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

December 4, 2020
Law Enforcement News

West Virginia LEO Shot In The Line Of Duty Dies
While responding to a parking complaint in the 200 block Garrison Avenue on Charleston’s West Side around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, she was shot in the line of duty. Earlier today on the Senate Floor, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) released more details in the shooting, saying 28-year-old Johnson was shot in the chest shortly after arriving on scene. Capito said the bullet struck Johnson’s badge and deflected to her neck where it struck a main artery. Johnson joined the City of Charleston as a Humane Officer on Oct. 2, 2017, and was sworn into the Charleston Police Department as a Patrolman Jan. 11, 2019.

LAPD Reassigning More Than 200 Officers, Closing Special Units To Meet Budget Cuts
More than 220 Los Angeles Police Department officers in specialized units are being reassigned as the department disbands and reduces a range of programs to address the city's fiscal emergency. General plans for the cuts were announced in November. But a new department memo spells out how many and where positions will be cut. The move comes months after the Los Angeles City Council approved a $150 million cut to the LAPD's budget, a decision that followed activists' mounting calls to "defund the police." "The decision to downsize the Department was difficult and tremendous consideration was taken to minimize the impact on those commands identified," an LAPD memo states. The cuts do not necessarily mean layoffs. Instead, the department is transferring officers in those disbanded special units to open positions in patrol and investigative duties at the various stations. The Managed Attrition program was a result of discussions between the department and the Los Angeles Police Protective League. At least half a dozen specialized details will be disbanded completely: The Safer Cities Initiative in the Mission Area, units focusing on sexual assault, homeless outreach, burglary/cargo theft and animal cruelty, and the LA LIVE detail.

3 Charged In Connection With Stabbing Of Transgender Woman at MacArthur Park
Three people have been charged in connection with the stabbing of a transgender woman at MacArthur Park nearly two months ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday. Javier Trimin-Rodriguez, 22, of Los Angeles, pleaded not guilty to one felony count each of attempted murder and extortion in connection with the Oct. 4 attack, according to the D.A.’s office. The charges included allegations of a hate crime, use of a knife as a deadly and dangerous weapon, great bodily injury and committing the crimes in association with a criminal street gang. Co-defendant, Margarita Valencia, 23, of Castaic, previously pleaded not guilty to one felony count of extortion involving another transgender woman on or between June and August, as well as an allegation that the crime was committed in association with a criminal street gang.

Man Wanted For Questioning In Westlake Hit-and-Run Crash That Killed Grandmother
A 26-year-old man is wanted for questioning in connection with a Westlake hit-and-run crash that killed a grandmother last month, police said Thursday. Ronald Waldamar Jo-Jlux is believed to be driving and living in the vehicle involved in the Nov. 23 crash. About 5:55 a.m. that day, the driver of the Toyota Corolla struck Kuen Ham, 76, while making a westbound left turn onto Miramar Street from Union Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The victim was knocked onto the street and was dragged about 15 feet before she was dislodged. The driver continued after the crash and did not stop, police said. Ham was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries and died about 8 p.m. that night. She was a grandmother and great-grandmother, family members said. Police did not call Jo-Jlux a suspect, but said they do want to talk to him about the crash. A $50,000 reward is being offered for tips leading to an arrest and conviction in the case. Anyone with information about Jo-Jlux can call Detective Juan Campos at 213-833-3713.

Man Sentenced To 7 Years, 4 Months For Setting Fire Inside Store At Westfield Century City Mall, Prompting Evacuation
A Missouri man was sentenced to over seven years in prison Thursday after pleading no contest to setting a fire inside a store at the Westfield Century City mall prompting a mass evacuation last year. Nicholas Kyle Oates, 27, was immediately sentenced to seven years and four months in state prison following his plea to one count each of arson and assault with a firearm, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Oates was seen entering the mall armed with a handgun before entering the children’s section of the Amazon store and setting books on fire. He also pulled a handgun on a store employee who confronted him and then lit additional items on fire before fleeing the scene, according to prosecutors. Investigators said Oates was a “disgruntled [former] employee unhappy with Amazon” who was “taking out his revenge in this bizarre and very dangerous manner”.

Developer Of Harbor Gateway Project Pleads Guilty To L.A. Money Laundering Scheme
A 70-year-old Torrance-based real estate developer was sentenced to probation and community service after pleading guilty to illegally donating tens of thousands of dollars to the campaigns of local politicians while seeking approval of a 352-unit, six-story apartment building project, authorities said Thursday, Dec. 3. Samuel Leung, 70, of Palos Verdes Estates entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to commit money laundering in Los Angeles Superior Court and was immediately sentenced to five years formal probation, 500 hours of community service and was ordered to deposit $2.5 million in an escrow account until the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission determines the final amount he owes, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said. Over the course of six years, Leung recruited family members, employees and others to act as straw donors to funnel money to local politicians in hopes of having his 5-acre parcel at 1311 W. Sepulveda Blvd. in Harbor Gateway rezoned from commercial to residential use, prosecutors said.

Northridge Attorney Charged After Being Found With Child Porn Images, Video
A Northridge man who works as an attorney has been charged after he was found to be in possession of more than 600 images of child pornography, officials said on Thursday. Paul Ezzat Hanna, 45, is also facing a felony count for possession of sadomasochistic child or youth pornography, according to a Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office news release. Hanna was arrested on July 23, but posted $100,000 bail and was released from jail. He was allegedly in possession of videos of child sexual abuse at the time, officials said. The criminal case against Hanna was filed on Aug. 11 and he is being arraigned Thursday. He faces a possible maximum sentence of five years in prison if convicted as charged. The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Regional Task Force, officials said.

5 Arrested In $1M California EDD Fraud Affecting At Least 100 Victims
Five people were arrested by the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety after officers identified 100 potential victims who fell prey to an EDD fraud at a loss of about $1 million through burglars that pilfered people's identities from their stolen mail. Evidence seized during the investigation reveals potentially thousands of more victims, Capt. Dan Pistor said in a news release. Public safety officers were conducting a follow-up investigation on Nov. 16 for a residential burglary case, where the suspected burglar -- George Ramirez, 35, of San Jose -- stole several items of personal identification, social security cards, credit cards, utility bills, and personal checks, Pistor said. Officers ended up finding Ramirez at a hotel in Sunnyvale and arresting him. In the room, they found a bunch of stolen mail from residents throughout Santa Clara County. That led them to uncover what the department is calling an "EDD benefits fraud ring" involving Ramirez and four others. The other four were identified as: Christopher Ellingsen, a parolee at Large from Oregon for weapon-related crimes; Arpresha Dunn, who is on active parole for fraud-related crimes; Samuel Ellingsen, who is on active parole for burglary; and Robert Briston, who is on active Post Release Community Supervision for weapon-related crimes and narcotics.

2 US Marshals Wounded, Fugitive Killed In Bronx Shootout
A suspect in the shooting of a state trooper in Massachusetts was killed during a gunfight with U.S. marshals in New York City early Friday that left two of the officers wounded. The two marshals injured in the 5:30 a.m. confrontation in the Bronx were in good condition, according to two law enforcement officials who were not authorized to discuss the incident publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity. Killed in the shootout was 35-year-old Andre Sterling, the officials said. His gun was recovered. He was wanted for shooting a Massachusetts state trooper in the hand at a traffic stop on Nov. 20. The U.S. Marshals Service did not immediately return calls seeking comment. Sterling had been sought in the shooting of a 28-year-old trooper during a late-night traffic stop in Hyannis, on Cape Cod. The trooper was hospitalized after a round went through his right hand and appeared to have struck his ballistic vest.

Public Safety News
Critically Hurt Orange County Firefighters Were Trapped Between Two Spot Fires
Two Orange County firefighters critically injured last month while battling the Silverado fire were overrun by flames that were ignited when their own crew set a defensive blaze, according to a preliminary report of the incident. In a Green Sheet report summarizing serious injuries on fire incidents, investigators detailed how the two firefighters were part of a team of eight who suddenly became trapped between two spot fires on Oct. 26. The firefighters were positioned uphill of an ongoing “firing operation,” or a relatively small, defensive fire that crews use to burn vegetation and possibly alter the path of larger, uncontrolled wildfires. Crews had set the defensive fire at the bottom of a slope, in dry creek bed. The expectation was the fire would burn along the creek bed, but also uphill where it would be stopped by a bulldozed containment line before reaching the firefighters. The report says firefighters were scattered on the uphill side of the containment line like outfielders, watching for fires sparked by wind-blown embers — a well-known risk in windy conditions.

Los Angeles County Sets Another Record For COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations
Los Angeles County set another grim record Thursday, breaking a two-day-old record for newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, while hospitalizations due to the virus also reached another pandemic high, continuing a steady upward climb. The county announced 7,854 new cases on Thursday, eclipsing the previous daily record of 7,593 set on Tuesday. The new cases lifted the county's cumulative total since the pandemic began to 421,881. County health officials also announced 44 more deaths, increasing the overall death toll to 7,782, while the number of people hospitalized rose to 2,572. "This is a health crisis that requires everyone who isn't already to take and adhere to the personal actions that prevent you from getting or spreading the virus," county Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis told reporters in an online briefing. "... I can't emphasize this enough. Everyone must take personal steps to protect themselves from getting and spreading this virus to others. Actions need to be taken now and on a daily basis. As the daily cases reported remain high, so does our risk from getting infected in the community."

SoCal, Other Regions ‘A Day Or Two’ Away From New Stay-At-Home Order
California Gov. Gavin Newsom Thursday announced a regional stay-at-home order that was likely to impact Southern California and other areas statewide amid new fears that hospitals could be overwhelmed within weeks. The executive order impacts regions that have reached 15% of ICU capacity and will force closures of all bars, wineries, personal service businesses, hair salons and barbershops. According to Newsom, four of the state’s five regions will meet the new shutdown threshold “within a day or two,” though no region met that criteria as of Thursday. Schools with waivers can stay open, along with other “critical infrastructure” and retail stores at 20% of capacity. Restaurants will be limited to takeout and delivery service only. The state will also restrict non-essential travel, Newsom said.

California’s New Stay-At-Home Order: What You Need To Know, From Supermarkets To Playgrounds
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new regional stay-at-home order is similar to the original sweeping order issued in March, but is significantly limited in some ways. All retail stores will be allowed to remain open, as will be outdoor spaces like parks and beaches. The order prohibits gatherings and requires people to stay home and minimize their interactions with other households as much as possible. The practice of keeping people physically distant from one another interrupts the transmission of the virus. Nearly 20,000 Californians have died after being infected with the coronavirus, responsible for the worst global pandemic in more than a century. State officials are forecasting that intensive care units will exceed capacity within weeks, which could worsen mortality in hospitals. Unless the current surge in cases is turned around, California’s death toll could double by the end of winter. Here’s how the new order works.

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: