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

September 10, 2021
Law Enforcement News

The remains of 2 more World Trade Center victims from 9/11 have been identified  
Days before the nation marks 20 years since the  September 11 terror attacks , New York officials say the remains of two more victims have been identified through DNA testing. Dorothy Morgan, of Hempstead, New York, and a man whose name is being withheld at his family's request were the 1,646th person and 1,647th person to be identified as victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the office of the city's chief medical examiner said Tuesday. They were identified through DNA analysis of previously unidentified remains recovered from the World Trade Center site. The attack there claimed  2,753 lives ; more than 220 other people were killed in Washington, DC, and outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. CNN

Two People Found Dead At Home In Woodland Hills
A man shot and killed a woman before turning the gun on himself Thursday in an upscale apartment complex in Woodland Hills. Los Angeles Police Department officers responded at about 5:30 p.m. to the complex in the 6300 block of De Soto Avenue, near Victory Boulevard and Pierce College, after receiving a call from the woman who said the man was brandishing a gun and firing at her, said Officer Tony Im. Officers found the man and the woman suffering from gunshot wounds when they arrived, and both were pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. Their names were not immediately released. Investigators determined the man shot and killed the woman before killing himself with the same firearm, Im said. A possible motive for the shooting was not immediately known. FOX 11

Man Killed In Los Feliz Shooting After Bar Fight
A man was killed after a bar fight resulted in a shooting on a street in Los Feliz early Friday morning. The incident occurred at Hollywood Boulevard and Rodney Drive just after 3 a.m. Los Angeles police responded to reports of a shooting to find one person dead at the scene. The victim was not immediately identified. CBSLA learned that a bar fight preceded the shooting. LAPD investigators are on scene. There was no word on a motive or whether any suspects had been identified. CBS 2

Police Seek Suspect In Fatal Hit-And-Run In Venice
Police today sought the public's help to identify a hit-and-run suspect who fatally injured a 22-year-old bicyclist in the Venice area. Prynsess Brazzle, whose city of residence was not known, was riding her bicycle at about 3:05 a.m. Aug. 20 at the intersection of Pacific Avenue and Rose Avenue when she was struck by an SUV driving northbound on Pacific, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The SUV then fled the scene. Paramedics took Brazzle to a hospital, where she died of her wounds. The suspect SUV was described by police as black, possibly a Chevrolet Suburban. Anyone with information on the collision was asked to contact Officer R. Yoshioka with the LAPD West Traffic Division at 213-473-0236 or 213-473-0234. Calls made during non-business hours or on weekends can be directed to 877-527-3247. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at . WestSide Current

Melrose Robberies: 1 Arrested In String Of Brazen Crimes, Accomplices Still Outstanding
One suspect has been arrested in connection to a series of robberies on Melrose Avenue and other locations in Los Angeles, police say. The suspect, identified as Quioness Wilson of Pasadena, was believed to be the driver in the robberies and LAPD detectives are searching for at least two additional accomplices. Wilson has been linked to at least six robberies plus one attempted robbery in seven days this month. One robbery was caught on surveillance camera, showing two men walking up to sidewalk diners on Sept. 7 at a popular cafe on Melrose in Fairfax Village, pointing a gun at them and fleeing with their purses and shopping bags. Police say they were able to track down the vehicle used in the robberies in Pasadena and arrested the driver. Investigators say they found additional evidence linking Wilson to the robberies in a search of his home. On Tuesday of this week, police say Wilson and his accomplices were involved in four robberies, including two on Melrose, one on South Hill Street and one on Whitley Avenue, all within a span of about three hours. ABC 7

LAPD Is Investigating Altercation Involving Larry Elder At Venice Homeless Encampment
The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating an altercation Wednesday in Venice involving a group of homeless people and supporters of Larry Elder, Republican candidate for governor. No charges have yet been filed, but the department's Robbery-Homicide Division is looking into the incident, according to LAPD Officer Lizeth Lomeli. Lomeli said the case had been assigned to that unit “because it's high-profile.” Elder's visit to Venice began with a handful of Gold's Gym patrons gathering outside his black-and-red campaign bus to cheer the candidate as he stepped off. The heckling began a few minutes later, as members of the Venice Neighborhood Council Public Health & Safety Committee walked Elder down Sunset Avenue. The confrontation with Elder heated up as the group turned onto encampment-lined 3rd Avenue, with a handful of people circling the group, screaming profanities at Elder and shouting at him to “get the hell out of here.” After the group rounded the corner back onto Hampton Drive, what appeared to be an egg was thrown at Elder. “It kind of glanced his head,” an Elder campaign staffer said of the object. Los Angeles Times

Silver Alert Issued On Behalf Of 83-Year-Old Man
A Silver Alert was issued Thursday for an 83-year-old man who uses a walking cane and was last seen in Del Rey. Peter Menotti was last seen around 11:30 a.m. near McConnell Avenue and Coral Tree Place and Jefferson Boulevard, according to the California Highway Patrol, which activated a Silver Alert on behalf of the Los Angeles Police Department. Menotti is white, 5 feet, 10 inches tall, weighs 100 pounds and has gray hair and hazel eyes. He was believed to be wearing a white shirt and tan shorts, according to the CHP. Anyone who sees Menotti was asked to call 911. The Silver Alert program was established by the CHP to issue and coordinate alerts involving the unexplained or suspicious disappearances of elderly, developmentally disabled or cognitively impaired individuals.

Man Killed In Westmont Shooting Identified As Gang-Intervention Worker
After a shooting claimed the life of a man in Westmont Wednesday morning, friends have identified the victim as 54-year-old Craig Batiste, a gang-intervention worker. The shooting occurred about 8:45 a.m. near the corner of 111th Street and Hobart Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said in a news release. The victim was standing near the intersection when a dark-colored sedan drove up. A passenger opened fire on the victim as he ran away, officials said. An occupant got out of the car and chased the victim into a driveway and shot him. The driver got away and was last seen heading west on 111th Street and out of view. Batiste was found unresponsive in the driveway and had multiple gunshots wounds. He was declared dead at the scene. The gunman was described only as being a Black male. Authorities do not know if the shooting was gang-related. Batiste was a former gang member, but was working as a gang interventionist. Friend Skip Townsend said that Batiste's work helped save lives every day. He would do things like organize a meal between rivals to urge them to take a road that doesn't lead to violence. KTLA 5

Prosecutor Says Robert Durst Would've Gotten Away With Murder If Filmmakers Hadn't Unearthed ‘Cadaver' Note
Robert Durst is a sick, old, defenseless man beaten up and demonized by prosecutors to cover up a lack of evidence against him, his lawyer said Thursday in closing arguments at the New York real estate heir's murder trial. Attorney Dick DeGuerin told jurors not to be swayed by ghastly images of the body Durst dismembered in Texas and tossed out to sea, saying it was only meant to make them hate him. DeGuerin conceded his client did look “really bad” after nearly three weeks of testimony, including nine days of punishing cross-examination that exposed several lies. He accused the prosecutor of “beating up on a sick, old man who can't defend himself.” “I wouldn't blame you after hearing what you've heard if you hate Bob Durst and believe he's a liar,” DeGuerin said in Los Angeles Superior Court. “Making Bob Durst a liar does not make him a killer.” Durst, 78, who sat hunched in a wheelchair as his lawyer spoke, has pleaded not guilty to murder in the point-blank shooting of Susan Berman in December 2000 at her Los Angeles home. KTLA 5

Los Angeles Man To Plead Guilty To $7.3M Coronavirus Fraud
A Los Angeles man has agreed to plead guilty to federal charges that he fraudulently obtained at least $7.3 million in coronavirus relief funds and gambled away some of it in Las Vegas. Andrew Marnell, 41, signed a plea agreement with prosecutors last week and is expected to formally enter his plea on Sept. 27 before a federal judge, court records show. Marnell will plead guilty in Los Angeles federal court to bank fraud and money laundering charges for submitting fake and altered documents, including bogus federal tax filings and employee payroll records, to insured financial institutions on behalf of different companies, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The charges carry a sentence of up to 40 years behind bars. Federal prosecutors contend that the Paycheck Protection Program loan applications were made using fake identifications that were aliases of Marnell, and that he made numerous false statements about the companies' respective business operations and payroll expenses. Marnell transferred the fraudulently obtained loan proceeds to his brokerage account to make high-risk stock market investments and similarly spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of the money at a Las Vegas casino, prosecutors allege. FOX 11

California Pushes Rules On Breath-Restricting Police Holds
California would bar police from using certain face-down holds that have led to multiple unintended deaths under a measure headed to Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday. The bill expands on the state's ban on chokeholds in the wake of George Floyd's murder by a Minneapolis policeman. The Assembly gave final approval on a 50-15 vote. The measure by Democratic Assemblyman Mike Gipson, a former police officer himself, would prohibit police from using techniques that create a substantial risk of what's known as “positional asphyxia.” They include putting suspects face down, then pressing down on their backs with hands, elbows or knees to gain control. It defines the hold as placing a person in a way that compresses their airway and reduces their ability to breathe. That includes putting body weight on a restrained person's neck, torso, or back. The California State Sheriffs' Association said the bill is too broad “and neglects situations in which a subject creates a threat of death or serious bodily injury to an officer or another person.” Barring the holds by trained officers makes it more likely they will have to use alternatives like batons or Tasers, the association said. Nevada enacted a similar ban last year as part of broader legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press

9/11 Attacks Spurred Massive Changes To National And Domestic Security Measures
In the 20 years since the 9/11 terrorists attacks, both national and domestic security measures have changed dramatically, most notably at the country's airports. “Regarding the question of how security has changed since 9/11, there really is only one answer and that is everything,” said security expert Jeffrey Simon, an author and visiting lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles' Department of Political Science. “Basically, security now after 9/11 is every part of our everyday lives. Wherever we go, whether it be concerts, movie theaters, sporting events…” According to Simon, 9/11 transformed the way the government and law enforcement protect residents every single day since, as well as the way the country is willing to be protected, from how people are monitored in public places to intelligence gathering and the war on terrorism. He said it's a never ending technological race against those who want to harm the country. “Ultimately, every device we come up with, terrorists are going to try to think of a way of penetrating it,” Simon said. Airport and airplane security have undergone the most noticeable changes when it comes to security measures after the 9/11 attacks. CBS 2

Public Safety News

LA Firefighters Remember 9/11 Ground Zero, 20 Years Later
Los Angeles City Firefighters Robby Cordobes, Bubba Willis and Steve Hissong had dealt with disasters before. But those disasters were nothing like 9/11. "To watch it collapse on TV, I was in awe," Hissong recalled, twenty years after the Twin Towers fell. "I just - I didn't know what to think, I didn't know what to say, I didn't know what to do." The team had six hours to get ready before they were sent to New York City as part of California Task Force One. "As we rolled out the door, the family was the one that was more affected than me," Cordobes said. "They were real scared of where we were going." It took three transport planes to get the team and their equipment across the country, where they began work on Sept. 13, 2001. The collapsed towers, and the tragedy underneath, were known simply as "The Pile." "You didn't see desks, you didn't see, you know, all the furniture that you would normally see in an office building," Hissong recalled. "Everything was just dust." As they worked, with very little rest, every hour finding no life underneath the rubble became more discouraging. But the team was kept going by what they saw around them: thousands of messages and photos people had put up about their loved ones who were missing, and the knowledge that their fellow first responders were also underneath. NBC 4

A Deadly Month: The Lives And Stories Of 22 Californians Who Died In One Brutal Month In The War On Terror
When Michael W. Mitchell's stepmother heard that a soldier from his division had been killed in Iraq, she emailed him in worry. “Hey, I'm OK,” Mitchell replied. “Just so you know, there is like 35,000 soldiers in the 1st Armored Division, so no reason to get all panicky.” One day later, Mitchell and seven other U.S. soldiers were killed in Baghdad when they were attacked by armed Iraqi insurgents. Mitchell was born in Huntington Beach but grew up in the central California town of Porterville, where at Monache High School he competed on the varsity wrestling, cross country and track teams. He deployed to Iraq from a U.S. base in Germany 10 months before his death. He had been scheduled to return to Germany on April 19 to marry his fiancee. Another Californian who was killed in Iraq just two days after Mitchell, Marine Lance Cpl. Marcus M. Cherry, also planned to marry. Forty-seven Californians who died in the conflicts following the Sept. 11 attacks were engaged.  Los Angeles Times

Body Of Missing Hiker Found In Burbank's Stough Park
A body of a hiker who had been reported missing has been found at Burbank's Stough Park. The hiker's body was found Thursday and police say they are working on recovering her body from the scene. The hiker was reported missing at about 10 p.m. Wednesday, and police officers attempted to search the area where she was believed to have gotten lost. But due to the rugged terrain – which was described as a steep valley between two ridges – and darkness, officers were forced to stop and resume the search Thursday morning. When the search started up again, Burbank police also deployed their drone, which found the hiker. When officers hiked to the location where she was found, she was pronounced dead at the scene. The hiker's name was withheld pending identification by the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office and notification of her family. Police say the hiker's death appears accidental in nature at this time, but the investigation is ongoing. CBS 2

After A Disastrous Summer Of Fire, California Braces For A Potentially Worse Fall
With more than 2 million acres burned so far this year, California's already destructive wildfire season may worsen this fall, with long-term forecasts showing little signs of relief. Fall is almost always a race between intense seasonal winds and the arrival of rain. Officials say the next few months look considerably dry and dangerous. The summer brought fires of rare ferocity that leveled the town of Greenville. For the first time, flames swept from one side of the Sierra to the other. Drought conditions and rising temperatures spurred by climate change have left the landscape bone-dry and ready to explode. Fire officials and climate experts fear deteriorating conditions in Northern and Southern California as the hot October and November winds that fuel some of the most disastrous fires take hold with little rain on the horizon. Chief Thom Porter of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the acreage burned this year is keeping pace with 2020, the state's worst wildfire season on record. Los Angeles Times

Local Government News

Law Prohibiting Homeless People From Parking RVs Overnight In L.A. Stands Since City Isn't Enforcing It
A law that prohibits homeless people from parking recreational vehicles overnight in some locations has sidestepped a constitutional challenge, for now, after Los Angeles city officials told a federal judge the law is not being enforced. While not addressing the constitutional issues, U.S. District Judge David O. Carter declined to issue a preliminary injunction against the law as long as the moratorium remains in effect. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of a class represented by a woman who lives in an RV in Venice, contends that a 1986 law allowing the city to designate streets where large vehicles cannot be parked overnight violates homeless people's rights under the 8th and 14th amendments to the Constitution. The city countered with a January memorandum in which Los Angeles Department of Transportation general manager Seleta J. Reynolds said that “LADOT will not impound or tow a vehicle that is occupied” and that, even when an occupant is not present, parking enforcement officers must “make a dwelling assessment” to determine if it is being used as a dwelling. KTLA 5

Complaints Of Neglect At Chinatown Apartment Complex Prompt LA City Attorney's Office Investigation
Tenants are finally able to use at least one of two elevators inside the 15-story Cathay Manor apartments in Chinatown after what they say has been months of neglect from management. Speaking through a translator, one man said the problems have been ongoing for months, starting with a laundry room that all 280 residents use. It was locked during a recent visit. "Management is neglecting the tenants," said Ne Hom, a resident. During a recent visit to the decades old building where rents are subsidized, exposed wiring on the first floor could be seen. Stairwell lighting was dim, which management claimed were energy-saving lights. In a phone call, owner Don Toy denied everything tenants had claimed until NBC4 told him a reporter and camera crew were on site and witnessed it. Then he claimed he would address each issue right away. The city of LA this week made an emergency repair on one of the elevators, leaving the second one for management to address, under penalty of possible tax liens. LA Councilman Gil Cedillo's office said they were made aware Aug. 27 that the elevators hadn't been working for two weeks. Three days later, building and safety marked them unsafe and red-tagged them. By Aug. 31, a housing inspector issued the management company a notice to comply within two days. When they didn't, the city handed the case to the City Attorney's Office for investigation. NBC 4

LA To Add Up To 1,000 Homeless Housing Units With $2.75 Billion In New State Money
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the release Thursday of $2.75 billion to expand the statewide Project Homekey program, which Los Angeles expects will fund 500 to 1,000 new units of permanent supportive housing for homeless Angelenos through the purchase and rehabilitation of hotels, motels, apartment buildings and tiny homes. “The pandemic has reinforced what we have long known: The only way to end the homelessness crisis is with more affordable, long-term and quality housing,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Creative and lasting solutions like the Homekey program will help meet the immediate and critical need for housing today, while giving our unhoused neighbors a path to a permanent place to call home tomorrow.” The program — which was launched in 2020 to quickly convert buildings into permanent housing in an effort to address the state's homelessness crisis — will be expanded statewide by up to 14,000 more units, Newsom's office said. The first round of funding created 6,000 affordable housing units. 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: