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 27, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Assaults On Police In L.A., U.S. Up In 2020 Amid Civil Unrest
During a year of global civil unrest, assaults on law enforcement officers increased nationwide, and Los Angeles reported the most attacks on police officers in the line of duty in the past decade, according to federal and state data. FBI numbers released this month show there were 60,105 U.S. officers assaulted in 2020, with about 31% reporting some kind of injuries — a 7.2% increase from 2019. And more than half that increase came from confrontations with protesters. In Los Angeles, state justice department records show LAPD officers were assaulted 1,172 times, up from 864 attacks the year before. Of those 2020 incidents, nearly 58% were inflicted by a person, about 31% with a dangerous object and nearly 9% with a firearm, state justice records show. Only a handful of LAPD officers had documented injuries, state data show. Those increases were mirrored across Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura counties as well, with assaults on police officers climbing significantly in 2020, according to the California Department of Justice records. But the numbers are an anomaly, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said, citing the widespread discord following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police in May. Street protests surged across the country and sometimes took violent turns, including in Los Angeles. On Tuesday, Moore said during a police commission meeting there have been 642 assaults on officers so far this year, a 19% decrease from the 793 attacks on officers reported at this point last year. A better comparison, Moore said, would be to look at the same span during 2019, when there were 597 assaults on officers reported. This year's total is a nearly 8% increase from 2019, which Moore said is also significant.  Los Angeles Times

LAPD Shootings Involving Mental Illness On The Rise
Police Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday that nearly a third of shootings by LAPD officers this year were in response to a person perceived to be mentally ill, up from about 21% at this point in 2020. Officers have opened fire 31 times so far in 2021, up from 24 at this point last year, Moore said. The four-year average for this time of year is just over 27 shootings by officers. Moore told the Los Angeles Police Commission on Tuesday that the two proportions that have increased regarding shootings by LAPD officers are the number of people involved who are perceived to be mentally ill and the number of people who have edged weapons, while the number of involved people who have firearms has decreased. Out of the 34 police shootings as of this point in 2017, eight involved people with edged weapons, and of the 24 police shootings as of this period in 2020, seven involved a civilian with an edged weapon. So far this year, 10 of the 31 shootings by LAPD officers involved a person with an edged weapon, Moore said.  NBC 4

Young Mother Killed In Hit-and-Run
LAPD detectives released new surveillance in their search for a hit-and-run driver who killed a young woman. The photo from a security camera at an Arco gas station is investigators' biggest lead right now. They show a semi-truck moments after detectives believe the driver struck and killed 39-year-old Iquisha Blaxon. "I just don't understand how someone hit someone — and keep on going like it was nothing," said a neighbor. Neighbors say Blaxon was a mom to young children and lived less than half a mile from Gage and Grand near the 110 Freeway where she was hit by the truck driver Monday morning. The grainy surveillance photo shows the semi-truck making a right onto Gage Avenue just after 6:30 a.m. It was dark and the ground appears wet from the rain. Detectives are trying to track down more security footage that may have better captured the company logo on the truck's drivers side door. They say they are working as quickly as they can to find the driver — as family and friends are still in disbelief. "Really shocking to hear this happened to her and … just keeping the family in prayer," said Lawrence Busey, a neighbor. NBC 4

Man Hears Shots, Notices He Is Wounded
A man who was leaving a downtown store Saturday evening said he heard gunshots and realized he was wounded. The shooting occurred at 8:46 p.m. at Grand Avenue and Olympic Boulevard, according to Officer G. Todd of the Los Angeles Police Department's Operations Center. Paramedics took the man to a hospital, where he had stable vital signs, Todd said. It was not immediately clear if the shooting was related to fatal shooting about an hour earlier at an apartment building on Grand Avenue. No suspect information was available, he said.

LAPD Determines ‘No Credible Threat' After Report Of Student With Gun On Campus
The Los Angeles Police Department was investigating a report of a student with a gun on campus at Alliance William & Carol Ouchi High School on Tuesday. The school is located in the Hyde Park area of Los Angeles, located at 5356 5th Ave. The campus was placed on lockdown as LAPD officers searched the campus. Officers cleared the campus and determined there was no credible threat, lifting the lockdown. The school released the following statement to FOX 11 on Tuesday afternoon: "This morning, LAPD was called to investigate an anonymous tip received by school officials that there was a student with a gun on campus at Alliance William & Carol Ouchi High School. The school was placed on lockdown during the investigation. LAPD concluded its comprehensive investigation and determined there was no credible threat, lifting the lockdown. Alliance's top priority is the safety of our school communities. We take any potential threat seriously. We are grateful to our scholars and staff for their patience and cooperation during LAPD's investigation. Scholars and staff were released early to process the day's events. School will resume as normal tomorrow and there will be opportunities for scholars and staff to connect with crisis counselors on campus." FOX 11

Driver Sought After Intentionally Crashing Into Vehicle During Dispute In East Hollywood: LAPD
Police are searching for a hit-and-run driver who they say intentionally crashed into another vehicle Tuesday morning before fleeing in East Hollywood. This incident occurred just after 9 a.m. in the 5400 block of Sunset Boulevard, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson said. Investigators say the suspect was involved in a verbal dispute with another driver and then intentionally hit that driver's vehicle. There was no word on whether any injuries resulted from the crash. The suspect was last scene heading westbound on Santa Monica Boulevard. KTLA 5

Woman Reported Missing While Visiting LA Relatives Is Found
A 32-year-old Oakland woman who was visiting family in Los Angeles and was last seen in the Vermont-Slauson neighborhood has been found, authorities announced Tuesday. Alexis Andrea Renee Heard was last seen Oct. 19 in the area of South Figueroa Street and West 69th Street, near the Harbor (110) Freeway, and the Los Angeles Police Department sought the public's help to locate her. The LAPD announced Tuesday afternoon that Heard had been found. No further details were released.

Authorities Seeking Suspect In Culver City Robbery
Authorities are seeking information on a robbery in Culver City on Monday. They are currently searching for a suspect who robbed a local business, located in the 4300 block of Sepulveda Boulevard, near the 405 Freeway. The suspect has been described as a roughly 40-year-old white man who stands about 5' 8" inches tall. He was last seen wearing a red and white hooded sweatshirt, gray sweatpants, gray shoes, glasses and a face mask. The man entered the building at around 2:30PM, brandishing a knife. He demanded money from the woman working at the front desk of the business. Despite giving the man the money, he demanded more, of which there was none. The woman attempted to flee before she reported getting hit with a sharp object on her lower back. Her injury is non-life threatening. Anyone with information was asked to contact CCPD Public Information Officer Assistant Chief Jason Sims at 310-253-6391 or the watch commander at (310) 253-6202. CBS 2

Prison Sentence For California Man Arrested In Organized Crime Investigation
A federal judge handed down a 15-year prison sentence for a Woodland man who tried to escape capture by running through a back door while carrying a pound of cocaine and a loaded handgun, prosecutors said. U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley on Oct. 21 sentenced Israel Covarrubias, 29, to 15 years in federal prison for a conviction of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and carrying a gun during and in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Sacramento. Covarrubias was among 21 people charged in federal court as the result of a two-year local, state and federal investigation that uncovered organized crime in Yolo County with ties to criminal organizations in California's jail and prison system, federal prosecutors said at the time. The criminal activity focused on sales of weapons, cocaine, methamphetamine and prescription drugs. In some instances, prison inmates allegedly directed the defendants not incarcerated to smuggle drugs into the prison or to sell and distribute narcotics outside the prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Sacramento Bee

Illinois Police Officer Dies After Shooting Near St. Louis
A police officer died Tuesday after being shot by a man at gas station in an Illinois suburb of St. Louis, authorities said. Trooper Jayme Bufford with Illinois State Police said Pontoon Beach Officer Tyler Timmins succumbed to his injuries at a hospital. The officer was shot at around 8 a.m. at a Speedway gas station along Route 111 and was rushed to Saint Louis University Hospital. Bufford said the Pontoon Beach officer had approached a car in the gas station's parking lot because he suspected it had been stolen, and that a man began firing on him. The suspect was taken into custody. Illinois State Police are investigating. Bufford did not immediately release additional information, saying that “the investigation is in its infancy." Police spokesman Michael Fillback in Edwardsville, a neighboring community, told KSDK-TV that “we would ask the public for their prayers for the officer, his family and the Pontoon Beach Police Department." Associated Press

Public Safety News

‘It Just Wasn't Her Time': Sailor Saves Woman Floating Off Marina Del Rey Coast For 12 Hours
After 12 hours stuck at sea off the coast of Marina Del Rey, a woman was saved last month by a sailor who happened to spot her hand while marveling at a pod of dolphins. On Sept. 26, Khosrow “Koz” Khosravani and a group of friends embarked on a sail from Marina Del Rey to Paradise Cove in Malibu. During the trip, Khosravani spotted a pod of dolphins and decided to deviate from the route to get a better view. That's when he saw something unusual. “I saw a hand,” he says. “If it wasn't for the dolphins, I would have never seen this lady, who only had a few minutes to live.” At the start of the trip, Khosravani, who had just finishing sailing school a few weeks prior, taught everyone on board what to do in case of an emergency. “I told them these things will never happen but it's good to know,” he recalls. “Well, 30 minutes later, they needed all the training.” First, Khosravani threw out a floatation device but the woman was too weak to use it. So then he used a buoy with a 70 feet cord. Five minutes later, he got the young woman to the side of the boat and pulled her on board. Khosravani says she was naked, exhausted and could barely speak, and they wrapped her in a blanket. “I asked her if she is alone or if there are other people we should look for,” Khosravani recounts. “She could barely say her first name and she said she's alone.” KTLA 5

Unvaccinated L.A. City Workers Have More Time To Get Inoculated Against COVID After Officials Extend Deadline
Los Angeles police officers, firefighters and other city workers who have yet to get vaccinated against COVID-19 will have more time to get the shots under a plan approved Tuesday by the City Council. City workers who still haven't followed the requirements at the end of Dec. 18 will face “corrective action,” according to the plan. Until then, unvaccinated workers will have to get tested twice a week for the coronavirus, on their own time and at the cost of $65 per test deducted from their paychecks, according to the approved plan. Workers seeking medical or religious exemptions to the vaccination requirement will also have to get tested twice a week, but the city will reimburse them for testing costs if they are ultimately granted exemptions. Although the plan gives city employees nearly two more months to get vaccinated, there could be swifter consequences for workers who refuse to follow it at all, according to a top official with the city. Under the plan, employees who have not shown that they are vaccinated or said they want an exemption will be required to sign a notice that instructs them to turn in proof of vaccination by Dec. 18. KTLA 5

LA County Officials Urge COVID-19 Boosters, Await Approval Of Shots For Kids
Los Angeles County health officials again urged eligible residents on Tuesday, Oct. 26, to get COVID-19 vaccine booster shots, while they also prepared for anticipated federal approval of vaccinations for children aged 5 to 11. A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Tuesday recommended approval of an emergency use authorization for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as 5. FDA officials still need to approve the recommendation, along with a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee and the CDC director. Pfizer's vaccine is currently authorized under emergency use for children aged 12-15, and it has full authorization for people aged 16 and older. “After reviewing safety and efficacy data, the FDA's vaccine advisory panel met today and recommended Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 to 11, bringing us closer to expanding vaccine access to 900,000 L.A. County children,” county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement.  Los Angeles Daily News

Fire Season Still A Threat To Southern California Despite Rains
Record rainfall this week could mean the end of fire season for much of Northern California, experts said, but conditions in the Southland remain more tenuous, and the coming weeks could still bring fire danger. Southern California saw much less rain than the Bay Area and Sierras, and this region's prime fire months often come later, with huge blazes of the past burning into November and December. Many of the factors that drive fire spread, such as drought-dried vegetation, strong winds and high temperatures, remain a possibility in Southern California — including the potential for a strong Santa Ana wind event like the one that fueled the massive, late-in-the-season Thomas fire of December 2017. Officials say rising temperatures and Santa Ana winds in the next month could erase any moisture gains from the storms. “This is typically still our time of the year when some of our largest wildfires have occurred, so we are still encouraging everyone to be prepared,” said Christine McMorrow, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Los Angeles Times

Local Government News

LA City Council Approves Nearly $40 Million Guaranteed Basic Income Pilot Program
The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday has approved what will be the largest guaranteed basic income pilot program in the country to date. At Tuesday's meeting, the LA City Council unanimously voted to expand the city's initial $6 million investment in the BIG:LEAP, which stands for Basic Income Guaranteed: Los Angeles Economic Assistance Pilot, to nearly $40 million, making it the largest such program in the nation. City Councilman Curren Price, who proposed the program, called it a “life-changing initiative.” The program promises to benefit as many as 3,000 Angelenos with $1,000 in direct cash payments to families every month for a year. The no-strings-attached payments will be given to families who have been hit hard by the pandemic and are living in poverty. More than a quarter of the participants will be residents in Price's District 9, which has the highest percentage of people living in poverty at 12.3%, according to a June report exploring the possibility of the program. CBS 2

LA City Council President Martinez Seeks New Panel To Lead Redistricting Process
City Council President Nury Martinez said on Tuesday, Oct. 26, that Los Angeles “cannot reasonably move forward” with a draft map proposed by the council's Redistricting Commission, and introduced a motion to create an Ad Hoc Redistricting Committee to lead the council's role in the process. “It's clear that too many voices across the city have yet to be heard and we have an immovable deadline,” Martinez said. “We cannot reasonably move forward with a map that raises concerns for so many marginalized communities when this will be so influential in the lives of all Angelenos for the next decade. If we're looking to build a stronger, more equitable Los Angeles, we need a map that reflects that.” On Thursday, the City Council Redistricting Commission voted to finalize its recommendations for a draft map of revised council district boundaries, but did not designate which district would be District 2 and which would be District 4. The City Council members from those two districts, Paul Krekorian and Nithya Raman, seconded Martinez' motion to create an Ad Hoc Redistricting Commission. Los Angeles Daily News

‘Comeback Checks': L.A. To Give Out $5,000 Grants To Thousands Of Small Businesses
Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday announced the launch of a grant program that will provide $5,000 grants to 5,000 small Los Angeles businesses. The city is using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to provide $25 million worth of grants to small businesses in need of financial help due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The money will be disbursed through the Comeback Checks Program, and recipients will be selected through a weighted lottery process. The application period for this first round opened at noon Tuesday and runs through Nov. 2. To apply, visit . “The money can go to whatever you need,” Garcetti said, speaking from a small business in Chinatown. “It can go to payroll, it can go to equipment, it can go to rent, it can go to insurance. It could pay off outstanding invoices, or simply just as working capital to continue operations.” The page says grantees must use the funds for operational expenditures related to the pandemic that were incurred after March 3. Eligible expenses can include employee wages and benefits, rent, utilities or payments to vendors. KTLA 5

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: