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 28, 2020
Law Enforcement News

LAPPL Responds to Potential Budget Cuts
According to Sgt. Jerretta Sandoz, Vice President of the LA Police Protective League, “with murders up 26% and shootings up 23%, and no sign of slowing, more cuts to police resources make zero sense and puts Angelinos at risk.” The City Council and Mayor cut $150 million and over 250 officers from the department in June. Those cuts have had a significant impact on community safety. From cutting back on special details like human trafficking to providing basic patrol services in neighborhoods, the Council’s decision has impacted everyone.

L.A. City Council Seeks To Ban Possession Of Laser Pointers At Protests
People could soon be banned from bringing laser pointers to protests in Los Angeles, after a City Council committee advanced a proposal Tuesday that would create a law to prohibit them at large demonstrations. The LAPD requested the City Council make the changes to the law that bans certain items at highly populated events after the department reported multiple officers have been injured by them during protests. “The LAPD works exceptionally hard to protect and facilitate the First Amendment rights of all to peacefully protest and assemble,” LAPD Deputy Chief Kris Pitcher told the council’s Public Safety Committee. “However, we have experienced numerous instances of individuals among these groups intentionally using laser devices and pointers to attempt to blind and cause harm to officers by pointing them purposely at their eyes.” “Laser-type devices have no legitimate use outside of the business or educational venues,” Pitcher said. LAPD Lt. Christopher Zine said Los Angeles has had 20 incidents of laser pointers being used to blind or distract people this year, and not just police officers. Of 24 total victims, 20 were police officers, some of whom were driving patrol vehicles when lasers were pointed at them, Zine said.

Celebrations After Dodgers' World Series Win Turn Unruly, Violent In Downtown LA; At Least 2 Detained Amid Looting, Vandalism
Celebrations for the Dodgers' World Series win took a chaotic turn overnight in parts of Los Angeles, including in downtown where a semi-truck was looted and a police vehicle and some businesses were vandalized. Los Angeles police officers were on tactical alert in the downtown area through 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. They declared an unlawful assembly and ordered the crowd to disperse shortly before 1 a.m. in the area of Eight Street to Pico Boulevard, and Broadway to Figueroa Street. AIR7 HD was over the scene as a group began to loot a semi-truck, with fans breaking open the doors of the vehicle's trailer and taking boxes. Others were seen on top of the trailer, and some in the crowd appeared to attempt to get inside the cab. One LAPD vehicle was seen covered in graffiti and its back window was shattered.

625 LAPD, 209 LAFD Employees Have Tested Positive For COVID-19
A total of 625 Los Angeles Police Department employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began. According to Jessica Kellogg of the Emergency Operations Center, 80 employees are at home recovering or self-isolating due to exposure, and 574 have returned to work. In July, 45-year-old Valentin Martinez, a sworn-officer, and Erica McAdoo, a 39-year-old non-sworn senior detention officer died from coronavirus complications. As of Tuesday, 209 Los Angeles Fire Department employees have tested positive for the virus. Kellogg said two are recovering at home in isolation, 197 have returned to work, and nine are no longer quarantining but remain at home. So far, LAFD has reported one virus-related death. A 44-year-old firefighter-paramedic, Jose J. Perez, died from coronavirus-related complications on July 25.

South LA Elementary School On Lockdown While Officers Search For Suspect
An elementary school in the Hyde Park area of South Los Angeles was placed on lockdown Tuesday afternoon while police searched for a grand theft auto suspect in the area, and three people were later taken into custody. Officers were dispatched to the area of Third Avenue and 59th Street at about 1:30 p.m., according to Officer Jader Chavez of the Los Angeles Police Department. Staff at 59th Street Elementary School, located at 5939 Second Ave., were placed on lockdown, according to the Los Angeles School Police Department. The suspect was described as a 30-year-old man standing 6-feet-3 inches tall and wearing blue pants and a black shirt with white lettering, the LASPD reported. Three suspects were taken into custody by 3:30 p.m., according to police, but it was not immediately clear if they were all involved in the grand theft auto. The lockdown was lifted after the suspects were taken into custody.

LAPD Gets Approval To Begin Recording, Storing Aerial Footage Of Protests
The Los Angeles Police Department received approval Tuesday to begin recording and storing aerial footage of protests and other large gatherings from its helicopters — a new capability that the department said would expand its “operational readiness” and protesters and civil liberties advocates denounced as unconstitutional government surveillance. The approval came via a unanimous Police Commission vote to accept a donation of $2,150 worth of recording equipment from the Los Angeles Police Foundation, a private philanthropic entity that has long bankrolled equipment desired by the LAPD but not budgeted for or prioritized by the city. The vote followed a brief discussion about the practicalities of the equipment, its intended uses and the privacy issues it could raise. However, when asked about those concerns Tuesday, Deputy Chief Peter Zarcone, who heads the LAPD’s counterterrorism and special operations bureau, did not equivocate. He said it was the LAPD’s specific intention to use the equipment to record protests.

L.A. County Offers Reward In Willowbrook Double Homicide
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved a $10,000 reward for information leading to the gunman who fatally shot two high school athletes in Willowbrook. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas recommended the reward in the killings of 17-year-old Jamele Hill and 16-year-old Millyon Colquitt, who were fatally shot around 11 p.m. Oct. 15 while traveling in a vehicle on the 12200 block of Maple Avenue. A family member told CBS2 that a group of five teens were riding in the car, driving slowly down the street searching for an address, when someone walked up and opened fire. The other three teens were not hurt, according to the family member. Deputies responding to the report of an accident found the vehicle crashed into a parked car and the two teenagers, who were cousins, dead at the scene from gunshot wounds. Jamele, also known as “Dubi,” was a senior at Gardena High School and being scouted by colleges as a stand-out varsity football player, Ridley-Thomas said.

Silver Alert Issues For 82-Year-Old Man Missing From Long Beach
An 82-year-old man who suffers from a medical condition went missing in Long Beach Tuesday, prompting a Silver Alert to be issued in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties. Virgilio Nugal was last seen about 7 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol, which issued the alert on behalf of the Long Beach Police Department. The exact location was not released. Nugal was wearing a gray sweater, white shirt, beige shorts and white shoes, and he may be driving a red 2016 Kia Sorento with California license plate number 7ROY258, the CHP reported. Nugal is described as 5 feet, 4 inches tall, 175 pounds, with white hair and brown eyes, according to the CHP. Nugal may become disoriented, and anyone who sees him was urged to call 9-1-1.

Authorities Seize $3.5 Million In Fake Goods At Port Of L.A./L.B.
U.S. Customs officials announced a seizure of 25,000 fake Viagra pills Tuesday at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport, along with more than 5,100 pieces of apparel knockoffs of a wide range of brands including Gucci and Nike, and nearly 930 counterfeit makeup and perfume items. The merchandise, which was seized last month, has a street value of about $3.5 million, according to Customs and Border Protection officials. “CBP is committed to detecting, intercepting and seizing contraband and dangerous imports arriving at our Greater Los Angeles Area ports of entry every day,” said Carlos Martel, the agency’s director of field operations in L.A. “Not only do counterfeits damage the American economy, such goods can threaten the health and safety of consumers.” Officers assigned to the seaport worked with import specialists from CBP’s consumer products and mass merchandising, apparel, footwear and textiles, and pharmaceuticals, health and chemicals departments to take 31,072 counterfeit products off the market.

Seven Bodies, Nothing Stolen: Were Killings At Riverside Marijuana Grow ‘A Message’?
The boy knew how his mother made a living. He also knew the danger inherent in it. As recently as two months ago, he had stayed at a property in Aguanga, a small community in rural Riverside County, where his mother, helped by recent immigrants from Laos, grew marijuana. By day, he watered the plants and lugged buckets full of soil and supplements that helped them grow; by night, he slept on a small cot in a trailer alongside his mother, her boyfriend and her friend. Though he did not think his mother growing marijuana made her a bad person, the 16-year-old recalled an unease, the sense that violence could at any moment intrude on that dusty, far-flung property. “It’s drugs,” he said. “And anything can happen when you’re dealing drugs.” Half an hour after midnight on Sept. 7, Riverside sheriff’s deputies were called to the property, where they found a woman badly shot and in the last hours of her life. She would die at a local hospital. Elsewhere on the site, the deputies found the bodies of six people, all of them shot to death. The boy’s mother, Phone Chankhamany, was among the dead.

Police Seize 75K Marijuana Plants From SoCal National Forest And Float Away
About 75,000 marijuana plants were seized and 11 suspects were arrested by authorities in Southern California during an investigation into illegal grows in Los Padres National Forest. The Ventura County sheriff's office said in a statement Monday that the quantities represent a “significant increase" compared to previous eradication efforts, the Ventura County Star reported. The agency conducted 18 investigations between May and October in and around national forest land that netted 74,600 marijuana plants, 1,500 pounds (680 kilograms) of harvested marijuana and 84 firearms at multiple sites. Officials said the illegally grown marijuana is often sold on the black market at high profit.

Public Safety News

‘Remarkable Milestone’: LA Teams Up With USC For Rapid COVID-19 Test Pilot Program
The city of Los Angeles has teamed up with the county and the University of Southern California on a pilot program for a rapid coronavirus test. “Today, boiled down, is about making sure that we can test people more quickly in a way that will allow us to be able to develop protocols to hopefully put even more people back to work, back into schools and to keep our recovery path moving forward,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said Tuesday. About 750 Los Angeles firefighters will be among the first in the nation to try the rapid test. “The speed would be nice,” Nick Prange, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesperson, said. “I know so many family members that waited five to seven days, and by that time the information doesn’t matter too much after a week.”

L.A. County Warns Against Halloween Gatherings, Saying Lakers, Dodgers Celebrations May Have Helped Drive Uptick
Public health officials are warning against gatherings and celebrations after a backlog in coronavirus testing results concealed a recent rise in infections in Los Angeles County. The county’s top health official, Barbara Ferrer, on Monday blamed the problem on a computer programming glitch that she said is now fixed. But the backlog and related processing problems led to roller-coaster case numbers for L.A. County and statewide last week. Fans gathering to watch recent championship sporting events including for the Lakers and Dodgers may have increased the spread, Ferrer said. “I think it’s really wonderful that we have both incredible teams with so much talent,” she said. “The downside of this is that during the pandemic, some of the things we’ve done in the past just don’t make sense.” Ferrer said gathering in crowds to watch games indoors and even at outdoor restaurants — with people often foregoing face coverings and yelling a lot — is “just not sensible.”

Local Government News

L.A. City Council To Vote On Allowing Removal Of Homeless Camps If Shelter Is Offered
The Los Angeles City Council is moving with unusual speed to a Wednesday vote on revisions to the city’s anti-camping law that would allow authorities to remove homeless camps anywhere in the city if they first offer shelter as an alternative to living on the street. Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer delivered the proposed amendments to the council on Monday, less than a week after several council members introduced a motion requesting tweaks to the anti-camping law, which had been sidelined on constitutional grounds. Backers had said they expected to consider the motion Tuesday but instead scheduled a special meeting Wednesday to vote directly on the amendments, bypassing the usual committee process. The proposed change in the law would effectively prohibit anyone from camping in public anywhere in the city if authorities offer shelter as an alternative.

L.A. Council Approves $50 Million For Utility Payment Assistance Program
The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday, Oct. 27, to provide a total of $50 million in federal relief funding to assist low-income residents with utility costs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our low-wage workers continue to suffer in silence,” said Council President Martinez, who authored the motion to create the program. “They are the first to put themselves and their families at risk through their essential work. I am unapologetically dedicated during this pandemic to help them get whatever resources they need to hang on and stay in their homes.” The COVID-19 Utility Grant Program, to be run in partnership with the Department of Water and Power, will distribute funding by a lottery system but will prioritize funding for people affected by the pandemic who are already enrolled in the LADWP’s low-income assistance program.

LA County Considers 'COVID-19 Recovery Fee' On Bills For Dining-In
Los Angeles County is considering allowing restaurants, breweries and wineries in unincorporated areas of the county to add a 'COVID-19 recovery fee' to bills for dine-in customers. Supervisor Hilda Solis suggested that the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs work with county counsel and labor and business representatives to see whether such a charge is feasible and report back to the board on Nov. 24. The fee would not apply to take-out or delivery orders and would be clearly disclosed as a surcharge.

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: