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

January 6, 2021
Law Enforcement News

LAPD Searching For Driver In Violent Hit-and-Run Crash In South LA That Left Man Severely Injured
The Los Angeles Police Department has released video of a violent hit-and-run crash in South L.A. that left a man severely injured in the hopes of finding the driver. The incident happened at the intersection of 61st Street and Broadway just before 10 p.m. on Sunday, according to the department. The pedestrian was crossing the street when he was hit, though authorities noted that he did so against the "Don't Walk" signal. As the pedestrian continued to walk, surveillance footage shows the suspect car colliding into the man and catapulting him into the air before he landed on the street. The driver briefly stopped but then continued to drive northbound on Broadway without rendering any aid to the pedestrian. Authorities say the man is in stable condition. The vehicle is described as a 2000-2010 two-door beige coupe with a sunroof that may have damage to the hood and front end. Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact LAPD detectives at (213) 833-3717 or (213) 833-3746.

Dr. Dre's LA Home Target Of Attempted Burglary While He Remains Hospitalized
While Dr. Dre was in the hospital for a possible brain aneurysm, his home in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles was the apparent target of a burglary ring Tuesday night, though police say nothing was taken. The burglars attempted to break into Dr. Dre's home around 10 p.m. but were not able to get inside, according to Los Angeles police. During a surveillance operation in Brentwood, officers spotted an SUV believed to be involved, and after a short chase the suspects were apprehended. Four people were taken into custody in Pacific Palisades. Inside the suspects' vehicle, investigators say they found a backpack full of burglary tools, saws and crowbars. 

Man Killed In Willowbrook Shooting
A man was shot and killed Tuesday evening in the unincorporated Willowbrook area near South Los Angeles. Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies assigned to the Century Station received a call about 7 p.m. regarding a gunshot victim in the 1500 block of East 123rd Street, near Compton Avenue, where they found the victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body, according to Deputy James Nagao. The man died at the scene, Nagao said. His name was not immediately released. Deputies asked that anyone with information on the shooting call the department’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500 or submit a tip anonymously at 800-222-8477.

2 Charged In Killing Of LA Youth Counselor
Two 18-year-old men were charged Tuesday with the weekend killing of a counselor who was trying to break up a fight at the residential youth facility where he worked in the Windsor Hills area. Nyier Mason and Keith Lewis are set to be arraigned Wednesday, Jan. 6, at the Airport Branch Courthouse on a murder charge in the killing of 25-year-old David Mcknight-Hillman, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Deputies were called about 9:50 p.m. Saturday to 5300 Angeles Vista Blvd. in the unincorporated Windsor Hills area, the site of Wayfinder Family Services, a nonprofit organization that provides support services to children, adults and families, said Deputy Joana Warren of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. They found Mcknight-Hillman — who was responsible for “the day-to-day care of the residents” at Wayfinder — suffering from blunt force trauma injuries, Warren said. Mcknight-Hillman was taken to a hospital, where he died, she said.

Authorities Seek Public’s Help To Identify Driver In Fatal South L.A. Hit-and-Run
Authorities are seeking the public’s help in identifying a hit-and-run driver that fatally struck a pedestrian in the unincorporated area of Westmont in South L.A. early Monday. Around 5:18 a.m., a vehicle was traveling westbound on West 94th Street, west of Budlong Avenue when a traffic collision occurred with a pedestrian on the roadway, according to California Highway Patrol. The pedestrian suffered from fatal injuries, CHP said. No further details about the victim were available. After the crash, the vehicle fled the scene and continued westbound on West 94th Street. CHP released photos of the suspect vehicle, which was described as a light colored midsize SUV, with an unknown make or model, with front-end collision damage. Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact investigators Parilla or Komoda at 310-642-3939 and reference CHP Case No: 202100017-565.

5 Detained After Vehicle In Violent Carjacking Is Involved In Southeast L.A. County Pursuit
Five people who were in a vehicle involved in a violent carjacking were detained after a pursuit in Southeast Los Angeles County, officials said Tuesday. The ordeal began about 1 a.m. when a man met a woman on the Tinder dating app and she asked him to come to her home in Pico Rivera, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Tenaya Brown told KTLA. When the victim arrived at the home, the woman asked him to pick up a male friend of hers at Alondra and Firestone boulevards. The friend then got into the vehicle, and a short time later, the friend pointed a pistol to the back of the victim’s head, Brown said. The victim was told to empty his pockets and he handed over his cellphone and wallet. He was also forced to drive to various ATMs and withdraw $240, Brown said. The man then made the victim drive around Whittier for several hours, apparently to confuse the victim, before the assailant told the victim to get out of the car. The man and woman then took off, but the car was entered into the Sheriff’s Department’s system as being involved with people who were considered armed and dangerous, Brown said.

LA's Three Strikes Legal Battle May Impact SF Rules
San Francisco’s controversial sentencing policies may end up getting caught in an unusual legal battle that pits Los Angeles county prosecutors against their new boss – former SF District Attorney George Gascon – over his newly adopted policies against pursuing cases under the state’s Three Strikes law. That battle down south comes as San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin is under fire for the release of a parolee now blamed for the hit and run deaths of two pedestrians on New Year’s Eve. The man had faced a possible life term, but the Three Strikes allegations were dropped last year after Boudin deemed such enhancements as unfairly promoting racial disparities. A similar “Three Strikes” policy imposed just last month in Los Angeles, meanwhile, prompted prosecutors there to go to court last week to sue their own boss. They allege it is illegal for newly elected prosecutor George Gascon to issue what they consider a blanket rule that bars them from seeking sentencing enhancements under the Three Strikes law.

San Francisco DA Under Fire After Pedestrians Killed
Chesa Boudin took office as district attorney in San Francisco a year ago, part of a politically progressive wave of prosecutors committed to seeking restorative justice over mass incarceration. But now the former deputy public defender and son of one-time Weathermen radicals is under fire for the deaths of two pedestrians on New Year’s Eve who were run down in an intersection by a 45-year-old parolee, fueling criticism in a city plagued by rampant drug dealing and a surge in break-ins. Distraught and fed-up residents have taken to social media to highlight burglaries and attempted home invasions in their communities. Police say Troy McAlister was intoxicated when he ran a red light in a stolen car, killing Elizabeth Platt, 60, and Hanako Abe, 27. The San Francisco police officers union says a plea agreement for a robbery set McAlister free on parole in April, and that Boudin’s office failed to prosecute McAlister’s multiple arrests in the aftermath, including one Dec. 20 for alleged car theft. McAlister has been incarcerated in state prisons numerous times, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Terri Hardy said by email. In April 2020, he was sentenced in San Francisco County to five years for second-degree robbery and was released on parole for time served. Boudin has defended his office’s choices, saying that charging McAlister with a new, nonviolent crime would not have necessarily put the serial offender behind bars. He said multiple law enforcement agencies could also have acted differently to avoid “a terrible and devastating tragedy” and vowed to make “concrete changes” in his office.

California Supreme Court Takes A Step Toward Abolishing Cash Bail At Hearing
Two months after California voters refused to abolish cash bail, the state Supreme Court appeared ready Tuesday to take a step toward abolition by requiring pretrial release without bail unless a defendant was likely to commit violent acts or flee. Justices expressed varying viewpoints hearing the case of a San Francisco man who was held in jail for a year on a robbery charge because he was unable to afford $350,000 bail, but they seemed to agree that any future bail system should not discriminate based on a defendant’s financial status. Until recently, California law allowed judges to set bail based on the seriousness of the charges and the defendant’s record, a system that kept hundreds of thousands of low-income defendants in jail awaiting trial while those who could afford bail were released. Proposition 25, a ballot measure to eliminate cash bail and allow judges to decide whether defendants should be freed without bail, was rejected by 55% of the voters on Nov. 3. But in August, the state Supreme Court took the unusual step of requiring judges in all 58 counties to follow standards set by an appellate court in the San Francisco case and set bail only in amounts a defendant could afford to pay, at least while the case is pending before the high court.

Shootings Up, Overall Crime Down As Boston Exits 2020
Shootings and killings were up in Boston last year, though crime on the whole dropped as a turbulent 2020 mixed around jumps in some types of criminal activity with reductions in others. Boston saw 57 homicides in 2020, according to end-of-year police data, up from 37 in 2019. That includes 45 fatal shootings, up from 28 the previous year, and there were also 231 nonfatal shootings, as compared to 163 in 2019. The 276 shooting victims were above the 226-victim average of the previous five years. The police department noted that homicides essentially were the same as they were in 2018, when 56 people were slain, so this was not that unusual of a year in that regard. "Our police officers work hard everyday together with members in our communities to stop violence in its tracks and keep our residents safe, and any loss of life or senseless act of violence is tragic and only drives us to work harder on their behalf," Boston Police Commissioner William Gross said in a statement. Cops made 448 firearms arrests in 2020, up from 398 the previous year.

Public Safety News

City Flags Fly At Half-Staff To Honor LAFD Captain Who Died Of COVID-19
Mayor Eric Garcetti Tuesday ordered flags in Los Angeles to fly at half-staff to mourn the death of Los Angeles Fire Department Captain George Roque, who died from coronavirus-related complications on Friday. "We honor his courage over more than 20 years of service to our city,'' Garcetti said on Twitter. "We send love to his family. He will never be forgotten.'' Roque, 57, was a 22-year veteran of the LAFD, assigned to Fire Station 97 in the Laurel Canyon/Mulholland area, according to LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas. He is survived by his wife and four children. Plans for a private funeral service have not been announced, according to the fire department's Brian Humphrey. The department escorted Roque's body from a hospital to a mortuary on Monday, Humphrey said. "On behalf of the men and women of the LAFD, I send my deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the Roque family and his friends and colleagues throughout the department,'' Terrazas said on Friday.

LA Metro Encourages Riders To Be Vigilant Of Victims Of Human Trafficking
In an effort to education Angelenos during Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Metro Tuesday encouraged riders to be on the lookout for potential victims of human trafficking on public transit. Officials said there hasn’t been widespread reports of human trafficking on the Metro system, but more people may be trafficked due to hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic, and victims are often transported on buses and trains in the U.S. All 11,000 Metro employees are trained on how to report human trafficking and help victims who want to file a report. Metro also works with local law enforcement to monitor suspicious activities on public transit. “Metro wants to prevent incidences of human trafficking on our system,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “We have made a commitment to protect our patrons and to address human trafficking on transit by training our employees and law enforcement contractors on how to identify and report human trafficking incidences.” According to Metro officials, victims often appear fearful, depressed, anxious or tense, and they are often being watched closely. They likely won’t be in possession of any money and may show signs of physical abuse. If a transit rider sees someone they believe may be a victim of human trafficking, they can call Metro security at 888-950-SAFE or text 213-788-2777. People can anonymously report suspicious activity through the L.A. Metro Transit Watch smart phone app.

L.A. County Hospitals Are Losing The Battle Against COVID-19 Surge As Problems Multiply
Hospitals across Los Angeles County were fighting a losing fight Tuesday to stay ahead of the coronavirus surge as the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients topped 8,000 and the countywide coronavirus death toll rose by nearly 1,300 in the last week. L.A. County hit another distressing milestone, surpassing 11,000 deaths Tuesday since the beginning of the pandemic. Officials warned that conditions will only worsen in coming weeks as people infected during the holidays become sick and need medical care. “It is getting harder and harder for healthcare workers to care for those coming to the hospital with gunshot wounds, heart attacks, strokes and injuries from car accidents,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis. “Hospitals are declaring internal disasters and having to open church gyms to serve as hospital units.” Over the past week, L.A. County averaged 183 COVID-19 deaths a day — the equivalent of one every eight minutes — and 13,500 new coronavirus infections, a count expected to grow with the reopening of testing sites after the holidays. The county’s cumulative coronavirus case count now tops 841,000.

New, Potentially More Contagious Variant Of The Coronavirus Spreads In California
Officials in San Diego County on Tuesday reported a cumulative total of 32 cases of the new, potentially more contagious variant of the coronavirus that has also spread rapidly in England. The variant, known as B.1.1.7, was first identified in a virus sample taken from a San Diego County man in his 30s on Dec. 29 and confirmed a day later and subsequently announced publicly. Since then, more cases of the variant have been identified, and on Tuesday, officials announced an additional 24 cases confirmed by whole genome sequencing and four more suspected cases. Prior to Tuesday, San Diego County had confirmed four cases of the variant. The 24 newly confirmed patients are believed to have no travel history and to have come from 19 different households, but an investigation and contact tracing are ongoing, according to a statement released by county officials. The new cases have been identified among residents of San Diego and several suburbs, including Chula Vista, La Mesa and Lakeside.

California Reports All-Time High Of 70,453 New Cases And 379 New Deaths On Monday As Weekend Stats Are Caught Up
California reported a record high for a day of 70,453 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of people who have been infected to 2,450,002, according to California public heath websites. It should be noted many counties did not report their numbers over the weekend, resulting in a backlog. There were also 379 new deaths reported in California, bringing the total number of people who have died in the state to 27,010. An additional 482 patients were admitted into California hospitals, making for 22,485 hospitalizations statewide. While ages 18 to 49 account for the majority of cases (70%), those ages 65 and older account for the majority of deaths (75%). A majority of cases (55%) and deaths (47%) have occurred among Latinos. 

Local Government News

L.A. County Supervisors Expand Rent Relief Program, Extend Eviction Moratorium
Anticipating Los Angeles County's fair share of $25 billion in federal rent relief, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to extend and expand both a local rent relief program and eviction moratorium. Supervisors Hilda Solis and Janice Hahn co-authored a motion calling for more flexibility in the rent relief program, which will now also be extended for another year -- through Dec. 31. "Hundreds of thousands are struggling to pay their rent on time or even to pay it at all," Hahn said. Solis said the changes would expand eligibility and align the county's program with conditions that apply to new federal relief dollars. "Since the program launched, many constituents have reached out to my office pleading for help as landlords refuse to receive direct payments from the Los Angeles County Development Authority, locking renters out of the program," Solis said. "In other cases, out of desperation, tenants have chosen to pay rent by taking out loans from predatory lenders or using credit cards despite them being eligible for rental assistance."

L.A. County Approves Additional $5 Per Hour ‘Hero Pay’ For Grocery, Front-Line Workers In Unincorporated Areas
Front-line workers in grocery and drug stores will soon earn an additional $5 per hour in “hero pay” for the dangers they face amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a proposal to require national grocery and drug retailers operating in unincorporated areas of the county to provide a pay bump for front-line workers. Supervisors Hilda Solis and Holly Mitchell, who introduced the proposal, cited the need for immediate action amid soaring hospitalizations and infection rates. “Such grocery and drug retail workers are among the heroes of this pandemic, putting their lives on the line — often for low wages and minimal benefits — in order to sustain our food system and maintain healthy communities,” the motion states. The measure would apply to companies that are publicly traded or have at least 300 employees nationwide and more than 10 employees per store.

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: