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 21, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Effort To Recall LA DA George Gascón Officially Underway The Los Angeles County Registrar Thursday approved the petition to recall Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, campaign officials said. “George Gascon got elected by disguising a radical, dangerous, and pro-criminal agenda as ‘criminal justice reform,' but that's not what he is doing,” Desiree Andrade, organizer and spokesperson for the Recall George Gascon campaign, said in a press release. “What he failed to mention was that he would cater to the most heinous offenders in our society at the expense of victims and let cold-blooded killers back onto our streets. Proponents of the recall now have 160 days to collect signatures from 579,062 registered L.A. County voters. The registrar then has 30 days to certify the signatures. If successful, a recall election would likely take place in 2022. Victims of Violent Crime for the Recall of District Attorney Gascon, which has been organizing the recall effort, said it would formally kick-off the petition drive in the coming days with a press conference at the Hall of Justice in downtown Los Angeles. “The outpouring of support for the recall movement and our fight to bring justice for victims has truly been amazing and is growing everyday as more residents learn about the destructive real-world impacts of Gascon's policies,” Tania Owen, co-chair for the Recall George Gascon campaign, said in a release. “George Gascon has turned his back on victims and is failing to protect his constituents, so we are taking matters into our own hands.” CBS 2
L.A. Budget Vote Boosts Spending On Parks, Relief Programs And The LAPD The Los Angeles City Council signed off on a plan by Mayor Eric Garcetti to increase funding for the Police Department, despite calls from activists to have the agency defunded. Council members voted 15 to 0 to give the LAPD a 3% boost in funding, allowing the department to begin rebuilding its workforce after a year in which it lost hundreds of officers and scores of civilian employees. The budget plan pours money into an array of other city programs, allocating nearly $1 billion for homelessness initiatives, $75 million for overdue repairs at parks and recreation facilities, and increased funding for child care, senior meals and aid to businesses. “We're working against systemic inequalities that have been impacting our neighborhoods for generations before us,” Council President Nury Martinez said. “But with this budget, we take a closer step towards equity.” Garcetti said he looks forward to signing the budget. Thursday's vote represented a huge turnaround from five months ago, when city leaders were contemplating the layoff of nearly 1,000 police officers and looking to borrow $150 million just to get through the rest of the fiscal year. On Tuesday, the city received the first of two big payments — $639 million — from President Biden's American Rescue Plan, which directs money to cities hard hit by COVID-19. Although the city initially expected to see $1.35 billion over a 12-month period, that amount has been scaled back by $75 million. Los Angeles Times
Caught on Camera: Homeless Violence Unfolds in Front of Kids at Reopened Schools and Parks The NBC4 I-Team has documented new homeless encampments that appeared during the coronavirus shutdown in front of schools and parks. In addition to Westminster Elementary, there are now encampments outside Gerald A. Lawson Academy in south LA, Westside Neighborhood School in Playa Vista and others. At Broadway Elementary on L.A.'s west side, tents have been pitched right against the school building. In the neighborhood surrounding Westminster Elementary, the I-Team found crime reports are up 29% this year so far, compared to the same time last year. Reports of "Assaults With A Deadly Weapon" are up 190% in the neighborhood around the school. NBC 4
Hate Crimes In LA Reached Record High Last Month Hate crimes in Los Angeles hit a record high in April, with a record 62 reports, more than any other month since at least 2010, when the Los Angeles Police Department began making its records public. The number surpasses the 51 crimes reported in August 2020, according to Crosstown, a nonprofit news organization based out of the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism. Hate crimes increased for the seventh consecutive year in 2020, Crosstown reported. Thirty-three of the hate crimes reported in April involved a verbal threat or the use of bodily force to injure. Thirteen of those hate crimes were classified as battery-simple assault, according to LAPD data cited by Crosstown. Over the past year, there has been mounting concern about the rise of crimes motivated by bias, particularly against people of Asian descent. But other groups have also experienced an increase in attacks. On Tuesday, a group of Jewish diners at a sushi restaurant in Beverly Grove were attacked by a group shouting anti-semitic slogans. The police are investigating the incident as an apparent hate crime. Detective Orlando Martinez, the LAPD's hate crime coordinator, told Crosstown that the department has adopted a new policy of categorizing any instance of bias motivation as a hate crime so victims can get information for support services and qualify for California's victim compensation programs. FOX 11
Police Say Antisemitic Attacks In L.A. May Be Related As City Leaders Call For Unity Los Angeles police are investigating a potential link between two antisemitic attacks this week in a heavily Jewish neighborhood of the city, authorities said Thursday. The violence in the city's Fairfax District both involved vehicles flying Palestinian flags, according to witnesses and video. Dominic Choi, a deputy chief in the Los Angeles Police Department, said investigators have reached a “critical point” in the cases. The FBI is also involved in the probe. “We do believe that these two incidents are related, by some evidence that's available,” Choi said. Choi declined to elaborate on the possible connection between the two hate crimes on Thursday during a news conference outside City Hall, where faith and community leaders called for peace and unity in the wake of the violence. The news conference came hours after Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire Thursday in the bruising 11-day war. At least 230 Palestinians have been killed, as well as a dozen people in Israel, amid the heavy fighting. KTLA 5
Police Establish Perimeter In Valley Village To Locate Armed Man Los Angeles Police Department officers and SWAT units established a perimeter in Valley Village Thursday night in an attempt to arrest an armed man suspected of committing an assault with a deadly weapon who barricaded himself an apartment building. Officers were called to the 12600 block of Riverside Drive, between Coldwater Canyon and Whitsett avenues, at about 4:50 p.m. on reports of an assault with a deadly weapon, said Officer William Cooper of the LAPD Media Relations Division. The man, who was armed with a firearm, did not comply with officers when they attempted to make contact and barricaded himself in an apartment building, Cooper said. SWAT units were called to the scene and were attempting to persuade the man to surrender as of about 9:45 p.m. No injuries were reported and no shots were fired, Cooper said. FOX 11
Authorities Seek Help To Locate Gang Member Suspected Of Shooting Three At Bar Authorities sought the public's assistance Thursday to locate the documented gang member suspected of shooting three people in a bar in East Los Angeles. Edward Louis Figueroa was allegedly involved in an altercation on April 18 inside a bar in the 5200 block of Pomona Boulevard, according to a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department statement. During the altercation, Figueroa allegedly produced a handgun and shot three people before fleeing. Figueroa is a documented member of the “Harpys 13” gang and should be considered armed and dangerous, authorities said. Anyone with information about Figueroa's whereabouts was asked to call 9-1-1 or the East Los Angeles Sheriff's Station at 323-264-4151. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at .
29-Year-Old Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Attempted Murder In Beverly Hills Lawrence Lawson, a 29-year-old LA resident, was arrested Thursday for allegedly stabbing and beating another man who was found unconscious on Beverly Drive Thursday at around 1:45 a.m. According to Beverly Hills Police Cpt. Max Subin, officers responded to reports of an unresponsive man at 200 N. Beverly Drive. When police arrived, they discovered the man had been stabbed multiple times. He was taken to the hospital where he was listed in stable condition. His name has not been released. At approximately the same time, the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a medical aid call a little more than a mile from where the stabbing victim was, at 200 N. Beverly Drive. Lawson told LAFD personnel that he suffered an injury in Beverly Hills. After BHPD officers investigated Lawson, they arrested him on suspicion of attempted murder. He was also taken to the hospital with unspecified injuries and then booked. The 29-year-old's bail was set at $1 million and he's scheduled to appear in court on Monday in Department 30 of the Airport Courthouse. CBS 2
Detectives Warn Public After Hidden Camera Found In Paramount Gym Restroom Detectives are warning the public after a hidden camera were found in a Paramount gym restroom last month. A woman reported that she found a hidden camera in the unisex restroom of her gym, which was not identified, on April 23, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a news release Wednesday. The gym's owner was arrested and has previously faced similar accusations. On October 16, 2019, a woman at a gym located on the 15900 block of Paramount Boulevard found a hidden camera inside the gym's unisex restroom, according to the Lakewood Station press release. After notifying authorities, the gym owner, 27-year-old Anthony Schnur of Downey, was arrested and charged with five counts of invasion of privacy. He was sentenced to probation in October 2020. Then on April 23, 2021, at around 6:45 a.m., another woman at the same gym that Schnur owned found a hidden camera in the restroom and reported the incident to the Sheriff's Department. Schnur was arrested again on April 27 on charges of possession of a firearm in violation of criminal protective order, invasion of privacy, and contempt of court. He was released on bond, the press release states.  KTLA 5 
Man Pleads Not Guilty To Arson Charges In Connection With Mission San Gabriel Fire A 57-year-old man on Thursday, May 20, denied setting a fire that badly damaged the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel. John David Corey Jr. pleaded not guilty to two counts of arson of an inhabited structure and one count each of arson during a state of emergency, first-degree residential burglary and possession of flammable material during his arraignment at Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles. Police said he is homeless and used to live in the unincorporated county area near San Gabriel. He will return to court June 21 for a hearing. A judge set his bail at $250,000. It's not clear how much prison time Corey could get if convicted of all the charges. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office hasn't determined what sentence it will seek in this case. The prosecution alleged that Corey broke into the church at 428 South Mission Drive in San Gabriel and set the fire that later grew to a four-alarm blaze. Los Angeles Daily News
7 More Vehicles Damaged By Gunfire On Southern California Freeways Motorists in the Inland Empire and Orange County were again traumatized on Thursday by whoever is shooting out vehicle windows on Southern California freeways, with the total surging beyond 50 attacks in the past three weeks, the California Highway Patrol said. Three shootings happened between 5:50 and 6 a.m. in the area of the 71 and 91 freeways in Corona, said Officer Dan Olivas, a spokesman for the CHP Inland Division. Also, one took place on the 91 at Main Street in Corona and another on the 215 Freeway at Blaine Street in Riverside, Olivas said. In Anaheim, a rear window was shot out on the 91 Freeway at Brookhurst Street at about 6:15 a.m., said Officer Mitch Smith, a spokesman for the CHP's Westminster office. Then at about 8:55 a.m., a rear window was damaged by gunfire on the 22 Freeway near Euclid Avenue. The total number of cars damaged Thursday in Orange County was not available from the Border Division, which patrols that area. Los Angeles Daily News
4 More People Indicted In Widening Federal Investigation Into California DMV Corruption Four more people have been indicted as alleged brokers of fraudulent driver's licenses in an increasingly widening investigation into corruption within the California Department of Motor Vehicles. A federal grand jury indictment in June of 2020 only charged 52-year-old Rogelio Zazueta of Huntington Park with aiding and abetting. Wednesday's superseding indictment added 58-year-old Carlos Alberto Zea Londono of Granada Hills, 50-year-old Eudelia Lopez Martinez of South Los Angeles, and 54-year-old Arestakes Khachikyan, aka “Aries,” of Granada Hills. According to the indictment, Londono and Lopez acted as brokers between April and October 2016, negotiating cash payments between $400 and $1,400 people would pay to fraudulently receive passing scores on the written test or driving test in order to get a California driver's license. Then each applicant's personal information and their cash bribes would be passed on to the scheme's ringleader – 46-year-old Atancio Villegas, aka “A.T.”, a former license registration examiner at the DMV office in Torrance now living in Porrtales, New Mexico. CBS 2
Officials Scramble To Address Skyrocketing Fentanyl Deaths Drug overdoses have surged during the pandemic, and 82 homeless San Diegans died of overdoses involving fentanyl last year, a five-fold increase from the total the county Medical Examiner's Office tallied in 2019. The uptick in fentanyl-related deaths contributed to a nearly 72 percent increase in accidental illicit drug deaths among homeless San Diegans investigated by the county last year. The Medical Examiner's Office reports a more than 200 percent year-over-year spike in accidental deaths from fentanyl, an opioid painkiller that is 100 times more powerful than morphine, across San Diego County. The region's homeless community has been particularly vulnerable. Residents, business owners, service providers and public safety workers say they have noticed more open drug use and erratic behavior in homeless camps and on streets the past couple years, especially in downtown San Diego. San Diego Fire-Rescue Department data shows city paramedics provided opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone – commonly sold as Narcan – to homeless patients 498 times last year, up 44 percent from 2019. Voice of San Diego
Watch: Virginia LEO Single-Handedly Lifts Car Off Trapped Woman A Virginia deputy was commended for his grace – and strength – under pressure after he saved a woman pinned beneath her car earlier this month. According to the Gloucester County Sheriff Office, bodycam video released Tuesday shows the deputy physically lifting the vehicle up to save the driver. At the scene, Deputy J. Holt found an overturned vehicle and saw that the driver's head was pinned beneath the sunroof. The driver's child was running around in distress crying for help. “Seeing the trauma her child was witnessing, Deputy J. Holt went into overdrive,” the agency said. “Through sheer will and determination” Holt was then able to “physically lift the vehicle.” The sheriff's office shared the following bodycam video of the incident. Deputy J. Holt recently accepted both the local and regional Top Cop Awards from the Greater Hampton Roads Regional Crime Line on February 2, 2021 for his commitment to public safety after saving the lives of 2 individuals from a burning house on the afternoon of March 24, 2020. PoliceOne
Public Safety News
CDC: More Than 600K 12 To 15-Year-Olds Have Received COVID-19 Vaccine At least 600,000 children ages 12 to 15 have received a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination — less than a week since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the emergency use of vaccines for the younger age group. "Last week FDA authorized and CDC recommended use of the Pfizer vaccine for adolescents. In less than one week, we have vaccinated more than 600,000 12- to 15-year-olds, and in total, more than 4.1 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 have been vaccinated so far. My own son was one of them," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a press briefing Tuesday. On May 12, an advisory panel for the CDC voted to endorse the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for older children ages 12 to 15, one of the final steps toward making the shots widely available for the age group in an effort to speed up the return to schools. This approval quickly followed the Food and Drug Administration expanding its emergency use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for ages 12 to 15. The FDA cited evidence that the shots worked as well for the younger age group as for those 16 and older. FOX 11
California Delays Debate On Easing Virus Rules For Workers California workforce regulators will aim for a mid-June easing of workplace mask and social distancing requirements to conform with a broader state order, postponing a vote on whether to revise coronavirus safety rules for employees. Cal/OSHA's staff said it would aim “to make possible a targeted effective date of June 15, 2021,” instead of proceeding with a proposal that would have made businesses wait until July 31 to ease some pandemic restrictions. The same regulations also would impose new requirements that dozens of business groups called too onerous during a hearing Thursday by the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board. Having two conflicting enforcement dates would be “a huge source of confusion and problems,” California Chamber of Commerce policy advocate Rob Moutrie told the board. The board delayed voting on the new rules after staff said they wanted to reconsider them based on last week's U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance that fully vaccinated people can now skip face coverings and distancing in virtually all situations. Associated Press

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: