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

April 1, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Man Found Hanging From Tree In Exposition Park, Investigation Underway
A death investigation is underway after a man was found hanging from a tree in the Exposition Park neighborhood of South Los Angeles early Thursday morning. The discovery was made at around 4:20 a.m., according to Los Angeles police, in the area of Arlington Avenue and 36th Street. Police are unsure if the death is a homicide or a suicide. LAPD investigators are on scene.

Videos of LAPD shootings show SWAT officer getting shot, suspect attacking man with knife
Body camera videos from two recent Los Angeles police shootings show officers pleading with armed suspects to put down their weapons before both men decide to use them instead — with one shooting a SWAT officer in the neck and the other slashing at a victim with a knife. In both March 16 incidents, the suspects were subsequently shot by officers. The suspect in the first incident, identified as 36-year-old Jorge Cerda, was pronounced dead outside the family home where he'd holed up with a shotgun. The suspect in the second incident, identified as 32-year-old Marco Diaz, was transported from the transitional housing where he was shot to a local hospital, where he underwent surgery and is expected to survive.
Los Angeles Times

Eagle Rock Man Charged With Setting Fire To Homeless Encampment Near 2 Freeway
An Eagle Rock man has been charged with setting fire to a homeless encampment in 2019, a blaze that eventually grew into a brush fire that left three people injured and threatened homes in Los Angeles and Glendale, prosecutors said. Daniel Nogueira, 27, was charged with arson, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and using an explosive device on March 25, more than 18 months after the fire erupted near the 2 Freeway along the Glendale-Eagle Rock border, prosecutors said. If convicted as charged, Nogueira faces up to 10 years and four months in prison, according to Ricardo Santiago, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. The fire was set on Aug. 25, 2019, in the 2900 block of Colorado Boulevard, where a large homeless encampment was located under the 2 Freeway, investigators said. The blaze quickly spread north toward the 134 Freeway, burning through nearly 45 acres of vegetation and leading to the evacuation of approximately 100 homes in Glendale and L.A.

LA County district attorney to downsize gang unit, drawing ire from police and prosecutors
A top Los Angeles County prosecutor is reportedly set to downsize and rename the area's gang unit, drawing sharp criticism from fellow attorneys and local law enforcement. District Attorney George Gascon will allegedly shrink and rename the "hardcore gangs" unit because "administration doesn't like it," sources within the task force told Fox 11. Some in the DA's orbit have insisted the unit, which handles heinous violent crime and complex criminal cases, will be entirely dismantled.
Washington Examiner

Officers Arrest Suspected DUI Driver After Pursuit In Van Nuys
Officers with the Los Angeles Police Department were in pursuit of a driver suspected of being under the influence before he exited the vehicle and was cuffed by police. It started around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. The driver of an SUV was near the Van Nuys City Hall area and refusing to stop for officers. The man went through a red light at Victory Boulevard. As the pursuit became more dangerous, officers said they went into tracking mode from the air. There were some units keeping a visual from the ground as well. Around 9:33 p.m. the driver was going southbound on Van Nuys Boulevard and sped up, blowing through another red light. By 9:37 p.m., the man was on Vesper Avenue and clipped parked cars. The driver appeared to be making loops and was back on Van Nuys Boulevard by 9:41 p.m. Around 9:43 p.m. the car stopped after it appeared to drive over a spike strip laid by officers. The suspect got out of his vehicle with his hands over his head. He then walked backwards with his hands behind his back. Officers cuffed the suspect and arrested him.

One Killed In Compton Shooting
A man was shot and killed in Compton Wednesday evening. Deputies responded about 8:15 p.m. to the 600 block of West Corregidor Street, near Central Avenue, where they located the victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Deputy Eric Ortiz of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. A motive for the shooting and description of the shooter were not immediately available.

4 Killed, Including Child, In Mass Shooting At Orange Office Complex
Four people, including a child, were killed Wednesday evening and a fifth person was injured in a mass shooting at an Orange office complex. It marks the third mass shooting in the United States in two weeks, coming after incidents at three Atlanta spas that killed eight people, including six Asian women, and at a Boulder, Colo., supermarket that killed 10. Few details were immediately available about the victims or a potential motive for the shooting. Lt. Jennifer Amat, a spokeswoman for the Orange Police Department, said officers received a call about 5:30 p.m. of shots fired and responded to a business at 202 W. Lincoln Ave. in Orange. The beige, two-story office complex at the address contains a number of small businesses. The officers encountered gunfire when they arrived and opened fire, Amat said. The shooter was taken to a hospital with a gunshot wound and was listed in critical condition Wednesday night. It was unclear if the wound was self-inflicted or if he was struck by police gunfire, Amat said. There is no current threat to the public, she added. A firearm was recovered at the scene.
Los Angeles Times

FBI Arrests Fontana Man Accused Of Assaulting Police Officer During Capitol Riot
A Fontana man was arrested by the FBI on Wednesday on charges of assaulting a police officer during the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-President Trump. Daniel Rodriguez, 38, was accused of injuring a D.C. Metropolitan police officer with an electroshock weapon as the mob of Trump backers was forcing its way into the building in an attempt to block Congress from certifying Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election. In an eight-count indictment unsealed Wednesday, a federal grand jury also charged Rodriguez with smashing a window of the Capitol and carrying deadly weapons — a flagpole and the electroshock weapon — during his unlawful presence in the building. Rodriguez is also accused of stealing one of the emergency escape hoods stored beneath the seats of members of Congress. Many lawmakers grabbed their hoods — designed for protection in a terrorist attack — as they fled the House and Senate chambers moments before the mob's arrival.

Highlighted Social Media Post

Police Continue To Crack Down On Catalytic Converter Thefts In Southern California
Local law enforcement continues to crack down as a wave of catalytic converter thefts sweeps across Southern California. Claremont Police on Monday arrested a 24-year-old man who was in possession of 15 catalytic converters. Officers were patrolling around 4:45 a.m. when they saw a suspicious minivan traveling very slowly westbound on Vista Ave. from Indian Hill Blvd. The driver saw the officer and quickly turned and parked in one of the driveways in the 400 block of Georgia Ct. The officer contacted the man as he exited his vehicle and walked to the front door of a home. The man claimed he was there to visit his girlfriend. Officers contacted the homeowner, who said they had never seen the man before. An officer looked in the back seat of the minivan and saw numerous used catalytic converters in the back seats. When the officer searched the vehicle, they found  15 used catalytic converters with fresh saw cuts, multiple sawzalls, bags of power tools and a floor creeper. Police collected the evidence and the suspect was placed under arrest for being in possession of stolen property.
FOX 11

‘My Soul Is Lighter': Serial Killer Who Slayed Children In 4 States Dies, Bringing Closure To Victims' Families
Serial killer Joseph Edward Duncan III died in U.S. prison recently, having admitted to slaughtering seven people — including five children — in Idaho, Washington state, Montana and California. Some question whether Duncan, whose victims included four members of a single family, killed even more people. Following his arrest in 2005 for the slayings of that Idaho family, the FBI reviewed unsolved missing child cases nationwide. Assistant U.S. Attorney Traci Whelan believes all of Duncan's killings were revealed in court. She prosecuted him in what she described as the only federal death penalty case in Idaho history. Duncan, 58, died Sunday at a hospital in Indiana near the United States Penitentiary, Terre Haute, where he was on death row. The native of Tacoma, Washington, had recently been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. He had been implicated as a possible suspect in several crimes that occurred between 1994 and 1997, when he was on parole, and between 2000 and 2005, when he was out of prison. Duncan was cleared as a suspect in some cases, but authorities in California and Washington believed Duncan had committed unsolved murders in their jurisdictions.

Texas Trooper Dies Days After Being Shot In Ambush
The Texas state trooper who was rendered brain dead after being shot last week has been taken off life support and has died, officials said late Wednesday. Chad Walker was shot multiple times in the head and abdomen Friday night by a suspect who jumped out of a car on the side of a highway that Walker thought was stranded. The suspect, 36-year-old Dearthur Pinson Jr., later died by suicide. Walker was rushed to the hospital in Waco and was kept on life support until his organs could be donated. Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said in a statement, “Our DPS family is absolutely heartbroken at the loss of one of our brothers in uniform who was killed in the line of duty. “Texas Highway Patrol Trooper Chad Walker was committed to protecting the people of Texas. His sacrifice will never be forgotten, and we ask that you keep his family, friends and colleagues in your prayers during the difficult days ahead.” Walker is survived by his wife, 15-year-old son, 7-year-old twin daughters and a 2-month-old baby girl.
New York Daily News

With Mass Shootings Back In The News, These Tips Can Improve Your Safety And Your Attitude Soon
Chung Park, Daoyou Feng, Xiaojie Tan, Eric Talley Suzanne Fountain, Rikki Olds. Those are just some of the names of the 22 people who have been killed recently in mass shootings in the U.S. Four people died, including a child, in a mass shooting in Orange County on Wednesday. On March 16, eight people were killed in Atlanta. Just a week later, on March 22, 10 people were killed in Boulder, Colo. As stay-at-home restrictions are loosened and people return to public spaces, recent shootings are a reminder of the toll of gun violence in the United States. According to FBI data, between 2000 and 2018, 884 people died in 277 U.S. active shooter incidents, defined as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a con?ned and populated area.” Active shooter incidents turn into mass shootings when four or more people are shot, according to Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit that tracks data on gun-related violence. In 2018, there were 39,740 gun-related deaths in the U.S., according to data from UC Davis Health. Of those, 61% were suicides, 35% homicides and just 0.2% were the result of a mass shooting. So although mass shootings are relatively rare, they are once again occupying the news and our fears. Experts stress that being prepared and conscious of your surroundings is key if you find yourself in the middle of an active shooter situation. Here's what you should know.
Los Angeles Times

Public Safety News

Several Homes Destroyed After Massive Fire Breaks Out At A Compton Pallet Yard
A massive fire at a pallet yard destroyed several nearby homes in Compton Wednesday evening. Firefighters responded to a call in the 1200 block of North Rose Avenue around 5 p.m. Sheriff's deputies have evacuated homes near Rosecrans Avenue and Alameda Street. Fire crews from Compton, Santa Fe Springs, Downey and Los Angeles County were among those responding to the five-alarm fire. Officials did not specify what caused the fire to break out. The fire destroyed three homes and damaged a fourth home, Los Angeles County Fire says. No injuries were reported in the blaze. Wednesday's massive blaze comes just weeks after a fire broke out at a different industrial site in Compton. No injuries were reported in the Feb. 2021 fire.
FOX 11

LA County Moves To Orange Tier, But Rules Won't Change Until Monday
Los Angeles County was officially in the less-restrictive orange tier of the state's COVID-19 business-reopening blueprint Wednesday -- but it will wait until Monday before easing economic restrictions, and some rules will be stricter than state guidelines. The move to orange means more capacity at retail stores, movie theaters, restaurants and other attractions, along with an array of other adjustments, including the reopening -- outdoors only -- of bars that don't serve food. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said that even though the county has officially moved into the orange tier, it will maintain more restrictive red-tier-level rules until 12:01 a.m. Monday. "This allows the county to follow the state guidelines and wait until we've completed three weeks in the red tier to be sure that our case numbers do not rise this third week since our earlier reopenings,'' Ferrer said.

California Counties Ease Restrictions As COVID-19 Cases Fall
Nearly half of California's 40 million people live in areas where coronavirus restrictions are easing, and some of the largest counties are preparing to expand movie theater and restaurant reopenings despite worries of a new surge and demand for limited vaccine supplies. Massive Los Angeles County and neighboring Orange County dropped into orange, the state's second-least restrictive of four color-coded tiers, according to a weekly state update Tuesday. Six other counties also moved from red to orange, while five counties moved from the most restricted level of purple to red. The counties have a combined population of about 17 million. Officials in Orange County said that as of Wednesday restaurants, theaters, museums, and houses of worship can allow people indoors at 50% capacity. Bars that don't serve food can operate outdoors, and bowling alleys and card rooms can operate indoors at 25% capacity. However L.A. County, with about 10 million residents, was taking a more cautious approach and won't loosen its restrictions until next Monday. That allows a three-week gap to ensure that the number of COVID-19 cases doesn't rise in the wake of a previous relaxation of some rules on March 15 and given the mix of new virus variants, public health officials announced.
Associated Press

Local Government News

L.A. To Keep Expanded Outdoor Dining Program In Place Through Summer, Garcetti Says
Los Angeles will keep its Al Fresco program allowing outdoor dining to expand onto sidewalks and street through the summer, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday as the city prepares for broader reopening next week. Garcetti's delivered a coronavirus briefing Wednesday, his first since public health officials announced the county could further reopen businesses April 5 after advancing into the orange tier, the second-least restrictive under the state's color-coded system. That means outdoor bars can reopen Monday, even if they don't serve food, and restaurants, theaters, museums and places of worship can allow people indoors at 50% capacity. Bowling alleys and card rooms, meanwhile, can operate indoors at 25% capacity. Garcetti said outdoor bars that serve food will become eligible Monday for the L.A. Al Fresco program, which helps businesses secure no-fee temporary permits for outdoor dining.

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: