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 29, 2021
Law Enforcement News

L.A. Police Union Calls For Investigation Into City's COVID-19 Testing Contract
The Los Angeles Police Protective League is calling for an investigation into the contract awarded for COVID-19 testing, alleging conflicts of interest and ethical violations. City employees, including police officers and firefighters, who aren't vaccinated have to be tested for COVID-19 twice per week at a cost of $65 per test, which is deducted from their paychecks. Those tests must be performed by Bluestone, according to Detective Jamie McBride, director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League. Bluestone is owned by PPS Health, which is partially owned by Pedram Salimpour, who serves on the Board of Fire and Police Pension Commissioners, which handles retirement benefits for many city employees. Salimpour has also contributed to the campaigns of several city officials, McBride said. “They literally just handed over a $3 million contract to a political donor who is also a city commissioner. I think anyone walking down the street, if you ask them, they're going to say this doesn't pass the smell test,” McBride said.  KTLA 5

LAPD Facing Rise In Violent Suspects, Hostage Situations
"There are a lot of crazy people out there." An observation that is sad, but true. That observation came from barber Daniel Tanner in downtown Los Angeles. His business sits just around the corner from – where earlier this month – the LAPD forced entry into an apartment and a SWAT team member shot and killed a violent gunman who had taken a random woman hostage. In addition to holding that woman hostage, the suspect was also holding a gun to her head, marking the latest of the several crimes he had allegedly committed that night. LAPD Chief Michel Moore told me Thursday that the violent suspect had a long criminal history and mental health issues. Moore and I talked via Zoom for about a half - hour about the five recent LAPD shootings. We discussed how four of the shooting involved hostage-takers and also spoke in general about the increase in police shootings, violent crimes, homicide, and also, attacks against law enforcement officers going up nationwide. He says there are two main issues impacting the violence here in Southern California: Zero bail was the first issue Moore mentioned, where people arrested on violent crimes are booked, charged and then the courts let them out on zero bail only to have them victimize people again. Secondly, says Moore, is the ''breakdown'' and ''failure'' in our mental health system. FOX 11

One Dead, One Hospitalized In Hollywood Freeway Collision
A pedestrian was killed Thursday and one person was hospitalized after a collision just off the Hollywood (101) Freeway. The California Highway Patrol confirmed that Los Angeles Police Department patrol units responded at 4:23 a.m. to the Vine Street off-ramp of the freeway where a pedestrian had been struck and killed. LAPD Officer Drake Madison told City News Service that the driver of the vehicle was taken to a hospital in an unknown condition. CBS 2 reported that the vehicle ran off the freeway, crashed through a series of trees and into a building. The collision caused the closure of the freeway at the Vine Street exit for an unknown duration. No other details were available.

Cypress Park Neighborhood Scene Of Manhunt After Multiple Shots Fired: LAPD
Police are still searching after residents of Cypress Park reported a man fired a gun in their neighborhood on Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Shortly after 10 a.m., multiple people near the 2800 block of Future Street reported that they'd heard several gunshots after a man was at a home in violation of a restraining order, according to the Los Angeles Times. Police searched multiple homes in the area for the shooter, believed to be a man in his 20s, but as of 3:30 p.m., police had not yet found the man, according to Detective Guzman of the LAPD. Guzman added that no one in the area was injured or was held hostage, though residents did have to evacuate at one point. KTLA 5

‘Real Housewives' Star Dorit Kemsley Robbed Of Bags, Jewelry At Encino Home, LAPD Says
“Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Dorit Kemsley was robbed of designer bags and jewelry at her Encino home late Wednesday, police sources told The Times. The theft is under investigation, with the Los Angeles Police Department seeking three suspects they say broke into Kemsley's home in the 17000 block of Adlon Road about 10:50 p.m., where they confronted the reality TV star directly. “The victim was in fear and complied with the suspects' demands by directing them to valuables,” LAPD officials said. “The suspects took handbags, jewelry and watches with a significant monetary loss and fled the location in a black truck.” Kemsley, who owns a swimwear and athleisure line, could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday. She and her husband, Paul “PK” Kemsley, moved to the Los Angeles area in 2015 and have two children. Police did not say whether anyone else was in the home at the time of the robbery. The Real Housewives franchise focuses on the lives of wealthy women and routinely highlights their high-end goods and luxurious homes. Los Angeles Times

LAPD: Investigation Continuing Into Alleged Hamilton High School Sex Assault
As an investigation continued into an alleged sexual assault of a student in a Hamilton High School bathroom, police said Thursday no students have been suspended in connection with the probe, contrary to earlier comments by LAPD Chief Michel Moore. During a Wednesday appearance on ABC7, Moore said investigators were working to identify all parties involved, including “the assailant as well as those that simply stood by,” and he said there had been some suspensions. “It's my understanding the school has suspended those individuals and they're not in the school location, which I'm thankful for, so they don't pose any further risks to the school population,” Moore said. On Thursday, however, the LAPD issued a statement saying, “There have not been any arrests made and the school is cooperating and assisting detectives with the investigation, which is ongoing. Additionally, no students have been suspended at this time.” The alleged assault occurred Oct. 20 in a boys bathroom at the campus in the 2900 block of South Robertson Boulevard. A video of the attack was posted on social media. Students told reporters the video depicts several male students surrounding and sexually assaulting a female student in the bathroom. Some students told reporters the girl was a special-needs student.

2 People Detained At LAX After Police Respond To Reports Of Person With Firearm At Terminal 1
Two people were detained at Los Angeles International Airport after police responded to reports of a person with a firearm Thursday night, prompting hundreds of travelers to evacuate out of the terminal. According to LAX, the report was made at around 7:30 p.m. about a person with a firearm in Terminal 1. Police rushed to the scene and detained two people. The airport said no shots were fired and no weapons were recovered. One suspect detained by police was seen sitting on the curb in front of the terminal. He was not wearing shoes and his belongings were laid on the street. About 300 passengers evacuated from the terminal onto the airfield. The FAA issued a full ground stop. LAX said as they were getting out, two people sustained minor to moderate injuries and were treated by the Los Angeles Fire Department. A third person was sent to the hospital. Video captured by AIR7 HD showed the passengers lined up along a wall near the taxiway. Around 8:53 p.m., the south side of the airfield opened to flights and the airport announced all runways were opened shortly after 9:12 p.m. ABC 7

Man To Plead Guilty In Studio City Drug Death Of Rapper Mac Miller
A Westwood man is expected to plead guilty next week to providing counterfeit drugs containing fentanyl to Mac Miller prior to the hip-hop performer's overdose death. Stephen Walter, 48, is one of three people charged in the death of the rapper, who suffered a fatal overdose in Studio City on Sept. 7, 2018. Walter is expected to plead guilty Monday via Zoom to a federal charge of distribution of fentanyl and agree to a prison sentence of 17 years, according to his plea agreement. Two co-defendants, Cameron James Pettit and Ryan Michael Reavis, are scheduled to go to trial in March. Prosecutors allege that Walter, Reavis and Pettit distributed narcotics to 26-year-old Malcolm James McCormick — who recorded and performed under the name Mac Miller — two days before the performer overdosed. The indictment alleges that Pettit ordered the fentanyl-laced pills from Walter, and Reavis delivered the narcotics to Pettit, who sold the drugs to Miller. Los Angeles Daily News

Security Guard In Gardena Sentenced To 21 Years For Killing Customer Over Fight About Face Mask
A man who worked as a security guard has been sentenced to 21 years in state prison for killing a customer who entered a Gardena market without a face mask. Umeir Corniche Hawkins, 39, of Gardena, pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter for the July 5, 2020, shooting death of Jerry Lewis, according to Greg Risling of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Lewis, 50, entered the market in the 2300 block of Rosecrans Avenue without a mask and got into an argument with Hawkins. The fight turned physical when Lewis returned to the store, Gardena police Lt. Christopher Cuff said shortly after the shooting. Afterward, Lewis was walking toward his vehicle when Hawkins shot him. Lewis was pronounced dead at the scene. Hawkins was initially charged with one count each of murder and possession of a firearm by a felon, but those charges were dismissed Tuesday, court records show. Hawkins' wife, Sabrina Carter, pleaded no contest to possession of a firearm by a felon and was sentenced to three years in state prison. NBC 4

Kansas LEO Killed In Two-Vehicle Crash
Police are mourning 44-year-old Stephen Evans, who died in a two-vehicle crash on Monday. Evans worked as a Butler County deputy and as a part-time officer for the Burns Police Department. According to KSN News, Evans was in his Burns squad car when he attempted a U-turn and was struck by a pick-up truck. Evans was pronounced dead at the scene despite life-saving efforts. The other driver was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Evans leaves behind his wife and three children, according to the report.  PoliceOne

New Hampshire State Trooper Killed After Tractor-Trailer Hits Cruiser
A New Hampshire state trooper was killed in the line of duty Thursday after a collision with a tractor-trailer. According to CBS Boston, Staff Sgt. Jesse Sherrill, 44, was working a construction detail when the truck slammed into his cruiser. Sherill was taken to a hospital where he was declared dead. The driver of the tractor-trailer was treated and released, according to the report. Sherill joined the State Police in 2002. "Staff Sgt. Sherrill was known as a trooper's trooper, a consummate, dedicated professional and a true family man," Col. Nate Noyes said in a statement.  PoliceOne

Drug Ring Mailed Cocaine From Puerto Rico To NYC In Children's Lunchboxes
The feds say they have busted a ring that was mailing cocaine from Puerto Rico to New York City inside of children's lunchboxes in a "sophisticated scheme." An indictment charges five people in a conspiracy to smuggle millions of dollars in cocaine from Puerto Rico to New York and Massachusetts via the U.S. Postal Service. Intercepted packages contained a total of 30 kilograms of cocaine (over 66 pounds) concealed inside children's lunchboxes and school binders. Three of the defendants were scheduled to be arraigned in Manhattan on Wednesday afternoon. Authorities say the scheme took place between May 2020 and July 2021. The indictment claims that Carlos Duarte and Alexis Garcia were the ringleaders and work as managers representing recording artists in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Both are residents of New York and the feds claim that frequent travel in connection with their music industry work allegedly served as a cover for drug-related activity. Officers arrested Duarte at his Yonkers home on Wednesday morning. Garcia was arrested in front of a recording studio on S. Broadway in Yonkers. FOX 11

Public Safety News

Firefighter Injured In Malibu Brushfire A firefighter was injured in a Malibu brushfire on Thursday afternoon.
Firefighters reported to the 24600 block of Piuma Road, west of West Saddle Peak Road a little after noon, where they were able to stop the forward progress of the fire in around 45 minutes. They were assisted by an aircraft crew. One firefighter was injured in the process of putting out the fire and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. The extent of his injuries are currently unknown. There were no structures damaged in the fire, and crews remained on scene to detect any potential hot spots. CBS 2

Health Officials Release Halloween Safety Guidelines
Shoppers were spotted fantasizing about their big weekend plans at the Phantom Halloween store on Plummer Street in Northridge. As some prepped for Halloween, others thought about the reality of partying during the pandemic, like Kimberly Palomera, who plans to go to a party with friends. She says, "We're all gonna have our masks on and we're all vaccinated." To party planners, the Los Angeles County Public Health officials say remember that COVID-19 spreads more easily in: closed spaces, crowded places, and close contact settings. They say wear a facemask when in crowded areas and not the costume kind, adding that costume masks are no substitute for the kind we've been using day-in and day-out. As for Kimberly, she also wants to give out candy to trick-or-treaters. She says, "What I was planning to do was just having a bowl outside and six feet distance from trick-or-treaters and they can grab however much they would like as long as I'm not in contact with them." But, she's nervous because she's had COVID-19. FOX 11

Local Government News

10-Day Application Period For L.A.'s Guaranteed Income Program Begins Friday
The application window for a new $1,000-a-month cash assistance program in Los Angeles run by City Hall kicks off Friday, making L.A. the biggest city in the nation to launch such an initiative. The city's guaranteed basic income program will give 3,200 Los Angeles households the monthly stipend for a year. The 10-day application period opens Friday, when officials say they will release details about how to apply. Recipients will be announced in early January. Recipients will be randomly selected by the city's research partner, the Center for Guaranteed Income Research, city officials said. To qualify, applicants must live within the city of L.A., have an income at or below the federal poverty level, have at least one dependent child or be pregnant, be at least 18 years of age or older and have experienced financial and/or medical hardships related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A web site will accept applications starting Friday. Unlike other cash assistance programs, there are no rules about how the money can be spent. 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: