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 13, 2020
Law Enforcement News

National Poll Shows 82 Percent Favorable Opinion Of Police Officers, A Law Enforcement Alliance Says
Results of a new national poll shows support of local police officers, according to an alliance of law enforcement officers. The United Coalition of Public Safety announced findings Wednesday, saying that 82 percent of those surveyed believe that their local officers are honest and trustworthy. “We are extremely grateful for the high level of trust and support Americans have for their public safety officers, it is quite humbling,” alliance president Paul Kelly said in a statement. 
CBS Los Angeles

LAPD Motorcycle Officer Taken To Hospital After Van Nuys Crash
A motorcycle officer with the Los Angeles Police Department was taken to a hospital with a minor wrist injury after he collided with a car in Van Nuys on Wednesday. The crash near the intersection of Van Nuys Boulevard and Keswick Street occurred at around 10:50 a.m., said Officer Mike Lopez, an LAPD spokesman. He said the officer fell from his motorcycle as a result of the crash, but was not seriously injured. He was taken to a nearby hospital to be evaluated. The driver of the car stayed at the scene and was also not injured. The crash occurred in a busy section of Van Nuys Boulevard near several strip malls. Officials didn't know yet what caused the crash. Valley Traffic Division was investigating.
Los Angeles Daily News

Louisiana Deputy Dies In Two-Vehicle Crash
A DeSoto Parish deputy died in an on-duty vehicle crash Wednesday morning. Deputy Donna Richardson-Below, 43, was involved in a crash after a vehicle crossed over to the wrong side of U.S. Highway 84 and struck Richardson-Below's patrol vehicle, KTBS reports. Sheriff Jayson Richardson wrote in a press release that Richardson-Below was “a beacon of light (who) impacted all who knew her.” The driver of the other vehicle sustained moderate injuries and was transported to a local hospital, KTSB reports. It is unknown what caused him to drift into oncoming traffic. Richardson-Below had worked with DPSO since January 2019, KTBS reports. Prior to that, she worked as a Louisiana Probation and Parole agent.

LAPD Investigating Fatal Shooting Outside Dog Park In Montecito Heights
An investigation is underway after a male victim was found shot to death outside a dog park in Montecito Heights on Wednesday morning. Los Angeles Police Department personnel were called out to the area of Avenue 60 and Monterey Road just after 7:30 a.m., LAPD Officer Lomeli said. Officers responded to the scene and located the victim, described only as male, according to Lomeli. The unidentified victim had been shot multiple times, a detective at the scene told KTLA. A white sheet could be seen covering the body just outside Hermon Dog Park, not far from the Arroyo Seco bike path, Sky5 video showed. The shooter or shooters remained at large, according to the detective. No suspect description was immediately released.

Woman Killed In Hit-and-Run Crash In Playa Del Rey
A woman on a skateboard was killed Thursday morning in a hit-and-run crash in  Playa  Del Rey. Officers responded to the intersection of Pershing Drive and Manchester Avenue about 1:15 a.m., when they located the victim, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The woman had walked out of a nearby business and was showing a friend her skateboard when she went into the street and was struck in the No. 2 lane of Pershing Drive by a vehicle traveling northbound, Capt. Brian Wendling told reporters at the scene. Wendling also urged the driver to surrender. "We used to call them traffic accidents for a reason and it doesn't become a crime at that point,'' Wendling said. "When you flee the scene like that, it becomes a felony crime. There's no reason to flee the scene.'' The suspect vehicle was described as a dark sedan. A description of the driver was not immediately available.

LAPD Releases Video Of Hit-and-Run That Left 92-Year-Old Severely Injured In Hopes Of Finding Driver
Authorities released video Wednesday of a hit-and-run that left a 92-year-old pedestrian severely injured in hopes of identifying the driver. Around 8:30 a.m. Friday, police said that the driver of a black 2004 Honda Accord collided into a 92-year-old male pedestrian, as the driver was backing up at slow speed. The vehicle knocked the pedestrian onto the ground and caused head injuries, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a press release. This happened in the 800 block of south Burlington Avenue in the Westlake South neighborhood of Los Angeles. Citizens in the area told the driver that he hit the pedestrian, however, the driver ignored them and sped off without rendering aid and identifying himself, police said. The 92-year-old man was transported to an area hospital with severe injuries. Police described the driver as a "Male Hispanic 18 to 25-year-old." The vehicle, with California license plate 7KXU181, had a rear spoiler and the paint was chipped off the front bumper, police said. 
FOX 11

Man Suspected Of Robbing Bank In Los Angeles Evades LAPD In Gardena
Los Angeles police suspended their search for a bank robbery suspect who officers thought had been barricaded Wednesday in a building in Gardena, authorities said. Officers had responded to a report of an armed bank heist about 10:30 a.m. in the 4000 block of South Figueroa Street in Los Angeles, near the Harbor (110) Freeway, according to Officer Jeff Lee of the Los Angeles Police Department. The suspect, described as about 6 feet tall and clad in all black clothing, had already fled the scene on a dirt bike by the time officers arrived at the bank, Lee said. With the help of witnesses and a tracking device in the stolen currency, police tracked the unidentified suspect to the 1300 block of Magnolia Avenue, near Normandie Avenue, in Gardena, where was believed to be holed up, Lee said.
Los Angeles Daily News

Police Search For Human Trafficking Suspect In Van Nuys Following Pursuit, Crash

Police were searching for a human trafficking suspect Wednesday night in Van Nuys. The suspect led police on a brief pursuit that ended in a crash near the intersection of Hatteras Street and Sepulveda Boulevard when the suspect collided with another vehicle with a woman in her 30s and and her friend's little girl. “She told me that she had an accident, so she was coming out from Target and then this car that was completely out of control crashed on the side,” Norma Zackany, the child's mother, said. “It's a miracle that the car is totaled and they are fine.” There were another two vehicles that were possibly involved, but damage was said to be minor. As of 10 p.m., the suspect's damaged white Mercedes remained on the scene that was still an active investigation. The suspect, who police said was a known wanted felony suspect, remained on the loose.

Pedestrian Severely Injured In East Hollywood Hit-and-Run Crash; $25K Reward Offered For Info

A 50-year-old woman was severely injured after being struck by a hit-and-run driver in East Hollywood this week, officials said Wednesday. The pedestrian was crossing at a marked crosswalk on Fountain Avenue at Lyman Place about 9:05 a.m. Tuesday when she was struck by a red or burgundy minivan, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a news release. The victim, Tatiana Leytman, told KTLA she was headed to the grocery store before being hit. The motorist continued driving without stopping to help Leytman, video shared by police shows. She was about halfway through the crosswalk when the van hit her on the left side and she was thrown back a few feet, the video shows. Leytman was left with a broken rib and a broken leg and is recovering at home. Her husband, Vladimir, says he hasn't left her bedside since she was released from the hospital.

15 Indicted For Involvement In L.A. Drug-Trafficking Ring
Law enforcement officers arrested 11 people Wednesday that prosecutors allege were part of a long-running drug trafficking ring that sold heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine across Los Angeles County. The 20-count indictment charges 15 people with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and alleges a series of illegal activities over the past four years. Wednesday's arrests included two of the organization's alleged ringleaders: Gabriel Ortega, a 42-year-old Lynwood resident known to the group as “Nightowl,” and Raul Sanchez, or “Rawlo,” 39, of Alhambra. From his home in Lynwood and a storefront in Lincoln Heights, Ortega organized the movement of drugs and money, and also sold narcotics, according to court records. Others in the group would act as couriers of drugs and money, authorities said. Ortega twice sold about 440 grams of meth for $2,800 to a confidential source who was acting at the direction of law enforcement, according to the indictment. 
Los Angeles Times

Gun Deaths Again Neared 40,000 In 2018, Latest CDC Data Shows

The number of gun deaths in America held steady in 2018, following three straight years of significant increases, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A total of 39,740 people were killed by firearms in 2018. The age-adjusted death rate also remained virtually unchanged, at 11.9 deaths per 100,000 people. The new figures, published today on the CDC's interactive WONDER database, establish gun violence as the 14th leading cause of death for Americans, killing slightly more people than falls or motor vehicle accidents. The CDC's mortality data is derived from death certificates collected at the state level. The plateau follows three consecutive years in which the number of people killed by guns increased. The 2017 figures marked the highest firearm mortality rate recorded since 1996, and the largest number of gun deaths ever tallied by the CDC. The slight downtick in 2018 came amid an overall increase in life expectancy, which reversed three years of decline.
The Trace

Public Safety News

Fire Damages Sun Valley Commercial Building
An outdoor fire that started Wednesday in vegetation resulted in some damage to a commercial building in Sun Valley. Firefighters sent to the 11500 block of Tuxford Street about 7:25 a.m. extinguished the flames in about a half-hour, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. The fire started in a small homeless camp near the 5 Freeway, said a photographer at the scene. No injuries were reported.
Los Angeles Daily News

California's New Early Warning Earthquake App Features A Shaking Countdown

A new earthquake early warning app for smartphones has been released, offering users across California the ability to see a countdown before shaking arrives. Available for iOS and Android phones, QuakeAlertUSA also offers the ability for phone owners to individually tailor when the app is triggered — for weak, light or moderate shaking. The app by Santa Monica-based Early Warning Labs uses the same data source as the other two apps that have been available — the U.S. Geological Survey's ShakeAlert system, powered by hundreds of earthquake sensors across California. Two other apps are available for earthquake early warning but don't offer countdowns or the ability to ignore warnings for weak and light shaking; they are UC Berkeley's MyShake app, which offers statewide coverage, and the City of Los Angeles' ShakeAlertLA app for users physically in Los Angeles County.
Los Angeles Times

Local Government News

LA City Council Rematch Pits Lundquist vs. Lee In CD-12
Nearly six months after voters chose John Lee to represent their northeastern stretch of the San Fernando Valley at Los Angeles City Hall, constituents are preparing to hit polling places again on March 3. A former aide to City Councilman Mitchell Englander, Lee said his experience will help him get his job done and make sure the Valley communities receive the resources and attention they deserve. But his rival, Loraine Lundquist, argued that the councilman needs to show more action and courage in the face of the simmering problems the city, and specifically his district, face. Lee won a special election in August and is currently serving the remaining term of Englander, who stepped down about a year ago to work for a sports and entertainment company. Council District 12 has long been occupied by Republicans. But in recent years the number of registered Republicans has dropped from 37% in 2000 to 24% last year. Democrats remained around 44% of voters during the same period, according to the L.A. County Registrar's Office.
Los Angeles Daily News

Rent Hikes Could Be Smaller For L.A. Tenants

Under New Proposal By Councilman Alarmed about people being “squeezed out” of their homes, Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin wants to clamp down on rent increases for hundreds of thousands of tenants, tightening the rules under a longstanding city ordinance. Decades ago, Los Angeles decided to limit how much rents could be hiked annually for tenants living in older buildings. Under the Rent Stabilization Ordinance, annual hikes were based on the consumer price index — a typical measure of inflation — and capped at a maximum of 8% annually. Even if there was little inflation, however, landlords could still increase rents by 3% annually. Tenant activists complain that in the aftermath of the recession, those hikes have routinely outpaced inflation. Bonin complained that other cities with rent control — including San Francisco and Santa Monica — do not allow the same minimum hikes.

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: