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 2, 2021
Law Enforcement News

LAPD Ceremony Honors Reserve Officer Killed In The Line Of Duty
The Los Angeles Police Department this week unveiled a memorial plaque that paid tribute to a former reserve officer killed in the line of duty and dedicated a granite stone that bears the names of fallen LAPD reserve police officers. Chief Michel Moore and Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmala were joined at a special ceremony by other LAPD officers and family members of Reserve Officer Stuart Taira on Saturday, June 26 at the Los Angeles Police Academy in Elysian Park. Taira, assigned to the Air Support Division, was killed while on duty on March 1, 1983. Serving as a photographer for the Air Support Unit, he and two other officers had just finished responding to reports of an unusual Los Angeles tornado. In between patrols, the officers were sent to investigate a burglar reported on the roof of a home. While taking off, the helicopter struck a power line and crashed. Taira survived the crash, but returned to the aircraft to try to rescue two other officers. He was struck by one of the helicopter's rotors and killed. Taira was posthumously awarded the department's Medal of Valor. “The LAPD never forgets its fallen heroes,” the Los Angeles Police Reserve Foundation said in a statement.
Los Angeles Daily News

Woman Killed In South LA Hit-And-Run
A woman was killed Thursday night in a South Los Angeles hit-and-run crash, police said. Authorities said the crash happened at about 9:20 p.m. in the 11000 block of South Figueroa Street. The woman, whose identity was not immediately disclosed, was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities said they were looking for a dark colored SUV that was reportedly seen fleeing the scene following the crash. Figueroa Street was closed for several blocks in the area as the LAPD conducted its investigation.

Man Killed In Hit-and-Run Crash On La Cienega Boulevard
A man was killed early Thursday morning in a hit-and-run crash on La Cienega Boulevard near the San Diego (405) Freeway in Los Angeles. Abdoul Diallo, 34, was an Inglewood resident, according to the coroner's office. The crash was reported about 12:35 a.m. on La Cienega at Imperial Highway, according to the LAPD. Diallo was crossing La Cienega outside of the crosswalk when he was struck by a southbound vehicle that kept going, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The vehicle was described as a white recreational vehicle or camper, police said. Anyone with information was asked to call West Traffic Division detectives at 213-473-0234 or 213-473-0222.

LAPD Seizes 2,000 Pounds Of Illegal Fireworks From Shipping Container In Downtown L.A.
Ahead of the July Fourth holiday, the LAPD seized thousands of pounds of illegal fireworks Thursday from a shipping container in downtown L.A. Police responded to a radio call from the fire department just after 11 a.m. in the 700 block of Kohler Street, said Officer William Cooper, an LAPD spokesperson. Officers arrived to find a 60-foot shipping container filled with approximately 2,000 pounds of illegal fireworks, according to LAPD. A bomb squad transferred the fireworks to a single box truck and moved them into an approved storage facility, the department said in a tweet. “The presence of these volatile fireworks in our communities can have devastating consequences, especially when stored improperly,” the tweet continues. The seizure comes just a day after a major explosion injured 17 people in a South Los Angeles neighborhood, while the LAPD attempted a controlled detonation of illegal fireworks. The blast shook the neighborhood, overturning a nearby vehicle, shattering glass and damaging homes as it sent a large plume of smoke up in the air. Sky5 was overhead and captured the explosion.

87 Catalytic Converters Believed Stolen From Torrance Recovered At LA Location
Police say the ongoing investigation into catalytic converters stolen in Torrance led to the recovery of dozens of the parts at a Los Angeles location. Detectives recovered 87 catalytic converters Wednesday morning while serving a search warrant at an undisclosed Los Angeles location. Torrance police released photos of the location, which showed catalytic converters had been piled up alongside junk at the location. Police say the search warrant was served as part of the ongoing investigation that resulted in the recent arrests of 20 suspects involved in catalytic converter arrests in Torrance. Catalytic converter thefts spiked in Torrance this year, prompting a targeted investigation into the thefts. Twenty people were arrested in just 3 weeks, according to Torrance police, and some of those arrested were already awaiting trial in other cases also involving catalytic converter thefts.

Attacker Yelled Racial Slur Before Striking Asian American Woman In Culver City, Police Say
An Asian American woman was assaulted early Monday morning on Washington Boulevard, in an attack that Culver City police are calling a possible hate crime. Around 1 a.m. on June 14, the victim was walking to work on westbound Washington Boulevard when a man asked her for a cigarette, police said in a statement. Fearful of the man, she told him she did not have a cigarette and attempted to walk away. The man then allegedly "approached her from behind, yelled a racial slur and hit her on the right side of her head with an unknown object causing her to fall to the ground." He then fled on foot, westbound on Washington Boulevard, according to police. Culver City Fire Department personnel responded to the scene and transported the woman to a local hospital, where she was treated for a severe laceration to her right ear, police said. She is expected to make a full recovery. On July 1, Culver City police released surveillance footage of the suspected attacker, captured at a nearby convenience store after the attack took place. The Culver City Police Department is still looking for the man as of July 1. Anyone with information is asked to call the Culver City Police Department Detective Bureau at 310-253-6300.

Street Gangs Smuggling Illegal, Dangerous Fireworks Into Southern California
The illegal fireworks that have been entertaining, bedeviling and injuring Southern California residents heading into the Fourth of July weekend are increasingly arriving in the state via smuggling, often by criminal street gangs that use the same techniques they employ to distribute drugs, investigators say. Fireworks that explode, spin along the ground and launch balls of fire high into the air are often purchased legally in other states before being snuck into California, where they are prohibited. They are concealed in passenger cars, trucked in using rental vehicles and driven in caravans sometimes escorted by armed gang members. Other such fireworks enter through the port of Long Beach from Mexico and China and are ostensibly headed out of state to be sold legally, but some somehow never make it to their intended destinations. The fireworks are then sold online, in parking lots and from warehouses at double or triple their cost.
Orange County Register

FBI Arrests Madera County Man In Jan. 6 Capitol Breach Case
A Madera County man who federal authorities said was involved in the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol as a self-proclaimed member of the far-right Proud Boys group has been arrested by the FBI. Officials identified Ricky Christopher Willden, 39, of Oakhurst in the San Joaquin Valley, through publicly available videos as one of the Capitol rioters who charged through police barricades as Congress was certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. He was arrested on Wednesday. Willden was charged with committing acts of physical violence in the Capitol building or grounds and assaulting, resisting or impeding officers in addition to other charges, officials said. He made his first court appearance on Wednesday. In a video recorded on Jan. 6, Willden can be seen cheering among the crowd near the Capitol's east door as the doors to the building opened, officials said. The video shows him later spraying an unknown substance from a green can toward police officers standing guard at the entrance, officials said.
San Francisco Chronicle

California Homicides Jump 31% In 2020, Reaching Highest Total In 13 Years
Homicides in California jumped 31% last year, making it the deadliest year since 2007, and Black people accounted for nearly one-third of all victims as the nation's most populous state struggled with the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns over racial injustice, according to reports released Thursday. The 2,202 homicides last year were 523 more than in 2019, while the rate increased by a similar margin — from 4.2 to 5.5 homicides per 100,000 people. That's the most slayings since 2,258 people were killed in 2007, and the rate is the highest since 2008. Black people make up 6.5% of California's population but accounted for 31% of all victims last year. Latino people accounted for 45% of victims, while 16% were white. Last year saw such a stark increase in homicides in part because the number and rate of homicides the year before were so low. California's 2019 homicide rate was the lowest since 1966, and rates of violent and property crime in 2019 generally were among the lowest since the 1960s, four experts from UC Berkeley's California Policy Lab said in a related review focusing on cities with more than 100,000 people.
Los Angeles Times

California Saw Record Surge In Handgun Sales During Pandemic, Attorney General Says
Amid economic and political turmoil during the COVID-19 pandemic, California saw a record increase in the sale of handguns last year, and the number of long-gun purchases was higher than it has been in four years, state Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta said Thursday. With gun violence also surging, Bonta called on local law enforcement to step up efforts to reduce shootings, including use of a state law that allows judges to order temporary removal of firearms from people deemed a public danger. “While violent crime rates are still well below their historical highs in the early ‘90s, the increases we've seen during this pandemic are unacceptable,” Bonta said. “In California and across the country, gun violence in particular continues to be a uniquely American health crisis.” Statewide, there were 2,202 homicides reported in 2020, an increase of 31.1% over the year before, according to a separate report released Thursday by the state Department of Justice. Bonta said the vast majority of those homicides involved guns. Nearly 1.17 million new firearms were registered in 2020 in California, with handgun sales up 65.5% from the year before. The number of long-gun purchased jumped 45.9% from 2019.
Los Angeles Times

Nearly 80,000 Pounds Of Illegal Fireworks Smuggled Along California, Nevada Border Seized By CalFire
Nearly 80,000 pounds of illegal fireworks have been seized by Cal Fire's Office of the State Fire Marshal, they announced Thursday. The fireworks were seized as part of targeted enforcement operation along the California and Nevada border between May and June. From 932 traffic stops for various violations, authorities seized 79,411 pounds of fireworks, issued 215 citations, and arrested three people. “The illegal fireworks our peace officers have seized puts a dent into the potential devastating injuries, fires, and damage to property that these dangerous devices pose,” Chief Mike Richwine, California's state fire marshal, said in a statement. The announcement of the seizure comes less than a day after a cache of illegal fireworks exploded in South Los Angeles, injuring 17 people, including nine LAPD officers and an ATF agent. The LAPD had seized 5,000 pounds of fireworks and placed them in an armored truck to be detonated safely, but the detonation instead ended in a massive explosion.

Ambushed Atlanta Officer Shot In The Face In Deadly Shootout
State law officers on Thursday identified the man who they say opened fire on two Atlanta police officers, hitting one of them in the face, when their elevator opened in an apartment building where they were responding to a previous shooting. Joseph Lee Humbles, 29, of Atlanta was killed when the officers returned fire Wednesday afternoon in the city's Midtown area in an attack the city's mayor described as an ambush on the officers. The wounded officer was in stable condition at a hospital, Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said. The chief says he visited with the officer, who was sedated but able to speak with him and others. The officers' names weren't immediately released. “Both of these officers are very heroic," Bryant said at a briefing late Wednesday. “I've been here on this police department now 32-plus years, and to see the extent of the events that have played out today, it is without doubt that these are some of the most heroic people to respond to an incident in the city of Atlanta."
Associated Press

Public Safety News

LA County Reports Highest Number Of Daily New COVID-19 Cases Since Mid-April
Los Angeles County on Thursday reported its highest daily number of new COVID-19 infections since mid-April, continuing an upward trend that began following the statewide lifting of health restrictions and could be driven in part by spread of a highly contagious Delta variant. The county reported 506 new cases, more than double the amount of cases that were reported June 15, when the state and county lifted most COVID-19 restrictions. The county's rate of people testing positive for the virus held steady at 1.2% on Thursday, but that's triple the rate the county was reporting on June 12, and a jump from the 0.8% rate reported just last Friday. County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said the increase in COVID-19 illness and death is happening much more in communities of color where vaccination rates are rising the slowest.

Growing Alarm Over Highly Contagious Delta Variant In L.A. County As Cases Keep Rising
Los Angeles County's top public health official expressed growing alarm about increasing circulation of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, particularly as the region grapples with an uptick in new infections. While the situation in the nation's most populous county is nowhere near as dire as over the fall and winter, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said the increases seen recently are nevertheless concerning — and are at the heart of this week's recommendation that even residents vaccinated for COVID-19 should resume wearing face coverings in public indoor settings as a precaution. “We have enough risk and enough unvaccinated people for Delta to pose a threat to our recovery,” she told reporters Thursday. “And masking up now could help prevent a resurgence in transmission.” L.A. County averaged about 298 new coronavirus cases a day over the seven-day period that ended Wednesday, an 85% increase from the daily case rate for the seven-day period that ended June 24. Still, the daily case rate is still more than 98% lower than during the peak of the pandemic, when L.A. County was averaging more than 15,000 new cases a day.
Los Angeles Times

Local Government News

LA City Council Gives Tentative Approval To Sweeping Homeless Encampment Ban
In an effort to combat the homeless crisis, the Los Angeles City Council Thursday tentatively approved an ordinance that would ban homeless encampments from sidewalks and many other parts of the city. However, the ordinance's adoption was delayed because it required unanimous approval upon first consideration. The ordinance was approved by a 13-2 vote, with Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Nithya Raman voting against it. A second vote will likely take place later this month, with only eight votes required to pass. The ordinance bans encampments on sidewalks and driveways, freeway overpasses and on-ramps, and near libraries, parks, schools and homeless shelters. Supporters argue the ordinance will restore access to public areas, such as the Venice Boardwalk, but critics claim it's not only anticamping, its anti-homeless. 

LA Eviction Defense Program Launches, Offering Legal Assistance, Counseling
As the 2021-22 fiscal year begins in Los Angeles, so does the city's new COVID-19 eviction defense program to offer free legal representation, counseling and education workshops for city renters who make 80% or less of the area median income and have been impacted by the pandemic. The $10 million COVID-19 Response Eviction Defense Program is designed to reach more than 100,000 households over the next two years and provide free pre-eviction counseling, free legal representation and tenant outreach, including weekly education workshops. The city contracted with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles to provide representation in collaboration with a consortium of legal services providers. “We want you to know that your city is on your side. We believe in a right to housing, and we believe that you should stay in your housing,” Garcetti said.
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: