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

June 30, 2020
Law Enforcement News

‘Vilification, Constant Verbal Battering’: Morale Low Among LAPD Rank-And-File Amid Pandemic, Civil Unrest
With law enforcement practices under fire across the country, morale is low among rank-and-file LAPD officers, according to Robert Harris, the director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League. Since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Memorial Day, protesters have taken to the streets every week across the nation decrying excessive police force, especially against Black people. Several agencies have banned the use of pepper spray and carotid holds, and there are calls to defund police and redirect those funds toward mental health and social services. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the added pressure of needing to do their jobs as they are criticized for their doing their jobs, rank-and-file police officers are reporting low morale, Harris said. “I’m hearing officers who are probably the most phenomenal officers in the country, they are by far the most professional I’ve ever worked around, and they’re beaten. And they’re bruised. And they’re down,” Harris said. “I had one officer tell me that he feels like a Vietnam soldier returning home to a country that hates him, and that’s not a good place to be.”

Better Policing Requires Smart Investments, Deliberate Planning: Joe Buscaino
Almost 25 years ago, a conversation with a cop changed the course of my life forever. I was working as a Recreation Assistant at Bogdanovich Park in San Pedro, when LAPD Sergeant Pat Gannon approached me after a softball game I was coaching, and asked if I’d ever considered becoming a police officer. One year later, I began training at the Academy and began a 15-year career with the LAPD, which continued until I was elected to the City Council in 2012. I joined the department because I wanted to help people. I wanted to show the heart behind the badge, and begin to change the culture at the LAPD that resulted in the beating of Rodney King. In the last 25 years, I watched the department transform from one of mostly-white officers, to one that reflects the diversity of this City. LAPD has done an incredible job transforming into a more diverse, accountable and professional department, but the work is never done.

As Social Unrest Swept L.A. A Curious Trend Emerged: Calls For Police Plunged
As social unrest swept across Los Angeles this month, police dispatchers were hit with a curious, if brief, trend. Calls for service handled by officers — incidents ranging from loud parties and fireworks to domestic disputes and traffic stops — declined nearly by half during the two-week demonstration period. That means each day there were 2,000 fewer calls for police compared with the department’s typical workload, according to a Times analysis of dispatch data. The timing of the dramatic drop in calls was unmistakable: It began on May 27, when protesters angry over the killing of George Floyd clashed with police in downtown Los Angeles and continued during the nearly two weeks of demonstrations. Dustin DeRollo, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the rank-and-file officers union, said the demonstrations meant vacations were canceled and significant numbers officers were called in to work. Those who remained on patrol had little time for proactive police work, he said. “Due to the full mobilization of the department, neighborhood police patrols were left with a truly bare-boned police response,” he said.

Seeking Suspects, LAPD Posts Footage Of People Lighting Fires, Harming Property During Protests
The Los Angeles Police Department posted a collection of images and video online Monday showing people lighting fires and destroying property during recent protests in Los Angeles, and called for the public’s help in identifying suspects. The FBI, working with the LAPD, has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the highlighted incidents, which officials said endangered residents and undermined the message of peaceful protesters. “The FBI respects and supports those who are exercising their 1st Amendment rights, including the right to peacefully protest,” said Voviette Morgan, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office. “Individuals should not have to have their constitutionally protected rights hijacked by individuals committing criminal activity.” The release of the photos and footage followed a month of legwork by a special task force created by the LAPD to hold people accountable for “the serious crimes that occurred during the protests, specifically in the areas of violent assaults, the looting and ultimately the arson crimes,” said LAPD Deputy Chief Kris Pitcher.

29-Year-Old Man Fatally Shot In Pacoima; Killer At Large
Authorities Monday sought public help in their search for the killer of a 29-year-old man who was shot in the back on a Pacoima street. The shooting was reported at 9:06 p.m. Sunday in the 12700 block of Mercer Street, near Borden Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Officers found Ismael Gutierrez, of Pacoima, on the sidewalk. He was taken to a hospital, where he died, police said. Witnesses told officers they heard a car approach the victim, then at least one gunshot. The suspect may have fled toward Borden Avenue, police reported, but no description was released.

Woman Accused Of Killing Man, Setting Woodland Hills House On Fire
A Woodland Hills woman is accused of killing a man and then setting a home on fire with him inside Monday. The call of a fire at the one-story single-family home at 23234 West Victory Boulevard came in at about 2:30 p.m., according to officials. The Los Angeles Fire Department said it took 26 firefighters about 14 minutes to extinguish the flames on Monday afternoon. Firefighters reported that they found “contents burning in one room” but have not yet identified the cause of the fire. Upon searching the house a second time after the fire was out, firefighters said they found one adult male deceased “in a manner unrelated to fire or smoke.” Authorities recovered a knife from the scene that they believe was the murder weapon. An official cause of death has not yet been determined. 

Four Men Injured In Gang-Related, Drive-By Shooting In Sylmar
Four men were taken to a hospital Monday afternoon with injuries from a drive-by shooting, which authorities said they believe was gang-related, in the Hansen Dam Recreation Area in Sylmar. The shooting occurred at 4:20 p.m. in the park near the intersection of Osborne Street and Foothill Boulevard, according to Officer Jader Chaves of the Los Angeles Police Department. Four men were inside the park when two other men drove up in a vehicle and fired multiple rounds, striking all four men, Chaves said. They were taken to a hospital, where three of them had vital signs reported to be stable. 

One Woman Killed, 2 Wounded In Shooting At Long Beach Vigil
One woman was killed and two other women wounded when gunfire rang out at a candlelight vigil in Long Beach Monday night. The vigil was for a man who was shot and killed in the same area the night before. Monday’s shooting occurred at about 9 p.m. at East South Street and Orange Avenue. According to Long Beach police, a crowd was gathered for a candlight vigil when shots were fired. The emergency dispatcher could hear the gunshots while on the phone with the 911 caller, police said. Officers arrived on scene to find three women wounded. They were all taken to a hospital, where one died and two were in serious condition, police said.

ER Doctor Charged With Sexually Assaulting 4 Women In Incidents Dating Back To 2016: L.A. County DA
An emergency medicine doctor has been charged with assaulting four women in incidents dating back to 2016, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Monday. Anshul Gandhi, 34, was charged with four counts of sexual battery, officials said. The incidents mostly occurred in Gandhi’s apartment, officials said. He is accused of sexually assaulting a 36-year-old woman in October 2016. Two months later, he allegedly sexually assaulted a 31-year-old woman after a holiday party, officials said. In July 2018, Gandhi allegedly sexually assaulted a 27-year-old woman who he brought to his apartment. In the latest incident, Gandhi allegedly sexually assaulted a 31-year-old colleague in December 2019. He was scheduled to be arraigned Monday, and prosecutors were recommending that his bail be set at $100,000.

Glendale Man, Hollywood Hills Woman Plead Guilty In Credit-Card Scam
A Glendale man and a Hollywood Hills woman pleaded guilty Monday to participating in a scheme in which nearly $2 million was fraudulently charged in less than a year to credit cards often opened with identities created with a combination of real and fraudulent information. Mikayel Hmayakyan, 43, admitted to using the cards to purchase hundreds of thousands of dollars in liquor, luxury watches and cemetery lots that were later sold for profit, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Hmayakyan pleaded guilty to two bank-fraud counts and one count of aggravated identity theft. U.S. District Judge George H. Wu scheduled a Nov. 16 sentencing hearing, at which time Hmayakyan will face up to 62 years in federal prison. 

Golden State Killer Pleads Guilty To Murders And Other Crimes That Terrorized California
They stood in the makeshift courtroom to confront the man who had bound and brutalized them decades ago. The masked assailant who had terrorized California as the Golden State Killer in the 1970s and ’80s sat hunched before them — now a thin, stooped, 74-year-old man. Wearing orange jail clothing and a clear protective face shield, Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. admitted guilt Monday to more than a dozen murders and scores of home invasion rapes and other crimes at a court hearing in a Cal State Sacramento ballroom. As prosecutors read aloud the gruesome details of each crime, victims and their relatives stood in the audience. Some looked DeAngelo in the eye. Others couldn’t bear to. But all wanted him to know: They were there. And they were not afraid.

Public Safety News

LA County Coronavirus Cases Surpass 100,000 Mark As County Reports Highest Amount Of Daily New Cases
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County surpassed 100,000 on Monday as county health officials reported the highest number of daily new cases since the beginning of the pandemic. While avoiding laying blame for the recent spike in coronavirus cases, LA health officials said that restaurants and bars continue to fall short of meeting public-safety protocols, and without a dramatic reversal in public behavior to control the virus, “we will see a lot more deaths" and possibly run short of hospital beds in a matter of weeks. The latest statistics compiled by local health officials estimate that on average, one in every 140 people in LA County is infected with COVID-19 and capable of spreading it to others, likely without having any symptoms or even knowing they are carrying the virus.

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: