Breaking News         Latest US News              New York News              Fx Tribune

How to Compare Car Insurance Policies?
NORTH HOLLYWOOD >> The dispatcher’s voice had crackled through police radios across Los Angeles: “Shots fired … AK-47 … there’s an officer down.”She’d been a voice of calm 20 years ago today during 44...

‘Willpower defeated firepower’: LAPD honors heroes of North Hollywood shootout

NORTH HOLLYWOOD >> The dispatcher’s voice had crackled through police radios across Los Angeles: “Shots fired … AK-47 … there’s an officer down.”She’d been a voice of calm 20 years ago today during 44...

‘Willpower defeated firepower’: LAPD honors heroes of North Hollywood shootout

NORTH HOLLYWOOD >> The dispatcher’s voice had crackled through police radios across Los Angeles: “Shots fired … AK-47 … there’s an officer down.”

She’d been a voice of calm 20 years ago today during 44 minutes of abject terror. Once again, she was heard at 9:17 a.m. during a tribute to those who had risked their lives during the North Hollywood shootout — one of the longest gun battles in police history.

“And with that series of broadcasts to that chaos and initial terror began an incident that ended with a true demonstration of the character of this organization that we call the Los Angeles Police Department — a demonstration of valor,” said Capt. Donald Graham, commander of the North Hollywood Division.

He was among an estimated 200 city officials, cops and residents to gather during a one-hour ceremony at North Hollywood Police Station to recognize the outgunned police who overcame men with machine guns.

• PHOTOS: North Hollywood shootout 20th anniversary — a look at the past and present

For it was on Feb. 28, 1997 that two men, each clad in 40-pounds of body armor, stormed a Bank of America armed with automatic weapons and thousands of armor-piercing bullets.

During the botched hold-up, they sprayed more than 1,100 rounds into businesses, homes and cars along Laurel Canyon Boulevard in a televised gun battle that would stun the nation.

They were met by up to 750 rounds fired by police.

When the siege of North Hollywood officially ended at 10:01 a.m., 11 police officers, six bystanders and a dog lay wounded.

Bank robbers Larry Eugene Phillips Jr., 26, and Emil Dechebal Matasareanu, 30, each hit by by at least 10 gunshots each, either shot themselves or bled to death from their wounds.

The shootout transformed a San Fernando Valley still basking in a postwar innocence celebrated on “The Brady Bunch.”

“Twenty years ago, life changed,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti, a self-professed Valley boy. “It felt safe, secure … you could go out and be with friends and it would be all right.

“Something happened that not only transformed the LAPD, but transformed law enforcement nationwide,” he said. “The officers on-scene were outgunned, but they stepped up. They never retreated. They never backed off. They kept the people of North Hollywood and this city safe.”

• RELATED STORY: How the North Hollywood shootout unfolded 20 years ago

As a result of the shooting, the LAPD and other police agencies beefed up arsenals and tactics to better respond to military-style assaults. They also enacted gun control measures, including Los Angeles’ ban on high-capacity magazines.

As a result of the bravery of Los Angeles police officers seen by overhead news choppers, the LAPD overcame a once-sterling reputation marred during the ‘90s by the Rodney King beating, the Los Angeles riots, the O.J. Simpson trial and the Rampart scandal.

Nineteen Los Angeles police officers would be awarded medals of valor. Many residents would be issued courageous citizen awards.

It was “the day willpower defeated firepower,” officials said.

RELATED STORY: 20 years after the North Hollywood shootout, echoes of the terror remain

“What the North Hollywood police division did that day — that’s us. That’s what we’re all about,” said Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck. “All 10,000 Los Angeles police officers feel better about themselves because of what a small police division did that day.

“You made a difference. You were the difference. You defined us as an organization at a time when we desperately needed it. And for that, we are very proud.”

The 20th anniversary tribute to the North Hollywood shootout served as a reunion for first-responders from LAPD veterans and dispatchers to Los Angeles firefighters and other police and federal agencies.

Many had their photos taken by an LAPD black-and-white, taken from an exhibit at the Los Angeles Police Museum, still riddled with bullets from the gun battle.

“Look at the bullets in this car — amazing,” said former LAPD Officer and Councilman Dennis Zine. “Some of the bullets are small; some are huge. The LAPD dodged a huge bullet.”

• VIDEO: A photographer who captured the North Hollywood shootout revisits the scene

Retired Sgt. Harry Rosenfeld, wearing a North Hollywood shootout T-shirt, recalled going into the now-defunct B&B Gun Shop to grab a high-powered AR-15 and ammo. He had told his partner, an ex-Navy Seal, ‘Hey, I’ve never shot one of these. How do I do it?” he recalled.

“He said, ‘Here’s the safety. Pull the trigger.’”

Tonja Bellard, one of the police dispatchers that day, looked at a photo album brought by Dr. Jorge O. Montes, a dentist issued an award for treating two wounded police officers in the thick of battle.

“It was the most incredible day in my life,” said Bellard, whose voice belied calm during the shootout. “I don’t think I could have been more scared. I’m so thankful to see all these beautiful people today.

“We had God on our side.”

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

Publish Date : 28 Şubat 2017 Salı 19:28

Breaking News Headlines

Tipping in America- What Should You Know as a Traveler?
Tipping in America- What Should You Know as a Traveler?
Sepi proposes to the ex-minister Miguel Sebastian as a director of Indra
Sepi proposes to the ex-minister Miguel Sebastian as a director of Indra
There are two Spains in the employment
There are two Spains in the employment
Valerio dodge the shock with the CEOE and downgrade to 7% the rise of the bases maximum contribution
Valerio dodge the shock with the CEOE and downgrade to 7% the rise of the bases maximum contribution
Spain puts an end in the EU in four years of cuts in the quota of hake south
Spain puts an end in the EU in four years of cuts in the quota of hake south
The US Federal Reserve raises interest rates to 2.5%, but cooled expectations for 2019
The US Federal Reserve raises interest rates to 2.5%, but cooled expectations for 2019
Carlos Torres throws a 'dance' of managers in BBVA to promote the transformation of the bank
Carlos Torres throws a 'dance' of managers in BBVA to promote the transformation of the bank
One out of every three temporary contracts signed in the Basque country does not last one week
One out of every three temporary contracts signed in the Basque country does not last one week
Balearic islands, get the worst education in Europe
Balearic islands, get the worst education in Europe
The nine highways rescued will be free for the night and will fall by up to 30% during the rest of the day
The nine highways rescued will be free for the night and will fall by up to 30% during the rest of the day
Mango asks for a syndicated loan of 500 million to refinance its debt until 2023
Mango asks for a syndicated loan of 500 million to refinance its debt until 2023
Calviño: "it is Not desirable, from any point of view, the extension of the Budgets"
Calviño:
POLLS Results ALL
Who is the most powerful actor in Syria

Front Pages
  • The Sun
NEWS ARCHIVES