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 31, 2020
Law Enforcement News

LAPD Searching For Protesters Who Vandalized Van Nuys Police Station
Los Angeles police were searching Sunday for members of a group of protesters, numbering about 50, who demonstrated outside the department’s Van Nuys station, burned an American flag, sprayed graffiti on the building and harassed several officers inside a cruiser before leaving the scene. The protesters, wearing masks and dark clothing, first gathered at Tyrone Avenue and Delano Street before marching to the station on Sylmar Avenue, where they circled the building chanting anti-cop slogans. Several members then pulled down the American flag from in front of the station and set it on fire, the LAPD reported. Others in the group then spray painted anti-police slogans on the walls. The Los Angeles Police Protective League condemned the group’s actions. “Last night’s defund the police riot at the Van Nuys police station is a pathetic reflection of those who continue to promote hate, violence and destruction to justify their dangerous anarchist agenda that calls for the abolishment of police officers in the city of Los Angeles,” a union statement said. Anyone with information on these protesters was asked to call the LAPD’s Van Nuys station at 818-374-9500.

Protesters Gather At The Private Homes Of LA Public Officials
Thursday night protestors went to the home of LA Police Chief Michel Moore. Dozens of protesters at his driveway posted signs saying things like “FIRE CHIEF MOORE” and “DEFUND LAPD NOW”. This is the third time we’ve seen this tactic of going to the homes of public officials. Last night it was the group Black Future Projects that surrounded the Chief's home. This also happened when Black Lives Matter demonstrators went to District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s home and to the home of Mayor Garcetti. We asked Black Lives Matter leader Melina Abdullah about the tactic. She told FOX 11 that they use it "when we feel that they haven’t been forced to confront these life and death issues that we’re talking about and it becomes necessary to go to places where they can’t avoid hearing us.” In other words, when they feel protesting during working hours isn't working it's off to the homes. Sgt. Jaretta Sandoz with the LA Police Protective League (LAPPL) says, “We feel this is nothing more than intimidation and bullying. The goal is not to have actual dialogue. It’s not to actually make police better. It’s to shout down anyone who doesn’t agree with them.” 

LAPD Officer Dies From COVID-19 Months Before Twin Sons Are Due, Drive-By Baby Shower Held
A drive-by baby shower was held on Saturday for the pregnant domestic partner of a Los Angeles Police Department officer who died last month from coronavirus complications. Megan Flynn, who was also an officer with the LAPD, is due in November with twin boys. The father, 15-year LAPD Officer Valentin “Val” Martinez, died last month after a battle with COVID-19. He was the department’s first sworn officer to die from the virus. The twins would be the first children for the couple, and although Martinez won’t be around to see their births, loved ones wanted to safely celebrate their arrival. “It’s a privilege and an honor to carry on Val,” Flynn said. “This has been overwhelming.” Car after car filled with enthusiastic drivers and passengers stopped by to wish Flynn well while maintaining physical distancing and ended up providing her with nearly every single item of their registry wish list.

Male Wounded In South Los Angeles Shooting
A male was wounded in the neck and back Saturday in a shooting in the Vermont Knolls area of Los Angeles. It was reported at 1:43 p.m. at Normandie Avenue and 80th Street, said Officer Drake Madison of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations Section. The suspect fled in a blue SUV, Madison said. No further details were available, including the age and condition of the victim.

72-Year-Old Man Arrested In Deadly Westlake Hit-and-Run Crash: LAPD
A 72-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a deadly hit-and-run this week in Westlake, investigators said Friday. Ramiro Vincente Torres of Los Angeles was taken into custody around 9 p.m. Thursday, after he’s alleged to have fatally struck a woman earlier that morning on Wilshire Boulevard near Alvarado Street, the L.A. Police Department said in a news release. The woman was crossing the boulevard around 4:30 a.m. when the driver identified as Torres hit her while headed east in a white pickup, officials said. The truck possibly had a green light as it went through the intersection, but the driver did not stop to render aid after hitting the pedestrian, according to detectives. Officials have yet to publicly identify the victim, but police say she appeared to be 35 to 40 years old. Authorities believe she was living on the streets.

Confusion After LAPD Responds To Reports Of Gunfire At Pro-Trump Car Caravan
A car caravan of President Trump supporters parading down Ventura Boulevard turned chaotic Sunday as Los Angeles police searched for three people who might have been involved in an incident connected to the event. No one was hurt at the rally, and police were still trying to determine exactly what happened. Authorities were searching for three people in Woodland Hills after police received reports that one of them may have fired some type of weapon at the caravan. It was unclear whether there was physical evidence of gunfire or if the reports were based solely on witness accounts. Police received a report that a man was firing at the caravan as it traveled along Ventura Boulevard near Chalk Hill Court shortly before 11:30 a.m, said Officer Will Cooper of the LAPD. The incident was initially described as someone brandishing a firearm and throwing bottles at the vehicles but was later updated to include a report of shots fired, he said.

Suspects Wanted In Attempted Murder, Carjacking Arrested After High-Speed Chase
Three people wanted in connected with an attempted murder and carjacking led police on a dangerous high-speed chase in Los Angeles Saturday afternoon before they were arrested. All were inside the blue Hyundai Sonata as the driver blew through intersections and collided with at least two cars. Reports indicated the trio may have used a sledgehammer in the carjacking, with police referring to them as attempted murder suspects. After getting trapped behind traffic, all three people got out the car and ran into a neighborhood near Crenshaw Boulevard and 59th Place in the Hyde Park neighborhood. Police then began searching from house to house, and at least one family had to evacuate their home. One woman was seen being detained by police around 2:50 p.m. as they continued to search for the other two people. The other two were also taken into custody shortly after.

Woman, 71, Missing From Koreatown, Has Dementia
Police Sunday circulated a photo of a 71-year-old woman suffering from dementia and Parkinson’s disease who went missing in Koreatown. Dora Henriquez was last seen about 10 a.m. Saturday in the 800 block of James M. Wood Boulevard, the Los Angeles Police Department reported. Henriquez was described as a 5-feet tall Latino woman with gray hair, brown eyes and a small build. She was last seen wearing a brown shirt with a black line print, brown jeans, gray tennis shoes and carrying a white cloth bag with flower print. The LAPD’s Olympic station urged anyone with information regarding Henriquez’s whereabouts to call them at 213-382-9102.

LA Files Criminal Charges Against Party Houses In The Hollywood Hills
Criminal charges were filed in connection to recent parties in the Hollywood Hills that were held despite a city ban on large gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic. Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, who describes the parties as "havoc in the Hills," announced the crackdown Friday morning. Feuer announced criminal charges against two homeowners and two TikTok stars with millions of followers, Bryce Hall and Blake Gray, who hosted the parties. The charges center around two parties, one held on Aug. 8 and another on Aug. 14, which reportedly drew hundreds of people and was held on Hall's birthday. "We allege these hosts have been incredibly irresponsible, with a highly infectious disease spreading and parties banned because of it, and we allege they violated the law," Feuer said during a press conference.

L.A. Robbery Crew Ringleader Sentenced To Nearly 4 Years In Prison, Ordered To Pay $835,000
The Los Angeles head of a ring that tracked and robbed traveling jewelry salespeople, stealing at least $835,000 worth of goods, was sentenced to federal prison Friday, prosecutors said. Federico Santiago Quiroz Lucca was sentenced to 45 months in prison and was ordered to pay $835,000 in restitution, the U.S. attorney’s office announced. Lucca, 52, pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery. Prosecutors said that from 2017 into 2019, Lucca and his crew robbed jewelry salespeople in the Los Angeles area, the San Francisco Bay Area and in Denver. “Lucca led and organized the crew’s activities, enlisting help from several Colombian nationals who traveled to Los Angeles to participate in the conspiracy and robberies. He also used his apartment as a base of operations and meeting place where some co-conspirators lived, and equipment and stolen goods were stored,” the statement said.

Public Safety News

Firefighters Battle 200-Acre Blaze Near Elizabeth Lake
Crews were battling a 200-acre brush fire Friday near Elizabeth Lake, in northwest Los Angeles County, officials said. The blaze, dubbed Johnson Fire, was reported just after 3 p.m. at Johnson Road and Elizabeth Lake Road, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said. It started as a vehicle fire and spread to brush, according to the department. About 300 firefighters were at the scene, along with multiple aircrafts, working to stop forward spread in remote terrain. Gusty winds, difficult to access terrain, high temperatures and dry fuels were making it difficult to battle the fire, the department said. “We have experienced several spot fires, but through good communication along w/ swift action on the ground & air, these dangerous spots have been contained,” fire officials tweeted. No structures were under threat and no injuries were reported.

28 L.A. County Children Sickened By Rare Inflammatory Syndrome Linked To COVID-19
Three more children in Los Angeles County have been diagnosed with a rare and potentially deadly inflammatory syndrome believe to be linked to COVID-19, officials said Friday. A total of 28 children are now confirmed to have multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C, since the pandemic began, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health. The condition affects some who have been exposed to COVID-19, causing inflammation in various body parts including heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes and gastrointestinal organs. It can carry lifelong health impacts, health officials say. While the illness is serious and can lead to death, it has yet to be linked to any child fatalities in L.A. County. Parents should contact a doctor immediately if their child shows symptoms of MIS-C, which can include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes and fatigue, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

LA County Continues To See Dropping COVID-19 Numbers
Los Angeles County reported 1,030 new cases of COVID-19 and 10 additional deaths on Sunday, bringing the county's totals to 240,749 cases and 5,769 fatalities. Both daily numbers are lower than they've been for July and most of August. The number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus also continues to steadily decline, dropping from 1,116 Saturday to 1,089 Sunday -- well below last month, when the number regularly topped 2,000. Of the hospitalized patients in Los Angeles County, 32% are in intensive care, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Despite the declining numbers, the department continued to warn residents not to become lax in following preventive guidelines, such as wearing face coverings and social distancing.

Local Government News

He Paved The Way For Big Electronic Billboards. Then $75,000 Poured In For His Reelection
When a real estate developer proposed a $1.2-billion skyscraper complex just south of downtown, Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price stepped forward to champion the project, despite warnings that it would accelerate gentrification in South Los Angeles. Price urged his colleagues to approve the development in 2016, saying it would create hundreds of jobs. He also ensured that developer Ara Tavitian received permission to install three huge digital billboards on a 12-story building already located on the site, over strong objections from city planning commissioners. Three months later, three of Tavitian’s real estate companies poured $75,000 into a political action committee working to reelect Price. Construction still hasn’t started on the skyscraper complex, which would go up next to the existing building and add 1,444 apartments and condominiums, a 208-room hotel, a supermarket and other attractions. But the property owners have already installed the digital billboards, sparking complaints from those who live and work nearby.

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: