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 16, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Surge In South L.A. Bloodshed Tied To Gunfire From High-Capacity Firearms, Gang Feuds
In recent months, bloodshed in South Los Angeles has increasingly been caused by bursts of gunfire from high-capacity firearms aimed at outdoor gatherings, leaving dozens of shell casings on the ground and multiple victims dead or wounded at once. The violence has not come as part of a single rivalry, but in “spurts of retaliation” among more than 40 gangs that police believe are actively involved in the carnage — often after one sect disrespects another online and the latter sends gunmen out to exact revenge before police or intervention workers can get a handle on what’s happening, said LAPD Deputy Chief Regina Scott, commander of the department’s south bureau, during a Police Commission meeting on Tuesday. Los Angeles has seen a surge in homicides this year, to levels not seen in more than a decade, and some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods are being hardest hit. More than 40 people were wounded or killed in the last week alone. Central L.A. has seen a surge in shootings at growing homeless encampments, said Deputy Chief Vito Palazzolo, who commands the department’s central bureau. 

LAPD Union Plans Billboards Targeting Nury Martinez, Monica Rodriguez
As the battle over budget cuts that could lead to layoffs for hundreds of police officers heats up, LAPD’s rank-and-file union is planning to raise $10 million to target political candidates and legislation it opposes. The Los Angeles Police Protective League last week sent ballots to around 9,800 rank-and-file officers to vote on whether to take $22 out of each paycheck over the next two years to contribute to the union’s political fights. The ballots are expected to be counted around the end of the month. According to the union’s campaign flyer, much of the fund — dubbed the “Protecting Our Profession Assessment” — would be earmarked for the 2022 election, when hundreds of statewide and local races will be held. L.A. will elect a new mayor that year, and eight city council members will be up for reelection. In the meantime, some of that money would also be spent to erect billboards across the city targeting council members. “Our question to them is really simple: What’s your plan to address this rise in violence?,” said Dustin DeRollo, a union spokesman. “Is your plan, ‘Let’s lay off a thousand cops?’”

L.A. Councilman Says D.A’s Proposed Sentencing Policy ‘Missed The Mark’
Councilman Paul Koretz filed a resolution Tuesday in opposition of Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon’s recent directive to remove sentence enhancements, particularly when prosecuting hate crimes. Gascon issued a set of special directives when he was sworn into office Dec. 7 designed to reduce recidivism and the number of people incarcerated. One directive eliminated all sentence enhancements. “While many of his special directives are well-intentioned, I believe he missed the mark when he eliminated special enhancements for hate crimes being prosecuted in the county,” Koretz said. Gascon announced that his office would no longer pursue the death penalty, try juveniles as adults, seek cash bail for misdemeanor and non-serious, non-violent felonies, or add gang and other enhancements to criminal complaints. Hate crimes of all kinds, Koretz said, have increased significantly over recent years across the United States in general and in Los Angeles in particular. Pointing to research done by the Los Angeles Human Rights Commission, Koretz said 2019 saw the highest number of violent hate crimes in the city in a decade, with white supremacist crimes jumping 38%. Crimes that targeted the transgender community increased 64% from 2018 to 2019, and 24% of all hate crimes committed in the county during 2019 targeted Black people, with the majority of these crimes being violent in nature, Koretz stated.

Family Of Child Suffering Brain Injury Fears Gascon's New Policies May Only Give Child's Abuser Slap On Wrist
Great bodily injury, or GBI, is a term used in criminal cases where the victim was severely injured and a defendant is charged with a special circumstance allegation which adds more time in prison if they’re found guilty. But under newly-elected District Attorney, George Gascon, Special Circumstance Allegations and Enhancements are no longer being allowed. In the case of baby Amber, this could mean the difference between years in prison and probation. “At the age of 6 months, this little child was bludgeoned over the head by a babysitter. She suffered traumatic brain injury; she had a skull fracture, multiple hematoma in her head, she’s now permanently blind and now the District Attorney wants to drop the great bodily injury allegation which would mean this defendant would be eligible for probation, she would serve no time for a heinous, heinous crime,” says Sam Dordulian, the family’s Pro Bono attorney. While no one from George Gascon’s office would go on camera, an LA Deputy DA who handles high profile child abuse cases issued the following statement: “The DA of Los Angeles County has stated that all allegations involving the Great Bodily Injury of a child (ex: burns, fractures, blindness, or broken bones) shall be dismissed. He has also stated that all prior crime allegations even ones involving prior child abuse and domestic violence convictions be dismissed. This includes all open cases, all completed cases, and all new cases.” 

Man Killed In Shooting On Melrose Avenue In Fairfax District
A man was killed and another was in critical condition after a shooting near Melrose Avenue in the Fairfax District shopping area. The shooting happened just before 1 p.m. near Melrose and Stanley avenues, Los Angeles police spokeswoman Officer Rosario Cervantes said. One man in his mid-20s was declared dead at the scene, and the second was taken to a hospital in critical condition. A preliminary investigation determined that the two men were standing outside when they were shot near the intersection, which includes a Starbucks, Urban Outfitters and several other retail shops. Police say they are looking for a silver Hyundai that drove eastbound from the scene shortly after the shooting. No arrests have been made, and a description of the shooter has not yet been released.

Authorities ID Man Killed In Jefferson Park Shooting
Authorities Tuesday identified a man who was shot to death in Jefferson Park, and the killer remained at large. The shooting occurred at 10:50 p.m. Sunday in the 3000 block of Ninth Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Nabor Galvez, 24, of Los Angeles, died at the scene, according to the coroner’s office and the LAPD. Investigators said the suspect fled in a vehicle. Anyone with information on the case was urged to call 877-LAPD-247.

Man’s Conviction Upheld For Girlfriend’s Killing In Burbank
A state appeals court panel Tuesday upheld the murder conviction of a man who told police that he touched his girlfriend “with the love of God” inside a Burbank home where they had been staying. The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that there was insufficient evidence to support Timothy Aguilar Andrade’s first-degree murder conviction for the August 2015 attack on Brandi Carrasco, who was stabbed once in the neck and once in the shoulder. In their 20-page ruling, the justices cited evidence of planning, a “preconceived design to kill” and a “volatile relationship” between the two. The panel noted that Andrade initially denied knowing the 35-year-old victim and subsequently told police, “I touched her with the love of God.” At the suggestion of one of the police officers, Andrade wrote the woman’s family a note that stated in part, “Because it was God’s will out of faith, hope and love, I sent her home. I touched her deeply with the hand of God … I am right with the Lord now, and hopefully I’ll be with her soon,” according to the ruling.

Fashion Mogul Peter Nygard Arrested On Sex Counts Alleging Women And Girls Were Abused In The L.A. Area, Elsewhere
Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard was arrested on charges alleging he sexually abused women and girls after luring them into his orbit with opportunities in fashion and modeling over the last 25 years. Nygard, 79, was detained after a Winnipeg, Canada, court appearance Tuesday following his Monday arrest by Canadian authorities at the request of the U.S. No date was set for a bail hearing, though he was due to return to court Jan. 13. His lawyer in Winnipeg, Jay Prober, said his client denies all allegations and blames a conspiracy caused by a feud with his billionaire neighbor in the Bahamas. Nygard’s arrest on sex trafficking, racketeering and related charges came after the FBI raided his Manhattan offices earlier this year. The raid came soon after 10 women sued Nygard, saying he enticed young and impoverished women to his Bahamas estate with cash and promises of modeling and fashion opportunities.

As Crime Sores In The Police-Defunded City, NYPD Is Suddenly Adding 900 Officers With Police Academy Classes
The New York Police Department hopes to reverse a spiking crime rate by adding 900 officers to a force that has shrunk this year amid budget cuts and attrition. Recruits will begin entering the police academy Dec. 29, with the final class entering at the end of February. An academy class scheduled for July had been canceled due to budget cuts and even though a class was added in November, the department was still going to be about 1,800 officers short of last year’s numbers. The new classes will begin on a rolling format, which is a first for the department. The goal is to keep up with attrition due to retirements and officers transferring out of the area to other departments. Police academy opening dates will see a “rolling start,” with the overlapping dates allowing for smaller class sizes and staggered graduation days. In 2019, the NYPD had an average of 36,900 officers on the force. Today, the number of uniformed officers has dropped to 34,184, partly as a result of the huge budget cuts voted in by the New York City Council. By the end of the training cycle, the largest police department in the nation will have added 900 uniformed officers to its rolls, reaching the headcount reduced by this year’s budget cuts as well as issues related to the novel coronavirus pandemic and anti-police demonstrations. 

FBI Releases NIBRS Crime Data For 2019
Last week the Federal Bureau of Investigation released data on 7.6 million criminal offenses reported in 2019, according to a release from the FBI. The National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) shows demographic data about victims, offenders, and victim-offender relationships across 23 categories. A total of 8,497 law enforcement agencies submitted NIBRS data in 2019, reporting over 6.5 million incidents involving over 7.6 million offenses. Of the reported offenses, 59.6% were crimes against property, 24.6% were crimes against persons, and 15.8% were crimes against society, according to the report. The most common offenses were larceny/theft, assault and drug/narcotic offenses. Here are some highlights from the data: Of the victims, 23.6% were between 21 and 30 years old, a little more than half of the victims (51%) were female, 48.2% were male, and the gender of 0.8% of victims was unknown, of these offenders, 38.4% were between 16 and 30 years of age, by gender, most offenders (61.7%) were male, 25.4% were female, and gender for 12.9% was unknown, and just over half of the victims knew their offender; about one quarter of the victims were related to their offender, and about one quarter of the victims were strangers or unknown. 

Public Safety News

1 Person Unaccounted For After Fire Engulfs Home In Reseda
One person is unaccounted for after a fire erupted at a home in Reseda Wednesday morning. The fire started sometime after 3 a.m. at a one-story home in the 19100 block of West Vanowen Street, according to a Los Angeles Fire Department alert. Firefighters arrived to find heavy fire burning throughout the home and attic, Fire Department spokesperson Nicholas Prange stated. About 35 firefighters knocked down the blaze in 30 minutes, Prange said. No injuries were immediately reported but a Fire Department spokesperson at the scene told KTLA that a 35-year-old man with special needs was unaccounted for. Officials are searching the surrounding area for the man, who is a member of the family that lives in the home, according to the spokesperson. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

LA County Expected Wednesday To Get Full Initial Allotment Of Nearly 83,000 Doses Of Pfizer's COVID Vaccine
More Southland health care workers are expected to get vaccinated against the coronavirus Wednesday, as the region's hospitals continue receiving shipments of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. By the end of Wednesday, all nine sites in the county equipped with the ultra-cold-storage facilities needed for the Pfizer medication are expected to have the vaccine. The doses will then be farmed out to 83 acute-care hospitals countywide for administration to health care workers, who are at the top of the priority list. The vaccine, which received federal approval over the weekend for immediate use, is said to be 95% effective at preventing the virus. Officials at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center announced early Tuesday that Pfizer's much-anticipated vaccine had arrived at the hospital. "The arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine signifies a powerful and positive shift change for our community after months of fear, exhaustion and illness,'' said Dr. Jeff Smith, chief operating officer of Cedars-Sinai. "Until today, the vaccine was the missing tool in our ever-growing toolkit of treatments and prevention methods against the virus.''

L.A. Dispatches Mobile Coronavirus Testing To High-Risk Communities Of Color
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday dispatched five mobile coronavirus testing teams to predominantly Black and Latino communities in the East San Fernando Valley and South Los Angeles, where infections nearly doubled in early December. “Angelenos must remain vigilant in the face of this surge,” Garcetti said in a statement, pointing to an explosion of cases across L.A. County and beyond in recent weeks. As of Monday, L.A. County was averaging nearly 10,700 new coronavirus cases a day over the last week and 58 new COVID-19 deaths a day — both at or near records. Communities where the mobile units are headed have seen particularly dramatic spikes relative to their population, according to the mayor’s office, which said it relies on county data to spot trends.

California Shatters Single-Day COVID-19 Death Record, With 295
California has shattered yet another single-day record for COVID-19 deaths: 295, according to the Los Angeles Times county-by-county tally for Tuesday. That breaks the single-day record last set Dec. 8 and repeated Friday, when 219 deaths were recorded. California is now averaging 175 COVID-19 deaths a day over the last week, a new record for the pandemic in the state. The record for average daily deaths over a weekly period has been broken for seven consecutive days. The deadliest day of the pandemic thus far in California was fueled by record death tolls in six counties from San Diego up to the Bay Area, according to a Times analysis. Single-day COVID-19 death records were broken Tuesday in the counties of Los Angeles, with 93; San Diego, with 32; Santa Clara, with 24; Yolo, with nine; San Luis Obispo, with six; and Santa Cruz, with five. L.A. County’s Tuesday total exceeds the record set July 29, when 91 deaths from COVID-19 were reported. San Diego County’s previous high was 26 deaths, which were registered Dec. 8. The Santa Clara County tally surpassed the 13 deaths it recorded Sept. 11.

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: