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 7, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Funeral Service Held For LAPD Officer Valentin Martinez
Los Angeles Police Department officers, family and friends attended the funeral of Officer Valentin Martinez, the agency’s first sworn employee to die of complications from COVID-19. A memory service was held Thursday at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills’ Hall of Liberty. Martinez, 45, was a 13-year veteran of the LAPD and is presumed to have contracted the coronavirus while on duty. He he died on July 24, leaving behind his mother, Maria Martinez, his siblings and his domestic partner, Megan Flynn, who is pregnant with their twins. A Val Martinez Memorial Fund has been established for the family. 

Cops Hunt Suspect Who Defaced Memorial To Deceased LAPD Officers: $10,000 Reward For Vandal Attack During Protests
Authorities Thursday announced a reward of up to $10,000 for information that helps track down a man they say vandalized a memorial display on an outside wall of the LAPD's headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. The vandalism occurred about 5:30 p.m. on July 25, when a group of protesters entered the property and defaced the wall and a display case with red paint. “The officers memorialized in these cases made the ultimate sacrifice for their city. Now, we need your help finding those responsible for defacing our tribute to their sacrifice,” an LAPD statement reads. The department released images of the damage, along with an image of the wanted man, described as white, 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall, 180 pounds with dark hair and eyeglasses. He wore a face covering, along with a black hoodie sweatshirt and black pants, and he carried a gray backpack.

Authorities Seek Help Identifying Suspect Who Shot, Killed 14-Year-Old
Authorities Thursday are seeking the public's help to locate a suspect who shot and killed a 14-year-old boy in South Los Angeles. The shooting occurred July 29 about 2:20 p.m. in the 100 block of East 87th Place, near South Main Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Officers arrived to find Semaj Miller lying in the driveway unconscious and unresponsive, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police have not determined a motive for the shooting and a suspect has not been identified. Anyone with information about the shooting was encouraged to call South Bureau Homicide Detectives Romero and Armenta at 323-786-5100. Those wishing to report anonymously can call 800-222-TIPS.

LAPD Reports 1 Additional COVID-19 Case, Bringing Total To 491
The Los Angeles Police Department reported Thursday that one additional employee has tested positive for COVID-19. So far, 491 employees have tested positive, according to Jessica Kellogg of the Emergency Operations Center. Of those, 222 employees are at home recovering or self-isolating due to exposure, and 319 have returned to work. Two LAPD employees, including one sworn officer, have died from virus-related complications.

Manhunt On After Florida Cops Take Fire; Three Cars Hit
A gunman opened fire on officers in South Miami-Dade, peppering three cops cars with bullets, but injuring no one. The shooting sparked a manhunt in the Perrine area. “Another close call tonight as members of our Homicide Bureau’s Street Violence Task Force are fired upon while doing their job in South Miami-Dade,” Police Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez said in a tweet. “Thankfully, the Officers are ok but we need tips to identify the shooter(s).” Wednesday’s shooting happened on the 10000 block of Southwest 173rd Terrace. Members of the task force were looking for a suspect in the area when someone opened fire. Bullets struck three unmarked police cars. A picture showed the door of a truck with at least four bullet holes. “This is the third time in two weeks that cops have been shot at,” said Steadman Stahl, the Miami-Dade police union president.

Los Angeles School Police Asking For Public’s Help In Locating Suspects Who Vandalized Elementary School
The Los Angeles School Police Department is searching for the suspects responsible for vandalizing an elementary school. Officers say they responded to Stoner Elementary School in Culver City for an alarm call. When officers arrived on scene they say multiple suspects fled the area. Officers then found a classroom that had been completely destroyed. Photos show furniture had been thrown on the ground, items thrown on the floor as well as paint on the walls. School staff estimated the damage to be above $30,000. Officers are searching for the suspects involved. Anyone with information is urged to contact dispatch at (213) 625-6631.

Man Out Walking His Dog Shot And Killed In East LA
A man was shot to death while walking his dog on a residential street in East Los Angeles Wednesday night. The shooting occurred in the 900 block of South Rowan Avenue at around 9:35 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The victim, a man in his 40s, was shot several times, the sheriff’s department reports. He was taken to a hospital where he died. His name was not released. Investigators suspect the incident was gang-related, although the victim himself was not a gang member, the sheriff’s department said. The gunman remains at large.

Man Loses Life Savings In Caught-On-Video Robbery, Assault Outside Huntington Park Bank
A man who had just withdrawn his life savings from a bank in Huntington Park was brutally beaten and robbed in a caught-on-video attack last week. On July 30, Francisco Cornejo had taken out $200,000 from a Chase bank at Pacific Boulevard and Belgrave Avenue following the recent sale of his home, when an unknown assailant grabbed his satchel and ran away. Cornejo fell to the ground as a result, video taken by a bystander showed. The assailant’s face could not be seen in the video, but he was wearing a black hoodie. “Within 30 seconds of just getting to his car, he was grabbed, beaten, robbed, and they took everything from him,” Cornejo’s attorney, Nathan Soleimani, told KTLA. Cornejo was left with significant bruises on his side and arm, and his shoulder was dislocated. He also suffered severe trauma to the head. 

Man Arrested After Shooting At Group Of Construction Workers In Culver City
A 37-year-old man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of shooting at a group of construction workers and fleeing the scene in Culver City. The man allegedly confronted the group Wednesday while they were working around noon and got into an argument with them before leaving, according to the Culver City Police Department. He came back to the area, in the 6500 block of Green Valley Circle, near Centinela Avenue, with a semi-automatic handgun and fired about four rounds at the group at about 12:15 p.m., police said. No one was struck by gunfire. He got into a older-model Ford Explorer and drove away westbound on Centinela Avenue, police said. A Culver City police patrol officer saw a vehicle that fit the description of the suspect's vehicle in the 6300 block of Sepulveda Boulevard on Thursday about 3:15 p.m., police said. He determined from photos provided by witnesses that it was the same man, and arrested him after pulling the vehicle over.

Loaded Gun Found In Carry-On Bag At Hollywood Burbank Airport
A pistol loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition was found in a man’s carry-on bag at a security checkpoint at Hollywood Burbank Airport, authorities said Thursday. The 9 mm Glock 19 pistol was found while the bag was being X-rayed at 6 a.m. Wednesday before the man’s flight to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Hollywood Burbank Airport Police personnel responded and the man was cited on a local charge, but permitted to continue on his flight after the weapon was confiscated, Dankers said. His name was not released. Six firearms have been confiscated from carry-on luggage this year at the Hollywood Burbank Airport, and TSA officers around the nation discovered 13 guns in carry-on luggage Wednesday, Dankers said. In the first five days of August, 52 firearms were found at security checkpoints, up from 46 firearms in the first five-days of August 2019.

Grammy-Winning Producer Detail Charged With 11 Counts Of Rape
Grammy Award-winning music producer Detail has been charged with forcibly raping five women and sexually assaulting another, officials said Thursday. The 41-year-old producer, whose real name is Noel Christopher Fisher, was charged with 11 counts of forcible rape, three counts of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, and two counts each of forcible oral copulation, sodomy by use of force and false imprisonment by violence, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release. Fisher is accused of multiple sexual assaults against six women, who ranged from 18 to 31 years old at the time of the incidents, according to the DA’s office. The alleged assaults took place between 2010 and 2018, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said.

Judge Hikes Bail For La Luz del Mundo Leader Accused Of Child Rape To $90 Million
A judge on Thursday set bail at $90 million for the leader of La Luz del Mundo church, all but ensuring that the religious leader, Naason Joaquin Garcia, will remain jailed as he awaits trial on charges of raping children and possessing child pornography, among other crimes. The bail amount, set by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge George G. Lomeli, was staggering. Garcia’s attorneys had asked the judge to whittle down the $50-million bail imposed last year, when Garcia was first charged with sex crimes. Setting bail at $50 million was the functional equivalent of denying it, his attorneys argued, because no surety company could legally underwrite so large a bond. Instead, Lomeli raised it by $40 million.

Public Safety News

Los Angeles Bringing Mobile COVID-19 Testing Sites To Underserved Communities
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday that the city will be bringing mobile COVID-19 testing sites to underserved communities. “If you are unable to drive to a test site, we are coming to you,” Garcetti said. “Our fire department has redesigned trailers with walk-up windows that can test four people at a time, and Curative has launched its own testing van, distributing COVID tests.” “We’re sending these resources all around the city in the places that are most needed, and we’re constantly looking at the data to see which communities were seeing surges and how we can help ensure that we take those surges down,” Garcetti said. There is no cost to patients for any test, whether or not you have insurance, but individuals are asked to bring insurance information if they have it, or a driver's license or another form of identification if they do not.

Southeast L.A. County Becomes Epicenter Of Coronavirus Resurgence
Southeast Los Angeles County has become the epicenter for the resurgence of the coronavirus, according to a Times analysis of county health data that found infections skyrocketing in its mostly working-class Latino communities. The sharp increase since the economy reopened around Memorial Day shows the virus is spreading rapidly through factories, stores and other workplaces and into communities with higher rates of poverty, more crowding and many essential workers who make the economy tick. Hit hard by job losses during the shutdown, they are increasingly suffering from the virus itself. The region reported more than 27,000 new COVID-19 cases over the last two months, the most in the county. The area now accounts for 19% of new infections, although it comprises just 12% of the countywide population, the Times analysis shows.

California Tops 10,000 Coronavirus Deaths
The death toll from the coronavirus in California surpassed 10,000 people on Thursday, a mark that underscores how a state that was once hailed as a pandemic success story is now struggling to slow outbreaks. The surge of the coronavirus in California over the last two months had several causes, including the reopening of the economy that allowed COVID-19 to spread rapidly among low-wage workers, many of them Latino essential workers whose employers haven’t followed new infection control rules. But summer celebrations among young people is also a recurring problem, and one particularly frustrating to officials trying to slow outbreaks. As of Friday morning, California had at least 541,494 confirmed cases and 10,028 deaths.

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: