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 15, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Family Remembers California Deputy Who Died Of Complications From COVID-19
The masked woman stood in her driveway, safely distanced from other onlookers but with her dog Ruby, 11, a German shorthaired pointer, by her side. Ruby actually was Dave Werksman’s dog. She adored him. And he adored her. The woman, Kristin Werksman, wore black as she watched the procession briefly stop outside her house in Corona around 2:30 p.m. on Friday, April 3. The body of Dave Werksman, a Riverside County Sheriff’s deputy who died the day before from complications caused by COVID-19, was in a white van that was transporting him from the Riverside County Coroner’s Office in Perris to a mortuary near his home. The long procession of motor deputies and other members of law enforcement stopped for several minutes in front of the Werksman residence to allow Kristin to see her husband’s final ride.

Boston Police Officer Dies From COVID-19 Complications
The Boston Police Department announced Tuesday that an active duty department member has died from COVID-19 complications. In a press release, department officials said they are still notifying extended family members and will release more information “as soon as possible.” “We can confirm this is a sworn member of the Boston Police Department,” the department added.

2 Additional LAPD And LAFD Employees Test Positive For COVID-19
Two additional Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles Fire Department employees have tested positive for COVID-19, the city’s Emergency Operations Center reported Tuesday. The new cases bring the total number of LAPD employees who have tested positive to 57. So far, 17 employees have recovered and returned to full duty, and one remains hospitalized. All other individuals are self-isolating at home and recovering, according to Emergency Operations Center’s Jessica Kellogg. The Los Angeles Fire Department has confirmed 19 employees have tested positive for the virus. Nine of them have since recovered and returned to work, and two are hospitalized and receiving treatment.

Authorities ID Man Fatally Shot In Florence Area
Authorities Tuesday identified a man who was fatally shot while standing outside a liquor store in the Florence area of Los Angeles, while detectives continued their efforts to solve the crime. Eugene Morris, 55, of Inglewood was shot about 10:50 p.m. Sunday in the 7200 block of South Broadway, according to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office and the Los Angeles Police Department. Morris managed to drive himself to the nearby LAPD 77th Street Station for help, and paramedics took him to a hospital, where he died, police said. He was unable to provide authorities with any suspect information, police said. Anyone with information on the case was urged to call 877-LAPD-247.

Gunfire Prompts Officer Needs Help Call In Hollywood Hills, Suspect In Custody
A suspect was in custody Wednesday morning after officers reported hearing shots fired in a Hollywood Hills neighborhood. Officers responded to the 3000 block of Ellington Drive, south of Cahuenga Boulevard, about 12:45 a.m., where they heard gunshots and put out an officer needs help call, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. No officers were involved in or injured by the gunfire, police said. A news photographer at the scene said a homeowner fired shots to scare off a suspected prowler and a suspect was in custody. An investigation was ongoing Wednesday morning, police said.

Coronavirus: Charges Filed Against 10 Additional Businesses For Allegedly Violating Safer At Home Order
Misdemeanor charges were filed Tuesday against an additional 10 Los Angeles businesses deemed non-essential for allegedly operating during the Safer at Home order. The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office filed charges against: Avetik Grigoryan and Makaros Makarosya of My Smoke Shop, 22876 Ventura Blvd.; Arthur Papazyan of Studio City Smoke Shop, 11046 Ventura Blvd.; Tami Aboud, of Lincoln Tobacco, 608 Lincoln Blvd.; Grachiya Baltayan of Mike’s Smoke Shop, 12038 Burbank Blvd.; Tarik Dugam and Jake Kail of Drip ‘N Vape, 23706 Victory Blvd.; Nourollah Farzad and Michael Eric Solano of Bellagio Express Car Wash, 6344 Sepulveda Blvd.; Hungsia Yang of Spa Castle Massage, 19644 Sherman Way; Luis Pena of Henney’s Printing, 4166 Verdugo Road; Carlos Valdez of Vantage Green Professional Auto Detailing, 2700 N. Eastern Ave.; and Joyce Choi of Discount Beauty Supply, 8600 S. Hoover St.

Lakewood Woman Charged With Murder In Alleged DUI Hit-and-Run Crash In Long Beach
A Lakewood woman who prosecutors say was driving drunk when she allegedly caused a crash that killed a man in Long Beach has been charged with murder, authorities said Monday. Charlette Anne Colton faces counts of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter and three other criminal charges in the death of 61-year-old pedestrian Bryan Bogan, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. He died 11 days after the March 24 hit-and-run crash. Colton, 50, could face up to life in state prison if convicted of all charges. Prosecutors said she was convicted of DUI in 2012. The crash also wounded another pedestrian, who police described as a 71-year-old Torrance man left in critical condition. Prosecutors said the impact left his leg crushed.

Feds In LA Announce $300 Million In Stolen Funds Returned To Malaysia
The U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday it has returned to Malaysia $300 million in funds stolen from the Southeast Asian country's investment development fund in a case also involving high-end real estate and a luxury boutique hotel in Beverly Hills. Combined with other funds that the DOJ previously returned to Malaysia in May, the United States has returned or assisted the country in recovering more than $600 million misappropriated from the 1MDB investment fund, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, which said recovery efforts are continuing. In 2019, a federal judge in Los Angeles entered judgments forfeiting more than $700 million in assets acquired by Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho — commonly known as Jho Low — and his family in the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

First Responders Across The Southland Show Gratitude To Healthcare Workers Amid Coronavirus
Healthcare workers from Glendale to Mission Viejo were honored Tuesday by first responders who drove firetrucks, highway patrol cars and police vehicles in processions of tribute for their efforts amid the COVID-19 pandemic. At UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, healthcare workers gathered outside to acknowledge a parade of about 25 emergency vehicles honoring them with sirens and flashing lights. The procession paused outside the windows of an emergency room, where workers inside banged on the windows in a show of mutual appreciation. At Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, Orange County sheriff’s deputies honored nurses from the cardiac rehab unit. And a group of Glendale police officers and firefighters gathered to honor the workers at Adventist Health Glendale.

Man Who Jumped From Ledge Saved By CHP Officer Who Grabbed His Arm
A possibly suicidal man who lunged off a ledge in Commerce was rescued by an officer who grabbed his arm and pulled him to safety, the California Highway Patrol reported Tuesday. The CHP officer responded on about 10:30 a.m. Saturday to a call of a possibly suicidal man sitting on a wall near the right shoulder of the southbound Santa Ana (5) Freeway over-crossing at Garfield Avenue, according to Officer Gina Jojola of the East Los Angeles CHP Office. The officer stopped nearby traffic and approached the man, who was in his mid-20s. The man lunged off the ledge and hung on to the wall with his hands, Jojola said. The officer grabbed his arm, and the man let go of the ledge. As the man dangled over Garfield Avenue, the officer struggled to hold on and told the man to not give up. A motorist saw what was happening and rushed over to help the officer rescue the man, according to Jojola. The man was pulled to safety and taken to a hospital for evaluation. His name was not released.

The Very Essential Work Of Street-Level Violence Prevention
Street outreach workers, peacekeepers, life coaches, credible messengers — they have different names in cities across the country, but they are all on the frontlines of preventing gun violence during the coronavirus pandemic. And their work is more essential than ever. Despite a significant drop in most types of crime across the nation in the past month, violent crime, specifically shootings, have remained steady or actually increased in many cities. In Bakersfield, California, a city that has been preparing to launch a street outreach program, six people were shot this past Saturday at a large party. In Chicago, 22 people were shot over Easter weekend, with the city now on pace to exceed its 2019 shooting and homicide rates. Portland, Oregon’s Police Department recorded 24 shootings between March 25 and April 9 — compared to just two during the same period last year. In Philadelphia, there has been a 20 percent increase in shootings in the past month while all other types of crime are down. 

Public Safety News

LA To Offer Same-Day, Next-Day COVID-19 Testing For People With Symptoms
Same-day or next-day testing is now available for Los Angeles city and county residents who report having symptoms the coronavirus, it was announced Tuesday. Mayor Eric Garcetti said because the city and county now have enough test kits, individuals will not be prioritized based on risks associated with the virus. People who had underlying health conditions or those who are 65 and older were selected to be tested first before Tuesday. "We now enough capacity that we don't have to have any prioritization," Garcetti said during his daily coronavirus briefing. "It's great news for anybody who's feeling under the weather and has the symptoms of COVID-19." People can sign up for tests at, and that portal is open to Los Angeles city and county residents.

L.A. County Sees Largest Single-Day Increase In COVID-19 Deaths As Total Number Of Cases Tops 10,000
With 40 new deaths reported Tuesday, Los Angeles County saw its largest single-day jump in coronavirus fatalities, and for the first time saw the overall case count top 10,000. “This is tragically, the highest number of deaths that I’ve had to report for any single day,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the county’s public health director, said. “I know that this represents lives that have been lived, with close families and friends who are now mourning this terrible loss.” Over the last 48 hours, 909 new cases of COVID-19 were reported, Ferrer said. The jump in deaths — to 360 total — comes just one day after the county reported the lowest daily count of new cases in more than two weeks. But Ferrer had noted that because testing is limited over the weekend, the number of cases was likely going to keep increasing. It was at 10,047 Tuesday. The mortality rate in the county also continued to rise and is now at 3.6%, Ferrer said.

Ramped-Up Coronavirus Testing Key To Reopening California
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to eventually ease stay-at-home restrictions across California depends on widespread coronavirus testing that is still ramping up across the state and has been hampered by supply shortages, long waits for results and even a lack of data. Without giving a timetable for when the state might begin a crawl back toward normal, Newsom unveiled the outlines of a plan Tuesday contingent on testing everyone with symptoms of the virus and being able to contact family members and friends they may have exposed. That may be a tall order in a state that has lagged in getting a robust testing system in place, never mind having public health officials track down all those they may have infected and ordering those people to keep away from others for up to two weeks. “I think counties are probably overwhelmed,” said Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, an epidemiologist and infectious disease specialist at Stanford Medicine. “That’s why we need to get to a point where this epidemic is under control. It’s very hard to do contact tracing with this number of infected people.”

Local Government News

L.A. County Rent Assistance Program Could Provide Tenants Up To $1,000 Per Month
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved the creation of an emergency rent assistance program for residents who are struggling amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Once created, the program could provide up to $1,000 per month for three months to renters who lost income during the pandemic, according to a news release from Supervisor Janice Hahn’s office. Though it is too early to tell when affected residents can start to apply for the program, it will likely be available to renters countywide, Hahn’s spokeswoman Liz Odendahl told KTLA. The county has already implemented a rent freeze and eviction moratorium, but under those provisions, renters would still be responsible for rent owed months after the crisis. The new program would be different. “Rent assistance would not need to be paid back and could prevent families from falling into even worse economic hardship,” the release stated.

LA Streets Should Be More Open To Foot And Bicycle Traffic Due To Coronavirus, Says Councilman
Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin is calling for the city’s streets to be more open for residents to walk and bike during the coronavirus pandemic. Bonin said Monday his office has received an increasing number of requests from residents, especially seniors and families with children, to make the streets temporarily accessible for them. “During the past month, we have all experienced the ways in which our neighborhood infrastructure does not support new patterns of local essential travel and does not provide sufficient space for local recreation,” Bonin said. Bonin sent a letter asking the Los Angeles Department of Transportation to consider recommendations and proposals to make the streets accessible to foot and bicycle traffic. “Our sidewalks are too narrow, our streets continue to be unsafe for biking and some motorists are taking advantage of congestion-free streets to speed recklessly even as more people are moving around on foot and bike,” the councilman 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: