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

June 9, 2021
Law Enforcement News

2021 Violent Crime In Los Angeles Continues To Outpace Recent Years
The numbers of murders and shootings reported in the city of Los Angeles continue to outpace violent crime rates recorded in 2019 and 2020. One hundred forty-one people have been murdered so far in 2021, a 22-percent increase over the same period in 2020. Six hundred people have been struck by gunfire in shootings in 2021, a 59-percent increase over this time last year. “When we look at the underlying influences of that street violence...those involved with gangs continues to be the highest area of concentration,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore told the LA Police Commission Tuesday. He said there was a 37-percent increase in 2021 in the number of murders attributed to street gangs, and said he believed the overall spikes in killings and shootings were also related to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. “It's not isolated just in Los Angeles,” Moore said. “It's across the county and major cities across the country. And in many instances, actually higher increases of that violence in those other parts of the country.” While the overall crime rate showed a 6-percent decrease between Jan. 1 and the first week of June, that reduction was heavily weighted by fewer property crimes, which are far more frequent than violent crimes. Moore said there was also an increase in the number of stolen cars in recent months. 

Teen Killed In Drive-By Shooting In West Adams
An 18-year-old man was killed in a drive-by shooting in the South Los Angeles neighborhood of West Adams Monday night. The shooting occurred at 9:42 a.m. at the intersection of 29th Street and Somerset Drive. According to Los Angeles police, a suspect drove up in a BMW and fired multiple shots at the victim. The victim died at the scene, police said. The suspect, described only as a Black male, remains at large. There was no word on a motive or whether the shooting was gang related.

Teen Stabbed Near Sun Valley School, Suspect Sought
A teen was hospitalized and a suspect is being sought after a stabbing on Tuesday afternoon near Sun Valley Magnet School, the Los Angeles Police Department said. The incident took place in the 7300 block of Bakman Avenue at about 2:58 p.m., said Officer William Cooper, a spokesman for the LAPD. Police responded to a call regarding an assault with a deadly weapon and located a victim, who was transported to a local area hospital in stable condition, according to Officer Jeff Lee, another spokesman for the LAPD. While the stabbing happened in the vicinity of the school, it was not immediately known whether the victim was student, Lee said. The suspect was armed with a knife and last seen in a gray Honda CR-V in the area of Valerio Street and Camellia Avenue traveling in an unknown direction, Cooper said.
Los Angeles Daily News

Sex Offender Released By L.A. County Judge Is Charged With Sexually Abusing Two Boys
A registered sex offender who was set free by a Los Angeles County judge in 2018 because of a 17-year delay in his trial has now been charged with sexually abusing two children in Tulare County, records show. Jorge Vasquez, 48, was charged with eight counts of child molestation stemming from incidents involving two young boys that spanned the past three years, according to a criminal complaint made public Tuesday. Vasquez was arrested by Porterville police on Sunday. In a statement, Tulare County Dist. Atty. Tim Ward said the alleged abuse began in June of 2018, less than six months after Vasquez was released from Coalinga State Hospital by order of a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge. Vasquez had been in either prison or a state hospital since 1995, when he pleaded no contest to multiple counts of child molestation, court records show. He allegedly lured several children ages 6 to 8 to an alleyway in South L.A. in 1994 with the promise of candy, where he performed oral sex on three of the boys and forced one to perform oral sex on him, court records show.
Los Angeles Times

LASD Houses Boardwalk Homeless First Day On Job, Bonin Lashes Out on Twitter
Twenty-four Los Angeles County Sheriff's (LASD) Deputies rolled up to the Venice Beach Boardwalk on Tuesday. Sixteen deputies and eight mental health workers started their outreach efforts to help house the almost 200 homeless individuals who are currently living on the Boardwalk. According to early reports, at least six people were housed on Tuesday, including Robert, the veteran who has lived near the Rose Avenue parking lot for more than three years. Another veteran, Michael, was also getting help. According to Brian Ulf, the president of SHARE! housing, a collaborative housing organization that uses peer services to help homeless individual get off the street, four people were placed through his program. "What a great day,"said Ulf. "Today people saw first hand how collaborative housing can work." The growing political battle over homelessness on Venice Beach escalated today, with Councilman Mike Bonin lashing out at Sheriff Alex Villanueva's plan to dispatch deputies to Ocean Front Walk -- outside his agency's jurisdiction -- to meet with the homeless and begin an effort to clear the encampment. Villanueva told reporters Monday the homelessness crisis within Los Angeles city limits prompted him to take action. Bonin shot back in a lengthy Twitter storm Tuesday morning, accusing Villanueva of exploiting the homelessness problem for personal political gain, and deeming him a ``roadblock'' to progress.
Venice Current

$10,000 Reward Offered In Fatal Hawthorne Shooting
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a $10,000 reward Tuesday for information leading to the gunman who killed a 34-year-old carpenter in Hawthorne this January. Supervisor Holly Mitchell recommended the reward in the fatal shooting of Brian Greene, a father of three, who was gunned down while getting into his dark purple Infiniti M37 in the parking lot of Jack's Liquor Market at 4700 W. Imperial Highway around 4:10 p.m. on January 19. Greene died at the scene. Investigators say a white 2014 to 2015 BMW 320i had followed Greene from his home and parked next to the Infiniti while Greene went into the market. When he returned, someone in the back seat of the BMW fired several shots, striking Greene more than once, before the car sped off west on Imperial toward the San Diego (405) Freeway. Sheriff's homicide detectives believe there are neighborhood witnesses who may know the identities of the gunman or the owner of the BMW. Video of the suspect vehicle released by detectives shows a large dent to the rear passenger side bumper of the BMW and additional damage above the right wheel well on the passenger side.

Man Charged In Beating Of Woman At Gardena Gas Station In Unprovoked Attack
A Long Beach man was charged Tuesday for allegedly beating a woman unprovoked at a gas station near Gardena and repeatedly punching a woman sitting in her car. Antoine Larue Raine, 37, was charged with two felony counts of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury. He was scheduled to be arraignment later Tuesday in Department 12 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Compton Branch. On May 29, Rainey allegedly abruptly stopped his car at the intersection of Rosecrans Avenue and Avalon Boulevard in unincorporated West Rancho Dominguez, approached the car behind him, opened her door and punched the motorist several times. The following day, Rainey allegedly approached a woman at a gas station pump in West Rancho Dominguez and punched her, knocking her to the ground. He allegedly continued to punch her in her head and face and kicked her in the back multiple times. The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
FOX 11

LASD Asks For Help Searching For Dennis Fox, 25, Missing From Los Angeles Area
Authorities in the Los Angeles area are searching for a missing man. Dennis “Stickman” Fox was last contacted by his family around 3:30 a.m. on May 25, according to a statement from the sheriff's department. Officials said Fox, 25, is a resident of Los Angeles County but it's unclear exactly where. It also remains unclear where and when Fox was last seen, or if any foul play is suspected. He is described as a White male, 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 150 pounds, with blonde hair and green eyes. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact the LASD Missing Persons Unit at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be given by calling 1-800-222-8477.

3 L.A. County Men Charged In Connection With Kidnapping Ring, Holding Migrants Hostage
Three L.A. County men have been charged in connection with a ring that kidnapped and held for ransom at least six people who were trying to cross into the United States illegally, federal prosecutors said Tuesday. Edgar Lemus, 23, of Vernon; Francisco Hernandez Martinez, 20, of Vernon; and Junior Martinez, 23, of Watts are charged with conspiracy to launder money, the U.S. attorney's office announced. It wasn't immediately clear whether they had attorneys to speak on their behalf. The suspects pretended to offer assistance to people who wanted to cross the border from Mexico but instead held them for ransom and sometimes demanded additional money after receiving a payments, prosecutors said. Prosecutors allege Lemus and the other two men picked up the ransom payments from relatives. Lemus allegedly collected $19,000 in April at a Walmart store in South Gate from the husband of a woman who was kidnapped in Mexicali, authorities said. 

LASD Seizes Thousands Of Marijuana Plants, Arrests 23 In Raids Targeting Illegal Grow Operations
Sheriff's deputies Tuesday seized thousands of marijuana plants and arrested more than 20 in raids targeting illegal pot farms in the Antelope Valley. Last week, CBS Los Angeles reported on how prevalent the illegal marijuana grows were in the high desert and the dangers they pose. Authorities said a number of the operations were run by international drug cartels and illegally use other people's land and water. Video of the operation showed deputies removing weed plants and bulldozing a 75-greenhouse grow that covered 10 acres of ground in Lancaster. According to the sheriff's department, 23 arrests were made, five firearms were seized, two water trucks were recovered and marijuana worth millions of dollars was seized from greenhouses. Deputies also rescued seven mixed-breed dogs including four puppies that were placed in the care of a nonprofit dog rescue organization. Villanueva said more than two dozen search warrants had been served with more to come. He said the illegal operations were not only dangerous, but we hurting the environment as well.

25 Suspected Child Predators Arrested In Riverside Following Month-Long Operation
Twenty-five suspected child predators were arrested in Riverside County following a month-long operation combatting human trafficking. "Operation Intercept," conducted by the Riverside County Child Exploitation Team (RCCET) in partnership with the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking, was a proactive undercover enforcement operation with the intent to locate possible sexual predators who actively look for minors on social media platforms for the purpose of committing lewd acts. The operation was meant to reduce the number of internet child predators throughout Riverside County. By using covert social media and communication platforms, task force members communicated with potential child predators. "The predator starts an online conversation with the undercover task force members and solicits a sexual conversation with someone the predator believes is a minor. During those conversations, the subject arranges a meeting with the intent to commit a lewd act with the minor. However, when they arrive at the predetermined meeting location to meet the person they believe to be a minor, they are instead met by task force members and arrested," authorities wrote in a press release.
FOX 11

SFPD's Fentanyl Bust: 'Enough Lethal Overdoses To Wipe Out San Francisco's Population Four Times Over"
San Francisco police arrested five men and seized 16 pounds of fentanyl — enough to kill the city's population four times over — in a narcotics operation in Oakland meant to block deadly drugs from entering the city's Tenderloin neighborhood, authorities said Tuesday. The arrests and seizures last Thursday involved two semi-automatic guns that were not registered, more than $45,000 in cash and nearly 30 pounds of drugs, including the fentanyl. San Francisco police Chief Bill Scott said the amount of fentanyl that was seized is “enough lethal overdoses to wipe out San Francisco's population four times over.” About 875,000 people reside in the city. Fentanyl, an extremely lethal synthetic opioid, is between 25 to 50 times more powerful than heroin. “Fentanyl remains the primary chemical culprit in the record-shattering number of fatal overdoses plaguing our City, and the recovery of semi-automatic ghost guns along with this haul of deadly drugs most likely intended for the Tenderloin is ominous,” Scott said.
San Francisco Chronicle

Talk Of Batman Cocaine And Murder: How The FBI Tricked Criminals With Encrypted Phones
The full extent of an unprecedented FBI effort to beat the criminal underworld at its own encrypted-communications game became clearer Tuesday following a two-day takedown, with some 800 arrests worldwide and San Diego racketeering indictments against 17 high-level targets, according to federal authorities. Dubbed Operation Trojan Shield, the effort was largely led by FBI agents and federal prosecutors in San Diego who covertly created a closed-loop encryption cellphone service, called ANØM, and then convinced trusted voices already embedded in criminal syndicates to distribute the customized phones. The agents secretly read each message that poured in — 27 million in all. They read about shipments of cocaine stamped with Batman logos, cocaine hidden in tuna cans headed to Belgium, cocaine sent in French diplomatic pouches and cocaine in refrigerated fish destined for Spain, according to a search warrant unsealed this week. There was talk of planned murders, evidence of corrupt law-enforcement officers and a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of crime bosses conducting their own profitable side deals, officials said.
San Diego Union Tribune

Hackers Stole $650,000 From Nonprofit And Got Away, Showing Limits To Law Enforcement's Reach
Just before Christmas 2020, hackers began to steal from One Treasure Island, a nonprofit that is redeveloping its namesake island in San Francisco Bay as a haven for low-income and formerly homeless people. Over the next month, criminals siphoned $650,000 from the community organization. The money was earmarked as a loan to one of its member organizations for affordable housing projects on Treasure Island, a man-made strip of land smaller than a square mile that was built in the 1930s and served as a Navy facility until 1997. Sherry Williams, One Treasure Island's executive director, discovered something was wrong on Jan. 27, when she spoke by Zoom with the intended loan recipient, who hadn't received the first installment as planned. “It was absolutely devastating,” said Ms. Williams, who said she filed reports with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other organizations immediately after learning about the theft. Ransomware and nation-state hacks dominate public discussions of cybersecurity. The world watched when fuel pipelines shut down after an attack at Colonial Pipeline Co. and when corrupted software spread to companies and government agencies through incidents at SolarWinds Corp. and Microsoft Corp.
The Wall Street Journal

Public Safety News

COVID-19 Vaccination Site Opens At Union Station As State Hurtles Toward Reopening
A COVID-19 vaccination site opened Tuesday at downtown Los Angeles' Union Station as the effort to get shots into more residents' arms ramped up ahead of the state's planned reopening next week. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti highlighted the convenience of the site at a news conference, noting that the transportation hub is widely used by commuters. Before the pandemic, roughly 110,000 people traveled through the station every day, he said. “Now, Union Station will be a place that can help us recover from this most traumatic year of our lives — to be much more than a place to head to a platform and to board a train, but a place where you can protect yourself, your life, your family, loved ones and friends,” Garcetti said Tuesday. Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins said the station's strategic location also enabled it to distribute vaccines to underserved communities, including people of color, older adults and those without access to a car.
Los Angeles Times

These Parts Of California Are Going Under A Red Flag Warning, Signaling High Fire Danger
The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning Tuesday signaling the coming of high-danger fire weather as gusty winds and worryingly low humidity levels stretch across the eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range to western Colorado. The red flag warning will remain in effect until 11 p.m. Tuesday evening and will resume on Wednesday, according to NWS meteorologists based in Reno. Red flag warnings are the agency's highest alert and are used to indicate the potential for extreme fire behavior. The critical fire weather is expected to sweep across five states. In California, meteorologists predict southern Mono County and Alpine County to be hardest hit by wind gusts up to 45 mph and humidity levels below 15%. “If a fire were to start, it would rapidly spread,” said Edan Weishahn, an NWS meteorologist in Reno. “We want to give the public a heads up that they need to be especially careful.” Anyone pulling a trailer is advised to stow the trailer chains, which have been known to spark fires along roadways, Weishahn said. Meteorologists are also asking the public to avoid driving in dry grass and postpone target shooting.
San Francisco Chronicle

Local Government News

Los Angeles County Considers Picking Up Rent Bill For Low-Income Tenants
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted on Tuesday to look at ways to help pay off rent balances accumulated during the pandemic by low-income tenants. Supervisor Hilda Solis said the county needs to step in to avoid a larger crisis for those tenants as well as small landlords. "There are many households that have been left in financial despair with high levels of rental debt," Solis said. "According to some estimates, tenants in L.A. County owe nearly $1 billion. Unless we resolve the debt and help tenants get back on their feet, the same communities that have been the hardest hit by the pandemic may be held back by debt for years to come. And we may see more families spiraling into homelessness." A state rent moratorium will expire at the end of this month. Solis said the county has handed out nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in rent relief, targeting the hardest-hit communities. But in some cases, landlords refused to accept the conditions tied to rental assistance.
FOX 11

Outdoor Dining Set To Become A Permanent Feature Of LA County Food Scene
Outdoor dining may remain a permanent feature of Los Angeles County's vibrant food scene, with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voting on Tuesday, June 8, to support state legislation to expand outdoor options. Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn co-authored a motion to support two state bills: one on outdoor dining and the other to expand liquor licenses. “Outdoor dining should be one of the things we hold on to after the pandemic is over,” Hahn said. “Restaurants have appreciated it, diners have embraced it, and we have the beautiful weather to make it enjoyable all year long.” Barger and Hahn championed temporary outdoor dining last summer to help struggling eateries amid the pandemic, and county regional planners fast-tracked approvals. “We should make every effort to ensure this program becomes a permanent option for eateries throughout the region,” Barger said. “This is a valuable resource for the restaurant and hospitality industry, which was devastatingly impacted by the COVID-19 closures.”
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: