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 8, 2019
Law Enforcement News

Suspects Charged In Killing Of LAPD Officer Juan Diaz Shot At Others The Same Night: Police
A man accused of killing Los Angeles Police Department Officer Juan Diaz outside a taco stand in Lincoln Heights after the policeman and a friend told him to stop tagging a sidewalk has been charged with murder, authorities said Tuesday. Diaz, 24, was off-duty when he was gunned down near Avenue 26 and Humboldt Street around 1 a.m. on July 27. But those accused of killing him were involved in a series of other crimes that same night, including another shooting, according to LAPD. That second shooting allegedly targeted an ex-boyfriend. Cristian Adrian Facundo, the 20-year-old suspected of fatally shooting Diaz, and Francisco Talamantes, 23, have been charged with murder while Ashlynn Smith, 18, has been charged with accessory to murder, according to LAPD. The three suspects were arrested Friday morning. LAPD Chief Michel Moore said the department continues to piece together hundreds of pieces of evidence — tying together a string of crimes that started just after midnight. The three suspects were allegedly also with a 21-year-old Los Angeles woman who has not been identified by police.

How Many More Did Manson Family Kill? LAPD Investigating 12 Unsolved Murders

The Manson murders mostly are remembered as two events that occurred 50 years ago this month: the killing of actress Sharon Tate and four others in Benedict Canyon and then the butchering of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in Los Feliz. But cold-case investigators and others long have believed that Charles Manson and his cult followers were responsible for many more deaths. The Los Angeles Police Department officially has a dozen unsolved homicide cases linked to Manson. And there are additional slayings outside the jurisdiction that some believe to be the work of his “family.” Some of those ties seem more plausible than others, but all have been extensively examined and theorized — as are all things involving Manson. The supposed suicide of one Manson follower's boyfriend in England. The drowning of an attorney whom Manson declared during the middle of his trial he never wanted to see again. A young man killed during a game of Russian roulette with family members present. Two young women stabbed to death off Mulholland Drive and a couple of young Scientology followers who met a similar fate. “Manson repeatedly told others they murdered many others. We may never know or identify all their victims,” said Cliff Shepard, a former LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division detective who worked some of those cold cases.
Los Angeles Times

Police Search For Gunman After Shots Fired In Canoga Park

Police recovered a gun and searched Wednesday morning for at least one suspect in Canoga Park after hearing shots fired. Officers swarmed the 16100 block of Wyandotte Street after receiving an officer-needs-help call about 11:25 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The officers reported hearing shots in the area, but it was unclear if police were the target of the gunfire, the LAPD said. A gun was recovered and a perimeter was set up between Valeria Street to the north, Wyandotte Street to the south, Gaviota Avenue to the west and Valjean Avenue to the east. A description of the suspect was not immediately available.

Porsche Driver Sought After Wounding 2 In Car-to-Car Shooting In Pico-Union: LAPD
A Porsche-driving gunman was at large after opening fire on the occupants of another vehicle in the Pico-Union neighborhood of Los Angeles Tuesday, officials said. The shooting that left two wounded was reported shortly after 2:45 p.m., said L.A. Police Officer Rosario Cervantes. Video from the scene showed the investigation was centered on the intersection of Normandie Avenue and 11th Street, just south of Koreatown and east of Harvard Heights. A stretch of the avenue between 11th and 12th streets was taped off for investigation. Two people were sitting in their vehicle when the shooter drove up in a white Porsche and fired multiple rounds at them, according to Officer Drake Madison. One was left in critical condition while the other was stable, but Madison said both were expected to survive. There was no identifying information available on those shot, nor was there a suspect description, Madison said. Investigators were unsure whether the shooting could be gang-related. 

Police Investigating Crash Into South LA Auto Shop Find Marijuana Growing Operation
A marijuana growing operation was revealed early Thursday after a car crashed into the South Los Angeles building it was being housed in. Officers responding to a crash just before midnight at Manchester Avenue and Kansas discovered what appeared to be a marijuana grow house in the auto shop the car had smashed into. Police say the car that crashed into the building had backed in. When officers arrived, the driver was nowhere to be found and no one was inside the building. It's not clear if the marijuana growing operation was legal, and investigators are also trying to determine if the crash was an attempt to steal the plants. No suspect information has been released.

LAPD Investigates After YouTuber Brooke Houts Accidentally Uploaded Video Showing Alleged Dog Abuse
A YouTube personality with more than 300,000 subscribers was facing strong backlash and was the center of a Los Angeles Police Department investigation Wednesday after apparently accidentally uploading a video that showed her allegedly abusing her dog. In the uncut video, which has since been removed from her YouTube page, Brooke Houts says she is going to prank her pup using cling wrap, before she is seen spitting on, shoving and slapping her dog. The backlash came fast and furious on social media Wednesday, with users also leaving comments on her other YouTube videos, some saying they have reported her to LA Animal Services. Within hours, the LAPD's Animal Cruelty Unit began investigating. 

Detectives Working To ID Gunmen In Historic South-Central Homicides; $50K Rewards Offered
Officials announced a pair of $50,000 rewards Wednesday as they search for leads in separate shootings that left two men dead earlier this year in Historic South-Central. Los Angeles police investigators say they've been unable to compile suspect descriptions in the months since Donte Jones, 28, and 24-year-old Eduardo Garcia were fatally shot. So far, the cases are not considered related. On Feb. 15, Jones was sitting in his vehicle with a female in the passenger seat when someone opened fire on them just before 10 p.m. on the 4100 block of South Wall Street, according to detectives. Jones was struck, but his passenger was not. She was able to call 911, officials said. Jones was taken to a nearby hospital, where he later died. On May 8, Garcia was shot and killed shortly after 3 a.m. at the Gilbert Lindsay Recreation Center, a public park at 429 E. 42nd Place. After being flagged down by a witness, officers say they found the 24-year-old lying in the grass along the recreation center's east side with a gunshot wound in his upper torso. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

Tesla Security Feature Helps LAPD Identify The Car's Burglars
A Los Angeles Tesla owner said thieves picked the wrong smart cart to mess with. Nishant Patel, a Santa Clarita urologist, bought a 2017 Tesla Model-S because of its speed and innovation, but it wasn't until a car burglary that he was able to see one of the vehicle's newest security features in action. Patel said his vehicle was burglarized July 24 in downtown Los Angeles on the corner of Spring and Wilhardt Street. He had stopped to eat at a restaurant, and when he returned to his car, the front right window was shattered. His bag, which contained his computer, his checkbook, and an expired prescription pad, was missing from the back seat. Patel said he missed the initial emergency alarm sent to his phone, but when he returned to the car, he discovered that he had video, stills and closeups of the thieves to show to police. The Tesla's security footage shows two heavy-set men approaching and looking into the vehicle through the tinted windows. The men are then shown breaking through the front passenger window and grabbing the bag. The men, however, are not aware that the vehicle is recording their faces and their every move in full color. Patel said his car is like its own police officer.

Arraignment Delayed For Reputed Gang Member Charged In USC Student's Slaying
Arraignment was postponed again Wednesday for a reputed gang member accused of killing a USC jazz student, who was the son of an Oakland city councilwoman, during an attempted robbery just blocks from campus. Ivan Hernandez, 23, is charged with murder for the March 10 death of 21-year-old Victor McElhaney. Hernandez was charged July 2 with one count each of murder and attempted second-degree robbery — the latter charge involving a friend who was with McElhaney. Hernandez appeared in court after being charged, but his arraignment was postponed. On Wednesday, it was postponed again until Sept. 9. The murder charge includes the special circumstance allegations of murder during an attempted robbery and murder by an active participant in a criminal street gang, along with an allegation that he personally and intentionally discharged a handgun. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty against Hernandez, who was arrested June 28 by detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department's Robbery-Homicide Division.

Public Safety News

Latest Measles Case Travels Through LAX
A person with a confirmed case of measles traveled through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Los Angeles County Public Health officials announced Wednesday. This is the second case in a non-resident in as many days, with the previous case traveling through Union Station in downtown LA. The latest possible exposure point occurred at LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on July 23. There is no current risk of measles exposure at the location, according to health officials. There have been 16 measles cases involving residents in LA County in 2019, while another 10 cases involving non-residents that traveled through LA County, public health officials said. For more information about measles, click here or call 211.

Local Government News

City Councilman Seeks Enforcement On L.A. River, Citing `Drugs, E. Coli'
Los Angeles City Councilman Bob Blumenfield proposed Wednesday that a pilot program be created to focus on enforcement and cleanup along portions of the Los Angeles River in the West San Fernando Valley. Blumenfield introduced a motion that says “recent drug and gang activity appears to have increased in the river area, resulting in at lease one homicide,” and that residents have reported “significant problem areas” along the river from Canoga Park to Reseda, citing evidence of drug use, crime, homeless encampments and other unsanitary conditions. “Additionally, the use of the river paths and adjacent areas for habitation could potentially be the cause of increased bacterial loads on recreation zone days in the areas where water quality is regularly tested,” Blumenfield's motion says. The councilman pointed to sampling that took place July 23-25 along the river between Canoga Park and Reseda that showed a fivefold spike in the levels of E. Coli found in the Middle Sepulveda Basin and the Elysian Valley kayak zones, which he said could be caused by illegal dumping.

Metro Bike-Sharing Program Launches In North Hollywood
Metro's bike sharing program has arrived in the San Fernando Valley, and its first stop is North Hollywood. Bicycles are now available to rent using a TAP card from 16 stations sprinkled near the Orange and Red Line stations in North Hollywood and surrounding areas, such as Valley Village and Studio City. The 150 bikes rolled out this week in North Hollywood are part of a larger bike-sharing program that Metro has already launched in other parts of the city, including the Harbor area, Los Angeles's Westside, downtown Los Angeles and near USC. The “Smart Metro” bike model chosen for the North Hollywood program can be locked to any public bike rack for a convenience charge ($2 if it is within the bike share zone, $20 if outside). There are no extra costs if the bike is returned to a designated Metro bike share station, beyond the cost of the pass to ride. The cost to ride for 30 minutes is $1.75, with 30-day passes available for $17 and a year-long pass costing $150. Metro also has a Bike Share smartphone app that provides information on the location of the closest bike stations.
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: