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 31, 2019
Law Enforcement News

LAPD Will Honor Slain Officer Juan Diaz At Cathedral Of Our Lady Of The Angels
Slain Los Angeles police officer Juan Jose Diaz will be honored at services on Aug. 11 and Aug. 12, according to an internal department notice Tuesday. Diaz's family will receive visitors from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Aug. 11 at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive. The following day, a memorial service will begin at 9 a.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on West Temple Street downtown. Interment will immediately follow at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills. Diaz, 24, was fatally shot near a taco stand with his girlfriend and her two brothers in Lincoln Heights shortly after midnight on Saturday. Moments earlier, the off-duty officer had seen someone tagging a wall and told the person to stop, spurring a confrontation that led to his death, according to law enforcement sources. A group of young men approached Diaz sometime after the tagging exchange and began threatening him and his friends, the sources said. One of the young men lifted his shirt to reveal a handgun. Diaz and his group tried to hurry to their car and drive away to avoid a violent confrontation, a source said. As they got into the vehicle, the gunman opened fire, fatally wounding Diaz and injuring one of his girlfriend's brothers. A witness flagged down an LAPD motorcycle officer, who found the two men with gunshot wounds about 1 a.m.
Los Angeles Times

'Thank You Officer Diaz, For Your Sacrifice': City Council Honors Slain Officer
With his killer still at large, a slain off-duty police officer was honored Tuesday by the Los Angeles City Council, which began its meeting with a moment of silence in his memory. The council and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors both adjourned their meetings Tuesday in honor of Officer Juan Jose Diaz. Diaz, 24, was shot around 1 a.m. Saturday outside a taco stand near Avenue 26 and Artesian Street in Lincoln Heights and was pronounced dead at the scene. Diaz had been with the department for two years and was last assigned to the Professional Standards Bureau. Beginning Tuesday's city council meeting, Council President Herb Wesson led a moment of silence, saying "young officer Juan Jose Diaz, a man who committed to protect and to serve this city, lost his life while out with friends." Wesson also noted the killings of three people at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on Sunday, and the recent death of longtime Democratic political activist Darren Parker. "In the last 14 to 16 days, there's been a lot of pain and we've lost a lot," Wesson said. "The only thing we can count on in this world is this moment, this breath and the last word." Councilman Gil Cedillo added, "It is with tremendous loss that we thank you Officer Diaz, for your sacrifice and dedication to the city of Los Angeles. We'll find justice and bring anyone responsible for the death of Officer Diaz to justice."

Kidnapping Suspect Arrested After Hours-Long Standoff In DTLA
A man who may have kidnapped a woman in Monrovia was arrested in downtown Los Angeles this morning following a standoff with LAPD SWAT team officers who surrounded his parked Toyota Prius for several hours before flushing him out with tear gas. But the location and status of the kidnap victim was not immediately determined. The car was located by Los Angeles Police Department officers around 3 a.m. near Hill and Second Streets. Video from the scene showed officers with guns drawn taking positions behind the car and the SWAT vehicle next to the Prius. The alleged victim was identified as 31-year-old Amanda Kathleen Custer and the suspect as 27-year-old Robert Anthony Camou, according to the sheriff's department. Camou surrendered to authorities about 7:30 a.m., and he will be turned over to Monrovia police and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, said LAPD Lt. Chris Ramirez.
FOX 11

Man Charged With Killing 4 In San Fernando Valley Shooting Rampage Could Face Death Penalty: DA
A 26-year-old man suspected of killing four people and injuring two others during a shooting rampage in the San Fernando Valley made his first court appearance Monday, where he pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges. Gerry Dean Zaragoza of Canoga Park is charged with four counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and a count of attempted robbery, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Zaragoza could face the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted, prosecutors said. A decision on whether to seek capital punishment will be made at a later time, according to a news release from the DA's office. Zaragoza is accused of fatally shooting his father and brother, a woman he knew and a stranger on a bus over a 12-hour period last Thursday. The series of crimes prompted a valley-wide tactical alert.

L.A. Officials Announce Expanded Effort Aimed At Helping Trafficking Victims
In conjunction with United Nations World Day Against Trafficking Persons, Los Angeles city officials and a local nonprofit announced Tuesday a stepped-up effort to publicly post hotline numbers aimed at assisting victims of human trafficking. “When a victim doesn't know who to call, simply seeing a poster with the right numbers (can) give them a little window of escape,” City Councilwoman Nury Martinez said. “These posters help save lives.” A state law passed in 2012 requires select businesses where trafficking victims might be more prevalent — strip clubs, massage parlors, emergency rooms, bars, etc. — to display a poster with a human trafficking hotline number. According to city officials and organizations involved in the effort, calls regarding possible human trafficking increased by 1,000% between 2013 and 2017. It was not immediately clear how many of those calls resulted in arrests or convictions, but City Attorney Mike Feuer said his office has been looking to provide resources — not prosecution — to human trafficking victims, who otherwise may have been booked for sex solicitation.

LAPD Finds 'Super Cute' Pair Of Ducklings In Arrested Person's Backpack
Los Angeles police confiscate various illegal drugs and weapons while on the job, but it's not every day that they come across "super cute" and furry contraband. Two ducklings were found in the backpack of a person who was arrested for possession of narcotics Sunday afternoon in downtown Los Angeles, LAPD Central tweeted Monday. The man did not explain why he had the animals, police said. LAPD turned the ducklings over to the LA Animal Services, but not before snapping some pictures and inviting their followers to come up with some duck and cop puns--"Dragnest" and "jailbird" among them. Captain Timothy Scott Harrelson joined in on the pun, tweeting, "Task Force has come across a lot of narcotics, but this is the first time they found 'quack!'" Harrelson said the ducks are a protected animal and will be sent to a wildlife rescue. This isn't the first time these officers have intervened in the well-being of an animal. In February, they recovered a rare English bulldog puppy who was stolen from an Illinois family.

Ex-Inglewood Postal Worker To Plead Guilty To Armed Robbery Of Cash-Filled USPS Trucks
A former U.S. Postal Service employee is expected to plead guilty Wednesday to charges stemming from the armed robberies of USPS trucks in Los Angeles. William Crosby, 32, of Inglewood has agreed to plead guilty in Los Angeles federal court to two counts: robbery of United States property and use of a gun in a crime of violence, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Crosby and his 28-year-old half brother, Myron, were named in an eight-count indictment unsealed in November. The Crosbys allegedly participated in the armed robbery of a USPS truck driver on March 1, 2018, after the vehicle was forced to stop on a 110 Freeway off-ramp. The indictment also alleges that William Crosby participated in the Feb. 1, 2018, armed robbery of a Postal Service driver, as well as the burglary of a Postal Service truck on Aug. 1, 2017. As a former supervisor, William Crosby knew when the USPS transported cash generated from the sale of money orders and USPS merchandise — information that is not known to all Postal Service employees, according to the indictment, which alleges that the burglary and two armed robberies caused cash losses of about $240,000. Myron Crosby faces trial in September.
Los Angeles Daily News

California Sex Workers Who Report Crimes, Carry Condoms Are Protected From Arrest Under New Law
A new California law would protect sex workers from arrest if they report crimes or are caught with condoms. Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco said his legislation is the first in the nation to provide such health and safety protections. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the measure into law on Tuesday, but SB233 will take effect in January. It protects workers from arrest for misdemeanor-level sex-related crimes if they report that they are victims or witnesses to serious or violent felonies, such as rape. It also bars police and prosecutors from using condoms as evidence that the person is engaged in sex work. Wiener said current law deters sex workers from reporting crimes or protecting themselves from sexually transmitted diseases. “When sex workers believe that reporting violent crimes or carrying condoms will get them arrested, they simply won't take these steps, and we will all be less safe as a result,” he said in a statement.

Public Safety News

LA Fire Department Tackles Brush Fire In The Sepulveda Basin, Homeless People In The Area Are Relocated
A fire tore through about 7 acres of thick brush in the Sepulveda Basin on Tuesday and displaced as many as 100 homeless people, some of whom watched as the flames consumed their tents and belongings. The blaze — earlier reported as being 10 acres — was reported about 3:30 p.m. in the 6300 block of Balboa Boulevard near Balboa Park, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Ground and air crews battled the blaze as the flames gobbled up tents that dotted the area. The Metro Orange Line busway was temporarily shut down between White Oak and Woodley avenues, as was Burbank Boulevard between Balboa Boulevard and the San Diego (405) Freeway, according to the fire department and reports from the scene. Several small explosions could be seen as the fire burned homeless encampments and at least one vehicle. About a half-dozen propane tanks exploded, hampering firefighters' efforts, according to the fire department.
Los Angeles Daily News

Local Government News

L.A. City Council Votes To Reinstate Ordinance Allowing Citations For People Living In Their Cars
Sleeping overnight in cars, vans and RVs will be prohibited again in many parts of Los Angeles, after the City Council voted Tuesday to reinstate rules that limit where people can live in their vehicles. The decision extends the L.A. regulations, which had expired at the beginning of July, until January. Under the rules, people cannot spend the night in their cars on residential streets, or live in their vehicles at any time within a block of a park, school, preschool or day care facility. At a hearing at City Hall, activists argued it was cruel and counterproductive to punish people for bunking down in vehicles while housing, shelters and “safe parking” programs remain inadequate. Despite the impassioned pleas from opponents, the council voted 13-0 without any discussion to reinstate the rules. Immediately after the vote, activists began shouting in disbelief and anger, bringing the council meeting to a halt. Opponents began chanting, “Shame on you!”

L.A. County Sets Honesty Policy
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a policy Tuesday clarifying that county employees shall be held accountable for lying. The policy stems from an April 2017 board motion aimed at making it easier to fire deputies, social workers or other county employees who cannot be trusted. Then-Sheriff Jim McDonnell was pushing back against a Civil Service Commission that allowed deputies to keep their jobs despite having lied. And four social workers and supervisors — who are still awaiting trial — were charged with falsifying records related to Gabriel Fernandez, an 8-year-old Palmdale boy who was tortured to death by his mother and her boyfriend. Chief Executive Officer Sachi Hamai recommended the honesty policy in November 2017 as one way to improve accountability within the civil service process. While Hamai said there were already mechanisms in place to deal with acts of workplace dishonesty, the new policy would put public safety employees and others in critical positions on notice that they would be held to the highest standards.

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: