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

October 15, 2020
Law Enforcement News

LA's 2020 Murder Rate 25% Above Last Year
The LAPD said a spike in street violence that was elevated by a gang feud in South Los Angeles in late September has continued to simmer into October, with scores of shooting reports and at least a dozen murders in the last week. "As of this morning, here today in the city, we've had 261 homicides," LAPD Capt. Ahmad Zarekani said Wednesday. "That is a 25% increase from last year at this point." LAPD crime data reviewed by the I-Team showed the number of shootings in which victims survived had also increased by nearly 21%, or an average of about 3.3 each day compared with 2.7 per day at this time last year. Between Oct. 5 and 12, 2020 the data showed at least 96 crime reports of shootings, though not all of those resulted in injuries. Much of the violence has taken place in South Los Angeles, where what police called a historic feud between two rival gangs touched off a series of attacks and retaliations last month. Some 100 murders in 2020 have taken place in South LA, Capt. Zarekani said.

LAPD Tells Officers To Be Available In Case Of Election-Related Unrest
The Los Angeles Police Department has informed all its officers that they may need to reschedule any vacations around election day as the agency prepares for possible protests or other unrest. Law enforcement sources said the department does not have any specific intelligence suggesting problems but that the bulletin was put out to be prepared for any contingencies. LAPD officers put in for days off typically months in advance, but top LAPD brass has informed officers in a letter that it has designated Nov. 2 to 9 as a “special event,” with modified hours and limited time off for anyone. Election day is Nov. 3. “We would be foolish not to make sure we had resources available,” said Josh Rubenstein, the department’s communications director. “We want to make sure we have people available. This is not a full mobilization.” He said he has no specific information but the department acts out of caution often.

31-Year-Old Man Killed, Another Person Injured In Pacoima Shooting
A 31-year-old man was killed and a second person was injured in a Pacoima shooting early Wednesday morning, authorities said. Officers who responded to a “shots fired” report at 2:40 a.m. near Ralston Avenue and Van Nuys Boulevard found Andres Cruz lying on the sidewalk one block away, in the 13100 block of Van Nuys Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. A second victim, who police did not identify in full, was taken to a hospital by residents and has since been released, police said. Investigators said the two were walking west on Van Nuys Boulevard when they were approached by a man who asked them where they were from, then pointed a gun at them and fired twice, striking both victims. The suspect fled the scene in a dark-colored vehicle, but a further description was not released.

Man Shot To Death In South LA Gas Station, Gunman At Large
Authorities are searching for at least one suspect who shot and killed a man at a gas station in South Los Angeles early Thursday morning. The shooting occurred at 12:18 a.m. at a Chevron station located in the 6300 block of South Figueroa Street. The victim died at the scene, Los Angeles police said. His name was not released. The suspect remains at large. There was no word on a motive in the shooting or whether it was gang-related. There was no immediate description of the suspect.

Woman Killed In Koreatown Shooting
A woman was killed in a shooting in Koreatown Wednesday evening and a police SWAT team searched for the shooter. Offices were called out to the 900 block of South Wilton Place, near Ninth Street, about 9:15 p.m. and located the victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Officer Jeff Lee of the LAPD. A SWAT team was called to the location to search for the suspect, Lee said. A description of the suspect was not immediately available. The age and name of the victim were not disclosed.

Three Arrested In Shooting Death In South L.A. Area
Three men were in custody Wednesday in the gang-related shooting death of another man in the south Los Angeles area last summer, authorities said. Austin Belisle, 45, was gunned down on July 31 near 52nd and Ruthelen streets and died at a hospital, according to the coroner’s office and the Los Angeles Police Department. “In the weeks that followed, detectives worked closely with several LAPD units, including Metropolitan Division personnel and South Bureau’s ATF Task Force,” resulting in the Oct. 7 arrests of James Dorsey, 20, Deshawn Grant, 21, and Davone Garrett, 22, according to an LAPD statement. They were booked on suspicion of murder and are being held without bail. Also arrested that day was Jamemal Baker, 24, who was booked on suspicion of theft of the victim’s property, police said. He’s being held on $160,000 bail.

Men Strike Victim With Van While Trying To Get Away From North Hollywood-Area Robbery: LAPD
Two men struck a victim with their van as they were trying to get away from the scene of a robbery in the North Hollywood area earlier this month, and the incident was caught on video. About 9:10 a.m. Oct. 5, a gardener was working along the 10400 block of Myrna Street when two men backed their van up to the victim’s work truck, Los Angeles Police Department officials said in a news release Wednesday. The passenger got out of the van and removed property from the truck, video released by police shows. When the victim realized what was going on, he ran toward the men and the passenger got back into the van. The driver drove forward in an attempt to get away as the victim stood in front of the van and was struck, the video shows. The men then sped away in the van, described as a white Ford Transit Connect.

Suspect In Stolen SUV Leads LAPD On Wild Chase Through San Fernando Valley
A suspect in a stolen SUV was arrested after leading police on a wild chase through the streets of the San Fernando Valley. The suspect in a stolen GMC Yukon fled at high speeds, dodging pedestrians, swerving past cars in an effort to escape officers. The chase was first reported around 5:20 p.m. in the area near Sherman Way and Kester Avenue. He seemed at times to lose control of the vehicle, and finally pulled over next to a parked vehicle in Van Nuys near Victory Boulevard and Kester. He then jumped out the driver's window and ran away on foot, but officers caught up to him quickly and tackled him to the ground.

Man Gets 17 Years In Prison After Admitting To Robbing Residential Gardeners At Gunpoint In South L.A.: DA’s Office
A 38-year-old man pleaded no contest Wednesday to robbing numerous gardeners at gunpoint in 2016, officials said. Aaron Deon Seymour, of Los Angeles, entered the plea to two felony counts of second-degree robbery and admitted to a 2006 conviction for voluntary manslaughter, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release. Seymour was immediately sentenced to 17 years in state prison. Between March and May of 2016, Seymour allegedly approached gardeners while they were working in residential areas of South Los Angeles, showed them a handgun and demanded money, police said. The case involves at least 10 different victims, according to the DA’s Office.

Massive Methamphetamine Bust, Largest Ever By DEA In U.S., Made In Inland Empire
Piled 10 feet high and resting against a large truck, hundreds of packages containing methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine were put on display Wednesday, Oct. 14, as Drug Enforcement Administration officials announced a pair of their biggest busts ever. A pair of recent investigations led to the seizure of more than 5,200 pounds of methamphetamine, believed to be tied to the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico, said Timothy Shea, acting administrator for the DEA. The first bust netted more than 2,200 pounds of methamphetamine, 893 pounds of cocaine and 13 pounds of heroin – found, authorities said, in a stash house in Perris and another in Moreno Valley on Oct. 2. The drugs were on the floor of the two homes, Shea said during a press conference in Montebello, home to one of the federal agency’s facilities. In Moreno Valley, investigators found methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin in 25 duffel bags in the garage, officials said, but the bulk of the seized drugs were found at the stash house in Perris.

Public Safety News

60-Year-Old Woman Dies From Injuries In Hollywood Apartment Fire
A 60-year-old woman died late Wednesday night from injuries she sustained in a fire in one unit of an assisted-living facility in Hollywood. Firefighters responded to 1740 N. Las Palmas Ave., at 10:42 p.m. and located fire in one unit and extinguished it. The woman was found by firefighters during a search of the apartment, according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department. The woman was treated at the scene then taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, Stewart said. The victim's name was not disclosed. No other injuries were reported and the cause of the fire was under investigation.

Trash Fire Spreads To Cafe In Van Nuys Civic Center Area
A trash fire in the Van Nuys Civic Center area spread into a two-story commercial building early Thursday morning and burned for about 40 minutes before being extinguished. Firefighters responded to 14449 Friar St., near Van Nuys Boulevard, just after 3 a.m. and quickly extinguished the trash fire while other crews went inside the building, where they found fire burning on both floors, according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department. The flames were extinguished inside the building, and a knockdown was called at 3:43 a.m., she said. The address corresponds with Pao’s Pastries & Cafe. The Art Deco-style building also houses a burger restaurant, a Mexican restaurant and a number of offices.

LA County Sees Rise In Workplace Outbreaks As Infection Rate Creeps Upward
With more businesses reopening, Los Angeles County has seen a recent rise in workplace coronavirus outbreaks, health officials said, while also reporting an uptick in the transmission rate that could translate to more cases. As of Wednesday, the county's effective transmission rate -- the average number of other people a COVID-19 patient infects with the virus -- stood at 1.05, up from 1.0 two weeks ago. "As a reminder, if (the rate) is greater than one, then we anticipate that the number of new cases will increase over time,'' county health services director Dr. Christina Ghaly said. Ghaly said the number of people hospitalized due to the virus remains relatively low, at 720 as of Wednesday, well below the 2,000-plus levels seen in July. She said the increase in transmission rate could lead to an increase in hospitalizations, but the county should have more than adequate bed space for at least the next month. But she urged people to continue taking precautions against the virus.

Local Government News

LA City Council Votes For Ban On Using Hotels To Detain Immigrants
The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to establish a law to prohibit hotels from holding migrant children and families who have been detained by private security companies for being in the country illegally. The proposal was introduced by Councilman Gil Cedillo in August to prohibit and suspend certificates of occupancy for any hotel in Los Angeles used to house and detain migrants under the direction of private security companies. Cedillo referenced an article published by The New York Times at the time he filed his motion that said the Best Western Plus Dragon Gate Inn in Chinatown was being used to house immigrants, as was a Quality Suites in San Diego; Hampton Inn locations in Phoenix, Arizona, and McAllen and El Paso, Texas; a Comfort Suites hotel in Miami; and an Econo Lodge in Seattle.

Normal Parking Enforcement To Resume In LA Thursday
Relaxed parking enforcement measures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic are scheduled to end Thursday. The city will resume parking enforcement and impounds when applicable for street cleaning, abandoned vehicles, oversize and overnight restrictions, peak-hour and anti-gridlock zones, and expired vehicle registration. Enforcement of expired preferential parking district permits will also resume throughout the city. In August, Mayor Eric Garcetti extended relaxed parking enforcement across Los Angeles to make it easier for Angelenos to stay home without being concerned about getting a ticket. The city will not impound vehicles when someone is living in them, and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation will report to the City Council within the next month or two with a plan for the next steps of parking enforcement.

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: