25 Years Later- A TV Documentary and Never-Before-Told Insight into the 1992 Los Angeles Riots

As the 25th anniversary of the 1992 Los Angeles riots approaches I am sharing my recent updates and press release with you.

Santa Clarita, CA. – April, 2017 – In a soon to be released TV documentary and in his book, “Never Again”, author Bill C. Weiss shares his experience as the watch commander at Lennox Sheriff’s Station in South Los Angeles as the Los Angeles riots erupted at Florence and Normandie Avenues in 1992.

In a recent in-studio documentary interview with KBS (Korean Broadcasting System) America, Weiss offers this true account and never-before-told insight into the hours leading up to, during, and after the Los Angeles riots.

The documentary (tentatively titled “Six Days”) is scheduled for airing on April 29, 2017, the 25th anniversary in the United States (Nationwide Direct TV CH. 2082, Los Angeles Spectrum CH. 1475, Cox CH. 473, KXLA-44 CH. 44.1 and 44.8) and around the world. Check local listings for specific channel and airtime.

“Never Again” is written from Weiss’s perspective as the nearby Los Angeles Police Department found itself totally unprepared to deal with this deadly and dynamic crisis.

This riveting and extraordinary story reveals emergent preparations and tough decisions Weiss faced while preparing to intervene in what escalated into an unforgettable civil disturbance. He unravels behind-the-scenes events as he deals with his internal instinct to take action, waged against his self-discipline to follow orders. Weiss is put to the test up to the final moment before the opportunity to put his daring plan into action for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

As several recent incidents in Ferguson, Missouri (2014), Baltimore, Maryland (2015), and numerous incidents in 2016 have shown, law enforcement’s initial response to and handling of violent encounters and civil disturbances continues to resonate with the entire country.

“Never Again”, published by Morgan James in New York, was released on November 1, 2016, and was chosen as a double awards winner in the 2016 Beverly Hills Book Awards for the Best Book in the True Crime category and the Best Book Cover Design in the Non-Fiction category.

Bill C. Weiss will be attending the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books event on the University of Southern California campus on April 22-23, 2017, at booth #167, under the Writers Mastermind Alliance banner.

“Never Again” is available at various retailers, including Barnes and Noble, Amazon, BAM, Powell’s, Indie Bound, and Chapters Indigo. The book is available on Amazon.com, https://www.amazon.com/Bill-C.-Weiss/e/B01FY5BFUY. For additional information on the book (ISBN 978-1-63047-904-6) visit http://www.billcweiss.com. To secure an interview or speaking engagement, please contact Bill at bill@billcweiss.com.

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

I will be attending the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, as an exhibitor with several other fellow authors in booth #167, which will be held on the University of Southern California campus on April 22 & 23, 2017. The hours for Saturday (4/22) are 10AM – 6PM and Sunday (4/23) 10AM – 5PM.

Please come by and say hello and check out my book “Never Again”, a never before told insight into the 1992 Los Angeles riots, and the books of several outstanding authors. The month of April is also the 25th anniversary of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

Booth #167 will be in the center of the USC campus on Trousdale Pkwy, not too far from and east of Tommy Trojan. The banner title for the booth will read Writers Mastermind Alliance.

Local Authors Event

I will be participating in the 4th Annual Friends of Santa Clarita Library Celebration of Local Authors on Saturday, January 14, 2017, at the Old Town Newhall Library ( 24500 Main St-at Main St. and Lyons Ave. in Santa Clarita, Ca.) from 10 AM-3 PM.

I will be among the 50 authors who have been selected to display their books. Moderated panel discussions will be scheduled throughout the day by genre.

I hope to see you there! 

“Never Again”- A Double Book Awards Winner!

“Never Again”, a true account and never before told insight into the 1992 Los Angeles riots, was just chosen as a double winner in the 2016 Beverly Hills Book Awards for best book (True Crime) and best book cover design (Non-Fiction).

This book is a great holiday gift idea as it resonates with many of the current events we face today. It was written to also educate and connect with young adult and teenage readers who are too young to have experienced the 1992 riots.

Book Signing

I will be hosting a book signing at the Valencia Barnes and Noble (23630 Valencia Blvd., Valencia, 91355, 661-254-6604) on Saturday, December 10, 2016, 1-3 PM.  

Books will be available at the store for purchase.

I hope to see you there!

Should Attacks on Police be Considered a Hate Crime?

The debate and discussion has resurfaced regarding if attacks on police officers should be considered and treated as a hate crime. I think it’s fair to say that there are excellent arguments for both sides of this issue. What do you think?

The FBI uses the following definition to categorize an act as a hate crime and for the purposes of collecting statistics:  “A criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”

Earlier this year Louisiana expanded its hate-crime law to include additional penalties for people convicted of attacking police officers and first responders. The law previously provided for enhanced penalties when the victim of a crime of violence was targeted on the basis of several other factors including race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation.

Recently, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colorado) introduced the Blue Lives Matter Act of 2016. The bill would expand the federal hate-crime statute to make it a crime to target law enforcement officers for acts of violence.

With the recent killings of police officers, such as in Dallas and Baton Rouge, this movement will likely gain support. Some feel this effort is based on a misunderstanding of what hate crime statutes are designed to do, specifically deal with pervasive racial and religious prejudice.

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In discussing his legislation, Buck indicated whether based on skin color or uniform color, a crime motivated by hate is not going to be tolerated in the United States.

Many have asked if it is possible and do some state laws already provide additional penalties for attacks on police officers without classifying them as a hate crime? Before Louisiana amended its hate-crime statute, state law provided longer sentences for those who committed attacks on law enforcement officers.

Some feel that an overbroad definition and classification of hate crime may create two impressions: that an act of violence is not being treated serious enough unless it is categorized a “hate crime” and inclusion in the list of categories is considered a mark of respect. Is there an underlying battle of symbolic messages between “Black Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” going on?

With the FBI definition in mind, should we treat, categorize, and enforce a violent crime against police officers as a hate crime? If not, would it be a hate crime if a gang member spray painted “187 cops” (187 is the California Penal Code section for murder) to a block wall or building, and later that same gang or individual committed a violent act against a police officer and or verbally referenced their sentiment and hatred toward law enforcement? I believe a separate distinction is warranted involving hate crimes against law enforcement. #hatecrime, #bluelivesmatter, #blacklivesmatter, #lawenforcement, #dallas, #batonrouge

 

To follow me and or purchase my book, “Never Again”, please go to my website- http://www.billcweiss.com.

 

As a retired Lieutenant and 32-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Bill Weiss worked various patrol, custody, administrative, investigative, and special assignments. He has been an Incident Commander for several major tactical incidents. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California, with a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

El Cajon: A No Win Situation

 

The unfortunate deadly officer involved shooting that occurred recently in El Cajon, California, is a typical scenario where police officers must react quickly to erratic and rapid movements by a person, which in this case involved a possible mentally disturbed individual. It is definitely a no win situation for all involved.

A family member called 911 and indicated to police that her brother, an African-American adult, was “not acting like himself.” The caller said her brother was walking in traffic, endangering himself and motorists. Two responding officers found the man behind a restaurant. He refused multiple orders to remove his hand from his pocket, which resulted in one officer drawing his firearm. The individual continued to ignore further commands and paced back and forth while officers tried to talk to him.

The individual suddenly and quickly drew an object from his front pants pocket, placing both hands together and extended them rapidly forward at eye level toward one of the officers, then taking a definitive shooting stance. One officer fired his weapon several times striking the suspect. The other officer deployed his taser.

The object that was pointed at the officer was an approximately 4-inch vape electronic smoking device, not a weapon. This took place within a few feet of one officer and the object was pointed directly at the officer’s head. Anyone who has seen these vape devices are aware that they are fairly large as they fill most of the web and palm area of a person’s hand. Even in slow motion it would be difficult at best to discern what the object is as it is pulled from the front pants pocket. These devices can be easily mistaken to be a weapon.

Although the statements by the police officers and their actions are corroborated by a very clear cell phone still photo, taken from a video image provided by a nearby witness during daylight hours, protests erupted in the San Diego suburb alleging improper tactics, lack of mental health training for officers, and a lack of attempts to de-escalate the incident. Several community activists have alleged that the individual’s race played a role in the officer’s actions.

The videos that have been publicly released at the time of this writing were provided by a camera mounted on a drive-thru restaurant window and from the cell phone of a bystander.

The evidence presented so far clearly shows that the individual was not complying despite the officer’s best intentions to control and de-escalate the situation. It does not appear that any additional training would have helped as the individual placed the officers in a deadly encounter and situation by his unpredictable actions and aggressive body stance at a very close range. One could argue that his actions are conducive to those who want to commit suicide by cop.

It does not appear that the officers had any ability to determine that the individual had anything but a weapon in his hands when all factors are taken into consideration, such as his non-compliance, actions, movements, and body/shooting stance that he took.

I would only question the officer’s tactics they used, such as proper use of cover and concealment, which placed them in an unsafe position. The shooting appears to be fully justified, even though the media continuously discusses if the officers will be prosecuted.

Of additional interest is this individual has a past criminal record with convictions for the sales and transportation of narcotics and for a weapons charge. U.S authorities twice tried to deport him to his native country of Uganda, but Uganda refused to take him.

It is very disturbing and unsettling, despite the video image and other evidence, that so many people automatically resorted to violent protests and allegations of police misconduct which has followed this incident to date. Several days and nights of senseless, violent, and hostile encounters have needlessly occurred, such as protesters confronting and assaulting innocent motorists at intersections and gas stations. Ironically, from the news reports and video that I have seen, I have failed to observe any law enforcement presence or arrests during the first few days of these incidents. Why is that?  #elcajonpolicedepartment, #lawenforcement, #policeshootingsandmentalhealth

 

To follow me and or purchase my book, “Never Again”, please go to my website- http://www.billcweiss.com.

 

As a retired Lieutenant and 32-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Bill Weiss worked various patrol, custody, administrative, investigative, and special assignments. He has been an Incident Commander for several major tactical incidents. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California, with a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

Chicago: A City in Crisis

What is going on in Chicago with its crime rate and violence? Sixty-five people were shot in Chicago over the Labor Day weekend, resulting in 13 fatalities, as the city reached its 500th homicide of the year. One thing for sure, it is definitely a city in crisis.

This year over the Fourth of July weekend Chicago recorded 66 people shot with 5 fatalities. The Memorial Day weekend saw 69 people shot with six fatalities.

Reports indicate the police attribute many of these violent incidents to guns, gangs, acts of retaliation, weekend parties, and tense encounters and disputes. Many point to the overall decrease of arrests by law enforcement and the lack of any effective narcotics enforcement as contributing factors.

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At the time of this writing, Chicago has one person shot every 2 hours with a murder occurring every 11 hours and 42 minutes. Approximately 91% are the result of gunshots. Approximately 78% of the victims and suspects are Black, with 17% Hispanic. The total number of shooting victims for the year currently stands at 3,033, while 2015 resulted in 2,988 shooting victims. The homicide total for the year stands at 512 according to the Chicago Tribune. There were 491 total homicides last year.

Homicides in Chicago for this year have risen to levels not seen since the 1990’s when killings topped out at more than 900. The 90 homicides in August tied for the most the city had endured for a single month since June of 1996.

Shootings and homicides in Chicago continue to far outpace those in New York and Los Angeles, which are both larger cities. These two cities combined had 409 homicides during this same approximate time period, far below Chicago’s total.

Chicago is so far out of control that recently a 71 year old man was watering his front lawn in broad daylight and was shot in the stomach and robbed by two young African-American men who rode up on bicycles. Who would want to visit, attend a convention, corporate conference, or sporting event in Chicago under these conditions?

Why is this violence not under control after several years of extremely high rates of deadly violence and shootings? Are the police taking appropriate measures? Are they lacking leadership, resources and manpower? What are the political leaders and establishment doing? Why aren’t more people protesting and demanding change? Where are the special interest groups? For those who live in Chicago and know the situation better than I, tell us what needs to be done?

Where is the mutual aid of the surrounding law enforcement agencies if there is a shortage of resources and manpower? Should Martial Law be implemented and the National Guard deployed? Is there any assistance coming from the Federal Government? It appears to me, from my perspective, whatever is being done is not working nor is it very effective? #chicagocrimerate, #chicagohomicides, #chicagoviolence

To follow me and or purchase my book, “Never Again”, please go to my website- http://www.billcweiss.com.

 

As a retired Lieutenant and 32-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Bill Weiss worked various patrol, custody, administrative, investigative, and special assignments. He has been an Incident Commander for several major tactical incidents. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California, with a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

Author, Retired Law Enforcement