Wednesday, December 8, 2021
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LAPD reports ATF investigation of fireworks explosion

LAPD reports ATF investigation of fireworks explosion

LOS ANGELES – An investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or ATF found that the Los Angeles Police Department seriously miscalculated the amount of illegal fireworks their containment vessel could handle as they tried to detonate fireworks in a neighborhood in South LA and June.


What you need to know

  • In a virtual town hall meeting on Tuesday, LAPD chief Michel Moore said the report found that this was a result of human error
  • An investigation has found that the LAPD seriously miscalculated the amount of illegal fireworks their containment vessel could handle as they tried to detonate the fireworks
  • Chief Moore said they will no longer use the truck in residential neighborhoods
  • The city’s emergency department says affected residents have until the end of December to submit their claims

Residents living on East 27th Street expressed mixed feelings about the report, though broken glass and cones continue to block the street three and a half months after the detonation went wrong, shaking the neighborhood.

Cendedo Juarez, 72, said he stops at home every day to pick up clothes and documents, but he will never be able to live in the neighborhood again.

“I sat this way; I watched television, boom! “Juarez explained in broken English what happened the night of the explosion.

Juarez and five family members inside the house were taken to the hospital. He and his sister were wheeled away by firefighters with blood pouring down their faces.

The cuts have healed and Juarez’s sister can hear again after her hearing aid, which was blown out in the explosion, was replaced, but signs of destruction are over.

The family’s home structure was compromised and must be demolished. The city has placed them in a hotel in the center so far, but Juarez said he has no idea what tomorrow will bring.

It was their home and without it they have nowhere else to live. He is one of nearly 200 residents who have filed property damage and personal injury claims from the Los Angeles City blast.

In a virtual town hall meeting Tuesday night, LAPD chief Michel Moore said the report from ATF found that the bombers’ officers exceeded the capacity of explosives their special vehicle could handle. He also said they would no longer use the truck in residential areas.

“Sixteen tons of fireworks. The opportunity to take the whole neighborhood out was real. The heat, the summer day, the challenges these officers had, the dangers proposed for 27th Street. It may sound like hyperbolt, but it’s true, these were genuine, “said Chefmoor.

The chief has decided not to disclose the names of the officers involved, but said they have been removed from their post and promised to continue working with the city and many organizations to offer everything residents need to rebuild.

He asked the community to find it in their hearts to forgive them.

Cendedo said he already has.

As he read the results of the ATF survey, the images of the blast from his front door brought him back to the shaky night. Yet he still calls it an accident and lets his lawyer find out the rest.

“It’s okay,” he said as he closed the forest on his home for 20 years with almost nothing but memories, to show it.

Officers illegally confiscated fireworks from Arturo Ceja III, who pleaded guilty to a federal charge of transporting explosives without a license.

The city’s emergency department said affected residents have until the end of December to file their claims. Staff have also worked with the All Peoples Community Center to provide case-by-case management for affected residents.

For more information, visit emergency.lacity.org or call (213) 978-7050.

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