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 21, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Los Angeles County’s New Progressive D.A. Changes Policy After Public Outcry
Following a heavy public backlash, Los Angeles County’s newly-elected, controversial district attorney reversed course on Friday, reinstating the use of some sentencing enhancements for cases involving “the most vulnerable” victims. In a memo to his staff, D.A. George Gascón reportedly said he had re-evaluated a special directive issued just 11 days earlier after taking the oath of office. The Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL), a union that represents rank-and-file LAPD officers, issued a statement after Gascón’s reversal. “It took a national outcry for him to understand that child rapists, human traffickers, and perpetrators of violent hate crimes should spend some more time behind bars,” it read. “Yet he’s still willing to go easy on gang members who terrorize our neighborhoods or criminals that shoot cops in the back of the head.”

Mom Of 20-Year-Old Man Brutally Murdered, Thrown Off Cliff Lashes Out At LA County DA George Gascón
The mother of a young man who was brutally murdered and thrown off a cliff in Azusa is outraged after learning her son's suspected killers had special charges dismissed in court Friday morning. The dismissals came under new Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón. The mother, Desiree Andrade, tells FOX 11 she saw her son's alleged killers smirk in court earlier in the day as all their special circumstance charges were dismissed, meaning none of them will face life without parole. "It's sick," Andrade said. "This is all sick." "I felt let down by this justice system," she added. Her son, 20-year-old Julian Andrade, was viciously murdered in May 2018 by five suspects who thought he stole some of their weed. "They brutally murdered my son," said the grieving mother. The suspects are accused of repeatedly beating and stabbing Julian Andrade for several minutes until he lost consciousness. The suspects then drove up to the mountains to toss Andrade's body. However, during that drive, prosecutors say the suspects stomped on his head when they realized Andrade was still alive. The suspects threw Andrade off the cliff and heard him still struggling. One of the suspects went down to attack Andrade some more. Julian Andrade's body was found two days after the deadly incident.

1 Dead, 2 Other People Stable After Shooting At Large Downtown LA Party
One man was shot to death and a man and a woman were wounded at the scene of a large downtown Los Angeles party, authorities said Sunday. The shooting happened about 11 p.m. Saturday at 431 S. Hewitt St., according to a dispatcher at the Los Angeles Police Department’s Operations Center. A man and woman, both 25, were taken by paramedics to hospitals where the man died, the dispatcher said. A 23-year-old man was also wounded and took himself to a hospital for treatment. The two survivors had stable vital signs. One suspect was detained at the scene, she said.

Male Shot During Fight In Front Of Venice Church
A person was shot outside a Venice church Saturday during a fight. A male victim was struck by gunfire from another male about 4 p.m., during an altercation outside a church at Sixth and Westminster avenues, according to a desk officer in the Los Angeles Police Department’s Operations Center. The gunman fled in a vehicle, the officer said. The victim’s age and condition were not immediately available, he said. It was unclear if any services or events were being held at the time.

Police Seek Info In South L.A. Road-Rage Crash That Left Mother Dead, 9-Year-Old Son Critically Injured
A woman was killed and her 9-year-son was critically injured after being struck by a driver in a South Los Angeles road-rage incident last month, and police are asking for the public’s help solving the case. The incident unfolded about 6:35 p.m. Nov. 28 along Central Avenue between 56th and 43rd streets in the Central-Alameda neighborhood, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. During the ordeal, the passenger of a Chevrolet or GMC SUV brandished a gun at the driver of a Mitsubishi Outlander. The driver of the SUV then blocked the path of the Outlander at Central Avenue just south of 43rd Street. “Fearing that the passenger of the SUV was going to shoot at him, the driver of the Outlander conducted an evasive maneuver by driving around the SUV, onto opposing traffic, and made an immediate eastbound right turn onto 43rd Street,” LAPD officials said in a news release. The SUV driver then began to chase the Outlander east on 43rd. As the driver of the Outlander approached Hooper Avenue, he did not stop at a posted stop sign and entered the intersection “at a high rate of speed,” police said.

Police Chase Of Honda Minivan On LA Freeways Ends In DTLA
A police pursuit of a minivan Sunday night ended in downtown after traveling from South Los Angeles through DTLA up north to the 101 Freeway before pulling a u-turn and ending the dangerous driving saga in the heart of the city. Newschopper4 was over the chase around 8:30 p.m., as the minivan traveled with its headlights off on the northbound 110 Freeway from South LA. The hefty vehicle moved with pace on the 110 northbound until it came to the 101 northbound. The driver entered East Hollywood before heading back toward downtown LA. The older model Honda Odyssey continued southbound until a touch of traffic seemed to push the driver onto streets. With California Highway Patrol vehicles close behind appearing to set up a PIT maneuver, Newschopper4 lost sight of the vehicle due to the tall buildings. When the van next appeared in frame, the car had come to a halt on a curb a few blocks from the US Bank building. Several people exited the vehicle, after the driver surrendered. The vehicle was filled near capacity, with six people getting out of the car after the driver gave up.

2 Shot Dead, 1 Wounded Near Inglewood
A shooting in the South Bay area of Los Angeles left two people dead and a third wounded Saturday evening after a deputy opened fire, authorities said. The shooting was reported at 4416 104th Street, which lies along the border between the city of Inglewood and the unincorporated Lennox neighborhood in the South Bay, at 6:45 p.m., according to L.A. County Fire Supervisor Michael Pittman. Authorities said that’s when one of the responding deputies opened fire. It’s not clear which victim or how many were struck by deputy gunfire. Pittman said the condition of the third victim is not known. No information about a potential suspect or other details have been released.

Scammers Fake Delivery-Related Notifications To Steal Personal Financial Data  
During the holidays, it's advised to keep an eye on your packages so that no one steals them from your porch, but scammers are also tracking your holiday gifts, with something different in mind. It is recommended to be aware of the delivery alerts that many parcel companies send, so as not to fall into the hands of imposters. If you order or send a package through Amazon, DHL, FedEx, UPS, or the U.S. Postal Service, the chances that it will arrive during these dates is very high and the scammers know it. According to a recent Check Point report, from October to November alone, a 440% increase was reported in emails in which scammers faked delivery-related notifications and stole personal financial data from their victims. Almost 65% of these fraudulent messages pretend to be from Amazon, one of the most popular shipping companies, but beware, you have to learn to detect the imitators. If you receive such a message, there will be no link, it's advised to visit the internet site directly.

'NorCal Rapist' Sentenced To 897 Years In Prison For Rape Of Nine Women
Roy Charles Waller, the NorCal Rapist, was sentenced Friday to 897 years in prison following a conviction for assaulting nine women from 1991 to 2006. Waller was convicted of 46 counts including kidnapping, forcible rape, oral copulation, sodomy, and foreign penetration in six counties, including Sonoma, Solano, and Contra Costa counties in the Bay Area. Waller lived in Benicia and worked at the University of California at Berkeley for about 25 years before his arrest in September 2018. "Nine victims waited for more than 20 years for this moment and it is only with the use of Investigative Genetic Genealogy and the science of DNA that it has come," Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Grippi said in a statement after Waller's conviction. "This is their day." Investigators, in 2006, linked biological evidence from six cases to the same suspect, but the suspect's DNA was not in California's criminal database, prosecutors said.

Ex-California Contract Worker Charged In Pandemic Aid Scam With Inmate Boyfriend
A former employee who worked for California’s unemployment insurance program has been charged with conspiring with her prison inmate boyfriend to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in pandemic aid, the U.S. attorney’s office said Thursday. Nyika Gomez, 40, of San Diego was arrested at her home Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to charges of wire fraud and identity theft in San Diego federal court. The scam is among several that investigators have uncovered in recent months involving fraudulent COVID-19 unemployment payments to prison inmates, including notorious convicted murderer Scott Peterson at San Quentin State Prison. Earlier this month, state authorities said at least $400 million had been paid on some 21,000 prison claims. Federal investigators said Thursday that $21,000 went to an address in Roseville under the name and Social Security number of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein. They said that and other fraudulent claims had been linked to another woman who once worked for the state.

Public Safety News

One Person Dies In Palos Verdes Estates House Fire
One person has been found dead following a house fire in the upscale city of Palos Verdes Estates late Sunday night. The fire was reported at a two-story home in the 600 block of Via Del Monte just after 11 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. As firefighters were extinguishing the blaze, they found one person dead inside the home, the fire department said. The victim’s name was not released. It’s unclear if anyone else was in the home at the time of the fire. There was no word on the cause of the fire or the extent of the damage.

2 Church Fires Break Out In Panorama City, Raise Suspicions Of Arson
Police are investigating a possible arson suspect after two fires broke out at churches within a few miles of each other early Saturday morning in Panorama City. A fire outside El Redentor Spanish Lutheran Church spread into a classroom on the church campus, damaging the interior. Crews responded to the fire around 3:27 a.m. at 14445 Terra Bella St., near Van Nuys Boulevard. The fire had been burning for about 20 minutes before crews extinguished the flames, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. A knock down was called at 3:47 a.m. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire was under investigation. Around the same time, another fire broke out at Iglesia Cosecha De Dios, at 9165 Woodman Ave. Few details were available about this fire, though investigators believe they may be linked.

L.A. County Reports More Than 100K New Coronavirus Cases In Just 8 Days Amid Fastest Acceleration Of Infections
Los Angeles County recorded more than 100,000 new coronavirus cases just over the past eight days — “the fastest acceleration of new cases than at any other time during the pandemic,” officials said Saturday. The surging infection numbers prompted warnings for weeks for residents to avoid gathering so that the hospital system can avoid a crush of COVID-19 patients. Now, as the county’s case total tops 610,300, the situation has become dire. “Hospital capacity across the county is limited, and healthcare workers are hard-pressed to keep up with the need for care,” L.A. County Department of Public Health officials said in a news release. There was a record number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 on Saturday: 5,424 patients. That’s an increase of more than 300 new patients in one day. Of the COVID-19 patients in hospitals Saturday, 21% were battling the respiratory illness in intensive care units. “We are bearing witness every day to the terrible suffering caused by a virus that is spreading out of control throughout the county,” L.A. County Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement.

A COVID-Related Illness Is Sickening A Growing Number Of Children In California
For several seconds, 8-year-old Xitlali Vasquez’s heart stopped beating. The girl’s parents had driven her to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in May when her temperature spiked and delirium sent her into a fever-sleep. She was placed in intensive care as specialists tended to inflammation around her heart and arteries. Her mother watched helplessly from the hallway as doctors rushed to revive her youngest child. It would be a few more days before the girl regained full consciousness and even longer before she was allowed to return to their Hawthorne home. “It was just like a nightmare,” Rosa Vasquez said about her daughter’s 12-day hospitalization. “There was a time where I thought she was going to die.” Xitlali, which means “star” in Nahuatl, was one of the first children in Los Angeles County to be diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome, a rare and potentially deadly illness known as MIS-C that infects children exposed to the coronavirus. Seven months later, at least 45 children in the county have been diagnosed with MIS-C, and one has died.

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: