Claim filed in shooting of South LA teen

Jamar Nicholson, a South LA teen mistakenly shot by police, speaks at a news conference on Wednesday.

Jamar Nicholson, a South LA teen mistakenly shot by police, speaks at a news conference on Wednesday.

A $20 million claim was filed Wednesday against the City of Los Angeles in the shooting of 15-year-old Jamar Nicholson, who was mistakenly shot by police.  Nicholson was shot in the back on the morning of Feb. 10 near Crenshaw Boulevard and Florence Avenue when one of his friends was seen carrying a replica handgun that police officers thought was real.

Watch this video from Annenberg TV News of Nicholson speaking out about the shooting:

Attorney John Harris, who represents Nicholson and another teenager who was in a group of four that day, said at a news conference Wednesday that the officers “displayed callous disregard.”

LAPD officials did not comment on the claim, which is a precursor to a lawsuit.

South LA loses trees in Crenshaw/LAX Metro line construction

Construction for the new metro rail line on Crenshaw blvd.

Construction for the new metro rail line on Crenshaw blvd.

The new 8.5 mile Crenshaw/LAX light rail line could change the look of South L.A. by bringing an influx of businesses and pedestrian traffic. It could change the South L.A. landscape in another way, too: By cutting down about 100 trees along a two mile stretch of Crenshaw Boulevard between Exposition and 48th street to make room for the train.

Romell Pace, a local who sells shirts at the corner of Crenshaw and Slauson Boulevards, said the trees need to stay.

“Once the trees are removed… it’s going to be slow on business,” he said. “I believe that the trees should stay there because they are landmarks.” [Read more…]

South LA woman pleads not guilty to attempted murder

Patricia Cormack's residence in South L.A.'s Hyde Park. | Google Maps

Patricia Cormack’s residence in South L.A.’s Hyde Park. | Google Maps

A 55-year-old woman described by neighbors as a friendly church-goer who had taken care of foster children pleaded not guilty Friday to the attempted murder of her boyfriend and his brother at her home in South L.A.’s Hyde Park.

Patricia Cormack is being held on ­­­­­­­­­$4 million bail, said a district attorney spokeswoman, and will appear next in court on Jan. 24.

The pre-dawn shooting on Dec. 30 left Derek Everett and Darryl Ward hospitalized with multiple wounds, police said. The criminal complaint filed by the DA describes the weapon as a handgun.

Officers found the men, both in their fifties, asking for help shortly after 5:30 a.m., said Detective Ernie Mendoza. Police detained Cormack the same morning and searched her home before arresting her on $500,000 bail. Detectives haven’t revealed the suspected motive for the shooting.

Neighbors on a quiet block of 74th St. with well-kept single-family homes said they were surprised to find police cars, ambulances and helicopters rushing to their block that morning.

Megan Faux, who has lived across the street from where the shooting occurred since 2000, said Cormack regularly attended services on Sundays and bible study on Wednesdays at the City of Refuge church in Gardena. Faux also said Cormack had taken care of girls in foster care.

One neighbor on the block said Cormack was a “pleasant lady” who would greet her on the street. Another said she often saw Cormack walking a small, fluffy white dog.

Cormack’s next-door neighbor awoke Monday morning to the barking of his Rottweiler-German shepherd and saw police arrive to assist the wounded men.

“The first guy came out, put his hands up, saying, ‘She shot me,’” he recalled. The second followed, then Cormack emerged without resisting arrest, he said.

The brothers lived at the residence and had helped take care of Cormack’s mother before she died a couple of months ago, said the neighbor, who requested anonymity. The family owned the house for at least 30 years, he said, as long as his own family had lived on the block. Lately, Cormack had talked about wanting to move out.

Cormack’s two-bedroom white stucco house with a Mediterranean red tile roof showed no sign of a scuffle on Monday afternoon, at least from outside. A green watering hose was curled on the trimmed lawn. A silver Mercedes with a crucifix hanging from the rearview mirror was parked in the driveway behind what appeared to be an old, rust-colored Dodge bearing a blue-and-yellow California license plate. Children’s playthings, including a Disney-themed toy car in hot pink, were scattered near the arched entryway.

In 1994 Cormack pleaded guilty to drug possession with intent to sell, according to county records. The charges were dismissed four years later after she completed a court-ordered program and probation. If convicted for attempted murder, Cormack could face a prison sentence of 25 years to life.

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