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 21, 2020
Law Enforcement News

2 More Charged In Shooting Death Of Philly Sergeant
Two men were charged with murder and related offenses Friday in the shooting death of Philadelphia Police SWAT Sgt. James O’Connor IV in Frankford last month. Khalif Sears, 18, and Bilal Mitchell, 19, were also behind a second-floor door of a rowhouse on the 1600 block of Bridge Street, police said, when Hassan Elliott, 21, fired a rifle through it, striking O’Connor in an arm and shoulder. In addition to the charge of killing O’Connor, Sears and Mitchell, already in custody in other offenses, were charged after a month-long investigation with seven counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and conspiracy. Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner and his homicide chief, Anthony Voci, announced the charges during an online news conference Friday afternoon.

Georgia Officer Killed In Crash
A Smyrna police officer died on duty Monday night when their patrol vehicle collided with a Chevy Tahoe on S. Cobb Drive near The Perimeter, the city’s police department confirmed early Tuesday. The crash occurred at the Oak Drive intersection just after 11 p.m., said Sgt Louise Defense, a public information officer for the Smyrna Police Department. “As a result of the collision, a Smyrna police officer was killed in the line of duty; the driver of the silver Chevy Tahoe was transported to Kennestone Hospital to be treated for injuries,” Defense said in a 8 a.m. press release Tuesday. He said the Georgia State Patrol is investigating the incident and more information will be provided at a 3 p.m. news conference at the Smyrna police station.

LAPD Jail To Temporarily Close For Deep Cleaning After Positive COVID-19 Test
A Los Angeles jail will close temporarily for a deep cleaning after an individual tested positive for coronavirus, authorities said. The location was identified as LAPD’s Metropolitan Detention Center. People who have been arrested will be transported to either Van Nuys Community Police Station or 77th Street Community Police Station to be booked until the facility reopens. LAPD recently announced the department had two additional cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to 63. It’s unclear who inside the MDC tested positive.

Homeless Man Stabbed To Death In Sun Valley Is Identified
A homeless man found dead from an apparent homicide in Sun Valley was publicly identified Monday. Miguel Hernandez was 39 years old, according to the coroner’s office. His death was reported just before 2 p.m. Saturday at Saticoy Street and Laurel Canyon Boulevard, according to Officer F. Gonzalez of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Operations Center. The man appeared to have been stabbed, Gonzalez said, adding no suspect information is immediately available. 

LAPD Sees Nearly 300% Increase In Disputes Between Renters And Landlords
The Los Angeles Police Department has seen a roughly 300% increase in reports of landlord-tenant disputes compared to two months ago, before stay-at-home orders took effect, according to figures released on Monday by a nonprofit news organization. Police responded to 100 calls of renter-landlord disputes on April 1, when rent was due for the first time since stay-at-home orders left waiters, bartenders, cashiers, and other without a paycheck, according to the report by Crosstown, which is based out of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and journalism. The average number of daily calls to the LAPD about renter-landlord disputes during the first 10 days of April was 56, compared to 22 in March and 19 in February, according to Crosstown. LAPD's Media Relations was unable to immediately confirm the numbers to City News Service.

Inmate Who Walked Out Of LA Community Reentry Program Is Captured In Norwalk
Authorities apprehended a convicted burglar Sunday, April 19, two days after he walked away from a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reentry program facility in Los Angeles. Deondre Whitfield, 30, went unaccounted for from a facility for the Male Community Reentry Program (MCRP) on Friday, April 17, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a news release. A search was immediately conducted and local law enforcement agencies were notified. Special agents located Whitfield at his girlfriend’s residence in Norwalk at about 6:40 p.m. Sunday, CDCR spokeswoman Terri Hardy said. He was taken into custody without incident, and will be reincarcerated at the California Institution for Men (CIM) in Chino.

LA County Crime Down As A Whole, But Domestic Violence Up
While crime as a whole is down in Los Angeles County since the stay-at-home order took effect amid the coronavirus pandemic, domestic violence calls were on the rise. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva reported Monday that violent crime and property crimes were significantly down compared to last year. Violent crime was down 9.73 percent between mid-March and mid-April, this compared to the same period last year, Villanueva disclosed. Of that number, homicides were down 21 percent and rape was down nearly 29 percent. Property crimes were also down 11.43 percent. However, the number of domestic violence calls which deputies were responding to were up 8.11 percent. Over the past month, there have been 933 calls regarding domestic violence, this up from 863 over the same time last year. “Everyone living in confined quarters, with very few options or reliefs, it’s a concern,” Villanueva said.

Public Safety News

Woman Dies After Being Rescued From Burning Home In Tujunga
A woman died after being rescued by firefighters from a burning home in Tujunga Tuesday morning. Crews responded to 10788 Las Lunitas Ave. at 1:39 a.m. and encountered flames inside a one-story home with packrat condition and fire that had spread to the attic, according to Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department. The woman was rescued from the home in grave condition, but “despite the efforts of LAFD paramedics… proved beyond medical help, and is dead at the scene,” Humphrey said. No other injuries were reported. A total of 39 firefighters were able to extinguish the flames in 37 minutes and a knock down was called at 2:16 a.m., Humphrey said. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

LA To Dispatch ‘Street Medical Teams’ To Test Homeless For Coronavirus
Los Angeles will begin dispatching “street medical teams” to provide coronavirus testing at homeless encampments, starting Monday. The medical teams will bring rapid-results field testing to Skid Row and other areas where homeless encampments are dense, according to Mayor Eric Garcetti. A pop-up testing clinic will also be established on Skid Row and staffed by the Los Angeles Fire Department, Garcetti said. “If we encounter someone who is living on the street or in their car, someone who’s in a shelter who’s sick, they (the teams) will be able to test them right away to see if their symptoms are related to COVID-19,” Garcetti said during his Friday evening livecast. “If needed, they’ll be able to call an (emergency medical services) transport to immediately bring unhoused folks to safety.”

LA County Reports More Than 1,400 Additional Coronavirus Cases Amid Huge Test Backlog
Los Angeles County officials on Monday announced more than 1,400 additional cases of novel coronavirus, a huge number resulting from one laboratory’s backlog of nearly 1,200 positive test results that were conducted between April 7 and 14. “This is a tremendous lag in data reporting,” Barbara Ferrer, director of the L.A. County Department of Public Health, said in announcing the additional cases, which pushed the county’s total above 13,800. Officials also announced an additional 17 deaths linked to the coronavirus after the county recorded more than 100 deaths over the weekend. On Saturday, Ferrer announced 81 new COVID-19 deaths, the highest number reported in a single day in L.A. County since the pandemic began. It was the fourth time in five days that the fatality count had reached a record high.

Up To 442,000 People In L.A. County May Have Already Had Coronavirus, Antibody Study Estimates
Hundreds of thousands of Los Angeles County residents may have been infected with the coronavirus at some point, even without showing any symptoms, according to preliminary test results from an antibody study released Monday. A team from the University of Southern California and the county’s public health department tested a random sample of 863 county residents earlier this month, finding that around 2.8% to 5.6% of them already had the antibodies in their blood, the county’s public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer announced. This translates to an estimated 221,000 to 442,000 adults in the county who may have been infected with COVID-19 at some point before April 9 — a much higher number than the 13,816 cases confirmed by the health department as of Monday. These results mean that the coronavirus has been much more widely spread throughout the county than previously thought.

Gov. Newsom: California ‘Not Seeing That Downward Trend,’ State Death Toll Hits 1,200
Gov. Gavin Newsom said more than 1,200 people in California who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus have died. During his Monday press briefing, Newsom said 42 more people died on Sunday, bringing the statewide death toll to 1,208 since California began tracking COVID-19 deaths. Following the state’s deadliest week since the pandemic began, Newsom said California’s curve is bending and “beginning to flatten, but it is still nonetheless rising.” According to data compiled by this news organization, more than 31,000 people in California have tested positive for COVID-19, including more than 6,400 in the Bay Area. As the death toll swelled last week, increases in the number of patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 who required care in hospitals began to slow. The governor said that trend continued on Sunday, as California hospitals experienced a 1.9 percent spike in coronavirus patients.

Local Government News

Garcetti Proposes A $10.5 Billion L.A. Budget, Scaling Back Spending By $230 Million
Declaring a “state of fiscal emergency,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti released a heavily scaled back $10.5 billion spending proposal Monday, April 20 — a whopping $230 million less than had been anticipated — as the novel coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shutdown continued to gut the city’s revenue sources. Garcetti wrote in his budget proposal that “in light of the economic stresses we face for the foreseeable future, we need to tighten spending today to prevent more drastic measures tomorrow.” Acting while the city’s fiscal state was incurring mammoth damage amid the health crisis, Garcetti last month ordered a hiring freeze. City officials are already expected to rely heavily on its rainy-day funds to get out of a $200 million hole in this year’s budget, which closes at the end of June.

LA Councilman Announces Programs To Provide Groceries, Small Business Help
Los Angeles City Councilman John Lee announced Monday that he is working with a local nonprofit called The Change Reaction to create two programs -- one that provides groceries to people in need and another that provides interest-free loans to small businesses within his 12th Council District that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. "This pandemic is the worst in modern history and its impacts across the world, both socially and economically, are devastating," Lee said. "We lean on the guidance and expertise of our public health officials because this is a public health crisis and saving lives is the first priority, but there's no denying that residents are struggling as a result of the measures we've taken." A Helping Hand is a grocery assistance program for individuals in the northeast San Fernando Valley council district who may be facing food insecurity, job loss or reduced work hours and people who may not be receiving other forms of government assistance.

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: