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 28, 2021
Law Enforcement News

LAPPL Asks NBA to Investigate LeBron James' Tweet Attacking Ohio Police Officer
L.A. Police Protective League Director Jamie McBride joins Fox News' Laura Ingraham to discuss L.A. Lakers' LeBron James' tweet targeting an Ohio police officer who was involved in an officer-involved shooting last week. The LAPPL has asked the NBA to investigate whether James' Tweet violated NBA policies.
Fox News Video

LAPD officials slam Oscars celebs for anti-law enforcement rhetoric during police-guarded event
Celebrities at Sunday's star-studded Oscars took aim at law enforcement as they took the podium for an event safeguarded by personnel from the Los Angeles Polic e  Department (LAPD), among other agencies. In response to Sunday night's anti-police speeches, the Los Angeles Police Protective League's (LAPPL) Board of Directors told Fox News that more than 450 people have been shot in L.A. in 2021 so far – up 73% year-over-year – and the "overwhelming number of those shooting victims were young Black and Hispanic men." LAPD members typically guard an outer perimeter, inner perimeter and are made up of personnel on the ground, SWAT team members, command staff, and support staff, the source said. In response to Sunday night's anti-police speeches, the Los Angeles Police Protective League's (LAPPL) Board of Directors told Fox News that more than 450 people
Fox News

LAPD: Shootings in LA Increase 73% During First Four Months of 2021
Police Chief Michel Moore told the city's police commission on Tuesday that the number of people shot in Los Angeles in 2021 has increased 73% compared to this time last year. So far in 2021, 445 people have been shot, compared to 257 people this time last year. Violent crime, in general, has risen 4.7%, with 380 additional violent crimes this year compared to last year. Moore said the two primary areas of increase are homicides and aggravated assaults. The city has had 108 homicides this year as of last Saturday, Moore said, while that same period in 2020 had 83 homicides. Homicides classified by the department as "gang-related" increased by 44% and represent just under half of shooting victims this year, according to Moore, and the city has experienced a 41% increase in victims shot in gang-related shootings. Additionally, the city has experienced a 20% increase in motor vehicle thefts this year, and a 38% increase over a two-year period. 

LAPD Seeks New Technology, Training In $66 Million Plan Following Protests
The Los Angeles Police Department Tuesday will present the police commission its estimated $66 million plan to incorporate recommendations from three reports that found the department mishandled aspects of its response to last year's May and June protests against racism and police brutality. The department's proposed recommendations include purchasing technology to analyze social media profiles to be used as intelligence and encrypted radios for officers to communicate privately. The LAPD After-Action Report Implementation Plan incorporates 106 recommendations from three reports, which were commissioned by the police commission and the Los Angeles City Council following mass demonstrations sparked by the May 25 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The reports were released in March and April and found common themes of lack of preparedness, training and unity of command. The department's plan combines the 106 recommendations into 66 projects divided by a three-tier priority system with a timeline of 90-, 180- and 360-day implementations. According to LAPD Chief Michel Moore, a preliminary assessment of "full implementation" of the plan found that it would cost about $66 million and require an additional 49 sworn employees. The projects would be sent to "eight entities" within the LAPD for completion, Moore said in a letter to commissioners. Two projects were already implemented, Moore said. One gave eye equipment to protect officers from people who allegedly point lasers into LAPD personnel's eyes and the other established a Department Operations Center to manage large-scale and complex situations.
FOX 11

More LA County Cities Vote For ‘No Confidence' In DA Gascón's Policies
More cities in Los Angeles County are voting for "no confidence" in DA George Gascón's policies. On Tuesday, longtime Los Angeles County prosecutor and Deputy DA Jonathan Hatami announced city leaders from Lancaster, La Mirada and Whittier all voted for "no confidence" in Gascón's policies. The city cities join Beverly Hills, Pico Rivera and Santa Clarita as Los Angeles County cities approving votes of no confidence against the current DA. Hatami, the longtime prosecutor who announced the city's decisions Tuesday night, has been highly critical of his boss. Gascón made headlines earlier in the year for pushing to eliminate all special enhancement allegations, which would make about 20,000 inmates eligible for re-sentencing consideration. "I don't believe in putting a lot of people in prison either," Hatami told FOX 11 back in December 2020. "However, he wants to release everybody, there is no differentiation. It's not like, ‘OK Mr. Hatami, I know your cases are child murderers and torturers, so obviously most people want those individuals to be prosecuted and kept away from the general public.' He doesn't even say that."  
FOX 11

5 Shootings, 2 Deaths In L.A. Tied To Gunman Later Killed In Fullerton Shootout, Police Say
After a series of five drive-by shootings that killed two people in Los Angeles early Tuesday, the suspected gunman — who led police on a three-hour pursuit — died in a shootout with officers on an Orange County freeway, authorities said. Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore told the civilian Police Commission on Tuesday morning that an LAPD SWAT officer fatally shot the gunman after police used their vehicles to pin the suspect's vehicle on the 91 Freeway and he opened fire on them through his windshield. That exchange of gunfire followed a series of shootings in which the man killed two people, wounded two others and struck the vehicle of a fifth, Moore said. “It's a disturbing incident of a shooting spree,” Moore said. Moore said two of the shooting victims were Asian men, and the department is investigating whether the shootings were hate crimes amid a nationwide uptick in anti-Asian violence. “We are very mindful of the potentiality for that, and leaning into that very actively,” Moore said. The dead suspect was not immediately identified Tuesday.
Los Angeles Times

3 Minors Recovered, 11 Arrested During Los Angeles-Based Operation Combatting Human Trafficking
Three minors were recovered and 11 people were arrested following a multi-day operation combatting human trafficking in the greater Los Angeles area, authorities said Tuesday. Between April 19 and 23, members of the Los Angeles Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force in the San Gabriel Valley conducted an operation along the East Holt Avenue corridor in Pomona, a known "track," a term commonly used to describe a location for commercial sex trafficking. The operation focused on the identification, location and recovery of human trafficking victims with an emphasis on those suspected of having been trafficked. On April 19, task force members saw two girls who appeared to be very young engaging with vehicles occupied by lone males. Members of the task force made contact with the girls, one of which was found to be a 14-year-old girl who had been reported missing. Authorities say that girl is six months pregnant. The other girl was identified as a 16-year-old. Authorities also located a 17-year-old, who investigators determined had been reported missing.
FOX 11

Kristin Smart Vanishing Suspect Was Later Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Women In L.A.
Fourteen years ago, police in Redondo Beach were called to a hospital where a woman had come after waking up in a stranger's bed, naked and with no memory of what had happened. She believed she had been raped. An examination confirmed she'd had sex with a man. Police uploaded his DNA profile to a law enforcement database and, a few years later, it matched to a name: Paul Ruben Flores. Redondo detectives opened a rape investigation into Flores. Although he was not charged in the case, the DNA hit sounded alarms 200 miles north in San Luis Obispo, where Flores was the prime suspect in the enduring mystery of Kristin Smart's disappearance and presumed death. Smart, a 19-year-old freshman at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, had vanished on Memorial Day weekend in 1996. She was last seen walking with Flores, a classmate, but without sufficient evidence tying him to the crime, he remained free. For the next quarter of a century, Flores was dogged by his ties to the Smart case. He moved to Los Angeles County's South Bay, but detectives continued to pursue him, tapping his phones, seizing his computers and digging up his parents' yards in search of Smart's remains.
Los Angeles Times

Granada Hills Man Admits Trafficking Of Counterfeit Passports, Driver's Licenses, Social Security Cards
A San Fernando Valley man admitted Tuesday to participating in a document trafficking ring that created and sold counterfeit United States passport cards, Social Security cards, driver's licenses and other documents. Carlos A. Hernandez, 44, of Granada Hills, pleaded guilty to one federal count each of conspiracy and being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. He is set to be sentenced on July 12. Hernandez admitted that from January 2016 until three months ago, he and two others worked to produce false identification documents that appeared to have been issued by the United States government, and driver's licenses purporting to be from multiple states, including California, Wyoming and Pennsylvania, according to federal prosecutors. Hernandez received orders, some by text message, from customers seeking specific false identification documents. He and a co-defendant then notified a third man, who manufactured and stored the fake IDs at a Van Nuys apartment used solely to produce the counterfeit documents, according to the indictment filed in Los Angeles federal court.
Los Angeles Daily News

Two Men Indicted In Attack On Turkish Restaurant In Beverly Hills
A federal grand jury has indicted two men for allegedly assaulting and threatening five people at a Turkish restaurant in Beverly Hills while shouting anti-Turkish slurs. Harutyun Harry Chalikyan, 23, of Tujunga, and William Stepanyan, 23, of Glendale, were named in an indictment unsealed Tuesday that charged them with one count of conspiracy and five counts of committing hate crimes. Both defendants, prosecutors said, are Armenian American. The attack last fall came a few weeks after tens of thousands of people protested outside the Turkish consulate in Beverly Hills in solidarity with Armenia following clashes that broke out with neighboring Azerbaijan over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Turkey had expressed support for Azerbaijan. Chalikyan was arrested Tuesday and pleaded not guilty at an arraignment, according to the U.S. attorney's office for the Central District of California. His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Stepanyan is in state custody and expected to appear in federal court in June. It was unclear who is representing him.
Los Angeles Times

Child Rapist Gets Life For 1980s Murder Of 2 Southern California Boys
A convicted child rapist who killed two 6-year-old boys in Southern California in the 1980s was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Kenneth Rasmuson, 59, was sentenced in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Pomona. Rasmuson abducted and killed 6-year-old Jeffrey Vargo, who disappeared on July 2, 1981, after he left his house in Anaheim Hills in Orange County to look at a fireworks stand. The boy's body was found the next day at a construction site in Pomona. Rasmuson also kidnapped, stabbed and strangled 6-year-old Miguel Antero, who vanished on April 8, 1986, after stepping off a school bus near his Agoura Hills home. His body was found that day in a wash near his home in the northwestern part of Los Angeles County. Decades later, DNA evidence linked Rasmuson to the slayings, prosecutors said. In 2015, he was arrested at his parents' home in Sandpoint, Idaho, where he had been living as a registered sex offender. Rasmuson pleaded guilty in February to two counts of murder with the special circumstance that he committed multiple killings.
Los Angeles Times

Ex-Uber Driver Sentenced For Raping Passengers In California
A former Uber driver in central California was sentenced Monday to 46 years to life in prison for sexually assaulting and stealing from passengers. A jury convicted Alfonso Alarcon Nunez last month of 13 felonies, including three charges of rape. Superior Court Judge Craig van Rooyen, who presided over the trial, also sentenced Alarcon Nunez to an additional eight years and eight months, which must be served first. He must serve all 54 years and 8 months, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reported. Alarcon Nunez, 40, of Santa Maria was accused of sexually assaulting or stealing from intoxicated women who had ordered rides or whom he had picked up in 2017 and 2018 in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. Prosecutors said Alarcon Nunez would drive the women to their homes, follow them inside, sexually assault them, steal their wallets, cellphones and jewelry, and in some cases debit their Venmo accounts for the fares to conceal his Uber connection.
FOX 11

Antisemitic Incidents In California Remain At Historic High
California has witnessed a 40% increase in antisemitic hate incidents over the past five years despite a 12% decrease in such incidents in 2020, according to an annual report released by the Anti-Defamation League. The national organization released its “2020 ADL Audit of Antisemitic Incidents” Tuesday, April 27, the second anniversary of a shooting at the Chabad of Poway, where a self-proclaimed white supremacist fired shots inside the synagogue on the last day of the Jewish Passover holiday, killing one and wounding three others, including the rabbi. The ADL's report found antisemitic incidents trending high nationwide and in California despite coronavirus-related lockdowns in 2020. While antisemitic incidents declined nationally by 4% in 2020 after hitting an all-time high in 2019, last year was the third-highest year for incidents against American Jews since ADL started tracking such events in 1979.
Orange County Register

Public Safety News

If Coronavirus Stats Hold Firm For A Week, LA County Can Move To Less-Restrictive Yellow Tier
Los Angeles County's daily rate of new COVID-19 cases fell low enough — barely — on Tuesday, April 27, to qualify for a move to the least restrictive yellow tier of the state's economic-reopening blueprint, but the county must meet the threshold for another week before it can actually advance. For now, the county remains in the orange tier of the state's Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which governs restrictions on businesses and other activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the county and the state will both loosen their COVID-19 mask mandates to align with new federal guidance saying that fully vaccinated people can gather outdoors or dine at an outdoor restaurant without face coverings. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued a statement saying the local health order was being updated to align with the CDC guidance. But the agency warned that masks are still essential in many circumstances.
Los Angeles Daily News

LA County To Align Mask Mandate With Latest CDC Recommendations For Vaccinated People
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said Tuesday that it would adjust its mask mandate this week to align with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear face coverings outside unless they are in a crowd where maintaining six feet of distance is not possible, at large-scale events or gatherings or in indoor settings where unvaccinated people may be present. Those who are not yet fully vaccinated, including those who have only received one dose of the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, will still need to continue wearing face coverings in all settings when they are around people not in their household. “While these changes are appropriate and science-based, they can create unintended risk if individuals not yet fully vaccinated discontinue wearing their masks in situations where they may become infected,” Public Health said in a statement.

California Has Lowest Virus Case Rate In The Entire U.S.
Months after a coronavirus surge sickened hundreds of thousands of people, left thousands dead and pushed hospitals to their breaking point, California's virus case rate is now the lowest of any state in the nation, federal figures show. Although the distinction doesn't lessen the heavy toll exacted by the fall-and-winter wave, it does demonstrate the tremendous strides the state has made in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic — progress that, to this point, has not been interrupted even as the state more widely reopens its economy. California's latest seven-day rate of new cases was 32.5 per 100,000 people, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over that same period, Hawaii had the second-lowest rate, at 36.8, and the nationwide rate was 114.7. California has for weeks reported one of the lowest case rates in the nation — though the top spot had remained largely out of reach.

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: