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 14, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Murders Rose Last Year. Black And Hispanic Neighborhoods Were Hit Hardest.
On April 26, 2020 Telish Gardner, a 49-year-old sanitation worker and father of four, was shot and killed in his home in south Los Angeles. Two days later, just a few blocks away, Magali Alberto was killed in her car waiting for a light to change when three young men drove up alongside her and fired multiple shots into her tinted windows. Police say the 28-year-old single mother was randomly targeted. Gardner and Magali's murders last year were two of four in a census tract just shy of a half-square mile, where Black and Hispanic residents make up over 95% of the population. In 2019, the same area saw only a single murder. Despite a statewide stay-at-home order, Los Angeles recorded 332 killings in 2020, a precipitous jump — 95 more lives lost to murder than the year before, according to the city's crime data. Almost all of the increase in homicides took place in Los Angeles' Black or Hispanic neighborhoods. Police officials say that budget cuts and police reforms since the death of Floyd took away tools used to fight crimes. In the wake of massive police protests in Los Angeles, “the proactive policing was put on a halt — going out there and trying to make vehicle stops and trying to put bad guys in jail,” said Ralph Campos, a LAPD officer currently on leave with the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the officers' union. Campos says a decreased police presence on the streets translates to more violence. “Everyone in the community, they know when the police are out, and the police are not out.”
The Marshall Project

Man Shot, Critically Wounded In Hollywood Hills After Fight At Night Club
A man was shot and critically wounded in a residential Hollywood Hills neighborhood early Wednesday morning after getting into an altercation at a night club. The shooting occurred at around 12:39 a.m. in the 6600 block of Whitley Avenue. According to Los Angeles police, the victim got into an argument at a club. Afterwards, he left and drove home, but was followed by several male suspects in a dark SUV. He was then shot on Whitley Avenue. He was rushed to a hospital in critical condition. His name was not immediately released. It's unclear exactly where the shooting occurred. Investigators believe there were four male suspects in the SUV. The details of the altercation were not confirmed. There was no word on whether any arrests have been made or whether police know the identities of any of the suspects.

Woman Found Dead In South L.A. Area; Investigation Underway
A woman about 40 years old was found dead Tuesday in the south Los Angeles area, police reported. Detectives were sent to Avalon Boulevard and Imperial Highway about 10:40 a.m., according to the Los Angeles Police Department, which did not release any details on the circumstances surrounding the death. The woman's name was not immediately released, nor did police reveal how she died. Anyone with information on the case was urged to call 877-LAPD-247.

LAPD Is Looking For An Armed Assault Suspect In Van Nuys
Los Angeles police are searching for at least one armed assault suspect in the area of Cohasset and Saticoy streets and Gloria and Haskell avenues in Van Nuys, Fox11 reports. Cohasset Elementary School is in the area. 
Los Angeles Daily News

Police Commission gives LAPD two weeks to set priorities for improvements
The Los Angeles Police Commission on Tuesday gave top LAPD officials two weeks to consolidate three recent reports on the department's handling of last spring's protests into a single plan of action that identifies top reform priorities, estimates associated costs and sets a timeline for implementation. The commissioners did not address which recommendations they agreed with, but said the LAPD's consolidation report would help inform a collaborative effort in coming weeks and months by the commission, the City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti's office to formulate an official path forward.
Los Angeles Times

Court Docs Detail Bitter Custody Battle Before Reseda Mom Allegedly Killed 3 Young Children
Erik Denton was supposed to see his three young children last Sunday, the one day every other week that he was allowed to be with them. Three-year-old Joanna, her 2-year-old brother, Terry, and 6-month-old sister, Sierra, had been staying with their mother — Denton's ex-girlfriend — in the Reseda section of Los Angeles. Fearful for their safety, their father had petitioned the court for custody March 1, alleging their mother, Liliana Carrillo, was delusional and had taken the kids and refused to tell him where they were. Carrillo, in turn, filed a restraining order against him and claimed Denton was an alcoholic who may have sexually abused their eldest child. As the case wound through family courts in Tulare and Los Angeles counties, the parents traded accusations in dozens of pages of documents. Police were called, social workers were consulted, alarming text messages and Facebook posts were saved as legal exhibits. A week ago, a Los Angeles judge agreed to move the case to Tulare County, where a hearing was scheduled for Wednesday. It would be too late.

National Guard Ready If George Floyd Murder Verdict Protests Turn Violent In LA: LAPD, Sheriff On Board
Los Angeles' top law enforcement officials said Tuesday that they are ready to call on the National Guard for help as they brace for protests over the upcoming verdict in the trial of a former Minnesota police officer charged with murdering George Floyd and another recent police killing in that state. “We are inquiring with all our law enforcement partners as to their state of readiness, which includes contingency planning with the National Guard,” Capt. John Satterfield, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, told the Los Angeles Times. “Sheriff Alex Villanueva is a strong supporter of the First Amendment and the people's right to protest, but if these actions become violent or shift into lawlessness, swift and decisive action will be taken to protect life, protect property, and maintain order in a fair, firm and impartial manner,” Satterfield said. At Monday's news conference, Moore said that he too was prepared to call on the National Guard “if that becomes necessary.”

Featured Social Media Post

Disputes Between Landlords, Tenants, Neighbors In L.A. Jump During Pandemic
Disputes between landlords, tenants and neighbors in Los Angeles spiked during the coronavirus pandemic with police taking nearly 2,400 calls in a one-year period, it was reported Tuesday evening. Between March 15, 2020, the date Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered the closure of many businesses in the city, and March 14, 2021, the Los Angeles Police Department took 2,392 calls of such disputes, a 23% increase compared to the previous year, according to department data obtained by the website Crosstown. More than half of the calls, 1,221, involved an assault and in more than 150 occasions, someone pulled a gun, the data showed. The Westlake district and Broadway-Manchester neighborhood had the highest number of calls with 156 and 101 disputes, respectively. In nearly 1,200 calls, the suspect was a roommate and in almost 800 of those calls, an assault was reported. Police responded to 75 such incidents in the Westlake district and another 50 in Hollywood, the data showed. Disputes between neighbors jumped 27% during the one-year pandemic period and included nearly 1,200 assaults with the Westlake district the site of about 180 calls where the suspect was a neighbor. Downtown Los Angeles reported the second highest number of such calls with 171, according to police.

3 Arrested In Connection With String Of LA-Area Burglaries
A man and two women were arrested in connection with a string of burglaries in Pasadena, Los Angeles and Monterey Park where they allegedly posed as construction workers to gain access to victims' homes, authorities said Tuesday. The suspects were identified as 24-year-old Bobby Lucci, 25-year-old Jessica Frank and 21-year-old Paris Frank — all of New Jersey. According to the Pasadena Police Department, officers April 5 responded to a home in the 100 block of South San Rafael Avenue for reports of a residential burglary. The victims at the scene reported that a man had posed as a construction worker and lured them outside to check work he and two women claimed to have completed near the residential property line, police said. While the man distracted the victims, police said the two women entered the home and stole several pieces of jewelry worth about $40,000. During the investigation, detectives found the trio was suspected in at least four similar burglaries in Los Angeles and one in Monterey Park.

Police Arrest San Pedro Man At Center Of 1996 Disappearance Of Kristin Smart
A San Pedro resident long tied by authorities to the 1996 disappearance of fellow student Kristin Smart from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's campus was booked into jail Tuesday afternoon, April 13, on suspicion of murder. Paul Flores, now 44, was taken into custody at his home at 7:30 a.m. and being held without the possibility of bail, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson said hours later during a press conference at the university. Flores' father, Ruben Flores, 80, was also arrested, in Arroyo Grande where he lives, at around 9:30 a.m. on suspicion of accessory after the fact, inmate records show. He was being held on $250,000 bail in the same facility as his son, San Luis Obispo County Jail. “My hope is that we can take the first step toward justice for the Smart family,” Parkinson said. “They're feeling a bit of relief, but as you can imagine, until we return Kristin to them, it's not over and we're not going to stop until we find her. Investigators have dug in 18 locations with no success in the last decade, but Parkinson said he believed investigators were getting closer to finding her body.
Los Angeles Daily News

3 SoCal Women Arrested After Using Inmate Information To Fraudulently Apply For COVID Jobless Aid: DOJ
Three Inland Empire women were arrested on suspicion of using information from state prisoners to fraudulently file for hundreds of thousands of dollars in pandemic-related unemployment benefits, federal officials announced Friday. The women were each responsible for at least $345,000 in benefits issued ,  the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California said in a news release. Sequoia Edwards, 35, of Moreno Valley, Mireya Ramos, 42, of Colton, and Paris Thomas, 33, of San Bernardino, were all arrested on different days last week, each facing charges of fraud in connection with emergency benefits and wire fraud, officials said. Edwards was charged with filing at least 27 fraudulent claims over a two-month period last summer. At least six of the claims were filed using information belonging to California prison inmates that she allegedly got from her incarcerated cousin, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Officer Shot At Tennessee High School Recovering
A police officer wounded in a shooting at a Tennessee high school is a 20-year veteran of the force who worked at the school, authorities said Tuesday. Knoxville Police Officer Adam Willson was recovering from surgery after being shot in the upper leg at Austin-East Magnet High School on Monday, the department said on Twitter. The school was closed Tuesday and will be closed Wednesday as a state police investigation unfolds. Willson, a school resource officer, was wounded when a student opened fire on officers responding to a report of a possible gunman at the school about 15 minutes before its 3:30 p.m. dismissal, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David B. Rausch said at a news conference late Monday. Police found the student in a bathroom and ordered him to come out, but he wouldn't comply, Rausch said. That's when the student reportedly opened fire, Rausch said. Police fired back, killing the student, who has not been identified, Rausch said. Willson is expected to recover and no one else was hurt.
Associated Press

How could a gun be mistaken for a taser? There have been at least 16 incidents of 'weapon confusion' since 2001.
When Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, police officer Kim Potter allegedly mistook her service weapon for a stun gun and fatally shot an unarmed Black motorist Sunday, it was at least the 16th such “weapons confusion” incident in the United States since 2001. And the victim, Daunte Wright, was at least the fourth person to have died as a result, according to data compiled by the website and University of Colorado professor Paul Taylor, who tracks such cases. These types of incidents are rare, experts say, although no government agency tracks the use of Taser-like devices nationwide so it's impossible to say with certainty how many times it has occurred.
USA Today

Public Safety News

Hiker Found Safe After Going Missing In Angeles National Forest
A man from Palmdale who went missing while hiking in the Angeles National Forest has been found safe and is in good condition, according to authorities. Rene Compean was found near the Chilao Campgrounds and was set to be airlifted to safety. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Compean will not need to be hospitalized. Compean had sent a photo to a friend before becoming lost and search teams hoped avid hikers would be able to identify the location. A caller reported the hiker missing at 6 p.m. Monday, saying his 45-year-old friend sent a text advising he was lost and his cellphone was dying. The hiker's car was then found near the Buckhorn Campground and trailhead. The photo Compean sent to his friend shows the hiker from the knees down with a canyon below. The legs are dirty, possibly from a wildfire burn area. According to the sheriff's department, a Twitter user recognized the area where the photo was taken and that allowed crews to narrow their search.

L.A. City, County Halt Johnson & Johnson Vaccines Following Reports Of Unusual Blood Clots
The city and county of Los Angeles has stopped administering doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration recommended Tuesday that the shot be paused after extremely rare cases of blood clots, officials said Tuesday. The city of Los Angeles was first to announce its shift of course in the city's vaccination efforts early Tuesday. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said about 3,000 vaccinations scheduled for Tuesday would be affected, but anyone who had a scheduled Johnson & Johnson vaccine appointment will get another COVID-19 shot instead. “All appointments at our permanent sites will happen as planned, and the City's MOVE clinics will honor the appointments for anyone scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine with a first dose of Pfizer, as we await further information from health officials,” Garcetti said in a statement. The Johnson & Johnson doses will be on hold at city vaccination sites until further notice. However the mayor said this week Los Angeles received nearly 60,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine and 56,000 doses of Pfizer which are readily available to be administered.

California Surpasses 60,000 People Dead From The Coronavirus
California surpassed a grim milestone of 60,000 people who have died from the coronavirus. According to the end-of-day totals from public health websites Sunday, April 11, there were 61 new deaths reported statewide, for a total of 60,038 people in California who have died from the virus. There were 2,546 new cases of the coronavirus reported statewide on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases there have been to 3,673,967. Hospitalizations continue to decline, with 2,113 people in hospitals on Sunday with coronavirus-related illness. That's 10 fewer patients than Saturday. California has administered 22.5 million shots since Dec. 15, of which 8.7 million people, or 21.7% of the state, are fully vaccinated. Two of the three vaccine options out there require two doses. 
Mercury News

Local Government News

LA Councilwoman Nithya Raman Seeks To Strengthen Tenant Harassment Ordinance
Los Angeles Councilwoman Nithya Raman proposed a set of amendments Tuesday to the draft Tenant Anti-Harassment Ordinance, which the City Council Housing Committee is scheduled to discuss on Wednesday. “Tenant harassment is a pernicious problem that contributes to gentrification, displacement, and homelessness in Los Angeles, and this law represents an important step in the right direction,” Raman said. “The amendments I am offering are to ensure that the law reflects the many forms of harassment that our office regularly hears about from tenants and tenants groups, and that the proscribed remedies are sufficient to ensure adequate legal representation and deter such unlawful behavior from occurring in the first place.” The draft ordinance defines harassment in several ways, including reducing or eliminating housing services, such as parking; failing to perform necessary repairs and maintenance; abusing the right to access a rental unit; threatening a tenant with physical harm; misrepresenting to a tenant that the tenant is required to vacate the unit; refusing to accept rent payments; and inquiring about a tenant's immigration status.
Los Angeles Daily News

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: