15 Officers to be Presented with the LAPD’s Highest Honors, the Medal of Valor, the Purple Heart & the Preservation of Life Awards NA21059rc

September 23, 2021

The Above & Beyond Ceremony. During the formal program, Los Angeles Police

Chief Michel Moore will present the Department’s highest honors to 15 officers who knowing, and willingly placed themselves in grave danger. ABC7 Eyewitness News Co-anchor Marc Brown will emcee the event and narrate the stories of heroism that accompany the officers’ body worn video.

Thursday, September 23, 2021
11:30 a.m. Program
12:15 p.m. Luncheon
12:30 p.m. Awards Ceremony

Westin Bonaventure Hotel
California Ballroom
404 S. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, California 90071

Los Angeles Chief of Police Michel R. Moore
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer
Los Angeles City Councilmember Monica Rodriguez, Council District 7
ABC7 Eyewitness News Co-anchor Marc Brown

To recognize real-life events that exemplify stories of bravery and heroism.

During the awards presentation, the audience will view and listen to body-worn video revealing some of the split-second, and life altering decisions officers are faced with when serving the community. Some of the larger-than-life situations include:

· On June 15, 2017, Metropolitan Division officers assisted Newton Division Gang Enforcement Detail officers with probation and parole compliance checks on members of a criminal street gang. When meeting with residents inside the home, a man began shooting at officers then jumped out of a window, into an adjacent backyard. Additional resources were called to search for the gunman, including a Metropolitan

K-9 Officer and his K-9 partner Aro. During the search, the suspect shot an officer in the helmet and grazed K-9 Aro in the leg. With unflinching courage and focused determination, the officers located the suspect who surrendered without further incident.

· On April 9, 2018, two LAPD academy classmates were working patrol in Topanga Division, when they responded to a request for a “back-up” from an officer who was following a stolen truck. The suspect abandoned the truck in an alley and ran away from the officers who were pursuing him on foot. Without warning, the suspect turned around and fired multiple rounds at the officers, striking one of them in the knee. Though one of the officers was seriously injured in the exchange of gunfire, both officers stopped the dangerous threat to the community.

· On April 20, 2019, Newton Division officers saw a car accelerate at a high rate of speed. The officers followed the racing car until it came to an abrupt stop. When the driver got out of the car and started running from the officers, they saw a handgun in the suspect’s front waist band. The suspect ran toward a large group of people who were gathered for an outdoor party. The officers continued their pursuit of the armed man and ran past the group of people when a man stepped out of the crowd and fired four rounds striking one of the officers in the shoulder. The officer was also shot in the pelvis and bleeding profusely. The severely injured officer remained alert, on his feet and returned fire stopping the violent attack.

Other notable actions that led to critical injuries or death of officers while on duty include:

· On December 12, 2017, officers from West Los Angeles Division pulled over a violator for driving at a high rate of speed. During the traffic stop, an unrelated intoxicated driver collided into the back of the black and white police car. During the crash, one of the officer’s legs was severed, before knocking him to the ground and into oncoming traffic. The force from the crash knocked his partner to the ground and down a freeway embankment.

· On February 9, 1968, 77th Division officers responded to an “Officer Needs Help/Officer Down” call. The responding officers learned that a suspect had just shot and killed one of their partners. Officers pursued the suspect and strategically approached his apartment. The suspect fired a shotgun at the officers seriously injuring them both.

· On August 17, 1966, a sergeant assigned to Newton Division saw a man with a knife and crescent wrench chasing after an unarmed man. After stopping to talk to both men, the man with the knife dropped the weapons, and attacked the sergeant before running to a parked truck. The sergeant chased and caught up to the suspect as he reached into the truck. The suspect retrieved and fired a loaded shotgun, striking the sergeant in the hip and legs. Though seriously wounded, the sergeant continued to chase after the suspect before returning to his police car to broadcast a detailed description of the gunman, the vehicle he drove away in, as well as his direction of travel.

· On October 27, 1966, an officer assigned to Wilshire Division pulled over a car for driving erratically. As one of the occupants pulled out a gun and began to shoot at the officer, the officer simultaneously returned fire wounding the gunman. Unfortunately, the officer passed away eleven days later. During the ceremony, the officer’s son will accept the prestigious Purple Heart Award in honor of his father and his heroic actions.

The Los Angeles Police Foundation (LAPF) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides critical resources and vital support to the Los Angeles Police Department. From essential equipment and state-of-the-art technology to specialized training and innovative programs that would otherwise be unfunded, the Foundation directly improves public safety, impacts officer readiness, and enhances quality of life. Since its founding in 1998, the LAPF has awarded more than $42 million in grants to help the LAPD serve at its highest level in order to keep our communities and families safe.

Medal of Valor, Purple Heart and Preservation of Life recipients will be available for interviews on Thursday, September 23, 2021. To make advance arrangements for interviews, please contact Police Officer Rosario Cervantes, LAPD Media Relations Division, at (213) 486-5910. Officer Cervantes will also be available to facilitate interviews on the day of the awards ceremony.

For more information, please contact Police Officer Sara Faden, Office of the Chief of Staff, at (213) 841-2064. For additional information regarding the Los Angeles Police Foundation, please call Dana Katz, LAPF Executive Director at (213) 489-4636, or visit: www.supportLAPD.org.