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 22, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Police: 49 Cops Injured In Organized Attack At Chicago Protest
Chicago police superintendent David Brown said Monday morning that officers will wear full protective gear when assigned to future protests after “agitators” hijacked a protest Friday against the Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park, injuring 49 police officers. Brown and Belmont Area Cmdr. Daniel O’Shea also urged people to seek out “both sides” after activists at Friday night’s protest — which Brown said “devolved” into an orchestrated attack on police — said this weekend that officers’ actions left many in the crowd injured, as well. “What began as a peaceful protest at Grant Park Friday evening devolved into a very dangerous situation in which mob action deliberately sought to injure officers, provoke retaliation and damage property, Forty-nine Chicago police officers were injured. Forty-nine,” Brown said. “Eighteen of whom were sent to area hospitals for their injuries.”

Killings In LA Surge Past Pre-Pandemic Levels, Chief Moore Says
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday that he is alarmed at a significant jump in homicides this year even as other crimes in the city have plummeted. With a recent spike in killings, the rate so far this year has eclipsed the rate during the same period last year, when there was no coronavirus pandemic keeping people inside, Moore said. As of Tuesday, Moore said, 157 people had been killed in the city this year. In 2019, that number was 138, a nearly 14 percent rise in homicides. During the first few weeks of summer, that gap has increased — in just 10 days, at least six people have been killed, according to the chief’s statistics compared to citywide crime numbers released last week. On July 11, the increase in homicides this year over last was 12.7 percent. “The homicides are a direct result of the increase in shooting violence over the last four weeks,” Moore said at the Los Angeles Police Commission meeting Tuesday.

San Francisco To Pay $400K To Settle Lawsuit Over Former DA
San Francisco has agreed to pay $400,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a former city investigator who claimed retaliation after expressing concerns that former district attorney George Gascon was allegedly carrying firearms on flights in violation of federal law. Henry McKenzie was fired in 2017 from the prosecutor's office and sued the city in 2018, claiming that he was subjected to a “pattern of retaliation and harassment” after he and other investigators went to the federal Transportation Security Administration with their concerns about Gascón, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday. McKenzie believed Gascon was violating federal law, which allows peace officers to carry firearms while traveling so long as they state they are doing so for a work-related reason. They believed Gascon, who became district attorney in 2012, was no longer an active officer. McKenzie told the newspaper he felt vindicated by the unanimous vote by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. Max Szabo, a spokesman for Gascón, who is running for the district attorney's office in Los Angeles, said the former prosecutor “requested this case be taken to trial so a jury could decide the merits of this farce, but the city attorney made a business decision in response to the cost of litigation."

1 Killed In Shooting Off The 5 Freeway In Boyle Heights
A man was killed in a shooting off the southbound 5 Freeway in Boyle Heights Monday night, Los Angeles police said. LAPD says the shooting happened near Beswick and Calzona streets just before 10:30 p.m. The incident prompted a brief closure of southbound lanes of the 5, but lanes reopened at about 11:20 p.m. Details of what led up to the shooting and a suspect description were unavailable. The victim is believed to be in his 30s, police said. Homicide detectives were at the scene investigating.

Woman's Body Washes Ashore In Venice Beach
Authorities were investigating after a woman's body washed ashore in Venice Beach on Tuesday morning. The sheriff's department dispatched officers to the 1800 block of Ocean Front Walk around 7 a.m. after receiving reports of a body found at the jetty in Venice. Authorities determined that the body is that of a female, believed to be approximately 30 to 35 years old. The Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Coroner's office were assisting at the scene. The circumstances surrounding the death were not immediately available. 

Driver Leads CHP, LAPD On Pursuit From Calabasas To South Bay
A motorist originally wanted for reckless driving and speeding led California Highway Patrol officers on a nearly two-hour pursuit from Calabasas, through Encino and south into the South Bay area Tuesday before driving under a thick marine layer and away from law enforcement helicopters. The pursuit started at 4:58 p.m. when a CHP officer pulled over the gray car on the eastbound Ventura (101) Freeway in Calabasas, said CHP Officer Elizabeth Kravig. CHP helicopters left the chase at 6:46 p.m. when the suspect drove beneath a thick marine layer north on Pacific Coast Highway toward Rancho Palos Verdes. After the pursuit started in the West San Fernando Valley, the CHP deferred to the Los Angeles Police Department when the car got off the freeway and the driver led officers on streets in Encino and Sherman Oaks. 

LAPD Reports Explosive 86% Increase In Reports Of Illegal Fireworks Around Fourth Of July
The Los Angeles Police Department is still cracking down on illegal fireworks after many across the area took it upon themselves to put on their own Fourth of July show. Police say they saw an 86% increase in firework-related calls for from June 29 to July 5 compared to last year. Online reports for firework jumped 252%. Officers also seized more than 2 tons of fireworks, totaling a 85% increase from the same seven-day stretch last year. While it's not clear exactly what drove a surge in consumer fireworks sales, some sellers believed fireworks were a diversion for people who have been stuck at home during the pandemic. The sky across Southern California was illuminated with fireworks as the region celebrated the Fourth of July, with loud bangs ringing through the night and some pyrotechnics being blamed for several small fires locally and hundreds of blazes across California.

Hollywood Rape Suspect Caught; Other Victims Sought
A registered sex offender was arrested in connection with a Hollywood rape, authorities said Tuesday. The rape, described as “brutal,” occurred July 17 and was reported to the Los Angeles Police Department and the subsequent investigation led to the arrest of 51-year-old Joaquin Rivas, police said. The alleged kidnap and rape occurred between 8:30 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday around Melrose Avenue and Hobart Boulevard and may also have taken place in the 600 block of North Serrano Avenue, said Officer Mike Lopez of the LAPD Media Relations Section. Investigators were serving a search warrant at 4:15 p.m. Sunday at Clinton Street and Oxford Avenue when they detained Rivas in connection with the kidnapping and rape, Lopez said.

Man Accused Of Stealing 11 Cars During Policy To Limit Jail Overcrowding Amid Pandemic
Authorities Tuesday urged people to call them if they were victimized by a suspect who allegedly stole at least 11 vehicles during a zero-bail policy designed to limit jail overcrowding during the pandemic. Jose Enrique Esquivel, 24, is "a prolific car thief who victimized vehicle owners with modest incomes," L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy Trina Schrader said. Esquivel has been arrested and remains in custody, Schrader said. "The victims identified to date reside in the areas of southeast Los Angeles County, including the city of Los Angeles," she said. "Suspect Esquivel showed little regard for the owners of these vehicles, who many times depended on these stolen vehicles as their sole means of transportation. The suspect is also accused of exploiting the modification to the Los Angeles County Bail Schedule during his crime spree, while the County endured the statewide COVID-19 emergency where most crimes were designated to have zero bail."

Man Killed, Woman Wounded In Stabbing At Homeless Encampment In Simi Valley; L.A. Man Arrested
A man was in custody after stabbing a boyfriend and girlfriend — the male fatally — at a homeless encampment in Simi Valley Tuesday, officials said. The deadly attack was reported around 4:15 p.m., after the female victim approached a security guard in the area, Simi Valley police said in a news release. The 30-year-old woman led responding officers to an encampment north of the railroad tracks on First Street, near the Honda dealership. There, they found her boyfriend, 26, dead with multiple stab wounds, authorities said. Both victims are Simi Valley residents. Officers determined 40-year-old Julio Martinez-Diaz of Los Angeles attacked the pair following a confrontation at the encampment. Martinez-Diaz was found hiding in bushes after police set up a perimeter in the area, and he was arrested on suspicion of homicide and attempted homicide.

L.A. County Offers Rewards In Florence-Firestone, Windsor Hills Shootings
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved or renewed rewards for information that helps solve the fatal shooting of a 32-year-old man at a birthday party in the Florence-Firestone neighborhood and a father of three found shot in the backyard of his Windsor Hills home. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas recommended the $10,000 reward in the case of Los Angeles resident Felix Valverde, who was attending a birthday celebration at an apartment complex in the 9000 block of Compton Avenue around 1 a.m. last Aug. 17 when two men walked to an alley at the rear of the building and opened fire into the party. Valverde’s brother took him to Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital, where he died. Another man was also shot but survived. Investigators say video surveillance shows the two unidentified suspects exiting a Kia Soul parked on Compton Avenue before walking into the alley. A third man apparently stayed in the car.

Pressure Mounts On How Police Handle Mental-Health Crises
On the afternoon of May 8, 2017, the family of 32-year-old Mikel McIntyre called 911 for help in dealing with his increasingly erratic and threatening behavior. The former high school and college athlete, who lived in Antioch and had briefly played baseball in the minor leagues, had been showing signs of serious mental illness, and his mother was concerned. She hoped a visit with family in Sacramento might help. The first call, shortly after 3 p.m., indicated a possible mental-health crisis: McIntyre had locked himself in a vehicle and was being “slightly combative,” but the firefighters who responded decided he was not a threat. When family members called again to say McIntyre was becoming increasingly volatile, Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies responded at 3:32 p.m., and they determined McIntyre’s behavior did not meet the criteria for him to be detained on a 72-hour mental-health hold, as a danger to himself or others. The deputies suggested he leave the house, which he did.

Public Safety News

Fire Captain Severely Burned In DTLA Smoke Shop Explosion Released From Hospital After 65 Days
Nearly two months ago, L.A. Fire Department Capt. Victor Aguirre was severely injured alongside 11 other firefighters when a smoke shop exploded in downtown Los Angeles. Doctors initially thought they would have to amputate Aguirre’s hands because of the critical injuries he suffered, but on Tuesday — 65 days after that tragic day in May — the veteran firefighter walked out of L.A. County USC Medical Center using both of his hands to embrace the LAFD firefighters who lined the pathway out of the hospital. “I didn’t expect this. Thank you so much guys, I couldn’t have done it without you guys or my wife… everybody,” Aguirre said. The fiery explosion at Smoke Tokes, a distributor and wholesaler of smoking and vaping products, broke out on the evening of May 16. Responding firefighters entered on the ground while others climbed up on a ladder to try to ventilate the roof, an LAFD official said at the time of the blaze.

LA County Board Of Supervisors Votes To Declare Racism A Public Health Crisis, Champion Antiracist Policies
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to declare racism a public health crisis. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas authored the motion requesting that the board declare racism a matter of public health and prioritize eliminating biases from county operations and programs. “It is incumbent upon those of us who sit in positions of authority to begin dismantling systemic racial bias within the entities for which we are responsible,” Ridley-Thomas said. “It’s no longer sufficient to support diversity and inclusion initiatives. The county has made great strides toward addressing and eliminating implicit bias. It is time to advance to the next level,” he said. “The county must move to identify and confront explicit institutional racism to set the national standard and become a leader of antiracist policymaking and program implementation.”

As Coronavrius’ Impact On Younger People Deepens, LA County Reports 50 Deaths, 2,741 New Cases
With 57% of new coronavirus cases infecting Los Angeles County residents younger than age 41, public health officials announced 50 deaths and 2,741 new cases on Tuesday, July 21. Officials also recorded the third consecutive day of more than 2,200 people hospitalized around the county. Among the 2,218 people in hospitals, 26% are being treated in intensive-care units and 18% are on ventilators, officials said. Tuesday’s news brought the county’s totals since the pandemic began to 161,673 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and 4,154 deaths. “Every day we think of the many families experiencing the profound grief of losing a loved one to COVID-19,” said Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer. The update continued to affirm fears that younger people are driving the resurgent wave of COVID-19 infections.

Coronavirus Cases In California Soar Past 400,000, Poised To Surpass New York
California soared past 400,000 total coronavirus cases on Tuesday, as public health officials once again pleaded with residents to take shelter-in-place measures seriously.
The case count in California jumped to 409,049 cases and 7,891 deaths, with the average number of daily cases in July more than double the average from June. “I don’t overread into the significance of that number,” said Mark Ghaly, California’s health and human services secretary, during a media briefing Tuesday. “I look at every day as an opportunity to do better and do more with our response to COVID-19.”After working aggressively and effectively to contain the virus in the early days of the pandemic, the state has seen a significant surge since the easing of restrictions started in May, which health officials attribute to residents letting their guard down.

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: