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 26, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Unions Blast District Attorney George Gascón's Hiring Of Controversial Prosecutor
Unions representing Los Angeles County prosecutors and law enforcement officers are blasting District Attorney George Gascón's hiring of controversial Deputy Public Defender Tiffiny Blacknell, a political supporter who has described police officers as “barbarians” and advocated abolishing prisons. Blacknell's appointment to an undisclosed executive position is an attempt by Gascón to fill his administration with those who share his progressive philosophies, claimed Eric Siddall, vice president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys. “Rather than playing by the hiring rule, Gascon is installing a political ally that will ensure his administration is an echo chamber,” Siddall said Thursday. It's Blacknell's strident anti-police rhetoric — frequently featured in her social media posts — that draws the sharpest rebuke from the Los Angeles Police Protective League. “Once again, Gascón is thumbing his nose at crime victims by hiring someone who wants to abolish prisons, defund public safety, and who has expressed outright hatred toward police officers, Craig Lally, the union's president, said in a statement. “With murders and shootings at a 10-year high, do we really need criminal defense attorneys on both sides of the aisle?” 
Los Angeles Daily News

L.A. County Motor Deputy Killed In Lakewood Crash While Trying To Initiate Traffic Stop: Sheriff
A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department motor deputy who was killed in a crash in the Lakewood area Thursday morning has been identified as a 41-year-old husband, father and Marine veteran. The fatal collision occurred shortly before 9 a.m. as Deputy Thomas Albanese was trying to initiate a traffic stop on a motorist in front of him, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said. Albanese was traveling northbound on Paramount and approaching Del Amo when he entered the intersection and collided with a Mercedes-Benz, according to the sheriff. The car had come from the westbound direction of Del Amo and was in the left turn lane. “The force of the collision, which was — it was extreme — it basically threw him a distance from the collision. He died instantaneously, on impact,” Villanueva said at an afternoon news briefing. The crash remains under investigation, and officials will use surveillance video and other evidence to determine the cause. Albanese had been with the department since July 2013, and was last assigned to the department's Pico Rivera station. But the motor deputy had been working overtime at the Lakewood station, where he previously worked as a field training officer, at the time of the collision, according to the sheriff. He is survived by his wife and two sons, ages 7 and 11.

Taco Truck Customer Shot, Killed In Downtown LA
A man was shot and killed while standing in line outside a taco truck in downtown Los Angeles in the early morning hours Friday. The shooting took place at around 12:30 a.m. in the 400 block of West 8th Street. The victim, who was between 25 and 30 years of age, was in line to order food from a taco truck when at least one suspect opened fire on him, a Los Angeles police spokesperson said. He was shot in the stomach. Officers attempted to do CPR on him, but he died at the scene, police said. He was not immediately identified. Two suspects were seen running from the scene, police said. There was no word on a motive or whether the shooting was gang-related. Police said the taco truck had surveillance cameras and investigators are reviewing the footage.

Police Release Photos Of Suspects In Fatal South L.A. Hit-And-Run
Police released photos Thursday of a driver and two passengers who fled the scene of a crash in South Los Angeles that left a man dead. The crash occurred about noon Wednesday at East 88th Place and Main Street when a Ford pickup truck going west on 88th Place ran a red light and was struck by a Toyota Camry traveling north on Main, the LAPD said. The force of the crash caused the pickup to go off the road and hit the 33-year-old pedestrian, who was at a crosswalk on Main Street, according to LAPD. The man, whose name was not immediately released, died at the scene. The driver and two passengers in the pickup truck, all males, fled on foot, leaving the truck at the scene, police said. The driver was described as wearing a green shirt with “Los Angeles” on the front and gray shorts. One passenger was wearing an orange shirt and black pants with white stripes. The other had on a green vest overtop a gray shirt, as well as black pants and dark shoes, police said. A reward up to $50,000 was available to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect or to a civil resolution.

Man Recounts Brutal Attack In His Studio City Driveway, Suspect Still Wanted
The LAPD is investigating after a man was brutally beaten in his own driveway in Studio City. The incident happened at around 7:30 p.m. on February 9 on Picturesque Drive. The victim, Rocco, 55, spoke to FOX 11 in an exclusive interview about the attack that left him badly injured. Rocco doesn't remember much from that evening but detailed what he does recall. "I got home. I picked dinner up for my wife and I and I went in the house and I realized I forgot my glasses in the car so after I got done eating, I went out to my car and that was it. That's all I remember," he said. Authorities believe Rocco was attacked from behind with a weapon. "I didn't even see it happen. They just started hitting me from behind with a weapon. It was a blunt force object, could have been a homemade baseball bat. We don't know. One hit to the back of my head did a lot of damage. It took my jaw off. I have bleeding in the brain," he said. Rocco also bit down on his tongue after getting hit, almost severing it. Rocco somehow made his way back into the house after the attack, and his wife found him shortly afterward after arriving home.
FOX 11

Ex-Con Charged In Woman's Shooting Death In Koreatown
An ex-con is set to be arraigned next month on murder and other felony charges stemming from the Jan. 9 shooting death of a woman who was walking to a vehicle with her dog in Koreatown. Lamont Deshon Dorsey, 28, is also charged with one count each of assault with a semiautomatic firearm, cruelty to an animal and possession of a firearm by a felon. The criminal complaint filed Wednesday alleges that he personally used a semiautomatic firearm and that he has an April 2019 conviction for robbery in Los Angeles County. The shooting occurred about 1:10 a.m. near the intersection of Council Street and Mariposa Avenue. Witnesses told police that Katherine McNally was walking to her vehicle with her dog when the suspect approached and shot the 38-year-old woman. Her dog was also wounded, but survived the attack, police said. Dorsey was arrested Monday morning in the 900 block of South Olive Street by a Los Angeles Police Department-FBI fugitive task force, and is due in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom on March 17.

Lady Gaga's Dog Walker Shot, French Bulldogs Stolen In LA
Lady Gaga's dog walker was shot and two of the singer's French bulldogs were stolen in Hollywood during an armed robbery, police said. The singer is offering a $500,000 reward. The dog walker was shot once Wednesday night and is expected to survive his injuries, according to Los Angeles Police Capt. Jonathan Tippett, commanding officer of the department's elite Robbery-Homicide Division. The man was walking three of Lady Gaga's dogs at the time, but one escaped. That dog has been recovered safely. Tippett told The Associated Press that the dogs belong to pop star Lady Gaga. It's not yet clear if the dog walker was targeted because of his celebrity client, the captain said. Police were initially called to North Sierra Bonita Avenue, a street off the famed Sunset Boulevard, around 9:40 p.m. Wednesday following several 911 calls reporting a man screaming and the sound of a gunshot, said Capt. Steven Lurie, commanding officer of the department's Hollywood Division. The victim, whose name has not been released, was walking the dogs when a white Nissan Altima pulled over and two men tried to steal the animals, police said. “Two suspects exited the vehicle and demanded the victim turn over the dogs at gunpoint. The victim struggled with the suspects and was shot once by one of the suspects,” a police statement said. The suspects nabbed two of the three dogs and drove off in the Nissan sedan, the statement said.
Associated Press

Police Seek Boys, 10 and 11, Who Ran Away From Foster Home
Police asked for the public's help Thursday to find two at-risk boys who ran away together from a foster home and were last seen in Watts. Tyler Hernandez, 10, and Richard Benitez, 11, were last seen Wednesday in the 1100 block of East 113th Street, near Imperial Highway, the Los Angeles Police Department said. Tyler was described as Hispanic, about 5-feet tall and 100 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He was wearing a black T-shirt, basketball shorts and shoes as well as a gray cap when he was seen last, police said. Tyler also takes medication for schizophrenia, according to LAPD. Richard was described as Hispanic, about 5-feet, 5-inches tall and 120 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He was wearing a blue shirt, jeans, black shoes and a black cap when he was last seen, according to police. LAPD asked anyone with information on the boys' whereabouts to call Southeast Juvenile Detective Delosh at 213-972-7849.

DEA Agents Going Online In Effort To Catch Drug Dealers, Distributors
Inside the federal building in downtown Los Angeles, Drug Enforcement Administration agents scour the internet using code words to find drug dealers, many of whom have moved their sales online. “Just like those big box stores, they've moved to online sales,” a male DEA agent said. “I imagine everybody else is gonna be doing the same thing. The faster they get their word out about their product, the easier it is, the more sales they can get.” Just a few minutes into the search, the agents got a hit on one website. “I basically have a bunch of sellers willing to sell me M30 pills,” a female agent said. Posing as a buyer, the undercover agent sends a text message to a suspected dealer to purchase counterfeit oxycontin, which agents said was most likely fentanyl. “I'm going to ask, ‘Can get 10 blues,'” the female agent said. “That's it, and then it's just a waiting game from there.” Fentanyl is not only more potent, but also more deadly. Just this month, the 16-year-old son of television host Dr. Laura Berman died from an apparent fentanyl overdose after allegedly purchasing drugs through Snapchat.

DEA translator charged with disclosing investigation
A 35-year-old Modesto woman who worked as a Spanish translator for the Drug Enforcement Administration has been charged with intentionally disclosing a criminal investigation and a court-ordered wiretap to the target of the investigation, prosecutors said. The defendant, Liliana Moreno, made her initial appearance in U.S. District Court in San Jose on Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a news release. Moreno is charged with one count of unlawful disclosure of electronic surveillance. Moreno worked for a private company that provides translation services to the DEA and was assigned as the lead monitor and Spanish translator for a court-ordered wiretap in an investigation into a drug-trafficking organization, prosecutors said.
Mercury News

Report: 8% Increase In US Domestic Violence Incidents After Stay-at-Home Orders
Domestic violence incidents in the U.S. increased by 8.1% after pandemic-related stay-at-home orders were put in place, according to a new report released Wednesday by the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice. The analysis looks at the number of domestic violence incidents before and after government jurisdictions began issuing stay-at-home orders, according to the release. The data comes from police logs, emergency hotline registries and health records across 18 different studies. The authors say the evidence for the increase is clear, but the exact reasonings behind the spike is less certain, according to the report. Possible contributing factors are increased unemployment, stress associated with childcare, increased financial insecurity and using alcohol or other substances as a coping strategy. The authors also noted that the isolation separated potential victims from their network of friends, neighbors, teachers or other people capable of reporting signs of abuse.

Public Safety News

Two Workers Critically Injured In Electrical ‘Explosion' In Downtown L.A.
At least two men were critically injured Thursday morning in downtown Los Angeles in what witnesses described as an explosion involving electrical equipment, authorities said. The Los Angeles Fire Department received reports of a multi-patient electrical injury at 9:12 a.m. Two contractors working near a loading dock at 360 S. Flower St. were critically injured in the incident, the Fire Department said in a news release. Their injuries included burns to the face and arms, Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said. Crews left the scene about 11 a.m. once Cal/OSHA arrived, Humphrey said. The men were employed by Edison Power Constructors, according to a statement from Cal/OSHA, which is investigating. They were injured and sustained burns in an electrical arc flash while installing electrical cables inside an above-ground electric vault. Both men were taken to County USC Medical Center, Cal/OSHA said.
Los Angeles Times

COVID-19 Hospitalizations Drop Across L.A. County While MIS-C Cases Climb
COVID-19 hospitalizations in Los Angeles County are at their lowest point since Thanksgiving, authorities said Thursday. The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the county as of Wednesday was 1,886, according to state figures released Thursday. Over the last week, COVID-19 hospitalizations have been falling an average of roughly 5% a day, and on Tuesday, L.A. County tallied 1,988 COVID-19 hospitalizations — the first time the number dipped below 2,000 since Nov. 26. At the worst point in the pandemic, 8,098 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in L.A. County, a number recorded on Jan. 5. But whereas the numbers in November were increasing rapidly — COVID-19 hospitalizations rose by as much as 47% in a week in that month — they are now moving in the opposite direction. Since last week, countywide COVID-19 hospitalizations have fallen by 29%, while new daily identified coronavirus cases have dropped by 16%, according to a Times analysis. 

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: