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

February 10, 2021
Law Enforcement News

11 Homicides Reported In Los Angeles Last Week, Compared To 4 Last Year
The city of Los Angeles recorded 11 homicides last week, up from four homicides during the same week in 2020 and continuing an upward trend. According to Los Angeles Police Department Assistant Chief Horace Frank, the city so far this year has had 50 homicides and 192 shooting victims, versus 31 homicides and 70 shooting victims at the same point in 2020. Overall, violent crime has increased 0.7%, Frank told the Police Commission, while property crime throughout the city has decreased in all areas except stolen vehicles. Frank said the increase in violent crime and homicides is happening in other major U.S. cities, and the LAPD is working with other agencies to advance ways of addressing it. "We're not an anomaly when you look at the crime trends, and yes, we are in very close communication with the other major city chiefs, almost on a weekly basis,'' Frank said.

Fleeing Police, Man Changes Clothes Inside Store And Leaves Before Officers Arrive
A man who led police on a chase Tuesday afternoon escaped into a shopping plaza in Inglewood, where he changed clothes inside a discount store and left before officers arrived, authorities said. At 4:30 p.m., officers from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Southeast Division pulled over a motorist at the intersection of Manchester Avenue and Figueroa Street in South Los Angeles. It wasn’t immediately clear what prompted the officers to initiate the traffic stop, said Det. Meghan Aguilar, a spokeswoman for the LAPD. Aguilar said the man refused to comply with the officers’ commands and reversed his car toward them, prompting at least one of the officers to open fire. The man was not believed to have been shot, although his car was struck by gunfire, she said. The man fled southwest “at a high rate of speed,” tracked by an LAPD helicopter, Aguilar said. Officers did not immediately pursue him in their squad cars. The motorist drove to Crenshaw Imperial Plaza, a busy shopping center at the intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard and Imperial Highway in Inglewood, where he struck a planter in a parking lot and abandoned the car. He entered a General Discount store, changed into clothes off the store’s racks and walked out before officers arrived, Aguilar said. Police do not believe he was armed and he didn’t harm any of the store’s employees.

Driver Of Stolen SUV Killed After Slamming Into Tree In Monterey Park During Chase
The driver of a stolen car was killed and a woman was injured after he crashed into a tree while being pursued by police through Monterey Park early Wednesday morning. Los Angeles police officers out of the Hollenbeck Community Police Station spotted a stolen Honda CRV at around 12:30 a.m. When they tried to pull it over, the driver sped off, prompting the chase. The suspect jumped onto the 10 Freeway, and then exited at Corporate Center Drive in Monterey Park, according to an LAPD spokesperson. He then lost control of the CRV and slammed into a tree in the 1600 block of Corporate Center Drive. The driver died at the scene, police said. He was not identified. A female passenger was rushed to a hospital with unknown injuries.

No Serious Injuries After LAPD Cruiser Collides With Truck
There were no serious reported injuries after a Los Angeles Police Department cruiser with two officers collided with a truck carrying a family of four in Sun Valley Tuesday night. According to LAPD, the crash happened at about 10:20 p.m. on Lankershim Boulevard, just north of Tuxford Street, when the officers were responding to a call for backup. The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to the crash and said all six people were complaining of minor pain, but none were taken to area hospitals. The crash did knock down a power line and appeared to cut power to at least one building. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power crews were on the scene. It was not immediately known when Lankershim would reopen.
Authorities Seek
Help Locating ‘Critical Missing' 12-Year-Old From Boyle Heights
Authorities Tuesday sought public help to find a 12-year-old girl who went missing in Boyle Heights. Myli Gramajo was last seen about 2 p.m. Monday leaving her home in the 200 block of Park Paseo Lane, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. She was described by police as Hispanic, 5-feet tall, weighs about 85 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes. She was wearing a black sweatshirt and blue jeans. She is considered "critical missing," according to the LAPD. Anyone knowing her whereabouts was urged to call 877-LAPD-247, or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.

Gang Member Faces Sentencing For Firebombing Black Families In Ramona Gardens
A gang member is expected to be sentenced Wednesday to at least 15 years in federal prison for orchestrating a racially motivated firebombing attack on Black families living in a Los Angeles housing project. Carlos “Rider” Hernandez, 36, pleaded guilty two years ago to five felonies, including using fire and carrying explosives to commit a federal felony and conspiracy to violate civil rights. The charges together carry a mandatory minimum of 15 years to a possible life term in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Hernandez is currently serving a 17-year sentence on an unrelated California state case, which he began serving in June 2014. In the early morning hours of May 12, 2014, Hernandez and seven other members of an East Los Angeles street gang, which claimed the Ramona Gardens public housing complex as its turf, prepared Molotov cocktails, smashed the windows of four apartments and threw the lit explosives into the units. The attack by the Hispanic street gang was meant to rid Ramona Gardens of its Black tenants.

3 Hawthorne-Area Mortuaries Burglarized; 2 Homeless Men Arrested
Three Hawthorne-area mortuaries were burglarized in recent days, and two men have been arrested in connection with one of them, officials said Tuesday. The first incident happened Feb. 6 at McKay’s South Bay Mortuary in the 3900 block of Marine Avenue in Lawndale, according to the business and Hawthorne Police Department. The agency received a report of a burglary that happened earlier that morning, and McKay’s provided video that suggested the perpetrators committed the crime between 2 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. Among the items stolen were several Buddhist artifacts, some made of gold, that were a key part of many services there, said Mark McKay, the mortuary’s owner. “It was heart-wrenching,” he said. “To me, it’s worse than breaking into a church.” Tren Nguyen, the business’ Vietnamese counselor, said he spent 17 years collecting the items and they have a deep emotional value for Vietnamese families holding services there.

'We Needed More Support': Capitol Police Officer Speaks Out On Leadership Letdowns, Lack Of Planning Before Insurrection
Caroline Edwards suffered a head injury when supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Fueled by adrenaline, the Capitol Police officer said she battled armed insurrectionists, white supremacists and other rioters for hours. At one point, Edwards said, she pulled out a container of chemical spray to repel the attackers. But she said a supervisor told her to put it away. “I had a concussion. I felt at the very least I should be able to use pepper spray to deal with what was going on,” said Edwards, who is the executive treasurer of the Capitol Police labor committee. She has been on medical leave since the assault. Edwards, 31, a Capitol Police officer for about four years, is one of the first members of the department to speak about the riot and its aftermath. She characterized the department as adrift, with inadequate planning before the attack, silence and mixed messages from supervisors that day, and now a lack of trust of top leadership by rank-and-file officers. Front-line officers weren’t informed of the potential for large-scale violence, Edwards said. But leadership did know, the department's acting chief told Congress afterward. As attackers moved in, Edwards said, officers felt let down by top supervisors. Now, officers have discussed holding a vote of no confidence in the leadership. “The safety of every congressman, every aide, everybody in the Capitol that day, was solely reliant on rank-and-file officers making individual actions,” Edwards said. “That’s what I want people to understand.”

Public Safety News

Body Found By Firefighters Responding To Burning Building In Leimert Park
An investigation is underway after firefighters responding to a burning building in the Leimert Park neighborhood of South Los Angeles discovered a body Tuesday morning. The fire was reported shortly after 7:30 a.m. in the 2600 block of West King Boulevard, according to an alert from the Los Angeles Fire Department. It took firefighters just over 10 minutes to extinguish the blaze in the one-story commercial building. Firefighters then discovered an unresponsive person inside the building who was pronounced dead at the scene, the Fire Department stated. No further information about the person’s identity or cause of death was immediately available. No other injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is unknown.

LA County Health Officials Report 5 New Cases Of UK Variant, Urge People To Stay Home For Upcoming Holidays
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Tuesday reported 3,353 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and 227 deaths, bringing countywide totals to 1,152,239 cases and 18,360 deaths. Of the 227 new deaths reported, 66 people who died were over the age of 80, 95 people were between the ages of 65 and 79, 51 people were between the ages of 50 and 64 and four people were between the ages of 30 and 49. Eight deaths were reported by the city of Long Beach and three were reported by the city of Pasadena. Health officials also reported that there were 4,079 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the county, 29% of whom were being treated in intensive care units. “We are only weeks away from reducing transmission in L.A. County to a level where elementary schools will be allowed by the state to offer in-class instruction, provided they adhere to all State and County directives,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, county public health director, said.

LA County COVID-19 Hospitalizations Cut In Half From High-Point In Early January
More than 200 additional COVID-19 deaths were announced in Los Angeles County Tuesday as the winter surge continued to claim lives, but case numbers continued to decline and the population of virus patients in hospitals dipped below 4,000. The county Department of Public Health reported 227 deaths on Tuesday, although 11 of those fatalities were actually announced late Monday by Pasadena and Long Beach health officials. Long Beach reported another five deaths Tuesday, while Pasadena added two. The new fatalities lifted the countywide death toll from throughout the pandemic to 18,367. The county also reported another 3,353 confirmed virus cases -- a high number but well below the peak of about 15,000 daily cases seen in early January.

The Frantic Race To Curb Racial Inequities In L.A. Vaccine Distribution
In an ideal vaccine rollout, Althea Darby would have been able to schedule a COVID-19 immunization appointment quickly and effortlessly. The South Los Angeles resident has high blood pressure, which puts her at increased risk for serious illness if she catches the coronavirus, and she is 69, part of an age group that has been eligible for vaccination for three weeks in L.A. County. But Darby endured an odyssey to get her COVID-19 shot. “I had two phones going at the same time,” she said of her experience calling the county’s vaccination number last week. “I was on the line for at least six to eight hours — nothing.” Darby couldn’t find an appointment through the county’s COVID-19 website either. Then a vaccination pod in Downey turned her away because she tried to walk up and get a shot without a reservation. On Friday, she and her husband stood in line for an hour at Hoover Recreation Center in South L.A for a vaccine, but when it was their turn, the doses had run out. Her struggles reflect a fundamental problem with vaccine distribution, experts say: A limited supply of vaccines has been administered unevenly. “We have virus circulating in some communities, and those are not the communities that we’re actually vaccinating,” said UCSF epidemiologist Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo.

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: