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 8, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Los Angeles City Council Panel Seeks To Scale Back Potential LAPD Job Cuts
A key committee of the Los Angeles City Council narrowly approved a proposal on Monday for scaling back the number of Police Department employees whose jobs could be targeted for elimination amid a growing financial crisis. The council’s Budget and Finance Committee took up a proposal from the city’s top financial analysts to begin preparations for the layoff of as many as 1,900 employees, the vast majority of them at the LAPD. Councilman Paul Krekorian called for his colleagues to scale back that list by nearly two-thirds, and seek to find savings elsewhere — possibly from other city agencies. Krekorian, who heads the committee, recommended taking the number of sworn officers whose positions were targeted for elimination from 951 down to 355, and the number civilian positions in the Police Department from 728 down to 273. The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union representing roughly 9,800 LAPD officers, issued a letter calling Llewellyn’s proposal for the LAPD “reckless and unnecessary.” The union asked council members to tap unspent coronavirus relief funding provided by the federal government earlier this year. In a letter to the committee, union president Craig Lally said the cuts would “decimate the LAPD for at least a decade.”

New Los Angeles Prosecutor Ends Cash Bail For Many Offenses
New Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, seeking to revamp the nation’s largest prosecutor’s office with progressive policies, said Monday after taking office that cash bail will be ended for many offenses and sentences in thousands of cases will be reevaluated. Gascón, in remarks after taking his oath of office, took aim at his predecessors in recent decades — calling Los Angeles “a poster child for the failed tough-on-crime approach.” “The status quo hasn’t made us safer,” he said during a live-streamed ceremony. A former San Francisco district attorney and assistant Los Angeles police chief, Gascón has already drawn the ire of prosecutors in his own office, as well as members of the Los Angeles Police Department. The Los Angeles Police Protective League, which is for rank-and-file police officers and heavily supported Lacey, blasted Gascón new policies after his speech. “As homicides, shooting victims and shots fired into occupied homes soar in Los Angeles, it’s disturbing that Gascon’s first act in office is to explore every avenue possible to release from jail those responsible for this bloodshed,” the union’s board of directors said in a statement Monday. “These victims and law-abiding residents lost a voice today while criminals and gang members gained an ally in the prosecutor’s office.” 

Holiday Heroes: LAPD Officer Gives Back Where He Grew Up During Pandemic
'Tis the season for toy drives and food giveaways. Every year we see members of law enforcement step up. When asked for a recommendation for FOX 11 Holiday Heroes LAPD Officer Nickolas Ferara was nominated. Ferara is the son of Croation immigrants. He grew up in San Pedro and wanted to be a police officer ever since he was a teenager. He is now Acting Senior Lead Officer at Harbor Division serving in the very communities of San Pedro and Wilmington where he grew up. Connecting with the community is the job of Senior Lead Officer but Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino thinks Ferara goes above and beyond. At the start of the coronavirus pandemic Ferara reached into his own pocket and spent $300 dollars getting food to families.

19-Year-Old Man Fatally Shot In North Hollywood, Spurring Homicide Investigation
Detectives are seeking the public’s help in finding whoever shot and killed a 19-year-old man in North Hollywood late last week, police said Monday. The deadly shooting occurred in the 10000 block of Margate Street just after 7:45 p.m. last Friday, according to a Los Angeles Police Department news release. Officers responded to a radio call regarding “shots fired” at the location and found the young man with multiple gunshot wounds lying in the street. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities have not yet released the victim’s name. A motive for the shooting is unknown, and a suspect description has not been released. LAPD’s Valley Bureau Homicide Division is investigating and seeking help identifying the person or people responsible. Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Castro at 818-374-1925 After hours, callers can dial 1-877-527-3247.

Person Taken To Hospital From Scene Of South Los Angeles Shooting
A person was taken to a hospital Monday afternoon from the scene of a shooting in the Broadway-Manchester area of South Los Angeles. The shooting occurred about 4 p.m. in the 100 block of East 120th Street, near Main Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, which could not immediately confirm if someone was shot. The Los Angeles Fire Department took one person to a hospital, but information about the patient was not available, the department’s Margaret Stewart said. Police were searching for a man who was last seen eastbound on 120th Street, toward San Pedro Street. It was not immediately clear if he was in a vehicle or on foot.

‘If You Know Anything, Say Something’: $50K Reward Offered For Information In Shooting Death Of El Sereno Father
A $50,000 reward is being offered for information about a 2016 fatal shooting of a young father in his El Sereno home, the Los Angeles Police Department announced Monday. According to police, 25-year-old Victor Deunas Jr. was shot at about 7:35 p.m. on Dec. 7, 2016, in the 4700 block of Grey Drive. He was standing on the front porch of his residence when an unidentified assailant fired multiple rounds at him. “Mr. Duenas attempted to escape the attack by running into his residence,” LAPD said in a statement. “Unfortunately, Mr. Duenas was fatally struck in the back as he entered his living room.” Duenas left behind his parents and young son. His mother, Candy Via, pleaded with the public on the fourth anniversary of his death to help her and her family find some closure. “Please find it in your hearts as parents, as sons, as mothers, as daughters knowing that if this was you that you would want the same thing that I would want today,” Via said. “So I beg you and I ask of you, please, if you know anything, say something.” Anyone with information about the crime was urged to call 877-527-3247.

Motorcyclist Killed In Echo Park Hit-and-Run Crash; Van Driver Sought
A motorcyclist died after being struck by a hit-and-run driver in Echo Park early Monday, police said. The crash occurred about 6:35 a.m. when the driver of a van made an illegal U-turn in front of a motorcyclist on Glendale Boulevard just south of Reservoir Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Video surveillance released by LAPD shows the motorcyclist tried to slow down, skidded sideways, but struck the tail-end of the van. The impact appears to have caused the van’s bumper to fall off. The driver stopped briefly and reversed before continuing south, the video shows. He or she did not identify themselves or help the motorcyclist, police said. The victim, a 29-year-old man, was taken to a hospital in critical condition, but died shortly after arriving, police said. He has not been identified. The van was described as being a maroon or red, late 1990s to early 2000 Chevy Astro. Police did not have any description of the driver.

Former Councilman Huizar Pleads Not Guilty To Bribery And Other Federal Charges
Former Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar pleaded not guilty Monday to bribery and other federal charges in a racketeering indictment alleging he took cash and other benefits from developers who sought favorable treatment on pending real estate development projects. Huizar, 52, of Boyle Heights, has a June 22 trial date in the case, which is a result of a federal investigation into alleged widespread corruption at Los Angeles City Hall that has also ensnared political operatives, lobbyists and the former general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety. Huizar was charged in July in a 34-count indictment that alleged a conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act in which he's accused of agreeing to accept at least $1.5 million in illicit financial benefits. The racketeering charge alleges 402 overt acts that Huizar and his co-conspirators are accused of committing to further their criminal enterprise, including bribery, honest services fraud, and money laundering.

Northridge Man Pleads Guilty To Taking $655,000 In COVID-19 Relief Fraud
A Northridge man pleaded guilty Monday, Dec. 7, to a federal fraud charge for obtaining $655,000 in Paycheck Protection Program loans by submitting fake tax documents and false employee information. Steven R. Goldstein, 36, of Northridge entered his guilty plea via a Zoom hearing in connection with the benefits, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Goldstein admitted to fraudulently obtaining $655,000 in PPP loans, according to his plea agreement. His sentencing is scheduleed for March 30, when he faces up to 30 years in prison. Goldstein’s business partner, Raymond Magana, 39, of Santa Clarita was charged in October with fraudulently obtaining PPP loans as well. Prosecutors say Goldstein applied for four different PPP loans to Bank of America totaling more than $1.2 million on behalf of various companies while using fake tax documents and false employee information. Two of those loans ultimately were approved and Goldstein’s companies received $655,000 in PPP loan funds, court records show.

LASD Arrests 158 At Underground Party After Sheriff Vows To Crack Down On ‘Super Spreader' Events
The Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department made 158 arrests while breaking up a massive underground party at a house in Palmdale over the weekend, and only FOX 11’s cameras were there to witness it. Over the past several months, FOX 11 has been investigating the underground party scene, which has continued to rage as COVID-19 cases surge to all time highs and stay at home orders are reinstituted. FOX 11 has tracked a juvenile promoter who has thrown large parties in Pomona and Ontario in recent weeks, and on Saturday night, he threw another party in Palmdale at a house that was up for rent and was illegally accessed somehow. The party was promoted on social media.FOX 11 was recording video of streams of people arriving to the party when a large task force of LASD units arrived and surrounded the home. Deputies got on a loudspeaker and ordered everyone out of the house, while a LASD helicopter circled above. Partiers inside the home could be seen laughing and looking out the window while they recorded and live streamed themselves. Eventually, LASD made 158 arrests, and lined up those who were detained on the street.Deputies gave those who were detained masks, checked their temperatures, and provided them blankets.

‘I Have Never Seen Anything Like It’: Bank Of America Says Fraudsters Have Stolen $2B In California EDD Funds
The California Employment Development Department Monday continued to reel from unprecedented scams carried out by fraudsters, many of them prisoners in the state duping the system with mind-boggling ease. Bank of America, which contracts with EDD to distribute unemployment benefits said in a Monday statement: “Our assessment is that there is activity consistent with fraud in those accounts on the order of approximately $2 billion. … We also have detailed instances in which criminals not only withdrew initial funds provided by the State, but sought and received additional ‘temporary’ credit from Bank of America … essentially attempting to double-dip the fraudulent removal of funds.” Compounding the horrific scheme, the victims were people like Bradley Hunt, whose EDD money the scammers stole. “One day, I was like just going to get food or going to pay a bill or something and I saw that I had no money, like insufficient funds,” he said.

The Untold Story Of How The Golden State Killer Was Found: A Covert Operation And Private DNA
The dramatic arrest in 2018 of Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. was all the more astounding because of how detectives said they caught the elusive Golden State Killer— by harnessing genetic technology already in use by millions of consumers to trace their family trees. But the DNA-matching effort that caught one of America’s most notorious serial killers was more extensive than previously disclosed and involved covert searches of private DNA housed by two for-profit companies despite privacy policies, according to interviews and court discovery records accessed by The Times. The revelations are likely to heighten debate about genetic privacy and the self-policing models of testing companies, as well as law enforcement access. The original version of events omitted not only the involvement of private databases, but also the access to sensitive information the companies had told users law enforcement could see only if “required” or presented with a “lawful request.” One prosecutor described the public understanding of the arrest as a “false impression,” according to a letter the prosecutor wrote to the FBI.

Public Safety News

Father Dies, Teen Son Critically Burned After Being Rescued From South LA House Fire
A father has died and his teen son remains in critical condition after both were rescued from a South Los Angeles house fire early Monday morning. The blaze broke out before 4:30 a.m. in the 1400 block of East 55th Street. LAFD crews arrived to find a single-story home ablaze, with a 40-year-old man trapped in one of the bedrooms. The man’s 18-year-old son was also found outside the home with critical burns. Both were rescued and rushed to local hospitals. The father later died of his injuries, the fire department reported. The son was in critical condition with burns but was expected to survive. No names were released. Two other people who lived in the home were not hurt: the surviving teen’s grandfather and the teen’s brother. The grandfather had been alerted to the fire by a smoke alarm and had attempted to battle the flames with a garden hose, the fire department reported. It took firefighters about 25 minutes to bring the blaze under control.

SoCal Coronavirus Shutdown Will Last Through Christmas As COVID-19 Hospitalizations Surge
For millions of Californians, the COVID-19 pandemic will provide a most unwelcome gift this Christmas: a wide-ranging shutdown imposed as the state grapples with its most massive and dangerous surge in infections and hospitalizations to date. The restrictions that took hold at 11:59 p.m. Sunday across Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley will remain in place for at least three weeks, meaning those regions will not be able to emerge from the state’s latest stay-at-home order until Dec. 28 at the earliest. Five counties in the San Francisco Bay Area also announced last week that they are proactively implementing the new restrictions and plan to keep them in place until at least Jan. 4. Combined, those regions are home to some 33 million Californians, representing 84% of the state’s population.

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: