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 12, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Man Who Shot At LAPD Officers Sentenced To 6 Years In Prison
A man charged in the attempted murder of Los Angeles police officers pleaded no contest on Monday to a weapons charge and was sentenced to six years in prison. Quamontae Smith fired shots toward LAPD officers on June 5 while police were responding to a call of an assault with a deadly weapon at 111th Street and Towne Avenue, the department said in a statement. Smith was originally charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of control of an unlawful assault weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon. Officers began pursuing several suspects on foot and at least one person fired a weapon. Officers did not return fire, according to the LAPD, and no officers were struck by the gunfire. According to police, several suspects were detained and an “AR-15 type rifle” was recovered from the crime scene. Police said there was “ballistic evidence to support a shooting had occurred.”

264 LEOs Killed In The Line Of Duty In 2020
A total of 264 officers died in the line of duty in 2020, according to new data released Monday by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF). That’s a 96% increase over 2019 – which saw 135 duty deaths – and makes 2020 the deadliest year for law enforcement since 1974. According to the press release, the COVID-19 pandemic is responsible for the spike. The category for “other” causes of death, which includes COVID-19, was up 300% over 2019. Firearms-related fatalities claimed the lives of 48 officers in 2020, a 6% decrease compared to the 51 officers killed in firearms-related incidents in 2019. Of the 48 officer deaths, 11 were investigating a suspicious person or activity, seven were killed responding to domestic disturbance calls, six deaths each were attempting an arrest and ambush attacks on officers, three were in tactical situations, and three others were responding to various disturbance calls. Four officers died responding to a robbery or burglary in-progress call while three were feloniously killed during traffic stops. Two officers were killed during the year serving warrants, two others were killed by inadvertent gunfire and one officer was killed by firearms responding to a mental health call. Traffic-related fatalities increased 2% with 44 deaths in 2020 compared to 43 deaths in 2019.

Judge Denies Motion To Drop Special Charges Against Accused Cop Killer In Rebuke To Gascón Directive
In a rebuke to DA George Gascón’s new directives, a judge on Monday refused to drop all special charges against an accused cop killer charged in the execution-style killing of an off-duty LA County Sheriff’s deputy, and the murder of an innocent skateboarder. Judge Jose Sandoval denied a motion put forth by a prosecutor under the direction of Gascón to dismiss all gun enhancements and special circumstances of multiple murders against Rhett Nelson, accused of murdering deputy Joseph Solano and Russian skateboarder Dmitry Koltsov in 2019. "You have an obligation under [Penal Code] 1385 to demonstrate to this court that it’s in the interest of justice, in fact, what the victims have told me today, it is not in the interest of justice in this court’s opinion, the motion is denied," Judge Sandoval said. "We were relieved today, this is justice that happened today," said Christina Solano, the sister of deputy Joseph Solano.

San Diego D.A. Reclaims Cases From Los Angeles In Latest Fight Over George Gascón’s Policies
In an unprecedented move, a judge allowed the San Diego County district attorney’s office to move to reclaim jurisdiction Monday over several charges filed in Los Angeles connected to a violent crime spree that left two people dead, marking one of the strongest rebukes yet of newly elected L.A. County Dist. Atty. George Gascón’s policies. In a motion filed last week, San Diego County Dist. Atty. Summer Stephan asked a judge to give her office control over five robbery counts filed against Rhett Nelson, 31, part of a broader slate of charges he faces for his alleged role in a days-long crime spree that spanned across Southern California and left two people dead in 2019, including Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Solano. Nelson was charged with two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and seven robberies committed in or near San Diego, Long Beach and Los Angeles. Under previous Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey, a slew of sentencing enhancements were also filed against Nelson because he allegedly used a gun in each crime and is charged with multiple murders. If convicted under those terms, he would have been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Stephan had agreed to consolidate all charges in Los Angeles, but changed her mind in response to Gascón’s directive barring prosecutors from using enhancements. According to her filing, Stephan feared Nelson could become eligible for parole after spending 20 years in prison if convicted without enhancements.

2 In Custody After Fatal Shooting In Pacoima
A man was killed in a shooting Monday in Pacoima and two people were taken into custody. The shooting occurred just before 6 p.m. in the 12700 block of Van Nuys Boulevard, near Borden Avenue, in Pacoima, said Officer Mike Lopez with the Los Angeles Police Department. Lopez said one person, a male, died at the scene. Officers in the area who were investigating the shooting found two people who matched the descriptions of the suspects, and took them into custody, Lopez said, adding that a firearm was recovered. Their names were not immediately released.

Suspect Sought In Fatal Shooting In Northridge
Police Monday asked for help identifying the person responsible for the fatal shooting of a 37-year-old man in Northridge. Police were called about 12:45 p.m. Saturday to reports of a shooting the 8600 block of Wystone Avenue, near Napa Street, the Los Angeles Police Department reported. Arriving officers found the victim in the middle of the street with a gunshot wound. He died at the scene, police said. The shooter has not been arrested, police said, urging anyone with information to call them at 818-374-9550. To provide information anonymously, tipsters can call Crimestoppers at 800-222-8477.

LAPD Seeks To Question ‘People Of Interest’ In Suspected Hate Crime
Los Angeles Police Department detectives want to question two men about a suspected hate crime committed last week in downtown Los Angeles. On Wednesday, about the same time a mob of President Trump’s supporters overran the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C., members of a pro-Trump crowd accosted a Black woman, Berlinda Nibo, near Los Angeles’ City Hall, Nibo previously told The Times. Nibo said people in the crowd yelled racial slurs, pulled off her wig, struck her and pepper-sprayed her face. LAPD detectives have been investigating the incident as an alleged hate crime, and on Monday they said they want to speak with two men the department identified as “people of interest.” One is a white man, 40 to 45 years old and about 6 feet tall. He was wearing sunglasses, a gray hat with an American flag emblem and a gray T-shirt with the number 45. The other is a white man, 30 to 40 years old and about 6 feet tall. He was last seen wearing a black tactical vest, ripped jean shorts and a black cap. He was photographed carrying a megaphone at last week’s demonstration. Anyone with information is asked to call (213) 996-1248 during business hours and (213) 486-6606 after hours.

Driver Sought In South L.A. Hit-and-Run That Injured Pedestrian Fixing Bicycle
Los Angeles police officials are asking for the public’s help identifying a hit-and-driver who severely injured a person fixing a bicycle in South Los Angeles. The crash was reported about noon Jan. 4 near the intersection of Adams Boulevard and Nevin Avenue in the Central-Alameda neighborhood. LAPD officials said the driver had “run over” the pedestrian who was repairing a bicycle on the roadway. The driver of the truck stopped briefly after the impact but continued without helping the victim, surveillance video released by police Monday shows. A person appears to have witnessed the crash, and at least two other cars were in the area when it occurred, the video shows. The victim was taken to a hospital with severe injuries, police said. The vehicle involved is described as a white Chevrolet “work truck” equipped with an aftermarket glass carrier rack. A $25,000 reward is being offered to anyone who has information leading to an arrest and conviction. Witnesses are encouraged to contact Officer Poss at 213-833-3713.

182 Arrested Amid Crackdown Of Underground ‘Superspreader’ Parties In L.A.: Sheriff
A total of 182 adults were arrested Saturday amid efforts by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to crackdown on “superspreader” events and underground parties as COVID-19 cases soar, the agency announced Monday. The department made arrests at two commercial buildings Saturday, one in the 600 block of West 61st Street in the Vermont-Slauson neighborhood of South L.A., and the other in the 400 block of West Pico Boulevard in downtown L.A. Two people were arrested on suspicion of promoting the events, while 180 were arrested for violating health orders, the department said, adding that they were all cited out. Photos shared by the department show dozens of people — some with masks and others without —lined up outdoors as deputies issued citations. The department did not provide further details about the events or arrests.

Star Student Killed In Inglewood, Parents Search For Justice
Like any family dealing with incredible grief, Dwight and Patricia Summerfield cling to each other for support. Even now, they’re haunted by how normally the day had begun back on Jan. 5, less than a week ago. "He said, 'Good morning, mom.' I said, 'Good morning, Andrew,’" Patricia Summerfield, Andrew Summerfield's mother, said. Even the smallest gestures, in hindsight, can mean so much. Said Dwight Summerfield, Andrew's father, "I didn’t get to say goodbye on that day, so..." On that Tuesday, Andrew Summerfield left the family's Inglewood home like he did every day, making the short drive to the Martin Luther King Community Center at Darby park. He played basketball with friends on the court. Then, around noon, he was apparently preparing to leave. "He was there, sitting in his car and he was shot multiple times," Dwight Summerfield said. And, then, just like that, doctors were telling the Summerfields that Andrew couldn’t be saved. Only 20 years young, a recipient of an “Obama Award” for academic excellence in high school and a student majoring in business at Grand Canyon University was gone. Patricia believes it was a case of mistaken identity, "No one had a grudge against our son." Inglewood police did not respond to request for details into the murder investigation.

Sacramento County DA Slams LA County DA George Gascón Over Policy Changes
A Sacramento County DA is criticizing newly-elected DA George Gascón for his sweeping policy changes in Los Angeles County. On Monday, FOX 11's Bill Melugin obtained a letter sent by Sacramento County DA Anne Marie Schubert telling Gascón his new policies are "abandoning duty to victim's rights." In the letter, Schubert vowed to never let Gascón and his office authority over any Sacramento case. "I will never grant you jurisdiction over any crimes that involve Sacramento County while these policies of yours remain in place," her letter read in part. She also called Gascón's special directives "not just extreme but will undoubtedly wreak havoc on crime victims and their Constitutional rights." Schubert's letter comes just days after another California DA openly criticized Gascón. San Diego DA Summer Stephan said Gascón's reforms are not "in the interest of justice" and the DA rescinded her permission for Gascón to prosecute an accused LA cop killer's San Diego armed robbery charges.

FBI Hunts Suspects Who Attacked Capitol Police
The FBI is seeking information on a half-dozen men suspected of assaulting federal officers Jan. 6 — a pack that may include the alleged killer of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. A poster of the top suspects was sent out late Sunday night in a social media bulletin. The murder of a federal officer carries the death penalty. "Yes," Frank Figliuzzi, the FBI's former assistant director for counterintelligence, said when asked by the Herald Monday if one of those men shown could have killed Officer Sicknick. "The FBI is using facial recognition, surveillance cameras, geo-location of cell phones and more to find this guy or gal," Figliuzzi said. "One of these people might be the one." Figliuzzi, who's book "The FBI Way: Inside the Bureau's Code of Excellence" comes out Tuesday, said the poster targets "AFO" — assaulting a federal officer — suspects. He also said all the Capitol officers were "trapped" from the start with calls to defund cops coming from the left as others on the right said they were part of the "deep state," he said. "No matter what, they are on the streets protecting us," he added.

FBI Warns Of Armed Protests Targeting State Courthouses And D.C.
The FBI is warning law enforcement across the country that groups are calling for the "storming" of federal, state and local courthouses in all 50 states if President Trump is removed from office prior to Inauguration Day on January 20, a law enforcement source told CBS News. The groups are calling for participants to come armed at their own discretion, according to the FBI's alert, which also said that there are reports of non-specified threats being made against President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. The alert comes as law enforcement across the country scrambles to assess whether a violent incursion into the Capitol building by supporters of Mr. Trump on January 6 could lead to further violence before Mr. Biden's inauguration. The attack on the Capitol left five dead, including a police officer. Another Capitol police officer committed suicide on Saturday. The possibility of violence on January 17, in particular, had already caught the attention of Twitter. The social media giant cited "a proposed secondary attack" on the U.S. Capitol and state capitol buildings on that day in its January 8 announcement that it was permanently suspending Mr. Trump's account. 

Public Safety News

L.A. County Calls COVID-19 ‘Worst Disaster’ In Decades As Virus Continues To Spin Out Of Control
As the coronavirus continues to spin out of control in Los Angeles County, health officials on Monday warned residents that despite pandemic fatigue now is the time to “stay home as much as possible.” Currently, 10 county residents are testing positive for COVID-19 every minute, and on average one person is dying from it every eight minutes, county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said at a Monday news conference, calling the coronavirus pandemic “the worst disaster our county has experienced for decades.” There were 137 additional COVID-19 deaths and 12,617 new cases confirmed Monday, which brings the countywide death toll to 12,387 fatalities and 932,697 total cases. In the last seven days, more than 1,500 people have died. “We’ve had the tools, the warnings, and the restrictions in place, but it has been insufficient,” Ferrer said. “Because the single biggest factor in all of this comes down to individuals taking appropriate action taking personal steps, we really just need everyone to do the right thing.”

L.A. County Announces First Expansion Of COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility List
In the first major expansion of the vaccine eligibility list, Los Angeles County announced on Monday that all healthcare industry workers can now receive vaccinations, including staffers at urgent and primary care clinics, research laboratories, pharmacies and dentist offices. The announcement follows last week’s guidance from the state and opens up the eligibility list from the highest priority group. That pool includes healthcare workers in hospitals and nursing homes that deal directly with infected or high-risk patients. Officials expanded the list to speed up the vaccine rollout and ensure that leftover vaccine doses are not wasted. By the end of the month, the county plans to vaccinate 500,000 more healthcare workers. To handle the surge, officials this week announced five additional vaccine distribution sites across the county would be opening, starting Jan. 19. In addition, Los Angeles said Sunday that Dodger Stadium, would also be open for vaccinations. The baseball venue had been the largest coronavirus testing site in the country before transitioning to a vaccine site this week.

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: