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

February 6 , 2019

Law Enforcement News

Virginia Trooper, Suspect Killed In Shootout Amid Drug Investigation
Authorities in Virginia say a state trooper and a suspect were killed in a shootout during a drug investigation. News outlets cite a Virginia State Police release that says Lucas B. Dowell was a member of a tactical team assisting the Piedmont Regional Drug and Gang Task Force with a search warrant late Monday night. The release says a male suspect began shooting at the tactical team when they entered a home. Two team members returned fire, killing the suspect. Dowell was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He's the department's 66th death in the line of duty. The suspect wasn't immediately identified. He was the only person inside the home at the time of the shooting. No other troopers were injured in the shooting.
Associated Press

Manhunt Underway For Driver Who Ran Over Officer In Georgia Suburb
Authorities from several states are looking for a 33-year-old Tennessee man accused of running over and seriously injuring an Atlanta-area police officer, police said. Tauren McShan, 33, of Memphis, is wanted on charges including aggravated assault against an officer, Deputy Chief Anthony Bazydlo said Monday night. "We've got some good leads we're following for his whereabouts," including the likelihood that he's trying to get home, Bazydlo told The Associated Press by phone. He said Fairburn Officer Levar Sims underwent surgery but could be released from the hospital after several days. "He did sustain some internal injuries but is expected to make a full recovery with time," he said in an email. 
Associated Press

Man's Conviction Upheld For Shooting Parole Agent In Face
A state appeals court panel Tuesday upheld a then-fugitive parolee's conviction for shooting a parole agent in the face in Lake View Terrace seven years ago, but sent his case back for re-sentencing. Jurors found Steven Hoff guilty in July 2015 of two counts of attempted murder of a police officer and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm for firing two shots on Jan. 4, 2012, while at a female friend's trailer. Hoff ambushed a California Parole Apprehension Team member who was trying to locate him for absconding from parole in an attempted burglary case about six months earlier, Deputy District Attorney Michael Blake said after the verdict. The agent's jaw was completely shattered and he has had to go through a series of reconstructive surgeries, according to the prosecutor.

Video Shows Valet Thwart Robbery After Man Yanks Woman, Drags Her Along Downtown Sidewalk: LAPD

Dramatic surveillance video released by police on Tuesday captured a man yanking a woman violently to the ground and dragging her down a downtown Los Angeles sidewalk during an attempted robbery that was thwarted by a nearby valet. The woman was walking in the area of 11th and Flower streets around 6:30 p.m. Jan. 28 when a man ran up behind her and tried to take her purse and cellphone, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Tony Im told KTLA Tuesday. He pulled her forcefully to the ground, dragging her a short time before the valet rushed up to confront him, police said. It appeared the two might fight, but before any punches could be thrown, the attacker fled and ran around the corner, the video showed. The victim was able to get up and run away while the valet and the assailant confronted each other. Investigators took a police report for the attempted robbery, Im said. LAPD's Central Area Twitter account shared the video Tuesday afternoon, offering a warning about walking while distracted by a cellphone.

Business Owner Accused Of Killing Employee During Argument In Chatsworth
A Chatsworth man who owns a home aquarium business was charged Tuesday with murder for allegedly killing a 22-year-old employee during an argument. Brian Vincent Hunt, 49, pleaded not guilty in a San Fernando courtroom in connection with last Friday's killing of Ricardo Sanchez, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. The murder charge includes allegations that Hunt used a revolver in the commission of the killing. Hunt is accused of gunning down Sanchez during an argument at the defendant's home, according to Deputy District Attorney Cathy Lee. Hunt was arrested the same day by Los Angeles police, and has remained in jail since then. He is due back in court March 15, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to allow the case against him to proceed to trial.
Los Angeles Daily News

Sentencing Due For L.A. Brothers In Foreign Bank Scheme
Two Los Angeles brothers could be sentenced to federal prison Wednesday for failing to file required paperwork that would have disclosed funds hidden in offshore accounts. Israel and Ben Birman face up to three and five years, respectively, in federal prison, as well as supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties at their sentencing hearing in downtown Los Angeles. Israel Birman pleaded guilty in November in Los Angeles federal court to falsifying a tax return to conceal more than $187,000 in interest income earned from accounts held at Bank Leumi in Israel. As part of his plea agreement, he agreed to pay a civil penalty of not less than $1.7 million.

L.A. County Seeks Best Models For Bail Reform
With a state plan to abolish cash bail hanging in limbo until a 2020 voter referendum, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to increase pre-plea diversion programs and develop and pilot bail reforms. Supervisor Hilda Solis recommended hiring an outside consultant to help assess the county's alternatives and called money bail a “poverty penalty.” “I am committed to shifting L.A. County's focus on punishment and incarceration to rehabilitation and diversion, which will help combat inherent inequities in our criminal justice system,” Solis said. “A modern criminal justice system should never consider how much money a defendant has.” Programs could include expanding pretrial services to improve court appearance rates, including texting court reminders and providing transportation and child care. Another preliminary suggestion was to offer assessments by a mental health expert in arraignment courts.

Pursuit Driver Who Caused Chain-Reaction Crash In Huntington Park Was On Drugs: CHP
Authorities released new information Tuesday about a police chase that ended in a multivehicle crash in Huntington Park last week, saying the pursuit driver was under the influence of drugs and driving with a suspended license. Officers initially attempted to pull over Jaime Ramiro Torres, a 36-year-old Los Angeles man, around 9:50 p.m. after he ran a red light while heading east on Gage Avenue at the intersection with Central Avenue in South Los Angeles, the California Highway Patrol said in a news release. But Torres, behind the wheel of a black 2004 Lincoln Navigator, failed to yield, officials said. CHP launched a pursuit, though the ground units soon pulled off because of Torres' reckless driving, the agency said. A law enforcement helicopter was used to keep track of his SUV.

California Bill Allowing San Francisco Safe Injection Site Reintroduced
Two California legislators reintroduced a bill Monday that would allow San Francisco to operate a supervised safe injection site for illicit drug users. The bill, AB362, was authored by Assemblywoman Susan Eggman, D-Stockton, and co-authored by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco. It's the second time the duo have worked together to launch a safe injection pilot program in San Francisco. A similar bill they co-authored was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown in October, but Gov. Gavin Newsom has said he is receptive to the idea of a safe injection site. If passed, it would allow San Francisco to operate a safe injection site for three years in an effort to further the city's public health goals, coax addicts into treatment and tamp down on the rampant open-air drug use that has pervaded the city's streets and sidewalks.
San Francisco Chronicle

Gun Sales Fell In 2018, Despite Parkland-Inspired Activism

Conventional wisdom and gun company earnings statements have long held that nothing juices firearm sales quite like the fear of new gun laws that follows mass shootings. But new federal data shows that last year, fear-based buying appears to have fizzled out. Gun sales tumbled for the second year in a row in 2018, according to an analysis of background check totals by Jurgen Brauer, an economist at Augusta University whose consulting firm, Small Arms Analytics, monitors gun transfers. That's despite one of the highest-profile mass shootings in American history at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, as well as sustained gun control activism, and electoral victories by Democrats who almost uniformly promised to pursue stronger gun laws. In past years, similar factors have bumped firearm sales to record highs. 
The Trace

Public Safety News

Firefighters Battle Two-Story House Fire In Hollywood
Firefighters battled a two-story house fire in Hollywood Tuesday evening. The blaze broke out at about shortly after 7 p.m. in the 1200 block of N. Bronson Avenue. No one was home at the time of the fire, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Ornamental vegetation around the home caught on fire but firefighters quickly extinguished it and stopped the flames from spreading to nearby buildings. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation. No further details were immediately known.
FOX 11

Southern California Edison And Boeing Sued Over Devastating Woolsey Fire
A lawsuit filed Tuesday against Boeing and Southern California Edison alleges that the two companies failed to protect the public from the threat that fire posed at the Santa Susana Field Lab, a former rocket testing facility where the devastating Woolsey fire broke out in November. The suit accuses Boeing and Edison of not properly maintaining power lines and electrical infrastructure, and failing to clear brush on the 2,850-acre site near Simi Valley; in addition, Boeing lacked firefighting personnel at the location, the plaintiffs allege. The Woolsey fire ended up becoming the largest fire in Los Angeles and Ventura county's modern history. Robert. F. Kennedy Jr., co-counsel to Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, one of the five firms representing more than 100 property owners and renters whose buildings and property were damaged or destroyed by the fire, said Edison should have preemptively shut off power to mitigate the fire risk on a dry, windy day.
Los Angeles Times

Local Government News

Great Streets Challenge Offers $2.5M To Improve LA Roadways
Community organizations were invited by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Tuesday to apply for $2.5 million in street-improvement and community-outreach funding as part of the Great Streets Challenge. "The Great Streets initiative empowers Angelenos to envision a brighter future for their neighborhoods -- and gives them the tools to bring those ideas to life," Garcetti said. "These grants will allow community groups to transform streets across Los Angeles into thoroughfares of opportunity, create corridors of open space, and build safer, healthier communities." After receiving applicants for the Great Streets Challenge, the city will select up to 10 award recipients to receive access to an urban planning consultant and funding to solicit community input for the projects.

LA County Lobbies For Medicaid Waiver On Mental Health
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted to urge state officials to apply for a Medicaid waiver that would expand coverage for inpatient mental health treatment at residential facilities. Supervisor Kathryn Barger recommended pushing for the expansion. "Medicaid is the largest payer of mental health services and expansion of this coverage would be critical to those who are in need of treatment," Barger said. "It is imperative that we use this opportunity to demonstrate that mental health treatment should be a permanent and ongoing priority that is worthy of both federal and state investments." The federally funded health program has always excluded reimbursement for residential mental health care, with the exception of treatment for minors and seniors.

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: