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Daily Local & Regional NewsWatch
LA Police Protective League

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Los Angeles
Police Protective League
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the union that represents the
rank and file LAPD officers

  Daily Local & Regional NewsWatch

Daily News Digest
from LA Police Protective League

January 19, 2021
Law Enforcement News

LAPD Chief Calls Out Deadly Crime Surge
The first two weeks of 2021 saw 59 shooting victims in South Los Angeles compared with seven last year, L.A. Police Chief Michel Moore said in a tweet Saturday, calling attention to a deadly crime surge that has coincided with a devastating pandemic. The police headquarters account also weighed in on the increase in violence, reporting that citywide in a slightly different time period there were 68 shootings and 24 homicides, “the highest year-to-date start in over 10 years.” The ongoing pandemic — which has kept many businesses closed and many people at home — may be one factor. Through January and February 2020, gun violence was slightly elevated over the same period in 2019. Other crime was relatively flat. Then, the state issued its shutdown order in March, and crime patterns radically shifted. In 2020, homicides, shootings and car thefts surged, while robberies, reported rapes and lesser property crimes dropped off. The swings were dramatic, too, with killings hitting a decade high after years of sustained reductions, and shootings increasing nearly 40%. Meanwhile, robberies declined by 17%, and reports of rapes fell 25%. In late November, the city surpassed 300 homicides in a single calendar year, for the first time since 2009. One week in December saw 14 homicides and 45 shooting victims versus four homicides and 17 shootings in the same week in 2019. According to the most recent count by the L.A. Times Homicide Report, 656 people have been killed in L.A. County during the last 12 months. The tally rose Saturday with the report of an unidentified man found shot dead near Huntington Park just after 7 a.m.

Los Angeles Police Union is Aghast at Spike in Homicides and Shootings
"Two pandemics are ravaging Los Angeles right now; both are dangerous and deadly. COVID is spreading rapidly in L.A. while shooting victims are up 742% and homicides are up 150% in South Los Angeles,” said the Los Angeles Police Protective League. “Just as the Coronavirus is disproportionally impacting our Black and Hispanic residents, South Los Angeles accounts for 42% of this year's homicides and that part of our city has experienced 59 people shot, nearly four people a day."

Solving LAPD Budget Woes Get Trickier After Officer Pay Raises Kick In
Pay raises for Los Angeles police officers went into effect Sunday, despite threats from city officials that refusal to delay the pay spike could result in hundreds more layoffs for a department that already was downsized in 2020. Rank-and-file LAPD officers will see a 3.25% pay increase starting with their next paychecks, according to their union, the Los Angeles Police Protective League. The increase this month stacks on top of 1.5% increase they received in July. According to budget analysts, the pay raises could add more than $17 million to LAPD’s budget at a time when the city is staring at $675 million deficit, the result of a shattered economy struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Union officials said LAPD already made sacrifices in 2020 when the City Council approved a $150 million cut to its police budget after the George Floyd protests over the summer. That resulted in LAPD shuffling more than 300 positions, with some specialized detectives being reassigned to community stations and other neighborhood patrols being eliminated entirely. Roughly 30 officers were allowed to retire without their jobs being filled. LAPPL President Craig Lally said the cut, in effect, meant pay decreases for officers. He said a decrease in overtime meant an average 7.5% pay cut for officers across the board. In a statement, Lally said the raises on Sunday “finally bring us to parity with our public safety counterparts.”

2 Found Shot, 1 Fatally After Car Crashes In Panorama City
A man was fatally shot and a second man was wounded inside a car that crashed Sunday outside a hospital in Panorama City. The twin shootings were discovered about 2:20 a.m. when the vehicle crashed outside Mission Community Hospital at 14850 Roscoe Blvd., LAPD reported. Officers were waved down by a security guard who told them about the crash. The car windows were shattered by the gunshots, police said. Inside the car officers found a 20-year-old man with a gunshot wound to his chest and the driver who had also been shot in the upper chest, police reported. The 20-year-old passenger was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His name was withheld pending notification of next of kin. The driver was also admitted and underwent treatment for his gunshot wound, the LAPD reported. Detectives later discovered the pair had been shot in Westchester, near the 9200 block of Sepulveda Boulevard, where they found evidence of a shooting, the LAPD said.A motive for these attacks was unknown. Police have no suspect description. Anyone with information on the shooting was asked to call LAPD’s Valley Bureau Homicide at 818-374-9550.

Man Shot, Killed While Standing At Intersection Near The Athens Area
A man was shot and killed on Monday evening near the unincorporated Athens area. He was standing on the corner of Vermont Avenue and Imperial Highway when someone opened fire, killing him. There was no suspect description, and police have not disclosed a possible motive in the shooting. The man’s name was not released, pending family notification of his death. Anyone with information on this homicide was asked to call the LAPD’s Southeast Division at 213-972-7828. Anonymous tips can also be provided by calling Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.

Man Wounded In Hyde Park Shooting
A man was wounded Sunday evening in a shooting in the Hyde Park area of Los Angeles. The shooting occurred at 7:30 p.m. at 7106 11th Avenue, according to a dispatcher at the Los Angeles Police Department’s Operations Center. Two males shot the 50-year-old victim and fled the scene on foot, she said. The victim was taken to a hospital by paramedics and had stable vital signs, the dispatcher said.

LAPD Searching For Suspect In Hit-and-Run Crash That Killed Bicyclist In Downtown LA
Authorities are searching for a suspected hit-and-run driver who left a bicyclist to die in the street in downtown Los Angeles after he had allegedly carjacked the vehicle from a newspaper delivery man just a short while before. It started Saturday morning when the suspect approached a newspaper delivery person in the 900 block of Wilshire Boulevard and asked for a ride. Detectives say the man left his keys in the car, and when the suspect started driving away, he jumped onto the bed of the truck to try and stop him from getting away with the car. The delivery man hopped off the moving vehicle a few blocks away and only suffered minor injuries. Surveillance video from just a few blocks away shows the suspect behind the wheel of the stolen truck hit an innocent bicyclist from behind. "The bicyclist landed on the hood of the truck. He was carried on the hood of the truck for another 100 feet past Olive and eventually he was launched off the hood of the truck, and he tumbled onto the street, traveling another 150 plus feet," Campos said. The footage shows the car continuing to move forward, crashing into two other vehicles. The suspect then exited the mangled truck and walked away.

Youth Counselor Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Child, LAPD Believes There Could Be More Victims
A youth counselor is behind bars after he was accused of sexually assaulting a child. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, Daniel Velasco Moreno is being charged with sexual assault of a minor 10 years of age or younger. Velasco Moreno was a counselor who worked with children with an absence or deficit in their attention span, language and social skills, according to police. LAPD believes there may be more victims. The suspect is being held with a $1.25 million bail, LAPD said. Anyone with information on Velasco Moreno or know of possible victims is asked to call 818-832-0918.


Graffiti On Historic Wilshire Boulevard Temple In Koreatown Investigated As A Hate Crime
A hate crime investigation was opened Monday after graffiti was spray-painted on a Jewish temple in the Koreatown area. The discovery was made about 8:30 a.m. at Wilshire Boulevard Temple in the 3600 block of Wilshire Boulevard. Officer William Cooper of the Los Angeles Police Department's Media Relations office said surveillance video showed an unidentified male wearing a hooded sweatshirt spray-painting the graffiti on the outside of the building about 2:30 a.m. It was not immediately clear what was painted on the building. Wilshire Boulevard Temple was founded in 1862 as Congregation B’nai B'rith, the city’s first synagogue. Wilshire Boulevard Temple now has two locations -- the historic Erika J. Glazer Family Campus in Wilshire Center/Koreatown and the Audrey and Sydney Irmas Campus in West Los Angeles. Both locations offer worship services, adult programs, volunteer opportunities and cultural and educational events. Anyone with information was urged to call 877-LAPD-247.

FBI Los Angeles: No Known Threats As Officials Ramp Up Safety Efforts Ahead Of Inauguration Day
Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are ramping up security measures around government buildings in the aftermath of last week’s insurrection in Washington, D.C. by rioters seeking to keep President Donald Trump in office. With the FBI warning of plans for armed protests in Washington and all 50 state capitals ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week, law enforcement agencies are taking steps to keep Los Angeles and surrounding counties safe. On Thursday, the FBI’s top official said the agency had been tracking an “extensive amount of concerning online chatter,” including calls for armed protests leading up to next week’s presidential inauguration. “Between now and the presidential inauguration, the Los Angeles Field Office will maintain a heightened posture and stand up a 24-hour command post to monitor for threats,” said Laura Eimiller, spokeswoman for the FBI Los Angeles field office, in a statement regarding the agency’s preparations for Inauguration Day. “The command post will include numerous FBI special agents, analysts, specialized teams, and support staff.” Those command posts also bring together personnel from across the government “to gather intelligence, to assess potential threats, to coordinate investigations, and to surge resources where needed,” FBI Director Chris Wray said in his remarks on Friday at an inauguration security briefing.

LASD's Superspreader Task Force Breaks Up Multiple Stripper Parties
The underground party scene continues to rage across Los Angeles despite the pandemic. For the past several weeks, FOX 11 tagged along with Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's superspreader task force as they crackdown on these illegal events. On Friday night, LASD responded to a hole-in-the-wall flower shop in the city of Bellflower, where a "stripper party" was reportedly taking place inside. As the task force broke the party up, a stream of partygoers began coming outside, including some women wearing fishnets and many others who appear to be simply wearing thongs, g-strings or just in their bra and underwear. Dozens of others were brought outside and sat on a curb awaiting their citations and masks. The night before that, in the city of Commerce, we were embedded with LASD's superspreader task force once again, as they headed to a massive warehouse party with more strippers. After deputies threatened to tow the vehicles, the partygoers started to stream outside. LASD estimates about 200 people were inside and many seemed to want to keep partying.

FBI Offering $10K Reward After Military Vehicle Is Stolen
The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced on Saturday that is offering a $10,000 reward for the recovery of a military Humvee that was stolen in Bell. The military vehicle was stolen around 8:15 a.m. on Friday from the National Guard Armory, according to the bureau. It is described as a four-door high-mobility, multipurpose wheeled vehicle that could be utilized for combat. It is green camouflage in color, with a bumper number of 40BSBHQ6 and registration number NZ311R, the FBI said. The suspect in the crime faces up to 10 years in federal prison for stealing the vehicle. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the Humvee was asked to call the FBI at 310-477-6565.

California COVID-19 Benefits Fraud Could Reach $9.8 Billion
California may have paid out nearly $10 billion in phony coronavirus unemployment claims — more than double the previous estimate — with some of that money going to organized crime in Russia, China and other countries, according to a security firm hired to investigate the fraud. At least 10% of claims submitted to the state Employment Development Department before controls were installed in October may have been fraudulent, Blake Hall, founder and CEO of ID.me told the Los Angeles Times. The Times on Friday said that would work out to $9.8 billion of the benefits paid from March through September. The money went to people who lost their jobs when the state began locking down businesses in an effort to curb the COVID-19 pandemic that currently is overwhelming hospitals and causing hundreds of deaths a day. California, the nation’s most populous state, has processed more than 16 million unemployment benefits claims since March and paid out $113 billion.

Dante Barksdale, Who Worked For More Than A Decade To Keep Baltimore's Streets Safe From Gun Violence, Is Shot And Killed
Dante Barksdale spent the past decade and a half helping to keep Baltimore's neighborhoods safe from gun violence. On Sunday, Barksdale -- who has been described as the "heart and soul" of the city's Safe Streets program and a "beloved friend" to many in the community -- fell victim to the very problem he worked to prevent. Barksdale, 46, was discovered with a gunshot wound to his head on Sunday morning near Douglass Homes, a public housing development in southeast Baltimore, according to Baltimore police. He was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital and was later pronounced dead. Officials did not provide any more detail around the circumstances of his death. Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott mourned the loss, saying Barksdale's work "saved lives." "My heart is broken with the loss of my friend Dante Barksdale, a beloved leader in our community who committed his life to saving lives in Baltimore," he said in a news release. "His death is a major loss to Safe Streets, the communities they serve, and the entire City of Baltimore."

Pentagon Accelerates Efforts To Root Out Far-Right Extremism In The Ranks
The Pentagon is intensifying efforts to identify and combat white supremacy and other far-right extremism in its ranks as federal investigators seek to determine how many military personnel and veterans joined the violent assault on the Capitol. In the days since a pro-Trump mob breached the Capitol on Jan. 6, senior leaders of the 2.1 million active-duty and reserve troops have been grappling with fears that former or current service members will be found among the horde. The F.B.I. investigation into the Capitol siege, still in its very early stages, has identified at least six suspects with military links out of the more than 100 people who have been taken into federal custody or the larger number still under investigation. They include a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel from Texas, an Army officer from North Carolina and an Army reservist from New Jersey. Another person with military service was shot and killed in the assault. The military’s examination of its ranks marks a new urgency for the Pentagon, which has a history of downplaying the rise of white nationalism and right-wing activism, even as Germany and other countries are finding a deep strain embedded in their armed forces. “These people are not representative of our country’s military,” Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an interview.

Public Safety News

5 New Mass COVID-19 Vaccination Sites Open In L.A. County
Several new centers are opening around Los Angeles County to help administer COVID-19 vaccine doses to residents. The new centers are located at the Forum in Inglewood, Cal State Northridge, Six Flags Magic Mountain, the Pomona Fairplex and the L.A. County Office of Education in Downey. More information can be found on vaccinatelacounty.com. Although experiencing a rocky rollout, California has administered more vaccines than any other state, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom. Christina Pascucci reports for the KTLA 5 Morning News on Jan. 18, 2021.

11,366 New Cases Reported As L.A. County Battles New Coronavirus Strain
Officials urged residents to adhere to Los Angeles County’s “Safer at Home” orders a day after public health officials confirmed that the swifter spreading B.1.1.7 variant of coronavirus was present in the county. Health officials reported 11,366 new cases of COVID-19 and 108 additional deaths on Sunday, Jan. 17, bringing the county’s totals to 1,014,662 cases and 13,848 fatalities. County health officials said, however, that the number of new cases reported Sunday reflects an undercount because of a lag from weekend reporting. As the death toll continued to climb, South Coast Air Quality Management District issued an emergency order Sunday, temporarily suspending some of its restrictions placed on the county’s crematories to help them cope with the backlog in human remains caused by the deadly outbreak. AQMD permits contain limits on the number of human remains that can be cremated each month, to help control air quality, the agency said in a media release. The county’s coroner and public health officials requested that the agency ease the limits.
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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:

www.LAPD.com


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