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 25, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Gascón Stops Effort To Prosecute Juvenile Gang Murderer As Adult; Victim's Family Outraged
The sister of a man who was shot and killed by a juvenile gang member is outraged after the motion to have him prosecuted as an adult was withdrawn by District Attorney George Gascón as part of his new reforms, despite the fact that the murderer has continued to post his allegiance to his gang on social media while in custody. In September 2017, 40-year-old Ontario Courtney's car broke down in the wrong neighborhood in South LA, in an area that was controlled by the Hoover's gang. While he was waiting for AAA, a vehicle full of four Main Street Mafia Crips gang members spotted him, pulled up, and shot at him at least 36 times, according to prosecutors. Ontario didn't survive. He had been mistaken as a member of the Hoovers gang, according to prosecutors. One of the shooters who was later charged Courtney's murder was Main Street Mafia Crips member Jalen Yoakum, who was 17 at the time and had a lengthy criminal record. Last December, when Jackie Lacey was DA, her office filed a motion to transfer Yoakum, now age 20, to adult court to be prosecuted as an adult.
FOX 11

LAPD Motorcycle Officer Injured In DTLA Crash
A Los Angeles Police Department motorcycle officer was injured Wednesday in a downtown crash. According to the department, the crash happened at about 4:30 p.m. near the intersection of Main and Aliso streets. The circumstances of the crash were not immediately known. The officer was said to have sustained minor injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital.

Victim Identified In Deadly Huntington Park Shooting
The Los Angeles County coroner's office Wednesday identified a man who was killed in a shooting in Huntington Park as 24-year-old Alejandro Acosta. Acosta was shot in the area of Templeton Street and Saturn Avenue at about 11:15 p.m. on March 17, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which was assisting Huntington Park police with the investigation. The victim was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, the department said. The shooter remains at large and a detailed description of the suspect was not released.

Police Commission Rules LAPD Officers Justified In April Shooting, But Disapproves Of Tactics
The Los Angeles Police Commission ruled Tuesday that two LAPD officers were justified in fatally shooting an armed 28-year-old man in a South Central alleyway last April, though it disapproved of some of the officers' tactics. Bravo was a passenger in one of two stopped vehicles that Newton Division patrol officers Kevin Ruiz and Luke Coyle pulled alongside about 9:40 p.m. on April 30 in the 2200 block of Wall Street, according to police. The officers told investigators that they'd noticed fresh “Flats” graffiti on a nearby building — an alleged tag marking territory of the Primera Flats gang — and suspected the vehicles' occupants may be gang members. As the officers considered making an investigative stop and shined their flashlights at the men, the driver of the BMW that Bravo was in suddenly sped off in reverse, smashed into a parked car and then drove forward into an alleyway, according to police and dashboard video released by the department. The officers drove after the BMW, with the officer in the passenger seat pulling out his handgun as they drove, and then stopped behind the BMW in the alleyway as Bravo and two other men — driver Jose Hernandez and a second passenger, Anthony Villegas — all got out of the BMW and ran in different directions. As Bravo ran past the patrol vehicle, the officer on the passenger side jumped out, gun already drawn. Bravo then appeared to stumble, pick a gun up off the ground and turn slightly in the officers' direction with the gun up in the air, according to body-camera video from the scene. The officer said he saw the gun fall out of Bravo's waistband, and believed Bravo had picked it back up — as opposed to running past it — in order to fire on the officers. The officer fired three times, before his partner, coming around the patrol vehicle, fired once.
Los Angeles Times

LAPD Declares Unlawful Assembly As Protesters, Police Face Off At Echo Park Lake Over Homeless Encampment Removal
The Los Angeles Police Department Wednesday night ordered a citywide tactical alert after protesters and officers faced off at Echo Park Lake over the city's plan to close the park and remove the homeless encampment. “The Los Angeles Police Department was asked to support community safety efforts during installation of the fencing to assist in the rehabilitation of Echo Park,” Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, whose district includes the park, said in a statement. “Department personnel are deployed in that area so that those efforts can begin in a safe and unimpeded manner. “Our homeless service providers will return tomorrow morning to continue their work with the park's unhoused residents to offer shelter and services to anyone who wants and needs the assistance,” the statement continued. Police issued a dispersal order for the late night protest shortly before 10:45 p.m., declaring the demonstration an unlawful assembly. In a tweet, LAPD called for people to calmly disperse from the area. “The Los Angeles Police Department continues to ask for calm and cooperation as the installation of fencing in support of the Echo Park rehabilitation effort continues,” the tweet said. “Unfortunately officers have received projectiles and refusals from individuals blocking streets in the area.” The department also said that no use of force had been reported.

LAPD Seeks Public's Help To Identify Fairfax Armed Robbery Suspects
Detectives are seeking the public's help to identify three people, and their getaway driver, accused of an armed robbery in the Fairfax neighborhood of Los Angeles, officials said Wednesday. Around 1:40 p.m. Monday, three people approached a victim, who was walking with his girlfriend on the 7600 block of Melrose Avenue after dining at a nearby restaurant, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a news release. The alleged suspects physically assaulted the victim and demanded his property, police said. One of the three produced a handgun and took the victim's belongings, including a gold necklace which he was wearing at the time. The three men are described as being Black, between the ages of 20 and 30 years old, according to LAPD. They fled the location in a red four door sedan with a fourth getaway driver. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective S. Azmy at 213-922-8229.

Featured Social Media Post

Drunk Driver Who Struck 5 Pedestrians Including FOX 11 Crew Blew Nearly Double Legal Limit
A drunk driver who struck five pedestrians last week in Hollywood including two FOX 11 crew members had a blood alcohol content of .15, nearly double the legal limit, authorities said. The FOX 11 crew members -- reporter Hal Eisner and photojournalist Joab Perez -- were working on a story about the reopening of El Capitan Theatre on West Hollywood Boulevard as Los Angeles County entered the less-restrictive red tier earlier in the week. The crash was reported around 3:15 p.m. Friday on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame in the 6800 block of W. Hollywood Boulevard. Eisner and Perez were both taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Firefighters on scene said four others -- two of which were tourists from Washington -- were hurt but one of them refused to be taken to the hospital. Eisner and Perez were in the middle of an interview when they were caught off guard by an ambulance approaching. Eisner, Perez and two tourists from Washington were focused on the ambulance when a drunk driver came from the other direction, crashing into all of them in front of the Highland Market store. Police conducted DUI tests on the driver at the scene. He was then placed under arrest under the suspicion of Driving Under the Influence. The suspect told police he fell asleep at the wheel before he was taken to the hospital in LAPD custody.
FOX 11

$110,000 In Fake Cash Seized At LAX After Arriving In Shipment From Hong Kong: CBP
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized more than $110,000 in counterfeit U.S. currency at Los Angeles International Airport late last week, the agency announced Tuesday. The fake cash was found in an express parcel shipment that originated in Hong Kong and arrived at LAX on Friday, according to a CBP news release. The package was headed to Northern California. Officers were examining a shipment declared “BAR PROP 35PCS” when they discovered thousands of fraudulent bills, the release stated. In total, officials confiscated 492 $100 counterfeit notes and 3,049 $20 counterfeit notes that were inside the package. The bills had “Prop Copy” printed on the back, which, along with their quality and the shipping method, helped investigators determine they were fake, according to CBP. It's a federal crime to counterfeit Federal Reserve notes. “By preventing the introduction of counterfeit currency into the American economy, CBP disrupts criminal groups that target our citizens, businesses and the security of the United States financial system,” Carlos C. Martel, the agency's director of field operations in L.A., said in the release.

LA County To Resume Full Parking Enforcement April 1
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department will resume enforcement of all parking violations in unincorporated areas of the county on April 1, officials reminded residents Wednesday. The department's Parking Enforcement Detail will begin issuing tickets for sweet sweeping violations, expired registration and other violations. Vehicles that have been warned via a “red tag” will also begin to be towed. Those in need of financial assistance to pay citations can make arrangements at , by calling 866-561-9744, or writing to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, P.O. Box 30629, Los Angeles, CA 90030-0629. 

Woman Accused Of Recruiting Couriers To Traffic Drugs Via SoCal Airports
A woman who allegedly recruited couriers to smuggle pound quantities of fentanyl and heroin through three Southern California airports was arrested Wednesday on federal charges. Chavon "Amber'' Sayles, 28, was arrested at her Chino home and was expected to appear in Los Angeles federal court late this afternoon, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. A federal grand jury indictment returned on March 16 charges her with one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl, and one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. The indictment alleges that from June 2018 to March 2019, Sayles and other co-conspirators recruited couriers to transport heroin and fentanyl through Hollywood Burbank Airport, Long Beach Airport and Ontario International Airport to Ohio, Oregon and elsewhere in the nation. Sayles allegedly contacted the couriers the night before the flight, and then booked their travel. The couriers would then receive a bag containing concealed pound quantities of drugs, and they would be responsible for checking it in at the airport, the indictment alleges.

California Deputy In Critical Condition After Shooting; Suspect In Custody
A San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy who was shot Tuesday was airlifted to a local trauma center, where he had surgery and was in critical condition in the intensive care unit, according to a department social media post. The deputy from the Hesperia Sheriff's Station was shot in the parking lot of the Aldi shopping center in Hesperia and was in surgery as of 4 p.m., according to sheriff's spokesperson Cindy Bachman. The deputy responded to Bear Valley RV and Self Storage at 18435 Bear Valley Rd., adjacent to Aldi in the Mojave Plaza, just before 1 p.m. regarding an "unwanted subject," Bachman said. The person left the storage facility before the deputy arrived. The deputy found a vehicle in the Mojave Plaza, a shopping center across from Victor Valley College, matching the description of the person's car, which was a "faded red vehicle," according to Bachman. "We are not sure exactly what happened, but the deputy was shot in the arm and the deputy likely has some other injuries from falling to the ground," Bachman said. "There was a citizen somewhere in the shopping center that came to the deputy's aid, got on his radio and advised dispatch there was an officer down." The officer was not identified.
Daily Press, Victorville, Calif.

Public Safety News

Baby Boy Fatally Struck By Car In South Los Angeles
A baby boy died Wednesday after being struck by a car in South Los Angeles. Los Angeles firefighters were called out to the 200 block of East 95th Street at about 12:40 p.m. The boy was initially reported to be in critical condition after being hit by a car. The baby was taken to a hospital, but was confirmed to have died just before 2 p.m. The driver stayed at the scene. It's not clear who the baby was with at the time of the crash. 

Multiple People Left Stranded On Roof Of Downtown LA Building After Fire Erupts
A blaze erupted at a vacant eight-story commercial building in downtown L.A. Wednesday evening, prompting firefighters to rescue eight people stranded on the roof. Los Angeles firefighters responded around 7:20 p.m. to 1603 S. San Pedro St., near the 110 and 10 freeways, as thick black smoke billowed from the building. LAFD says crews knocked down the fire in about 30 minutes after the blaze began to burn on the building's second and third floors. AIR7 HD captured aerial footage of firefighters extending a ladder from the freeway to the roof of the building to reach the people left stranded. LAFD said once the stairwells were cleared, firefighters led everyone down and they were evaluated for smoke inhalation. Crews say the eight people on the roof were at the building taking part in a photo shoot. A search of the building found no one else inside the building, according to LAFD. The cause of the fire is unknown.

‘Variants Of Concern' Made Up Majority Of L.A. County Coronavirus Samples Tested This Past Week
A majority of Los Angeles County coronavirus samples analyzed this past week were “variants of concern,” public health officials said Wednesday. The finding means there's likely an uptick in variants circulating throughout the county, which could mean increased transmissibility and potentially more severe illness. Variants may also evade antibodies generated by COVID-19 vaccines, a study found. Among the 73 specimens that were analyzed in labs this past week, the county's public health department found that 63% of them were variants of concern: 25 cases, or 34%, were the California variant of concern, also known as the B.1.427/B.1.429 and 21 cases, or 29%, were the U.K. variant of concern, also known as B.1.1.7. “The fact that the majority of sampled specimens are variants of concern suggests that these variants are increasingly widespread in our community,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a Wednesday media briefing. “It emphasizes the importance of adhering to safety measures, such as masking, social distancing and regular routine hand washing, to avoid increasing the chances that variants of concern, become more prevalent.” L.A. County has yet to identify cases of the South African variant, or the Brazilian variant of concern known as P.1, she added.

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: