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

July 2, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Suspect Arrested For Attempted Murder Of LAPD Officers, Being Held On $1M Bail
A 25-year-old man was arrested for the attempted murder of Los Angeles Police Department officers. LAPD said in a statement on Wednesday that they were responding to a call of an assault with a deadly weapon at 111th Street and Towne Avenue on June 25. Officers began pursuing several suspects on foot and at least one person fired a weapon. Officers did not return fire, according to the LAPD, and no officers were struck by the gunfire. According to police, several suspects were detained and an “AR-15 type rifle” was recovered from the crime scene. Police said there was “ballistic evidence to support a shooting had occurred.” 25-year-old Quamontae Smith was identified as the shooting suspect and is being held on a $1 million bail for a charge of attempted murder.

Los Angeles Cuts LAPD Spending, Taking Police Staffing To Its Lowest Level In 12 Years
The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to cut hiring at the Police Department, pushing the number of sworn officers well below 10,000 and abandoning a budget priority once seen as untouchable by city leaders. Faced with a grim budget outlook and deluged by demands for reductions in police spending, the council voted 12 to 2 to take the Los Angeles Police Department down to 9,757 officers by next summer — a level of staffing not seen in the city since 2008. Councilman Paul Krekorian said $40 million of the money cut from the LAPD budget will be set aside as an “insurance policy” to help pay for city services if the retirement program does not generate enough savings. Another $90 million will go into a reserve account titled Preservation of City Services, Reinvestment in Disadvantaged Communities and Communities of Color and Reimagining Public Safety Service Delivery. Craig Lally, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents LAPD officers, described that account as a “slush fund.” He warned that the planned reduction in police officers would result in slower response times. Over the next 12 months, officers who do end up working overtime won’t be paid until years into the future, and at more expensive rates, Lally said. “They passed a budget by putting everything on the city credit card,” he added.

276 LAPD Employees Have Tested Positive For Coronavirus
Nine additional Los Angeles Police Department employees have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Wednesday, officials said, which brings the department’s total to 276 cases. 225 of them are at home recovering or self-isolating due to exposure, and 124 employees have returned to work, according to Jessica Kellogg of the Emergency Operations Center. In April, LAPD Detective Michael Chang was released from the hospital after being admitted for coronavirus complications. Kellogg said seven additional Los Angeles Fire Department employees have also tested positive for the virus, bringing the total to 77. Thirty-five have returned to work, and 42 are at home recovering.

Father, 2 Young Daughters Shot At Watts Home In Murder-Suicide, LAPD Says
A man and his two young daughters were found fatally shot Wednesday morning at a home in Watts, authorities said, in an incident that was being investigated as a murder-suicide. Officers and firefighter-paramedics responded about 8:15 a.m. to the 9200 block of Success Avenue, where the girls were pronounced dead, said Officer Norma Eisenman of the Los Angeles Police Department. The man was transported to a hospital, where he died, according to Eisenman. The Los Angeles Fire Department said the girls were ages 4 and 6. None of the deceased were immediately identified. The motive for the incident is under investigation.

Black Transgender Woman Shot In Downtown Los Angeles; No Arrests Made
A Black transgender woman is hospitalized in critical condition Wednesday after being shot in downtown Los Angeles by a suspect who remains at large, officials at the Los Angeles LGBT Center said. The shooting occurred near 15th Street and Hooper Avenue about 7:10 p.m. Tuesday. No arrests have been made and a suspect description was not released. The woman, whose name has not been released, was taken to a hospital, according to Officer Mike Lopez of the Los Angeles Police Department. “Our grief is coupled with outrage at the epidemic of violence against trans people in this country, especially Black trans women,” an L.A. LGBT Center statement reads. 

Man Shot To Death In Southwest L.A.
A man was shot to death in the southwest Los Angeles area, and authorities Wednesday were working to solve the crime. The victim died at the scene of the shooting, which happened at about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 4100 block of Garthwaite Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Information on his identity was not immediately available. No arrests were reported, and no suspect description was available. Anyone with information on the case was urged to call 877-LAPD-247.

Man Killed In Long Beach Hit-and-Run; Driver Sought
A man was killed after being hit by a vehicle in Long Beach Wednesday evening, officials said. Officers responded to the area of Willow Street and Delta Avenue around 9 p.m. and found a man’s body in the second eastbound lane of Willow Street, the Long Beach Police Department said. The man had multiple injuries, and fire officials determined he was deceased. His identity has not yet been confirmed. A preliminary investigation found that a vehicle was travelling eastbound on Willow Street at Delta Avenue in the second lane when it struck the victim, according to the department. The driver fled the scene. A witness to the collision followed the suspect’s vehicle and obtained the license plate information, police said. Using the information, officers were able to find the vehicle at a residence in North Long Beach.

Santa Monica Police Arrest Sexual Assault Suspect, Seek Other Possible Victims
A 26-year-old man suspected of sexually assaulting a woman was arrested Monday by the Santa Monica Police Department. After Santa Monica Police detectives conducted an investigation and presented the case to the LA District Attorney’s Office, an arrest warrant was issued for charges of rape and oral copulation. The victim met Kevin Yorkdan Suazo-Chavez through a dating app in late July of 2019, police said. Suazo-Chavez was accused of assaulting the woman in his car while parked in the Santa Monica-Malibu area. After allegedly committing the assault, Suazo-Chavez dropped her off at her home. She reported the incident to a local hospital and reported the crime. The investigation also found that Suazo-Chavez may be linked to other sexual assaults in LA County. He has roots in the Van Nuys, Koreatown and Downtown LA areas.

15 Arrested As Border Patrol Says Agents Break Up Maritime Smuggling Ring In San Diego
Hours after a boat landed on a state beach in Encinitas and the occupants took off running, federal agents found and arrested 15 people, dismantling a suspected smuggling ring, the U.S. Border Patrol said Tuesday. About 3:30 p.m. Friday, a 25-foot pleasure craft came ashore at Beacon’s Beach, the agency said in a news release. According to the Border Patrol, witnesses said they saw 11 people running on the beach, and two more scrambling up the cliffs. Agents searched but could not find anyone. They did, however, discover 13 life jackets in the empty boat. Using what the agency described as “previously developed intelligence,” as well as talking with witnesses, the agents found the group who they suspected was involved in smuggling people into the United States via the ocean. 

Truckers Could Lose Rigs — And Freedom — In California-Arizona Recycling Fraud Case
Nine people have been arrested in connection with a recycling fraud operation involving Southern California and Arizona, authorities said Wednesday. “Recycling fraud is a serious crime with real consequences for the offenders,” CalRecycle Acting Director Ken DaRosa said. “CalRecycle tackles this problem through an effective collaboration with law enforcement partners who are committed to finding those who would attempt to defraud the state,” DaRosa said. California’s Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act incentivizes recycling through a California Redemption Value fee paid by California consumers at the time of purchase and refunded upon return of the empty beverage containers to state-certified recycling centers. However, the fee is not paid on beverages purchased outside the state, and those containers are not eligible for CRV redemption, DaRosa said.

Gun Background Checks Surged To New High In June
A climate of fear and uncertainty drove Americans to gun stores in record numbers last month, setting the FBI’s all-time high for background checks processed. According to the agency, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, conducted 3.9 million gun background checks in June, the highest volume since it began operating in 1998. The figure eclipses the previous high set in March of this year, and is 71 percent higher than the total from June 2019. The record spike in gun checks came during a tumultuous month in which state economies began to reopen, widespread protests for racial justice took place in major American cities, and national coronavirus cases resurged to unprecedented levels. 

Public Safety News

Firefighters Battling Brush Fire Near Agua Dulce
Firefighters are battling a two-alarm brush fire in the Angeles National Forest. The ‘Rowher Fire’ has so far burned up to 600 acres with no containment made. The fire is burning in a sparsely populated area near Sierra Highway in Agua Dulce, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department, which is assisting the Angeles National Forest's fire crews. No homes are threatened by the fire, and air tankers were dropping water and fire retardant on and around the blaze to contain the flames. 

Southland Firefighters Concerned About Increase In Injuries, Wildfires Over July 4th Weekend
With the Fourth of July right around the corner, firefighters across the Southland said they are concerned that more people might get hurt and start fires this year with fireworks as communities cancel events. Fire departments across the state and concerned about the increase in people purchasing fireworks — both legal and illegal — to put on their own shows. “There’s a huge advantage to commercially produced firework shows,” Eric Sherwin, a San Bernardino County firefighter, said. “They’re done by professionals.” He said amateurs have been setting off loud, illegal fireworks for weeks near his fire station in Fontana. Firefighters said they are concerned that more people will take the pyrotechnics into their own hands and will accidentally start fires or cause injuries.

California Creates ‘Strike Teams’ To Enforce Virus Limits
California is creating “strike teams” from 10 state agencies to enforce guidelines designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday. He said the teams would “go after people that are thumbing their nose, that are particularly being aggressive, reticent to do anything.” He singled out bars, restaurants, meat packing plants and other facilities that he said may be putting employees as well as customers at risk. The teams include representatives from the California Highway Patrol; the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, as well as people from Alcohol Beverage Control; Barbering & Cosmetology; Business Oversight; Consumer Affairs; Food and Agriculture; Labor Commissioner’s Office; and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

Local Government News

LA City Council Votes To Continue Some Relaxed Parking Enforcement Through July
The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to continue some relaxed parking enforcement through the month of July due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, the Department of Transportation announced it would begin enforcing certain parking violations starting Monday, but the council’s emergency motion Wednesday directed the department to not enforce violations related to: residential street sweeping, peak/rush-hour and anti-gridlock zone restrictions, abandoned vehicles (72-hour rule), expired registrations, and loading zones (white curb) within a 10-minute grace period. LADOT will also continue to allow relaxed enforcement for: “No Overnight/Oversized Vehicle” parking zones, and vehicles with recently expired Preferential Parking Permits.

Los Angeles To Reset Troubled Marijuana Licensing Program To Enlist More Operators
The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday approved a makeover of its widely criticized marijuana licensing program to enlist more operators who endured the consequences of the nation’s war on drugs. Approved unanimously and without debate, the changes are designed to provide an increase in licenses for so-called social-equity operators — people, many of color, who were arrested or convicted of a marijuana-related offense, and lower-income residents who live, or have lived, in neighborhoods marked by high marijuana arrest rates. Only those applicants would be eligible for new retail and delivery licenses through 2025. One of the goals of the legal market that kicked off in 2018 was providing an economic opportunity for those hit hardest by the war on drugs. But the program has been broadly faulted for failing to deliver.

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: