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 7, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Ambush Attacks On Police Officers Up 91% In 2021 Compared To Last Year, Group Says
Ambush attacks on law enforcement officers nationwide are up 91% year to date compared to 2020, a police group said Thursday. The National Fraternal Order of Police found that 51 law enforcement officers were shot, 13 of whom died, in 40 ambush-style attacks as of June 30, a 91% jump from the same time last year. In all of 2020, there were 48 ambush-style attacks, which left 60 officers wounded, 12 fatally, according to the group's 2020 summary. Meanwhile, 150 officers were shot as of Wednesday night and 28 have been killed by gunfire so far this year, the FOP's statistics found. The group is warning against what it is calling a "surge in violence against the brave men and women of law enforcement." Just Wednesday, two Atlanta police officers were responding to reports of shots fired in the city's Midtown neighborhood when they were ambushed, officials said. The officers had gone into an apartment building to investigate and "were immediately approached with gunfire" when the elevator door opened, Deputy Atlanta Police Chief Charles Hampton Jr. said Wednesday. The officers returned fire, killing one suspect, police said.
FOX News

L.A. Sees Alarming Spike In Killings, Shootings: ‘Too Many Guns In Too Many Hands'
A bloody Fourth of July weekend that left a dozen people dead across Los Angeles accelerated an already troubling increase in homicides and shootings in 2021, with some of the city's poorest communities suffering the heaviest toll. Homicides are up 25% so far this year across Los Angeles, although the brunt of the increase has been felt in South Los Angeles, where killings have jumped 50% over the same time last year. Shootings citywide, meanwhile, have spiked by half this year. Police and community activists are bracing for tough months ahead as the summer traditionally brings with it a rise in bloodshed. Like with the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise in violence has not been spread evenly in Los Angeles. Watts, Westmont, downtown Los Angeles, Westlake and other largely poor neighborhoods have endured much of the upheaval, though there have been some exceptions. The Los Angeles Police Department's Wilshire division had recorded no homicides this time last year. It now has at least 10.
Los Angeles Times

LA cop cleared of wrongdoing for George Floyd ‘Valentine'
The Los Angeles police officer who shared a photo of George Floyd with the words “you take my breath away” in a Valentine-like format has been cleared of wrongdoing and will not face any punishment. The officer, who has not been named publicly, was found not guilty of any administrative charges by a internal disciplinary panel comprised of community members, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed. Leslie Wilcox, the officer's attorney, said the officer only shared the Valentine to report it to his superior. “The Board of Rights panel was absolutely correct in exonerating the officer based on the evidence of this case. The officer found the meme offensive, he did not create the meme, nor did he distribute it beyond notifying a commanding officer of its existence,” Wilcox said in a statement. “This decision shows that the Board of Rights process works and that the civilian panel is able to put aside political pressure and focus on the evidence in front of them in making objective decisions.” Associated Press

DA Won't Seek Death Penalty For Man Charged In Killing Of Rapper Pop Smoke
The prosecution announced Tuesday that it won't seek the death penalty against a man who is charged, along with three juveniles, in the February 2020 slaying of 20-year-old rapper Pop Smoke. Corey Walker, 20, could now face a maximum of life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of the killing of the New York-based rapper, whose real name was Bashar Jackson. Walker and another suspect, Keandre Rodgers, were each charged with murder with a special circumstance allegation that the murder occurred during the commission of a robbery and a burglary. The enhancement made both eligible for the death penalty. They also faced gang and gun allegations, according to the District Attorney's Office. Two minors were also charged with a count of murder and robbery in juvenile court. They were not publicly identified. Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon issued a directive shortly after he was sworn into office last December that says a death sentence is “never an appropriate resolution in any case.” The case had been filed under prior District Attorney Jackie Lacey's administration. Regarding the minors who were charged, the county's top prosecutor vowed in another directive that his office would “immediately end the practice of sending youth to the adult court system.”

Police Investigate BB Gun Shootings Along Ventura Blvd.
Police are investigating reports of a suspect shooting out store windows with a BB gun along Ventura Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley early Wednesday morning. Los Angeles police told CBSLA that they were investigating reports of a suspect shooting the windows of businesses along Ventura Boulevard sometime before 5 a.m. in Woodland Hills, Tarzana and several other neighborhoods. Some of the locations hit included The Carving Board Tarzana in the 18600 block of Ventura, and Mi Casa Lighting & Fans in the 22200 block of Ventura. A piano store was also hit at Ventura Boulevard and Tampa Avenue. Police said they received reports of at least 12 such incidents. There was no word of any injuries. Los Angeles police were on scene investigating. There was no immediate description of the suspect.

South LA Man Linked To Massive Fireworks Blast Granted Bond
Bond was granted Tuesday for a South Los Angeles man charged with illegally transporting tons of explosives -- including dangerous homemade devices that were detonated by police, leading to a massive explosion that destroyed a specially designed containment vehicle and injured 17 people. Arturo Ceja III was expected to be released from federal custody at the end of the day on an unsecured $25,000 bond signed by his parents, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. He is expected to be arraigned on Aug. 2. Ceja, 26, was arrested Saturday by special agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on a criminal complaint charging him with transporting explosives without a license. The charge carries a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison, prosecutors said. Ceja was initially arrested and booked after the Wednesday evening explosion on suspicion of possession of a destructive device and child endangerment, and was released after posting $500,000 bond Thursday.

South LA Man, Along With Sister And Daughter, Charged With Scamming Immigrants
Three South Los Angeles relatives have been charged with scamming dozens of immigrants by unlawfully providing legal services for residency or work permits, L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón announced Friday. “The immigrant community should not be preyed upon and swindled out of their money from unscrupulous scammers,” Gascón said in a statement released Friday morning. Gascón's office said Oscar Mauricio Gil, 63, was charged with 19 felony counts of grand theft and three counts of conspiracy to commit a crime. His sister, Judith Gil, 67, was charged with 31 counts of felony grand theft, three counts of conspiracy to commit a crime and one count of extortion. Gil's daughter, Minerva Gil, 39, was charged with 22 felony counts of grand theft and three counts of conspiracy to commit a crime.
Los Angeles Daily News

Man Pleads Not Guilty In Girlfriend's Stabbing Death
A man who allegedly fatally stabbed his girlfriend in an unincorporated area bordering Compton and then fled to Mexico pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a murder charge. Victor Hugo Sosa, 25, is charged with the killing of Daisy Delao, who was found dead Feb. 23 in an alleyway in the 1400 block of Long Beach Boulevard, between Alondra and Greenleaf boulevards. Investigators identified Delao's boyfriend as the suspected killer and said he fled the scene before authorities arrived. No motive was provided for the stabbing. Authorities in Rosarito, Mexico, arrested Sosa on Friday morning after working on information received from a tip, according to Deputy Shawn Du Busky of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The FBI was notified of Sosa's arrest and subsequently took him into custody. He was later turned over to sheriff's personnel.

New Video Released In Search For Man Suspected Of Hate Crime In Assault On Asian American Woman In Culver City
New video was released Thursday as police continue their search for a man suspected of committing a hate crime when he assaulted an Asian American woman last month in Culver City. As the victim was walking to work along Washington Boulevard around 1 a.m. on June 14, a man approached her near Redwood Avenue to ask if she had a cigarette, according to Culver City police. The woman replied that she didn't and, feeling fearful of the man, began to walk away. That's when he came up from behind, called her an “Asian motherf—,” and punched the right side of her head, investigators said. The surveillance video released Thursday shows the man identified as the perpetrator at a nearby convenience store following the assault, apparently speaking to a cashier. Police had previously released video showing the attack, with the force of the impact knocking the woman to the ground, where she lay motionless. The perpetrator stood over her looking down for several seconds before walking away.

Man, 74, Reported Missing In Lynwood
Authorities sought the public's help Tuesday to locate a missing 74-year-old man with diabetes who was last seen in Lynwood. Gregory Gustin was last seen at about 8:30 p.m. Sunday in the 3500 block of Imperial Highway, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Gustin is Black, 5-feet-11 inches tall and weighs 218 pounds, with short gray hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a black jacket and black pants. Gustin uses a wheelchair to get around and his right leg is amputated above the knee, according to the LASD. Anyone with information on his whereabouts was asked to contact the LASD Missing Persons Unit at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at .

Man Harasses Couple, Steals Car, Runs Victim Over Before Crashing Car In Santa Monica, Police Say
A man from Texas is accused of going on a horrific crime spree in Santa Monica over the weekend. According to Santa Monica City Councilman Phil Brock, 30-year-old Preston Rochon began harassing a couple trying to leave a Santa Monica parking garage in the 100 block of Colorado Avenue around 1:15 a.m. Friday. "[Rochon] grabs the girl," Brock said, describing the alleged incident. "Says, ‘I'm gonna have sex with your girlfriend before you leave the garage.'" The couple managed to fight off Rochon before rushing back to their vehicle and then driving to the bottom of the parking garage. However, Rochon found the couple and harassed them once again, according to the Santa Monica Police Department. According to police, Rochon got into the couple's vehicle, driving away with one of the victims chasing the now-stolen vehicle. Police say Rochon then put the vehicle in reverse and ran the man over twice. The suspect then continued to drive off before crashing the vehicle into a barricade at the Santa Monica Pier. Rochon walked away but was arrested shortly after.
FOX 11

Burbank PD Arrests Daniel Keshishyan On Suspicion Of Sexual Battery; Additional Victims Sought
The Burbank Police Department Tuesday announced it had arrested 28-year-old resident Daniel Keshishyan on suspicion of sexual battery. Keshishyan is accused of groping three female victims. The first incident happened June 30 at about 12:30 p.m. in the 500 block of East Providencia Avenue. The woman reported she was groped while walking her dog. A second woman reported she was groped July 3 at about 11:30 a.m. while walking on the sidewalk in the 500 block of East Providencia Avenue. A third woman reported she was walking on the sidewalk in the 800 block of Fifth Street July 3 at about 2:25 p.m. when she was groped. Authorities believe there may be additional victims and have asked anyone with information to call the BPD Investigations Division at 818-238-3210.

3 Undercover Law Enforcement Officers Shot, Wounded In Chicago
Three undercover law enforcement officers were shot and wounded Wednesday morning while driving onto a freeway on Chicago's South Side, police said. The shooting was reported about 6 a.m. near the 22nd District police station in the city's Morgan Park neighborhood. The injuries to the officers were reportedly not considered life-threatening. No arrests have been reported. The shootings come a day after police reported that 100 people were shot in Chicago — including two police officers who were wounded while trying to break up a crowd — over the long Fourth of July weekend. The holiday weekend shootings included 18 homicides. The bloodshed was comparable to the long Fourth of July weekend last year, when 17 people were fatally shot and 70 more were wounded.
Associated Press

Houston Officer ‘Critical' After Being Shot During Call About Parking Fight
A Houston police officer is in “stable, but critical condition” after he was shot Monday while responding to a disturbance call, according to KPRC. The call was related to a fight over a parking space, police said. According to the report, a woman claimed that a man had spat in her face in a parking spot dispute. Officers went to the man's apartment, but when they tried to speak with him the suspect started firing off rounds, police said. One officer, identified as Officer S. Cleveland, was shot in the arm and abdomen. Cleveland was partially protected by his vest, which stopped the round to his abdomen, according to a  police report . He is expected to undergo surgery and recover. The other officer on scene managed to arrest the suspect, identified as Michael Howard-Dale, 26. Neither officer fired their weapon, police said. The incident remains under investigation.

Former Detroit Police Chief Slams ‘Victimhood Mentality' At Birthplace Of Michigan GOP
Recently retired Detroit Police Chief James Craig detailed his journey from a born Democrat to a dedicated Republican at a GOP rally in Jackson on Tuesday, stopping just short of declaring himself a candidate for governor of Michigan. Speaking on the street corner Michigan Republicans claim as the 1854 birthplace of their party, Craig touted his support of the Second Amendment and his opposition to abortion rights while decrying Democrats as a party he said believes in handouts, rather than self-reliance. "I will defend our police; not defund them," Craig said in his first political stump speech. "What I can't respect is a victimhood mentality. That's the mentality being pushed by the leaders of today's Democratic Party." Craig talked about "celebrating our independence from the rule of Gov. (Gretchen) Whitmer" after the 2022 election, but did not explicitly declare himself a candidate for the state's highest office.
Detroit Free Press

Chicago Police Report Killings Down, Shootings Up This Year
Fewer killings were reported over the first six months of 2021 in Chicago compared with the same period last year even as the number of shootings and people shot increased, according to statistics released Thursday by police. Between Jan. 1 and Wednesday, there were 332 killings in the city — six fewer than in the first six months of 2020. Both numbers are much higher than the 246 recorded over the first half of 2019. Chicago has seen a number of mass shootings and mass killings in recent weeks. Coupled with others around the country in June, shootings stoked concerns about a spike in U.S. gun violence heading into the summer, as coronavirus restrictions ease and more people are free to socialize. Chicago ended 2020 with 769 slayings. So far this year, there have been 1,515 shooting incidents and 1,880 people shot in the city. Shootings incidents and victims over the first six months of 2020 totaled 1,377 and 1,656, respectively.
Associated Press

Shootings Killed Nearly 200 People In US Over July Fourth Weekend, Gun Violence Archive Says
Hundreds of Americans were killed in shootings during this past Independence Day weekend, according to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive. The Gun Violence Archive reported on Monday evening that 189 people were killed and more than 500 were injured in shootings over a 72-hour period from Friday. On Tuesday, FOX News reported that at least 35 people were shot in New York City in 29 shooting incidents from Friday through Monday. Two of these incidents resulted in deaths, the New York Police Department told FOX News. During the same period last year, the NYPD recorded 55 shooting incidents, 78 shooting victims and 16 homicides. In Chicago, two police officers were shot and wounded early Monday while trying to break up a crowd following Fourth of July gatherings, authorities said. The shooting happened at about 1:45 a.m. on the city's West Side, less than an hour after a drive-by shooting in Washington Park on the city's South Side left two people dead and four others wounded. Between Friday night and early Monday morning, 12 people had been fatally shot in Chicago and at least 40 more suffered gunshot wounds, according to department statistics. Monday is considered part of the long holiday weekend, so final numbers won't be available until Tuesday.
FOX 11

Public Safety News

Doctor Urges Vaccinations As Black L.A. County Residents See Worsening COVID Hospitalizations, Case Rates
With COVID-19 hospitalizations and case rates worsening for Los Angeles County's Black residents while improving for other groups, the CEO of MLK Community Healthcare is encouraging community members to get vaccinated. “We've got a community that is lagging behind in vaccinations, but is still having contact with people who are able to transmit COVID,” said Dr. Elaine Batchlor, CEO of MLK Community Health Care. The doctor attributed the disparity to a combination of difficulty in accessing the vaccine, and continued hesitancy in the Black community, which has higher level of distrust of government and of institutions, she said. “I don't think we have to reach all the way back to  Tuskegee  to have cause for the Black community to distrust government and large institutions,” Batchlor said. “I think we have ongoing challenges, and bias and discrimination that is still very much with us. She said the disparity in vaccinations highlights the need for more representation in health care.

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: