LAPD investigates protest at Brentwood home of AIPAC president as possible hate crime

Michael Tuchin, right, and Antony J. Blinken at an AIPAC lectern.
Michael Tuchin, right, president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, with Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken in June at the group’s annual policy summit.
(Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
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Los Angeles police have launched an investigation into a protest Thursday at the Brentwood home of the president of a pro-Israeli lobbying group, with footage on social media showing protesters igniting smoke devices in the street and spattering fake blood on the property.

The incident, which police are investigating as a possible hate crime, is the latest in Los Angeles after Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, prompting Israel to bombard and invade Gaza, the Palestinian enclave that Hamas controls.

The crisis has roiled Los Angeles, home to large populations of Jews and Palestinians. On Nov. 1, Canter’s Deli, an iconic Jewish restaurant in the Fairfax District, was defaced with antisemitic messages spray-painted below a mural depicting the history of Jews in Los Angeles.


Antisemitic messages found painted outside Canter’s Deli and other locations in the Fairfax District are being investigated as possible hate crimes, the LAPD said.

Nov. 1, 2023

Los Angeles Police Department officers responded Thursday morning to the 11900 block of Foxboro Drive, where a group of protesters was causing a “disturbance,” according to a statement posted on X. Police made no arrests at the scene, but were investigating the incident as suspected vandalism, assault with a deadly weapon and a hate crime.

The statement did not name the owner of the home that was targeted. Officer Melissa Ohana, an LAPD spokeswoman, said the department doesn’t identify victims of crimes.

But in a post on X, Mayor Karen Bass appeared to identify the victim as Michael Tuchin, a Los Angeles attorney and president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.

“I’ve spoken with Michael Tuchin and Chief [Michel] Moore about yesterday’s disturbing incident,” Bass wrote. “Hate and violence will not be tolerated in our City. LAPD will continue to work with city and business leaders to keep Angelenos safe.”

Bass later removed Tuchin’s name from the post, saying it was “for the safety of those involved.”

Hamas releases 24 hostages it had been holding in Gaza in the first stage of a prisoner swap with Israel under a cease-fire deal, officials say.

Nov. 24, 2023

Tuchin didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

A video posted by the People’s City Council — Los Angeles showed a group of people standing outside a home that the organization identified as Tuchin’s, holding a banner that read, “F— your holiday baby killer.” A red liquid had been poured on the driveway. Small white bundles were scattered on the driveway and front lawn.


Footage posted by Sam Yebri, a former City Council candidate, showed smoke billowing in the street as people yelled and a siren droned.

Brian Humphrey, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department, said a person contacted the department at 10:37 a.m. about an unspecified incident in the 11900 block of Foxboro Drive. During the call, it was determined that the police and not the Fire Department should respond, Humphrey said. No fire units were dispatched to the scene.

The People’s City Council — Los Angeles also participated in a march of hundreds of protesters supporting the Palestinians through the Grove on Black Friday, disrupting holiday shoppers before stopping traffic on Fairfax Avenue outside the mall.

Hundreds of supporters of Palestine march through the Grove on Friday.
Hundreds of supporters of Palestine march through the Grove on Friday, disrupting holiday shopping before shutting down traffic on Fairfax Avenue. The protest, which lasted more than two hours, was largely peaceful.
(Michael Owen Baker / For The Times)

The protest, dubbed Shut It Down for Palestine, was largely peaceful despite the angry shouts and chants for a cease-fire to the war. Police stood between a small group of Israel supporters and the protesting crowd, which waved Palestinian flags and chanted, “Free the people. Free the land.”

Some shoppers nodded in support, while others looked bewildered as the protesters walked under a suspended Santa and his reindeer and around the mall’s Christmas tree.


Meanwhile across town in Glendale, a group of about 30 pro-Palestinian protesters also gathered on Central Avenue outside the Galleria and Americana shopping centers.

“No shopping until Palestine is free,” one person shouted through a megaphone. “The mall is closed today.”

Protesters in both locations said the demonstrations, which lasted more than two hours, had been organized in part by the Palestinian Youth Movement. The ANSWER Coalition, whose acronym stands for Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, also helped organize the actions locally.

The LAPD declared a citywide tactical alert Friday “to ensure sufficient resources to address any incident that may arise as a result of today’s protest,” according to a message posted on X.