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

March 17, 2020
Law Enforcement News

2 Men Plead Guilty In Fatal Shooting Of Downey Police Officer
A pair of Montebello men pleaded guilty Monday, March 16, in the 2015 slaying of a Downey police officer who was fatally shot while sitting in his BMW at a parking lot near the police station. Steven Knott, 22, and Jeremy Anthony Alvarez, 25, are set to be sentenced April 17 for the Nov. 18, 2015, slaying of Officer Ricardo Galvez. They also pleaded guilty to multiple charges stemming from a seven-victim crime spree in South Gate, Montebello, Bellflower, Paramount and Downey that preceded the shooting of the officer. Knott pleaded guilty to one count each of first-degree murder and attempted robbery with the personal use of a firearm in Galvez’s shooting. He faces a term of 50 years to life in prison under the negotiated plea. Alvarez pleaded guilty to one count each of second-degree murder and attempted robbery and faces 30 years to life behind bars.

LAPD Shifting More Cops To Street Patrol To Help With The Coronavirus
The Los Angeles Police Department will shift half the detectives working in its community stations to daily patrol in order to ensure public peace. Mayor Eric Garcetti made the announcement Monday evening, saying that the city’s detectives will start working on the streets to “help supplement our patrol officers.” Some detectives already are out there, the mayor said, to “make sure that any challenges that arise in our neighborhoods and grocery stores” are dealt with and to help people “feel secure in the city.” LAPD Assistant Police Chief Robert Arcos said that at a minimum, that would provide at least 300 additional officers to patrol and potentially more. The moves comes after L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva shifted deputies in other units to beat patrols to allow the department to prevent problems at places such as Costco, where large crowds of shoppers often wait.

Due To Coronavirus, LAPD Wants You To Report These Crimes Online
In the spirit of social distancing, the Los Angeles Police Department was urging residents Monday to use an online system to notify police of non-emergency crimes. For emergencies, a crime in progress, or any incident in which someone was injured, people should still call 911. However, incidents such as harassing phone calls, lost property, theft of property from a publicly accessible location — like a car or a porch — vandalism or illegal dumping may be reported online. The links for filing a report in English or Spanish can be found at All incidents reported using the Community Online Reporting Service will be reviewed on average once every 24 hours — possibly longer on weekends and holidays — according to the LAPD. If further information is needed, police will reach out by email or telephone. Once the report has been approved, an LAPD report number will be issued and a copy of the final report will be emailed back. The approval process may take up to five business days.

$50,000 Reward Offered In Hit-and-Run That Killed Man In Westlake
A $50,000 reward was being offered Monday for information about a hit-and-run that left an 87-year-old man dead in the Westlake area. The man was struck by two vehicles around 4 a.m. Feb. 22 on Eighth Street, west of Westmoreland Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. "The suspect driving a white four-door BMW sedan was traveling eastbound on Eighth Street and struck the victim walking outside of the marked crosswalk crossing southbound on Eighth Street west of Westmoreland Avenue,'' police said. According to police, the male driver of the car, described as a 2012- 2016 BMW M5 sedan, stopped and was told by witnesses to remain at the scene, but he got back in his car and drove off. Meanwhile, a white Honda Accord hit the man as he was on the ground, and that driver also fled the scene. The victim was identified as Chan Wook Park, who was taken to a hospital, where he later died. Witnesses described the driver of the white BMW as a male, about 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall.

Package Containing Suspected Counterfeit COVID-19 Test Kits Intercepted At LAX
A package containing suspected counterfeit COVID-19 test kits was intercepted at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday, according to federal authorities. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered six plastic bags containing various vials that had just arrived from the United Kingdom. The vials were filled with a white liquid and were labeled as "Corona Virus 2019ncov (COVID-19)" and "Virus1 Test Kit," according to CBP. The shipment was turned over to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for analysis. In a press release, CBP officials said the public "should be aware of bogus home testing kits for sale either online or in informal direct-to-consumer settings." 

LA Jury Recommends Death For Man Who Killed 3 In 2012 Shooting Rampage
A jury on Monday recommended the death penalty for a man convicted of shooting and killing three people and wounding two others after responding to an ad for a used car, prosecutors said. The same jurors last month found Jade Douglas Harris, 37, guilty of three counts of murder and several other chargers including attempted murder and kidnapping. According to prosecutors, Harris’ shooting rampage began after he went to a Downey business on Oct. 24, 2012, in response to a Craigslist ad for a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro. He shot three people, killing two — Josimar Rojas, 26, and Irene Cardenas Reyes, 35, authorities said. Then he then forced Susana Perez Ruelas, 34, to drive him and her son to a nearby home, where the Camaro was parked. After arriving, he shot and killed Perez Ruelas and wounded her son, prosecutors said. Harris was arrested a day after the killings. He had been paroled three months before the shootings after being convicted in 2005 of robbery and attempted robbery. He is scheduled to be sentenced April 21, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said.

L.A. Businessman Found Guilty In Tax Fraud Scheme
A Los Angeles businessman was convicted in Utah Monday of criminal charges involving a $1 billion renewable fuel tax credit fraud scheme, the U.S. Department of Justice announced. Lev Aslan Dermen, also known as Levon Termendzhyan, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and multiple money laundering counts after a seven-week trial in Salt Lake City, according to the DOJ. Derman faces up to 30 years in federal prison at a sentencing hearing yet to be scheduled, prosecutors said. Dermen, the owner and operator of several companies, including Beverly Hills real estate firm SBK Holdings USA, was found to have conspired with others to falsely claim more than $1 billion in renewable fuel tax credits from the IRS from 2010 to 2016, federal prosecutors said. The defendant and his co-conspirators “created and implemented this massive biofuel scheme to fund their greed at the expense of all taxpayers,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the DOJ’s Tax Division.

Public Safety News

Garcetti Raises LA's Emergency Status To Highest Level
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Monday raised the city's emergency response status to its highest level due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, and he issued a series of new orders for the city, including delaying payment of parking tickets. Raising the city's emergency status was done to request more assistance from the federal and state governments, as well as a public safety measure to stem the coronavirus spread, Garcetti said. For two weeks, Los Angeles will not issue tickets during street sweeping hours in residential areas or to people who are helping local institutions. He said the city will also freeze parking fines until June 1. Not all parking enforcement is stopping, Garcetti said, but he said he does want people to save their money for the time being. Metered parking spaces will also continue at businesses, which he said are dependent upon those spaces for the business that can be conducted.

Coronavirus: Infected People Without Symptoms Are Driving Epidemic’s Fast Spread, Says New Study
People with mild or no symptoms of COVID-19 are the main drivers behind the spread of the coronavirus epidemic, according to an important new analysis of China’s outbreak released on Monday. These so-called “stealth” transmissions underscore the importance of “social distancing” measures that are now being enacted in communities across the U.S. and Europe, the researchers said. Unrecognized infections can expose a far greater portion of the population to virus than would otherwise occur. “We need to keep people apart,” said researcher Jeffrey Shaman of Columbia University Mailman School, who co-authored the study with colleague Sen Pei. The research is published in Monday’s issue of the journal Science, the same day 6 Bay Area counties announced strict new orders telling most of the region’s 7 million residents to stay home except for essential trips such as to the supermarket. The order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. March 17 and expires on April 7 unless extended.

Local Government News

LA Councilman Calls Off Encampment Sweeps, Amid Novel Coronavirus Concerns
One Los Angeles city councilman has canceled major homeless encampment sweeps in his district, in response to the novel coronavirus, an aide said Monday, March 16. Staffers in Councilman David Ryu’s office reached out to the Sanitation Department to cancel upcoming cleanups, according to spokesperson Mark Pampanin. Pampanin said Ryu does not want to enforce city code 56.11 — a rule that restricts storage of property on sidewalks, and that requires tents to be down during the day — without first hearing from public health officials on how best to address such encampments during the novel coronavirus pandemic. “Until we get clarity from the Department of Public Health, we probably shouldn’t be moving people around, we probably shouldn’t be displacing people,” he said. The move comes as a group, Services not Sweeps, put out guidelines on Friday they hope the city will adopt, calling for a halt to encampment sweeps throughout the city.

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: