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

August 4, 2020
Law Enforcement News

One Dead, Three Injured After Gunfire Erupts At Beverly Crest Mansion Party
A woman was killed and three others were injured in a shooting Tuesday morning at a large party taking place at a mansion in Beverly Crest where police had earlier responded to multiple calls of disturbing the peace. Firefighters and paramedics responded to the 13200 block of Mulholland Drive about 12:45 a.m. and located three adults who had been wounded, treated at the scene, then taken to a hospital, according to Nicholas Prange of the Los Angeles Fire Department. One victim who was listed in grave condition was later pronounced dead. The other two were in critical condition, Prange said. Police received at least five calls from residents who reported instances of disturbing the peace in the neighborhood beginning about 6:30 p.m. Monday, and when officers arrived they found a large party taking place at a three-story home with about 200 people attending.

Community Mourning Shooting Death Of 14-Year-Old Basketball Player Semaj Miller
Family, friends and loved ones are mourning the loss of 14-year-old Semaj Miller, who was shot and killed in South Los Angeles on July 29. Police are still searching for the suspected shooter and have not yet determined a motive behind Miller’s death. Standing at 6’6″ and with the skills and attitude to match, Miller had been desired by basketball teams all across the state and was a standout at the youth basketball program, L.A. City Wildcats. “I’ve had to bury several of my L.A. City Wildcat kids over the years but this a little bit more personal. He was the youngest kid I’ve ever had to get involved to make sure he’s laid to rest properly,” said Derrick Cooper, Miller’s former youth coach and president of the L.A. City Wildcats Youth Academy. Miller was set to start at Compton High School next month, where coaches are now left heartbroken over the sudden loss after seeing the potential he would bring to the campus.

Black Police Officers See Fight For Racial Justice Through Personal Lens
After days of protests over police brutality in Los Angeles County, a young sheriff’s deputy on the front lines reached out to her commander, reeling. As a Black woman, she wanted to show solidarity with her community in grieving the brutal police killing of George Floyd. But as a law enforcement officer, she feared backlash from her peers if she were to take a knee. “My comment to her was, if it’s genuine, if that’s how you feel, we’re not going to criticize you,” said Cmdr. April Tardy, who also is Black. That personal conflict highlights the delicate duality of being a Black police officer in America during this moment of unrest. The officer said he smelled marijuana coming from the car, and Woodyard and a friend — both in suits and on their way to church — were searched. Instead of becoming angry, Woodyard decided to join the LAPD. As a leader, he tries to recruit more Black officers. Of nearly 10,000 sworn officers, about 9%, or 951, are Black and the department expects many to retire soon. “I’d rather the community sees folks that look like them and maybe they can relate to us and not be afraid of us,” he said. Woodyard, who took a knee in solidarity with protesters, said the recent demonstrations have opened opportunities for “uncomfortable and authentic” conversations with the community.

10 New Coronavirus Cases Reported From LAPD, 3 Additional Cases Among LAFD
Ten more Los Angeles Police Department employees have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the department total to 484 as of Monday. Additionally, 225 LAPD employees are at home recovering or self-isolating due to exposure to COVID-19, and 303 have returned to work, the city’s Emergency Operations Center said. Last month, the LAPD announced its first coronavirus-related deaths of sworn officer 45-year-old Valentin Martinez and non-sworn 39-year-old senior detention officer Erica McAdoo. Three additional Los Angeles Fire Department employees have also tested positive for the virus, which now brings the department’s total to 154.

Security Guard Pleads Not Guilty In 5-Year-Old Boy’s Accidental Shooting Death
A licensed security guard accused of leaving a loaded gun inside a bedroom in a Leimert Park home, where his mother’s 5-year-old foster son fatally shot himself while playing with the weapon, pleaded not guilty Monday to several firearms charges. Jaylin Burdette, 26, is charged with one count each of criminal storage of a firearm, unlawful storage of a firearm and carrying a loaded firearm in a public place. He could face up to a year in jail and $1,000 in fines if convicted of all three charges, according to the City Attorney’s Office. Burdette did not appear in court Monday, allowing his lawyer to represent him. After hearing his plea, the court granted a request by city prosecutors to bar Burdette from owning or possessing any weapons while the case is pending.

L.A. Councilman Jose Huizar Enters Not Guilty Plea In City Hall Corruption Case
Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar pleaded not guilty on Monday to bribery, money laundering and an array of other charges, his first public response to the allegations in the corruption probe since prosecutors began securing guilty pleas from others in the case. Prosecutors announced last week that Huizar had been indicted on 34 felony counts, including wire fraud, mail fraud, tax evasion and giving false statements to investigators, which follow a previous allegation that he had been heading a criminal enterprise involving real estate developers, City Hall supplicants and an assortment of bribes. Huizar, wearing a mask, entered his plea while appearing before a federal judge by video conference. His lawyers had previously declined to address the allegations lodged by federal prosecutors, saying they intended to wage a defense in court.

20-Year-Old Woman Found Fatally Shot In East Los Angeles Home
Detectives were investigating a fatal shooting of a 20-year-old woman in East Los Angeles Monday. Deputies responded to a single family residence on the 700 block of South Hillview Avenue around 11:30 a.m. regarding a call for a person down, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release. They arrived to find a 20-year-old woman inside the home appearing to have sustained gunshot wounds, the department said. She was pronounced dead at the scene. A male resident from the home was detained at the East Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station pending further investigation. A handgun was recovered from the scene. The investigation is ongoing.

Suspect, Officer Shot On Rooftop Parking Area In Culver City
A Culver City police officer and a suspect were shot Monday afternoon, authorities said. The shooting occurred at about 3 p.m. in the rooftop parking area of a multi-story building in the 8800 block of Washington Boulevard, near Landmark Avenue, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which is assisting the Culver City Police Department in the investigation. Officers were chasing the man, who may have been homeless and allegedly had a knife, then shot him after initially deploying less-lethal-munitions. The suspect was given CPR at the scene, then taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The officer was also transported for treatment, the sheriff's department confirmed.

3 Suspects Steal Lincoln Navigator At Knifepoint in Culver City
A vehicle was stolen by three suspects on Monday morning in Culver City, and police are searching for the people involved. The victim was sitting in his white 1998 Lincoln Navigator in the 4300 block of McConnell Avenue when a male suspect pulled him out of the vehicle, punching and kicking him before threatening him with a knife for the SUV. The male suspect and two women fled the scene in the Navigator, license plate 3VUK057, in an unknown direction. Police did not provide full descriptions of the suspects but the male suspect was described as about 24 years old, 6 feet tall, with a thin build. The two women suspects were described as being in their early 20s with heavy builds. Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the vehicle or the suspects is encouraged to call the Culver City Police Department’s Detective Bureau at 310-253-6300.

Data Stolen In Cyberattack Targeting Cal State Northridge
Officials at Cal State Northridge confirm the school was targeted in an attempted cyberattack. They say a hacker tried placing ransomware on third-party software used by the university - and ended up grabbing some customer data. CSUN officials say the third-party company paid the hacker to delete the stolen data, but the university can't confirm the data was released. Students were alerted to track their accounts and credit records.

Former UCLA Gynecologist Faces 17 Additional Felony Charges Related To Alleged Sexual Abuse Of 5 Patients
Los Angeles County prosecutors dramatically expanded their case against a former UCLA gynecologist on Monday, charging him with 17 additional felonies related to his alleged sexual abuse of five former patients. Dr. James M. Heaps, 67, who was already facing three similar charges of alleged abuse against two other former patients, was handcuffed and taken into custody. His bond was set at $650,000. Prosecutors allege that Heaps abused the women during medical exams over a seven-year span, from 2011 to 2018. The charges include sexual battery by fraud, sexual exploitation of a patient and sexual penetration of an unconscious person, according to the complaint. Heaps pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to return to court Sept. 15.

DNA Evidence Leads To Arrest Of California Woman For Her Baby’s 1988 Killing
A California woman has been arrested in the death of her newborn boy 32 years ago in the Bay Area, in a case that was solved decades later because of genetic genealogy, authorities said Monday. Lesa Lopez, 52, admitted to investigators that she was the mother of the baby and implicated herself in the killing, Alameda County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said in a statement. “Lopez, who was 20 years old at the time ... told investigators she hid the pregnancy from her family and friends and provided details of what happened,” he said. Lopez, of Salida in Stanislaus County, was arrested July 23 and charged with murder. She is being held on bail of $2 million. It wasn’t immediately known if she has an attorney who can speak on her behalf.

Public Safety News

Fire Crews Battle Greater Alarm Blaze At Hollywood Commercial Structure
Fire crews were battling a greater alarm blaze at a commercial structure Monday night. According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, there were 84 firefighters responding to the vacant building as of 9:10 p.m. where flames had spread from the original unit through the attic. Crews initially responded to the fire in the 7400 block of West Sunset Boulevard, near Gardner Street, at about 8:45 p.m., according to the department. When crews arrived on scene, flames were already exploding through the roof of the structure, forcing the firefighters to take a defensive position outside of the structure. The full extent of the fire was still unknown as fire crews applied large hose streams from the exterior of the structure.

LA County Reports 1,476 New Cases Of COVID-19, 23 More Deaths
Los Angeles County reported 1,476 more cases of COVID-19 and 23 additional deaths on Sunday, bringing the county's totals to192,167 cases and 4,692 deaths. Both numbers represented a decrease from the previous several days, but officials said new cases and reported deaths are typically lower on weekends as some labs only report on weekdays. Of the new cases reported Sunday, 68% occurred among individuals under the age of 50, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. The cumulative total of cases among people between 18 and 49 years old is 60%. "We join in prayer and sorrow with all those experiencing loss during this pandemic and send our wishes for peace and healing," said Barbara Ferrer, the county's director of public health.

With Coronavirus Numbers Improving, Health Officials `Cautiously’ Optimistic
The public health director says the closure of bars and elimination of indoor dining, along with cooperation from residents, have combined to slow the spread of the illness in Los Angeles County. Barbara Ferrer said the county is “cautiously optimistic that we’re getting back on track” in efforts to combat COVID-19, but added, “I want to emphasize the word `cautiously.”’ Ferrer pointed to steady declines in hospitalization numbers, which were averaging around 2,200 patients a day in mid-July but have now dropped below 2,000, and in average daily rates of positive tests, which leveled off over the course of last month to average between 8% and 8.8% in recent days. As of Monday, the number of people hospitalized in the county was reported at 1,784 patients.

California’s Coronavirus Cases Are Finally Dropping. How Do We Stop Another Surge?
In the first good news in weeks, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday said coronavirus infections in the Golden State appear to have started a downward trend — but, as Californians have learned, it’s far too soon to celebrate. The number of reported cases, people hospitalized with COVID-19 and the percent of tests coming back positive are dropping for the first time since a June spike in infections sent shock waves through the state’s recovery plans. Those are “encouraging signs,” Newsom said, but he warned Californians to not forget what happens when we get too comfortable. “We can quickly find ourselves back to where we were just a few weeks ago, a month ago, with significant increases,” he said, “if we do not maintain our vigilance. If we do not maintain our focus and our commitment. Again, this virus is not going away.”

Local Government News

Relaxed Parking Restrictions In L.A. To Continue Through Mid-August
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation announced that parking enforcement regulations will remain relaxed throughout the city until Aug. 18 due to the ongoing safer at home order. That means no tickets will be issued during residential street-sweeping, in overnight/oversize parking districts and rush-hour parking restriction zones, or for expired vehicle registration, according to a LADOT statement. In addition, the agency announced another payment extension for existing parking fees, the statement read. Residents who take advantage of the policy will not see an increase in fines if they don’t pay. Temporary print-at-home permits will also be available to residents in preferential parking districts who renewed their permits but won’t receive one before their current permit expires, according to the transportation agency.

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: