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

August 19, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Two San Bernardino Police Officers Are Shot While Trying To Arrest Suspect In Deputy Shooting
Two San Bernardino police officers were shot Wednesday afternoon while trying to arrest a man suspected of shooting a county sheriff's deputy the day before, authorities said. San Bernardino Police Chief Eric McBride identified the suspect Wednesday night as Ervin Olikong, 34, a gang member with an extensive criminal history. Olikong was shot during the encounter and died at the scene, authorities said. San Bernardino police had him under surveillance and SWAT officers moved in Wednesday afternoon after deciding that it was the best chance to bring him into custody, McBride said. The chief declined to go into further details about department tactics. Deputies responded at 3:38 p.m. to the area of Victoria Avenue and Rosemary Drive in Highland, said Cindy Bachman, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. San Bernardino Police Department SWAT officers were at that location trying to make contact with a man, later identified as Olikong, believed to be responsible for shooting a sheriff's deputy on Tuesday, Bachman said. Law enforcement officials described that incident as an ambush. Los Angeles Times

Major police departments across U.S. face retirements and burnout
Burnout and exhaustion are widespread in police departments big and small across the country, as more officers have retired this year due to anti-police protests, budget cuts and the effects of the pandemic. The Los Angeles Police department was particularly hit hard after budget cuts led to many officers leaving, along with difficulties recruiting and training replacements. “They're worn out. They're frustrated. They're tired. They're feeling fatigued, and they're saying they're looking for options outside the profession,” Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore told the LA Daily News. American Police Beat

4 Homeless People Wounded In Playa del Rey Shooting, LAPD Says
Four people believed to be homeless were wounded in a predawn shooting in Playa del Rey early Wednesday, LAPD said. Multiple gunshots were heard in the area of Jefferson and Lincoln boulevards, near a homeless encampment around the Ballona Wetlands, around 5:40 a.m. Before officers arrived, four male victims had been shot and transported to the hospital, the news release states. Initially, an LAPD spokesman told KTLA that responding officers found one gunshot victim at the scene, and the officers were told that three other gunshot victims had been taken to hospitals by “witnesses.” All four victims were hospitalized and were listed in stable condition as of 5:30 p.m., LAPD said. The victims have not been identified, and police described them only as male and “believed to be people experiencing homelessness.” “However, the shooting does not appear to be related to this fact,” LAPD added in a statement. It's unclear who fired at them. Police heard about a dark-colored sedan that was believed to be the shooter's car, but no information was available on the vehicle's make and model, Sgt. Darryl Jacobs told reporters at the scene. KTLA 5

City Of Palmdale Issues Vote Of No Confidence In George Gascón
Palmdale joins a dozen-plus Los Angeles County cities issuing votes of "no confidence" in LA County DA George Gascón. On Tuesday, the Palmdale City Council voted 4-1 to issue the no confidence in the county's district attorney. According to a press release from Recall Gascón Now, Palmdale becomes the 28th city to issue the no confidence. Prior to Palmdale's vote, FOX 11 had covered previous developments involving other Los Angeles County cities issuing votes of no confidence. Gascón, a former San Francisco DA (2011-2019), made headlines earlier in the year for pushing to eliminate all special enhancement allegations, which would make about 20,000 inmates eligible for re-sentencing consideration.  FOX 11

Authorities ID Pedestrian Killed In Sylmar Hit-and-Run Crash; Motorist Sought
Authorities Wednesday identified a pedestrian who was killed in a hit-and-run accident in Sylmar earlier this week, as detectives continued their efforts to find the motorist involved in the death. The crash was reported at 12:48 a.m. Monday at Hubbard Street and Foothill Boulevard, according to the LAPD. The Los Angeles County coroner's office identified the fatally injured man as 66-year-old Anthony Hurd. According to the LAPD, Hurd was crossing Foothill Boulevard in the middle of the block, south of Hubbard Street, when he was hit by a gray or silver sedan, possibly a Kia or Toyota. “The driver of the sedan then entered a gas station driveway area while dragging the pedestrian underneath the vehicle,” police said in a statement. “The hit-and-run driver then backed up, turned around and fled southbound (on) Foothill Boulevard without stopping, identifying himself/herself, or attempting to render aid to the pedestrian that sustained fatal injuries.” A standing reward of up to $50,000 has been offered by the Los Angeles City Council for information that helps solve a fatal hit-and-run. Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the LAPD Valley Traffic Division at 818-644-8033.

19-Year-Old Victim Of Sunday Hit-And-Run In Hollywood Hills Being Treated For Broken Vertebrae
After a felony hit-and-run Sunday night in the Hollywood Hills that injured five people, including a 16-year-old girl and a 19-year-old man seriously, one of the victims is still being treated at Cedars Sinai. The family of 19-year-old victim Devin Guzman said they are heartbroken. Guzman is being treated for broken vertebrae. “He's already been in surgery, on Monday. He needs to go back to repair his vertebrae and spinal cord,” said Natalia Guzman, the victim's aunt. The incident occurred at around 9 p.m. Sunday night. A person driving down Mulholland Drive slammed into Guzman and four other friends just west of the scenic overlook, and then fled the scene. “It's amazing how in one second your life can change forever. We are hoping he comes out okay. I mean, his injuries are severe,” Guzman's aunt said. “We're very close to him. My nephew I could say is my son. I mean, every holiday, we spend it here together.” Police say they are still searching for the driver. CBS 2

$80K Reward Offered To Help Solve Three East LA Cold Cases
Los Angeles County is offering an $80,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects involved in three unsolved murders in East Los Angeles. The murders happened between 2014 and 2018, all within two miles of each other, according to LASD Homicide Captain Joe Mendoza. The first murder happened February 10, 2014. According to detectives, the victim, Jesse Avalos, received a phone call from a friend around 10:50 p.m. the night before asking for help to jump start a vehicle. Within 15 minutes Avalos traveled to the intersection of Telegraph Rd. and Arizona Ave. to help his friend. Around 3:25 a.m., LASD received a call about an injured person. When officers arrived on scene they located Avalos in the driver seat of his blue SUV suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. According to Mendoza, two suspects were seen fleeing the area. The second murder happened July 6, 2015. Mendoza says the victim, Eduardo Robles, got into a physical altercation with a suspect in the driveway of an East LA home. Robles was visiting 15 to 20 people at the house when the fight occurred. According to Mendoza, the suspect jumped over a fence, walked to Robles' car and punctured all four of his tires with a sharp object. The suspect then left the area. About five minutes later, the suspect returned to the house and shot Robles multiple times. The suspect then entered a light green vehicle and fled eastbound on Eagle Street, Mendoza stated during a press conference Wednesday. FOX 11

Missing South LA Teen Found After 2-Day Disappearance
A South Los Angeles teen who had been missing for two days - leading family, friends and church members to organize a search effort - has been located, police say. Jonathan Munoz disappeared Monday night. He was last seen leaving his home in the South Los Angeles area around 7 p.m., bicycling to the gym. Family and friends had organized a formal search effort to begin Wednesday afternoon, saying it was out of character for him to stay out of touch for that long. But Los Angeles police now say Munoz was located Wednesday in the Harbor area and is being reunited with his family. The circumstances of his disappearance have not been disclosed. His disappearance had alarmed his family, because he is known for punctuality and discipline and had made plans to work out with family and friends during the week. When he went to the gym, he left behind his wallet with cash, ID and debit cards. ABC 7

L.A. County Prosecutors Bring Adult Film Star Ron Jeremy's Sex Assault Case To Grand Jury
Prosecutors have taken the sexual assault case against Ron Jeremy to a grand jury and will seek to indict the disgraced porn icon on dozens of counts of rape and sexual battery, law enforcement officials told The Times this week. The grand jury will hear testimony from the nearly two dozen women who have accused Jeremy of attacking them in Southern California, with some of the allegations dating back more than a quarter-century, according to two officials with direct knowledge of the case. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss the matter candidly, as grand jury proceedings are normally secret. A spokesman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office declined to comment. Jeremy's attorney, Stu Goldfarb, did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment. The news was first reported by XBIZ, a trade publication that covers the adult film industry. KTLA 5

2 Men Found Shot Dead On Driveway Of Bellflower Home
Two men were shot to death in Bellflower, and Sheriff's Department homicide detectives Thursday were investigating. Deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Lakewood Station responded at 9:52 p.m. Wednesday to a shots fired call in the 17300 block of Ardmore Avenue, according to Deputy Tracy Koerner of the Sheriff's Department's Information Bureau. They discovered the two men — both in their 40s — in the driveway suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the upper torso, Koerner said. Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene. No additional information was immediately available. Anyone with information was encouraged to contact the Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at .

‘She Was The Most Beautiful Person': Mourners Honor Slain Officer Ella French At Wake
Uveeda Jones came to the wake for slain Chicago police Officer Ella French straight from work, still in teal scrubs and determined to make it to the chapel. Jones, who is a nurse, worked with French at the Cook County Jail when French was a correctional officer. “Oh my god, she was the most beautiful person,” Jones said. Jones was among hundreds of mourners who waited in line Wednesday afternoon at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel to pay their respects to French, who was shot and killed during a traffic stop on Aug. 7. Her partner was seriously injured. During her time as a corrections officer, French treated the inmates compassionately and made Jones' job as a jail nurse easier, she said. Jones smiled, remembering a time when she asked French, who was vacationing in the Caribbean, to bring back a specialty liquor sold on the islands. When French returned, she gave Jones the bottle and refused to let her pay for it. The line, containing uniformed officers and civilians, spanned at least half a block before snaking into the parking lot. An electronic sign placed on the lawn read: “Thank you for your service.” The sign rotated to show a photograph of French. Chicago Tribune

Pennsylvania Police Chief Shot While Responding To Standoff
Yardley Police Chief Joseph Kelly was shot Wednesday afternoon during what authorities described as a welfare check that turned violent. Kelly was struck in the hand and the ear when Colin Petroziello, 24, opened fire with a shotgun inside his unit at the Yardley Commons apartment complex, according to Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub. The chief had responded to a call for backup from a probation officer who was performing a check on Petroziello at the request of his parents, investigators said. Weintraub said Wednesday afternoon that Kelly was in good spirits at the hospital. "I am very, very relieved to share that news with you," Weintraub said during a news briefing. "Obviously, we are all praying for Chief Kelly and his recovery." Petroziello was taken into custody after a 3 1/2 -hour standoff with police. When officers breached Petroziello's unit in the apartment complex, they found him unconscious in the bedroom, Weintraub said. He did not have any visible injuries, and it was unclear what caused him to lose consciousness. Three guns, including the shotgun used to wound Kelly, were recovered from the home. He will be charged with attempted murder and related offenses, Weintraub said. Philadelphia Inquirer

Facing Revolt From Police Chiefs, U.S. Marshals Agree To Change Body Camera Rules
Facing a revolt from police chiefs, the Justice Department has agreed for the first time to allow local police assigned to federal fugitive task forces to release body camera video to the public after officer-involved shootings, according to memos obtained by NBC News. The task forces, led by the U.S. Marshals Service, target people wanted on arrest warrants on suspicion of crimes from drug-dealing to murder. The encounters can be violent, leading to dozens of officer-involved shootings every year. But the federal agents don't wear body cameras, and local police on the task forces had lacked the authority to release their video after violent encounters. The move to give police departments control over body camera video is a major shift for an agency that has come under fire by critics calling for greater transparency. It also highlights the willingness of local police officials to stand up to federal authorities in an era of police reform. “The U.S. Marshals has done the right thing in embracing the fact that this is not something that we want — this is something that we are demanding,” said Orlando, Florida, Police Chief Orlando Rolón, who began to pull his officers off the U.S. Marshals Florida/Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force late last year. The 65 or so Marshals Service task forces in the U.S., which include about 3,500 local officers, have the authority to cross state lines to chase suspects. NBC News

Fentanyl Is Creeping Into The Mainstream Drug Supply
None of the nine wealthy 20-somethings who were rushed to Manhattan emergency rooms by ambulance one night in November 2019 meant to use opioids. They all thought they were using cocaine, until seven of them passed out within minutes of the first bump. All of them needed hits of naloxone, the overdose reversal drug, on the way to the hospital. Two were so far gone that they needed three. The partiers were part of five groups who didn't know each other, but several had the same contact's number in their phones, suggesting that a tainted batch of coke was indeed floating around Midtown and Lower Manhattan that night. Blood tests indicated that the cocaine was tainted with fentanyl, the synthetic opioid blamed for most of the country's overdose deaths, according to a case report published in December in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine. This incident happened in “the before times,” the month before COVID-19 appeared, triggering worldwide isolation and disrupting social and party life for millions of people in the United States. Now, as the availability of vaccines turned lockdown into “hot vax summer,” experts around the country warn that social drug users are facing a new normal where the drug supply, including cocaine and meth, is tainted with fentanyl, raising the risk of overdoses and death. “Today, pretty much every cocaine and meth user in Ohio knows there's a risk of fentanyl in their drug,” said Dennis Cauchon, the president of Harm Reduction Ohio, which has been tracking fentanyl-contaminated cocaine since 2017. “Two years ago, this wasn't the case. Today, it is.” VICE

Public Safety News

Firefighters Rescue Construction Worker Who Fell 14 Feet Down Hole In Mar Vista
A worker has been taken to a hospital after being rescued from a 14-foot-deep hole in Mar Vista. A worker was reported to be trapped in the concrete-lined hole at a construction site in the 3700 block of South Boise Ave. at about 10:20 a.m., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. A search-and-rescue team was deployed and was able to use a harness to safely bring the worker back up to ground level by 11 a.m. The worker was conscious and alert and determined to have no imminently life-threatening injuries. The unidentified worker has been taken to a hospital for evaluation. CBS 2

Large Fire Burns Outside North Hollywood Restaurant
Firefighters needed just 20 minutes Wednesday morning to knock down a large outside blaze at a one-story commercial building in North Hollywood. Crews responded at 2:21 a.m. to what was initially thought to be “heavy structural involvement” at 6661 Lankershim Blvd., said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey. But the blaze turned out to be mostly a large outside fire that 40 firefighters limited to a small section of the exterior wall of one of the businesses in the structure, Humphrey said. No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire was under investigation. The location is La Fonda De Don Cuper, a Salvadoran restaurant. Los Angeles Daily News

Los Angeles County Begins Offering 3rd Doses Of COVID Vaccine To Immunocompromised People
With the newly provided blessing of the federal government, Los Angeles County health officials began offering third doses of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines Saturday for people with severely compromised immune systems. Among those qualifying for the booster shots are organ transplant recipients, people undergoing cancer treatment, HIV patients and people on select "immunosuppressive medications." The Los Angeles County Public Health Department urged people to consult their doctors to confirm their eligibility for the third shot, which should be administered at least 28 days following the second dose. The third doses are being offered at vaccination sites in the county offering the Pfizer and Moderna shots. People looking for the shots will be able to simply "self-attest" that they have a qualifying medical condition. "Studies have shown immunocompromised people are more likely to have post vaccination infection and become severely ill from COVID-19," county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. "An additional vaccine dose for some people with weakened immune systems could help prevent serious illness and death. "If you have a qualifying condition, we encourage you to speak to your health care provider about getting a third dose," she said. NBC 4

Record-Setting Fires Hinder California's Efforts To Curb Climate Change
Record-setting blazes raging across Northern California are wiping out forests central to plans to reduce carbon emissions and testing projects designed to protect communities, the state's top fire official said Wednesday, hours before a fast-moving new blaze erupted. Fires that are “exceedingly resistant to control” in drought-sapped vegetation are on pace to exceed the amount of land burned last year — the most in modern history — and having broader effects, said Thom Porter, chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Hours after Porter spoke, a grass fire spurred by winds up to 30 mph (48 kilometers per hour) swiftly burned dozens of homes, forced the evacuation of schools and threatened the city of Clearlake about 80 miles north of San Francisco. Rows of homes were destroyed on at least two blocks and television footage showed crews dousing burning homes with water. Children were rushed out of an elementary school as a field across the street burned. KTLA 5

Local Government News

Los Angeles Mandates Vaccine For All City Employees Following Unanimous City Council Vote
The Los Angeles City Council Wednesday voted unanimously in favor of requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all city employees except for those who have medical or religious exemptions. The ordinance passed unanimously, although Councilmen Marqueece Harris-Dawson and John Lee were absent from the vote. Mayor Eric Garcetti and Council President Nury Martinez announced on July 27 that city employees would be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a weekly negative COVID-19 test, but under the ordinance passed Wednesday, "only those with a medical or religious exemption and who are required to regularly report to a work location are eligible for weekly testing." Under the passed ordinance, non-exempt employees must receive their first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer two-dose vaccine no later than Sept. 7, and their second dose no later than Oct. 5. Employees who choose to receive the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine would have to be inoculated by Oct. 5. Exemption requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and be due by Sept. 7. FOX 11

LA City Council Opposes Bills For Multi-Family Housing In Single-Family Zones
The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday, Aug. 18, passed resolutions in opposition of two California Senate bills that were introduced to help the state's housing crisis but that critics say will worsen it, increasing gentrification and benefiting real estate interests. The resolutions, which were introduced by Councilman Paul Koretz, opposed: Senate Bill 9, introduced by Sen. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, and Sen Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, to allow lots that are zoned for single-family housing to have up to four units, with opponents saying the measure would also allow for two additional accessory dwelling units, or “granny flats”; and Senate Bill 10, introduced by Wiener, to allow approval of multi-family buildings with up to 10 market-rate units, along with potentially four “granny flats,” on lots that are zoned for single-family homes only. “SB9 and 10 are the third annual attempt by San Francisco Sen. Scott Weiner to destroy local control over multi-family and single-family zoning in the state of California. This council has unanimously voted to oppose essentially the same bills twice before and we should do it again,” Koretz said. Los Angeles Daily News

City Councilman Introduces Resolution To Support LA River Restoration And Recreation Project
On Wednesday, Los Angeles Councilman Mitch O'Farrell introduced a resolution to have the city support any state or federal legislation that provides funding for the Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration and Recreation Project. If enacted, the project would restore 11 miles of the river, from Griffith Park to downtown LA, including the creation and re-establishment of fresh water marsh habitats to support wildlife, according to the city's Bureau of Engineering. Much of the 51-mile-long Los Angeles River functions as a storm channel, but the plan would accommodate recreational and natural uses of the river while maintaining the city's existing flood risk management levels. “The primary purpose of the LARERR project is to re-establish riparian strand, freshwater marsh, and aquatic habitat communities and reconnect the Los Angeles River to major tributaries, its historic floodplain, and the significant ecological areas of the Santa Monica Mountains, San Gabriel Mountains, Elysian Hills, and Verdugo Mountain,” O'Farrell's resolution stated. CBS 2

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: