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

April 1, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Santa Rosa Police Detective Dies From Coronavirus Complications
Marylou Armer, a police detective who served on the Santa Rosa Police Department for the past 20 years, has died from coronavirus complications, police officials announced Tuesday. The veteran police officer had most recently been assigned to the department’s Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Team, Police Chief Rainer Navarro said in a statement Tuesday. He said Armer had “faithfully served” the Santa Rosa community as a member of the Police Department “family” for two decades. “Our hearts are with the family and Detective Armer will be deeply missed,” Navarro said. Armer was one of the first Police Department employees who tested positive for the coronavirus, police officials said. On Monday, Navarro said, eight Police Department employees had tested positive for the coronavirus.

5 Additional LAPD Employees Test Positive For Coronavirus, LAFD Reports 1 New Case
Five more Los Angeles Police Department employees and one more Los Angeles Fire Department employee have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The news comes just one day after five other LAPD employees and one LAFD employee tested positive for the virus. “The Department has strict protocols for any employee who experiences symptoms of the virus,” LAPD said in a previous release. “They are instructed to go home and their workspaces are sanitized.” In total as of March 31, LAPD now has 32 employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 and LAFD has seven employees.

NYPD Has Been Devastated By The Coronavirus. Can LAPD Avoid That Fate?
As the coronavirus ravages New York, its Police Department has been hard hit. More than 800 officers there have tested positive for the virus, and more than 4,700 officers — about 12% of the force — have been calling in sick daily. Five NYPD employees have died, and John Miller, chief of intelligence and counter-terrorism, is among those who have been hospitalized. In each case in which an officer has tested positive, those who work alongside the individual have been forced to self-quarantine in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. Los Angeles Police Department officials are now trying to avoid a similar fate.

L.A. Coronavirus Stay-at-Home Order Could Last Well Into May, LAPD Chief Says
Los Angeles’ strict stay-at-home order designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus could remain in place well into May, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said. His statement underscores that residents should expect the social distancing rules to remain in place for weeks as coronavirus cases and deaths keep rising. Both Los Angeles city and county officials have shut down all but essential businesses and told residents to stay inside except for shopping, medical appointments and short outdoor activities. Most beaches, trails, recreation areas and other points of interest are closed, including trails in Griffith Park and Runyon Canyon Park in Los Angeles. The state has also ordered parking lots closed at dozens of state beaches and parks. But L.A. officials said it’s fine to walk or jog in your neighborhood or through neighborhood parks as long as you maintain social distance.

City Will Shut Down Businesses Ignoring Coronavirus Orders, LA Mayor Says
Los Angeles' city government will not hesitate to close businesses deemed "non-essential" as well as construction sites that don't practice social distancing while emergency orders are in place, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Tuesday. "If any non-essential businesses continue to operate in violation of the (Safer at Home) order, we're going to act to enforce the ... order and ensure their compliance," Garcetti said during his daily coronavirus briefing. The city's Business Ambassadors program and crisis response teams have been asking non-essential businesses that have remained open to shut down, and they've visited about 540 of them, Garcetti said. The Los Angeles Police Department has visited about 144 of those locations, and Garcetti said most have complied, with only four being referred to the City Attorney's Office for possible citations. People can let the city know of any non-essential businesses that continue to operate at

LA County Renews Reward To Solve Slaying Of 4-Year-Old Boy
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors renewed Tuesday a $20,000 reward for information that helps apprehend a gunman who fatally shot a 4-year old boy in the head in Altadena nearly four years ago. Supervisor Kathryn Barger recommended extending the reward in the July 5, 2016, slaying of Salvador Esparza. The offer had been set to expire April 19, but will now be available for at least the next 90 days. Detectives said a suspected gang member was chasing a 27-year-old man onto a property in the 300 block of West Figueroa Drive and fired at least 13 rounds that night, striking both the man and the child. The wounded man survived. Authorities believe the shooting was gang-related, and that Salvador and his family — who lived in Monrovia and were visiting friends — were not intended targets. At the time of the shooting, sheriff's Lt. John Corina said a person of interest had gotten into a heated, alcohol-fueled argument in the street with the live-in boyfriend of the boy's mother an hour or two before the shooting.

Suspect In Killing Of Irvine Man At Malibu Creek State Park Attacks Deputy, Is Restrained In Court
A man charged with killing a father who was camping with his daughters in a Southern California park had to be subdued in court on Monday after the judge refused to allow him to defend himself without a lawyer. Anthony Rauda attacked a deputy during the hearing and was restrained, NBC Los Angeles reported. The case was continued until May 5, the news station said. Rauda, 43, is charged with one count of murder, 10 counts of attempted murder and five counts of burglary in a rash of break-ins and shootings targeting campers and drivers at Malibu Creek State Park. Rauda is accused of shooting Tristan Beaudette of Irvine while the 35-year-old father camped in a tent with his daughters on June 22, 2018. The girls, ages 2 and 4, were not injured but are considered victims of attempted murder. Fear spread when authorities acknowledged after the killing that several shootings had occurred in the area, but they were not previously thought to be related. Other victims then came forward to report they had been shot at. Rauda was arrested in a ravine near the park dressed in black and carrying a rifle in his backpack.

Nearly $30M Worth Of Drugs Seized From Cross-Border Tunnel Discovered In San Diego
Nearly $30 million worth of drugs were seized after a cross-border tunnel that runs from Tijuana to San Diego was found earlier in March, federal officials said Tuesday. The 2,000-foot-long tunnel was discovered on March 19 by law enforcement officers, with Mexican officers locating the tunnel entrance in Tijuana. Agents searched the San Diego warehouse where the tunnel ends after obtaining a federal search warrant and seized approximately 1,300 pounds of cocaine, 86 pounds of methamphetamine, 17 pounds of heroin, 3,000 pounds of marijuana and more than 2 pounds of fentanyl inside the tunnel, officials said. Officials said this was the first time five different types of drugs were found inside a smuggling tunnel. The street value of the drugs seized is estimated at $29.6 million. The tunnel, which extends for more than 2,000 feet underground, has an average depth of 31 feet and was 3 feet wide through most of the passageway.

Stay-at-Home Orders Have Reduced CA Traffic Accidents By Half
Coronavirus stay-at-home orders that went into effect on March 20 have reduced vehicle collisions on California roadways by roughly half, according to a UC Davis survey that is the first to estimate the impact of the extraordinary health orders on traffic. “The reduction works out to about 15,000 fewer collisions per month and 6,000 fewer injury accidents per month,” said Fraser Shilling, co-director of the Road Ecology Center at UC Davis. Shilling said the reduction in motor vehicle accidents on highways and roads, “can be directly or indirectly attributed to the shelter-in-place order.” The survey suggests that a 60% drop in traffic volume — when compared to the same period last year — accounts for a roughly 50% decline in collisions on roadways policed by California Highway Patrol. As people have limited their vehicular use to traveling to work and obtaining food and other essentials, it was predictable that collisions would decrease. And with bars and restaurants shuttered, there would be even fewer drunk driving accidents.

FBI: ‘Costco Stimulus Check’ Texts Are Fake, Should Not Be Clicked
Text messages claiming to offer “freebies” for Costco Wholesale members as part of a “COVID-19 stimulus package” are fraudulent, and the links included in the messages may contain malware or ransomware, the FBI said Tuesday. FBI officials have been warning the public for weeks about an influx in scams and frauds related to the novel coronavirus. “Scammers are leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to steal your money, your personal information, or both,” FBI Special Agent Davene Butler, a spokeswoman for the agency’s San Diego field office, said in a statement last week. One of the newest scams is the one using text messages and social media posts claiming to be from Costco and offering free money, Butler said. “The FBI is warning the public that Costco is NOT texting or using social media platforms to reach the public or its customers to provide a ‘stimulus check,’ ‘freebies,’ or a ‘stimulus package’ as shown in these fake messages,” Butler said.

Surging Gun Sales And Shelter In Place Orders Make A Dangerous Mix For Domestic Violence
The woman’s partner had never threatened her with a gun before. But when she told him she had to go to work during the COVID-19 outbreak, he refused to let her, according to Katie Ray-Jones, CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, to which the woman placed a call in mid-March. The woman told her partner that she had to go if she wanted to keep her job. Then he took out his gun and began to clean it. As people across the country are asked to curtail their social interactions, Ray-Jones and other advocates fear that abusers might become more violent and coercive. Financial anxieties, close quarters, and health concerns all bring extra stress into the home, and are associated with a higher risk of abuse. Add skyrocketing gun sales to the mix, and Ray-Jones says she has serious reason to worry about abuse victims’ safety. “Abusive partners don’t cope well when they feel like they’re losing control,” Ray-Jones said. “And it often causes them to reassert their control over their partners.”

Public Safety News

Greater Alarm Fire Breaks Out At East Hollywood Commercial Building
Firefighters battled a greater alarm fire at a commercial building in East Hollywood early Wednesday. The fire broke out just before 4:30 a.m. at a building at 676 N. Normandie Ave., according to Los Angeles Fire Department Dispatch Margaret Stewart. There were initial reports that people were possibly trapped inside. Firefighters who arrived on the scene immediately attacked the flames from inside the warehouse and from the roof. A man in his 40s was evaluated for reported smoke inhalation and taken to a hospital in unknown condition. No one was found trapped inside the building. The fire was declared out within 38 minutes. LAFD’s arson investigators are responding to the scene, Stewart said.

Coronavirus Cases In L.A. County Top 3,000 As Death Toll Rises To 54; 1st Health Care Worker Among Those Who Died
Coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County have topped 3,000 after 548 new cases were reported Tuesday. There are now 3,011 total cases and 54 deaths in the county. One of the deaths reported Monday included the first known health care worker, who was over 60. Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the county’s public health director, noted during a briefing Tuesday that cases have tripled in one week, in part due to an increase in testing capacity. The county hopes to at some point test 10,000 people per day, officials said. Positive cases include 10 Los Angeles County firefighters, Chief Daryl Osby said. Seven have recovered and returned to work while the other three are in isolation but doing well.

Health Officials Worry As Coronavirus Cases Begin To Spike At SoCal Nursing Homes
Nearly 60 people, including 51 residents, tested positive for COVID-19 at a nursing home in Yucaipa. The outbreak has resulted in two deaths and health officials warn all residents contracting the virus at the facility is inevitable. San Bernardino County health officials Tuesday announced the outbreak occurred at Cedar Mountain Post Acute Rehabilitation. They also said six staff members at the 99-bed facility tested positive for the virus. The county health commissioner also warned COVID-19 cases for the community of mostly retired residents will continue to rise. COVID-19 cases in San Bernardino County have steadily increased. The county recently began offering drive-thru testing centers. The virus has struck other nursing homes in Southland. Alameda Care Center in Burbank has also seen an outbreak as ten employees and seven residents tested positive for the virus. At the Burbank facility, there have been two deaths as a result of the outbreak.

Local Government News

LA County Leaders Aim To Broaden Eviction Moratorium To Cities, Using Coronavirus Emergency Powers
The LA County Board of Supervisors will explore using its emergency powers to broaden its evictions ban to cities throughout the county, not just in unincorporated areas. A motion introduced by Supervisors Hilda Solis and Kathryn Barger on Tuesday calls for including cities, with consideration for those that already have their own bans. It was approved unanimously, along with an addition by Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas to include a rent freeze during the evictions ban. Barger said she has heard from people over the past few weeks who expressed fear they would not have their jobs once the “safer at home” orders have been lifted. “The anxiety that I’ve heard in their voices is real,” she said. “And anything I can do to ensure they don’t become the next wave of homelessness is vital … We need to recognize that these are uncertain times and we need to work together.”

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: