transformation started when he was a student of participatory politics and civic engagement with a penchant for public policy, community organizing, and consumer, children and small business advocacy.

After cutting his teeth in the Legislative Black Caucus his policy acumen came in high demand by legislators on the state capitol.

Sebastian has advised Councilmember Price for four and a half years, including his days in the senate on economic development, transportation, housing, public safety and local government.

The transition for him to continue working in that capacity should be seamless.

The late iconic Congressman Augustus Hawkins was too young when he was elected to the Assembly at 27, so at 26 Sebastian Ridley-Thomas isn’t too young now.

His father agreed that Dec. 3 would be a day that is reflected upon some 25-30 years from now.

“I have no doubt about that. This is the beginning of the next stage of leadership, the next generation of leadership for African Americans and beyond and I am completely committed to supporting the up and coming talented leaders, and there are more coming and they want to do this,” concluded Supervisor Ridley-Thomas.

Photo Credit (all): Valerie Goodloe


Parent Category: News
Category: Community

December 05, 2013

City News Service


A man, who allegedly opened fire on Inglewood police and then barricaded himself inside a home while holding his girlfriend and her 14-year-old daughter hostage for more than eight hours, was charged with multiple counts of attempted murder of a peace officer and other felonies. Christopher Warsaw, 45, was charged with 10 counts each of attempted murder of a peace officer and assault on a peace officer with a semiautomatic firearm, two counts of false imprisonment and single counts of kidnapping, child abuse, criminal threats and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to the District Attorney’s Office. He was ordered to remain jailed in lieu of $11.7 million bail while awaiting arraignment Dec. 20 in Inglewood Superior Court.

Warsaw allegedly opened fire on Inglewood police officers when they responded to a domestic dispute at 12:40 p.m. Wednesday November 27, near 108th Street and Fifth Avenue. Two officers were wounded, although only one was actually shot in the barrage of gunfire. Police said the officer’s life was saved by his bulletproof vest.

The suspect then barricaded himself inside the home until shortly after 9 p.m., when he surrendered to authorities. The woman and teen were freed. Witnesses said the disturbance began when the suspect was seen dragging the teenage girl into the home. The standoff forced the evacuation of surrounding homes, with some neighbors describing the scene as akin to a war zone due to the number of shots that were fired.

Warsaw faces up to life in prison if convicted, according to the District Attorneys Office.

Parent Category: News
Category: Community

December 05, 2013

City News Service


INGLEWOOD (CNS) - A man shot multiple times in Inglewood Saturday was publicly identified today by the coroner's office.

The man was identified as Kevin L. Kilgore, 31, of Hawthorne, said Assistant Coroner Chief Ed Winter.

Kilgore was found at 2 a.m. Saturday in the 400 block of South Fir Avenue. He has been brought there from another location, said Inglewood police Sgt. Francisco Ruiz said.

He was pronounced dead at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center at 4 a.m. Saturday.

Ruiz said at first police believes the shooting was related to an earlier shots-fired call from the rear of the Market Street Bar and Grill, in the 300 block of South Market Avenue in Inglewood.

Witnesses from that shooting described a red pickup truck as possibly involved, Ruiz said.

Police found the truck and followed it, Ruiz said. As they did, a handgun was thrown from the passenger window, he said.

Another gun was recovered from inside the truck after it was stopped and searched, Ruiz said.

Although both occupants were taken into custody, they were held on charges that were not related to Kilgore's death. No suspects are in custody on the Kilgore homicide, a watch commander said.

Parent Category: News
Category: Community

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