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

August 2, 2019
Law Enforcement News

STATEMENT: LA Police Protective League Statement on Arrest of Suspects in Officer Diaz's Murder
"We are grateful that the cowards and thugs accused of the cold-blooded murder of Officer Juan Diaz are in custody. We appreciate the relentless effort our detectives and officers put in to finding these killers. We urge District Attorney Jackie Lacey to prosecute these cop killers to the fullest extent of the law, including seeking the death penalty. We continue to pray for and support Officer Diaz's family during this time of grief."

Morning Raids Carried Out in Connection With Fatal Shooting of LAPD Officer
Dozens of Los Angeles Police Department officers and detectives mobilized across Los Angeles and Riverside counties early Friday to attempt the arrests at least three people allegedly tied to the killing last weekend of an off-duty officer, law enforcement sources told NBCLA. Early morning action by members of the LAPD's SWAT team and Metropolitan Division took place at five locations, including Mt. Washington, about a mile from the murder scene, and in a neighborhood in Murrieta in Riverside County, to where law enforcement sources told NBCLA one of the suspects had been tracked earlier in the week.

Police: Man Flees After Killing Girlfriend, Wounding Georgia Officer
Police in an Atlanta suburb are hunting for a man who they say fatally shot his girlfriend and wounded a police officer. News outlets report DeKalb County police are seeking 27-year-old Otis Walker who ambushed police responding to a domestic disturbance call. Police are offering $10,000 for information leading to his arrest. DeKalb police Maj. Jerry Lewis says officers arrived at the home early Thursday morning and were "immediately fired upon" by a hidden person. An officer was hit multiple times. Officers discovered a woman who had been shot. Lewis said she died at the scene. The officer is expected to recover. Court documents say Walker was released from jail July 13 after being arrested July 13 on a family violence charge. His arraignment was scheduled for October. 
Associated Press

Female LAPD Officers Go Undercover In City's Battle Against Human Trafficking
A team of female Los Angeles police officers routinely pose as sex workers as part of an effort to battle human trafficking in the city. KTLA's Christina Pascucci went for a ride-along during a recent operation.
KTLA 5 Video

Bird Scooter Rider Killed In Chain-Reaction Crash In Fairfax; Driver In Custody
A person riding an electric scooter was killed in a crash involving two vehicles on Melrose Avenue in Fairfax, and one driver has been taken into custody, authorities said Friday. The chain-reaction collision happened around 10:30 p.m. Thursday on the busy street near Martel Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. A driver suspected of speeding crashed into another car, which then hit a man riding a Bird scooter, police said. One of the vehicles took down a traffic signal. Video from the scene shows one of the vehicles involved heavily damaged with its front right wheel detached. A registered nurse and other witnesses tried to help the victim before paramedics arrived and transported him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, LAPD said. The driver who allegedly caused the crash has been detained, according to police. Alcohol may have been a factor, officials said. Authorities provided no further details.

Traveling Bay Area Burglary Crews Target Tourists In Hollywood
Detectives who busted another burglary crew from the Bay Area targeting tourists at Southern California attractions say they're seeing a trend. As one detective put it, "The word is out among known Bay Area criminals." Police say the burglary crews drive down to Hollywood and target Southern California tourists in Hollywood. "It's a little scary," Nathan Jorgensen, a visitor from Iowa, said. "One extra thing to plan for when you're going on vacation, walking down Hollywood Boulevard, looking at stars--where am I keeping my belongings?" The short police pursuit of four thieves inside a silver Toyota Pathfinder that was rented in the Bay Area ended in Beverly Hills Wednesday morning. In the SUV, investigators found more than $1,000 in cash, high-end jewelry and a gun. Wednesday's pursuit started after burglars targeted a Hollywood I-HOP parking lot, which was the same parking lot where another group of thieves--also from the San Francisco Bay Area--broke into several cars last month, police said. That burglary ring led police on a dangerous high-speed chase that ended at the Sherman Oaks Galleria. While several members of that crew were arrested, police believe they now have several more burglars from Northern California making trips to Hollywood with the intention to target tourists in Hollywood.

Police Seek Man Who Elbowed Victim's Breast On Bus Near CSUN
Police Thursday sought the public's help in identifying a man suspected of committing a sexual battery against a woman on a bus in Northridge. The battery occurred about 4:50 p.m. Tuesday on a bus that was en route from the intersection of Saticoy Street and Reseda Boulevard to the Cal State Northridge Transit Center, according to campus police. “The suspect boarded the bus and sat next to the victim,” according to a police statement. “During the commute the suspect extended his elbow up along the right side of her rib and breast. The suspect followed the victim off the bus and continued to loiter in the area near the victim.” The suspect was described as Asian, about 30 years old, 5 feet 4 inches tall with an average build and facial stubble. He was wearing glasses, a light blue T-shirt with white stripes on the shoulders and a white emblem on the left side of the chest, tan shorts and numerous bracelets on each wrist. He also carried a dark-colored backpack. Anyone with information about the suspect was urged to call the CSUN police investigations unit at 818-677-3826.

DNA Links Convicted Felon To Opossum Found Stabbed, Beaten, Burned, And Hung With Noose In Lynwood
The killer and torturer of an opossum found stabbed, beaten, burned, and hung from a fence in Lynwood was caught by investigators after DNA on the noose around its neck was matched to a convicted felon who lived nearby. The opossum was found hanging in April 2018 at Yvonne-Burke-John D. Ham park, and SPCALA's Captain Cesar Perea told FOX 11 it was one of the most sadistic cases he's ever seen. "It's up there, I'd say top 10 in my career," he said. "He stabbed it several times, hung it with a noose, and then set it on fire." But it was the noose around its neck that ended up bringing down its killer. "We removed the noose, and we submitted the noose to the crime lab, and the crime lab pulled DNA from the noose and we got a hit on our suspect," Perea said. The DNA matched to a convicted felon named Jonathan Aldama, who lived just 400 feet away from the park. When police went to his house to arrest him, they were horrified at what was in his bedroom. "God, I wanna say we found like 15-20 weapons that were all sharpened and handmade," Perea said. "We found a large amount of blood around these two makeshift bedrooms he had built in the garage."
FOX 11

Cedars-Sinai Division Director And UCLA Instructor Pleads Not Guilty To Felony Child Porn Charges
A UCLA instructor and division director at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of distributing and possessing child pornography. Guido Germano of Santa Monica is charged with one felony count each of distribution of obscene matter and possession of child or youth pornography, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said in a release. Germano, 59, is suspected of distributing child pornography videos using peer-to-peer software and downloading them onto his personal computer at his home. Germano, who was arrested on June 19 and released on bond before his arraignment Thursday afternoon at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center, is the director of artificial intelligence medicine at Cedars-Sinai in Beverly Grove, prosecutors said. Biographies that have since been deleted from the hospital's website said Germano researched technology related to analyzing the human heart, served as a board member of three medical journals as well as professional organizations and was “widely recognized as an expert in the field of cardiovascular nuclear medicine.”
Los Angeles Times

Gilroy Shooter Did Not Appear To Target People Based On Race, Authorities Say
The man who opened fire Sunday at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, killing three people, did not appear to target people of a particular race, a law enforcement official said Thursday, pushing back on speculation — fueled by racist comments posted on the gunman's Instagram account — that he was motivated by white supremacist beliefs. “We've not yet determined the ideology, if ever,” said John F. Bennett, special agent in charge of the FBI's San Francisco office. Asked at a news conference Thursday about a slur, directed at people of mixed race, that the gunman posted shortly before the attack, Bennet said it “doesn't seem clear he was targeting any particular group. It seems very random at this point.” Santino William Legan, 19, cut through a fence encircling the popular food festival Sunday evening and opened fire with an AK-47-style rifle. Three Gilroy police officers engaged Legan and killed him within a minute, but not before he shot to death three people: Stephen Romero, 6; Keyla Salazar, 13; and Trevor Irby, 25. Thirteen people were wounded. Authorities previously tallied a dozen injuries, but Scot Smithee, Gilroy's police chief, said Thursday that a 13th person had suffered a graze wound.
Los Angeles Times

FBI: Motive For Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooting May Never Be Known
The motive behind Sunday's mass shooting at the Garlic Festival may never be known, authorities said at a news conference Thursday, as their investigation into what drove Santino Legan to open fire on a crowd of families in his hometown dragged into a sixth day. Law enforcement agencies are examining Legan's digital footprint, including his social media presence, electronic devices, and computer hardware seized in searches Monday at the shooter's family home in Gilroy, and a remote Nevada apartment where he had been living since May. Federal investigators and FBI profilers from around the country have been brought into assist in the investigation, special agent-in-charge John Bennett said — but they have still yet to figure out a motive. “We have not yet determined the ideology” of the shooter, Bennett said. So far, authorities have been circumspect about whether Legan may have been fueled by extremist views, a question born out messages the 19-year-old posted to his Instagram page shortly before the shooting, including one that encouraged people to read a 1890 white supremacy manifesto popular among right-wing extremists, and another referencing the Garlic Festival.
Mercury News

Local Government News

City Controller Report Seeks To Strengthen, Coordinate L.A. Youth Programs
Los Angeles Controller Ron Galperin proposed Wednesday that a city department or other official body be designated to oversee the city's more than 160 youth programs. The report, “Room to Grow: A Framework for Youth Development in Los Angeles,” lays out a road map for the city to coordinate its youth programs, with specific oversight of programs at risk of failing or those that aren't meeting the needs of their neighborhoods they serve. “Challenges like poverty, homelessness, domestic violence and other social and economic concerns take a toll on too many of our youth,” Galperin said. “It is imperative that we focus the city's resources on programs that allow young Angelenos to grow up in supportive environments surrounded by positive community influences.

How Should Metro Connect The Valley To The Westside Via Public Transit? Say Your Piece On Saturday
Saturday's Metro meeting seeking public input on the Sepulveda Transit Boulevard Corridor project at the Marvin Braude Center in Van Nuys — the only such meeting in the San Fernando Valley — will be a key opportunity for residents to weigh in on the much-anticipated transit project connecting the Valley to the Westside. The project, aimed at developing a subway or monorail rail transit alternative to the 405 freeway, is nearing the end of its feasibility study with an eye on next steps. A December Metro board meeting is expected to narrow the four proposed options to two or three for further environmental study next year. The series of Metro's five public input meetings began July 24 with one near LAX and two in Westside neighborhoods. But in the Valley, dissent about some of Metro's plans has been brewing in the wake of a well-attended meeting and campaign by the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association.
Los Angeles Daily News


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: