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

May 6, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Man Killed In Gramercy Park Shooting, Woman In Critical Condition
A man was dead and a woman was in critical condition Wednesday after a shooting in front of a home in Gramercy Park. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, officers were called to the 9400 block of Manhattan Place at about 5:20 p.m. for reports of a shooting. When officers arrived on scene, a 43-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman were found on the scene with gunshot wounds. The Los Angeles Police Department first reported one of the victims had died, but firefighters were able to revive them. Both victims were taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition, where the man later died. According to police, the shooter walked up to the victims and fired multiple rounds. Police said a handgun was used in the shooting. The suspect was described as a Black man in his 30s with a beard. He was last seen wearing a gray or black hoodie and black jeans. Police said he fled the scene in a dark colored vehicle. The investigation was ongoing.

Suspect In Shooting Of Off-Duty LAPD Officer Had Been Arrested Twice In Past Three Months
A 24-year-old “transient” has been charged with attempted murder after he allegedly broke into an off-duty Los Angeles police officer's vehicle and shot him with his own service weapon, court records show. Christopher Camarena was charged with attempted murder of a peace officer and robbery in connection with what police described as an April 28 “gun battle” near a Sherman Oaks apartment complex, according to a criminal complaint filed last week. Records show Camarena had been arrested twice in the last three months, and was still facing a pending assault case when he was last released from jail just weeks before the shooting. Camarena was scheduled to make his first court appearance Friday, but his arraignment was continued until early June, records show. Prosecutors also filed sentencing enhancements against Camarena for the use of a firearm during the alleged crime and the fact that the officer suffered great bodily injury. Although Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón largely barred the use of sentencing enhancements when he took office last year, they can be filed in some cases, including those where a victim suffers extensive physical injuries or when a firearm is used in a way that poses “an extreme and immediate threat to human life.” The complaint identified the officer who was wounded as Michael Beyda. He remains hospitalized in stable condition, according to an LAPD spokesman. 
Los Angeles Times

Two Injured In South Los Angeles Shooting
Two people were critically injured in a shooting in South Los Angeles Wednesday. Police responded to a home in the 9400 block of Manhattan Place, one block west of Western Avenue, at about 5:20 p.m., CBS2 reported. One person was initially pronounced dead at the scene by police officers, but responding paramedics were able to revive them. Both victims were taken to a hospital in critical condition.

Startling surge in L.A. bloodshed as COVID-19 fades: ‘Too many guns in too many hands'
At Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Dr. Brant Putnam has watched the intense weight of the COVID-19 pandemic finally begin to lift in recent months — only to be replaced by another, relentless stressor. The Level 1 trauma center in Torrance treats about 3,500 patients a year; an average of 15% experience “penetrating trauma” such as a shooting or stabbing, said Putnam, chief of the trauma and acute care surgery division. So far this year, the figure stands at 19%, he said. From Jan. 1 to April 27, the hospital treated 142 shooting victims, compared with 76 during the same period last year — an increase of nearly 87%.
Los Angeles Times

Outcry Grows In Venice Over String Of Dangerous Incidents At Homeless Encampments
Residents in Venice continue to voice their frustration over growing homeless encampments in the area they say are becoming increasingly dangerous. Eyewitness News obtained video of a homeless man being shot last week on the Venice Boardwalk, which also shows the shooter walk away while the victim moans in pain. The victim remains in the hospital in stable condition, and is not cooperating with police. Los Angeles police doesn't know who or where the gunman may be. The shooting took place at nearly the same spot where someone set fire to a tent. In that incident from earlier this week, video shows a small fiery explosion that ripped through a tent at an encampment. Bystanders were able to put the fire out with sand before firefighters arrived. Residents say they are the latest in a series of chaotic incidents that include fights and other fires. "Sometimes around the beach they're more erratic," said resident Ruth Rumack. "I had a guy walk up on me with a sword. I don't really know what he was doing. I don't know if it was a real sword, but it was pretty scary."

LAPD Breaks Up Large Party At Tarzana Home Of Chris Brown
A large party at singer Chris Brown's Tarzana home was broken up early Thursday morning by LAPD officers. Police say officers responded to the area at about 2 a.m. following reports of an apparent massive and loud birthday party at the singer's mansion. It was not immediately clear how many people attended Brown's party but about 300-500 cars were parked in the neighborhood, according to LAPD who says officers spoke with the house manager to request the party be shut down. Everyone was being cooperative, LAPD noted. Officers stayed on scene to help with the dispersal of guests.

Felony Complaint: 3 Men Drove Around LA Looking For French Bulldogs Before Shooting Lady Gaga's Dog Walker
New details in the shooting of Lady Gaga's dog walker have emerged from the felony criminal complaint filed against them. James Jackson, 18; 19-year-old Jaylin White, and 27-year-old Lafayette Whaley have been charged with attempted murder in the shooting of Ryan Fischer, who was walking the pop superstar's three French bulldogs on Feb. 25. According to the felony complaint, the three men drove around various parts of Los Angeles looking for French bulldogs before spotting Fischer and following him. When Fischer walked away from busy Sunset Boulevard to a more secluded side street with the dogs, the driver turned off the car lights and pulled up next to him, prosecutors allege. Two of the men got out, then choked and hit Fischer as they tried to wrestle the dogs away, according to prosecutors, before one of them ultimately shot Fischer. The three men eventually got away with two of the dogs. Harold White, 40, and 50-year-old Jennifer McBride – who allegedly paid for the two dogs — were also arrested as accessories to attempted murder. All five suspects have pleaded not guilty to the charges. Fischer is still recovering.

San Pedro Man Gets 11 Years For Credit Union Heist
A San Pedro man was sentenced Wednesday to 11 years in federal prison for wielding a gun in the violent, takeover-style robbery of a Gardena credit union, where an employee helped with the planning and execution of the heist. Toyrieon “Phat” Sessions, 30, was convicted two years ago of armed bank robbery, conspiracy, and use of a firearm stemming from the robbery of the Northrop Grumman Federal Credit Union on April 21, 2017. Two co-defendants were previously convicted for their roles in the robbery. Daronnie Thompkins, 32, of the Gramercy Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, who recruited Sessions to be the gunman and knew the credit union's layout, and Iris Lester, 28, of Inglewood, a NGFCU employee who was Thompkins' then-girlfriend and assisted with the robbery. On the day of the robbery, Sessions entered the office building in which the credit union is located and walked past NGFCU's main entrance, entering a side hallway where the bathrooms were located. Sessions waited in the men's restroom until Lester and another NGFCU employee exited the women's bathroom, which was the signal for the robbery to begin.

Video: Woman Goes On Racist Rant, Calls L.A. County Deputy A ‘Murderer' During Traffic Stop
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is investigating after body camera video captured a motorist unleashing a racist tirade against a deputy and calling him a “murderer” during a traffic stop in San Dimas. The deputy pulled over the unidentified woman on April 23, saying she was using her cellphone while driving. He had activated his bodycam — one that belonged to him and was not issued by the department — to film the encounter. In the video, which was widely circulated on Monday, the driver can be heard accusing the deputy of harassing her and claimed he pulled over “because you're a murderer.” She then told him she was recording on her own cellphone but denied being on the device while driving. “I was recording you because you scared me,” the woman said. She then called for his supervisor as the dispute escalated, with her proceeding to call him “murderer” again multiple times. While the woman — who identified herself as a teacher — looked for a photo of her driver's license that she had left at home, the conversation continued with the deputy writing the ticket.

12 Indicted In Alleged Southern California ‘Green' Loan And Mortgage Fraud Scheme
A dozen people have been indicted in connection with an alleged mortgage fraud and “green” loan scheme that operated throughout Southern California and resulted in losses of about $15 million, the California Attorney General's Office announced Wednesday. The 133-count grand jury indictment, handed up April 26, alleges that the crimes occurred in Los Angeles, Riverside and Ventura counties. The indictment charges the defendants with a variety of counts, including conspiracy, mortgage fraud, grand theft, identity theft, forgery, filing a false or forged document and money laundering. The defendants allegedly exploited the Yrgene Energy Fund and Renew Funding, companies that provide funding to licensed contractors for energy- efficient home improvements for homeowners, and used false identities to get mortgage loans from conventional banks and hard money lenders, according to the Attorney General's Office.
Los Angeles Daily News

Sixth SoCal Driver In 3 Months Reports Window Blown Out On Freeway
Another driver said her windows were blown out on a Southern California freeway, leading to worry among drivers in Los Angeles, Orange County and Riverside County. Lisa Sanford said she was driving back to work on the 15 Freeway in Corona in March. Right before she got to the 91 connector, she heard cracking noises all along her passenger side, then one of her windows shattered. “Somebody's really gonna get hurt,” said Sanford. She said the California Highway Patrol told her it was probably just road debris but when she took it to a body shop to get it fixed, they said the damage was definitely caused by a BB gun. Sanford believes it could have been a guy in his 20's driving a black Honda Civic next to her who quickly got off the freeway when she slowed down to find out what happened to her car. Sanford learned five other drivers had their windows blown out in April on LA and Orange County Freeways. On April 27, two separate drivers were horrified when their cars were suspected of being shot at while driving southbound on the 405 Freeway near Westminster. Both people were not injured.

Public Safety News

Los Angeles County Moves Into California's Least Restrictive Yellow Tier
On Tuesday, Los Angeles County became eligible to move into the yellow tier, California's least restrictive on the state's Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which eases more rules for businesses amid the ongoing pandemic. Last week, the county qualified for a move to the yellow tier, but the Southern California county had to meet the threshold for another week before it could advance. The rest of Southern California remains in the orange tier, while some of the most stubborn parts of the state, such as Merced and San Joaquin counties, were in the red tier. San Francisco, another populous California county, also moved into the yellow tier on Tuesday. Health officials late last week said California now has the lowest infection rate in the U.S., after being the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic just a few months ago. For the first time in months, LA County bars that don't serve food can reopen for indoor seating and all businesses, both indoors and outdoors, will be able to operate with more guests. 
FOX 11

In Dramatic Shift, California COVID-19 Hospitalizations Are Lowest Since Pandemic's Start
In another dramatic sign of how rapidly California is recovering from COVID-19, the state recorded its lowest hospitalization rate since the first few weeks of the pandemic, according to data reviewed by The Times. The numbers come just months after the winter surge left hospitals across Southern California overwhelmed with patients and caused a spike in deaths. But over the last three months, COVID-19 has receded rapidly across the region, allowing a massive reopening of the economy and the hope for a return to some kind of normal by the summer. California is now at the bottom of the nation when it comes to coronavirus case rates. Los Angeles County and San Francisco this week progressed into the least-restrictive tier of California's color-coded closure system, clearing the way for both areas on Thursday to reopen their economy to the widest extent currently possible.
Los Angeles Times

Local Government News

LA City Council Seeks New Strategies To Stop Illegal Fireworks
The Los Angeles City Council approved a motion Wednesday to pursue new strategies to curtail illegal fireworks, including a buyback program and reward program for people who report major suppliers of illegal fireworks. “We know how many of our household pets, seniors, and families have been traumatized by the explosives that will start to commence and to grow in use about now, so it's really important that we start to develop alternative strategies,” Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, who introduced the motion, told council members before Wednesday's vote. “This is an effort to try and identify alternatives instead of shrugging our shoulders and anticipating the LAPD will go out and enforce on this,” she added. Along with scaring pets and creating fire risk, the use of legal and illegal fireworks in Southern California last July created the worst air quality in the region in a decade, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

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: