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

July 30, 2019
Law Enforcement News

Desperate Hunt For Cop Killer
A search continued Monday for the assailant who fatally shot an off-duty Los Angeles police officer in the Lincoln Heights area, possibly after the lawman confronted one or more graffiti vandals. Officer Juan Jose Diaz, 24, was shot early Saturday outside a taco stand in the area of Avenue 26 and Artesian Street and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. Diaz had been with the department for two years and was last assigned to the Professional Standards Bureau. No suspect description was released. More than 100 people gathered for a vigil in Diaz's memory Saturday night in front of the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters building downtown, where others continue to leave flowers, candles and other remembrances. Among those participating were classmates who attended the Police Academy with Diaz. His two sisters, former teachers and former middle and high school classmates also attended. Several officers at the vigil were in uniform with black mourning bands around their badges. The vigil was held in front of a photo of a smiling Diaz with a sign that read: “Rest easy brother. We'll hold the line from here.”

North Carolina Trooper Paralyzed From Neck Down After Pursuit

Doctors report Highway Patrol Trooper Christopher Wooten, a Cramerton resident and South Point High alumnus, suffered a complete spinal cord injury at the top of the spine, which is resulting in paralysis from the neck down, according to the commander of the N.C. State Highway Patrol. Wooten was injured in a violent collision while on duty in Mecklenburg County July 22 while attempting to stop a vehicle that reportedly was fleeing to elude arrest. The suspect did not stop after Wooten collided with another vehicle, but was captured Wednesday.Gaston County Commissioner Ronnie Worley and Wooten have been friends since attending South Point High together. Worley, who retired from the Highway Patrol in 2016, has been by the side of Wooten and his family at the hospital since the wreck. Worley described his friend as a "great guy."
Gaston Gazette, Gastonia, N.C.

LAPD Police Officers' Personal Information Stolen in Data Breach

A suspected hacker claimed he or she had stolen the personal information of about 2,500 LAPD officers, trainees, and recruits, along with approximately 17,500 police officer applicants, in what may be a large breach of data held by the city of Los Angeles' Personnel Department. The officers' union, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, said the breach was a serious security issue, and urged the city to investigate how it happened and improve data security. "We also call upon the city to provide the necessary resources and assistance to any impacted officer who may become the victim of identity theft as a result of this negligence, so that they may restore their credit and/or financial standing," the Protective League said.

Police Pursuit Of Shirtless Man Ends In South Los Angeles
Police were pursuing a shirtless man in a white vehicle in the South Los Angeles area Sunday. Newschopper4 Bravo was over the chase around 8:10 p.m. The man in the white vehicle could be seen driving recklessly through residental neighborhoods. Eventually, the driver pulled over and walked out of the vehicle, somewhat casually. Police immediately caught up with the man. The pursuit was over around 8:20 p.m. on Figureroa Street, near Slauson Avenue. It was not immediately clear what prompted the pursuit.

$20,000 Worth Of Rock Cocaine Confiscated After LAPD Drug Bust
Thousands of dollars worth of rock cocaine is off the streets after a Los Angeles Police Department drug bust. The department tweeted "$20k in cash and $20k worth of rock cocaine - both off the hands of a drug-dealing gangmember." The bust took place in the southwest division. Officers say it may be a small dent in the drug problem, but say they will continue to work to make L.A.'s streets safer.

Man Accused Of San Fernando Valley Crime Spree Is Charged With 4 Murders, 2 Attempted Murders
Gerry Dean Zaragoza – accused of a 12-hour rampage that left his dad, a brother, an ex-girlfriend and a bus passenger dead last week – was charged on Monday with four counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of attempted robbery. Prosecutors included a special-circumstance allegation of multiple murders, making him eligible for the death penalty if convicted of enough charges. Monday afternoon, Zaragoza made his first court appearance, in Van Nuys Superior Court. When Judge Frank Tavelman asked him if he waived his right to enter a plea at this point, Zaragoza replied, “Yes, your honor.” So he will return to court on Sept. 3, when Zaragoza can enter his plea. The 26-year-old, authorities say, shot family members at a Canoga Park apartment, also leaving his mom injured from a gunshot to a hand, then shot dead a woman at a North Hills gas station, also injuring a man, and randomly killed a bus passenger on the Orange Line in Van Nuys before getting arrested at 2:30 p.m. Thursday.
Los Angeles Daily News

North Hollywood Man Suffering From Depression Missing
A 40-year-old North Hollywood man who suffers from depression was missing Tuesday morning. Kent Connell was last heard from around 5 p.m Sunday when he texted his brother following a family reunion, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Connell is white, 5 feet 8, about 155 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a white shirt and green cargo pants, police said. Connell frequents hiking trails in the area, the LAPD said. Anyone with information on Connell's whereabouts was asked to call the LAPD's Missing Persons Unit at 213-996-1800 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

Garlic Festival Shooting Highlights a Common Pattern: Guns From Nevada, Used To Kill In California
The mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California over the weekend provided a particularly horrific illustration of a common pattern: With California's many restrictions on firearms, criminals often get their weapons from nearby states with comparatively lax gun laws. During a Monday news conference, Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee said the perpetrator, a 19-year-old local man, used an AK-type rifle purchased in Nevada to carry out a rampage that left 12 people injured and three dead. A federal law enforcement source told the  San Francisco Chronicle  that the gun was a WASR 10, an AK-47 derivative banned by California's assault weapons ban. The shooter purchased the weapon from Big Mikes Gun and Ammo, a six-hour drive from where he lived. Michael Christopherson, the owner of the store, expressed his condolences to the victims of the shooting on the company's Facebook page. Christopherson wrote that when he sold the weapon to the shooter he had “no reasons for concern”.
The Trace

Slain Kentucky Marshal Honored Over A Century Later In Texas
A federal officer gunned down while transporting prisoners through eastern Kentucky was honored at a small ceremony Friday in Texas, more than a century after his death. Senior officials with the U.S. Marshals Service and judges gathered at a courthouse in Plano, a suburb northeast of Dallas, to present a flag to Russell Wireman's great-great-great grandson, Gary Hulsey. Wireman, a marshal, was shot in the chest in 1889 during the so-called Moonshine War, but his death until recently has been a lost part of history. The presentation of the folded flag was part of an effort by America's oldest federal law-enforcement agency to recognize officers whose deaths during a particularly deadly period of its history had been obscured by the passing decades. "We have a saying in the law enforcement community that we never forget," said Richard Taylor, U.S. marshal for the Northern District of Texas. "One hundred and 30 years later, we never forget."
Associated Press

Public Safety News

Californians' Concerns About Worsening Wildfires At Record High
A new poll reveals Californians' considerable anxiety about the effects of climate change on the state. A record number of California adults, 71%, said they're very concerned about wildfires becoming more severe due to global warming, according to the survey conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California. That's an increase of almost 10 percentage points over last year. Another 15% said they're somewhat concerned about the worsening blazes. Last November's Camp Fire, in Butte County, was the deadliest wildfire in the U.S. in 100 years, killing 85 people and destroying the town of Paradise. Released everyJuly since 2000, the PPIC survey measures Californians' opinions about the environment. This year, the results showed that 63% of adults believe the effects of global warming have already begun. When asked about specific impacts other than wildfires, 49% said they were very concerned about heat waves increasing in severity, and 42% expressed the same concern about rising sea levels.

Local Government News

L.A. City Council To Vote Again On Banning People From Sleeping In Cars
The Los Angeles City Council today will vote on whether to once again prohibit people from sleeping in their cars in residential neighborhoods and near schools by passing a six-month extension of the law. The City Council did not pass an expected extension before the July recess, unintentionally giving people living out of their cars a grace period during that time. In mid-July, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said the vehicle-dwelling law that was extended by six months in December expired at the end of June. "A proposed ordinance, which would reinstate (the ordinance) and provide a new sunset date of Jan. 1, 2020, is currently pending in city council. However, this proposed ordinance has not been approved yet," Moore wrote on July 17. The prohibition would last every day from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. and designate at least a 500-foot buffer from schools, and people cannot be sleeping while parked on any residential streets.
FOX 11

Metro, Virgin Trains In Talks Over Proposed Rail Between L.A. And Las Vegas
How does rail service between Los Angeles and Las Vegas sound? Metro has reportedly been talking with Virgin Trains USA about the project. Curbed says Metro's CEO Phillip Washington shared the news with the agency's board of directors last week. Metro wouldn't be involved in the project, but the agency could help to facilitate the extension to L.A. For now, Virgin Trains is reportedly trying to finance the project's first phase to Victorville. Bloomberg reports the stretch could open as soon as 2023. 

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: