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

October 8, 2021
Law Enforcement News

America's Largest Police Departments See Significant Increase In Departures In 2021: Report
A new study exclusively obtained by Fox News found an alarming increase in retirements and resignations across 10 police departments in the U.S. over the past year following protests. Research from the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund (LELDF) analyzed active police memberships and activity from June 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021, and compared it to the same period a year prior – meaning the study analyzed the numbers before and after the murder of George Floyd, which prompted national and global protests that demanded police reform to the tune of "Defund the Police." During that period, researchers found an 18% increase in overall voluntary law enforcement departures, including a 24% increase in overall voluntary resignations and 14% increase in overall voluntary retirements. "In the wake of the anti-police movement and Floyd protests, cops – unwanted and unappreciated by their political leaders – officers are running for the exits. Resignations and retirements at the largest police agencies in the United States are skyrocketing while recruitment is tanking," said LELDF President Jason Johnson. The study cited riots and the Defund movement as prime motivating factors for the push. "I wouldn't take [a job as a police chief]," said former NYPD Commissioner and current LAPD Chief Bill Bratton. "The ability to succeed in this climate … the progressive district attorneys' policies just aren't going to work."  FOX News

Community Champions: LAPD's Hollenbeck PAL Honored As Super Bowl Legacy Champion
At a film class in Boyle Heights, you'll find a police officer alongside the instructor. LAPD Officer Donald Levier is assigned to the Hollenbeck Police Activities League (PAL) full time. Call it community policing before the concept made major headlines in current times. The Life, Camera, Action class is just one of the empowerment programs by Hollenbeck PAL. The Hollenbeck PAL is a life-changing youth development program. The organization was named a legacy champion by LA's Super Bowl host committee for its work with at-risk kids. The honor comes months ahead of the big game in February 2022 at Sofi Stadium. Hollenbeck Pal is tied to LAPD's Hollenbeck Police Station in Boyle Heights. Along with their diversion program, in 2016, they created an innovative mental health concept. Social Work interns from USC have partnered with the program for a holistic approach in working with police and families. LA's Super Bowl host committee is honoring 56 local organizations ahead of Super Bowl 56. In total they are giving away $800,000 in grants.  FOX 11

North Hills Hit-and-Run: LAPD Arrest Suspected Driver Of Stolen Range Rover Involved In Deadly Crash
A 29-year-old man was arrested for allegedly driving a stolen Range Rover involved in a deadly hit-and-run crash in North Hills earlier this week. The suspected hit-and-run driver, Abraham Espinosa Velasco, was arrested Wednesday and booked on suspicion of murder, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. LAPD said the crash happened Tuesday around 5:20 a.m. when the Range Rover was traveling fast north on Hayvenhurst Avenue and slammed into three other vehicles at the Nordhoff Street intersection. Video released by LAPD shows the Range Rover accelerating into the intersection after the light has already turned green for cross-traffic. The Range Rover slams into one car that had just entered the intersection and then ricochets into two other vehicles. One woman in a Honda Civic was killed and three other people, in a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck and a Toyota Camry, were hospitalized. The driver and passenger in the Range Rover fled the scene on foot and police later determined the vehicle had been stolen in Glendale. ABC 7

LAPD Seeking Information On Fatal Shooting Of Man Near Dodger Stadium
Police Thursday were seeking information on the person who shot and killed a 25-year-old man about one mile from Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles Police Department officers responded at about 6:15 a.m. on Sept. 30 to the area of Ewing Street and Park Drive on reports of a death investigation, according to a department statement. Officers found Ezekiel Fierro being treated at the scene by Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics, who had arrived to discover Fierro unresponsive and not breathing. The paramedics pronounced Fierro dead at the scene at 6:30 a.m., according to police. LAPD investigators discovered a spent bullet casing near Fierro's body, and the coroner's office later determined he died of multiple gunshot wounds. No further details were released. Anyone with information on the shooting was asked to contact LAPD Central Bureau Homicide Detectives Pierce and Barajas at 213-486-8700 or by email at .

Police Shoot Woman They Say Emerged From Downtown L.A. Tent With Gun, Hostage
An investigation is underway after police shot a woman who they say emerged from a tent in downtown Los Angeles with a gun and a hostage late Wednesday night. Officers first responded to the area of North Spring and Arcadia streets about 10:45 p.m. after receiving a report of an armed woman, Los Angeles Police Department Detective Meghan Aguilar said. The officers heard gunshots as they were responding to the area, then heard more shots fired as they were setting up a perimeter near the intersection, Aguilar said. Additional units, including a SWAT team, was called to the scene when authorities encountered the woman about 11:40 p.m. “The suspect came out of a tent. She had a hostage with her,” Aguilar said. The hostage was also described as a female. Police identified the suspect as 36-year-old Victoria Bardales. Bardales was armed with a gun when she emerged from the tent, and that's when the police shooting occurred, according to the LAPD.  KTLA 5

LAPD Asks For Public's Help In Montecito Heights Killing
Paramedics discovered a person who had been shot and died in a Montecito Heights park last month, and the Los Angeles Police Department is asking for the public's help in identifying a suspect in the killing. The victim, whom the LAPD did not identify, was found by Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics at about 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 10 on a fire road inside Ernest Debs Park, located at 4235 Monterey Road. Paramedics, who observed that the victim had been shot in the back, pronounced the victim dead at the scene and called for homicide investigators from the LAPD. There is currently no suspect description, the LAPD said. Anyone with information can call Central Bureau Homicide Detective Melendez and Detective Abundis at 213-486-8700 or email . Callers and emailers should reference LAPD report number 21-04-12731. KTLA 5

Man Pleads Guilty To Killing TV Director In Studio City In '85
A man linked by DNA to the killing of a prominent television director slain in his Studio City home more than three decades ago pleaded guilty Friday, Oct. 7, to voluntary manslaughter. Superior Court Judge Eric Harmon immediately sentenced Edwin Jerry Hiatt, now 55, to 12 years in state prison following his plea involving the July 5, 1985, killing of Barry Crane, whose directing credits included “The Incredible Hulk,” “The Love Boat,” “Fantasy Island,” “Police Woman,” “Police Story” and “The Streets of San Francisco.” The 57-year-old victim had been bludgeoned with a large ceramic statue and a telephone cord was wrapped around his neck, according to Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman. Crane — who was wrapped in his bedding on the floor of his townhouse garage — was found dead by his housekeeper a day later. Hiatt was linked to the crime through DNA evidence decades later, authorities said. Los Angeles police traveled to North Carolina in March 2019 and interviewed him. “During the interview, Hiatt admitted to killing Barry Crane,” according to a Los Angeles Police Department statement.  Los Angeles Daily News

Shooting Investigation Near Sunset Strip In Hollywood Hills, Suspect Still At-Large
One person was wounded in a shooting in the Hollywood Hills late Thursday night. The shooting was reported at 10:15 p.m. in the 1200 block of Clarke Street. Los Angeles police officers entered a building with guns drawn, according to Sky2's Desmond Shaw, as they scoured the area looking for the shooting suspect, who at this time is still at-large. One person was taken to a hospital with gunshot wounds, police said. The victim was conscious and breathing as they were being transported. There was no suspect information or word on a motive. The circumstances of the shooting were unclear. CBS 2

Narcan Inventor Uses Narcan To Treat Man Suffering Apparent Opioid Overdose On LA Street
It might seem like a coincidence that a man who stopped to help an apparent opioid drug overdose victim on a Los Angeles sidewalk just happened to be carrying Narcan, a nasal spray that can treat victims in dire health emergencies. But that man who pulled over and leaped out of a car to help was Roger Crystal — the man who invented Narcan. Crystal was driving with his wife through downtown Los Angeles when the medically trained couple spotted the man on a sidewalk. What happened next was captured on video, which shows Crystal kneeling over a man lying on a sidewalk as a dog waits at his side. “The reality is that if you see someone unresponsive, lying on the street in this country, it's an opioid overdose until proven otherwise,” Crystal said. More than 760,000 people have died since 1999 from a drug overdose according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Two out of three drug overdose deaths in 2018 involved an opioid, the agency reports. Roger Crystal went to help. Wife Michelle, who was driving the car, called 911. She said her husband carries the nasal spray in a bag. Police and fire departments commonly equip personnel with the drug, which blocks and counteracts the effects of opioids. Crystal administered one dose. Firefighter-paramedics arrived and administered a second dose, and the man was soon able to communicate before he was transported to a hospital.  NBC 4

Boy, 14, Reported Missing In Los Angeles
Authorities Thursday sought the public's help to locate a 14-year-old boy last seen in the Historic South-Central area of Los Angeles. Kaden Blash was last seen Sept. 20 in the area of Griffith Avenue and East 28th Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Kaden is Black, 5 feet tall, 100 pounds, and has brown eyes and black hair. He is known to frequent the area of Eighth and West Vernon avenues in Leimert park, as well as the beach areas of Santa Monica. Anyone with information on Kaden's whereabouts was asked to contact the LAPD Juvenile Missing Persons Unit 323-846-6576. 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 .

3 Arrested In Raid On Illegal Cannabis Operation In Mid-City
A purported illegal cannabis operation in Mid-City was boarded up and two men and a woman were arrested during a raid on the business Thursday afternoon. At around 3 p.m., Los Angeles police served a search warrant at the suspected illegal cannabis business in the 5300 block of West Pico Boulevard. Officers found 71 pounds of cannabis, a 9mm ghost handgun and an unknown amount of cash. As part of the raid, officers conducted the “first cannabis board up in the city,” the LAPD said in a news release. According to police, it was the fourth such search warrant police have served at the business. During the first three, police allegedly issued warnings. The L.A. Department of Water and Power also disconnected power during the first search warrant. While serving the second warrant, police learned the cannabis business was taking power from a neighbor. The raid was overseen by the L.A. Task Force on Cannabis Enforcement. This marked the first business to be boarded up by the task force since it was formed. CBS 2

LA City Attorney Cracking Down On Illegal Nightclubs, Casinos
The city of Los Angeles is cracking down on illegal underground nightclubs and casinos. City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Thursday that his office filed 17 criminal charges against three separate businesses, two alleged illegal underground nightclubs and one alleged illegal underground casino, all operating within a half mile of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. According to a statement from Feuer's office, the owners and operators of the underground nightclub, located at 800 North El Centro Avenue, have been charged with 12 counts, including dispensing alcohol without a license, live music and dance hall without a permit and a noise violation. The Los Angeles Police Department started receiving complaints about the club in August. When officers arrived on location to inspect, they noticed a large party with a cover charge, DJ's playing loud music and alcohol being sold. Officers broke up the party and arrested several people and confiscated guns. In late August, officers responded to a shots fired call at the location. Witnesses reported hearing up to 20 gunshots; one person was shot multiple times in the face and body. And in early September on two separate occasions, LAPD officers went back to the illegal nightclub and broke up large parties, confiscated handguns and arrested multiple people.  FOX 11

Ariana Grande Has Been Granted A 5-Year Restraining Order Against A Man She Says Repeatedly Visited Her Home And Threatened To Kill Her
Singer Ariana Grande has been granted a five-year restraining order against a man she says visited her Los Angeles home multiple times and threatened to kill her. The restraining order was approved by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Reginald Neal on Tuesday, according to court documents seen by Insider. It also protects her husband, Dalton Gomez. Grande said in a request for the protective order, also seen by Insider, that a 25-year-old man named Aharon Zebulun Brown visited her home multiple times, including a time in September when he brandished a knife and told the singer's security guard, "I'll fucking kill you and her." Los Angeles Police detective Peter Doomanis said in a written statement included in the protective order request that officers detained Brown after the incident. "Upon conducting a pat down search of Mr. Brown, LAPD officers recovered a knife from Mr. Brown's front pant pocket," he said. It remains unclear if Brown has been charged with any crimes. According to NBC News, he was being held at North County Correctional Facility on $140,000 bail in September. But his name no longer appears in an inmate search.  Yahoo! News

Instagram Fitness Influencer Ca'Shawn 'Cookie' Sims Located Safe After Missing-Person Report
A popular Instagram fitness influencer who was reported missing on Monday has been found safe at a local hospital in good condition, officials said Thursday. Friends and family had been looking for 30-year-old Ca'Shawn Ashley Sims, also known as "Cookie." She was last seen on Sept. 8 in Duarte. On Monday of this week, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department issued a call for public assistance locating her. Thursday night, the department issued an update that Sims was found at a local hospital in good condition and has been reunited with her family. There is no suspicion of foul play. The department did not release details on what happened to her and said her family is asking for privacy. ABC 7

2 More With Southern California Ties Charged In Jan. 6 Storming Of U.S. Capitol
Two more suspects with ties to Southern California – a Marine Corps veteran and a photographer – were facing federal charges for their involvement in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol breach after authorities received tips that they posted photos of themselves inside the building on social media, according to court documents. David Antonio Ticas, 39, of Placentia and Erik Herrera, whose age and city of residence were not disclosed, were arrested in September and August, respectively, after they were identified by tipsters who sent screenshots of the Instagram posts to authorities, court documents show. Herrera was indicted Wednesday, Oct. 6, by a grand jury on charges of obstruction of an official proceeding, knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building, according to court documents. Ticas has been accused of all but one of those charges – obstructing an official proceeding – according to a criminal complaint. He was arrested Sept. 23 in Brea, according to his arrest warrant, and released after appearing in a Los Angeles federal courthouse on Sept. 29. Los Angeles Daily News

NYPD Commissioner Hails Cops' ‘Hard Work' As Homicides Decline
Homicides and shootings declined in New York last month compared to the same period last year, according to new NYPD data that the city's top cop says show progress against rising violence in the city. Murders were down 22% in September 2021 compared with September 2020. Cops investigated 46 homicides in September, down from 59 they investigated in September 2020. Shootings were also down, but not by as much as homicides. Police counted 136 shootings in September, down by 14, or 9%, from the 150 shootings reported in September 2020. September was the fourth month in a row that shootings and homicides dropped in the city when compared with the corresponding time period last year, officials said. Murders are down 3% this year, with cops counting 355 so far in 2021 compared with 366 in 2020, a decline of 11. But shootings are up compared with last year as cops combat a surge of gang violence that has gripped the city since the summer of 2020. Through Oct. 3, police counted 1,215 “shooting incidents” in 2021, a rise of 44, or 4%, over the 1,171 shootings reported in the same period of 2020. Cops report that they are taking more guns off the street. The NYPD has made 3,425 gun arrests so far this year, a jump of 593, or 21%, from the 2,832 gun arrests reported in the same period of 2020. New York Daily News

Watch: Officer Avoids Disaster By Inches Thanks To Partner's Quick Reflexes
A Virginia police officer narrowly escaped severe injury last week thanks to her partner's lightning-quick reaction. Jaw-dropping video shared by Gate City Police shows Officers Matthew Stewart and Jessica McGraw standing next to their squad car moments before disaster strikes. While the officers are speaking, McGraw has her back to the road. That's when a vehicle from the opposite lane smashes into their cruiser, pushing it toward the officers. Except the officers aren't there anymore. Just in time, Stewart grabs McGraw and pulls her away as the squad car whips around. “It is my belief the quick actions of Officer Stewart not only saved himself from serious bodily injury or death but also that of Officer McGraw,” said Police Chief Justin Miller in a statement. According to police, Stewart reported a minor leg injury but is expected to return to regular duty. The driver of the car was issued a citation for failure to properly control their vehicle, police said. PoliceOne

Public Safety News

Proof Of Vax At Bars, Nightclubs, Breweries In Los Angeles County Kicks Off At Midnight
Anyone heading to or working at an indoor bar, winery, brewery, nightclub or lounge in Los Angeles County will have to show proof of at least partial vaccination against COVID-19 starting late Thursday evening. The new rule -- which according to the county health order takes effect at 11:59 p.m. Thursday evening -- recommends, but does not require, vaccine verification for employees and customers of indoor portions of restaurants. When the health order kicks in, workers and customers will have to show proof of at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine beginning at 11:59 p.m. Proof of a second dose will be required beginning Nov. 4. The county order falls well short of the more restrictive regulation adopted Wednesday by the Los Angeles City Council. That order, which will take effect Nov. 6 or 7, will require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination for entry to indoor restaurants, bars, gyms, shopping centers, entertainment venues and personal care establishments in the city of Los Angeles. The city's ordinance, which does not include grocery stores and pharmacies, is believed to be the strictest of its kind in the country. FOX 11

Los Angeles County Provides List Of Acceptable Forms Of Vaccination Proof
At midnight Thursday, all Los Angeles County residents hoping to hit up an indoor bar, winery, distillery, nightclub or lounges will be required to show partial proof of COVID-19 vaccination for entry. Meanwhile, people aged 12 and over attending outdoor mega-events of 10,000 or more people will be required to show proof of either full vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours. The order will affect ticketed sporting events, outdoor concerts, festivals and theme parks that have 10,000 or more people in attendance. According to county health officials, acceptable proof of vaccination status includes a photo identification with any one of the following: CDC COVID-19 vaccination record card (white card); World Health Organization (WHO) vaccine record card (yellow card); California Department of Public Health (CDPH) COVID-19 digital vaccination record; Other COVID-19 digital vaccination record issued by an approved company; Documentation of vaccination from the healthcare provider or entity that provided the COVID-19 vaccines; or California Immunization Registry (CAIR2) vaccination record. FOX 11

Local Government News

Homelessness Is Biggest Problem Facing Los Angeles, Residents Say, And It's Projected To Get Worse
The influencers rarely include homeless people in their frames. But when the phones are put away, Angelenos invariably end up discussing the tens of thousands of people living in squalor on the street, often just steps from LA's iconic tourist sites. The city known for its glitz and glamour has the nation's largest population of people living in places not meant for human habitation, like streets, parks and cars, and under freeway overpasses, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority – beating out New York City, which is required by law to provide enough beds for its unhoused. Homelessness is top of mind for Angelenos, according to a USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll, which found 47% of residents believe it's the biggest problem facing the city. The city has struggled to help its homeless people because of a housing shortage, bureaucratic and zoning issues, and a NIMBY sentiment that makes it hard to find a place to build temporary and permanent housing. The pandemic has only made it worse. Historically the city's largest population of homeless people has been located near social services in downtown's Skid Row, Venice Beach and Hollywood. Now it has spread to areas such as Brentwood and Bel Air. Yahoo! News

LA Councilwoman Calls For Importers To Use Zero-Emission Ships At The Ports By 2030
Los Angeles Councilwoman Nithya Raman this week called on the top maritime importers in Los Angeles to commit to making all calls to the San Pedro Port Complex via zero emission ships by 2030 — though what concrete role the city could take remains unclear. “Pollution from ships often goes overlooked in our greater conversations on climate change, but the reality is that ship pollution contributes to an estimated 260,000 premature deaths each year globally,” Raman said, “and at least 1,300 premature deaths annually in Los Angeles and Long Beach alone. “Our low-income communities of color living near ports are suffering from higher rates of childhood asthma, cancer, and more, and we simply do not have time to waste to reverse the damage,” she added. “This resolution is one step towards ensuring we are doing everything in our power to create healthy, breathable port communities.” The shipping industry is one of the largest polluters in the world, with a billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted every year, more than all coal plants in the United States combined, the resolution says. 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: