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

September 16, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Sheriff Says Investigators Pursuing Leads In Deputies Shooting
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Tuesday investigators had “promising leads” in the search for the gunman who shot two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies as they sat in a patrol SUV at a Compton rail station. “We’re on the right path,” Villanueva said Tuesday. He also expressed hope to have something to announce soon. Investigators were “working day and night to identify and arrest these cowards,” Villanueva said, referencing the gunman and a possible getaway driver. As of Tuesday, no suspects had been identified, despite some online social media chatter to the contrary. The sheriff’s department issued a statement early Monday saying the information circulating online “is ERRONEOUS information and there are no named or wanted suspects at this time.”

Lynwood city manager removed after controversial comments on Compton deputy shooting
The city manager of Lynwood has been placed on paid administrative leave following controversial comments he made about the shooting of two deputies in Compton. City manager Jose Ometotl posted a meme on Instagram stating "Chickens come home to roost" over an image of Malcolm X. After a meeting Tuesday night the Lynwood City Council announced that Ometeotl had been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation and Michelle Ramirez had been named acting city manager.

Reward Increased In Search For Gunman Who Ambushed 2 L.A. County Deputies In Compton
The reward for information leading to the arrest of the shooter who ambushed two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies over the weekend in Compton has increased to $300,000. A GoFundMe page has been created to help the deputies with medical expenses and needs for their families.

LAPD Chief Moore Points To Pandemic As Driving Factor In Increased Gun Violence, Killings
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday that the COVID-19 pandemic has helped drive gun violence and increase killings in the city this year, including by spurring economic despair and interpersonal dramas while undercutting efforts to interrupt cycles of retaliation. “What we’re sensing is a lot of stress, a lot of communities that are on edge, a certain amount of depression,” Moore said during a morning meeting of the civilian Police Commission. In addition to serving as an emotional and economic wrecking ball, the pandemic, Moore said, has shifted nighttime gatherings away from traditional settings such as clubs and bars into neighborhoods and party houses, which have become a “fertile bed for some type of spontaneous violence.” He also said that pandemic-related rules barring visitors from local hospitals have prevented trained violence intervention workers from visiting the bedsides of surviving shooting victims — eliminating the opportunity to provide resources and emotional support, address their anger and help prevent retaliatory violence on the streets.

Prep For Layoffs, LA Mayor Tells City Department Managers
As city officials report revenues continuing to fall short amid an economic downturn spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has called on city officials to prepare for a “potential layoff scenario.” In a letter issued Friday, Sept. 11, Garcetti directed the general managers of the city’s more than 30 departments to begin a “layoff evaluation” process and to identify positions that could be eliminated, among other potential cost-cutting measures. He also instructed the city officials to work with his office and city employee unions on proposals that may include the “deferral or cancellation” of raises that had previously been negotiated. Craig Lally, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, issued a statement saying it was working “with the city as it grapples with this pandemic-induced financial crisis.” The union represents just under 10,000 rank-and-file police officers. Lally, citing the $150 million cut to the police department budget, said that it will lead to 250 fewer officers being hired this year. He also suggested that the city direct emergency coronavirus relief funding to help “preserve city services or jobs, and we stand ready to assist them in ensuring that those funds be put to use to protect services for residents.”

Young Woman’s Conviction Upheld For USC Student’s Killing
A state appeals court Tuesday upheld a young woman’s conviction for her involvement as a 16-year-old in the beating death of a USC graduate student from China, but ordered the case against her to be sent back to the trial court for re-sentencing. The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected Alejandra Guerrero’s contention that there was insufficient evidence to support the jury’s special circumstance finding of murder during the commission of an attempted robbery involving the July 24, 2014, attack on Xinran Ji. “Contrary to Guerrero’s contention, the record contains ample evidence of her reckless indifference to human life sufficient to support the jury’s special circumstance finding,” Presiding Justice Dennis M. Perluss wrote on behalf of the panel. Guerrero was one of four young people convicted in connection with the attack.

LA Man Sentenced To Federal Prison For Producing Child Porn
A Koreatown man was sentenced Tuesday to 17 1/2 years in federal prison for convincing teenage girls to send him sexually explicit images, then coercing his victims to send more with threats of publishing the images he initially obtained. After he is released from federal prison, Francisco Sanchez will be required to register as a sex offender and must serve a lifetime period of supervised release. Sanchez, 31, “victimized real children — manipulated and exploited them for his sexual pleasure — with total disregard for the consequences and effects upon them,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum. Sanchez admitted that he used websites and computer applications to meet minor girls online. From 2014 through September 2016, he used the fake name Eddie Nash to pose as a teenage boy and develop romantic relationships with his victims so that he could obtain sexually explicit images and videos from them.

Suspect In Custody After Hours-Long Standoff In Lynwood
A suspect is in custody in Lynwood after a standoff connected to a carjacking in the city, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which added the suspect was not immediately connected to the shooting of two deputies in Compton on Saturday. A large law enforcement presence was seen near Lynwood on Tuesday afternoon as deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department searched for an alleged armed carjacking suspect. A SWAT team was sent to the 3100 block of Carlin Avenue, near North Santa Fe Avenue, at about noon, according to Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The suspect in an apartment or house near Rosecrans Avenue and Long Beach Boulevard, which sheriff's personnel surrounded, according to the station. Deputies evacuated the nearby area as the department's Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) Special Weapons Team searched for the suspect.

LA County Votes To Establish Local Ordinance To Support Crackdown On Human Trafficking
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to develop an ordinance to crack down on human and sex trafficking, targeting motels, hotels, massage parlors and sports and entertainment venues. Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Janice Hahn co-authored a motion calling for enforcement at the local level. "Organized criminal enterprises have been known to transport victims -- many of them underage -- to large-scale athletic competitions in order to sell them for sex," Ridley-Thomas said. ``With Los Angeles destined to host the Super Bowl in 2022 and the Summer Olympics in 2028, it is not too early to prevent the depraved and often clandestine crime of human trafficking." The ordinance as envisioned would require a wide range of businesses to post a hotline number for reporting human trafficking. State law requires postings at locations where such crimes are known to occur, like strip clubs and other adult businesses, and where victims might seek help, such as hospitals and urgent care centers. However, that law has been inconsistently enforced across jurisdictions, according to Ridley-Thomas.

FBI Arrests Drug Ring That Also Sold ‘Ghost Gun’ AR-15s
An FBI-led task force arrested 18 people identified in a series of federal indictments with links to a Southern California drug ring that also sold illegal weapons. The early morning arrests across Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire were the culmination of Operation “Black Phoenix,” which identified 25 suspects involved in illicit narcotics and gun trades. Four of those identified are already in custody, officials said, while three remain at large. Investigators from the FBI, the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department seized about 28 pounds of methamphetamine, a quarter-pound of cocaine and crack cocaine, and 16 firearms — including several so-called “ghost guns,” which lack serial numbers that could be traced by law enforcement. Six of the accused were involved in a single drug deal involving several pounds of methamphetamine, officials said.

Public Safety News

Firefighters Battle Commercial Building Fire In South Los Angeles
Fire crews Wednesday morning were working to contain the flames of a commercial building fire in South Los Angeles. The fire erupted around 5:30 a.m. in a building in the 1700 block of West Florence Avenue, near Western Avenue, in the Harvard Park area of South L.A. Officials said the building that caught fire was a dry cleaner. Firefighters were operating in a defensive mode, using heavy streams from the exterior. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire remained under investigation.

15 Fatalities Confirmed. North Complex Now Among State’s Top 5 Deadliest Fires
The confirmed death toll from California’s unprecedented firestorm has risen to 25 as crews work to hem in some two dozen major blazes still burning statewide. Another fatality was confirmed Monday in the area of the North Complex fire near Oroville — boosting that fire’s death toll to 15, according to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office. In recorded state history, only four blazes have been deadlier. Authorities have released the names of seven fire victims. All were residents of Berry Creek, a mountain town northeast of Oroville that was devastated by the fire.

LA Search And Rescue Crew To Help Find NorCal Wildfire Victims
A search and rescue team from the Los Angeles Fire Department is headed up to Northern California to assist in the search for victims of the devastating wildfires burning there. Twenty-nine members who make up the LAFD Regional Urban Search and Rescue Task Force were departing from Sherman Oaks to Chico Tuesday morning, along with two human-detection canines, to help locate victims of the North Complex of fires. “Our mission is to go up there with our equipment, specially trained personnel, and our canines, and search for people,” Assistant LAFD Fire Chief Wade White said. “Our dogs will search through any kind of environment, whether its the rubble, whether it’s the ashes of a home, and they will detect the presence of human remains, which then allows the anthropologists and other agencies to hopefully be able to identify and bring closure to those families,” LAFD spokesperson Margaret Stewart said.

Despite Declining COVID-19 Numbers, L.A. County Health Officials Say Reopening Would Be ‘Foolish’
California’s COVID-19 case count and hospitalizations are declining, but L.A. County’s top public health official still isn’t ready to ease up on restrictions. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer on Tuesday warned that lifting restrictions before getting an accurate picture on infection rates following the Labor Day holiday weekend could prove detrimental. “It would be foolish to start reopenings now, only to have to close down because our numbers are moving in the wrong direction,” said Ferrer at the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting. She was addressing questions from supervisors and the public regarding the ongoing closures of indoor malls and other businesses that, under state guidelines, are allowed to reopen with restrictions. The increasing pressure to reopen comes amid signs that the pandemic is in retreat. But the county has yet to show enough progress to lift most restrictions.

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: