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 24, 2020
Law Enforcement News

MLB Player-Turned-LEO Dies Of Line-Of-Duty Shooting Complications
Dan Walters, who appeared in 84 games for the Padres in 1992 and '93, died Thursday from ongoing complications related to an injury he suffered in the line of duty while he was a San Diego police officer. Walters, who played at Santana High, was 53. His death is considered a line-of-duty fatality. A San Diego Police Department dispatcher came over the police radio to announce Walters' death, or "end of watch." "Dan grew up locally, played professional baseball here in San Diego and proudly served his city as a police officer," SDPD said in a statement. "He will forever be remembered by the members of this Department."

Police: Arkansas Man Arrested After Livestreaming Search For Officer To Ambush And Execute
Texarkana, Texas, police arrested an Arkansas-side man last week for allegedly threatening on social media to kill a police officer. Officers arrested Aaron Swenson, 36, following a lengthy pursuit after Swenson posted on Facebook Live his intentions to search for an officer to ambush and execute, according to a Texas-side police news release. Police charged Swenson with terrorist threats against an officer, evading detention with a vehicle and unlawfully carrying a weapon. Numerous people started placing 911 calls about after watching the Facebook Live video online, the news release stated. Within the live feed, a man said he was driving in the Texarkana area searching for a lone police officer to "ambush and execute."

Authorities ID Man Found Dead In Trash Can Near Crenshaw District
Authorities Thursday identified a man whose body was found in a trash can behind a business in the unincorporated Windsor Hills area of the county near the Crenshaw district. The body was found about 12:05 p.m. Wednesday in the 3600 block of Slauson Avenue by officers with the Los Angeles Police Department, according to Deputy James Nagao of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau. The man was identified by the coroner’s office as Michael Holt, 66, whose city of residence was not known. An autopsy was pending to determine his cause of death. The location was determined to be an unincorporated area of the county, and deputies with the sheriff’s Marina Del Rey Station took over the investigation, Nagao said. Anyone with information about the case was urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.

LA Charges 29 Businesses For Refusing To Close Amid Stay-At-Home Order
The city of Los Angeles is bringing charges against more businesses refusing to shutter and flouting the mayor’s month-old stay-at-home order, officials said Thursday. The city attorney’s office brought criminal charges against at least 29 businesses — 11 in the San Fernando Valley — since the start of the order on March 16. That’s a big jump in prosecutions since earlier this month. By April 7, City Attorney Mike Feuer’s office had brought charges against just four businesses, including a an electronics store and a smoke shop in downtown L.A., and a shoe store and another smoke shop in South L.A. Since then, however, Los Angeles police have received thousands of complaints of non-essential businesses remaining open. In Tuesday’s Police Commission meeting, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said the department had received more than 1,400 complaints so far.

Will Police Cite Those Protesting The Stay-At-Home Order?
As demonstrations pop up protesting California’s stay-at-home order, so does a question about those assembling: Why aren’t they cited for gathering? Protests have occurred in Southern California in the past week, in addition to those around the country, calling for an end to the quarantine and a return to business. Health experts in California, though, warn against lifting the order too early and credit social-distancing for avoiding more deaths. Some law enforcement agencies in cities where there have been demonstrations say officers are respecting people’s right to protest while ensuring they abide by health laws. “We are approaching demonstrations and protests during this time with an education component first, and use enforcement only when necessary,” said Officer Angela Bennett, a spokeswoman for the Huntington Beach Police Department.

Virginia Police Arrest 30 Accused Child Predators In Online Sting
Not even a pandemic and a widespread lockdown could stop these suspected sex predators from trying to exploit children. In an undercover sting dubbed “Operation COVID Crackdown,” police in Virginia busted 30 perverts who were taking advantage of children’s increased online presence in recent weeks to try to set up sexual encounters with them, authorities announced Tuesday. The men, ages 20 to 74, used different online platforms to engage in sexually explicit conversations and solicit sex from people they thought were minors, according to the Fairfax County Police Department, which set up the operation earlier this month. In fact, the suspects were talking with police detectives who were pretending to be boys and girls, the same undercover strategy used in the TV series “To Catch a Predator.” Each of those 30 men was taken into custody as soon as they showed up at a location where they planned to sexually abuse a minor, police said.

As Fraudsters Exploit Pandemic Fears, Justice Department Looks To Crack Down
The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the good side of many Americans, but certainly not all Americans. Officials say that fraud related to COVID-19 — like hoarding equipment, price gouging and hawking fake treatments — are spreading as the country wrestles with the outbreak. "It's a perfect ecosystem for somebody like a fraudster to operate in," said Craig Carpenito, the U.S. attorney for New Jersey and the head of the Justice Department's COVID-19 price gouging and hoarding task force. "People want to believe that there's a magic pill that they can take or that if they buy a certain kind of mask or a certain kind of protective gear that it's going to protect them and their families," he said. "That creates opportunities for the types of people that prey upon scared people. They prey upon their fear."

Public Safety News

Fire Burns At Least Nine Vehicles, Then Spreads To Nearby Homes
At least nine vehicles were damaged Thursday morning when fire tore through garages and spread to a nearby. apartment building in Los Angeles’ Arlington Heights area. The fire was reported at about 5 a.m. in the 1300 block of Second Avenue in the community west of downtown Los Angeles. The initial report indicated one vehicle was on fire. Firefighters arrived to find at least nine vehicles on fire with flames spreading to the two other buildings. The fire was knocked down at about 5:30 a.m. No injuries were reported. Details about a cause of the fire were not immediately available. 

City, County Officials Warn Against Flocking To Beaches During Weekend Heat
With potentially record-setting heat on tap for the weekend, local officials put out a plea Wednesday for residents to avoid flocking to closed beaches and trailheads to take advantage of the taste of summer in defiance of COVID-19 social-distancing mandates. “It’s getting warmer in Los Angeles, and when it gets warmer in Los Angeles — we are a coastal city, we tend to head to the beach, we tend to head to the trials,” Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said. “We like to be outdoors. And yet, as we know, in the nonessential activies, we’ve needed to close trailheads. We’ve needed to close the beaches. “There’s areas of Los Angeles we’re asking people not to congregate,” he said.

Coronavirus Surpasses Cancer, Heart Disease To Become L.A. County’s No. 1 Killer
The new coronavirus became the leading cause of death in Los Angeles County on Thursday as the number of fatalities continued to climb across California, leading officials to say conditions are still too volatile to begin lifting the stay-at-home orders that have help slow the spread of the virus. More than 1,800 people have died across the state, with Wednesday marking the highest daily fatality total. “It’s a reminder we’re not out of the woods yet,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday. Deaths in Los Angeles County — which has become the state’s epicenter of the outbreak — are approaching 800, enough for the novel coronavirus to surpass fatalities from cancer, flu, emphysema and heart disease. Barbara Ferrer, the county’s public health director, confirmed 68 new coronavirus-linked deaths Thursday. The county also reported 1,081 new COVID-19 cases — pushing the overall number to 17,508.

The Silent, Deadly Spread Of Coronavirus In California Began Far Earlier Than First Reported
New information emerging in the last week in California paints a very different picture of the spread of the novel coronavirus than the one suggested by the first, official version. Postmortem testing indicates that two Santa Clara County residents who died in their homes in early to mid-February were infected with the novel coronavirus that now has killed more than 1,400 Californians, the county medical examiner announced Tuesday. The new information, combined with antibody testing results, suggests that the coronavirus was circulating in California for at least a month before it first came to light — the earliest cluster of infection so far reported in the United States. The new testing results mean that a 57-year-old San Jose woman who died Feb. 6 was the first person in the United States known to die of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The second would have been a 69-year-old man who died Feb. 17, according to the new information from the medical examiner.

Local Government News

LA Councilman Proposes Clean-Air Incentives For Businesses Post-Coronavirus
In the spirit of Earth Day, Councilman Mitch O'Farrell introduced two motions on Wednesday aimed at improving the air quality of Los Angeles. "The stay-at-home orders across the city and state due to the COVID-19 pandemic have shown that exponentially cleaner air is possible in Los Angeles, known for having the worst air quality of any U.S. city,'' O'Farrell said. "I think we can change that.'' The first motion requests a report on incentives the city can offer businesses that continue to allow their employees to telecommute after the emergency orders are lifted, along with measures to mitigate pollution in historically underserved communities, according to O'Farrell's office. The second motion directs Los Angeles Sanitation and Environment Department to report on the education and disposal process of personal protective equipment, such as surgical gloves and face coverings, which have been found on the streets.

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: