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 30, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Why no outcry over rising violent crime?
L.A. has surpassed 300 homicides for the first time in over a decade and the community wants to know why there is no outcry over the rise in violent crime.

Former LAPD Detective Brings Thanksgiving Cheer To Family Of Sisters Killed In South L.A. Crash
A family who lost two young girls after they were struck by a truck while walking to school last year had their Thanksgiving brightened by a former Los Angeles police detective who worked on the case. The family said it’s still painful to have two empty chairs at the table where Marlene and Amy Lorenzo, ages 14 and 12, used to sit. The pair were fatally struck by a double bottom dump truck while on their way to Clinton Middle School in April 2019. The driver in the crash faces two counts of vehicular manslaughter. “When we sit down at the table, we still have two empty seats. And it hurts. It’ll always hurt,” said the girls’ uncle, Antonio Lorenzo. This year, things have been complicated by the fact that the girls’ parents have lost factory work due to the pandemic, and their five children are now home for distance learning. On Thursday, Moses Castillo brought some relief in the form of food, household goods and cash. “It’s not much, but it’s from the heart,” Castillo told the family, who he first got to know when investigating their daughters’ case. The Lorenzos shed tears, and said they were happy to know they’re not alone.

Police Seek Suspect Who Fatally Shot 27-Year-Old Woman In North Hollywood
Authorities Friday sought public help to locate a suspect in a gray sedan who fatally shot a 27-year-old woman on a sidewalk in North Hollywood. Gabriela Diaz was found dead with a gunshot wound on a sidewalk of the 6900 block of Simpson Avenue, near Vanowen Street, about 9:15 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Detectives believe she was arriving home from an errand when a male suspect in a gray sedan pulled his vehicle behind hers, exited and fired multiple times into her vehicle, police said. Diaz is believed to have survived the initial gunshots, and the suspect fled north on Simpson Avenue, only to return again and fatally shoot her, according to police. Authorities do not have a motive or suspect description, and urged anyone with information to call Detective R. January, LAPD Valley Bureau Homicide, at 818-374-1939, or during non-business hours, 1-877-LAPD-24-7. Those wishing to report anonymously can call 800-222-TIPS.

Man Shot On Side Of Hollywood Freeway In Boyle Heights
A man was wounded in a shooting on the Hollywood (101) Freeway in Boyle Heights during an argument on the side of the road, authorities said Sunday. It happened at 5:07 p.m. Saturday on the Hollywood Freeway at Boyle Avenue, according to a desk officer at the Los Angeles Police Department’s Operations Center. The 34-year-old victim was standing on the side of the road and argued with the suspect who pulled out a handgun and fired multiple rounds, striking the victim, he said. Paramedics took the man to a hospital where he had stable vital signs, the officer said.

Suspect Sought After Downtown LA Jewelry Store Owner Stabbed To Death
Homicide detectives are searching for the suspect responsible of fatally stabbing a man at a Downtown LA jewelry store. The incident happened Nov. 3 around 9 a.m.; the Los Angeles Police Department has released security footage of the suspect in hopes of identifying him. Police say the suspect entered a jewelry store on the 700 block of  South Broadway and was inside for approximately six minutes. Police say he then stabbed the jewelry store owner several times and then left the store carrying a white grocery bag. The suspect fled on foot eastbound on 7Th Street from Broadway then northbound on Spring Street from 7th  Street. The victim was pronounced dead at scene. The suspect was only identified as a 30 to 40-year-old male Hispanic. He is approximately five feet six inches to five feet eight inches tall and weighs approximately 160 to 180 pounds. Anyone with information is urged to contact Central Bureau Homicide Detectives at (213) 996-4149.

Police Release Video In Search For Motorcycle, Car Involved In Deadly South L.A. Hit-and-Run
Police released surveillance video in their hunt for a pair of vehicles that struck a man in South Los Angeles earlier this week, killing him. The sequence of collisions occurred at about 7:40 p.m. Sunday in the Florence neighborhood, while the victim was crossing Central Avenue at 78th Street, the LAPD said in a news release. A motorcycle headed north on Central Avenue was the first to hit the pedestrian, surveillance footage police released of the crash shows. The motorcyclist is seen knocked off his bike by the impact of the crash, but he apparently fled the scene while the victim lie hurt in the street. A second approaching vehicle on northbound Central is then seen plowing into the pedestrian as he lie on the ground. Paramedics responded and pronounced the man dead at the scene. Both vehicles continued north without stopping to render aid or identify themselves, officials said. LAPD describes the motorcycle as a dark-colored sport bike with a male rider.

Chain-Reaction Crash On 101 Freeway Involving LAPD Cruiser Sends Several To Hospital
A car rear-ended a Los Angeles Police Department cruiser leaving the scene of the end of a pursuit on the 101 Freeway in Calabasas, setting off a chain-reaction crash that sent several people to local hospitals Sunday morning. The crash occurred at around 10:30 a.m. on the freeway near Las Virgenes Road, said Officer Melissa Podany, an LAPD spokeswoman. The two LAPD officers in their cruiser were there after they picked up a pursuit of a suspected stolen vehicle that started somewhere near the Topanga Division in the southwest San Fernando Valley. The pursuit ended in the area of the crash. LAPD hasn’t said whether the driver the officers were pursuing was arrested. But the two officers were leaving the scene after requesting a California Highway Patrol unit to provide traffic control when a car struck them from behind. Neither of the officers were injured. But the initial crash led to several other cars hitting one another and injuring the people inside.

Los Angeles County DA's Security Officer Fires At Carjacking Suspects Near Her Home: Reports
A Los Angeles police probe got underway Saturday night after an investigator with the L.A. County district attorney’s office -- who was working security for DA Jackie Lacey -- fired at suspects who allegedly tried to carjack the security team. The suspects allegedly pulled up to the security officer's car and tried to break into it after the climbed out of the vehicle near Lacey's home in L.A.'s Granada Hills neighborhood, prompting the officer to fire at them, FOX 11 in Los Angeles reported. Neither suspect was hit, according to Los Angeles police, KCBS-TV of Los Angeles reported. The suspects drove away and were still at large late Saturday, the station reported. The car was one of two security vehicles parked outside Lacey's home, according to FOX 11. 

LAPD Searching For Missing Koreatown Woman, With Alzheimer’s
Los Angeles police asked for public help Sunday to find a 59-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s disease who went missing from Koreatown. In Jeong was last seen about 11:30 a.m. in the 3300 block of Harvard Boulevard, the LAPD reported. Jeong is Korean. She stand 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 110 pounds, police said. She has black hair, brown eyes and a thin build. She is known to frequent the area of Western Avenue and Beverly Boulevard. Jeong was last seen wearing a red cardigan and red pants, police said. Anyone who knows of her whereabouts was asked to call the LAPD’s Olympic station at 213-382-9102 or the LAPD’s 24/7 tipline at 877-527-3247. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

Police Investigating Vandalism Spree From Tarzana To Studio City
Police are investigating after several businesses from Tarzana to Studio City appeared to have been vandalized on Friday night or early Saturday morning. The businesses along Ventura Blvd all had their windows shattered by an unknown suspect. It is not clear how the windows were shattered. Investigators said they believe the suspect may have opened fire with a BB gun from their car as they drove past. Crews were seen boarding up windows after at least 8 stores were vandalized overnight. “I’m not sure of the purpose of all of this,” said Simon Shamoun, owner of Tarzana Wine & Spirits. “Businesses are dying with all this closure… for businesses to have to suffer from this….” Shamoun said businesses have been targeted all week. The damage reaches more than seven miles on Ventura Blvd from Tarzana to Sherman Oaks. LAPD investigators said they are not sure yet if all the shattered windows are connected. With a holiday weekend and more than one jurisdiction involved, it’s just not clear the scope of the damage or the financial impact.

Minnesota LEO, Two Others Wounded In Shooting, Ambush
On Sunday morning, Albert Lea police responded to a possible noise or weapons complaint at Shady Oaks apartment complex, located at 800 4th Ave. S. According to ALPD, 21-year-old Devin Matthew Weiland ambushed an officer when they arrived, shooting multiple times, hitting the squad twice and the officer's chest once. The officer was able to retreat, assess their injuries, and drive to the emergency room, where they were treated and released. Police established perimeter and incident command, and ordered residents to shelter in place while SWAT, negotiators and a gas team were deployed. At 10:48 a.m., Weiland, of Albert Lea, was taken into custody. The building was evacuated to process the crime scene.

Man Accused Of Firing 19 Shots At Chicago LEOs Held Without Bail
A judge Tuesday ordered a man accused of firing more than a dozen shots at Chicago police officers to be held without bail, saying the officers “truly put their lives on the line” when they found themselves in a barrage of gunfire in a park on the Far South Side over the weekend. Kamari Pleasant, 22, is facing charges of attempted first-degree murder and a slew of other felonies in connection with the attack about Saturday night in the 10400 block of South Union Avenue in the Fernwood neighborhood. A 17-year-old boy whose name has not been released because he is a juvenile also faces charges in the shooting. Prosecutors alleged that Pleasant, while on probation for a gun-related conviction, went to Fernwood Park to go “shoot up rivals,” and then fired 19 shots at officers who responded to try to prevent the shooting.

Public Safety News

LAFD Knocks Down Trio Of Brush Fires In Sepulveda Basin
Firefighters responded to three brush fires Saturday near the same location in the Sepulveda basin in Van Nuys. The first two small brush fires, which were reported at 2:35 p.m, burned near 15700 Burbank Blvd. close to the Los Angeles Fire Department Air Operations Center, said fire department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart. They were quickly extinguished and never threatened any structures. The firefighters were called back to the same general location around 8:50 p.m., Stewart said. This time, the fire burned between three and four acres of brush, she said. Firefighters needed 23 minutes to extinguish the flames. And again, the fire did not threaten any structures. No victims were reported in any of the fires and their causes were being investigated, she said.

Los Angeles County Sees 5,087 New COVID-19 Cases, 37 Deaths
Los Angeles County reported 5,087 new cases of COVID-19 and 37 additional deaths on Thanksgiving Day, one of the highest single-day case totals of the entire pandemic. The number of county residents hospitalized with the coronavirus jumped from 1,682 to 1,809, with 24% of those in intensive care. The county's cumulative total of coronavirus cases stands at 383,275, with 7,580 fatalities. The staggering numbers came one day after a much-debated ban on in-person dining took effect, with Los Angeles County health officials painting a dire picture of the current surge, saying the transmission rate has reached its highest point since March and could overwhelm hospitals within a month. “We continue to be at a very difficult time in this pandemic, as is so much of the United States,'' county Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis said Wednesday. “In fact, our situation is getting worse each day.” The staggering numbers came one day after a much-debated ban on in-person dining took effect, with Los Angeles County health officials painting a dire picture of the current surge, saying the transmission rate has reached its highest point since March and could overwhelm hospitals within a month.

L.A. County Health Officials Announce 3-Week Stay-At-Home Order Banning Most Gatherings Set To Take Effect On Monday
With coronavirus cases showing no signs of slowing down in Los Angeles County, health officials on Friday announced a temporary stay-at-home order set to take effect on Monday that urges residents to avoid gathering with people they do not live with. The temporary order will be in place for three weeks through Dec. 20 and will allow essential and emergency workers, and those securing or providing essential and permitted services, to leave their homes, the county said in a news release. “Residents are advised to stay home as much as possible and always wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when they are outside their household and around others,” officials said. On Nov. 17, Los Angeles County established thresholds for additional actions if the five-day average of cases reach 4,500 or more or hospitalizations are more than 2,000 per day. Currently, the five-day average of new coronavirus cases is 4,751.

California Sets Record With Most COVID-19 Hospitalizations Since Pandemic Began
California has more people hospitalized with COVID-19 than at any time since the pandemic began, an ominous development that comes as officials warn of further virus spread after the long holiday weekend. The rising numbers raise new concerns about hospitals filling up in the coming weeks, which has been predicted as coronavirus cases surge to unprecedented levels across the state and, in particular, Los Angeles County. Multiple new restrictions on personal gatherings and capacity levels at stores take effect Monday. But there are concerns that the surge will get worse before it gets better because of Thanksgiving celebrations and Black Friday shopping — which, though less robust than in normal years, are likely to have caused new infections. “We were prepared for an increase,” said Barbara Ferrer, the L.A. County public health director. “None of us really thought the increase would be so big across such a short period of time.” There were 7,415 COVID-19 patients in California hospitals on Saturday, according to the latest numbers released by the state, surpassing the previous high of 7,170, set in July. Only a month earlier, on Oct. 28, about 2,400 COVID-19 patients were in state hospitals.

Local Government News

Councilman Wants L.A. To Buy An Apartment Building Using $46 Million In COVID-19 Aid
Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo is pushing for the city to spend up to $46 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to buy an apartment building in Chinatown, saying the move would spare dozens of tenants from facing steep rent hikes. In a proposal filed last week at City Hall, Cedillo said he wants to use money from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act to purchase Hillside Villa, a 124-unit building whose owner is seeking big rent increases. Such a move, Cedillo said, would keep tenants in their homes during a health and housing crisis. “For us, it’s a good deal. The building’s built. The residents are already moved in. I recognize it’s extraordinary, but these are extraordinary times,” said the councilman, whose district stretches from Highland Park to Westlake. Still, there’s a potentially big obstacle ahead: The city’s supply of COVID-19 relief money is quickly running out.

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: