Daily Local & Regional NewsWatch
LA Police Protective League


Los Angeles
Police Protective League
the union that represents the
rank and file LAPD officers

  Daily Local & Regional NewsWatch

Daily News Digest
from LA Police Protective League

April 20, 2017

Law Enforcement News

Truck Driver Who Crashed Into LAPD Patrol Car, Killing Officer, Pleads No Contest
A driver who lost control of his truck and crashed into an LAPD patrol car, killing a well-liked veteran officer, pleaded no contest to gross vehicular manslaughter on Wednesday. Robert Maldonado's plea under an agreement with prosecutors makes him eligible to have a felony crime reduced to a misdemeanor, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Maldonado, 48, was charged in the March 7, 2014, crash that killed 40-year-old Officer Nicholas Lee of the Los Angeles Police Department's Hollywood Division. Another officers in the car was injured. Maldonado was driving his dump truck down steep and curving Loma Vista Drive in Beverly Hills when the brakes failed. Maldonado, who owned the dump truck company, had not properly maintained and inspected the vehicle as required by law, a California Highway Patrol investigation found.
Music Manager Fatally Shot in Leimert Park Area
A 35-year-old music manager devoted to this community was shot and killed Wednesday as he sat inside his car in the Leimert Park area. The shooting was reported about 2:20 p.m. in the area of Stocker Plaza and Eighth Avenue, according to Officer Sal Ramirez of the Los Angeles Police Department's Media Relations Section. Demarco Rankin was a father and an independent music manager. "He always looks out for the kids around here and other people in need and help with the proceeds he get off music," said Rich Rick. Rankin crawled out of his car after he was shot, detectives said. 
Stolen Vehicle Chase Ends In Head-On Crash In Chatsworth
The driver of a suspected stolen vehicle being chased by police in the San Fernando Valley crashed head-on into another car Wednesday in Chatsworth, but only the suspect was injured. The chase started just after 5 p.m. in the area of DeSoto Avenue and Roscoe Boulevard in Canoga Park and ended at 5:12 p.m. on Valley Circle Boulevard near Plummer Street, according to Officer Aareon Jefferson of the Los Angeles Police Department's Media Relations Section. A young boy and his father were in the vehicle struck by the suspect, but neither needed to be hospitalized, Jefferson said. The suspect was taken to a hospital but his condition was not immediately available. His name and age were not released.
FOX 11
Watch Out For Men Who Set Up Studio City Shopper And Lifted Her Wallet
Los Angeles police are trying to find two men who stole an elderly woman's wallet while she shopped for groceries in Studio City.  The incident was reported at 1:30 p.m. March 31, at the Ralphs market on Ventura Boulevard at Coldwater Canyon Avenue, said the Los Angeles Police Department. The woman was approached by a man who distracted her by asking a question about a food product and then removed her wallet from her purse, police said. A second man acted as a lookout, and afterward both men used the woman's credit cards at several locations. The first man is described as black with black hair, 5 feet 8 inches tall and 180 pounds. 
Los Angeles Daily News
Thieves Use Post Office Master Key To Break Into Toluca Lake Complex Twice
An apartment complex in Toluca Lake has been victimized multiple times by thieves who apparently used a post office master key to enter the building and open up mailboxes. Two thefts targeting the complex in the 4300 block of Cahuenga Boulevard were caught on video. But each seemed to involve different suspects. The homeowners' association says there is one master key and somehow more than one thief has apparently gotten their hands on it. The most recent theft was early Tuesday morning. Two women and a man were seen on video entering the complex around 3 a.m. They didn't seem to be aware of the cameras. They nervously look around, open the mailboxes and take at least one item. Tenant Anne Benson said they didn't have to break in. 
Valley Residents To Weigh In On Releasing LAPD Body Camera Videos Of Police Shootings
If a Los Angeles police officer shoots at someone, would you want that video released to the public? That is the question being asked by the Los Angeles Police Commission at a community meeting in Reseda on Thursday. The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the ONE Generation Senior Enrichment Center, at 18255 Victory Blvd. Food and refreshments will be provided. Police Chief Charlie Beck has refused to release videos from body cameras worn by LAPD officers unless there is a court order. But the Police Commission, a citizen panel that oversees the LAPD, is looking into whether such video ought to be released. That decision may depend on what members of the public say as part of an input-gathering effort ending May 7. 
Los Angeles Daily News
Pacific Palisades Man Fatally Shot 25-Year-Old Ex-Girlfriend In West Hollywood, Then Killed Himself
A West Hollywood woman was walking her dog when she was fatally shot by her ex-boyfriend, and he in turn killed himself inside an SUV parked less than a mile away from the shooting, authorities said. Deputies were first called to the 8700 block of Rosewood Avenue after gunshots were reported about 8:43 p.m. Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department stated in a news release. They found paramedics treating 25-year-old Whitney Jade Washuta, who had sustained a gunshot wound in her upper torso. She was declared dead on scene. Then, about two hours after the initial shooting, another “shots fired” call was reported a little over a half-mile away, in the 100 block of Croft Avenue near the Beverly Center, Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Trugman said. Authorities found 27-year-old Kyle Patrick Ramsey dead inside an SUV and determined he had fatally shot himself, deputies said. The SUV and the man inside matched the descriptions of those spotted on surveillance video taken from Rosewood Avenue, Trugman said.
LA City Attorney Sues Owners Of 6 Crime-Infested Homes
In one of the homes in North Hollywood, LAPD has made 18 narcotics related arrests in the past year. City attorney Mike Feuer has filed five lawsuits against the owners of six properties across Los Angeles, including single family homes, an apartment building and two motels. Feuer announced the suits in a statement released on Wednesday, stating the properties had long been the sites of rampant criminal activity. He alleged they allow drug sales, prostitution, illegal gun possession, and other crimes. Some injunctions asked for physical changes to the property such as lighting, fencing, and security cameras. Feuer told KPCC the legal strategy has spurred real changes and not just shuffled crimes to other properties. "Once we intervene and transform the property people disperse, when that happens we have found sustained levels of safety," he said. "So I have a great deal of faith in the efficacy in this systematic effort to make neighborhoods across Los Angeles safer."
Just Say No To Investing In Pot, Committee Advises California Judges
California Supreme Court committee advised judges in the state Wednesday to stay away from pot — as in, investing in pot businesses. Maintaining any interest in a business that involves medical or recreational marijuana is incompatible with a judge's obligation to follow the law, the court's Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions said. California voters have legalized the use of recreational and medical marijuana, but the drug remains illegal under federal law. The committee said involvement in a pot business could also cast doubt on a judge's ability to act impartially, particularly in marijuana-related cases. “
Los Angeles Times

Police: Man sought in Cleveland Facebook killing is dead
The man who randomly killed a Cleveland retiree and posted video of the crime on Facebook shot himself to death in his car Tuesday during a police chase in Pennsylvania, ending a multistate manhunt less than 48 hours after it began. Acting on a tip, Pennsylvania State Police spotted Steve Stephens, 37, leaving a McDonald's in Erie and went after him, bumping his car to try to get it to stop, authorities said. He shot himself in the head as the car spun out of control, police said.
Associated Press

Local Government News

5 Things To Watch For As Garcetti Rolls Out His Budget And Gives A Big Speech
Thursday will be a big day at Los Angeles City Hall, with Mayor Eric Garcetti delivering his yearly State of the City address and unveiling his annual budget. Garcetti has been on a winning streak, securing reelection with 81% of the vote and helping to persuade voters to back a trio of tax hikes. But L.A. still has plenty of problems — crime, homelessness and a shaky city budget, to name a few. Here are some things to watch for as Garcetti spells out his vision and his financial priorities. Last month, city budget officials concluded that L.A. faces a shortfall of up to $224 million for the coming fiscal year. Things have gotten so dire, in fact, that the city is considering borrowing money just to pay for its ongoing legal bills. So what's a mayor to do?
Los Angeles Times
L.A. City Council Vote To Stiffen Rules For Replacing Rent-Controlled Apartments
Los Angeles lawmakers voted Wednesday to stiffen city rules surrounding the demolition of rent-controlled apartments, aiming to ensure that more affordable housing is built. But business groups have challenged whether the plan is fair — and whether it will stand up in court. Under a California law called the Ellis Act, landlords can eject tenants from rent-controlled apartments if they are tearing down a building or getting out of the rental business. In Los Angeles, if landlords tear down rent-controlled units and replace them with new rentals within five years, all of those new units fall under city rules that limit rent increases. There's also an alternative for landlords who want to avoid putting an entire building under rent control: They must designate some of the new units as affordable housing.
LA State Historic Park: Grand Opening
The notion of a "Grand Opening" usually implies that the place throwing the doors wide is doing so for the first time, while, simultaneously, the people coming to check it out will have never attended an event there before. Which makes the story of Los Angeles State Historic Park, which has been seen by many Angelenos in various iterations, all the more complex and riveting. You may have called upon the 32-acre open property near Chinatown — it stretches from the neighborhood, along Spring Street for a good distance, in the direction of the LA River — and you may have even gone there to do something, like attend FYF Fest, which held court at the park for several years, or visit the "Not a Cornfield" art installation which sprouted in 2005. The corn in the artwork was, of course, an homage to the space's long-standing nickname, The Cornfield, a handle that's still used.


About the LAPPL Formed in 1923, the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) represents the more than 9,900 dedicated and professional sworn members of the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPPL serves to advance the interests of LAPD officers through legislative and legal advocacy, political action and education. The LAPPL can be found on the Web at: