Pathetic Children Look for Attention at Community Zoom Meeting

(Editor’s note: photos and videos have been sent to CTN anonymously. CTN does not identify the kids by name, CTN does not allege wrongdoing on the part of anyone in a photo, that were taken on public streets. CTN is asking parents to realize the kids pictured may be in the wrong company and to address the behavior: fireworks, the beating of younger kids and stealing from CVS.  CTN feels that if parents were aware that their child was misbehaving, they would want it corrected before it created real problems for the future.)

 

The March 20 Zoom meeting, which had nearly 300 participants, had been called to address juvenile violence in Pacific Palisades by the Los Angeles Police Department. High school students have beaten numerous victims, leaving some unconscious. A group of students have sexually harassed some girls.

Residents are understandably upset and want it to stop. They want the police to arrest the youth responsible.

LAPD outlined steps that need to be taken.

  • A police report has to be filed. LAPD cannot act if that is not done. Although there are numerous reports of kids who have had to go to the hospital because of beatings, Senior Lead Officer Brian Espin said that only three police reports have been filed. (Parents and their children have not filed because the criminals doing the beating have threatened the kids with worse if it is reported.) “If I don’t have a police report, there’s very little I can do,” Espin said. “If we have a crime report, we can act on it.”
  • Once a report is filed, it is turned over to West L.A.’s Juvenile Detective Justin Malcuit. “Every juvenile arrest comes through me,” he said, and does an investigation. If a juvenile is cited, the case goes to the District Attorney, and then is handled by the Juvenile Court System. Malcuit said that with juvenile crimes the emphasis is rehabilitation, rather than punishment and that is often diversion, which is like “probation.” Diversion might include an anger management class or community service.

Given the current climate governing crime, several in the chat room noted the November District Attorney election. (The current DA George Gascon, a progressive, has been accused of being soft on crime. In the primary, he faced 11 opponents, and as an incumbent, received only about 21 percent of the vote.  In the November election, he will run against Nathan Hochman.)

Only the most egregious crimes, done by juveniles, such as murder, rape, arson and kidnapping for robbery, might result in a felony prosecution.

What was done to the juveniles in the police reports that were filed? LAPD responded “because of the video we were sent, six juveniles were cited. However, I cannot go into names or into the investigation because of their right of confidentiality.” Zoom participants were told that all juvenile records are confidential.

Other questions asked, and answered, were:

  • Is there a curfew for youth? Yes, it is 10 p.m. and police can cite a youth in town.
  • What if someone beats on a car driven by a senior citizen in town? Acknowledge it, but don’t confront the teen physically.
  • Do you share information with the schools? Yes. Espin said he talks to the high school on a regular basis.
  • Why aren’t kids filing a police report? “We can’t force kids to file a report, but we can’t do anything until one is filed,” Espin said. Once one is filed, possibly a restraining order can be put out.
  • What’s happening with CVS and shoplifting? Espin said he recommended the store limit the number of kids that can go in at one time and that kids have to leave backpacks by the door, but that it is up to CVS to implement those suggestions.
  • When does the Senior Lead Officer work? “Every week I have a different schedule. I work early days, late days and even weekends depending on what projects and training I have lined up,” Espin said.
  • Why don’t the schools expel kids who are fighting? If it is done off campus, PaliHi does not have jurisdiction. Schools have to go through a process, too, because of laws that affect juveniles.
  • Why don’t you pick up kids who are setting off fireworks? The videos that have been submitted don’t clearly show faces, and the individuals cannot be identified. “We can see the event taking place, but the videos do not clearly show the individual igniting the fireworks.
  • Do you knock on kids’ doors and speak to parents? “Yes, we have spoken to a couple of juvenile parents,” Espin said.

At the end of the meeting, Councilwoman Traci Park and Maryam Zar, President of the Pacific Palisades Community Council, both spoke about raising money to put cameras at the Rec Center.

Several people questioned whether cameras would make a difference. One person wrote in the chat room “Who will be monitoring these cameras? The kids pull up hoodies when they are throwing fireworks, we know, we have watched them. Will police be able to do anything based on the footage.”

One resident wrote CTN in an email, today. “I can tell you most of our neighbors think additional cameras are pointless. If videos of a student clearly attacking kids in broad daylight are not acted upon by police what will further nighttime videos of kids in hoodies achieve?”

Espin told CTN in a March 21 email, “We know the individuals who were involved in the fighting, and we are able to keep a closer watch on the group when we (LAPD) are out there.

“We have yet to identify the kid or kids who are lighting the fireworks,” he said. Cameras in the park will help to identify the individual(s).”

Many Pacific Palisades residents felt sorry for the two juveniles, who made a pathetic attempt to inject themselves into the community/police meeting.

Near the end of an hourly meeting, the immature youths went in the chat room and claimed to be responsible for some of the trouble in town. Lacking morals and weak in character, these children should be pitied.

(Editor’s note: On Sunday night, there will be a story about the March 19 Palisades High School Board meeting. A reader has also made a suggestion for ending the juvenile crime.)

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