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 22, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Los Angeles Sees “Shocking Increase” in Homicides and Shootings
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, more than 105 people have been shot in the City of Angels, that’s more than triple the year before. About two-thirds of the shooting victims were wounded in South Los Angeles. Murders have more than doubled in the city when compared to the same time last year. “The violence in Los Angeles is really out of control. To be quite honest with you, we’re fighting two pandemics, we’re fighting COVID and gun violence,” said Detective Jamie McBride, a Director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League

Widow Of Slain LASD Sergeant Says Gascón ‘Doesn't Understand How Much He's Hurting The Victims'
LA County DA George Gascón promised criminal justice reform but some say he’s gone too far, only caring about the defendants and not the victims or their families. "I’m furious that Mr. Gascón just doesn’t understand how much he’s hurting the victims," says Tania Owen. She’s the widow of LASD Sgt. Steven Owen, who was killed execution-style on October 5, 2016, in Lancaster. Investigators say Trenton Lovell, a reported gang member and parolee, pulled the trigger. Tania says, "The day he murdered my husband. He might as well have shot me as well. He has destroyed our family and really left us reeling." Attorney Matt Murphy, who represents the Owen family says, "He wounded Sgt. Owen. Sgt. Owen was helpless on his back and this defendant walked over to him, put the gun about a foot away from his face, and fired into Sgt. Owen’s face, killing him and then he shot his badge." Murphy says Lovell then fired at responding deputies as he was trying to flee. "He then went into local community and took two teenagers hostage and kept them in their home at knifepoint not allowing them to leave," says Owen. The SWAT team eventually took Lovell into custody. Owen wants to see him prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. She says, "We want justice to be served because this individual is a danger to society, he’s an animal and there’s no reason for him to be out on the streets." However, under George Gascón’s new policies, capital punishment, as well as all special enhancements and special circumstances -- like killing an officer in the line of duty -- are off the table.

LAPD Helps After Thieves Steal All Of Family's New Clothes Bought With Savings
A Boyle Heights family got some help from LAPD after thieves stole all of their new clothes, purchased with family savings and gift cards they'd saved from the children's birthdays. Nancy Colín said thieves broke into her family’s car as it was parked in their Boyle Heights neighborhood. Among the items stolen were all of the clothes the family owns. “I told the officer my kids are with one pair of pants, one underwear, they have no jackets, no sweaters," Colín said. They had nothing left because the family had cleaned out their closets of items that no longer fit and bought new clothes, using family savings and gift cards received from the kids’ birthdays. All of the new clothes were in their car because they’d just returned from the laundromat. "I started crying. There was nothing we could do. We went around the block knocking on doors, no one saw anything," she said. When the senior lead officer at LAPD's Hollenbeck station heard about the family, he contacted Badge of Heart. The nonprofit, run by police officers who volunteer their time, helps those in need. Training officer Ken Lew is the founder. "Going into thousands of homes as a young officer, seeing the living conditions and lack of food and clothes, it resonated with me because that’s how I was growing up with my family," Lew said. Badge of Heart has helped more than 4,000 families, children and seniors with much needed essentials, including the Colín family, who received gift cards for clothing and food. "Us Latinos always think we are something not important to the cops so this time they proved us wrong. They do help," she said.

1 Wounded After 2 Officers Open Fire In Downtown L.A.: LAPD
A man was wounded after two police officers in downtown Los Angeles opened fire Thursday, officials said. Around 4:29 p.m., officers responded to reports of a man with a gun in the area of 6th Street and Olive Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The officers were in an alley going southbound towards 7th Street, between Hill and Olive streets, when they made contact with a man who they say had an item that appeared to be a handgun, Sgt. Frank Preciado of the LAPD told KTLA. Two officers discharged their firearms, he said. It’s unclear what led up to the shooting, or what prompted the officers to open fire. The person, described as a suspect, was struck by gunfire and transported to a local hospital, where he was being treated for non-life-threatening injuries, the sergeant said. No officers were injured.

LAPD To Begin Conducting DUI Checkpoints Friday And Saturday
The Los Angeles Police Department will conduct D.U.I. checkpoints Friday and Saturday nights in an attempt to stop impaired driving. The checkpoints will be conducted from 6-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The locations were selected based on a history of D.U.I. crashes and arrests, the L.A.P.D. said. The department reminded the public that impaired driving can happen while under the influence of marijuana or prescription medications, not only alcohol. On Friday, the checkpoints will be set up at Manchester Avenue and Figueroa Street in South Los Angeles as well as Lincoln Boulevard and Maxella Avenue in Marina Del Rey. On Saturday, the checkpoints will be set up at Sepulveda Boulevard and Rayen Street in North Hills, Western Avenue and 39th Street in South Los Angeles, as well as Western Avenue and Venice Boulevard in Harvard Heights.

Sheriff Insists Inmates In LA County Jails Safer than Everyone Outside
Sheriff Alex Villanueva told a watchdog agency Thursday that inmates in county jails are more safely protected from the coronavirus than members of the general public. “Overwhelmingly, it’s far more dangerous outside,” Villanueva told the Civilian Oversight Commission. “We’re kind of an island of relatively low infection rates compared with the community at large.” The sheriff pointed to the county as a model in this regard versus other large-scale jail systems such as New York’s Rikers Island, Chicago’s Cook County jails or the California state prison system. “We’re an anomaly statistically in comparison to other congregate living facilities,” Villanueva said. The sheriff and Assistant Sheriff Bruce Chase provided statistics to back up the claim. The jail’s positivity rate is 8.2% vs. 15.3% countywide, according to Chase. “We did experience a surge in December just as the county did as a whole, but our numbers have already started trending down,” Chase said.

Suspect Seen Beating Cop With Hockey Stick At Capitol Arrested
A Michigan man caught on camera swinging a hockey stick at a law enforcement officer during the Capitol siege has been arrested and charged with assault, authorities said Thursday. Federal authorities identified Michael Joseph Foy as the man in a viral video swinging a hockey stick repeatedly at a D.C. Metropolitan police officer on the ground, after a mob pulled the cop from the arch entryway at the Capitol. A federal affidavit, complete with pictures of the suspect, said Foy’s attack lasted 16 seconds before he was knocked down by another rioter. The Westland, Mich. man entered the Capitol later through a broken window, said court papers. Investigators said they were able to identify Foy using various online resources. The video shows Foy lifting the hockey stick above his head and swinging down rapidly, hitting someone on the ground several times, according to the complaint. “At no point does it appear that the individual on the ground is acting aggressively, nor does it appear that the attack is justified,” the affidavit said. Another video at a different angle shows Foy hitting an officer for about 16 seconds until he’s knocked down by another rioter.

Suspect Seen Crushing LEO In Doorway At Capitol Arrested
A Connecticut man was charged Wednesday with pushing a police officer against a door with a riot shield during the U.S. Capitol riots as the cop screamed in agony. Authorities said Patrick McCaughey III participated in the “vicious attack” on Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges, which was one of the most disturbing videos to emerge from the Jan. 6 mayhem. The baby-faced rioter pushed the cop using a police riot shield while the officer was pinned against a Capitol door, according to court papers. As Hodges cried out in agony, another rioter ripped off the cop’s gas mask, revealing a bloodied mouth, video showed. McCaughey continued to push as other rioters added weight against the officer, authorities charged. “Even after days of seeing so many shocking and horrific scenes from the siege on the U.S. Capitol, the savage beating of D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Hodges stands out for the perpetrator’s blatant disregard for human life,” said Steven D’Antuono, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office. “Patrick McCaughey’s actions were violent, barbaric, and completely out of control.”

Family, Co-Workers, Old FB Friends Helped Catch Capitol Intruders, Records Show
The man on the video waved a large Confederate flag as he and others stormed through the U.S. Capitol — a glaring reminder of an earlier insurrection as a new one played out. The jarring image made the flag bearer a wanted man. Federal investigators set out to find him, but didn’t have much to work with. Then came the tip. A co-worker of a man named Hunter Seefried told the FBI that Seefried “had bragged about being in the Capitol with his father.” FBI agents pulled the driver’s license of the father, Kevin Seefried, and bingo: He was a match for the flag-waving intruder. Federal charges against the Delaware father and son followed soon after. In recent days, law enforcement agencies have brought more than 100 criminal cases against people accused of participating in the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol. In some cases, the work was easy as people implicated themselves with selfies and videos on social media and in interviews with journalists. But as the low-hanging fruit of readily identifiable rioters began to dry up, family members and friends, co-workers and bosses, old acquaintances and others became increasingly helpful in developing leads, court records show. One woman called authorities to report that a man she’d seen in videos inside the Capitol was her ex-husband. A State Department employee reported his girlfriend’s brother to investigators. The wife and children of a Texas man confirmed he’d traveled to D.C. And in Newport News, Va., a convenience store employee recognized a customer from video of the mob and helped federal agents pull the man’s license plate number from store surveillance.

NYPD Arrests ‘Serial Killer' In Slayings Of 3 Elderly Women
Police have arrested a serial killer who has been linked to the murders of three elderly women in the same Brooklyn NYCHA building, officials said Thursday. The man, who is in his 60s, was taken into custody Thursday for the three killings inside the same Powell St. address at the Woodson Houses. The murders stretch back to 2015 and have left residents living in terror. His most recent victim, Juanita Caballero, 78, was found inside her Powell Ave. apartment dead with a cord wrapped around her neck about 5 p.m. Friday. NYPD public housing cops have been stationed at the building since Friday’s murder. She was found by her adult son after arriving for a visit at her home near Dumont Ave. in Brownsville, police said. The medical examiner determined the cause of death was asphyxia. Two other seniors were murdered in their homes in the same building, in 2015 and in 2019. None of the cases have been solved.

Public Safety News

It’s A Secret: California Keeps Key Virus Data From Public
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has from the start said his coronavirus policy decisions would be driven by data shared with the public to provide maximum transparency. But with the state starting to emerge from its worst surge, his administration won’t disclose key information that will help determine when his latest stay-at-home order is lifted. State officials said they rely on a very complex set of measurements that would confuse and potentially mislead the public if they were released. After Newsom imposed the nation’s first statewide shutdown in March, his administration developed reopening plans that included benchmarks for virus data such as per capita infection rates that counties needed to meet to relax restrictions. It released data models state officials used to project whether infections, hospitalizations and deaths are likely to rise or fall. As cases surged after Thanksgiving, Newsom tore up his playbook. Rather than a county-by-county approach, he created five regions and established a single measurement — ICU capacity — as the determination for whether a region was placed under a stay-at-home order.

Probability Of Dying Of COVID-19 In The Hospital Doubles In L.A. County
The chances that a person hospitalized for COVID-19 will die in Los Angeles County have doubled in recent months. That’s according to an analysis released Wednesday by the county’s Department of Health Services, which found that the probability someone will die of the disease while hospitalized increased from about 1 in 8 in September and October to roughly 1 in 4 since early November. Those increased odds coincide with a devastating spike in L.A. County’s death toll. In early November, when the current coronavirus surge began, there were fewer than 20 COVID-19 deaths per day, on average. But over the weeklong period that ended Wednesday, there were roughly 206 deaths reported each day, according to data compiled by The Times. More than 4,000 of L.A. County’s 14,000-plus COVID-19 deaths have been reported since New Year’s Day. The county accounts for roughly 41% of California’s 35,000 cumulative COVID-19 deaths, despite being home to only a quarter of the state’s population.

LA County Won't Reach Full Vaccination Until Summer 2022 At Current Pace, Mayor Says
At the current pace, vaccinations for the entire population of Los Angeles County won't be completed until June 2022, according to Mayor Eric Garcetti. The mayor says the grim outlook comes down to a supply and demand issue. "If you take the calculation of what the county is getting each week -- about 160,000 -- and you just look at the number of healthcare workers and seniors, we won't get through them until June (2021)," he said. However, Garcetti stresses the pace won't stay as is, especially if other COVID-19 vaccines by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, which require only one dose, get authorized for use. At the Dodger Stadium vaccination site, up to 12,000 doses can be administered per day. But one week after the stadium's parking lot transitioned from a testing location to vaccination super site, only 2,000 doses are available daily. Despite supply limitations, more than 46,000 people were vaccinated this week at the five city-run vaccination sites, which is a 90% increase from last week. Over 80,000 people have been inoculated at the city's vaccination sites.

California Sees Record-Breaking COVID-19 Deaths, A Lagging Indicator Of Winter Surge
California is continuing to see record-breaking deaths from COVID-19, a lagging indicator of the winter surge that is coming even as overall coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have flattened and started to slightly decline. The state broke the record Thursday for most COVID-19 deaths in a single day: 736, surpassing the mark set on Jan. 15, when 700 deaths were reported. California is still averaging about 500 deaths a day over the past week, one of the worst such figures of the pandemic, but slightly lower than a week ago, when the state was averaging 534 deaths a day. Los Angeles County recorded 246 deaths on Thursday; the average daily number of deaths has been at 200 or above for nearly two weeks. Because it takes weeks for infections to result in hospitalizations, and then more weeks before hospitalizations result in deaths, it is expected that deaths will continue to be high even as hospitalizations begin to decline. Of nearly 36,000 cumulative COVID-19 deaths statewide, more than 10,000 have been reported since New Year’s Eve, including more than 4,500 in L.A. County.

Local Government News

Key L.A. Council Committee OKs High-Rise Project At Site Of Times’ Former Headquarters
A key committee of the Los Angeles City Council on Thursday backed a developer’s proposal for two high-rise residential towers on a block near City Hall that was formerly known as Times Mirror Square. The city’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee voted 3-0 to recommend certification of the project’s environmental report and the denial of an appeal sought by a nonprofit organization whose members are also in a union group. The committee’s approval sends the project to the City Council for a vote. Developer Onni Group bought the former Los Angeles Times properties located between Spring Street and Broadway, and 1st and 2nd streets, in 2016. The Times moved its operations to El Segundo after Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong acquired the paper in 2018. The project calls for a new mixed-use development on the 3.6-acre city block.

Metro Expands Its Metro Micro Ride-Hailing Service To 3 New Areas
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Thursday it is expanding its new ride-hailing service Metro Micro into the Compton/Artesia, El Monte and North Hollywood/Burbank areas starting Monday. The service will replace Metro’s Mobility on Demand program, which was already operating in the three zones. Each vehicle holds up to 10 passengers, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, capacity will be limited to five passengers. Rides, which must begin and end within each zone, will cost $1 for the first six months in each zone. Riders can use a mobile app to plan their trip, including on Metro Micro and bus and train rides. The program is in partnership with RideCo. Inc. and is available in: the Compton/Artesia zone from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day; the El Monte zone from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; and the North Hollywood/Burbank zone from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. The program has serviced the Watts/Willowbrook and LAX/Inglewood areas since it was launched on Dec. 13, according to Metro.

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: