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 27, 2020
Law Enforcement News

LA County DA Race: Jackie Lacey Defends Prosecution Record
The California primary is just over a week away, and we are taking a look at some of the big races. “I have worked for 30 years in that office committing myself to the cause of victims,” says says LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey. Her proudest accomplishments include the creation of a Mental Health Division within the DA’s office and the Conviction Review Unit which found Ruben Martinez Jr. innocent of a robbery he had been convicted of 11 years before.

LAPPL on Larry O'Connor Show
League Director Robert Harris joins KABC Radio host Larry O'Connor to talk about the failed record of George Gascon in San Francisco and the dangers he presents to public safety if elected. 

Video: Man Charges At Texas LEOs With Knife After Being Shot 7 Times
A carjacking suspect was shot multiple times by a deputy and an off-duty Houston police commander near Spring, according to officials. Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman posted a tweet saying deputies received a call of a suspicious person at the Popeyes restaurant on Holzwarth Road near Cypresswood at about 5 p.m. Once deputies arrived, the suspect ran off and attempted to carjack several people in the area, according to Herman. "[Deputies] chased him from the Popeyes to the Home Depot all around the area," said Herman. "They tried to [Taser] him several times and were unsuccessful." He said the suspect then ran into a nearby LA Fitness and ran out, pulling out a knife when deputies approached him. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said an off-duty commander happened to be inside the gym as the incident was unfolding and jumped into action to help capture the suspect.

Woman Struck And Killed By Hit-and-Run Driver
A woman was killed Wednesday evening in the Sylmar area after getting hit by a car as she walked outside the crosswalk, Los Angeles police say. The crash happened near the intersection of Hubbard Street and Dronfield Avenue shortly before 7 p.m. LAPD says the driver of a vehicle described as a white mustang kept going after the collision. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. No suspect description was immediately known. The identity of the victim has not been released. The investigation is ongoing.

Authorities Release New Surveillance Video Of Echo Park Hit-and-Run; Driver Sought
Authorities released new surveillance video Wednesday in hopes of finding a driver who killed one person and injured another in an Echo Park hit and run. Police released the graphic video and are offering a $50,000 reward for information about the driver who struck a couple walking northbound on Sunset Boulevard at White Knoll Drive just before 1 a.m. Monday, the Los Angeles Police Department said. Morena Del Carmen Alvarado-Lopez, 58, and her 71-year-old male companion were struck by a red or burgundy 4-door sedan before reaching the north curb of Sunset Boulevard, the department said. They were dragged about 50 feet before being dislodged, police said. Officials had earlier described the victims as husband and wife. The newly surfaced surveillance video shows the sedan traveling on a mostly empty street before striking the pair, who then tumble on the ground. They can be seen laying motionless in the street after being hit.

Leimart Park Tattoo Artist Accused Of Sexual Assault, Additional Victims Sought
Authorities are seeking additional victims of a tattoo artist who allegedly sexually assaulted women at a tattoo shop in Leimert Park. David Velazquez was arrested by Los Angeles Police Department officers on Feb. 14, according to the LAPD. Velazquez allegedly sexually assaulted women at a tattoo shop in the 4300 block of Crenshaw Boulevard, near West 43rd Street, while they were disrobed, police reported. Authorities believe there may be additional victims who have not filed police reports, and they encouraged anyone with information about the suspect to contact Southwest Area Detective Javier Orijel at 323-290-2976.
Woman Suspected Of Ramming Car Into Mustang Near Hollywood Taco Truck Charged With Assault
Months after allegedly ramming her car into a Mustang near a Hollywood taco truck, a woman has been charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, officials announced Wednesday. Amber Rose Darbinyan, 25, also faces one felony count each of hit-and-run driving resulting in injury to another person and vandalism over $400, as well as three misdemeanor counts of battery, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Darbinyan pleaded not guilty to the charges stemming from the Aug. 25 attack. Darbinyan allegedly rammed her car into a Mustang that was blocking her path while she and other patrons were parked in front of a taco truck on the corner of Western and Lexington avenues. Video obtained by KTLA showed a woman screaming at the people in the parking lot before ramming the Mustang.

Pimpís Conviction Upheld For Human Trafficking Of Minors
A state appeals court panel Wednesday upheld a Los Angeles man’s conviction for trafficking teenage girls as young as 13 to work as prostitutes. The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected Raylonzo Roberts’ contention that the trial court erred in instructing jurors on two of the charges and violated his constitutional rights by admitting prior testimony of four victims who were unavailable to testify at his trial. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert J. Perry sentenced Roberts to 281 years to life in state prison in December 2018, saying that he perceived the defendant to be a “danger to society.” The crimes involving eight victims occurred at various times between August 2011 and July 2015, according to Deputy District Attorney Guillermo Santiso.

Sherman Oaks Pharmacy Owners Sentenced To 12 Years Each In Fraud Scheme
Two Los Angeles pharmacy owners were sentenced to a dozen years behind bars on Wednesday, Feb. 26 for operating a multimillion-dollar health care fraud and money laundering scheme to bill Medicare for medications that were never provided and to launder the illicit proceeds. Aleksandr Suris, 51, and Maxim Sverdlov, 45, both of Sherman Oaks, were also held jointly responsible for more than $11.8 million in restitution, payable primarily to Medicare, and ordered to pay $500,000 each within six months. The defendants were taken into federal custody immediately following the imposition of sentence. Suris and Sverdlov were convicted in August in Los Angeles federal court of one count each of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Suris was also found guilty of one additional count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and six additional counts of health care fraud. Both defendants were acquitted of three counts of health care fraud.
New York State Police To Launch First Body Camera Pilot Program
State Police are offering few details about their plan to launch a pilot program that would equip state troopers with body cameras in New York. Kevin Bruen, first deputy superintendent for the State Police, said the pilot program, which was announced Monday, will begin “imminently” and later clarified that troopers would be equipped with body cameras by the end of the year. When reached Tuesday for more details, a State Police spokesperson said they are “still being worked out.” New York remains one of the few states where the primary law enforcement agency does not have body or dashboard cameras, a nationwide Associated Press survey found. New York State Police is the largest agency without cameras. Hawaii, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Massachusetts also do not have them. It is unclear how many of the 5,100 sworn members of the force would be equipped with body cameras during the pilot program as well as whether it would be launched state-wide, or only in select regions.

A Guide To Understanding Mass Shootings In America
Several people were reportedly killed in a shooting at the Milwaukee campus of Molson Coors Beverage Company on February 26. According to initial reports, seven people were killed, including the shooter, making it one of the worst shootings in Wisconsin history. This isn’t the first mass shooting at a U.S. beer company: On August 3, 2010, a recently fired employee at a beer distributor in Manchester, Connecticut, shot and killed eight of his co-workers and wounded two others before taking his own life. Here’s the big picture on mass shootings in America, and how they fit into our country’s epidemic of gun violence. Tragedy and spectacle: There is no official definition of “mass shooting,” though it is often understood as an incident in a public place that claims four or more lives, and attracts widespread media coverage. In the last five decades, these events have become far more common. Other groups, like Gun Violence Archive, use a much broader definition for what counts as a mass shooting, sweeping in incidents that happen in homes, and where there are four or more casualties — not just deaths. 
Public Safety News

Firefighters Rescue Woman Trapped Under Gold Line Train In Downtown LA
A woman had to be rescued by firefighters after somehow getting trapped underneath a Metro light-rail train at a station in downtown Los Angeles. The woman got trapped under a Gold Line train sometime before 1:17 p.m. at a Union Station platform in the 800 block of North Alameda Street, according to the L.A. Fire Department. Firefighters rushed to the scene and pulled the woman to safety. She was conscious as she was rushed by ambulance to a nearby trauma center, the fire department reports. Her condition was not confirmed. A second person was treated at the scene after feeling faint. It’s unclear how the woman got trapped under the train.

LA Officials Discuss Emergency Protocols Amid Preparations For Coronavirus Outbreak
A Los Angeles City Council committee met with health and emergency-management officials Wednesday afternoon to discuss emergency protocols in place to manage a coronavirus outbreak. Officials were briefed by several agencies on what is being done to prevent spread of the coronavirus known as COVID-19. The meeting touched on what it would mean if the city and county declared a state of emergency. The city and county are not declaring a state of emergency, but are prepared to do so. If one is declared, the order would mean that more resources will be allocated to combat the virus if necessary, and does not indicate the virus is out of control. "It is not tied to (whether we have) a certain number of cases to have an emergency,'' said Aram Sahakian, the general manager of the Los Angeles city's Emergency Management Department. "If the core group preparing for this incident sees the need for more resources, they can pull the trigger on it. It doesn't mean (the virus) is out of control."

Local Government News

L.A. City Council Approved Crackdown On Hollywood Tour Bus Routes
The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to give the city's Department of Transportation the authority to limit which streets tour bus companies can use on their routes. Councilman David Ryu, whose district includes the Hollywood Hills, proposed the action, which was approved with no discussion. Residents of hillside neighborhoods in the vicinity of the Hollywood sign and Hollywood Reservoir have spoken at council committee meetings of their frustration with tour buses that cause lengthy traffic delays, and sometimes block people on the narrow streets from getting out of their own driveways. "Tourism has an important role in our city and our local economy, but public safety must come first,'' Ryu said when he filed the motion. "For far too long, certain tour bus operators have been putting the public and their passengers at risk by making unsafe turns, illegal U-turns, speeding, slowing or suddenly stopping while traveling on narrow hillside streets that were never built to accommodate them.''

LA City Council Unanimously Votes to Stop Purchasing Products That Harm Amazon Rainforest
The Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted Wednesday to create a plan to stop purchasing products that have contributed to the destruction of the Amazon rainforest and the killing of indigenous people in Brazil. "We need to change the way the city spends its money to let the Brazilian government and the companies that are complicit with this terrible action know that the Amazon rainforest is an international treasure ... (it) supports life and biodiversity that is essential to the whole world,'' said Councilman Paul Koretz, who proposed the policy changes with Councilman David Ryu. "The city has long used its purchasing power as a tool to influence policies in other regions. I think there's never been an issue more compelling in terms of the future of the planet than this one," Koretz said. 

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: