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 24, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Man Shot In Canoga Park Alley Dies; Suspect Sought
A 26-year-old Northridge man shot in a Canoga Park alley the died Tuesday of his injuries, and the assailant remained at large. Officers were called about 11:45 p.m. Monday to West Hills Hospital and Medical Center, where Tony Dunn had been dropped off for treatment of multiple gunshot wounds, but doctors were unable to save him, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Dunn died about 12:20 Tuesday morning. Investigators determined the shooting occurred in an alley the 20900 block of Gresham Street, near De Soto Avenue, according to the LAPD. Video footage from the hospital showed a male in an older model sedan drop Dunn off before driving away, police said. Anyone with information on the shooting was asked to call Detective Steve Castro at 818-374-1925. Tipsters wanting to remain anonymous can call 1-800-222-8477.

Man Killed In Hit-And-Run On Santa Ana Freeway In Boyle Heights
A 65-year-old man was killed Tuesday in a hit-and-run crash on the northbound Santa Ana (101) Freeway in Boyle Heights. Officers responded about 6:45 a.m. to a call of a pedestrian lying face down on the right shoulder of the freeway, south of Whittier Boulevard, according to the California Highway Patrol. A preliminary investigation determined the victim, identified by the coroner's office as Bruce Dilworth, was struck by an unknown vehicle traveling northbound that fled after the crash, the CHP said. A SigAlert was issued about 7:35 a.m. and one lane was blocked while an investigation was conducted into the circumstances of the death. The alert was canceled about 8:50 a.m.

Police Commission Reinstates One Of LAPD's First Black Officers, Undoing 120-Year-Old Injustice
Undoing a 120-year-old injustice, the Los Angeles Police Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to posthumously reinstate and retire with honor one of the LAPD's first Black officers, who they say was pushed out of the department in 1900 based on false allegations against him. Born into slavery in Kentucky in 1850, Robert William Stewart later made his way to Los Angeles and was one of the first two Black policemen to make it onto the LAPD force, which he joined in 1889, said Fred Booker, a special assistant to LAPD Chief Michel Moore. Records from the time showed Stewart had an “exemplary career,” Booker told commissioners. But in 1900, he was terminated after being falsely accused of assaulting a teenager while on patrol, Booker said. The commission at the time approved Stewart's firing without waiting for his trial, and “though he was ultimately acquitted of all charges, the same board of police commissioners refused to hire him back,” Booker said. Stewart went on to work other jobs in the community, and died in 1931 at 81.
Los Angeles Times

LAPD Seeks Additional Victims Of Child Abuse Suspect Who Worked At Recreation Center
Officials are looking for additional victims of a child abuse suspect who had worked at a Mid-Wilshire recreation center for decades. Antonio Garcia-Gutierrez, 62, was arrested Feb. 11 after Los Angeles Police Department detectives received reports from “former students” alleging inappropriate conduct, officials said in a news release without elaborating. He was booked on suspicion of sex abuse on a child and his bail was set at $900,000, police said. Garcia-Gutierrez worked at the Queen Anne Recreation Center, located at 1240 West Blvd., since 1986, police said. Authorities did not release any additional information about the allegations or the suspect. The case was presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office who charged Garcia Gutierrez with multiple felony child abuse charges, police said. Anyone who believes they may have been victimized by Garcia-Gutierrez can call LAPD juvenile division detectives at 213-486-0570.

City Sues Homeowners In Pacoima, Panorama City Whose Properties Saw Frequent Gang Violence
The city attorney of Los Angeles is suing the owners of two homes in the San Fernando Valley he says were hubs for gang violence that left neighborhood residents fearing for their safety. A home at 13285 Corcoran Street in Pacoima was the site of five shootings since 2016, all targeting members of a gang who hung out there, City Attorney Mike Feuer alleged in one lawsuit. At another home at 14697 Plummer Street in Panorama City, law enforcement showed up in large numbers three separate times over the last half of 2020, according to the other lawsuit. The first time, police served a search warrant at the home after a man was found shot in the chest there in June. The second, police surrounded the home after trying to stop a man seen tossing away a gun in September. When Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies arrived with a search warrant in October, they found a cache of drugs and guns. On Tuesday, Feuer said his lawsuits were seeking to have several men associated with the homes either barred from living there or having the homes shuttered.
Los Angeles Daily News

Supervisors OK Rewards For Leads In 3 Unsolved Killings In L.A. County
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved or increased rewards Tuesday in three unrelated shootings that took the lives of a 29-year-old woman shot in West Covina, a 28-year-old college grad gunned down in Compton and a 4-year-old killed by an errant bullet in a 2016 gang shooting in Altadena. Supervisor Hilda Solis recommended a $15,000 reward in the Jan. 3 car-to-car shooting of Gabriella Deharo Perez, who was felled by a bullet to the head near the intersection of Azusa Avenue and Amar Road in West Covina. Supervisor Holly Mitchell recommended a $10,000 reward for information in the killing of Rodney Donaldson Jr., who was fatally shot Jan. 2 while standing on the sidewalk of the 500 block of north Kemp Avenue in Compton. Supervisor Kathryn Barger asked her colleagues to reestablish and increase a reward from $20,000 to $25,000 for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of the gunman who shot and killed 4-year-old Salvador Esparza on July 5, 2016. Investigators are hoping that the reward will draw more witnesses, as suspect information is limited.
Los Angeles Daily News

2 San Fernando Valley Men Arraigned In Fake US Document Mill Scheme
Two San Fernando Valley men were arraigned on Tuesday for allegedly being part of an operation that made and sold fake federal documents. 44-year-old Carlos Ayala “Juan Juarez” Hernadez of Granada Hills and 32-year-old Nestor “Daniel” Perez of Van Nuys each pleaded not guilty. They were charged with nine counts of production of false identification documents, seven counts of transferring false identification documents, and one count each of conspiracy and possession of five or more false identification documents. Hernandez also pleaded not guilty to being an undocumented immigrant in possession of a firearm. A third defendant in the fake document mill, 23-year-old Miguel Juarez Guerrero of Van Nuys, pleaded not guilty to 18 charges. The defendants are accused of making and selling fake passport cards, Social Security cards, driver's licenses and other documents. If convicted of all charges, they could face decades in prison, according to prosecutors.

Woman Found Stabbed And Beaten To Death In Compton
Los Angeles County sheriff's detectives were investigating the death of a woman whose beaten and stabbed body was found Tuesday morning beside a dumpster in Compton. At 6:30 a.m., deputies from the Sheriff's Department's Compton station responded to an apartment complex in the 1400 block of South Long Beach Boulevard for a report of a medical emergency, Lt. Robert Westphal said. Near the tan-colored complex's dumpsters, deputies found the body of a Latina who had died from blunt trauma and stab wounds, Westphal said. The lieutenant said the detectives were trying to determine whether the woman had been robbed or sexually assaulted before her death. They had no suspect information but plan to review footage from a number of cameras positioned throughout the apartment complex. Investigators had yet to identify the woman. “She's Jane Doe right now,” Westphal said.
Los Angeles Times

LASD Searching For Missing Woman Believed To Be At-Risk
Authorities are asking for the public's help in locating a 43-year-old woman who suffers from schizophrenia and was last heard from in June, officials announced Tuesday. Misha Diane Cooper was last contacted on June 25 and is considered at-risk, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said. Cooper is described as 5-feet-6-inches tall and weighs about 215 pounds with brown hair and eyes. Deputies say she lives a transient lifestyle and could be in the Lancaster area. Cooper's family is concerned about her and is asking for the public's help, authorities said. Anyone with information about Misha Cooper is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Missing Persons Unit at (323) 890-5500.  
FOX 11

Border Patrol Agents Find $1 Million Worth Of Cocaine In SUV On 5 Freeway Border Patrol agents found more than 83 pounds of cocaine worth over $1 million during a traffic stop on the 5 Freeway just north of San Diego County, officials said Monday. Agents also found more than 18 pounds of methamphetamine during a separate traffic stop earlier in the day off the 15 Freeway near the community of Rainbow, plus 3 pounds more at the driver's home in eastern San Diego County, Border Patrol spokesman Agent Angel Moreno said. Most of the methamphetamine in the earlier stop was found Thursday afternoon inside a Mitsubishi Galant when the driver “hastily exited the freeway” after noticing Border Patrol agents patrolling the 15, Moreno said in a statement. An agent followed the car off the freeway and pulled it over. “The driver of the vehicle, a 23-year-old male U.S. citizen, exited the vehicle and immediately assumed a hand-cuffing position, placing his hands behind his back,” Moreno said in the news release. “Upon questioning, the driver then freely admitted that he had an unknown quantity of narcotics inside the vehicle.”
Los Angeles Times

Phoenix Family Discovers 5,000 Fentanyl Pills Inside Daughter's Thrift Store Toy
A family in Arizona bought a toy worth far more than what they paid for when they discovered more than 5,000 pills believed to be fentanyl inside the doll. Phoenix police said Saturday the child's parents bought a Glo Worm from a thrift store in El Mirage, Arizona. The parents were cleaning the toy when they found a sandwich bag filled with the drugs, according to police. Police said the family immediately reported their discovery and handed the drugs over to authorities. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid often mixed with other illicit drugs like heroin and cocaine that causes euphoric-like effects, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids increased over 16 percent from 2018 to 2019, according to the CDC. Law enforcement officials used the incident as a reminder for parents to inspect all open and used toys.
NBC News

Public Safety News

LA County Surpasses 20K COVID-19 Deaths; Test Positivity Rate Falls to 5.1%
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Tuesday reported 2,091 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 157 deaths, bringing countywide totals to 1,183,378 cases and 20,057 deaths. Of the new deaths reported, 51 people who died were over the age of 80, 58 people were between the ages of 65 and 79, 33 people were between the ages of 50 and 64, 12 people were between the ages of 30 and 49 and one person was between the ages of 18 and 29. Pasadena reported two deaths. And while new COVID-19 cases and test positivity rates continue to decline, L.A. County remained in the most restrictive purple tier in the state's Blueprint for a Safer Economy with an adjusted case rate of 12.3 per 100,000 residents and a test positivity rate of 5.1%. In order to move to the red tier, which would allow additional business sectors to reopen, the county must have a daily case rate at or below 7 per 100,000 residents and a test positivity rate at or below 8%.

Local Government News

LA County Passes Ordinance Requiring $5 ‘Hero Pay' For Grocery Workers
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 Tuesday to adopt an urgency ordinance requiring national grocery and drug retail employers in unincorporated areas of the county to pay frontline workers an additional $5 per hour hazard or "hero pay" for the next 120 days. Supervisor Kathryn Barger voted against the measure, to take effect immediately, citing unintended consequences and a concern that the ordinance only covers a "small sliver" of the essential workforce. Supervisors Hilda Solis and Holly Mitchell co-authored the motion calling for the temporary "urgency" ordinance that would apply to store chains that are publicly traded or have at least 300 employees nationwide and more than 10 employees per store. Solis pointed to store profits as one justification, though she referenced an analysis that includes retailers like Amazon and Home Depot, rather than just grocers and drug retailers. However, some of the national grocers listed, like Kroger and Albertson's, enjoyed even higher profits, according to the Brookings Institution study.

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: