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

March 22, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Billboard Thanking First Responders Featuring Image of Killer Cop Christopher Dorner Sparks Outrage
A digital billboard with personalized COVID-19 thank you messages to first responders has generated controversy as it featured an image of a killer LAPD cop and a disparaging slogan targeting police. "I just thought it was disgusting," said Lt. Craig Lally, Los Angeles Police Protective League president. "He murdered four people, three of which were law enforcement officers. And they have family, spouses, friends. They're forced to live with the acts of Dorner for the rest of their lives. So I was pretty disgusted by it."

Funeral Held For L.A. County Deputy Killed In Lakewood Crash
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department motorcycle Deputy Thomas Albanese, who was killed in a collision in a Lakewood intersection last month while attempting to make a traffic stop, was eulogized Friday as a man who loved his job. Albanese, 41, a seven-year veteran of the department and married father of 7- and 11-year-old sons, was attempting to pull over a black sedan just before 9 a.m. Feb. 25 when he was killed at the intersection of Paramount and Del Amo boulevards. Albanese was northbound on Paramount Boulevard when a silver Mercedes-Benz, which was westbound on Del Amo Boulevard, struck him in the intersection. He was thrown from his motorcycle and died at the scene. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served four tours of duty in Iraq, Albanese joined the Sheriff's Department in July 2013 and became a deputy two years later. He held assignments at the Men's Central Jail, Transit Services Bureau and at the Lakewood station as a field training officer and achieved his dream of becoming a motorcycle deputy. At the time of his death, he was assigned to the Pico Rivera station. 
Los Angeles Times

Woman Dies After Being Struck By Street Racer In West Hills, Police Say
A woman died after her car was struck by a street racer who lost control of his vehicle in West Hills on Friday afternoon, March 19, the LAPD said. Two to three street racers were driving north at around 4 p.m. on Valley Circle Boulevard when one of them lost control and struck the woman, who was driving a Prius near the Vanowen Street intersection, LAPD spokesman Mike Lopez said. Miguel Bautista, who was walking along the street, told a news videographer he saw a gray car “flying,” going “close to 100 mph” when it hit the woman's Prius, and “she went in the air.” Bystanders rushed to perform CPR on the woman before paramedics arrived, but she was pronounced dead, officials said. The man whose vehicle struck the Prius was taken to the hospital in critical condition, according to police and Los Angeles Fire officials. The incident happened near West Hills Montessori, but it wasn't clear if any children were present at the time of the crash. 
Los Angeles Daily News

LAPD Needs Help Looking For Man Accused Of Assault In Sherman Oaks
LAPD investigators are asking for the public's help in finding a man accused of multiple attacks in Sherman Oaks. One of those attacks happened on March 9. In that incident, investigators say the man attacked a woman walking her dog near Ventura Boulevard and Murrieta Avenue. He allegedly pushed her to the ground before assaulting her. The suspect was described as an African American man between ages 25 and 35, standing about 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing around 150 pounds. He was last seen wearing a red Nike hoodie, blue jeans, and red shoes. Anyone with information is asked to call LAPD's Van Nuys Division at (818) 374-0085.

Suspected DUI Driver Arrested After Crashing Into Hollywood Storefront; Local News Crew Among 5 Injured
A suspected DUI driver was arrested Friday after crashing into a Hollywood Boulevard storefront, injuring several people, including members of a local news crew, officials said. The crash was reported about 3:05 p.m. at 6818 Hollywood Blvd., near the Hollywood and Highland complex, according to LAFD. The SUV crashed into a glass storefront, striking several pedestrians, fire officials said in an alert. Five patients were taken to a local trauma center, four of whom were described as being in “serious-to-critical condition,” fire officials said. One additional person declined to be transported. All victims were eventually described as being in stable condition. The driver was impaired and heading in the wrong direction when the SUV jumped the curb and crashed into the Hollywood Market Liquor Store, LAPD Capt. Brian Wendling said at the scene. He was taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence, LAPD officials tweeted Friday evening.

LAPD Pledges High-Visibility DUI Enforcement After 3 Crashes In One Day
The Los Angeles Police Department Saturday promised “high-visibility traffic enforcement” after three suspected DUI crashes killed one woman and injured six others, including veteran FOX11 reporter Hal Eisner and cameraman Joab Perez. The three crashes occurred within a two-hour period, according to the LAPD. At 3:06 p.m. Friday, a motorist suspected of driving under the influence crashed into a storefront at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, striking five people on the sidewalk, including Eisner and Perez, police said. Four of the injured were taken to hospitals and the driver was arrested at the scene. About an hour later, a driver suspected of street racing while under the influence crashed and killed an uninvolved 57-year-old woman at Valley Circle Boulevard and Vanowen Street in West Hills, according to police. That driver was arrested at the scene. And, about 4:55 p.m., a female pedestrian at a crosswalk at Highland Avenue and Sixth Street in Mid-City was struck by a suspected DUI driver and suffered life-threatening injuries, police said. That motorist was also arrested at the scene. Fatal crashes were up 35% as of March 18 over the same time frame the previous year, with 62 having occurred, compared with 46 in 2020, police said. And from March 12 through 19 of this year, the LAPD arrested 18 motorists involved in crashes for suspicion of DUI.

444 Guns Turned In To LAPD Anonymous Gun Buyback Program
Gun owners had the opportunity to take part in Los Angeles' anonymous gun buyback program to help get firearms off the city's streets amid an increase in gun violence and homicides during the pandemic. Hundreds of guns were turned in during Saturday's event. There were 304 guns turned in at the Van Nuys site and 140 at the South Los Angeles site, police said. LAPD personnel assigned a value to the firearm depending on its condition. Owners received giftcards worth up to $100 for handguns, shotguns and rifles, and up to $200 for assault weapons. The program is completely anonymous and gun owners were not asked any questions about their firearms. LAPD Capt. Alex Baez, the commanding officer of the Newton Division in South Los Angeles, said the buyback program "is just another step in trying to get (guns) out of the wrong hands.'' "Our statistics are really alarming,'' Baez said. "When you look at the fact that this time last year, our officers had recovered about 60 firearms. We're up to 160 already this year, and every single day it seems like we're recovering two or three firearms at every stop.”
FOX 11

Featured Social Media

Asian-American Woman, 28, Fatally Shot In Compton
An Asian-American woman was fatally shot in Compton and her death resulted in calls from her family for the sheriff's department to conduct a hate crime investigation. The shooting happened about 5:50 a.m. Saturday in the 1600 block of East Kay Street, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The LASD said there was no known motive for the attack and no suspect information. Paramedics rushed Sia Marie Xiong to an area hospital, where she was pronounced dead with a gunshot wound to the lower chest. Her family told the media Xiong was from San Diego but most recently lived in Fontana. She was studying to become an aesthetician, according to her family. The sheriff's Homicide Bureau urged anyone with information regarding Xiong's homicide to call them at 323-890-5500. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477. The calls from the family come as rallies across the Southland and across the country called for an end to hate crimes and racial violence against Asian Americans. In the Los Angeles area, rallies took place in Chinatown, Alhambra and Diamond Bar among other locations.

Inmate Richard Ledesma Wanted After Walking Away From Los Angeles-Area Reentry Program
Authorities are asking for the public's help to find an inmate who walked away from a reentry program facility in Los Angeles last month. Richard Ledesma, 36, left the Male Community Reentry Program in Los Angeles at about 9:15 p.m. on Feb. 12 without authorization, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. An emergency search was launched within minutes, the agency said. Ledesma had been sentenced to two years and eight months in Los Angeles County jail for grand theft, a second strike, prison officials said. He arrived at the reentry program – which gives offenders with just a year left to serve a chance to transition from jail to returning to the community — in November, and was scheduled to be released in November 2021. Ledesma is described a male Hispanic, 5-foot-7 and 175 pounds. A booking image shows he has several facial tattoos, including a word over his left eyebrow, a vulgar phrase on both his eyelids, tattoos on both cheeks, and all over his neck. Anyone with information about Ledesma or sees him should call 911.

2 L.A.-Area Men Plead Guilty To Debit Card Bank Fraud, Buying Over $22,000 In Money Orders
Two California men have pleaded guilty in federal court in New Hampshire to using fraudulent debit cards to make ATM withdrawals and buying over $22,000 in postal money orders. Vahan Aghajanyan, 25, of Glendale, and Garnik Saroyan, 26, of Sun Valley, pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. They are scheduled to be sentenced on June 24. According to court documents, the two traveled to New Hampshire and Maine to use the debit cards encoded with other people's bank account information. In October 2018, postal employees in the two states reported suspicious transactions involving the two men. Police in York, Maine, stopped their vehicle. A search of three cellphones revealed a map of post office locations in New Hampshire and photographs of Aghajanyan holding stacks of cash and postal money orders, prosecutors said.

Accomplices In Two High-Profile Killings Are Freed Under New California Murder Law
When Keeairra Dashiell drove her boyfriend to a Los Angeles apartment building early one morning in 2007, she knew exactly why they were there, prosecutors said. Tyquan Knox, the boyfriend, was dressed in all black, had his face covered and was armed with a gun. Inside, they believed, was Khristina Henry, who was days away from testifying against Knox in a robbery case. Their plan, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Danette Meyers, was straightforward: prevent Henry from testifying. In the parking lot behind the building, the former Crenshaw High School football star didn't encounter Henry but instead found her mother, Pamela Lark. He shot the woman five times, leaving her to die in front of her grandchildren. At the time, the discrepancy between Knox's intended target and his victim was irrelevant. Both Knox and Dashiell were charged with murder. Knox was convicted and Dashiell pleaded guilty. But it was a key factor in a judge's decision this week to free Dashiell from prison. L.A. County Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor ruled Tuesday that Dashiell's life sentence should be reduced to the 12 years she already served behind bars because of changes to California's law on murder. Before the changes took effect in 2019, if someone died during the commission of a felony a defendant could be charged with murder even if the defendant didn't intend to kill the victim or didn't know someone had been killed, or if the killing happened by accident.
Los Angeles Times

1 Killed, 7 Wounded In Dallas Nightclub; Gunman Sought
One person was killed and seven others were injured when a shooter opened fire early Saturday inside a crowded northwest Dallas nightclub, police said. Police were called about 1:30 a.m. to Pryme Bar just south of Northwest Highway and between Interstate 35E and Loop 12, and found eight people shot — four men and four women, all in their 20s, police said. Officers determined that a disturbance broke out between two groups inside, and after a witness tried to intervene the shooter pulled out a gun and began firing. The gunman, who was described as a Black man in his early 20s with dreads and a blue shirt with a hat and jacket, is at large, police said. All eight victims were taken to local hospitals. Daisy Navarrete, 21, of Plano died at the hospital, while conditions of the seven others ranged from good to critical, police said. Piles of blood-stained rags and clothes, shards of glass and bottles of alcohol were still scattered around the two-story club later Saturday morning. A light pink heel that employees said belonged to one of the victims still sat near the entrance by a pile of stained clothing.
The Dallas Morning News

4 Proud Boys Charged With Conspiracy Over Jan. 6 Capitol Riot
Four alleged leaders of the Proud Boys have been indicted in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol over allegedly conspiring, including in discussions on encrypted messaging apps, to obstruct the certification of President Biden's Electoral College victory. The indictment unsealed Friday charges the defendants — Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zach Rehl and Charles Donohoe — with six counts, including obstruction of an official proceeding, obstruction of law enforcement, destruction of government property and conspiracy. According to the indictment, Nordean is the president of his local Proud Boy chapter in Washington state; Biggs is a Proud Boy member and organizer in Florida; Rehl is the president of a local chapter of the group in Philadelphia; and Donohoe is the president of his local Proud Boy chapter in North Carolina. Nordean and Biggs had previously been charged by complaint. The defendants are the latest with ties to the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, to face conspiracy charges over their alleged roles in the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters.

Public Safety News

LAFD Responds To Encampment Fire On Boardwalk
The Los Angeles Fire is on scene of an encampment fire on the boardwalk. According to LAFD, crews are on scene at Breeze Avenue and Ocean Front Walk. Firefighters say a call came in at 8:10 p.m. regarding a rubbish fire. Light Force 63, a fire truck and water tank, is on scene working to put out the fire. No injuries have been reported. No word on an investigation at this time. 
Venice Current

Los Angeles Coronavirus Numbers Continue To Decline, Raising Hope For More Reopenings
Los Angeles County public health officials continued to report a
decline in coronavirus case numbers Sunday, raising hope that more restrictions on businesses might soon be relaxed. New cases and deaths are always lower on the weekends because not all laboratories report results. Still, the county recorded just 438 new cases and 20 related deaths, according to the public health department, capping several weeks of sustained declines. The county has logged an average of 590 new cases per day over the last week, a 62% drop from two weeks before, according to The Times' coronavirus tracker. There were 750 COVID-19 patients in county hospitals as of Saturday, a decline of nearly 33% from two weeks before. Officials have said that if the downward trend continues, it's possible L.A. County could move into the less-strict orange tier of the state's color-coded reopening blueprint next month. That would enable bars to reopen outdoors, lift capacity restrictions on stores and increase limits on restaurants, churches, gyms, museums and movie theaters. The county already has moved out of the strictest purple tier and into the red tier, allowing restaurants, gyms, museums and movie theaters to resume operations indoors at limited capacity.
Los Angeles Times

LA County Preparing For Eventual Rise In COVID Vaccine Supply
Los Angeles County this week crossed the milestone of administering 3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the county's science officer said planning is under way for an anticipated dramatic increase in vaccine supply in hopes of eventually doling out 1 million doses per week. The county currently has the capability of administering about 630,000 doses per week, but due to limited supply, only about 300,000 to 350,000 doses are actually being administered per week. Next week, the county will only be receiving about 280,000 doses, although that number will be augmented by supplies sent directly to some providers, such as the federally operated site at Cal State Los Angeles. Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer for the county Department of Public Health, said Friday that given the progress already being made in vaccinations, if supplies dramatically increase by late April or early May -- as predicted by President Joe Biden -- the county could move rather quickly through the rest of the population.
FOX 11

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: