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 21, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Police Chief Predicts L.A. Will Top 300 Homicides This Year, The First Time Since 2009
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore predicted Tuesday that the city will see more than 300 homicides this year — a level not reached in L.A. in more than a decade. Moore said there had been 266 homicides in the city as of Saturday, representing a nearly 25% increase over the same period last year and surpassing the total number of homicides in all of 2019, when there were 253 killings in the city, and 2018, when there were 260 total killings. Speaking during a virtual meeting of the Police Commission, Moore called the pace of violence in 2020 a “terrible loss” and an “erosion” of progress that had been made reducing gun violence in the city in recent years. The last time the city broke 300 homicides was in 2009, when there were 312 killings in the city. In previous decades, the city saw significantly more killings. Some years in the 1980s and 1990s had more than 1,000 killings. However, homicides have generally followed a downward trend since 2002, when there were 647 killings in the city. This year, a different trend has emerged. 

Calls To Restrict Police Use Of Projectiles On Crowds Renewed After Latest L.A. Injuries
A growing number of California lawmakers, medical experts and criminal justice reform advocates are calling for stricter limits on the use of hard-foam projectiles by law enforcement after Los Angeles police officers seriously wounded several men following the recent Lakers’ NBA title victory. Some critics want a total ban. Others want to see reduced use and better mechanisms for tracking the impacts. Police officials, meanwhile, defended their use of the weapons but said they are trying to minimize it. LAPD Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday that he is rushing to order shields for officers so that they have another tool to defend themselves against increasingly violent threats from demonstrators. Craig Lally, president of the union that represents LAPD officers, said taking projectile weapons away from police would be “dangerous and wrong.” “Dangerous mobs and individuals who are blending in with peaceful demonstrators have shot officers, thrown bricks, rocks, and frozen water bottles at them and even launched fireworks and pointed lasers at them hoping to cause harm,” Lally said. 

Houston Officer Killed In Shooting, Another Wounded
A Houston police officer was killed and a teenager and another officer were wounded Tuesday morning when a man opened fire on law enforcement responding to a domestic disturbance call, authorities said. Police Chief Art Acevedo said officers arrived at the apartment in southwest Houston around 8 a.m. where they met a woman who said she was moving out and needed to retrieve her belongings, but that her husband would not let her in. About an hour and a half later, the woman's 14-year-old son opened the apartment door and 51-year-old Elmer Manzano came out and began shooting at the officers who returned fire, Acevedo said during a news conference. Sgt. Harold Preston was shot multiple times, including in the head, and died at a hospital, Acevedo said. Officer Courtney Waller was shot in the arm and is in stable condition at a hospital, he said. Manzano and the 14-year-old were also shot and are expected to survive.

North Carolina Cop Hospitalized After He's Beaten During Arrest
A police officer was rushed to a hospital after a suspect assaulted him on the job, North Carolina officials say. Michael Sale, a Rowland police officer, was trying to arrest a man early Saturday when authorities say he was beaten, multiple news outlets reported. Sale's face was bloodied from the encounter, and he was "airlifted to UNC Medical Center," the Rowland Police Department said, according to WPDE. The officer has since been released from the hospital, WRAL reported. In connection with the case, Jamel Alphonso Rogers faces charges that include "assault, resisting an officer," and kidnapping, according to the TV station.

‘We Are Safe’: Chief Michel Moore Says LAPD Ready To Respond To Any Potential Election Day Violence
LAPD Chief Michel Moore says his department is prepared to respond to any election-related violence that might arise on Nov. 3. Voting starts at many Los Angeles County vote centers Saturday, but more than 1.5 million early ballots have already been cast, according to state officials. Moore told the Police Commission Tuesday that he would tell residents concerned about their safety at the polls: “We are safe.” The chief said the department is working with the Registrar Recorder/County Clerk’s office to ensure that people understand the rules of participating in an election and the ways they can vote. “The most important aspect in our democracy is an election, a right to vote,” Moore said. He also said that the LAPD is working with all its first responder and emergency partners, to coordinate their response and plan for any protests or groups that might become violent. But Moore said he doesn’t anticipate any major incidents in Los Angeles, as the city doesn’t have the same volume of armed militia groups as other cities.

Man Pleads Guilty To Fatally Stabbing 3 Young Sons In South L.A.; Gets 78 Years To Life
A 38-year-old man pleaded guilty Tuesday to fatally stabbing his three young sons inside an SUV in South Los Angeles five years ago. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lisa Lench immediately sentenced Luiz Fuentes to 78 years to life in state prison following his plea to three counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of his sons, who were 8, 9 and 11 years old, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. The Los Angeles man also admitted allegations that he used a knife during the Sept. 9, 2015, attack, and a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders was dismissed as part of the plea agreement. Prosecutors had opted earlier not to seek the death penalty against Fuentes. A passerby found the bodies of the widower’s sons — Alexander, Juan and Luis — inside an SUV parked in the 300 block of East 32nd Street.

FOX 11 Joins LAPD Raids On Illegal Casinos Operating Throughout San Fernando Valley Neighborhoods
Over the past nine months, FOX 11 has joined Vice units from LAPD’s Valley Bureau on nine separate raids of illegal casinos operating throughout the San Fernando Valley. A problem that has exploded in the area over the last two years and hasn’t slowed down during the pandemic. LAPD says these under the radar casinos are a blight on local communities, bringing crime, drug use, and prostitution with them, and the department has given FOX 11 exclusive access to join them on their raids to shut them all down. FOX 11 began attending the raids in January, before the pandemic and continued as recently as September. LAPD says the rogue enterprises are run by gangs and organized crime, with the finances and servers controlled by criminals in Eastern Europe.

Caltrans Subcontractor Killed In Hit-and-Run Crash On 110 Freeway In Downtown L.A.; Driver Sought
Authorities are searching for a hit-and-run driver that fatally struck a Caltrans subcontractor on southbound 110 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles Wednesday morning. The crash was reported on the freeway’s West Third Street collector road just before 12:15 a.m., according to a tweet from the California Highway Patrol. Arriving officers found a male victim down on the freeway, California Highway Patrol Sgt. Taka Hiura said. The unidentified victim, who was described by Hiura as a Caltrans subcontractor, was pronounced dead at the scene. The worker was from a local traffic management company and was in the process of putting out cones for a road closure when the crash occurred, Hiura said. Authorities are searching for a dark-colored SUV with front end damage. No further details were immediately available.

Hit-And-Run Suspect Returns To Scene Where Elderly Woman Was Killed
An elderly woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Hawthorne, and the suspect returned to the scene about 45 minutes later to identify himself to authorities, police said Tuesday. Officers were sent to the 11700 block of Prairie Avenue at about 9:25 p.m. Monday for a report of an elderly woman on the ground and not moving, according to the Hawthorne Police Department, which was told by witnesses that the driver fled the scene. A witness found a license plate for a 2017 Honda Civic, later found to be registered in Los Angeles, nearby and gave it to officers, police said. The victim, whose name was not released, was pronounced dead by Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel, according to police. About 45 minutes after officers were dispatched, a man returned to the scene and identified himself to officers as the driver of the suspect vehicle. He told authorities that he hit the woman and left the area without rendering aid, police said. He allegedly said he parked his vehicle in a residential area in Torrance after the accident.

Man Shot, Another Struck With Gun During Glendale Robbery: Police
Two men were assaulted during a robbery in Glendale Monday night, police said. The incident occurred about 9:45 p.m. at a home in the 2000 block of Broadview Avenue. Officers responded to a shots fired call and found one man suffering from a gunshot wound, and another who had been struck in the head with a gun, Glendale police said in a news release. Both victims were treated and were reported in stable condition. The assailant or assailants left the scene before police arrived and remain outstanding, police said. “Preliminary investigation indicates the victims appeared to have been specifically targeted for a robbery,” authorities said without elaborating. Anyone with information about the incident can call the Glendale Police Department at 818-548-4911.

Ex-Defense Minister For Mexico Ordered Detained In L.A. In Drug Trafficking Case
A former Mexican defense minister who was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport on drug trafficking and money laundering charges was ordered detained Tuesday and will be transported to New York to face trial. Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda — Mexico’s defense minister from 2012 to 2018 — was arrested Thursday night after arriving at LAX with several family members, becoming the first high-ranking military official to be taken into custody in the United States in connection with drug-related corruption in his country. A four-count indictment unsealed Friday in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn accuses the 72-year-old retired general of drug trafficking and money laundering, alleging he allowed a drug-trafficking cartel to operate in Mexico in exchange for bribes. Cienfuegos, nicknamed El Padrino, or The Godfather, appeared by video from a downtown Los Angeles holding facility for the 15-minute detention hearing.

8 North Minneapolis Residents Sue City For Lack Of Police Protection
For several months, people who live in the Jordan neighborhood in north Minneapolis have been asking for more police protection. Cathy Spann is one of those residents. “Every single night on any block in this neighborhood you can hear gunshots!” Spann said. “Every single freaking night!” Spann and seven other residents have sued the city of Minneapolis, and they had their day in court Monday, where a judge heard their pleas for help. Attorney James Dickey is representing the residents. “We didn’t get anything we think from the city, and their affidavits they provided or today in court that would actually indicate that they have enough police on the force to keep Minneapolis safe, according to the city charter,” Dickey said. Former city council member Don Samuels and his wife Sondra are among the residents being represented by Dickey. The Samuels say they were offended when the city attorneys told the judge the lawsuit has no standing because none of the plaintiffs have been hit by gunfire. “To get standing we need to take a bullet, right? We’ve seen our neighbors take bullets. We know the 20 year old, we know the six month old who’s in the car when her mom gets shot up,” Sondra Samuels said. They blame the Minneapolis City Council’s talk of defunding police for the rise in violence. Resident Jon Lundberg is one of the plaintiffs.

Seattle's interim police chief condemns violence toward police at protests
Interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz on Monday denounced ongoing property destruction and violence targeting officers in light of a first-degree assault charge filed last week against a 19-year-old Kirkland man who is accused of striking an officer in the head with an aluminum baseball bat. "This is not protest. This is not civil disobedience. This is violence," he said, adding residents in certain neighborhoods are now too scared to go outside at night and business owners are frustrated by graffiti and windows that are repeatedly broken out.

Public Safety News

LA County Reports 713 New COVID-19 Cases, Says Technical Glitch Causing Low Count
Los Angeles County reported 713 new COVID-19 cases and 39 virus-related deaths on Friday. Last week, the county had been reported four-digit daily case increases. Officials said the numbers have dropped drastically this week due to a technical glitch with “data reporting systems.” The exact issue was not disclosed. L.A. County now has reported a total of 290,107 COVID-19 cases and 6,912 virus-related deaths since the pandemic began. The number of hospitalizations increased from 722 on Monday to 730 on Tuesday. Over the weekend, inspectors with the Department of Public Health fanned out across the county to inspect 437 businesses. The department reported that a majority of the businesses were in compliance with COVID-19 health protocols, but nearly half failed to post detailed information about the protocols enacted at the business.

Coronavirus Spreading ‘Uncontrollably’ In Much Of U.S. — But Not California. Here’s Why
Seven months into the pandemic, the coronavirus is spreading rampantly across much of the U.S. — with California a very notable exception. More than half of all states now fall into the “uncontrolled spread” category, according to data gathered by the COVID Exit Strategy. California, by contrast, is one of eight states where transmission is decreasing or flat. The only states with better case rates than California are New York, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Maine and Vermont, according to the COVID Exit Strategy, a volunteer project created by public health and crisis experts that tracks the states’ performance using data from the COVID Tracking Project and others. Experts point to several reasons behind California’s current success. But in short, “The decisions made during summer and the end of summer are paying off,” said Ryan Panchadsaram, COVID Exit Project co-founder and former U.S. deputy chief technology officer, who lives in San Francisco. “We’ve sort of hit a plateau, which is reminding us we have to be vigilant.”

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: