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 26, 2020
Law Enforcement News

South Carolina Deputy, Suspect Killed During OIS
A Sumter County Sheriff’s Office deputy was killed in the line of duty Tuesday morning, Sheriff Anthony Dennis said Tuesday. Cpl. Andrew Gillette, 37, died after he was shot in the chest by a suspect who opened fire on him and other deputies who were attempting to serve a detention order and an eviction notice. “Cpl. Andrew Gillette died of wounds suffered in the line of duty,” Dennis said at a news conference. The suspect was killed at the scene when the other deputies returned fire, the sheriff said. The suspect was alone in the home when he fired multiple shots as Gillette and the other deputies approached the residence at 3120 Thomas Sumter Highway, according to Dennis. No other deputies were hurt, the sheriff’s office said.

Fallen K-9 Honored With Hand-Painted Custom Casket
Herriman City, Utah has lost one of its finest, Police K-9 Hondo. The K-9 was killed in Salt Lake City on Feb. 13, while assisting the U.S. Marshal’s Office in the apprehension of a fugitive. To honor Hondo’s life, the Herriman City Police Department commissioned a Utah paint shop that specializes in motorcycles and classic cars, to design a special casket with the K-9's portrait. According to a CNN report, John Ward, owner of Rawtin Garage produced the work in 24 hours. The casket’s custom design was airbrushed or hand-painted and featured a portrait of Hondo wearing his police harness. Hondo was a European trained 7-year-old Belgian Malinois. CNN reports that he suffered a gunshot wound to the sternum and died at a nearby veterinary hospital.

Man Shot To Death In Exposition Park; Suspect At Large
The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the shooting death of a man in Exposition Park Tuesday night. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. The gunman remains at large. LAPD officers responded to the 800 block of 41st Street near Menlo Avenue at about 8:30 p.m. and located the victim. No suspect description was immediately available. No further details about Tuesday's homicide are known at this time. This investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD.

Body Found In El Camino In South Los Angeles
A man’s body was found in a vehicle Saturday in South Los Angeles, authorities said. Officers were dispatched at 10:08 a.m., in response to a death investigation in the area of 66th Street and Western Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations Section. Firefighters and paramedics were sent to the 6600 block of South Western Avenue at 10:05 a.m. on a report of a deceased person inside a vehicle, said Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department. According to sources at the scene, a man’s body was discovered in an older model blue Chevrolet El Camino next to a church. There was no other immediate information.

Granada Hills: School Shelters In Place Amid Nearby Standoff Involving Armed Suspect, LAPD
An armed individual suspected of domestic violence was holed up in a Granada Hills home Tuesday morning, prompting a standoff with officers and a shelter-in-place order at a nearby school, authorities said. The barricade situation began shortly after 5 a.m. at a residence near the intersection of Andasol Avenue and San Jose Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Two hours later, Los Angeles School Police said students and staff at Patrick Henry Middle School were sheltering in place due to the police activity. The School Police Department announced shortly before 8:30 a.m. that the campus would resume "normal operations for the day with limited outdoor activity." Street closures around the school's perimeter remained in place as the standoff continued, and officers remained on campus as a precaution.

Police Seek Hit-and-Run Driver Who Severed Woman's Leg In Downtown L.A.
Detectives sought the public’s help Friday in tracking down a hit-and-run driver who left a woman severely injured in downtown Los Angeles earlier this week. The victim, a woman in her 50s, was walking in the area of 14th and Olive streets around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday when the motorist drove onto the sidewalk and struck her, according to a news release from the L.A. Police Department. Paramedics took the woman to the hospital in critical condition, and medical staff had to amputate one of her legs due to the extent of her injuries, officers said. The driver did not stop at the scene, and investigators have been unable to determine what sort of vehicle was involved. As with any hit-and-run in the city involving injuries, a reward of $25,000 is tied to information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.

FBI Investigating Threats To LA Area Jewish Community Centers
FBI agents are investigating two threats made to members of Jewish Community Centers around Los Angeles, and they were examining whether the messages are connected to dozens of other threats sent to community centers around the U.S. in recent days. At least one of the Southern California threat messages was reported Monday, law enforcement officials told NBC News. Some of the emails sent to centers outside California contained bomb threats but did not include anti-Semitic messages, the officials said. "The individuals are emailing threats to members of the Jewish Community Center, and this is pretty much similar to the others we've seen around the country," said LAPD Assistant Chief Horace Frank. "This incident is currently being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from our folks at the Major Crimes Division," Frank said Tuesday.

Officials Searching For Inmate Who Escaped From Acton Conservation Camp
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials are searching for an inmate who escaped from Acton Conservation Camp in Los Angeles County on Monday. According to the CDCR, minimum-security inmate Christian Ledon, 19, did not check with staff in the dining hall during an inmate count at around 7 a.m. Officials immediately searched the camp buildings and grounds but did not locate Ledon. He was last seen at 5:05 a.m. during a count, CDCR officials said. Ledon was committed to CDCR on May 30, 2019, from San Diego County to serve a four-year sentence for second-degree robbery and was scheduled to be released in July 2021. He is described as a Hispanic male, 5’11” tall, weighing 154 pounds with brown eyes and black hair. Anyone who sees Ledon is asked to contact 911 or law enforcement authorities immediately. Anyone with information on the location of Ledon should contact Acton Conservation Camp Commander at (661) 268-0113.

Pacoima Woman Accused Of Forcing 9-Year-Old To Perform Sex Act On 6-Year-Old Pleads Guilty To Lesser Charges
A 44-year-old Pacoima woman who was accused of forcing a 9-year-old boy to perform sex acts on a 6-year-old girl with threats of burning him with hot water pleaded guilty Tuesday to child abuse and endangerment charges and was immediately sentenced to six years behind bars. Brandi Alma Valadez, who has been in custody since Oct. 5, 2016, pleaded guilty to three felony counts of child abuse and endangerment. As part of the plea deal, three counts of lewd acts on a minor and two counts of forcible lewd acts on a child, as well as two misdemeanor counts of child abuse and endangerment, were dismissed. Valadez, 44, is expected to be released from custody soon, as she was credited for time served awaiting trial. A 10-year protective order is in place that prohibits Valadez from contacting the children, and she promised as part of the plea deal to never contact them again. Valadez was living in multiple cities out of motels in Orange, Costa Mesa and Anaheim at the time of the crimes in the summer of 2014.

This Tiny Louisiana Police Force Is A National Leader In Taking Guns From Abusers
At 27, Valerie Martinez had never known a life without fear. Her earliest memories were of hiding from her father in the tiny space between her daybed and the wall when he came home drunk and volatile. He once kicked Martinez’s sister so hard that she vomited, then threw her into the empty bathtub with a thud. He insulted their mother, an undocumented Mexican immigrant, with racist slurs and dared the children to contact the police when he beat her. “Call them,” he taunted. “They’ll take her away.” As a teenager, Martinez started dating one of her brother’s friends. She worked the late shift at a Sonic fast-food restaurant so she’d have a safe place to be when her father typically returned home. Her boyfriend asked her to move in with him and get married, and she immediately said yes. Looking back on it, Martinez says her father’s violence left her without any model of what a normal relationship should be.

Public Safety News

Firefighters Rescue Person That Fell Into Creek
A Los Angeles Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue team responded to the 23400 block of Los Encinos Way in Woodland Hills Tuesday night to rescue a person who fell into the Calabasas Creek flood control channel. The channel is about 20 feet deep and behind homes which will not allow firefighters to use an aerial ladder truck to pull the person out, according to LAFD's Brian Humphrey. The person was eventually pulled up to safety by emergency crews using a litter basket stretcher and manually hoisted via a ladder and roper system to ground level and an awaiting ambulance, Humphrey said. The person, described as an adult male, suffered injuries to his legs and was taken to a local hospital in serious condition.

Get Ready Now For Probable Coronavirus Pandemic In U.S., Federal Officials Warn
Communities across the United States should start preparing right awayfor the almost inevitable incursion of the new coronavirus, which is now circulating internationally at near-pandemic levels, federal public health authorities said Tuesday. The warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention marked a sharp shift in tone for public health officials, who have repeatedly stated that the risk to the general public is low. That’s still the case, the CDC said. But with outbreaks occurring in countries outside China, it appears the virus has breached containment efforts and will almost certainly spread in the United States at some point. The announcement in a CDC news briefing prompted San Francisco Mayor London Breed Tuesday to declare a state of emergency to help rally resources to fight potential outbreaks, and city officials advised schools to begin drafting plans for closures. Three people have been treated for the new virus in San Francisco, though there have been no cases reported among local residents.

Local Government News

City Council Gives SpaceX Final Clearance To Launch Facility At Port Of LA
The Los Angeles City Council Tuesday approved lease terms for SpaceX to establish an aerospace research, design and manufacturing site on Terminal Island at the Port of Los Angeles. "I fully support the opportunity for SpaceX to move into the Port of Los Angeles where it will build its next generation of rockets that will go to Mars," said Councilman Joe Buscaino, who represents the San Pedro and port area. "Having SpaceX at the L.A. Waterfront in San Pedro will complete an economic development trifecta that will include AltaSea and the new L.A. Waterfront development," he said. SpaceX originally sought to lease the port's space in 2018 and would have constructed a large warehouse for spacecraft recovery and repair. But the deal fell through, and the company looked to move the project to Texas.

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: