ELECTION

November 2016 was an election year. Voters approved several measures that would raise taxes to pay for affordable housing/education, fund construction at Santa Monica College and tighten the city’s anti-corruption rules. Voters rejected a measure that would have restricted development. A proposal to make the City Attorney an elected position failed to gather enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. Tony Vazquez, Terry O’Day, Ted Winterer and Gleam Davis won reelection to City Council. Caroline Torosis and Anastasia Foster won seats on the Rent Control Board. Susan Aminoff, Rob Greenstein Rader and Margaret Quinones-Perez won seats on the Santa Monica College Board. The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District canceled its election due to a lack of candidates. Jon Kean was the only challenger to run for a vacant seat on the board and was appointed to the position.

Santa Monica and Malibu activists filed a lawsuit against the City of Santa Monica to try to

force the city to move to district based elections. The sue alleges the current system of citywide elections is biased and specifically disenfranchises residents of the traditionally minority heavy Pico neighborhood.

Donald Trump visited Santa Monica for a private fundraiser. He was among several candidates to swing through the area in the hotly contested election. Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders visited Santa Monica several times and held his election night rally at the Santa Monica Airport.

Hundreds of students protested on California campuses, including at SMC, after the election. Students were angry regarding Donald Trump’s victory and the protests spread throughout educational institutions including local high schools.

CRIME

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced plans to retry an accused murderer after a jury deadlocked during the first trial. Prosecutors were attempting to secure the conviction of Meliton Lorenzo Lopez for the gang-related murder of 29-year-old Santa Monica resident Gil Verasteguithe.

A suicidal man prompted the temporary evacuation and closure of the Santa Monica Courthouse. The suicidal man had driven his truck onto the lawn in front of the court where he stayed for about half an hour before eventually leaving on a stretcher.

A man was stabbed to death in an apartment on 5th Street. Police officers arrested the apartment resident, Guillermo Guerrero, 40, and charged him with murder but he was released and Delshone Tyrell Busby Jr., a homeless man, was then arrested and charged with the crime.

A train vs. car accident briefly closed the intersection of Lincoln and Colorado. The crash was the second on the tracks. A truck was driving parallel to the train when the truck driver made an illegal left turn onto Lincoln. The train clipped the back of the truck causing moderate damage to the vehicle but little damage to the train. Witnesses reported seeing the truck driver discard a bag immediately after the accident police determined it contained cocaine.

Three Santa Monica police officers were recognized by President Barack Obama for exhibiting “exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect others from harm” when responding to the 2013 shooting at Santa Monica College. Santa Monica Police Officers Jason Salas and Robert Sparks, and Captain Raymond Bottenfield of the Santa Monica College Police Department, received the Medal of Valor.

A group of women saw a man attempt to drug his date at a local restaurant. The witnesses informed the victim as well as staff members of their observations. Officers arrived and the suspect was arrested.

A murder-suicide at a UCLA engineering building drew hundreds of heavily armed

officers who swarmed the sprawling Los Angeles campus, where students close to summer break barricaded themselves in classrooms as best they could before being evacuated with their hands up.

Santa Monica police arrested a man for explosives and weapons possession in the early morning hours before the West Hollywood Gay Pride Parade. Officers were initially concerned the suspect planned to attack the parade but the suspect said he was in the area just to visit a friend.

Santa Monica Police arrested a San Diego man for murder following a weekend altercation. The suspect and victim had an argument on the pier that extended into downtown where an altercation between the two resulted in the man’s death.

A local homeless man was linked to a string of violent sexual attacks in and around Santa Monica. The suspect was connected to four assaults, including two within the city. He was charged with three counts of forcible rape, two counts each of assault with intent to commit a sex crime, kidnapping and second-degree robbery and one count each of assault by means of force.

The Santa Monica Police Department arrested a man for attempted murder, attempted car jacking, assault with a deadly weapon and making criminal threats. The suspect was arrested after threatening several victims with a butcher’s knife and attempting to enter an occupied car.

An unidentified man jumped from the Santa Monica Pier, triggering a search and rescue response from local authorities. The man was ultimately found unharmed, but not before officers launched a significant search. Jumping from the pier is a misdemeanor, according to the city code.

Adelaide Dr. was home to a pair of serious crimes as a driver careened off the road and into the canyon followed by an unrelated shooting in a nearby home.

A judge awarded a Santa Monica man $1.1 million in a police brutality case. A federal judge rendered the verdict last week in favor of Justin Palmer, an African-American man who was arrested while charging his electric vehicle at Virginia Ave. Park. Palmer claimed officers unfairly targeted him and used unnecessary violence during the arrest.

Police arrested a suspect after an early morning police chase ended on Ocean Ave. The suspect stole a DeLorean, similar to the iconic vehicle from the Back to the Future movies before ultimately crashing near the Santa Monica Pier.

Authorities responded to a bomb threat at Santa Monica Courthouse after a suspected explosive device was reported Wednesday afternoon. Officers evacuated the area and detonated the device.

A suspect was shot by an L.A. County Sheriff ’s deputy at the Expo Line terminus in Downtown Santa Monica. The suspect threatened deputies with a pair of knives prior to the shooting.

A Santa Monica Police Officer was assaulted at a local convenience store. A suspect that had been previously arrested by the office saw him in the store and launched a violent attack including an attempt to gauge the officer’s eyes.

A man was found dead near his apartment at Step Up on 5th. Officers suspect he was involved in a fight near Venice and managed to make his way home before collapsing on the street.

David Cline, a Santa Monica High School graduate was killed in the Oakland warehouse fire. Thousands of dollars were raised to help the family pay for his services.

Two years after being convicted of murder, Ryan Bright will get a new trial. Bright was found guilty in the stabbing death of his friend Jensen Gray but Bright’s attorneys appealed saying the court should have granted a mistrial because of juror misconduct during deliberations.

 

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