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 28, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Special Circumstance Charges Dropped Against Accused Gang Member And Double Murderer Under Gascón Reforms
As part of his new reforms, District Attorney George Gascón has dropped gang enhancements and special circumstance allegations against a Baldwin Park gang member charged with murdering two young men at his home, then carjacking a vehicle to transport their bodies to the desert, where he dumped them. As a result, Raymond "Danger" Gonzalez will be eligible for parole after 20 years of confinement, even if he’s convicted of the two murders. On December 11, 2017, Gonzalez is accused of shooting and killing Bobby Ryan and Jacob Dominguez at his Baldwin Park home. Ryan had come to the home with $4,000 cash he had received from an insurance payout after his car was totaled in a crash, according to his father, Bob Ryan. "This gang member knew he had this money, lured him to the house. They had a weapon hidden in the dryer, the two boys went into the house, the gang member went into the dryer, got the weapon, shot both boys in the head, and then emptied his revolver into my son’s torso." Gonzalez then allegedly wrapped the bodies in curtains, carjacked a van and drove up to Victorville, where he dumped the bodies in the desert. Both families were stunned when at a Jan. 19 hearing, the judge agreed to drop gang enhancements and special circumstance allegations against Gonzalez, in accordance with Gascón’s reforms. The dropping of those special circumstances takes life with parole off the table and will make Gonzalez eligible for a parole hearing after 20 years in prison, even if he’s convicted of the two murders.

Body Found Inside Burning Container In San Fernando Valley
Firefighters found a body Wednesday evening inside a burning container in the San Fernando Valley, authorities said. LAFD said in a statement that firefighters responded to a rubbish fire burning inside a 15-foot-by-8-foot container near the intersection of North Coldwater Canyon Avenue and Raymer Street. The area is situated between the neighborhoods of Sun Valley, North Hollywood and Panorama City. After putting out the flames, the firefighters found the body inside the container, the Fire Department said. The remains were not immediately identified. The Los Angeles Police Department and the Fire Department’s Arson Section responded to conduct a death investigation.

Homicide Suspect Reportedly Barricaded In Koreatown Building Left Before Officers Arrive
An alleged gang member wanted in connection with a homicide was reportedly barricaded in a Koreatown building Wednesday evening. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, officers were called to the building in the 3200 block of W. 8th Street at about 4:30 p.m. for reports that a person was barricaded inside. Following an investigation, officers concluded that the suspect had already left before they had arrived.

Man Shot To Death By LAPD Officers Near Exposition Park During Violent Assault Of Woman
A man who was assaulting a woman was shot and killed by Los Angeles police near Exposition Park in South L.A. late Wednesday night. The shooting occurred at around 10:30 p.m. in the area of 40th Place and Vermont Avenue. According to the LAPD, officers were dispatched to a call about a man armed with a knife who was assaulting his girlfriend. They arrived on scene to find the suspect assaulting a woman inside a car, police said. At some point, officers opened fire on the suspect, who died at the scene. He was not identified. The woman received treatment for facial injuries. It’s unclear if the suspect was armed with a knife or gun.

Woman Found After Going Missing From Her South Gate Home
A 68-year-old woman with memory loss, who walked away from her home in South Gate, has been found, police said Wednesday. Rebeca Tinoco disappeared from her house in the 8400 block of Madison Avenue about 3 p.m. Tuesday, and police sought public help to find her. Shortly after 9 Wednesday morning, the South Gate Police Department reported that she had been found. Other details were not released.

Sixth Person From Southern California Faces U.S. Capitol Riot Charges
Federal agents made a sixth arrest in Southern California Wednesday in connection with the violence at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. Jacob Daniel Lewis of Victorville was detained by the FBI and was scheduled to make an initial appearance in federal court on charges of entering a restricted building without lawful authority and with the intent to disrupt the conduct of the Government, and to disrupt a session of Congress. According to a criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday Lewis told FBI agents in an interview earlier this month that he visited the Capitol on Jan. 6 to attend former President Trump’s rally, and admitted he entered the Capitol, “after,” it had been breached by others. He denied taking part in violence and told agents he believed violent agitators in the crowd were, “Antifa members in disguise.” The FBI said videos from Lewis’ personal Instagram account showed him inside the Capitol, and one of Lewis’ friends reported that Lewis had said in December, 2020 to, ‘watch what happens to the Capitol on the 6th.’ The friend also said Lewis had guns and had asked for ammunition.

Northern California Man Arrested With Explosives May Have Been Targeting Gov. Newsom, Authorities Say
A suspected far-right extremist and radicalized supporter of former President Trump facing federal explosives charges may have been targeting California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the San Francisco Bay Area headquarters of social media giants Twitter and Facebook, according to the FBI. Federal prosecutors charged Ian Benjamin Rogers, 43, of Napa County, with possessing five homemade pipe bombs that investigators found when they searched his home and auto repair business Jan. 15. They also confiscated additional bomb-making material along with 49 firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition. According to an FBI affidavit, Rogers made multiple threats in text messages to attack Democratic targets and ensure that Trump stayed in office. In the texts, Rogers stated, “Let’s see what happens then we act” and later added, “I’m thinking sac office first target” and “Then maybe bird and face offices.” FBI Special Agent Stephanie Minor, who is part of the agency’s domestic terrorism squad in San Francisco, said the texts were indications of his targets. “I believe that when Rogers said, ‘sac office first target,’ he meant that their first target should be the offices of California Governor Gavin Newsom in Sacramento.

Victims Behind Bars: Trafficking Survivors Still Struggle Despite State Laws
Sara Kruzan was in her cell when she received a fax that changed her life. After spending some of her teenage years, all of her 20s and much of her 30s in prison for killing her trafficker, Kruzan learned that California’s attorney general had acknowledgedthat she was a victim of domestic violence. That was 2012. A year later, she was released from prison. But the same year that Kruzan received that fax, another California teenager was about to follow her same path. Keiana Aldrich was headed to prison after taking a plea deal in Sacramento County for kidnapping and robbing a man who tried to hire her for pornography even though she was a minor. The man didn’t spend a day behind bars, but Aldrich, 17, was prosecuted as an adult and served eight years in prison. “I still feel like I’m 16,” said Aldrich, now 25, her voice cracking, a few weeks after being released from prison last November. “Everything’s not the same anymore. It’s all different. I’m learning how to drive…I’m learning how to be an adult now.” More than a decade in age separates Aldrich and Kruzan, but their stories are similar: They both were Black girls abused as children and cycled from one failed system to the next. Schools didn’t protect them.

In 13 States, A Judge Decides Whether An Abuser Is Allowed To Keep Their Guns
In 13 states, a single judge is entrusted to decide whether the subject of a temporary order of protection is allowed to have firearms. The Trace wanted to understand how those decisions are made and whether they are aligned with evidence that the person who got the order is in danger of being harmed with a gun. We looked at domestic protection orders in four states: Michigan, Arizona, New Hampshire, and South Dakota. We found that a person’s chances of getting a firearms restriction placed on their abuser are seldom tied to whether that person has threatened them with a gun. The decision is more likely to depend on which county they live in and which judge hears their case. Most states give judges wide leeway to make these decisions, offering little guidance about when gun restrictions should be granted or denied. “So much is determined by judges’ biases,” said Tucson City Magistrate Wendy Million, who presides over the domestic violence court there. “When you have judges who think it’s a right to have a firearm, that’s a hard sell.” The Trace found numerous examples of people who presented terrifying details and were still denied restrictions. A New Hampshire man who sent a woman a photo of a gun with bullets and said, “I want to commit homicide and suicide,” and, “I want people dead,” was allowed to keep his guns.

Public Safety News

COVID-19 Cases Among L.A. Firefighters See ‘Sharp Decline’ As Crews Get Vaccinated
The number of Los Angeles firefighters testing positive for the coronavirus has dropped significantly since the city fire agency began offering its members vaccinations, Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas said in a memo to firefighters this week. Terrazas, in a memo dated Tuesday and posted on the department’s internal website, said the LAFD has seen a “sharp decline” in cases since firefighters started getting the shots on Dec. 28. A chart included with the memo shows that the LAFD was averaging more than 15 new cases per day before the vaccination program. The number soon plummeted. In the most recent week, the department has averaged fewer than five new cases per day. “We are continuing to strongly encourage our sworn members to get the COVID vaccine and are offering it multiple times per week indefinitely,” Terrazas told The Times on Wednesday.

L.A. Has Avoided A New York-Level COVID-19 Hospital Meltdown As Conditions Improve
Just weeks ago, Los Angeles County’s hospitals were overwhelmed and on the brink of a worst-case catastrophic scenario, with plans ready if doctors needed to ration healthcare. But with the region now in its fourth week of declining hospitalizations, it was clear Wednesday that the county was decisively on its way out of its third surge of the pandemic, its deadliest yet. Yes, hospitals this week are still under pressure — scheduled surgeries are still suspended, and there’s still a shortage of medical staff, with hospitals relying on nurses drafted from clinics, contract agencies and the federal and state governments. L.A. County’s hospitals are still under great strain, with nearly three times as many COVID-19 patients as it did during the peak of the summer wave. The state has opened up two surge hospitals — in Sun Valley and Hawaiian Gardens — that have been used to relieve the strain on other facilities. And conditions could still worsen, given the rise of mutant variants of the coronavirus circulating in California, one of which is believed to be more contagious and deadlier than the conventional variety.

Local Government News

Councilman Paul Koretz Introduces Motion For Memorial To Honor COVID Victims
Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz introduced a motion Wednesday to have the city begin work on a memorial for the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. The motion, if adopted, would instruct the Department of Cultural Affairs to lead preliminary discussions with all of Los Angeles’ elected officials for the development of the memorial. The report would provide suggestions on scale, location, type of installation and plan for public input. “The complexity of the human loss, from the seniors who provided guidance and wisdom, to our frontline essential workers and medical staff, makes it critical that the city remember and recognize this period of history and its impact on our communities,” the motion stated. “Therefore, (the) city must begin the difficult and preliminary discussion of a memorial to victims of COVID-19 with the goal of healing, remembrance for loved ones lost, and bringing peace to our communities.”

LA City Council Passes Motions Aimed At Equitable Vaccine Distribution
The Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed two motions Wednesday with the goal of making Los Angeles' vaccine distribution equitable and inoculating low-income communities of color. Both motions were introduced by Council President Nury Martinez. The first one instructs the Chief Legislative Analyst to work with the Department of Recreation and Parks and the Department of General Services to identify city facilities, particularly in higher risk communities and low income communities of color, that could be used to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine. The second one instructs the Chief Legislative Analyst to: report back to City Council with a strategy for equitable distribution of vaccines with priority given to low-income communities of color and essential workers who are people of color; and report back to City Council with information on Gov. Gavin Newsom's $300 million vaccine budget proposal and how Los Angeles can use that fund on a public outreach campaign for communities of color.

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: