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 26, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Michigan Sheriff's Commander Dies Of COVID-19
A veteran commander at the Wayne County Sheriff's Office died Wednesday due to the coronavirus, the Sheriff's Office announced. Cmdr. Donafay Collins, 63, was with the Sheriff's Office almost 30 years, the department said in a statement. He is survived by his wife and four children. The Sheriff's Office reported that 18 staffers or contractors have tested positive for the coronavirus as of Wednesday night. On Sunday night that number was six. Collins worked at the Division 2 jail downtown, the old jail, which is considered the toughest facility in the system due to the high-risk inmates it handles. Collins had been hospitalized for weeks. In addition to the coronavirus, he had "some underlying medical issues," Napoleon said.

Coronavirus: With Most Angelenos Stuck At Home, Crime Numbers Drop
The coronavirus pandemic has taken a bite out of crime in Los Angeles County. New numbers Wednesday show that property and street crime are down across the board as most residents have been ordered to remain at home. Los Angeles police reported 14 percent fewer arrests in the first half of March compared to the same period in 2019, LAPD Public Information Director Josh Rubenstein told CBS2 Wednesday. Burglary is down 16 percent year-to-date compared to 2019, while personal theft is down 15 percent, Rubenstein added. “That would make sense because people are home right now, so those property thefts are down,” Rubenstein said. Overall, LAPD arrests are down 5 percent year-to-date and violent crimes are down 4 percent. However, homicides are still up. “When it comes to violent crime, again, that’s something that we’re always looking at, and I’m not sure this particular crisis that the city is going through directly correlates to any numbers we have,” Rubenstein said.

No, The LAPD Isn’t Ticketing For Outdoor Exercising, Driving Amid Coronavirus Rules
The Los Angeles Police Department said its officers are not stopping people for violating the city’s strict Safer at Home restrictions. “We’ve heard the rumors, so let’s put an end to them. No, the LAPD is not stopping or ticketing people for exercising outdoors. Spreading false rumors during this time does no good,” tweeted the department. Asst. Chief Horace Frank said the department is not conducting driving under influence checkpoints or towing or impounding cars. Mayor Eric Garcetti has expressed frustration and outrage that some nonessential businesses remain open despite coronavirus restrictions. On Tuesday, Garcetti said that his office is still receiving daily reports of nonessential businesses that continue to operate as normal — behavior he called “irresponsible and selfish.” He also announced a Safer at Home business ambassadors initiative that aims to help push greater adherence from nonessential businesses that aren’t complying with the city’s order to close.

Police Investigate Possibly Gang-Related Shooting In North Hollywood
A man was shot in the buttocks Wednesday in what police called a possibly gang-related shooting in North Hollywood, but he did not cooperate with detectives’ investigation. The shooting occurred about 6 p.m. near the intersection of Moorpark Street and Vineland Avenue, according to Los Angeles Police Department Officer Mike Lopez and a second officer who did not give his full name. Authorities said they believe the shooting may have been gang-related, Lopez said. Further information was not released.

Police Warn About COVID-19 Inspection Scammers Knocking On Residents Doors
Police in Los Angeles were warning the public Tuesday about coronavirus inspection scammers, reminding residents not to open their doors to strangers and to always ask for credentials. The Los Angeles Police Department West Valley Station posted a bulletin explaining that scammers are seeking to take advantage of the elderly and those who are not fully informed in the wake of additional protocols that were put in place throughout the state to combat COVID-19. "If anyone knocks on your door, or calls you claiming to sell vaccines, tests, offers funds etc. related to the coronavirus, they do not represent the Government, and are most likely trying to defraud you," the bulletin explained. "Do not open the door for anyone you are not familiar with and always ask for credentials." Additionally, LAPD reminded the public not to give out your personal information over the phone or computer and to report any suspected fraud to your local law enforcement.

Investigators Reissue Call For Help In Solving Compton Double Murder Case
Authorities on Wednesday circulated a composite photo of a suspect in the shooting death of two cousins gunned down in Compton nearly 2 1/2 years ago. Brian Keith Greer, a social worker in Los Angeles County, and David Charles Greer were shot on Dec. 28, 2017, in the 100 block of East Caldwell Street, near South Willowbrook Avenue, according to Deputy Eric Ortiz of the Sheriff's Information Bureau. The suspect is described as black, about 6 feet tall and 180 pounds, and between 35 and 38 years old, Ortiz said. He was spotted leaving the scene in a white four-door car with tinted windows, possibly a Chrysler 200. Investigators encouraged anyone with information to contact the sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Those wishing to report anonymously can call 800-222-TIPS.

FBI Arrests Southern California Man Accused Of Promoting Bogus Methods To Prevent, Cure Coronavirus
A Southern California man who falsely claimed Earvin “Magic” Johnson was on the board of directors for his company was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of wire fraud related to bogus claims he had drugs to prevent and cure coronavirus, officials said. Keith Lawrence Middlebrook, 53, was arrested by FBI agents, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles said in a statement. Middlebrook is associated with residences in Newport Beach, Murrieta and Westwood in Los Angeles. At least 2 million people have seen YouTube and Instagram videos that falsely claim he created a coronavirus prevention pill and an injectable cure for those already infected, U.S. Justice Department officials in the office said in a statement. The Justice Department said Middlebrook was arrested after a criminal complaint was filed alleging he committed attempted wire fraud, a felony offense that can carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Public Safety News

Coronavirus: Crenshaw Christian Center In South LA Opens As Testing Site For COVID-19
As the number of coronavirus cases continue to rise across Southern California, officials across the region are efforting ways to expand testing for the virus. Early Tuesday morning, the Crenshaw Christian Center in South Los Angeles opened its doors as a testing site for COVID-19. The testing process, in which those being tested will undergo a nasal swab, is expected to take around 10 minutes. Hundreds of Angelenos are already waiting for the results of their COVID-19 tests and soon thousands more will join them this week. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti this week announced a web portal on a city website where the most high-risk residents can sign up for coronavirus testing. The rollout consists of a "limited number of tests," which would be conducted on those with symptoms, those who are 65 and older and Angelenos who may have underlying health conditions. Patients who meet the criteria at will be directed to a testing center and will be required to present identification.

California Is Way Behind In Testing And Tracking Coronavirus. It’s A Big Problem
In the race to expand testing for the novel coronavirus and track the results, California has fallen behind New York and other hot-spot states as an assortment of public and private groups pursue testing programs in an uncoordinated fashion. A fragmented landscape akin to an orchestra playing without a conductor has emerged with public officials at the city, county and state levels scrambling to come up with testing options and priorities. At the same time, various universities and an increasing number of private, for-profit labs have developed their own testing schemes. The result has been a confusing, incomplete picture of the virus in California. Public health experts warn that a robust, coordinated testing program is crucial so the state knows not only who is infected but how quickly and where the virus is spreading in order to effectively deploy limited resources, such as protective equipment, ventilators and medical staff.

California Coronavirus Surge On Par With New York, Alarming Officials. Cases Top 3,000
The number of coronavirus cases in California has surged past 3,000, and officials say the growth rate is so big that it could overwhelm hospitals in the coming days and weeks. The stateside death toll now stands at 67, far less than the 285 deaths in New York, which has become the national epicenter of the coronavirus crisis. But officials said California needs to brace itself for far more cases and deaths. “The worst days are still ahead,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday. “We’ve taken actions earlier and swifter [than other cities], but no one is immune from this virus.” California’s top medical advisor said Wednesday that COVID-19 cases continue to double in the state every three to four days. That pace, he said, is on par with that of New York, where some hospitals are packed.

Local Government News

Amid Calls For Action On Renter And Worker Protections, L.A. City Council Plans To Meet Remotely
The Los Angeles City Council will convene an emergency meeting Friday, allowing members of the public to comment by phoning in or sending email, an aide to Council President Nury Martinez said Wednesday. Martinez spokesman Rick Coca said she decided to call the meeting after staffers successfully tested a remote dial-in meeting on Wednesday. The councilwoman plans to be on the council floor for the meeting, along with a city clerk, a city attorney and possibly a handful of other officials. “Last week we were going for 50 people or less,” Coca said. “Now we’re trying to go for 10 or less in the room.” The decision to conduct a Zoom conference call for council members comes two days after Martinez abruptly canceled the last two regularly scheduled council meetings in March. Labor unions, nonprofit groups and community activists quickly voiced alarm, saying council members need to act swiftly on protections for renters and workers suffering financially amid the coronavirus pandemic before April rent is due.

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: