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 14, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Mother Arrested In Child-Abuse Death Of 4-Year-Old Daughter: LAPD
A mother was arrested on suspicion of child abuse after her 4-year-old daughter was hospitalized and died, Los Angeles police said Wednesday. The girl arrived by ambulance at an L.A. hospital around 5:50 p.m. Tuesday and was pronounced dead within two hours, the L.A. Police Department said in a news release. Hospital staff deemed her death suspicious, and officers from LAPD’s 77th Street police station — which patrols the Florence neighborhood of South L.A. — responded to investigate. The case was then handed to the department’s Abused Child Section, officials said. The probe resulted in the girl’s mother, 34-year-old Akira Smith, being arrested on suspicion of child abuse resulting in death. Inmate records show she was taken into custody and booked on $1 million bail.

Man Killed In South Los Angeles Hit-And-Run; Suspect At Large
Authorities Thursday were investigating a hit-and-run that killed a 50-year-old man in the Florence area of South Los Angeles. Officers were sent to the 200 block of West 60th Street, between South Main Street and South Broadway, about 11:50 p.m. Wednesday for a call of a body in an alley, according to the LAPD. Officers believe the victim, later identified as Joe Banes, of Los Angeles, was fatally run over by a vehicle while he was lying in the alley, and the suspect fled the scene without rendering aid, police said. No description was available of the driver or vehicle, and it was not immediately clear why the victim was lying in the alley. A $25,000 reward is available to anyone who provides information leading to the suspect’s identification, arrest and conviction.

FBI Seeking Woman In Arson Of LAPD Squad Car During George Floyd Protests
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information about a woman who was seen pouring accelerant on a police car during recent protests. The arson happened on May 30, during protests that erupted in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. According to the FBI, the woman was among one of several who poured accelerant on a marked LAPD squad car and set it on fire in the vicinity of Beverly Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. The suspect was described as a white female with a lean build, between 5-foot-5 and 5-foot-8. She wore a yellow hard hat, glasses, a black shirt, a blue face mask with a print, and wore a blue backpack. Anyone with information about the suspect can call the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office at (310) 477-6565, the SAFE LA Task Force at (213) 486-6840 or email

LAPD Reports Another Employee Has Tested Positive For COVID-19 Bringing Total To 500
The Los Angeles Police Department reported Thursday an additional employee has tested positive for COVID-19. To date, 500 employees have tested positive, according to Jessica Kellogg of the Emergency Operations Center. Of those, 137 employees are at home recovering or self-isolating due to exposure, and 405 have returned to work. Two LAPD employees, including one sworn officer, have died from virus-related complications. Last month, 45-year-old Valentin Martinez, a sworn-officer, and Erica McAdoo, a 39-year-old non-sworn senior detention officer died from coronavirus complications.

7 Arrested After Statue Of George Washington In Grand Park Torn Down
Seven people were arrested Thursday night after a statue of George Washington in downtown Los Angeles was defaced and torn from its base, the L.A. Police Department said. According to initial reports, a group of protesters gathered in Grand Park at about 7 p.m. and defaced the statue, located on Hill Street between Temple and 1st streets, before forcibly removing it from its base. The statue, a life size bronze figure of America’s first president dressed in military uniform, is one of 30 copies of an original granite sculpture created in 1796 that currently sits at the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, according to the Los Angeles Department of Arts and Culture. It was acquired in 1933 by the Women’s Community Service, an auxiliary of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, and presented to the county on Feb. 22 of that year to commemorate Washington’s birthday.

Two Arrested In Connection With 2018 Long Beach Homicide
A 26-year-old man was arrested in Long Beach Thursday, three days after the first suspect in a 2018 likely gang-related shooting death in Long Beach. Richard Van was shot about 4:30 p.m. March 12, 2018, in the 1300 block of Wesley Drive, near Orange Avenue, according to the Long Beach Police Department. Officers who responded to the shooting call found Van with a gunshot wound to his upper body. He died at a hospital. Investigators linked 26-year-old Danny Sourn and 28-year-old David Vongkoth to the shooting, and both were arrested in Long Beach this week, police said. Police said they believe Van was killed after a confrontation by Sourn and Vongkoth escalated to a shooting. Vongkoth was arrested during a traffic stop in the 2600 block of Atlantic Avenue, near East Willow Street, on Monday, according to the Long Beach Police Department.

Man Arrested In Hit-and-Run Death Of Long Beach Clerk Who Tried To Stop Him From Stealing: Police
A suspect was arrested Wednesday in the hit-and-run death of a Long Beach liquor store clerk, who police say was trying to stop the suspect from stealing. Officers found 33-year-old Jamal Darby, driving the car they believe he used in the crash, near his residence on West 57th Street in Los Angeles’ Vermont-Slauson neighborhood around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Long Beach police said in a news release. Darby was arrested and booked on suspicion of murder, robbery and burglary, while the vehicle was seized as evidence, the department said. Investigators say Darby was identified as a suspect after they uncovered evidence linking him to the July 24 killing of Victor Talavera, a 57-year-old Long Beach resident. Darby had allegedly stolen miscellaneous items from Talavera’s store on the 300 block of West Anaheim Street, and Talavera followed Darby and climbed onto the hood of his sedan in an effort to stop him.

California Supreme Court To Hear Case Of LA Serial Killer Convicted Of Slaying 10 Women
The California Supreme Court is set to hear an automatic appeal next month in the case of a man who was initially sentenced to death for murdering 10 women in Los Angeles over an 11-year period and later convicted of the killings of four other women in the Los Angeles area. Attorneys are set to appear Sept. 2 either by video or teleconference before the state's highest court in the case of Chester Dewayne Turner, who was convicted in April 2007 of 10 counts of first-degree murder, along with a count of second-degree murder of the unborn baby of one of the victims. He was described at the time by prosecutors as the city's most prolific serial killer. At Turner's July 2007 sentencing, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William R. Pounders said there was "overwhelming evidence'' that the defendant methodically located lone women and "strangled each to death for his own sexual pleasure.''

Suspected MS-13 Leader’s Capture Offers Window Into Gang’s Structure
On May 20, in the border district of San Ysidro, Mexican authorities quietly turned over a 49-year-old member of MS-13 to the FBI. The handoff of Nelson Alexander Flores came with none of the ceremony that typically accompanies the capture of MS-13 gang members. There was no photo-op, no press conference, nothing like the recent spectacle in the Oval Office, when President Trump and his attorney general announced they would seek the death penalty against an MS-13 member accused of killing two teenage girls with baseball bats and machetes and charge another with terrorism. In driving a hard line against illegal immigration and crime in the country’s big cities, Trump has sought to cast MS-13 as his administration’s foil, a direct threat to the American public that has seeped out of Los Angeles and El Salvador and into the nation’s heartland. MS-13 is “an evil group of people,” Trump said in the Oval Office, “sick” and “deranged.” Atty. Gen. William Barr, standing alongside him, likened the gang to “a death cult.”

Public Safety News

LAFD Responds To Unusual Call For Service After Man Tapes Himself To Billboard In Publicity Stunt
Firefighters and law enforcement Thursday responded to an unusual call for service when they were told that a man duct-taped himself to a billboard in Hollywood. The Los Angeles Fire Department referred to the incident as a "single patient behavioral emergency" in which "one person secured (themselves?) to a billboard." When crews arrived at the scene in the 1700 block of Cahuenga Boulevard they discovered that the individual was, in fact, comedian and television personality Steve-O in an apparent publicity stunt. Video from SkyFOX showed dozens of spectators on the street below taking photos and videos of Steve-O duct-taped to the billboard. After about an hour, crews were able to get him down from the billboard. It was unclear if Steve-O will face charges. 

Lake Fire Raises Concern As Wildfire Season Heats Up
A pillar of smoke and ash rose into the sky over Lake Hughes like an erupting volcano. Firefighters hustled to save nearby structures as flames swirled and feasted on dry brush and timber. If the explosive blaze that crews battled in the the Angeles National Forest on Wednesday night is any indication, officials say Southern California has entered a new chapter of the 2020 fire season. “We’re getting to the most critical part ... after a long, hot, dry summer,” Los Angeles County Fire Chief Darrell Osby said Thursday. Vegetation that was soaked by a series of storms in late spring has finally dried and is now prone to ignition, authorities say. What comes next are the searing Santa Ana winds of the fall. On Wednesday afternoon, the Lake fire quickly scorched 10,500 acres as it raced west toward Interstate 5 and northeast toward residents in Pine Canyon in the Antelope Valley, triggering evacuations and burning three buildings.

At-Home COVID-19 Tests Could Happen Sooner Than You Think, Thanks to Tech Breakthroughs
If you've ever had occasion to do a home pregnancy test, you've had a glimpse into the possible future of COVID Testing. Whether you are positive will reveal itself on a treated paper strip by analyzing a sample of saliva -- more simply, quickly, and cheaply than the swabbing and lab analysis that have been the mainstay of the literally hundreds of millions of COVID tests to date. "Very much a game-changer" is the expectation of Rahul Dhanda, CEO of Sherlock BioSciences, the Massachusetts company at the forefront of developing a paper strip test with the power to detect the genomic content inside the virus itself, with technology licensed from Harvard University. Dhanda is among a group of biotech leaders sought out by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti for the initiative he announced Tuesday with the goal of accelerating the development and availability of rapid COVID-19 testing.

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: