Tag: California

Elena Mondragon: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

The pregnant 16-year-old girl shot and killed by Fremont police detectives was remembered as witty and fun loving by her family.

She was identified as Elena Mondragon. Police shot the girl, known as Ebbie, while she rode as a passenger in a vehicle they were trying to stop.

Police say the detectives who fired were trying to stop a stolen vehicle they thought was tied to armed robberies.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Mondragon Was in a Car With an Armed Robbery Suspect When Police Say It Rammed Into Officers

According to the East Bay Times, Mondragon, of Antioch, California, was in a car that Fremont detectives attempted to pull over at about 5:20 p.m. on March 14 in Hayward.

“Police, who were seeking armed robbery suspects, say detectives fired when the vehicle they were looking for went into reverse and rammed” their car, reported the newspaper. Mondragon was a passenger in that car.

The vehicle was stolen, according to The Los Angeles Times. The Times reported that two detectives were injured.

In a press release, police said, “At approximately 5:20 p.m., while in Hayward, Fremont Police detectives located a vehicle that was wanted in connection with multiple armed robberies in Fremont and throughout the Bay Area. The detectives attempted to stop the vehicle, which was reported as stolen, in an apartment complex located at 25200 Carlos Bee Blvd. As they contacted the occupants, the driver of the suspect vehicle suddenly rammed the detective’s police vehicles injuring two Fremont detectives.”


2. Mondragon Had Called Her Parents Because She Wanted to Come Home

Mondragon’s mother said her daughter had called her parents before the shooting.

“She didn’t think she would be gone that long. She called and wanted to come home,” Michelle Mondragon told the East Bay Times. “She knew they wouldn’t take her all the way back here, so her dad went to pick her up.”

Police have not yet released Elena’s name, but her family gave it to the news media.

“The female suffering from the gunshot wounds was treated by the Hayward Fire Department at the scene and transported to a near-by trauma center where she succumbed to her injuries,” police said.


3. Mondragon Was in Her First Trimester of Pregnancy

Police confirmed that Mondragon was pregnant and said she was in her first trimester, The Los Angeles Times reported.

During the incident, police said in the statement, “Fremont detectives were forced to fire their duty weapons at the suspect driving the vehicle and one of the female occupants was struck by gunfire. The vehicle continued to flee out of the complex and eventually crashed near the intersection of Campus Drive and Oaks Drive.”


4. Mondragon’s Family Recalled Her as ‘Witty’ & ‘Fun Loving’

Family members created a GoFundMe site for Mondragon’s family.

“A young loved little daughter, sister, cousin, granddaughter, niece & friend to all was taken from us far too soon at the tender age of 16 years old,” it reads. “A witty fun loving girl was coldly shot by the Fremont Police Department & killed as a passenger in a car stopped my (sic) the police. Her family is feeling a pain that seems in this moment that will never go away.”

Mondragon’s nickname was “Ebbie.”

“Elena Mondragon aka Ebbie is forever in our hearts & mind. She is our Ebbie & always will be. To evaluate the burden & stress from her family we are asking for prayers & any donations to help with services. Her single mother does not have means or frame of mind to handle these details. We as a family are asking for support & love at this crucial time. God bless & Thank You.”


5. Three Other People Were in the Car & One Was at Large

After the shooting, the car crashed, and a male suspect fled the scene and remained at large, according to Kron4.

Two other people were arrested. Police have not identified any of them.

“At least one male suspect fled the vehicle on foot and is outstanding at this time. He is described as a Black male adult, heavy build, 5’10” and short hair,” the police statement said. “A second female and another male occupant of the vehicle were taken into custody near the scene without incident.”

Both injured Fremont PD detectives were treated and released from a local hospital, police added.

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WATCH: Wyclef Jean Detained by Los Angeles Police Looking for Robbery Suspect

Singer Wyclef Jean posted a video on his Twitter account early Tuesday, showing him being detained by Los Angeles police officers. Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department deputies were looking for a robbery suspect and detained Jean because his vehicle matched the description of the suspects. Jean was released a short time later.

“LAPD another case of mistaken identity,” Jean wrote. “Black man with red bandana robbed a gas station as I was in the studio working but im in handcuffs?”

In the video, Jean claims the police took off his Haitian bandanna and put him in haandcuffs.

After posting the video, Jean claimed on Twitter that he was not told why he was being cuffed and wrote that the officers ignored him when he told them who he is.

“I was asked by the police to Put my hands up. Then I was told do not move. I was instantly hand cuffed before being asked to identify myself… Nor was I told why I was being cuffed. In the process I said my name and told them they have wrong person,” Jean tweeted. “They proceeded to ignore me and I was treated like a criminal until other police showed up and pointed out they had wrong person. I am sure no father wants his sons or daughters to see him in Handcuffs especially if he is innocent. As some one who has law enforcers in my family, I was appalled by this behavior of the LAPD.”

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Heavy.com contacted the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office, but weren’t able to get a statement immediately. However, CBS Los Angeles reported that there was a reported robbery at a gas station on Sunset Boulevard at around 1 a.m. local time in West Hollywood. Sheriff’s deputies responded and found a victim claiming to have had a wallet stolen.

The victim provided a description of the suspect’s vehicle, which looked like Jean’s. When they spotted the singer’s vehicle, they pulled him over and detained him for a short time. They later released him because he was not the suspect.

A sergeant told CBS Los Angeles that Jean was only arrested because his vehicle looked like the victim’s description of the suspect. They did eventually arrest the suspect, recovering a stolen wallet and a gun allegedly used in the crime.

Sgt. Duncan told NBC Los Angeles that the suspect was seen wearing a gray or dark-colored hoodie and a red bandanna. Duncan said the vehicle was described as an older-model, tan Toyota sedan. Minutes after they arrived at the scene, they saw Jean and questioned him until they determined that he wasn’t the suspect.

The LAPD has stressed that they did not detain Jean on Twitter. An officer also told Heavy.com that it was sheriff’s deputies who detained Jean.

Jean is a three-time Grammy winner and best known for his work as a member of the Fugees. In 2010, he tried to run for the Haitian presidency, but he didn’t meet the five-year residency requirement. Still, he’s spent much of his time raising relief funds after the 2010 earthquake in his native country. In February 2017, he released the EP J’ouvert.

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Adam Schiff: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Representative Adam Schiff of California is the Ranking Democrat on the important House Intelligence Committee, which has found itself under a microscope as it investigates Russia’s hacking to influence the 2016 Presidential Election. That investigation was complicated this week when Committee Chairman Devin Nunes made the surprising decision on March 22 to tell President Donald Trump about intercepts he saw that showed Trump’s transition team was “incidentally” monitored by the U.S. government.

Schiff was visibly frustrated during a press conference after Nunes’ meeting since he didn’t share this information with anyone else on the committee before showing it the president. Therefore, Schiff thinks there needs to be an independent investigation into Russia’s role in the election, especially since Nunes was on Trump’s transition team.

The 56-year-old Schiff, who was born in Framingham, Massachusetts, has been in Congress since 2001 after serving in the California State Senate. His current Congressional District, California’s 28th, covers part of Los Angeles County.

Here’s what you need to know about Schiff.


1. Schiff Questioned If Nunes Was Part of a ‘Broader Campaign’ to Deflect Attention From James Comey’s Wiretapping Testimony

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March 22 was a dramatic day in Washington, although it’s already in the rearview mirror because of the Republican health care vote taking center stage. Earlier that day, Nunes told the press that he saw evidence that there was “incidental collection” of conversations involving Trump Transition team members and could have included Trump himself. Nunes insisted that there was still no evidence to back Trump’s claim that President Barack Obama wiretapped him during the 2016 presidential election, just as FBI Director James Comey confirmed during a hearing before the House Intelligence Committee on March 20.

Without showing this evidence to Schiff, Nunes went to the White House with it and then held another press conference about his findings. While the second press conference was going on, Trump said he felt “somewhat” vindicated, even though Trump never said anything about monitoring after the election.

Since Nunes previously worked for the Trump Transition team himself, Schiff accused Nunes of being part of a “broader campaign” to divert attention away from Comey’s March 20 testimony.

“The chairman will need to decide whether he is the chairman of an independent investigation into conduct which includes allegations of potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians, or he is going to act as a surrogate of the White House, because he cannot do both,” Schiff said, notes Politico.

“I think the actions of today throw great doubt into the ability of both the chairman and the committee to conduct the investigation the way it ought to be conducted,” Schiff added. He then called for an independent commission to investigate Russia’s role in the 2016 Presidential Election.

On March 24, Schiff tweeted that Nunes cancelled a House Intelligence Committee meeting with former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former Interim Attorney General Sally Yates to “choke off public info.”

WATCH: Adam Schiff Responds to Devin Nunes’ Trump Updates

Democrat Adam Schiff of the House Intelligence Committee issued a response to Devin Nunes’ unprecedented updates on the Donald Trump Russia investigation.

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2. Schiff Says He’s Seen ‘More Than Circumstantial Evidence’ to Link Trump Campaign With Russia

During an interview with NBC News on March 22, Schiff said he has seen evidence that’s “more than circumstantial” that could show that members of the Trump Campaign colluded with Russia.

“I can tell you that the case is more than that and I can’t go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now,” Schiff said. He couldn’t be more specific, explaining, “I don’t want to get into specifics but I will say that there is evidence that is not circumstantial and is very much worthy of an investigation.”

Schiff made similar comments in a CNN interview on March 23, adding that, “I do think that it’s appropriate to say that it’s the kind of evidence that you would submit to a grand jury at the beginning of an investigation. It’s not the kind of evidence that you take to a trial jury when you’re trying to prove something beyond a reasonable doubt. But we’re at the beginning of an investigation, and given the gravity of the subject matter, I think that the evidence certainly warrants us doing a thorough investigation.”

However, Schiff said that he wasn’t calling for a real grand jury, just making the analogy.

WATCH: Devin Nunes Talks About Surveillance of Trump Campaign

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes provided an update on the Trump-Russia investigation, and on the evidence he’s seen related to Donald Trump’s wiretapping claims.

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3. Schiff’s Wife Is Named Eve

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Schiff (left) with fellow California Congressman Devin Nunes, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. (Getty)

Schiff is married to Eve Marion Schiff, meaning that the couple is a real life “Adam and Eve.” In an interview with The Hill back in 2006, Schiff said that friends often suggested they name their children “Cain and Abel.” They never considered that, though.

Schiff and Eve have two children, daughter Alexa and son Elijah. Alexa is now 17, while Elijah is 13.

Back in 2012, Schiff took Alexa to work on “Take Your Daughter to Work Day.” “You always see in movies and like TV shows people talking on the House floor,” Alexa told SCPR in 2012. “And it’s really cool to be there where everything happens.”

According to InsideGov.com, Schiff has an estimated net worth of $1.74 million, which is 63 percent more than the average member of Congress.

Schiff, who is Jewish, earned a political science degree from Stanford University. He also earned a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School.

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While House Republicans were scrambling to get support for their Health Care bill, President Donald Trump was busy getting into an 18-wheeler.

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4. Schiff Worked With Mike Pence to Preserve Freedom of the Press

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Preserving the freedom of the press in the U.S. and abroad has been one of Schiff’s top causes since he was elected to Congress. This goal resulted in two achievements, both of which involved working with Republican Congressman and future Vice President Mike Pence.

In May 2006, Schiff and Pence launched the Congressional Caucus for Freedom of the Press, which was chaired by the two Representatives with Senators Chris Dodd and Richard Lugar. Schiff remains the only co-chair of this caucus still in Congress, although Pence is now Trump’s Vice President.

Pence and Schiff also introduced the original version of the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act of 2009. The bill earned bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. It was signed into law by President Barack Obama in May 2010.

The act, named after the Wall Street Journal reporter who was murdered in Pakistan in the weeks after the September 11, 2002 terror attacks, orders the State Department to include evaluations of the press in other countries in annual human rights reviews.

“We hope this legislation will help the United States work with other nations to better protect [Pearl’s] colleagues serving on the frontlines in the fight for greater accountability and transparency,” Schiff said in a statement at the time. “Freedom of expression cannot exist where journalists are not safe from persecution and attack. Our government must promote freedom of the press by putting on center stage those countries in which journalists are killed, imprisoned, kidnapped, threatened, or censored.”

Mary Elizabeth Taylor: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Who is that woman sitting behind Neil Gorsuch? It is Mary Elizabeth Taylor, who now works in the White House and used to work for Mitch McConnell.

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5. Schiff Was a Democrat on the Benghazi Committee & Called it a ‘Waste of Time’

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Schiff was one of five Democrats on the Select Committee on Benghazi, which investigated the September 11, 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s actions. The committee was chaired by Republican Ted Gowdy of South Carolina.

Despite being a member of the committee, Schiff openly criticized it. In May 2014, he told Fox News that it was a “colossal waste of time” because there were already bipartisan investigations into the attack.

“I don’t think it makes sense really for Democrats to participate,” Schiff said in 2014. “I think it’s just a tremendous red herring, and a waste of taxpayer resources. So I hope the Speaker will reconsider but it looks as though he has bowed again to those on the farthest right of his conference.”

In a September 2015 New York Times op-ed, Schiff called for it to be disbanded, adding that the committee was “little more than a partisan tool to influence the presidential race.”

After the Republican report was released, Schiff called it “an eight hundred page report which attempts to substitute quantity for quality, it adds little that is appreciably new.”

He added, “There is no evidence that the military was ordered to stand down, no evidence of gun running, no evidence that the President or Secretary of State interfered with security in Benghazi or the response to the tragedy and no evidence of politicization – except by the Select Committee itself.”

Roger Stone: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Roger Stone is a conspiracy theorist who was also an adviser for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and admitted to contacts with a Russian hacker.

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Sengchan Houl: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Sengchan Houl is accused of committing the drive-by shooting that killed 8-year-old Jonah Hwang.

Pomona, California police announced the arrest on March 26.

Jonah was murdered on February 20 in a drive-by shooting that galvanized a community moved by the energetic boy who was known for his love of superheroes and who had embraced a new life in America.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Police Said Houl Was Arrested Without Incident in California

Police have released few details about the arrest. However, they did say that Houl is 35-years-old and “was arrested without incident in the unincorporated area of Pomona. He has been booked at the Pomona City Jail.”

His bail was set at $2 million. According to the Press Enterprise, Houl was arrested at 11:42 a.m. Sunday, March 26.


2. The Child Was Eating Dinner Inside a Family Friend’s Home When Slain

Jonah was shot and killed while eating dinner inside the home of a family friend in Pomona, California, reported ABC 7.

Jonah was shot in the head, and three bullets hit the home during the drive-by shooting, reported NBC LosAngeles.

According to a GoFundMe site created to support Hwang’s family, “On February 20, 2017, a drive-by shooter fired several shots into the Pomona, CA home where a few families were gathered for dinner, killing 8-year-old Jonah Hwang. His parents, my cousins Karen and Johnny Hwang, and his brother, Micah, were present and are heartbroken by this senseless tragedy.”

The house was targeted by gunfire more than once.


3. Jonah Was Adopted from an Orphanage in Taiwan & Remembered as Playful

According to the GoFundMe site, Jonah was adopted from an orphanage in Taiwan and soon acclimated to life in America.

“The devastation that we feel from this loss is unfathomable,” his family said in a statement posted on that site. “We welcomed Jonah into our family less than three years ago, after adopting him from an orphanage in Taiwan. He had an infectious smile and loved everyone and everything: sports, wrestling with his dad, running, laughing, superheroes. With his playful demeanor, he adapted almost immediately to life in the United States and became a full-blooded American in no time at all.”

Jonah’s family said, “Jonah was a light and joy in our household and we cannot imagine our family without him.”

The family is donating the money toward a scholarship in Jonah’s name, writing, “We hope that Jonah can continue to be a beacon of light in this city, and that he won’t be forgotten because of the love of so many people that have made his light shine as brightly as the person he was.”


4. The Murdered Boy Was Remembered as Loving Superheroes

One thing that stood out about 8-year-old Jonah Hwang: His love of superheroes. The theme emerged time and again as the community mourned the child.

Lawmakers in Sacramento donned superhero themed socks in the memory of the child.

The boy’s funeral also had a superhero theme, reported NBC LosAngeles.


5. A $20,000 Reward Was Announced Previously for Information Leading to the Suspect’s Arrest

The Associated Press previously reported that a reward was being offered in the case.

According to police, the $20,000 reward was offered “for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever shot an 8-year-old boy to death as he was about to have dinner at a Southern California home,” AP reported.

Police said they will release more information about the arrest of Sengchan Houl on Monday, March 27 at a news conference.

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