June 14, 2018
City News Service
A Black actor who says he was taken into custody at gunpoint at the Glendale Galleria by authorities searching for burglary suspects following a high-speed pursuit said today he was wrongfully detained in a case of racial profiling.
Darris Love, 38, and his attorneys announced the filing of a legal claim against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, alleging that deputies identified him as a suspect in the burglary even though he and his girlfriend had been shopping at the mall during the crime and the ensuing chase last Wednesday.
The sheriff’s department issued a statement acknowledging that detectives with its Major Crimes Bureau witnessed a residential burglary and notified the Los Angeles Police Department.
“Mr. Love closely resembled the individual who left the scene of the burglary,” according to the sheriff’s department. “While Glendale police officers were searching the mall area for the burglary suspects, Mr. Love was seen running away not far from the area where the pursuit terminated towards an illegally parked vehicle.
“Mr. Love was detained by Glendale police for further investigation by LAPD. During the detention, LAPD officers conferred with Major Crimes detectives who initially identified Mr. Love as one of the burglary suspects seen leaving the residence.
“Mr. Love was detained and transported to LAPD West Valley Division for further investigation. This further investigation ultimately determined that Mr. Love was not in any way involved in the residential burglary and he was immediately released.”
Love, whose acting credits include “ER,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and the 1990s Nickelodeon series “The Secret World of Alex Mack,” said he wound up being detained for seven hours, even though he was holding a time-stamped ticket from the mall parking garage proving that he had been at the shopping center all along.
Love also asked law enforcement to check the mall security video to confirm that he and his girlfriend had been at the facility’s Apple store, but he was instead detained.
Love and his attorney, Brian Dunn, said a sheriff’s deputy positively identified him as a suspect in the burglary that deputies witnessed earlier in the day.
“There is absolutely no way they could not have realized that my clients, specifically Mr. Love and (his girlfriend) Ayesha Dumas, could have had anything to do with this,” Dunn said.
“They were at an outdoor shopping mall throughout the time in which this crime occurred, throughout the time in which this chase occurred and throughout the time in which the actual suspects fled from law enforcement, exited their vehicle and got away.
“... Why did this occur? There can be no other explanation other than race. There was absolutely nothing about my clients’ demeanor, about their actions or about their manner in dealing with law enforcement that in any way would have suggested criminal culpability to a reasonable police officer,” he said.
Love said once he was at the West Valley station a police lieutenant realized that he was not a suspect, and he was released. He said he did his best throughout his interaction with law enforcement to remain positive and cooperative, and he credits that attitude with ensuring he came out of the incident unscathed.
“You have to give your innocence to police officers for them to do their job, and in this day and time the reason that we fear our lives is because it usually doesn’t go quite so well and most people don't live to tell their story,” he said.
Love said he was coming forward because he wanted to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen to anyone else.
“This is not a hate-all-police matter,” Love said. He publicly thanked the LAPD for realizing he was not culpable in the robbery, despite being identified by a sheriff’s deputy.
Dumas, meanwhile, said she allowed police to search her car when they confronted her at the mall.
“They tore it apart and didn’t put it back together,” she said.
Love said he was running through the mall parking garage at about 12:50 p.m. last Wednesday to get his parking ticket validated, but when he saw police swarming the area, he slowed down because — as a Black man — he didn’t want to be mistaken as a criminal suspect trying to flee. But when he slowed, he was immediately taken into custody.
Love’s arrest, which was captured on camera and aired on at least one television station, ended a police pursuit of a vehicle containing two or three “knock-knock” burglary suspects. The chase stretched from the Van Nuys area to Glendale, where the driver maneuvered into a parking garage at the Glendale Galleria and the car was abandoned.
The trio of suspects being sought were wanted for allegedly burglarizing a home in the 19000 block of Lemmer Drive in Tarzana.
The suspects fled in a dark BMW, driving east on the Ventura (101) Freeway and then continuing onto the eastbound Ventura (134) Freeway into Glendale, where the driver exited and went south on Central Avenue. At some point, officers backed off of the ground chase, but monitored the car via helicopter.
At about 12:20 p.m., the car entered the Galleria parking garage, and police set up a perimeter in the general area to look for the suspects.
About 30 minutes later, police were seen taking a man — now identified as Love — into custody.
No other suspects were apprehended, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
June 7, 2018
By Brian W. Carter
Los Angeles’ own Beverly White of NBC4 (KNBC) Southern California, has been selected by The National Association of Black Journalist (NABJ) to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. White, a seasoned journalist, has worked with NBC for over two decades with 40 years of experience in journalism.
“I’m floored, flummoxed, flabbergasted and deeply honored, for real,” said White about being a recipient of the 2018 Chuck Stone Lifetime Achievement Award.
The three-time past president of NABJ Los Angeles Chapter (NABJ-LA) expressed her feelings on receiving the award named after Tuskegee airmen, journalist and former NABJ president, Chuck Stone.
“He worked closely with our civil rights lions and I consider him one of them,” White said. “I’m honored, truly honored, to be mentioned in the same sentence with him.”
White was born in West Germany but raised in Killeen, Texas, and is one of four children of a retired Vietnam War-era Army officer and a public school, cafeteria worker. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism. White started her career at KCEN-TV, an NBC affiliate in Temple/Waco, and KENS-TV in San Antonio. She worked as a reporter at WTVJ, an NBC affiliate in Miami. It was here where she worked on the 1992 Peabody Award-winning team that covered Hurricane Andrew. White also anchored the morning weekday newscast for WKRC-TV in Cincinnati. It was also in 1992, when she joined NBC4 Southern California as a general assignment reporter.
Breaking the important news would become a trademark for White as she explored the controversy on why the Black Cabbage Patch dolls didn’t sell in the ‘80s. She also garnered attention on the documentary about the legendary owner of the defunct LGBTQ club in Los Angeles, Jewel’s Catch One. White also hit the ground running on one of the more infamous days in U.S. history, the Boston Marathon bombing.
Her coverage of events throughout the southland has been unparalleled, breaking local and national stories for NBC4 which include the Northridge earthquake, the salon mass murders in Seal Beach, CA, the theater killings in Aurora, CO, the death of music icon Prince in Minneapolis, MN. White has also covered many floods, wildfires and mudslides in Southern California, including the Montecito disaster.
“Beverly White is simply a legend, a broadcasting mainstay,” said NABJ president, Sarah Glover who is social media editor for NBC-owned television stations. “For more than a quarter of a century, Beverly has been delivering strong news stories in the country’s second-largest market. To say she has a powerful presence that resonates with her viewers would be an understatement.”
Tre’vell Anderson, president of NABJ Los Angeles and film reporter at the Los Angeles Times, shared a few words about his fellow NABJ-LA member.
“I think Beverly is the ultimate example of what a Black journalist is,” said Anderson, “what a Black journalist can be, and a really great person who has a great heart.”
“This organization truly changed my life,” White said of the NABJ.
Some of her other awards and accolades include the 2017 Leadership Award from Kappa Tau Alpha, the Journalism Honor Society at Cal State University, Northridge; the 2012 Distinguished Journalist Award from the Society of Professional Journalists; the 2008 California Legislative Black Caucus Leadership Award and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Killeen Independent School District in Killeen, Texas.
White lives in Los Angeles with her husband, past NABJ president and multimedia journalist, Xavier Higgs.
She will be honored at the NABJ Salute to Excellence Awards during the NABJ Convention and Career Fair on Saturday, Aug. 4 at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. Convention registration and awards tickets can be purchased at www.nabj-la.org.
Congratulations to Beverly White on being an icon within the field of journalism and informing the community.
June 7, 2018
By Kimberlee Buck
Robert Torrence, Sr. is one of the most well-known photographers in the Greater Los Angeles area with one motto in mind, “photography by design with a tasteful richness in mind.”
From red carpets and photographing the stars to the turf and taking shots of athletes, Torrence has done it all with 40 years of professional experience to prove it! However, his favorite things to capture are the expressions of children.
“Nothing makes me happier than watching people looking at my work, smiling and discussing what was going on in the photo also how and when did I take it. I always say ‘I don’t take pictures I capture moments in time,’” he said.
Recently, Torrence was honored by actor Ro Brooks as the Premiere Celebrity Photographer for the month of June.
“I have watched others be honored even photographed the first NAACP photographer’s awards which I was left out of, as I was proud of my colleagues I always wondered how they felt to be recognized for honing their craft, to be the stand out, well now I know,” said Torrence.
“I love photography so being honored for doing something I love is the best feeling in the world. I put a lot in my photography trying to make every photograph the best it can be and for others to recognize it makes it all worthwhile!”
Some of his most memorable experience in his profession have come from traveling.
“Traveling as a professional photographer has given me some of the best memories of my life,” he said. “My cameras have taken me almost everywhere I’ve wanted to travel. I have found in my travels that cameras are the universal language, no matter where you are and what kind of people are in front of your lenses, nothing stops them from hamming it up. You don’t have to speak a word of their language, just hold your camera up!
Torrence’s other cliental include: The Los Angeles Sentinel, Taste of Soul Family Fesitval, L.A. Watts Times, The Tuskegee Airmen, The Magic Johnson Foundation, NBA, Heartfelt Foundation, James A. Smith Scholarship Foundation, The Urban League Los Angeles and Pasadena, Ladies Of Distinction, NAACP Images Awards, Wheels 2000 Magazine, Modern Bride Magazine, and Photo Visions to name a few. Torrence is also a contributing photographer to PR Photos Wire Service.
As far as advice is concerned, Torrence tells aspiring photographers to learn more about photography.
“Well with all of the new cameras and cell phones everybody thinks they are a photographer, but [they] get caught in a tight and have to use manual [then] all hell breaks loose. My advice to up and coming photographers is to first learn more about photography then just auto including auto focus and exposure. Photography is bending light and learning how to control it making a photograph say what you wanted to say,” he said.
“Second, equipment makes your life easier. The better your equipment is the easier it is to capture the shot you need and want. So every time you make money from a shot, put some back into your business in the form of better equipment. You will thank me for this piece of advice. Last, attitude equals altitude! The better your attitude is, the higher you will get in life and that goes for photography as well.”
June 7, 2018
By Lauren Poteat
In the battle to save the lives of our mothers, daughters and sisters, “WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease,” is one of the greatest allies that families have against the deadly disease, the leading cause of death among women in the United States.
WomenHeart, “the nation’s only patient-centered organization solely serving millions of American women living with or at risk for heart disease,” according to the group’s website, recently celebrated the people and organizations that are on the frontlines of that battle, during the 18th Annual Wenger Awards in Washington, D.C.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an astounding one in four women die from heart disease every year.
Nearly 8 percent of Black women have coronary heart disease—the highest rate among all women; about 6 percent of White women have coronary heart disease.
As an actress and a natural advocate for healthy living, Chandra Wilson, who plays Dr. Miranda Bailey on the hit ABC television show “Grey's Anatomy,” highlighted the importance of regular heart screenings and the need for better healthcare access for women, during the awards ceremony. Wilson was honored with the “Excellence in Media” award during the event.
“Nobody knows your battle better than you do…there are things that you need a physician to specifically listen for,” Wilson said. “You need to know your statistics, specifically women of color.”
Wilson also talked about the impact of heart disease on her own family.
“Even though, women face challenges with heart disease that are somewhat different from men, my father passed away from heart disease at age 55,” Wilson said. “And while he was aware of heart disease, he was never taught ‘Okay, this is what you do. Here are the things that can help,’ which is so important.”
During the Wenger Awards ceremony, Dr. Roxana Mehran (“Excellence in Medical Leadership,” Dr. Clyde W. Yancy (“Excellence in Medical Research”) and Rep. Debbie Dingel (D-Mich.) (“Excellence in Public Service”) were also recognized for their efforts in fighting heart disease. Actor and activist Lamman Rucker served as the master of ceremonies for the event.
Evan McGabe, the chair of the board of directors for WomenHeart, rallied attendees to get active and involved in learning more about their own heart statistics and overall health status.
“We really can't believe that so many women still don't know their risk of heart disease in this country,” McGabe said. “In our organization, we teach women how to be proactive about their health. We want to help women, not to dismiss their symptoms.”
McGabe added that WomenHeart works to empower women so that they can empower others.
According to the CDC, the most common symptoms of heart disease include chest discomfort, upper back pain, indigestion, heartburn, nausea/vomiting, extreme fatigue, upper body discomfort, shortness of breath, sudden weakness, paralysis in the limbs, blurred vision and impaired speech.
The risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, obesity, poor diet and physical inactivity.
To reduce the chances of getting heart disease, the CDC recommends that people monitor their blood pressure on a regular basis, receive regular screenings for diabetes, limit smoking, eat healthy, lower stress and limit alcohol consumption.
Closing out the event, Rucker gushed over the opportunity to be able to be a part of such a powerful movement.
“I’ve had a relationship with the Association of Black Cardiologist for a number of years and have done heart health work with the American Heart Association,” Rucker said. “As an artist, a big part of our purpose behind the work that we are doing is to not just live out our dreams and be stars, but to inform, uplift and inspire people through the work that we do.
Rucker continued: “Just being able to be a part of [WomenHeart and the Wenger Awards] is tremendous.”