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 8, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Fallen LEOs To Be Honored During Virtual Vigil
The annual National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund Candlelight Vigil will take place virtually this year due to the COVID-19 public health crisis. For over 30 years, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has held a Candlelight Vigil to honor those who have died in the line of duty. This year, the names of fallen U.S. law enforcement officers will be formally dedicated on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial during a virtual Candlelight Vigil on Wednesday, May 13 at 8 p.m. ET. During the virtual Candlelight Vigil, the names of each of the 307 men and women that will be added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial this year will be read aloud in memory of their sacrifice. “The current health crisis we are facing will not deter us from honoring the fallen,” said National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund CEO Marcia Ferranto. “By holding the annual Candlelight Vigil virtually, we have created an opportunity for the entire nation to light candles and stand in solidarity and support of the surviving families and law enforcement agencies."

Coronavirus Undercuts LAPD Recruitment Just As A Decline In Black Officers Looms
Leaders of the Los Angeles Police Department are growing increasingly concerned about a looming decline in black officers on the force, particularly as pandemic-related restrictions on recruitment undercut their efforts to turn the tide. “That makes it really tough, with us being hampered by COVID-19 and unable to go out and do business as we normally do business,” said Capt. Aaron McCraney, commanding officer of the LAPD’s recruitment and employment division. Black officers currently represent about 9% of the police force, matching the percentage of black city residents. But many of those officers joined the force during a hiring push in the 1980s and ’90s and are expected to retire soon, McCraney said. Some already have. Without a robust effort to bring on more black officers now, officials estimate the force will be only about 5% black within five years, McCraney said. In a department that’s long struggled to earn trust in black communities, it’s an outcome no one wants.

Man Killed By Big-Rig In Downtown LA Hit-And-Run
Police are searching for the driver of a big-rig who struck and killed a 50-year-old man in the downtown Los Angeles area Thursday morning and then fled the scene. Just before 2 a.m., the victim was walking in the 1600 block of East 7th Street when witnesses say he was struck and killed by a big-rig, Los Angeles police report. The truck did not stop. The man died at the scene. He was not identified. There was no immediate description of the truck or its driver. Its unclear if police have obtained any surveillance footage of the incident. A $25,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the driver’s arrest. Anyone with information should call LAPD detectives at 213-486-3713.

Porch Pirate Caught On Camera Stealing Package In West Hollywood
While people try to follow stay-at-home orders and buy items online, porch pirates are taking advantage. Video from West Hollywood not far from La Cienega and Sunset boulevards Wednesday afternoon shows a man exit a vehicle and walk up to a home's front door to steal a package before quickly taking off. The woman who provided the video said that the suspect arrived immediately after the package was delivered, so she believes he was following a FedEx truck. The suspect was apparently in a Mercedes-Benz. This latest incident comes after the Los Angeles Police Department said that during the coronavirus pandemic, many delivery drivers have been told not to touch door knobs, gate latches or other surfaces frequently touched by other people.

Street Takeovers Create Hazard On L.A. Roads
While many Angelenos are staying at home and off the roads during the pandemic, some are taking advantage of the reduced traffic to conduct illegal street takeovers. Police in Los Angeles responded to at least five such takeovers on Tuesday alone.

82-Year-Old Man Found After Going Missing In North Hollywood
An 82-year-old man who went missing Thursday morning in North Hollywood, prompting the issuance of a Silver Alert, was found Thursday afternoon. Vladimir Stupnitskiy, who suffers from a medical condition, was reported missing after being last seen about 9:20 a.m. in the 12100 block of Chandler Boulevard, near Laurel Canyon Boulevard, according to the California Highway Patrol, which issued the alert on behalf of the Los Angeles Police Department. Stupnitskiy was found hours later, and the Silver Alert was deactivated, the CHP reported. Further information was not released. The Silver Alert program was established to issue and coordinate alerts involving the unexplained or suspicious disappearance of elderly, developmentally disabled and cognitively impaired individuals, according to the CHP.

Police Seek Public Help To Solve Inglewood Shooting Death
Inglewood police Thursday sought public help to solve the shooting death of a man. The man was found lying on the ground about 6:45 p.m. Wednesday in the 700 block of North La Brea Avenue and died the scene, according to the Inglewood Police Department. Authorities withheld his name, pending family notification. No information was available on a suspect or suspects. Anyone with information on the case was urged to call detectives at 310-412-5246, or the 24-hour anonymous hotline number, 888-412-7463.

Houston Sees 50% Rise In Homicides; Police Point To Interrupted Drug Trade
A man was charged Thursday in the fatal shooting of three men in Houston, as police reported a nearly 50% uptick in homicides in the city this year. Investigators believe a reduced illegal drug supply due to the coronavirus pandemic is the cause of the recent spike in killings, said Houston police spokeswoman Jodi Silva. The shootings happened within an hour Wednesday night but in three different locations in the city. Police said the first was believed to have been drug-related, while motives for the other two were under investigation. The suspect, 35-year-old Joshua Kelsey, was taken into custody about 4 a.m. Thursday following a short pursuit in a car he was accused of stealing from the scene of the first slaying, police said. Kelsey was questioned by detectives then charged with murder and capital murder. Court records did not list an attorney for Kelsey.

Kansas Police See Sharp Rise In Drive-By Shootings; Chief Points To Lack Of Youth Activities
The number of drive-by shootings in Wichita has increased 82%, and Police Chief Gordon Ramsay points to a lack of activities for youth and young adults as part of the reason. Ramsay spoke in a Facebook video Tuesday evening, addressing crime rates and other effects the coronavirus pandemic has had on the Wichita Police Department. “Now one of the concerns that we’re seeing is the number of drive-by shootings,” Ramsay said. “They’re up about 82% over the 5-year average.” The video then displayed year-to-date crime statistics. There were 36 drive-by shootings between Jan. 1 and May 3, compared with the five-year average of 19.8. Compared with the 18 drive-by shootings at this time last year, there has been a 100% increase. There have been 13 drive-by shootings in the past 28 days. That same time span averaged 4.8 shootings over the past five years.

Public Safety News

LAFD Hits 2 Small Brush Fires Near Griffith Park Homeless Camp
Firefighters were sent Thursday to extinguish at least two small brush fires near a homeless encampment in the Griffith Park area. The fires were reported about 10 a.m. near the Los Feliz Boulevard offamp from the southbound 5 Freeway, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department and the California Highway Patrol. The firefighting effort was handled by the first arriving units, the LAFD reported. Los Angeles police officers were sent to investigate. No injuries were immediately reported.

As California Begins To Reopen Economy, Fears Of A Second Coronavirus Surge Rise
Reopening California’s devastated economy is increasingly looking to be a slow, deliberative process in many parts of the state as Gov. Gavin Newsom issued strict protocols that communities must satisfy to speed reopening and health experts warned of the risks of a surge if social distancing is abandoned too early. California will take baby steps in the process on Friday, as a scattering of retail businesses are allowed to reopen for curbside pickup. But that will still leave huge sectors of the economy shut down, and leaders in communities across California will have to declare they’ve reduced the coronavirus danger to open up more businesses, such as restaurant dining rooms and shopping malls. That is going to be a challenge in hard-hit areas such as Los Angeles County, which has seen more than 1,400 deaths — more than half of the state’s total — and is still recording hundreds of new cases a day.

Mysterious COVID-19 Linked Illness Afflicting Children In The US
Three pediatric patients at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles who tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies were showing symptoms of a rare autoimmune response doctors are calling Pediatric Inflammatory Multi-System Syndrome or PIMS which is similar to the autoimmune condition known as Kawasaki Disease. “You could get a rash. Your mucous membranes are affected so that means you have red lips, your eyes could be red and there’s also lymph nodes that could be enlarged,” said, Northridge-based Pediatrician, Dr. Rishma Chand. She hasn’t treated any COVID-19 patients with PIMS but tells parents to keep an eye out for potential symptoms. “If your child might have decreased energy they might have blue lips or blue skin and obviously those are symptoms where you want to call 911 and bring your child into the emergency room as soon as possible".

Local Government News

LA City Council Finalizes Agreement With Los Feliz Shelter Operator
The Los Angeles City Council Tuesday voted to finalize an agreement with a nonprofit organization to operate the Los Feliz Bridge Home project to temporarily house homeless people. People Assisting the Homeless will operate the site, which is scheduled to open in July on the southwest edge of Griffith Park. The project will consist of a 10,800-square-foot tent structure with 100 beds, a hygiene trailer, an administration/intake trailer, a bin storage area, waste and recycling area, elevated deck, outdoor pet area and general open space, according to city documents. "Today, the City Council took the last step on making the Los Feliz Bridge Home a reality,'' City Councilman David Ryu said. "This will be the third Bridge Home center to open in (Council) District Four in the past year alone, and one of many more to come,'' he said. 

‘We’ve Given The Tenant The Right To Sue,’ Says L.A. City Council President Nury Martinez
Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez explains a new ordinance giving tenants the right to sue landlords who violate restrictions on evictions in place during the coronavirus crisis. Renters could win up to $10,000 to $15,000 per violation.

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: