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

November 17, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Woman And Her Unborn Child Are Killed In Wilmington Shooting, LAPD Says
A woman and her unborn child were killed in a Sunday shooting in Wilmington that also left a man wounded, Los Angeles police said Monday. Arlene Leonor Rodriguez, 24 and seven months pregnant, was sitting in a vehicle parked in the 1100 block of North Neptune Avenue in Wilmington, in the LAPD’s Harbor Division, about 11:25 a.m. as the man worked on the engine of the vehicle, police said. A shooter then “approached on foot and fired multiple rounds” into the vehicle before fleeing on foot, police said. The victims were transported to a local hospital. The man, who was not identified, suffered an injury that was not considered life-threatening, police said. Rodriguez and her unborn child were pronounced dead at the hospital. Police asked anyone with information about the shooting to call Harbor detectives at (310) 726-7887 or (310) 726-7884 during business hours, or (877) LAPD-24-7 after hours or on weekends. Anonymous tips can also be submitted to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.

Officials ID One Of Two Women Fatally Shot At Warehouse Party In South LA
One of two women who were shot to death at a warehouse party in South Los Angeles over the weekend was identified Monday, and police urged possible witnesses to contact authorities. The women died at the scene of the shooting, which occurred shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday in the 3000 block of South Hill Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. One victim was identified by the Los Angeles County coroner's office as Shaterika Howard, 33, of Los Angeles. The name of the other woman, reportedly in her 20s to 30s, was withheld pending notification of her relatives. Police said the shooter fired multiple gunshots at the women and fled in an unknown direction. A motive for the shootings remained unknown. Investigators said they would review security camera images, and urged anyone with information on the case to call police at 877-LAPD-247.

LAPD Officers Refuse To Discuss Potential Pay Cuts Because Of Pandemic
The union that represents most LAPD officers says it will not entertain discussions of pay cuts as the city of LA faces a budget crisis as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. “The Board of Directors for the Los Angeles Police Protective League is unanimous in its belief that its members deserve every penny of compensation that our contract prescribes. Period,” league president Craig Lally wrote to the city’s head labor negotiator. He said that the police department has already been subject to a $150 million “defunding” cut and the city should look to other agencies for cost savings. “It was a political stunt with significant negative impacts,” Lally said. “This cut is having a catastrophic impact on our ability to patrol our streets and investigate crimes, specifically in our sexual assault unit, robbery and homicide, and other critical units.” 

At-Risk Missing: Police Asking For Tips After Teen Jenalyn Meraz Disappears Over Weekend
Sixteen-year-old girl Jenalyn Meraz went missing on Friday in Pacoima, and loved ones are concerned she may be suicidal. Meraz was last seen in the 12700 block of Louvre Street, near Dronfield Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. “Jenalyn suffers from depression, anxiety and has made suicidal statements in the past,” police said. She is described as Hispanic, 5’4″, 150 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, according to police. Anyone with information about her whereabouts was urged to call the LAPD’s Foothill Division at 818-756-8861, or during non-business hours, 1-877-LAPD-24-7. Anonymous reports can also be provided by calling 1-800-222-TIPS.

Pursuit Suspect Arrested In South Los Angeles
A driver who led police on a pursuit through South Los Angeles Monday evening was arrested in a parking lot in Watts. The suspect was taken into custody just before 10 p.m. in the area of Croesus Avenue and East 115th Street after driving on streets in the Florence and Green Meadows neighborhoods and briefly on the eastbound Glenn Anderson (105) Freeway, before exiting in Watts and surrendering a short time later. It was not immediately clear what the suspect was originally wanted for or when or where the pursuit began.

Chase Suspect Who Allegedly Shot At CHP Officers Surrenders After Hours-Long Barricade Inside Sherman Oaks Home
A suspect who allegedly shot at California Highway Patrol officers during a chase Monday afternoon has surrendered after an hours-long barricade inside a home in Sherman Oaks. The suspect was barricaded inside the home for several hours until he was taken into custody shortly before 5 p.m. AIR7 HD was over the scene as the suspect exited the home and put his hands up as police placed a mask on him. He was believed to be barricaded alone, and several patrol vehicles were in the neighborhood shortly before 2 p.m. after the chase ended. During the chase, authorities said an occupant of the vehicle got out near the Reseda Boulevard off-ramp of the 101 Freeway. The vehicle then crashed near the area, but the driver continued the chase on the freeway before allegedly shooting at CHP on the 101 near Haskell Avenue.

Homicide Detectives Investigating After Man Found Shot Dead In South L.A. Home
Homicide detectives are investigating after a man in his 60s was found fatally shot inside a home in the Florence-Firestone neighborhood of South Los Angeles Sunday. Deputies received a call around 4 p.m. about a man believed to be unconscious in a home in the 8700 block of Bandera Street, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Brandon Dean. Officials said a friend could see the victim from outside the home. “The call indicated that a friend of the victim had arrived at the house and while looking through a window, saw the victim on his sofa, unresponsive,” reads a statement from the Sheriff’s Department. “They could see him inside, and he appeared to be not moving,” Dean said. Once deputies arrived, they found the victim suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper torso, officials said. Paramedics later pronounced him dead at the scene, Dean said.

Glendale Man Sentenced To 7 Years In Credit Card Scams
A Glendale man was sentenced Monday, Nov. 16, to seven years in federal prison for running a series of fake credit card and loan scams, the Department of Justice reported. From 2014 to 2017, Mikayel Hmayakyan, 43, used fraudulently-obtained credit cards to buy liquor and cemetery plots worth millions of dollars, and later sold them for a profit, a department news release stated. More than 20 banks lost nearly $5 million in the scams. U.S. District Judge George H. Wu ordered Hmayakyan to pay $4,906,534, the total loss, in restitution. On June 29, Hmayakyan pleaded guilty to two counts of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft, the release said. For years, Hmayakyan and his co-conspirators fraudulently obtained credit cards — sometimes using real names, or applying with fake identities — to purchase millions worth in liquor, Rolex watches and Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks & Mortuaries cemetery plots for a profit, the release stated.

Thousands Are Being Stolen From Bank Of America Accounts, And EDD May Be Linked. Here's How To Protect Yourself
Money is being swiped from the bank accounts of unemployed Californians -- at a time they need it most. Thousands more could be at risk, and it could be the state’s fault. Patricia Moynihan is unemployed. She relies on her weekly benefits from the state to keep her afloat, like millions of other Californians. “The point of that money is to keep me going until I’m on my feet again,” Moynihan said. Moynihan’s unemployment benefits are loaded directly onto a Bank of America debit card. The state contracted with Bank of America to do this. But Patricia recently noticed several ATM withdraws from the account, that she says she didn’t make, totaling $7,000. “My heart just felt like it dropped to my feet, and it just started racing,” said Moynihan.

Denver Police See Success Solving Nonfatal Shootings With New Unit
Last year, suspects who shot and wounded someone in Denver more than likely got away with it. At least 145 people were injured in shootings last year, though most of those cases were never solved by a department that had a 39% clearance rate for nonfatal shootings in 2019. But Denver police are seeing early success with a new solution to the low clearance rate for gun assaults. Seven months in, the department's new Firearm Assault Team has solved 56 of its first 86 cases, giving the team a 65% clearance rate. "I was hoping for some modest improvement, I just didn't expect it to be as effective as it's shown so far," Denver police Chief Paul Pazen said. Pazen launched what's known as the FAST team in February after another year of elevated violence in the city. The idea is simple: Create a unit in the department's Major Crimes Division dedicated specifically to solving nonfatal shootings and handle those investigations as if they were homicides. Previously, most of the city's nonfatal shootings were investigated by detectives stationed at each of the department's seven police districts.

Hate Crimes In US Reach Highest Level In More Than A Decade
Hate crimes in the U.S. rose to the highest level in more than a decade as federal officials also recorded the highest number of hate-motivated killings since the FBI began collecting that data in the early 1990s, according to an FBI report released Monday. There were 51 hate crime murders in 2019, which includes 22 people who were killed in a shooting that targeted Mexicans at a Walmart in the border city of El Paso, Texas, the report said. The suspect in that August 2019 shooting, which left two dozen other people injured, was charged with both state and federal crimes in what authorities said was an attempt to scare Hispanics into leaving the United States. There were 7,314 hate crimes last year, up from 7,120 the year before — and approaching the 7,783 of 2008. The FBI’s annual report defines hate crimes as those motivated by bias based on a person’s race, religion or sexual orientation, among other categories.

Public Safety News
Fire Erupts In Sylmar Apartment Complex
A fire broke out at a Sylmar apartment complex early Tuesday morning. The blaze sparked in the 14500 block of West Olive View Drive sometime before 4:30 a.m. At least two cars parked in a car port were destroyed before Los Angeles Fire Department crews knocked down the fire. There were no injuries. The cause is under investigation.

‘Keep Face Coverings On': LA County Coronavirus Surge Continues With 3,061 New Cases
Los Angeles County this weekend reported 3,061 new cases of COVID-19 and three additional deaths, bringing the county's totals to 339,560 cases and 7,269 fatalities. The low number of deaths reflects reporting delays over the weekend, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. The high number of cases, however, is a continuing concern, coming day after the county reported 3,780 new cases for the highest number of positive cases in one day, not associated with a backlog, since mid-July. The number of LA County residents hospitalized with the virus surpassed 1,000 on Sunday for the first time in months, jumping from 966 on Saturday to 1,014, with 27% in intensive care. The department said last week that the elevated number of cases in recent days reflects increased testing across the county. Nearly 3,386,000 individuals have been tested as of Sunday, with 9% of all people testing positive.

L.A. County Officials Weigh More Restrictions, Urge Residents To Cancel Holiday Travel Amid New COVID-19 Surge
Saying Los Angeles County is at “a very dangerous point in the pandemic,” the county’s health director on Monday said officials will be weighing additional restrictions and urged residents to cancel their travel plans. The county two days in a row recorded more than 3,000 new coronavirus cases over the weekend —numbers not seen since the summer’s surge that led to more COVID-19 deaths and forced officials to roll back reopenings. This new coronavirus surge may also bring more restrictions. If the county can’t get the pandemic back under control, officials will “have no choice but to take a hard look at what kinds of restrictions will again limit our ability to intermingle,” Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said in a Monday media briefing. Restrictions may include implementing new occupancy limits or instituting curfews and, if there is a real threat to the healthcare system, possibly returning to safer-at-home orders, Ferrer said. “But we’re not there yet,” she added.

Some In L.A. Are Getting COVID-19 Tests So They Can Party, Socialize. Officials Call This A Disaster
Desperately seeking to find a seemingly responsible way to hold dinner parties, some people have started to get tests for the coronavirus as a way to clear themselves to attend dinner parties without needing to wear masks or keep their distance. That’s absolutely the wrong thing to do, according to Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County’s director of public health. Ferrer said on Monday that she has heard of groups of young adults going to get tested for the coronavirus on a Thursday in hopes of getting the negative results by Saturday morning, and then having a dinner party on Saturday night. But such tests provide a false sense of security — and engaging in this practice can still result in the dinner party becoming a super-spreading event that can transmit the highly contagious virus widely. “That’s actually a false sense of security. It’s a false narrative,” Ferrer said.

California Governor Imposes New Restrictions In Pandemic
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he was pulling the “emergency brake” Monday on reopening the state’s economy as coronavirus cases surge at the fastest rate since the start of the outbreak. “We are sounding the alarm,” Newsom said. “California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet — faster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic or even this summer. The spread of COVID-19, if left unchecked, could quickly overwhelm our health care system and lead to catastrophic outcomes.” Newsom’s so-called emergency brake will halt reopening plans and put almost all of the state back under the strictest set of rules that halt indoor worship and force most indoor business to close or operate at a fraction of their capacity and keep most schools closed, including the nation’s second-largest school district in Los Angeles. Newsom also said he was also strengthening a mask requirement outside of homes with limited exceptions, and he was considering a curfew on business hours.

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: