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 10, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Louisiana Officer Dies Of COVID-19
COVID-19 has claimed the life of a Natchez pastor who also was a Vidalia Police officer who left a lasting impression on practically everyone he came into contact with, friends said. Adams County Coroner James Lee said Kejuane Bates, who died Wednesday, was the second recorded COVID-19 death at Merit Health Natchez. Lee said Bates, 36, lived in Vidalia where he worked as a police officer, serving as a DARE officer and school resources officer. Bates also pastored the Forest Aid Baptist Church on Lower Woodville Road in Natchez.

Indiana Officer Dies After Shooting At Apartment Complex
An Indianapolis police officer was fatally shot Thursday at an apartment complex in the area of 21st Street and North Franklin Road on the east side. Officer Breann Leath and two other officers responding to a domestic disturbance call shortly before 3 p.m.approached an apartment, and shots were fired "through the structure," IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said. Leath and a female shooting victim were taken to hospitals, police said later Thursday during a news conference at Eskanazi Hospital. Police said Leath died from her injuries. At least 30 police cars crowded into the area near the apartment Thursday afternoon. They were stacked side by side to block travel into parts of the complex and atop grassy medians that ran perpendicular to the apartment buildings. Investigators hung crime tape alongside one building.  

LAPD Commander Recovers From COVID-19
Los Angeles Police Department Commander Cory Palka has returned to work after testing positive for COVID-19 last month. “I just remember being exhausted,” said Palka. “When I was originally infected we were in the very preliminary stages. There was some early discussion regarding washing your hands. We had just started the language regarding safe distance. We weren’t even into the mask language at the time.” Palka, a 34-year veteran of the department, said his symptoms were mild at first. “Shortness of breath, exhaustion, slight fever, cough,” he said. The Commander quickly got tested and went into isolation with his wife Catherine. “My adult college children stayed with family and friends and my wife cared for me. As a result, she was also presumed positive based on some symptoms she had.” Palka said his wife’s symptoms were milder. She had a cough, some fatigue, and a sore throat. Palka’s fever briefly got worse, his exhaustion did too, but that stuck around longer and so did his shortness of breath. Palka said he got his results nine days after his initial test.

Man Fatally Shot In Boyle Heights
A man in his 30s was killed Thursday evening in what police called a gang-related shooting in Boyle Heights. Police received a call about the shooting near Cincinnati Street and North Evergreen Avenue at 7:57 p.m., and learned the man was walking on the sidewalk when a suspect came out in front of him and fired multiple shots, according to Officer Tony Im of the Los Angeles Police Department. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics, Im said. The suspect was last seen running eastbound through an alley south of Folsom Street and east of Evergreen Avenue, Im said. Police set up a perimeter and searched for a suspect, but no arrest was immediately reported, according to Im. A description of the suspect was not disclosed.

Suspected Stolen Truck Strikes LAPD SUV And Civilian Vehicle In South L.A.
A Los Angeles Police Department SUV and a civilian vehicle were struck during a pursuit in South Los Angeles Thursday evening by a truck that had been reported stolen. The accident occurred near the intersection of Florence Avenue and Main Street about 9:50 p.m., according to LAPD Officer Tony Im. It was unclear what time and where the pursuit began. No injuries were immediately reported and the suspect vehicle, described as a blue 2004 Chevrolet Silverado crew cab with two men inside, fled the scene, Im said. 

Man Denies Charges In Alleged Carjacking, Kidnapping, Sexual Assault Of Woman In Downtown Long Beach
A man accused of carjacking and kidnapping a woman as she sat in her car in downtown Long Beach, then repeatedly sexually assaulting her, pleaded not guilty to nine felony charges on Thursday, officials said. Jacob William Brown, 39, of Long Beach faces the possibility of life in state prison if convicted as charged, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. He appeared in Los Angeles County Superior Court, where he denied charges of carjacking, kidnapping during a sex crime, three counts of assault with intent to commit rape and three counts of forced oral copulation, district attorney’s office spokesman Ricardo Santiago said in a written statement. The attack took place on March 15 as the victim, described as a 33-year-old woman, had just parked her car in a parking structure outside a friend’s apartment building, according to Long Beach Police Department officials and prosecutors.

Hidden Toilet Paper Stash Leads To Violent Fight Between California Family Members
A family in California experienced firsthand the effects of the toilet paper shortage — but their experience turned violent in their own home. A 26-year old Saugus resident was arrested and charged with battery Tuesday after a dispute over the family’s stockpile. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Shirley Miller told CNN deputies responded to a Saugus home around 3 a.m. Monday for a family disturbance. The sheriff’s department said a man allegedly punched his mother. “This is the first arrest I’ve heard of that started out over an argument over toilet paper,” Miller said. The son accused the mother of hiding the toilet paper. The mother admitted to it and told deputies it was because her son was using too much, Miller said. The mother declined medical treatment, Miller said.

Public Safety News

LAFD Recruits Graduate 4 Weeks Early To Join Coronavirus Front Lines
The Los Angeles Fire Department has allowed its 49 newest recruits to graduate four weeks early in order to join the front lines against the coronavirus pandemic. The class of 44 men and five women will start work at their respective fire stations on Sunday, according to the department. Department officials said they are expecting a surge in COVID-19 patients over the next few weeks, which is why they’ve accelerated the timeline for the recruits. The new recruits can also help if there is an increase in the number of LAFD employees who contract the virus. So far, 15 members have tested positive. “The LAFD is taking every step necessary to ensure that we fulfill our mission of protecting life and property in Los Angeles during the COVID pandemic and I am proud of the 49 recruits who officially joined our ranks today,” said LAFD Chief Terrazas said.

