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 27, 2021
Law Enforcement News

15 LAPD Officers Awarded The Medal Of Valor, The Department's Highest Honor
Fifteen LAPD officers were presented with the department's highest honor, Medal of Valor, the Purple Heart, and the Preservation of Life Award Thursday morning. The honors were awarded to officers who knowingly and willingly went above and beyond while placing their lives in grave danger. At the ceremony, body-cam footage was shown revealing some of the split-second, life and death decisions the LAPD officers were facing. “These men and women that are here are just a small sample of the heroism and service that the 10,000-plus men and women sworn and professional classes of this department go out each day, the work they go out to do,” said LAPD Chief Michel Moore. One of the purple hearts was awarded to the son of an officer who died in 1966 after being shot by a man during a traffic stop. The officer had returned fire and wounded the gunman.  CBS 2

Man Shot To Death In Front Of South Los Angeles House
A man was shot to death Sunday evening as he stood in front of a house in the Green Meadows area of South Los Angeles. The shooting was reported about 8:35 p.m. at 823 E. 116th St., according to a desk officer at the Los Angeles Police Department's Operations Center. The 39-year-old victim was pronounced dead at the scene, she said. A suspect of unknown description approached the man and fired shots at him before fleeing the scene, the officer said. The shooting was believed gang related, she said.

North Hollywood Man Struck And Killed By Hit-and-Run Driver: LAPD
A 55-year-old North Hollywood man is dead after he was struck by a van while he was walking across the street Saturday night. The man, whose identity police are withholding pending notification of kin, was hit by a dark van at 9:43 p.m. while he was crossing Oxnard Street mid-block east of Farmdale Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department's Valley Traffic Division. The driver of the van continued westward down Oxnard Street without stopping to help the pedestrian or identifying themselves, police said. The Los Angeles Fire Department transported the pedestrian to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The investigation is ongoing, and no arrests have been made as of Sunday afternoon, but the LAPD is seeking information about the driver of the van. A reward of up to $50,000 is available for information that leads to the driver's identification, capture and criminal conviction or resolution through a civil compromise. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Davis at 818-644-8032.  KTLA 5

Pedestrian Killed In Pico Union Crash Involving 2 Speeding Cars, LAPD Says
A pedestrian was killed in a crash involving two speeding cars Saturday night in Pico Union, authorities said. The crash occurred at about 11:20 p.m. Saturday in the area of Normandie Avenue and 15th Street, according to spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department. A vehicle was traveling southbound on Normandie Avenue when it struck another vehicle that was going westbound on 15th Street, the LAPD said. The westbound vehicle then struck the pedestrian, who was standing on the southwest corner of the intersection. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. The drivers of both vehicles remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators. The LAPD said the motorists were not street racing before the crash, adding that DUI was not a factor in the incident. ABC 7

Family Seeks Help To Find Killer Of Father, Slain 30 Years Ago In North Hollywood
It was the night before Independence Day, 1991. Roberto Esqueda Garcia, a 28-year-old father of three, commuting nightly from the family's home in Orange County to work as a store clerk in a small liquor store in North Hollywood, would welcome in a man who would leave taking more than cash from the register. Thirty years later, LAPD Valley Homicide Bureau detectives have reopened the cold case, offered a $50,000 reward and a suggestion that the killer could still be nearby. Garcia was working at the store on the corner of Sherman Way and Ethel Avenue. Today, only the signage above the entrance is still the same. But crime scene photos from the night he was killed show a moment trapped in time; a puddle of blood under a lifeless body, some cash left in the register, cigarette packs strewn about and a crowd of onlookers as detectives traced every step the killer made. "I don't have many memories, no I don't," says Garcia's eldest daughter. She was 11 years old when her dad was killed. Thirty years later and she's still afraid to share her name or show her face, afraid the killer is still living his life while her dad lost his. LAPD Detective Benjamin Sadeh says even now they don't have any leads. Surveillance cameras were present, but he says they weren't working. But in looking back at the case, and securing the new reward money from the LA City Council, he says the cold case is heating up. "We believe it was someone who lived locally and someone from back then knew of him. So I'm hoping with the reward, somebody will come forward."  NBC 4

8 Hurt, Including Children And LAPD Officers, In Multiple-Vehicle Wreck In South Los Angeles
Several people were hurt in a multiple-vehicle wreck in the South Los Angeles area Friday night. The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a call of a crash in the 10600 block of South Central Avenue around 8 p.m. A total of eight people suffered minor injuries. Below is a breakdown of the people hurt in the crash: 2 LAPD officers, 2 children, and 4 civilians. The cause of the crash is under investigation. FOX 11

‘I Can't Let Him Get Away With This': Asian Woman Punched In LA Chases Attacker On Video
An Asian woman who suffered a bloodied mouth after an unprovoked attack in Los Angeles is seeking justice as her alleged assailant continues to walk free. Jennifer Chen, a Canadian national visiting the city, was alone in her car when a man allegedly approached her, uttered a racial slur and punched her in the mouth. The incident reportedly occurred in the parking lot of The Balcony on Beverwil around 4:25 p.m. on Sept. 15. Chen, 30, was sitting on the driver's side when the alleged attack occurred. She was waiting for a female friend who was picking up her son — Chen's godson — from school. Surveillance video from the parking lot shows a man approaching a vehicle and swiftly extending his hand through the driver's window. Shortly after, a bleeding Chen filmed herself chasing her alleged assailant up an escalator. “I did not know where he was headed. All I could think of was ‘I can't let him get away with this' and ‘I need to get my friend,'” Chen told NextShark. Chen said she then saw the man drop his children — who were allegedly present during the attack — at the same learning center where her godson goes. She said teachers at the center took her in to help with her bleeding mouth, while her friend went after the man to confront him. Chen said she obtained information about her attacker from the learning center. She identified him as 43-year-old Jason Raich. NextShark

Caught On Camera: Venice Family Threatened With Violence By Man Allegedly Living In Encampment Across From Their Home
Some Venice residents are complaining that the boardwalk cleanup, showcased by city leaders as a response to the sometimes dangerous homeless encampments, has simply lead to the camps and the people who live in them moving. One family's doorbell camera captured footage of a violent threat from a man allegedly living in a homeless encampment across the street from their home. “I will kill your husband,” a man can be seen saying in the video. The family is now too worried to share their identities and say they are desperate for help. “There are drug addicts and there's gang activity, there's shootings. We hear people screaming in the night. It's really scary,” the family's mother said. “My daughter sees it every day. You wouldn't believe the things she's seen.” They say that a block long stretch has become an open-air crime den. “I hear screaming. I hear…in the summertime, I'm sure if it's firecrackers or it's gunshots. I can't tell the difference between them and the sad thing is I don't want to be able to tell the difference as an 11-year-old,” the family's daughter said. As for her father, who was threatened by the man on their doorstep, he says they've reached out to any number of people for help. “We've talked to city officials. We've talked to sanitation. We've talked to LAPD. We've talked to the sheriff's department. We've talked to everyone, and everyone has their hands tied and everyone refers us to someone else,” he said. CBS 2

LAPD Significantly Scales Back Spending For Mass Protests, Civil Unrest
Los Angeles police officials have scaled back significantly the cost of a plan to train officers and purchase equipment they say will improve the department's response to large protests and civil unrest, according to documents released Friday. The $18.5-million cost of the proposed plan, which the Los Angeles City Council would have to approve on top of the LAPD's existing budget, is about a quarter of the nearly $67 million the department previously estimated it would need to address a raft of reforms called for in various reports on its handling of demonstrations and unrest after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020. The department was unprepared for those protests. Independent and internal reviews of the LAPD's response found, in the words of one report, a “chaos of command” that led to police officials giving contradictory orders in the streets and officers being equipped with weapons they weren't adequately trained to use. The new plan, which was outlined in a report released Friday by the Police Commission, calls for nearly $12.6 million to be spent on training thousands of officers on, among other tactics, the use of rifles that fire hard-foam projectiles to control large crowds. The department is under a federal injunction to provide such training to officers who use those weapons. The earlier proposal had said training would cost $53 million. Los Angeles Times

78-Year-Old Woman Reported Missing In Downtown Los Angeles
A 78-year old woman is missing in Los Angeles and police Friday are asking for the public's help in locating her. Santos Rivera was last seen at approximately 8:30 a.m. Thursday near South Flower and West 23rd streets, according to the California Highway Patrol, which issued a Silver Alert on behalf of the Los Angeles Police Department. Rivera is Latina, 5 feet tall, weighs 100 pounds and has gray hair and brown eyes. She was believed to be on foot and wearing a burgundy skirt and a green shirt. Anyone who sees Rivera is 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. FOX 11

One Dead In Compton Shooting
A man was shot and killed in Compton and detectives Saturday are continuing their investigation. Deputies were called at 11:50 p.m. Friday to the 1900 block of East Pine Street near North Locust Avenue regarding an assault with a deadly weapon and discovered the victim lying in the street with at least one gunshot wound to the upper torso, said Deputy Armando Viera Jr. of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Information Bureau. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. There is no suspect information at this time and the investigation is ongoing, Viera said. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online. CBS 2

4 Wounded In Shooting At Willowbrook Metro Station, Authorities Say
Four people were shot at the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Metro station Friday evening, prompting a large response from law enforcement. The shooting was reported at about 7:40 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. LASD said deputies responded to the scene and found the four victims suffering from gunshot wounds. Three of them were critically injured and the fourth victim had minor injuries. Those wounded were transported to be treated for their injuries, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Witness Andrew Maynard said the shooting came after an argument on the Metro between three individuals - described as being in their late teens or early twenties - and three men in their 40s or 50s. "Then all of a sudden one of the young guys pulled out a gun and just started shooting into these guys, and the one guy took off running towards me and they shot him in the leg," Maynard said. Maynard said the bullet flew right by him. AIR7 HD footage captured a bicycle left behind and blood-stained towels on the platform. ABC 7

Florida Deputy Shot In Traffic Stop Dies; Suspect Sought
A north Florida sheriff's deputy who was recently shot twice during a traffic stop died Sunday afternoon. Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said via Twitter that Deputy Joshua Moyers, 29, died at a Jacksonville hospital. "Please keep Josh's family and fiancé in your thoughts and prayers as we navigate this terrible tragedy,” Leeper said. Meanwhile hundreds of officers were scouring the area trying to find suspect Patrick McDowell, 35, who authorities say shot Moyers in the face and back during a traffic stop early Friday morning in Callahan. They later learned the vehicle was stolen. The Nassau County Sheriff's Office released photos of McDowell's tattoos on Sunday, including one across his shoulders that reads “Death Before Dishonor.” Authorities also issued a Blue Alert, similar to an Amber Alert, hoping to seek information on McDowell's whereabouts. Authorities are warning the public not to approach McDowell, saying he is likely armed and dangerous. Associated Press

‘I Will Be Back Soon,' Chicago Officer Says After She's Shot Over Bloody Weekend
Two people are dead and at least 14 others were wounded, including a police officer, in city shootings since Friday night, Chicago police said. The first fatal shooting happened about 7:45 p.m. Friday in the 700 block of East 92nd Place in the Burnside neighborhood. Police said a 44-year-old man was near the street when he was approached by two people who pulled out guns and opened fire. He was struck to the abdomen, and taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. He was identified as Jason Clark, and lived in the same block where he was shot, according to the Cook County Medical examiner's office. Chicago police Superintendent David Brown held a news conference Saturday evening at the Chicago Police Headquarters to give more details on the 30-year-old female officer who was shot Friday night. About 10:50 p.m., the officer heard shots fired while she was patrolling near 73rd Street and Jeffery Boulevard, Brown said. On 72nd Place, she and her partner saw a person lying in the street and got out of their car to render aid. After exiting, the female officer was shot multiple times in the leg, Brown said. She and her partner got back into the car, and she drove herself to a hospital. Chicago Tribune

How Moderate Democrats Derailed Police Reform
Bipartisan negotiations on police reform fell apart once and for all this week, four months after Congress missed its symbolic deadline to pass a package designed to raise standards for accountability and transparency in law enforcement. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., blamed his counterpart in leading negotiations on the bill, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., for walking away from talks this week after Republicans rejected Democrats' final offer. Booker told reporters that Republicans would not get on board with measures that even the Fraternal Order of Police had agreed to compromise on or standards for law enforcement accreditation that were in place under former President Donald Trump. One major sticking point had emerged over efforts to change some parts of qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that protects police officers from civil suits. “The effort from the very beginning was to get police reform that would raise professional standards, police reform that would create a lot more transparency, and then police reform that would create more accountability,” Booker told reporters on September 22 after leaving a meeting with Scott. “We were not able to come to agreements on those three big areas.”  The Intercept

4 Teens Accused Of Plotting 'Columbine-Style' School Attack
Four students in Pennsylvania were charged with planning a “Columbine-style” attack at Dunmore High School, Lackawanna County District Attorney Mark Powell said Friday. Powell said that the students were planning the attack for April 20, 2024, which will mark the 25th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, WOLF reported. Powell said in a statement that two of the students, both 15, involved were charged as adults “because of the serious nature of the charges,” according to WOLF. Two other students, whose ages were not disclosed, will face charges as juveniles. “I want to assure the parents, students and staff at Dunmore High School that we do not believe there is any active threat at this time,” Powell said in the statement. Dunmore is a town of about 13,000 located 120 miles north of Philadelphia. The group began planning the attack in May in a group chat called “Natural Born Killers,” where one of the students identified three employees that he planned to kill with another student in the group, according to media reports. Court documents detailed text messages among the students discussing plans to “shoot up the school,” with one of the students claiming “dibs” on a particular victim, WBRE reported. The Charlotte Observer

Public Safety News

Crews Put Out Large House Fire In North Hills
Crews were responding to a large house fire in North Hills Friday night. Officials were called shortly before 9 p.m. about the fire in the 15900 block of West Napa Street, the Los Angeles Fire Department said in an alert. There was heavy smoke and flames pouring from the one-story home in aerial video from Sky5. Fire officials said the flames spread to the outside of a neighboring building that serves as a board-and-care home. One person inside couldn't stand without assistance and sheltered in place, while two others evacuated. Firefighters were able to extinguish the flames before anyone was hurt, but four occupants will be displaced, authorities said. Firefighters say they also had to navigate around downed wires and a small amount of ammunition discovered inside. Thirty firefighters were able to fully put out the flames in about 23 minutes, LAFD said. The fire's cause was under investigation. KTLA 5

On First Day Pfizer's Booster Available For Eligible Adults In LA County, Few Have Turned Up For The Shot
On the first evening that the Pfizer booster shot was available to some residents of LA County, staff at a Van Nuys clinic said they were busier administering COVID-19 tests than they were giving out third doses of the vaccine. Mybelth Chavez, a healthcare worker, is a member of several groups now eligible for the booster shot. The Van Nuys resident hasn't yet gotten her third shot because she only recently got fully vaccinated. The Food and Drug Administration recommends people don't get the Pfizer booster until six months after full vaccination. “I feel like it's the best thing for you, if you want COVID to go away,” Chavez said. “I'm planning to get it in about five months.” A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel's recommendation came Thursday and included eligibility for adults 65 and older, as well as people 18-64 with underlying health conditions, though it did not include eligibility for frontline workers. CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, on Friday said frontline workers will now be included among those eligible for the Pfizer booster. CBS 2

LA County Sees Improvement In COVID Metrics
Los Angeles County reported 1,602 new cases of COVID-19 and 29 additional deaths on Saturday, along with another slight decrease in hospitalizations related to the coronavirus. Officials with the county's health department said they continue to see a downward trend in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, providing some reassurance that higher vaccination rates and safety precautions at Labor Day celebrations helped avert the usual increase in cases experienced after major holidays. On Sept. 15, the 7-day daily case average of COVID-19 was 1,476, the lowest it has been since July 14. Meanwhile, hospitalizations have declined 17% over the last week's numbers, and after a long plateau, deaths have also declined slightly. According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention thresholds, transmission in LA County has moved from the “high” to the “substantial” level, with a weekly case rate of 86 new cases per 100,000 residents. NBC 4

Local Government News

Momentous Mayor's Race Will Be A Pitched Battle Over How To Fix L.A.'s Ills
For much of the past year, the contest to become Los Angeles' next mayor has been a sleepy affair, barely registering with voters and drowned out by a quixotic statewide recall election. All that changed this week, with a succession of candidates revealing — either directly or through surrogates — that they were joining the increasingly crowded race to replace Mayor Eric Garcetti. The most prominent name yet is U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), whose supporters confirmed Friday that she intends to run for the office. Voters now have a much clearer picture of next year's contest to replace Garcetti, who faces term limits. And the candidates will soon need to explain in detail how they will confront the many problems facing the city, including a homelessness crisis that overshadows nearly every other issue. Over the next eight months, the candidates will have to reveal their views on how large the Los Angeles Police Department should be, and whether its responsibilities should be scaled back to reduce the potential for deadly interactions with the public; how to make housing more affordable, as rents and home prices push skyward; and what solutions will, once and for all, get people off of the streets. Voters could select a mayor who pulls the city — already dominated by Democrats — politically further to the left. Or they could find someone closer to the center. Los Angeles Times

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: