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Daily Local & Regional NewsWatch
LA Police Protective League

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Los Angeles
Police Protective League
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the union that represents the
rank and file LAPD officers

  Daily Local & Regional NewsWatch

Daily News Digest
from LA Police Protective League

August 10, 2021
Law Enforcement News

LA Deputies Shot In Ambush Sue ‘Ghost Gun' Kit Maker
Two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies badly wounded in an ambush shooting last year sued a Nevada company Monday for making the parts for a “ghost gun” used in the attack. The lawsuit alleges Polymer80 Inc. negligently and unlawfully sold an “untraceable home-assembled gun kit” that resulted in the September attack. It was the latest effort to deal with the proliferation of ghost guns, which are put together from commercial kits or parts bought online. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives doesn't consider the uncompleted kits to be firearms, so buyers don't have to undergo the usual background checks, and in most states the guns aren't required to have serial numbers. Law enforcement agencies say the weapons are increasingly turning up at crime scenes. Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore has said the guns now account for a third of all weapons recovered by the LAPD. Federal officials say thousands have been seized in connection with crime investigations. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of deputies Claudia Apolinar and Emmanuel Perez-Perez, who were shot and wounded Sept. 12 as they sat in their patrol car at a Metro rail station in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton. The attacker fired through the car's passenger window. Apolinar and Perez-Perez were shot in the head and arms. Neither has been able to return to work, according to the lawsuit.
Associated Press

Man Found Shot To Death In Car In North Hills
A man in his 20s was discovered shot to death in a car in the San Fernando Valley neighborhood of North Hills late Monday night. Just before midnight, Los Angeles police discovered the victim slumped in the driver's seat of a car in the middle of the road in the 9600 block of Columbus Avenue. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not immediately identified. Detectives are investigating whether the victim may have been involved in an altercation with a pedestrian prior to the killing, police said. There was no immediate suspect information. It's unclear if the killing was gang-related.
CBS 2

Moments After Gun Battle Between Security Guard And Suspected Robbers Caught On LAPD Body Cam Video
The LAPD Monday published edited clips from officers' body worn video captured in the moments after a private security guard exchanged gunfire with several men who allegedly tried to commit a robbery at the home of Fashion NOVA CEO Richard Saghian. The security guard, a recently retired Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputy, was shot in the stomach and was treated for critical injuries. One of the suspected robbers died after being shot; a second suspected robber survived a gunshot wound. The new LAPD video shows what happened when LAPD officers spotted the alleged getaway car and found the two suspected robbers, wounded, inside the car. The gunfight happened around 2 a.m. June 25, 2021 outside the home in the 1400 block of Blue Jay Way.
NBC 4

Man Charged In Death Of Reseda Banking Exec Pleads Not Guilty
A man arrested Friday on suspicion of murdering his former girlfriend, a Reseda banking executive and grandmother, pleaded not guilty to charges Monday afternoon. Anthony Duwayne Turner, 52, now faces one felony count of murder and one count of first-degree residential burglary, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón's office. Michelle Avan, Turner's former girlfriend, was fatally beaten, according to investigators, and was discovered unresponsive by family members around 7 a.m. on Thursday. The 48-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene, and appeared to have suffered "trauma to the face," detectives said. “Ms. Avan was a leader in our community and this senseless act of violence has resulted in a significant loss to us all,” Gascón said. Turner is charged with entering the Avan's home and killing her on Aug. 3, leaving on Aug. 4, when her son discovered her body, according to the DA's office. Multiple law enforcement sources told NBC4's I-Team Turner had a personal relationship with Avan, and she had recently considered obtaining a restraining order against him.
NBC 4

Suspected Carjacking, Stabbing That Left Man Hospitalized In Koreatown Area Under Investigation
A reported stabbing and carjacking that left a man hospitalized is under investigation along the Koreatown-Westlake border Tuesday morning. Police responded to an auto theft call in the 400 block of South Virgil Avenue just after 3:30 a.m., a Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson confirmed. Arriving officers found a man in his 30s who was suffering from stab wounds. The man told officers that he chased a carjacker to West 5th Street and Virgil Avenue where he was stabbed during a confrontation. The victim was taken to a local hospital. There was no word on his condition. No description of the attacker was given.
KTLA 5

Pursuit And Standoff In Valley Village Ends Without Suspect In Custody
A vehicle that nearly hit a an LAPD cruiser close to the intersection of Lankershim and Burbank Boulevards led police in a pursuit and eventually a standoff at a Valley Village used car dealership. The suspect pulled into Boktor Motors, located on the corner of Riverside Drive and Colfax Avenue, where he exited his vehicle, threw a traffic cone at officers. He then took off shirt and began doing pushups, before getting up and fidgeting with one of the cars on the lot. Eventually, the man disappeared into the back of the car dealership. After a time, police left without the suspect. LAPD told CBSLA that they determined there was no threat to the public and decided to clear the scene without the suspect in custody.
CBS 2

California Costco Shooting: Charges Filed Against Former LAPD Officer Accused Of Killing Disabled Man, DA Says
The California attorney general's office on Monday said it has filed manslaughter and assault charges against a former Los Angeles police officer who is accused of fatally shooting a mentally disabled man during an off-duty altercation at a Costco store in 2019. Salvador Sanchez, 32, a seven-year veteran of the LAPD at the time of the June 2019 shooting, was arrested Monday morning in Riverside County. His bail was set at $155,000, according to jail records. Sanchez is accused of killing 32-year-old Kenneth French and wounding his elderly parents during a brief confrontation inside the Costco store in Corona, about 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Sanchez was shopping at the store with his family and holding his 1 1/2-year-old son when he was struck from behind by French. Sanchez was knocked to the ground, and he opened fire, fatally wounding French and critically injuring his parents, Russell, 58, and Paola French, 59, police say. Sanchez shot French four times in the back and shoulder, his mother once in the stomach, and his father once in the back, Corona Police Chief George Johnstone said. On Monday, David Winslow, Sanchez's attorney, called his client's arrest a "political stunt that does absolutely nothing to protect the public." "The arrest of Sal Sanchez is a product of the politically motivated program by the California Attorney General to prosecute police officers," Winslow said in a statement. "Sal was not acting as a police officer when he was attacked. He was off duty acting as a father in self-defense and protecting his child." Sanchez faces one count of voluntary manslaughter and two counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm. The LAPD said he was terminated from the agency in July 2020, but it declined further comment on Sanchez's arrest.
FOX News

Homelessness Surges In Venice Beach, Leaving Locals At Odds
The Los Angeles community of Venice Beach is rich with cultural touchstones: Muscle Beach, a seaside skate park, and the bustling boardwalk filled with street vendors and musicians. Amid the pandemic it's also emerged as a microcosm of the homelessness catastrophe in the U.S.'s second-largest city — and a focal point for public anger over the issue in Southern California. The conflict over how to handle it has pitted an aggressive enforcement approach favored by many city leaders against a grassroots movement advocating for a more housing-first, humane way. It's also driving a wedge between neighbors with conflicting views on safety and the need to reclaim public space versus the plight, and rights, of the unhoused. “We have a massive economic refugee crisis happening in our backyard,” said Stephanie Popescu, a co-founder with her husband, Tudor, of Grass Roots Neighbors, a local group helping feed and find services for those in need. The narrative has been framed in part by progressive City Councilmember Mike Bonin and L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who've been engaged in a public social media feud over whether compassion or criminalization is the best course of action. The crisis of the unhoused has drawn an army of local, national and international media to the Venice Beach boardwalk over the past few months, focusing on the multicolored tents and tarps that covered a grassy rise next to the concrete walkway.
Bloomberg CityLab

L.A. Man Arrested After Allegedly Stealing, Reselling $85,000 Worth Of Merchandise
A man was arrested after $85,000 worth of stolen merchandise was found being resold in Los Angeles, Glendale police announced Monday. Angel Pedro, 44 of Los Angeles, was arrested on suspicion of felony theft and receiving known stolen property, the Glendale Police Department said in a news release. On June 23, grand theft occurred from a retail store on the 200 block of N. Glendale Ave. in the city of Glendale, according to police. The store's loss prevention personnel provided officers with surveillance footage of the theft. On June 30, detectives launched an investigation regarding an organized retail crime group and learned that multiple stores in Los Angeles County were burglarized by the same people. Throughout the investigation, detectives learned that the stolen merchandise was being resold on the 2000 block of W. 7th St. in Los Angeles. Detectives determined that over 5,000 pieces of merchandise were stolen, worth approximately $85,000. After conducting surveillance at various locations, Pedro was arrested.
KTLA 5

Robert Durst Takes Stand At His Trial, Denies Killing Friend
Robert Durst took the stand at his California murder trial Monday and immediately denied killing his best friend, who prosecutors say was about to reveal to investigators his involvement in the 1982 disappearance of his wife. "Bob, did you kill Susan Berman?" Durst's attorney Dick DeGuerin said to open the testimony of the 78-year-old New York real estate heir. "No," Durst answered. "Do you know who did?" DeGuerin asked. "No, I do not," answered Durst, who struggled to hear, strained to speak and appeared extremely frail as he sat in a wheelchair instead of a witness chair. Berman was shot in the back of the head and killed in 2000 in her Los Angeles home. She had been Durst's best friend for decades and acted as his de facto spokesman after the disappearance of his wife, Kathie, who was later declared dead, though no body was found. Durst was arrested on a warrant in Berman's killing in New Orleans in 2015 on the eve of the airing of the final episode of "The Jinx," the HBO documentary series about him in which Durst made several seemingly damning statements.
FOX 11

2 Brothers Charged In Fatal Shooting Of Chicago Officer
A pair of Chicago brothers were hit with felony charges Monday after a traffic stop Saturday night in West Englewood ended in tragedy, with Chicago police Officer Ella French fatally shot and her partner badly wounded. Emonte Morgan, 21, was charged with first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder of a peace officer and other charges, police and prosecutors announced. His brother, Eric Morgan, 22, was charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon as well as one count of obstructing justice. They were expected to appear for bond hearings in Cook County court on Tuesday. French, 29, an officer since April 2018, was the first Chicago cop to be shot and killed in the line of duty since Mayor Lori Lightfoot took office in 2019, and the first since police Superintendent David Brown began leading the city's police force last year. Her killing rattled a city already struggling with violence this summer.
Chicago Tribune

Feds Charge Alleged Straw Purchaser Of Gun Used In Fatal Shooting Of Chicago Police Officer
Federal prosecutors have filed criminal charges against an Indiana man who allegedly acted as the so-called straw purchaser of the handgun used in the weekend shooting of two Chicago police officers. Jamel Danzy, 29, of Hammond, was arrested Sunday and is being held in federal custody pending a detention hearing set for Wednesday afternoon. His lawyer noted during a court hearing Monday that he has no criminal history. He is charged with conspiracy to violate federal firearm laws. The weekend shooting took the life of Officer Ella French, 29, and left another officer in critical condition. The feds' decision to swiftly file charges in connection with French's death followed a visit last month by Attorney General Merrick Garland to Chicago, where he touted a new program meant to combat gun violence in Chicago and other cities. That program is meant, in part, to target so-called straw-purchasers who use their clean records to help put guns in the hands of people who shouldn't have them. A federal judge recently handed an eight-month prison sentence to a straw-purchaser connected to a December 2019 mass shooting. Danzy faces a maximum of five years behind bars. 
Chicago Sun Times

U.S. And Mexican Authorities Discover Drug Tunnel In Mexicali
U.S. federal authorities are investigating the discovery of a sophisticated, 183-foot tunnel that started inside a home in Mexicali, Mexico, near the international border. The unfinished tunnel extended three feet north of the international border wall into Calexico in Imperial County but did not have an exit on the U.S. side of the border, according to Homeland Security Investigations. The 3-by-4-foot shaft — ostensibly meant to smuggle drugs, people or weapons across the U.S.-Mexico border — has electricity, ventilation, a rail system with a cart and an electric hoist. It is nearly 22 feet below ground level. “These types of tunnels enable drug traffickers to conduct illicit activities virtually undetected across the U.S.–Mexico border,” Cardell Morant, special agent in charge of HSI San Diego, said in a statement. A spokesman for the federal agency said he could not identify which trafficking organization dug the tunnel. The HSI-led investigation is being assisted by the El Centro Sector Border Patrol and the Mexican government. Mexican federal authorities assisted HSI special agents with obtaining access to the Mexicali home, where they discovered the entrance to the tunnel, measuring 10 feet by 12 feet.
Los Angeles Times

Pandemic Set Off Deadly Rise In Speeding That Hasn't Stopped
Motorists put the pedal to the metal during the pandemic and police are worried as roads get busy with the final stretch of summer travel. The latest data shows the number of highway deaths in 2020 was the greatest in more than a decade even though cars and trucks drove fewer miles during the pandemic. “Summer is an incredibly dangerous time. And it culminates with Labor Day, that last hurrah,” said Pam Shadel Fischer of the Governors Highway Safety Association. Traffic data indicates the higher death toll was related to higher average speeds in conjunction with more of those on the roads driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and a slight decline in seatbelt use. Motorists do not seem to be slowing down. “People are flying down the roads,” Maine State Police Cpl. Doug Cropper said of summer traffic on Interstate 95. “It's just ridiculous.” Tickets issued by the California Highway Patrol for speeding in excess of 100 mph from January to June were nearly double pre-pandemic levels, and the number of tickets for reckless driving citations grew, as well, officials said.
Associated Press

Public Safety News

As Fires Wreak Havoc, L.A. County Fire Air Operations Team Fights Flames From Up Above
As more severe, destructive fire behavior wreaks havoc in California, the Los Angeles County Fire Air Operations Team fights the flames from the air. Before the 1950s, all fires were fought from the ground. But the L.A. County Air Operations Team revolutionized firefighting methods, and they say they were the first agency in the nation to battle blazes from up above. Senior pilot Mike Sageley had 22 years of experience flying in the army, and now as a member of the Air Operations team, he believes the aerial fire attack changed the game. “I equate firefighting from the air, especially the large fire here, as very similar to a combat battle,” Sageley said. “[It's] very dynamic. It's always changing.” The Air Operations are headquartered at Whiteman Airport's Barton Field, where firefighting pioneer Rolan Barton made history by becoming the first person to put a water tank on a helicopter. “His initial mission was to put a fixed tank on an aircraft for wildland firefighting and now it's an industry standard throughout world,” Battalion Chief Robert Gaylor said. They now have a fleet of 10 firefighting aircrafts, and the county requires there to be a minimum of three aircrafts, plus the crew, ready to go around the clock.
KTLA 5

LA County Issues Warnings At Two Beaches
Beach-goers were advised Monday of potentially hazardous water conditions at two Los Angeles County beaches. The county Department of Public Health told people to use caution swimming, surfing and playing in the water at Mothers Beach in Marina del Rey and near the Santa Monica Pier, particularly around discharging storm drains, creeks and rivers. Recorded information on beach conditions is available 24 hours a day on the county's beach closure hotline: 1-800-525-5662. Information is also available online at  PublicHealth.LACounty.gov .
CBS 2

LA County Coronavirus Hospitalizations Nearly Double In Two Weeks
Los Angeles County reported increasing coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations on Monday as the highly contagious Delta variant continues to spread. There were 2,919 confirmed cases reported and six new deaths. Additionally, in the past two weeks, L.A. County saw daily hospitalizations nearly double. As of Monday, there were 1,437 individuals hospitalized with coronavirus up from 745 on Monday, July 26. The increase in hospitalizations is largely attributed to unvaccinated Angelenos, while numbers remain low among those who are vaccinated. Officials said the number of cases and deaths were likely to reflect reporting delays from over the weekend. On top of that, emergency rooms were also seeing younger people, including kids, showing up with coronavirus infections.
CBS 2

Local Government News

Landlord Sues L.A. For $100M, Alleging Eviction Moratorium Caused ‘Astronomical' Losses
One of the region's most prolific apartment builders has sued the city of Los Angeles over its COVID-19 eviction moratorium, saying his companies have experienced “astronomical” financial losses and are legally entitled to compensation from the city. GHP Management Corp., which is owned by real estate developer Geoffrey Palmer, said in its lawsuit that 12 buildings that it manages have experienced more than $20 million in lost rental income as a result of the measure. GHP, which filed the lawsuit along with several other Palmer companies, expects that number to triple by the time the provisions of the moratorium have expired. The city enacted its temporary eviction limits in March 2020, just as COVID-19 was triggering the shutdown of businesses and throwing people out of work, barring building owners from forcing out tenants who could show their inability to pay was caused by the pandemic. Palmer's companies allege that the moratorium — first put in place by Mayor Eric Garcetti as an emergency order, then approved as an ordinance by the City Council — violated the “takings clause” established in the 5th Amendment, which says private property shall not be taken for public use without “just compensation.”
KTLA 5

LA County Board Of Supervisors Will ‘Explore' Vaccination Requirement To Enter Indoor, Public Spaces
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will further discuss a vaccination requirement to enter many indoor public spaces on Tuesday. Supervisor Janice Hahn told FOX 11 during the station's special report that county supervisors will explore the option in Tuesday's meeting. "I think it's time for LA County to at least explore the possibility of requiring people to show proof of vaccination before they enter public spaces in LA County," said Hahn. Hahn said the board will vote Tuesday on whether they want to explore the option. "By explore, I mean we're going to ask for our county lawyers, our county health people and the county officials who work with businesses to give us a report back in 14 days and advise the County Board of Supervisors on what our options are if we believe that's the next step in protecting the public's health," said Hahn. Hahn said they might focus on nonessential businesses. "Maybe we just do nonessential businesses and we make sure everyone can access their grocery stores," she said. 
FOX 11


LA Councilman Introduces Motion To Speed Up Rental Assistance Payment Process
Councilman Kevin de Leon has introduced a motion aimed at speeding up the timeline for landlords to receive back rent for tenants who couldn't pay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that at the current pace, the city's rental assistance program won't complete payments for 18 months. De Leon, speaking before the City Council meeting Friday morning, said the  rent relief program received more than 113,000 applications and the city has about $235 million to distribute, with another $260 million expected. However, the city has only paid out about $35 million, he said. "The problem we face is not a problem of funding ... Rather, our problem is a lack of urgency and creativity and commitment to rise to the challenge of this unprecedented crisis,'' de Leon said. His motion calls on the Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department to report on what resources it needs to process and pay all outstanding applications by Oct. 1. Los Angeles County's eviction moratorium is set to expire on Sept. 30, but the city's is tied to its declaration of local emergency.
FOX 11

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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:

www.LAPD.com


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