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

July 1, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Recorded Phone Conversation Alleges Prosecutor From Gascón's Office Is Studying Convicted Murderer's Case
In a recorded phone call from the courthouse lockup in the Antelope Valley, a convicted killer receives good news from his mother. "Hi Mijo, you know who that was? Andrew, you know who that was? That's freaking Gascón's -- that's Gascón's special advisor. Oh, my God!" Bertha Cachu was overjoyed to share the news with her son Andrew Cachu, a documented gang member who was convicted of killing 41-year-old Louis Amela outside of a Palmdale restaurant in 2015. "She's gonna be coming in your case, Mijo. Did you hear her? Man, she's good! She's the one that I've been emailing back and forth," said Bertha Cachu. Cachu goes on to explain to her son that Alisa Blair, a special assistant to Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón is studying his case and will be helping him. In 2016, Cachu was convicted of murder and sentenced to 50 years to life in prison. Since he was 17 years old at the time of the murder, his case was transferred to juvenile court for a judge to decide if it should stay there or be transferred to adult court. Blair is pushing for the case to remain in the juvenile system which means Cachu will most likely be released in a few months after serving just six years behind bars. "It's like being in the twilight zone, I can't believe this is going on in California," says Barbie Perez. Perez is the murdered victim's cousin. She says no one from the DA's office has contacted the family. Perez believes the prosecutor is acting more like a defense attorney. "My heart just aches knowing that the prosecution is not on our side anymore," she said. 
FOX 11

Naked Man Enters Van Nuys Apartment Where 2 Kids Were Sleeping, Struggles With Father
Wednesday morning, in the 14000 block of Vose Street in Van Nuys, a man walked into an apartment complex, took off all his clothes and entered an apartment where two 12-year-old twins were sleeping. The twins' father, Jose Campos, struggled with the naked intruder, sustaining unknown injuries during the fight. Campos said he did not know the man and that the family's apartment was wrecked as a result of the tussle. Police responded to the call for help and were able to take the naked man, who has tattoos on most areas of his body, including a swastika on his right side, into custody. The intruder's name, nor any other details about this incident have been released.

Large Fireworks Explosion In South LA Injures 17, Including 9 LAPD Officers
Seventeen people were reported injured in a large explosion that rocked South Los Angeles on Wednesday evening while the Los Angeles Police Department was disposing of illegal fireworks, police and the Los Angeles Fire Department said. Nine of the injured were LAPD officers as well as an officer with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the LAFD said. All law enforcement personnel sustained minor injuries and were reported to be in “fair” condition, according to the LAFD. Six civilian injuries that involved hospital transports were reported as well. Three were moderate and three were minor, the LAFD said. A 17th person who was hurt declined transport to a hospital. The blast happened in the area of East 27th Street near San Pedro Street at 7:36 p.m., according to LAPD Chief Michel Moore during a news conference Wednesday evening. The Fire Department had been on standby while the LAPD disposed of the fireworks and provided treatment to the victims. The explosion occurred while the LAPD's bomb squad was attempting to dispose of a cache of illegal fireworks that were discovered earlier in the day, Moore said. Police seized more than 5,000 pounds of illegal fireworks in the same area and took one person into custody.
Los Angeles Daily News

Mother Charged With Murder In Deaths Of Three Children In East L.A.
An East L.A. woman has been charged with murder in the deaths of her three children, who were found inside the family's home earlier this week, prosecutors said Wednesday. Sandra Chico, 28, faces three counts of murder and assault on a child causing death, according to a statement issued by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. Chico was expected to appear in a downtown courtroom Wednesday afternoon, though it was not immediately clear who her attorney was. Someone called the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department East L.A. station around 12:45 p.m. Monday to report that two children were not breathing inside a home in the 600 block of South Ferris Avenue. Responding deputies found three children unresponsive in a bedroom. Despite lifesaving efforts, the children — 3-year-old Mia, 2-year-old Mason and 1-month-old Milan — were all pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. Autopsy results are still pending, and officials have yet to comment on a cause of death. But a law enforcement official with knowledge of the case told The Times that each child showed signs of strangulation or suffocation. The official requested anonymity in order to discuss the case candidly.
Los Angeles Times

LA's Non-Police Mental Health Responders Have Been Idled For Months
An alternative response pilot program that was supposed to begin sending mental health counselors to some emergencies around Los Angeles in January has been stalled, and the crisis workers have yet to roll on a single call. A critical agreement that establishes the logistics and responsibilities of the program has been awaiting approval by the Los Angeles City Council's public safety committee since early May, and now officials say the soonest the teams could begin handling calls is mid-July, more than six months after Mayor Eric Garcetti said the program would start. "Today we're talking about a new way to co-own public safety," Garcetti said on Oct. 26, 2020. "That's why I'm especially proud that we're stepping up with a new model." The one-year therapeutic van pilot project will divert some 9-1-1 calls that would have gone to paramedics or firefighters to teams of counselors stationed at five fire stations around the city. It was announced in response to public and activist demands that the city find alternatives to law enforcement for non-criminal emergencies. Several city officials have told the I-Team that at the time the plans were announced few formal agreements had been reached on how the city and county would share costs, where the response teams would be housed and stationed, and who would drive the vans. Mayor Garcetti's office has not responded throughout June to requests for comment on the program.

Man And Teenage Son Robbed At Gunpoint At Culver City Mall
Police Wednesday released images of two men suspected of robbing a man and his 15-year-old son at gunpoint of jewelry valued at $136,000 at the Westfield Culver City mall. The robbery occurred at about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday on the second level of the mall, according to the Culver City Police Department. The man and his son were approached by two men and one pointed a black semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine at them, police said. The suspects demanded the victims' jewelry and watch and the victims complied, police said. The jewelry taken was a Cartier watch valued at $25,000, a diamond-encrusted necklace valued at $85,000 and a diamond-encrusted necklace valued at $26,000. The suspects were described as Black, between the ages of 18 and 25 years old. The suspect with the gun wore a gray Nike hooded sweatshirt, light gray jeans and black Air Force One shoes. The second suspect wore a black “Rick and Morty” hooded sweatshirt, black pants and gray shoes.

Sheriff's Department Seeks Public's Help To Find Man Last Seen Six Months Ago
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Tuesday sought the public's help to locate a missing 27-year-old man who was last seen six months ago in an unincorporated area near Industry. Angel Eduardo Lopez Garcia was last seen at about 7 a.m. on Dec. 28 near the 2200 block of Pearson Avenue, between the San Gabriel River and San Gabriel River (605) Freeway, according to Deputy Trina Schrader of the Sheriff's Information Bureau. Garcia is Hispanic, 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs 120 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He also has a tattoo of a dollar sign on his right hand, and is known to frequent the East Los Angeles and Cudahy areas. Anyone with information on Garcia's whereabouts was asked to call the Sheriff's Missing Persons Unit at 323-890-5500.

CHP Warns Of Maximum Traffic Enforcement During Independence Weekend
The California Highway Patrol announced Wednesday it will crack down on speeding and other dangerous violations during the upcoming Independence Day holiday weekend, with a special focus on Interstate 5. The CHP's maximum enforcement period begins at 6:01 p.m. Friday and ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday, according to CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray. “Saving lives is a priority for our officers,” Ray said. “Motorists will help make everyone's holiday safer on the road by observing the speed limits, avoiding distractions, staying sober, practicing patience, and being courteous to other drivers.” This holiday is expected to be a lot busier than 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic kept millions of people at home. Even with fewer people on the roads, at least 36 people were killed in crashes on state roadways last year and 1,317 motorists were arrested for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to the CHP. The CHP will join an effort Friday with state patrols in Washington State and Oregon to enforce speed limits all along Interstate 5. Citations for driving in excess of 100 mph increased 161% from May 2019 to May 2020 and the numbers still exceed pre-pandemic levels.

Hate Crimes Against Asians Jumped 107% In California In ‘An Epidemic Of Hate'
Anti-Asian hate crimes more than doubled in California in 2020, according to a report from the state attorney general, underscoring fears among Asian Americans about being targeted during the coronavirus pandemic. Overall, hate crimes reported to law enforcement rose 31% in the state last year, with attacks against Asians up by 107%, according to the report released Wednesday. Hate crimes against Black people, which constituted a majority of racially motivated attacks last year, increased by 88%. Anti-Latino crimes rose 38%. The report backs up other studies that found hate crimes rising both in California and across the country in recent years amid growing political polarization, emboldened hate groups and the stresses of a global health crisis.
Los Angeles Times

California Hate Crime Up 31% In 2020, Led By Anti-Black Bias
Hate crime in California surged 31% in 2020, fueled mainly by a big jump in crimes targeting Black people during a year that saw the worst racial strife in decades, according to an annual report released Wednesday by the state's attorney general. Overall hate crimes increased from 1,015 to 1,330 last year, while the number of victims increased 23%, from 1,247 to 1,536. Black people account for 6.5% of the state's population of nearly 40 million people but were victims in 30% of all hate crimes — 456 overall, up 87% from the previous year. “What we see from these reports is what we have seen and felt all year — we are in the midst of a racial justice reckoning in this country. It's multi-faceted, and it cannot be solved overnight.” Attorney General Rob Bonta said. California saw some of the largest protests following the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. And it also saw a surge in attacks on people of Asian descent following the emergence of the coronavirus in China. Last year's hate crime reports were the most since 2008, when there were 1,397. That in turn was topped several times in prior years, including 2001, when there were 2,261 hate crimes reported.
Associated Press

Atlanta Mayor: 2 Officers Ambushed, 1 Wounded; Suspect Dead
Two police officers responding to reports of gunfire in one of Atlanta's most famous neighborhoods were ambushed Wednesday, leaving one of them shot and wounded and a suspect dead, authorities said. When the officers went into an apartment building in the city's Midtown area to investigate, “they were immediately approached with gunfire" when the elevator door opened, Deputy Atlanta Police Chief Charles Hampton Jr. said. The officers returned fire, killing one suspect, police said. The wounded officer was in stable condition at a hospital and talking to fellow officers and family members, Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said. “It is only through their training and by the grace of God that these officers did not come upon a more tragic situation,” Bryant said. A bystander reported hearing a barrage of shots and said he later saw an officer, bleeding badly while being rushed from the scene on Peachtree Street, a major thoroughfare in the bustling Midtown district.
Associated Press

Video: Florida Officer Narrowly Misses Gunshot To The Head During Stop
If Officer Pavel Kuznetsov had pulled his head to the left instead of the right while scuffling with an armed man, the sheriff said, he would have been shot in the head on Saturday. Kuznetsov and fellow St. Petersburg police Officer Ronald McKenzie were fortunate they weren't seriously injured or worse during a violent confrontation with a man accused of violating a stalking injunction, said Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. The man they were trying to arrest was 23-year-old Austin Kingos, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. McKenzie fired at Kingos and wounded him in the left leg, the sheriff said. The armed and wounded man tried to run away and had to be chased down by the officers. He was taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries and that night was booked into the Pinellas County jail. “Officer Kuznetsov literally heard the round whiz by the side of his head,” Gualtieri said.
Tampa Bay Times

Public Safety News

Attic Fire Damages Sylmar Home
It took 28 Los Angeles City firefighters 38 minutes to extinguish a well-developed attic fire over a converted garage at 12813 N. Cometa Ave. in Sylmar on Wednesday, officials said. Fire crews performed salvage operations in the home to protect belongings, as other firefighters continued to attack the fire and pull out the ceiling to locate the seat of the fire. The blaze was in a difficult-to-reach location and took close coordination between teams to put it out. Two dogs were in the home at the time, firefighters located them and safely moved them to the yard. No injuries were reported at the scene of the fire, according to the LAFD website.
Los Angeles Daily News

L.A. Firefighters Contain Small Brush Fire Near Griffith Observatory
Firefighters have contained a small brush fire that erupted in Griffith Park late Wednesday morning. The blaze ignited around 10:30 a.m. near the Greek Theatre before burning toward Griffith Observatory, according an Los Angeles Fire Department alert. Flames chewed through more than 500 square feet of heavy brush, the alert stated. By the time Sky5 arrived at the scene, which was just before 11:10 a.m., crews had already appeared to gain the upper hand over the blaze. Wisps of light-colored smoke could be seen rising from the hill below the iconic L.A. landmark, with firefighters dousing the remnants of flames on the ground and by air, the aerial video showed. After the fire was contained, crews remained on scene to extinguish any hotspots. Mop up operations were expected to last up to two hours, the Fire Department said.

Coronavirus Cases Continue To Tick Upward In LA County
Los Angeles County's COVID-19 numbers continued moving in the wrong direction on Wednesday, June 30, with the daily number of new cases and the rate of people testing positive for the virus doubling from their levels of two weeks ago. The county Department of Public Health insisted that the rates are still well below the levels seen during the winter surge of COVID-19, but the increase in community transmission of the virus is “concerning.” The county reported 422 new cases on Wednesday, the highest number in weeks and more than double the number the county reported on June 15, the day most COVID health restrictions were lifted locally and statewide. The average rate of people testing positive for the virus inched upward to 1.2%. On June 12, the rate was 0.4%.
Los Angeles Daily News

California Virus Cases Rising As Delta Variant Spreads
California broadly reopened its economy barely two weeks ago and since then an especially contagious coronavirus variant has spread among the unvaccinated, a development that has health officials on edge and already has prompted Los Angeles County to strongly recommend everyone resume wearing masks inside. The nation's most populous state is averaging close to 1,000 additional cases reported daily, an increase of about 17% in the last 14 days. Officials expected an increase when capacity limits were lifted for businesses and most mask restrictions and social distancing requirements were eliminated for vaccinated people. But public health officials raised concern this week with the more transmissible delta variant spreading among the unvaccinated, who comprise the vast majority of new infections. LA County, where a quarter of the state's nearly 40 million people live, recommended Monday that vaccinated residents resume wearing face coverings indoors after detecting that about half of all cases were the delta variant.
Associated Press

Local Government News

L.A. City Council Proposal To Restrict Homeless Encampments Faces Possible Thursday Vote
The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to draft new rules barring homeless people from camping near schools, parks, libraries and other “sensitive” facilities, a sudden change in direction for a city struggling to address a humanitarian crisis while also restoring access to its public spaces. On a 12 to 3 vote, council members asked the city's lawyers to quickly draw up a law prohibiting sleeping, lying and storing possessions near a variety of public facilities, including public schools and homeless shelters. It also would bar tents and encampments from blocking sidewalks in ways that prevent wheelchairs users from traveling on them, in violation of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. The proposal, which is expected to face another vote on Thursday, had not been included on Tuesday's council agenda or the accompanying documents. Council members had been scheduled instead to consider another anti-camping measure, one that was drawn up in October but failed to secure council support.

LA City Council Renews Pilot Program To Provide Assistance To Migrant Youth
The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to renew a pilot program to offer case management and housing navigation services to unaccompanied and homeless immigrants between the ages of 16 and 24. "Los Angeles is home to the largest concentrations of Central Americans from outside of their respective countries, including many who live in my district," said Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, who introduced the motion. "Since taking office, I've traveled to the U.S. border, and have observed firsthand the plight of unaccompanied migrant youth who are homeless and in need," he said. "I'm pleased to have the unanimous support of my colleagues in moving this vital program forward." The city's Unaccompanied Minors Pilot Program, which began in 2020 and is administered by the Salvadoran Education and Leadership Fund, aims to prevent transition aged youth from becoming homeless upon arriving in Los Angeles from Central America. The motion notes that 90% of arriving unaccompanied minors have people, including family or close friends, with whom they can connect.

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: