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 23, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Ohio Officer Killed In Crash During Vehicle Pursuit
One officer is dead and another was injured after a police chase ended in a crash on a Cincinnati-area highway Saturday night. Springdale Police Officer Kaia Grant, 33, was killed in the crash on Interstate 275 at state Route 4 around 8:30 p.m., according to Police Chief Thomas Wells. Grant was an eight-year veteran of the department in Springdale, a city in the northern Cincinnati suburbs. Grant was transported to University of Cincinnati Hospital by Air Care where she was pronounced dead, according to a press release. Grant was hired by Springdale in August 2012, and graduated from the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy in 2013, according to a City of Springdale newsletter.

Third LAPD Employee Tests Positive For Coronavirus
An LAPD officer tested positive for the coronavirus, making him the third employee within the department to be diagnosed with the disease, police officials announced Saturday evening. The officer was assigned to the department’s Central Community Police Station at 251 East 6th Street in downtown Los Angeles, said Los Angeles police Lt. James Mylonakis, who works at the station. The central station, which patrols neighborhoods in downtown Los Angeles, is the largest patrol division in the city with more than 300 officers assigned to the location, Mylonakis said. Earlier this week, the officer had started to show symptoms characteristic of COVID-19, and was sent home by a supervisor, the police department said in a statement. Anyone who may have come in contact with the officer was directed to a healthcare provider for evaluation, the department said. The officer’s work spaces and any common areas within the central station were also disinfected.

Chief: 233 Detroit officers quarantined, 150 could return to duty this week
The number of Detroit police officers under quarantine reached 233 Sunday, although 150 off them will be restored to duty this week if they exhibit no COVID-19 virus symptoms, police chief James Craig said. Craig said a member of his command staff has been diagnosed with COVID-19. "Several others have symptoms," he said. "I've quarantined others who have underlying health issues."

Man Found Shot To Death Inside Car In South L.A.
Paramedics pronounced a man dead after he was found shot inside a car in the South Park neighborhood of South Los Angeles early Thursday, police said. Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Newton Division first responded about 4:20 a.m. to reports of a possibly intoxicated man inside of a car in a residential neighborhood in the 200 block of West 56th Street, the department said in a written statement. “Upon their arrival, officers discovered a male, not conscious or breathing, shot inside the vehicle,” according to the statement. He succumbed to his wounds at the scene. “There is no suspect description and the motive for this homicide is not known,” according to the statement. The victim’s identity was not released pending notification of family. Anyone with information was urged to contact the LAPD at 877-327-3247. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

Two Men In Their 20s Wounded In Drive-By Shooting
Two men in their 20s are expected to survive gunshot wounds suffered Sunday in the Mount Washington community of Los Angeles. The victims were standing on the sidewalk in the area of Avenue 50 and Monte Vista Street at about 3:20 a.m. when two suspects fired several rounds and fled to a vehicle, said Officer Norma Eisenman of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations Section. The victims were taken to an area hospital by a private vehicle in stable condition, Eisenman said.

Man Hospitalized After Boyle Heights Shooting
A man was hospitalized with stable vital signs Saturday after he was shot on a Boyle Heights sidewalk, authorities said. The shooting occurred at 8 p.m. Friday in the 3600 block of East Olympic Boulevard, according to a dispatcher at the Los Angeles Police Department Operations Center. The man was standing on the sidewalk when he was approached by three males and at least one fired at him, the dispatcher said. The suspects fled the scene, she said. It was unknown whether the shooting was gang related, she said.

Price-Gouging: LA Officials Crack Down Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
Los Angeles city officials are looking for the public to alert them about possible price-gouging on items like hand sanitizer and bleach during the coronavirus pandemic. City Attorney Mike Feuer told Eyewitness News his office is checking online sellers and visiting stores to make sure they don't raise prices on high-demand items like hand sanitizer and bleach. Los Angeles city law prohibits price increases of more than 10% during an emergency. "No retailer, no seller can sell a good, service, medical supplies and so forth for more than 10% more than they sold the item before the emergency," Feuer said via a Skype interview. "We're seeing numbers much higher than that." For example, he said, his office staff found and purchased two 1-liter containers of hand sanitizer for $140 and eight half-gallons of bleach for $100. Sellers who violate the law can face a range of criminal and civil penalties, including a year in jail, a $10,000 fine and restitution to consumers.

Superior Courthouses In Los Angeles Partially Re-Open, Coronavirus Safety Measures Introduced
Superior courthouses in Los Angeles County reopened Friday, March 20, for some time-sensitive and essential functions only, as nearly 400 courtrooms remained closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a media release. All of the county’s 38 courthouses were ordered closed Tuesday, March 17, but those orders were amended slightly shortly after to exclude sentencing in criminal cases, arraignments, temporary restraining order hearings, preliminary hearings, among other proceedings that would continue. In the latest amended order, by Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazille, the county was ordered to reopen 36 of the 38 courthouses for specific trials and hearings for things such as contempt proceedings where child custody is at issue and emergency protective orders. The order amends retroactively the 30-day emergency order on Tuesday and would effectively leave these court functions operational until April 16 unless something else changes. The two courthouses that will remain entirely closed are in Beverly Hills and on Catalina.

CHP Warn Speeding Drivers To Slow Down
Light to no traffic on Southern California freeways have many drivers speeding, but CHP is spending a message to slow down and be safe.

California Courts Paralyzed By Coronavirus, With Justice Hanging In Balance
When he strode to the bench inside the Compton courthouse Friday morning, Superior Court Judge Michael J. Shultz was wearing two items more necessary than his pleated black robe: a pair of latex gloves and a face mask. Miles north in downtown Los Angeles, caution tape had been placed over entire rows inside the criminal justice center’s notoriously hectic arraignment court to put as much distance as possible between those in the gallery. Even the simplest of courthouse functions had to be altered. When an attorney asked to approach Superior Court Judge Emily Garcia Uhrig as she worked her way through more than 100 items on her calendar in a Van Nuys courtroom Friday, the judge seemed to eye the bench cautiously, taking stock of the risks of having others so close to her. “Let’s go into the hallway,” Uhrig said, before leading the prosecutor and defense attorney out of the room. While the coronavirus has paralyzed much of California, the criminal justice system does not have an off-switch.

California Police Departments Now Fielding 911 Calls Reporting Coughing Neighbors
Neighbors calling 911 to report hearing loud coughing next door? It's happening. As the number of those with the coronavirus grows locally — Riverside County announced its 15th case on Monday and San Bernardino County confirmed its first case on Sunday — some Coachella Valley police departments say they've started fielding 911 reports from concerned callers convinced a neighbor's overly loud sneeze or hacking cough is proof the person has the virus. Palm Springs police estimate dispatchers had about five of these calls last week, Sgt. Mike Casavan said. Cathedral City police Cmdr. Paul Herrera said dispatchers with his department, who also handle 911 calls from the neighboring city of Desert Hot Springs, fielded similar calls. In many cases, the calls are forwarded to the fire department where paramedics are also dispatched to directly provide any needed medical attention before transporting the person to an area hospital.

Coronavirus Threat And Stay-at-Home Order: Police Say They Want Compliance, Not Arrests
On Thursday night, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an order instructing all Californians to stay home in hopes it’ll help mitigate the coronavirus spread. “People will ask: ‘Well, how will you enforce?’” the Governor pondered during his announcement. In general, agencies are saying they are looking more for compliance than to make arrests. The order was far-reaching, though it exempted businesses and services deemed essential such as grocery stories, pharmacies and government offices. But by and large, the bulk of people should be home. The order comes with a misdemeanor penalty for anyone who violates it but the governor also said, “I don’t believe the people of California need to be told through law enforcement” and instead said social pressure would keep people at home. Some Southern California law enforcement agencies said they won’t go looking for those skirting the order but if they come across a crowd or group, they’ll remind them to comply.

Oregon police recover thousands of stolen respirator masks
A woman called police March 6 to report the theft of what has become an increasingly valuable commodity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Someone had stolen 8,000 N95 respirator masks—the kind frontline health care workers desperately need amid nationwide shortages of personal protective gear. The two-dozen cases of masks—worth about $2,500—were stolen from a Portland hardware store, the ReBuilding Center.

Public Safety News

Two More L.A. Residents Die Of Coronavirus; 59 New Cases Reported Countywide
Two more Los Angeles residents have died from COVID-19, and an additional 59 people in the county have tested positive for the disease, bringing the total to four deaths and 351 people infected, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Both fatal victims were over the age of 65 and had underlying health conditions, health officials said Saturday. One resided in Del Rey, the other in Miracle Mile, the department reported. As of Saturday night, 69 positive cases have been hospitalized. Earlier Saturday, Public Health issued an enhanced health officer order to reconcile elements in the March 19 order necessary to be consistent with the governor's order. The enhanced order prohibits all gatherings and events, and clarifies that golf courses and personal grooming services -- including hair and nail salons -- are nonessential services and are closed.

Local Government News

LA Council To Consider Making It More Difficult To Fire Employees Amid Coronavirus Crisis
Los Angeles City Council at its Tuesday meeting is expected to take up a number of measures setting restrictions on businesses and their ability to fire their employees in light of the coronavirus crisis. Council members Mike Bonin, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Paul Koretz and separately, Gil Cedillo have introduced motions to protect employees. The actual language still must be drafted. “Gig economy workers, service sector workers, retail workers, small business workers, and many others are living under extreme uncertainty,” the motion by Bonin, Harris-Dawson and Koretz said. “A minimum wage worker in Los Angeles might already struggle to make rent if they miss one paycheck.” they wrote. “But as people increasingly avoid public places because of the new coronavirus, hotels and restaurants in neighborhoods across our city are particularly feeling the impact.”

Motion To Freeze Rent And LADWP Utility Increases To Be Proposed At L.A. City Council Meeting Tuesday
A proposal to freeze rent and LADWP utility increases during the coronavirus public health emergency will be put forth during next week’s Los Angeles City Council meeting, a news release distributed Saturday stated. The motion, which would make the rent and utility freezes retroactive to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s first COVID-19 related order, will be put forward by Councilmember David Ryu during Tuesday’s meeting, the news release stated. “We must focus on the working families who are hurting right now. Issuing a ‘Safer at Home’ Order was the right thing to do – but it must come with a freeze on rent increases and LADWP bill increases,” Ryu stated. The motion would ask L.A. City staff to implement the freeze on all residential and commercial rent increases and call on the State government to lift any legal barriers. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power would be instructed in the motion to develop a program that restricts utility bills over and above the average water and electric charges paid during the previous year.

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: