A Brief Photo Essay of the Tomchei Shabbos Operation

People from all over the community volunteer to make this massive weekly undertaking a reality.
In just a few hours every Thursday evening the larg room that during the week and shabbos is the
PICO SHUL is used by Tomchei Shabbos and transformed into an amazing chessed operation  of "biblical" proportions.

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Local Audio Video Forensics Expert
David Notowitz Assists in High Profile Trial

David Notowitz, has lived in Pico Robertson neighborhood for the past 16 years and during that time he has worked as a very successful videographer for weddings and other simchas. If you have been to any simchas in the past ten years, you have no doubt seen David and his crew filming!

Prior to this, David worked for Financial News Network producing daily news segments. David has edited documentray films such as The Last Klezmer and several feature films for the Disney Channel.

David Notowitz of NCAVF

All of these experiences would prove to be very useful in preparing David for a slight departure from recording simchas  to what he is now “focusing” on- audio/video forensics through his company, NCAVF National Center for Audio & Video Forensics.



When David is contacted by attorneys, they will give him video footage of an incident. The video may be from a police car dashboard cam, surveillance video from detectives, or from a security camera. David then will find out if any separate audio exists, and then compiles and syncs the audio and visual together. David will then explain to attorneys the significance in the evidence they have. Often times initially the attorney does not realize just how significant this evidence is. David shows them that by enhancing the video and synchronizing it with the audio, details will begin to emerge in the video that were previously not apparent.

David recently worked with Michael Schwartz on a very high profile case. The Ivory Webb case. In this case,  after a 100 mph car chase, the suspect did not stay down and the cop shot him three times and he lived. A witness across the street started video tapeing it  on a home camcorder just after accident occured.  David enhanced this video and showed the suspect within a moment or two before being shot by the officer. It showed that the suspect had put his hand into his coat pocket. (see video still below)

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In this enhanced video still, the suspect in the Ivory Webb case is seen  reaching into his coat pocket.



Two and half years ago David was contacted by Michael Schwartz to assist on the Kelly Thomas case, which just ended last week. Two California police officers were charged with the beating death of a homeless man. Police car camera videos were presented by the prosecution and given to David by the defense, Michael Schwartz. David viewed the video. He saw what everyone else saw and what the media showed over and over again on televison, a suspect being beaten by cops. In this case the prosecution claimed several things.  One claim was that Michael Schwartz's client, Office Jay Cicinelli had no concern or regard for the suspect (Kelly Thomas).


David, scoured the video and then obtained audio of Officer Cicinelli’s conversation with

dispatch. In that audio one can hear Officer Cicinelli calling an ambulance for the suspect. (see the photo below) While struggling and trying to detain the suspect, Officer Cicinelli is seen manipulating the controls on his belt radio and calling for medical help for the suspect. Without the audio synchronization, this would have been totally overlooked.


Officer Cicinelli dropping his tazer so he can call the paramedics. One would only know
this if the audio and video were synronized by David.


Officer Cicinellie is seen strugeling to turn on his radio so he can

call for medical assistance for the suspect.


David also was able to point out that when paramedics arrived Officer Cicinelli was the first person pointing to the suspect, and you can hear the Officer directing paramedics to the injured man. Only after hearing and seeing the audio and video  ync of Cicinell talking to the paramedics, does all this come to light. Those who saw this video on television without the audio synchronization totally missed the crucial facts.  Luckily for Schwartz's client, the jury did see this evidence.


Through David’s work the Defense headed by Michael Schwartz was able to demonstrate that Cicinelli did indeed show concern for the suspect thus helping get a NOT GUILTY verdict from the jury, and keeping his client out of prison.

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Lead Defense Attorney Michael Schwartz using the video during

trial to win the case. (AP photo)


In the Kelly Thomas case David was not called to the stand but in some cases David is called to testify as an expert witness of work he has done and what he hears and sees on the videos.


David, was in the courtroom everyday so that when Michaeal Schwartz needed to have the audio and video presented, David was ready. While David has worked on many criminal cases,the Kelly Thomas case to date has been the largest high profile case David has worked on.

David Notowitz in the courtroom

Without the video,we would’ve heard some screaming and crying, but never have seen what happened,” said Michael Schwartz, Cicinelli’s attorney. “Which was a very measured reaction with police officers trying to control a suspect. The video, in my eyes, is what helped the most,” Schwartz said.


Below is an exerpt from an AP news story about the Kelly Thomas case.

And the story encapsulates the work David did for Michael Schwartz and the defense team.




Experts: Video Likely Aided Acquittal Of Officers

by The Associated Press

January 14, 2014 5:27 PM

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — The district attorney who charged two California police officers with the beating death of a homeless man said surveillance video of the struggle provided clear evidence of wrongdoing. But in the end, the footage wasn't enough and may have helped defense lawyers win the case, legal experts said.


A jury acquitted the two Fullerton officers of all charges on Monday after a trial in which the 33-minute video was the central piece of evidence.


During the trial, defense lawyers used the video to weave a different narrative of events, telling jurors it showed that Thomas didn't follow a lawful order, fled from the officers and struggled violently as they were trying to cuff him.


The video shows that Cicinelli shocked Thomas with his electric stun gun multiple times and struck him on the head and face with the butt of the gun, shattering bones and causing Thomas' eye to hemorrhage.


The officer's attorney, Michael Schwartz, slowed the video down frame-by-frame and told the jury Thomas was trying to grab the stun gun.


"The surveillance video began with Ramos stopping Thomas on July 5, 2011, after the officer answered a call about a disheveled man jiggling the handles of car doors in a busy transit center parking lot.


The footage was synced with audio from Ramos' body microphone to give a fuller picture of the incident.


IMG 4576 copy

David Notowitz (L) Michael Schwartz (R)

Photo taken in Notowitz office.

Notowitz and Schwartz both from LA and a great team!

(see the story on Michael Schwartz the lead attorney in the Kelly Thomas trial)

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