L.A.'s Coronavirus Mask Order Is Now The Law. 5 Things You Need To Know
If you are going to a grocery store, pharmacy or doing other essential shopping in Los Angeles, you need to be wearing a mask or face covering. Beginning Friday, a new city order requires both shoppers and workers to wear a face covering. It’s the latest effort by the city to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The stay-at-home order has already closed nonessential businesses as well as many beaches, trails and recreation centers. Here are five things to bear in mind: 1. The idea is to protect both customers and workers, 2. It’s not just at the supermarket and drug stores, 3. Other jurisdictions have these rules, and some go further, 4. There is one thing officials don’t want you to do, and 5. Here’s what you need to know about masks and face coverings. 

Number Of L.A. County Coronavirus Cases Nears 8,000 As Death Toll Reaches 223; Cases Among Homeless People Jump To 20
An additional 425 cases of coronavirus and 25 deaths were reported in Los Angeles County Thursday, bringing the total to 7,955 and raising the death toll to 223, officials said. The mortality rate has increased to 2.8%, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the county’s public health director said. She said that she is “concerned” about the county’s rising mortality rate. “That mortality rate is likely to drop once we’ve increased the number of people that are tested — and that we can determine are in fact positive,” the director said. Cases among the homeless population have jumped from 12 to 20, and one person who worked at a local shelter has died. Most of the homeless people are unsheltered, but four were living in shelters, Ferrer said. She added that while there are a number of people at several shelter sites are in quarantine and are being investigated as possible coronavirus cases, there are currently no outbreaks at any homeless shelters. County officials are now investigating at least one COVID-19 case at 153 institutional settings, Ferrer said.

California Coronavirus Case Count Tops 20,000, Doubling In Just A Week
California’s coronavirus cases doubled this week to surpass 20,000 Thursday as the state announced a new effort to help overburdened health care workers. Statewide, 20,140 people are confirmed to have the deadly respiratory illness, with 545 dead, according to data compiled by this news organization, seven days after California reached 10,000 cases on April 2. The bulk of the cases remain clustered in Los Angeles, which counted 7,955 cases and 223 deaths. Santa Clara County remained the third hardest-hit county after San Diego, with 1,442 cases and 47 deaths. The 20,000-case milestone came hours after Gov. Gavin Newsom rolled out a new program to help doctors, nurses and first responders exposed to COVID-19 stay housed — and closer to work. Newsom also noted that the number of patients in intensive care unit beds had dropped 1.9 percent since Wednesday, a figure he cautioned was not necessarily a trend but nevertheless suggested that shelter-in-place orders are helping to stem the spread of disease.

Coronavirus Forces New Approaches To Fighting Wildfires
They are two disasters that require opposite responses: To save lives and reduce the spread of COVID-19, people are being told to remain isolated. But in a wildfire, thousands of firefighters must work in close quarters for weeks at a time. Wildfires have already broken out in Texas and Florida, and agencies are scrambling to finish plans for a new approach. They are considering waivers for some training requirements to previously-certified crew members, and moving some training online. Other proposals include limiting fire engines to a driver and one passenger, requiring other crew members to ride in additional vehicles. They may scrap the normal campsite catering tents in favor of military-issue MREs, or “Meals Ready to Eat” to reduce touching serving utensils. Federal resources for firefighting efforts may be more scarce, leaving states to deal with more fires. In light of the “unprecedented challenge” of the pandemic, Forest Service resources will be used “only when there is a reasonable expectation of success in protecting life and critical property and infrastructure,” says Forest Service Chief Victoria Christiansen.

Local Government News

LA Councilman Wants Insurance To Cover Small Businesses From Coronavirus
Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu said Thursday that he sent a letter to state legislators, asking them to expand insurance coverage for small businesses so they can claim losses related to the coronavirus pandemic. "Small businesses across California did the right thing in making sure they were insured for any unforeseen losses or extraordinary circumstances," Ryu said. "But it turns out, the insurance companies don't count pandemics as a circumstance requiring coverage. "Small businesses have done the right thing, now our insurance companies should do the right thing and provide coverage to the small businesses that are in such desperate need right now," he said. Ryu said insurance companies should classify the pandemic as an "act of God," which would be covered under their policies.

L.A. County Weighs Rent Assistance Program Due To Coronavirus Effects
Los Angeles County supervisors Janice Hahn and Hilda Solis on Thursday, April 9, proposed an emergency rent-assistance program for up to $1,000 a month for three months to renters affected by the coronavirus pandemic. “As we fight the spread of this virus and do everything we can to save lives, this crisis has devastated families who were already living on the brink of poverty,” Hahn said. “The eviction moratorium we have in place has provided some relief, but many families are going to struggle to pay back the rent they owe after this crisis is over.” Even with the Board of Supervisors’ action to halt evictions for people who can’t pay rent because they haven’t been able to work, renters will still need to pay back what they owe in the months after the pandemic ends. Rent assistance through the proposed program would not need to be paid back and could prevent families from falling into even worse economic hardship, the supervisors 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: