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

May 7, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Texas Deputy Dies After Weeks-Long Battle With COVID-19
Harris County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Raymond Scholwinski died Wednesday after a weeks-long battle with COVID-19, becoming one of the first known coronavirus-related fatalities among Houston-area law enforcement agencies. Scholwinski, 70, was among thousands of first responders nationwide in mid-March to be sickened by the virus. His symptoms had worsened when he was hospitalized March 29. He was put on a ventilator and fought for his life in the Memorial Hermann ICU, according to earlier reports in the Houston Chronicle. A full-time deputy for 26 years, his most recent assignment was the day watch Contract Sergeant in District 2, where he helped run public safety town halls with residents. "Sgt. Scholwinski represented the best of the Harris County Sheriff's Office family," said Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. 

Texas Officer Suffers Fatal Heart Attack While Responding To Shooting
An Alamo Community College officer is dead after suffering a heart attack while responding to a shooting near Crockett Park late Tuesday night. The officer was driving near Dewey Place and McCullough Avenue on his way to the shooting just after 10 p.m., when he suffered the heart attack. His patrol vehicle sideswiped a parked vehicle before coming to a stop. The officer was rushed to the hospital, but was pronounced dead less than an hour later. The officer was trying to respond to a shooting near the 1400 block of Main Avenue at the time of his heart attack.

5 Additional LAPD Employees Test Positive For COVID-19 Bringing Total To 100, 44 Have Since Recovered
An additional five Los Angeles Police Department employees have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the department’s total to 100. As of Wednesday, 44 LAPD employees have recovered and returned to work, and one remains hospitalized, according to Emergency Operations Center’s Jessica Kellogg. All other individuals are self-isolating at home and recovering. The number of Los Angeles Fire Department employees who have tested positive for the virus remained at 26 Wednesday, Kellogg reported. Out of the LAFD employees, 19 have recovered and returned to work, and none are hospitalized. The remaining eight employees are isolated and recovering at home.

Four Shootings, Two Homicides In South Los Angeles
In a single afternoon Wednesday, four shootings in South Los Angeles left two people dead and two more wounded, law enforcement authorities said. About 12:40 p.m., two men fired multiple rounds into a car near South Hoover and West 58th streets and sped off, LAPD Officer Mike Lopez said. The victim, who wasn’t identified, died at a hospital. The killing is believed to be gang-related, Lopez said. No suspects are in custody. Two hours later and five miles to the south, a man was shot to death in the 1700 block of 111th Street, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release. The victim wasn’t identified and no suspects are in custody. About 3:45 p.m., deputies were called to help a gunshot victim near South Vermont Avenue and West 109th Street, Deputy Marvin Crowder Jr. said. Crowder had no information on the victim’s condition. Forty-five minutes later and seven miles to the north, a woman was shot in the 4300 block of La Salle Avenue, Lopez said. Three suspects walked up to the woman, fired several rounds and fled in a car, he said. She was taken to a hospital and is in stable condition.

DEA, LAPD Investigators Serve Search Warrants At North Hollywood Business In Federal Drug Probe
Investigators from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Los Angeles Police Department served search warrants Wednesday at a North Hollywood business in a federal drug trafficking investigation, authorities said. Officer Mike Lopez of the LAPD said investigators served the warrants about 1 p.m. at a business near the intersection of Cahuenga Boulevard and Riverside Drive. The DEA is leading the investigation, according to Nicole Nishida, a spokeswoman for the agency. Nishida said investigators were still at the scene Wednesday afternoon and it was unclear if any arrests had been made.

Driver Of Stolen Camaro Hides In Westlake Parking Garage Where Police Tracked Him
Authorities were tracking the driver of a stolen vehicle in the central Los Angeles area Wednesday afternoon, according to the L.A. Police Department. Sky5 initially arrived above the incident around 3:10 p.m., as the black, newer model Chevy Camaro wound its way around downtown L.A. streets. It then took the freeway to transition onto surface streets in Westlake. The vehicle was confirmed stolen, according to LAPD Officer Mike Lopez. Unconfirmed reports indicated police had been chasing the vehicle before deciding to end the pursuit. California Highway Patrol officials then began monitoring its motions. The driver pulled into a parking garage near the corner of Carondelet and Sixth streets in Westlake around 3:20 p.m. Police officers could be seen stationed outside the building, but it was unclear if the man remained inside.

Woman With Alzheimer’s Goes Missing Downtown
Authorities Wednesday sought public help to find an 82-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s disease and high blood pressure who went missing in downtown Los Angeles. Carmen Guiterez was last seen Tuesday about 11:30 p.m. in the vicinity of West 11th Street and South Hope Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. She was wearing an orange T-shirt, brown pants and brown sandals. Guiterez, who requires daily medication, is described as Hispanic, 5 feet, 2 inches tall and 150 pounds, with short gray hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information about Guiterez’s whereabouts was encouraged to call the LAPD’s Central Division at 213-486-6606. Those wishing to report anonymously can call 800-222-TIPS.

Help Needed To Identify Possible Burglary Victims In Recovered Family Photos
Detectives asked for the public’s help in identifying the people in family photos that have been recovered during a burglary investigation. As detectives from the LAPD’s Devonshire division investigated a burglary in Northridge, 103 family photographs were discovered and are believed to be of additional victims of a burglary. The family in the pictures are also believed to live in the area. The LAPD released two of the photographs, which are dated from the 1990s. One of the released photos is of a man and three women smiling in front of a Christmas tree. The second shows two women and a man posing behind them at what appears to be a party with ballroom chairs in the background. Anyone with information about the photos or the family pictured can call Detective Ian Lewis at (818) 832-0971.

Public Safety News

First Responders, Officials Pay Tribute To Southern California Nurses Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
National Nurses Day was on Wednesday, which marked the beginning of National Nurses Week -- and in Southern California, nurses were being honored for their everyday role, and the critical part they play in the battle against COVID-19. First responders from the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Fire Department and other agencies drove a motorcade outside of Cedars-Sinai Wednesday morning. Local first responders teamed up and planned to pay tribute to nurses with two separate motorcades outside of Cedars-Sinai, ensuring both the daytime and night time nurses are recognized. There will be special events across the Southland to honor nurses, including first responder motorcades in Huntington Park and West Hollywood. There will also be a drive-by parade by the LAPD in Boyle Heights.

L.A. Mayor Garcetti Says City Will Join County Friday In Reopening Florists, Bookstores And Other Retail Shops
The City of Los Angeles will follow in the footsteps of the county to allow retail shops such as clothing stores, music stores and florists to open for curbside pickup, starting on Friday, Mayor Eric Garcetti said. Garcetti also announced that while that the ever-popular Runyon Canyon will stay closed, some other city trails, parks and golf courses will open starting Saturday, he said during his daily briefing on Wednesday, May 6. Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this week loosened restrictions statewide for some lower-risk retail shops. Los Angeles County public health officials followed suit with plans to institute similar guidance for retail shops to open with curbside service. They said they were set to release specific protocols on Thursday. Garcetti, who hopes to revise his stay-at-home order on Thursday, urged a cautious approach to this week’s reopening milestone, saying that businesses will need to decide if they can open safely, “so while you can open as early as Friday, you don’t have to.”

Reopening L.A. Will Be Slow As Coronavirus Cases And Deaths Keep Mounting
Some California businesses are expected to be able to reopen beginning Friday in the first major lifting of the state’s stay-at-home ban, which has been in effect for nearly two months. But the extent of this shift is going to depend on regional conditions, and it still remains unclear how quickly Los Angeles County will see significant changes. Officials in both Los Angeles and the Bay Area — where the coronavirus has hit the state the hardest — have urged caution in reopening. They say lifting stay-at-home orders too early could cause more outbreaks and hurt the economy further in the long run. On Tuesday, Garcetti said he supported working on reopening “low-risk spaces,” such as trails, in the next few days and weeks.

Local Government News

L.A. City Council Votes To Freeze Rent Hikes For A Year At Rent-Controlled Units
Angelenos living in rent-controlled apartments would get a respite from rent hikes for a year after the end of the COVID-19 crisis, under an ordinance approved Wednesday, May 6 by the Los Angeles City Council. This move would extend the 60-day freeze on hikes imposed in a March 30 order issued by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on March 30. The ordinance would need the mayor’s signature, before it can go into effect. The measure would only apply to apartments that fall under the city’s rent-stabilization ordinance, which regulates how much rent could be increased each year on apartment buildings built before 1978. There are approximately 624,000 rent-stabilized units in Los Angeles. Los Angeles city leaders have adopted other measures aimed at aiding renters affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic, including a evictions moratorium that gives tenants a defense against being booted out of their homes, if they face financial hardship brought on by the virus.

LA City Council Votes To Identify Hotels Refusing To House Homeless, Suggests “Commandeering” Them
The Los Angeles city council voted on Wednesday to identify any hotels refusing to house the homeless as part of Project Roomkey, to investigate if any of those hotels have gotten tax breaks from the city in the past, and suggested these hotels may need to be “commandeered”. The city’s goal has been to house 15,000 homeless through the project, but only 1,582 have been housed as of Wednesday, and the city has gotten frustrated with hotels that aren’t participating. “If hotels are making a distinction among people classifying housed and unhoused differently in terms of accommodations that they’re going to be repaid for, that the city and county will pay for with reimbursements, then I think there’s a potential civil rights violation,” Councilman Mike Bonin said. “If the problems are on the hotel end, the public should know why, and then we should consider commandeering as they’ve talked about in other cities.”

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: