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

November 1, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Los Angeles Police Union Sues City Over Rollout Of COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate
The union that represents rank-and-file Los Angeles police officers has filed a lawsuit against the city over how it rolled out its COVID-19 vaccination mandate for city employees, alleging the city negotiated the terms of the policy in bad faith and is inappropriately trying to pass on associated costs to officers. The Los Angeles Police Protective League repeats in its lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court a claim that it made publicly earlier this week, which was that the city withheld information about the contractor it hired to test unvaccinated employees for COVID-19. The city policy requires unvaccinated employees to submit to twice-weekly COVID-19 testing and to pay for those tests by having $65 deducted from their paychecks per test unless they are granted a medical or religious exemption to the mandate, at which point they would be reimbursed. The union alleges the testing plan appears to “involve issues of conflicts of interest.” Earlier this week, it raised concerns about the fact that the contractor is co-owned by Fire and Police Pension Commissioner Pedram Salimpour. The union alleges the city withheld that information during its collective bargaining with the union over the terms of the mandate. The union also alleges that the city's decision to pass along the cost of testing to employees when that testing is a condition of their work duties is a violation of labor law. It is asking the court to block the city from implementing the requirements before taking additional steps in labor negotiations, and to prevent the city from charging the officers any fees for testing. Los Angeles Times

LAPD Asks For Public's Help In North Hills Shooting That Left 18-Year-Old Man Dead
Los Angeles homicide detectives are asking for the public's help in their investigation of a shooting that left an 18-year-old man dead in North Hills. Officers with the Mission Area Police Station responded to a radio call about an assault with a deadly weapon and shots being fired in the 8900 block of Orion Avenue in North Hills at about 7:35 p.m on Friday, the Los Angeles Police Department stated in a news release. When police arrived, they found a man suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Paramedics arrived and pronounced the victim, who police identified as 18-year-old Ryan Castellanos, dead at the scene. A preliminary investigation determined that a compact sedan was seen fleeing from the area, police said. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact LAPD's Valley Bureau Homicide at 818-374-9550. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or go directly to . KTLA 5

Inside An LAPD Crime Briefing: Homicides, ‘Hood Days' And The ‘Compounding' Violence
In the middle of Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore's command-level crime briefing Monday, Police Commissioner Dale Bonner — who was sitting in on the closed-door meeting — chimed in with a question. Bonner was looking at printouts of crime figures and wasn't sure whether the percentages in red ink reflected increases over 2020, when killings and shootings were already elevated, or 2019, before violence spiked in Los Angeles and cities across the country. Moore made it clear: The increases — including a 17% rise in homicides — were over the 2020 figures. Compared with 2019, Moore said, the uptick was even starker. “They're compounding,” Moore said of city killings. “Homicides are up 17%, and people will say, ‘Well, many other cities are actually higher.' But when we look over a two-year period, they're up 49%.” Each Monday, Moore convenes a small group on the 10th floor of LAPD headquarters downtown to go over the latest trends in city crime. The briefing gives Moore a better idea of where the department is making progress, he said, and where it is losing ground. After a decade of success in driving down violent crime like killings and shootings, Moore and the others in the room have seen the progress fade away since last year, with more and more red ink on their printouts. The latest briefing, which Moore allowed The Times to observe, offered no reprieve. Los Angeles Times

Several People Stabbed During Big Halloween Party In Downtown Los Angeles
A suspect was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly stabbing three people during a Halloween party early Saturday morning in downtown in Los Angeles. The stabbings occurred during an argument with a few people and staff at the Halloween party, where an estimated 500 people were in attendance, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Four people were taken away by ambulance, two of them stabbed and one in serious condition. Paramedics were dispatched at 2:35 a.m. to a reported stabbing in the 650 block of South Spring Street, according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Investigators had to call for crowd control as hundreds of partygoers flooded the area. Witnesses told CBSLA that one of the victims was attempting to defend someone who was beaten up when the suspect turned on him. The man arrested was seen wearing an orange jumpsuit with the words “Department of Corrections” printed on the back, an apparent Halloween costume. CBS 2

LAPD Shoots And Kills Man Said To Be Cutting Car Tires In Van Nuys
A man who police said was carrying two bloody knives and cutting car tires in Van Nuys was shot and killed by Los Angeles police Sunday. Around 5 p.m. officers responded to a 911 call about a man with a knife near the intersection of Matilija Avenue and Victory Boulevard, according to Los Angeles police. Officers asked a number of times for the man to drop his knives, the department reported. The man refused to comply with the officers' orders and at some point advanced toward the officers. That's when the shooting took place, the LAPD reported. Paramedics pronounced the man dead at the scene. His name was withheld pending notification to next of kin. The suspect's knives were recovered and booked into evidence, police said. Victory Boulevard between Woodman and Hazeltine avenues was temporarily closed for the shooting investigation, police said.

Heidi Planck Disappearance: LAPD, Family Members Ask For Public's Help Finding Missing Mother
Family members and Los Angeles police on Friday continued to ask for the public's help finding a missing 39-year-old mother whose disappearance has been marked by several perplexing developments. Heidi Planck was last seen on Oct. 17 in the 7800 block of Gardendale Street in Downey, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. "Heidi's family and friends are concerned for her safety," the LAPD said in a statement. ecurity footage from Oct. 17 shows her leaving her Palms home on L.A.'s Westside with her dog. Planck went to Downey to watch her 10-year-old son play football, but her ex-husband Jim Wayne said she left the game early. "She may have been a little bit edgy. I don't know," Wayne said. "I just know that was the last time we spoke to her." Three days later, Planck did not pick up her son from his school, the LAPD said. That's when Wayne, who shares custody of their son with Planck, knew something was wrong and went to the police. In a puzzling twist, on the day Planck disappeared, her dog was found in the evening -- wandering around on an upper floor of a high-rise apartment building in downtown Los Angeles. Anyone with information about her whereabouts is urged to call the LAPD's Missing Persons Unit at (213)996-1800. ABC 7

USC Admits Delay In Reporting Alleged Drugging, Possible Sexual Assaults At USC Fraternity
USC President Carol Folt has acknowledged that the university waited too long to notify the campus community of allegations of drugging and possible sexual assaults at fraternity parties. The allegations have roiled the campus and caused the USC Interfraternity Council to call a halt to all social activities at campus fraternities after the Department of Public Safety announced the allegations of sexual abuse and drugs being slipped into drinks during parties at Sigma Nu fraternity, where chapter President Ryan Schiffilea has been confirmed by police as a sexual assault suspect, and at other fraternities. "In late September, RSVP (Relationship & Sexual Violence Prevention Services) received between five to seven confidential disclosures of possible drugging and possible sexual assault at a fraternity and took the exceptional step of sharing that information more broadly," Folt wrote in a letter released Friday. "We now know that there was a troubling delay in acting on this information, and specifically in evaluating it for notification to the community. This has highlighted for me the gray area in our processes when reports come into RSVP, and the challenge of marrying a highly confidential support service, which may have limited details, with the need to inform and warn the community." FOX 11

Woman Shot And Killed In West Hollywood Near Plummer Park
A woman was shot and killed in West Hollywood Thursday evening. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies responded about 7:30 p.m. to an apartment complex located in the 7300 block of Santa Monica Boulevard, near Plummer Park, on reports of the shooting and found the woman suffering from at least one gunshot wound at the scene, according to the Deputy Miguel Meza of the Sheriff's Information Bureau. The woman was taken to a hospital, where she later died of her wounds. Her name was withheld pending notification of her next of kin. An investigation into the shooting was ongoing and anyone with information was asked to call 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 at . FOX 11

One Dead In Compton Shooting On Saturday
Authorities have reported that one person is dead following a shooting at 10AM on Saturday morning in Compton. An investigation is ongoing, following the shooting on the 200 block of North Bowen Avenue at, where one man was shot. The man was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead at around 2:30PM. The man was found by Sheriff's deputies on a driveway nearly a block away from an area where he and his friends had been standing. Deputy Shawn Du Busky of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department reported that: “unknown persons in a compact car exchanged gunfire with an unknown individual on foot near the intersection of North Bowen Avenue and East Palmer Street. Both fled the area after the shooting. It appears the victim was an innocent bystander struck by a stray bullet.” Homicide detectives who investigated the crime scene did not provide descriptions of the suspects or the weapon used, which was not found. Authorities ask that anyone with information about the shooting call homicide detectives at 323-890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477). CBS 2

Man In Body Armor, Military Fatigues Arrested On Weapons Charges In SoCal
Authorities say an armed suspect wearing body armor and military fatigues was arrested in Rancho Cucamonga. Joell Hernandez, 20, of Ontario was taken into custody Friday after deputies responded to calls of a man in the area wearing body armor and military fatigues. When authorities arrived on scene, they located Hernandez who they say was hiding near a dumpster. He was detained and a loaded .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun was recovered, police said. Police also allege that Hernandez was in possession of illegal narcotics and was currently on felony probation. He was arrested and booked into the West Valley Detention Center on suspicion of probation violations as well as weapon- and ammunition-related offenses. No bail has been set. He is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.  CBS 2

'Put It In Park!': Video Shows Kidnapped DC Officer Struggling With Man In Moving Car
New video from the Metropolitan Police Department shows the moment an officer was kidnapped last week when the suspect drove away with the officer still in the back seat. According to 14 News, officers were patrolling on foot when they came across Natango  Robinson, 35, who had reportedly been chasing someone while holding a gun. After making contact with Robinson, an officer felt a gun and a struggle ensued, reported FOX 5. Robinson fled and got into a car, along with an officer who was trying to stop him, said Chief Robert Contee. “The officer was actually, literally kidnapped, if you will, in the back seat of the vehicle while this guy is driving down two or three blocks from the initial point of the stop,” Contee said in a news conference. Now, video from the kidnapped officer's bodycam shows the intense interaction. From the back seat, the officer is heard yelling repeatedly at Robinson to “stop the car” and “put it in park.” At the same time, Robinson asks the officer, “please don't shoot me,” but refuses to stop. After about 40 seconds, the officer shoots Robinson and rolls out of the moving car.  PoliceOne

Bullet Struck Officer's Hat In Idaho Mall Shooting
Authorities have said a bullet struck the brim of a baseball-style cap worn by a Boise, Idaho, police officer who exchanged gunfire with the gunman in Monday's shooting at the city's largest shopping mall that killed two people. In a statement Friday, authorities identified the officer as Chris Dance, who joined the force in May. He is on paid administrative leave, which is standard after a “critical incident,” The Statesman reported. The suspect, 27-year-old Jacob Bergquist, died Tuesday in a hospital after the shooting at Boise Towne Square that also injured four other people. Dance drove up to the scene in a patrol vehicle with another officer in the passenger seat, authorities said. They saw someone matching the description of the suspect behind a business. Police said Bergquist began firing at the vehicle. The officer in the passenger seat got out of the vehicle to take cover in a better position. Dance continued driving and fired back at Bergquist before the suspect ran behind a dumpster. Officers then heard another shot fired. Associated Press

Moment Alabama Police Officer Saves Baby Who Ingested Drugs Caught On Intense Bodycam Footage
Police in Alabama have released bodycam video showing the intense moments a deputy is trying to resuscitate a 1-year-old girl who had been unresponsive for about 30 minutes after she "ingested some illegal drugs, possibly fentanyl." The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in Birmingham said the incident happened on Monday and the mother of the child, identified as Jeanette Lashay Bell, 31, has been charged with chemical endangerment of a child. The  video  begins with a deputy entering a home where numerous adults are heard panicking. "How long has she been down? How long has she been down?" the officer yells as he kneels next to a girl sprawled out on the floor. "About 30 minutes," a distraught woman responds. The deputy is then seen resuscitating the child by using Narcan. "Hey sweetheart, can you hear me? OK, she's breathing. There you go," he says.  FOX 11

Public Safety News

Body Discovered Inside Vehicle On Fire In South LA
A body was discovered inside an on-fire vehicle in Los Angeles on Sunday after firefighters extinguished the flames, the Los Angeles Fire Department said. Firefighters were dispatched to the fire around 12:18 p.m. The age and gender of the dead person was not immediately known, but the victim was later determined to be male, according to Mike Lopez of the Los Angeles Police Department. The incident occurred in south Los Angeles, according to the LAPD. The LAFD initially reported the location of the incident as downtown LA in its alert. The auto-fire was in a van near 8429 South Flower Street. LAFD Arson responded to the scene for an investigation with the LAPD. A Los Angeles County coroner will identify the victim and determine a cause of death, and will have the final say on whether foul play was involved. NBC 4

Coronavirus Hospitalizations Climb For Second Straight Day In LA County
The number of coronavirus patients in Los Angeles County hospitals spiked for the second straight day on Sunday, increasing to 672 from 659 on Saturday and 630 on Friday, according to state figures. Of those patients, 162 were being treated in intensive care, down from 172 the previous day. The latest numbers come as the county reported 1,118 new cases of COVID-19 and 11 additional deaths, bringing its cumulative totals to 1,493,170 cases and 26,637 deaths since the pandemic began, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. The number of cases and deaths likely reflect reporting delays over the weekend. About 90% of all the local deaths associated with COVID-19 were people with underlying health conditions, according to the county's health department. The most common conditions are hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 1.1% as of Friday. Los Angeles Daily News

COVID-19 Delta Variant Can Easily Spread In Homes Despite Vaccination Status, Study Shows
A new study suggests people vaccinated against COVID-19 can still easily spread the delta variant among households just as likely as people who are unvaccinated. The United Kingdom-based study was published in "The Lancet Infectious Diseases" journal Friday. Researchers studied 621 symptomatic COVID-19 patients from September 2020 to September 2021. The results showed that those who were vaccinated had a similar viral load of the delta variant as those who were unvaccinated. It also found that in households there were exposed to the delta variant, 25% of vaccinated people still contracted the virus compared to 38% of unvaccinated people. "Our findings help to explain how and why the delta variant is being transmitted so effectively in populations with high vaccine coverage," the study's authors pointed out.  FOX 11

Local Government News

Guaranteed Basic Income: Los Angeles Begins Accepting Applications For $1,000-A-Month Program
Los Angeles residents have until Nov. 7 to apply for the city's guaranteed basic income pilot program, which will give $1,000 a month to 3,000 households for a year. The nearly $40 million BIG:LEAP (Basic Income Guaranteed: Los Angeles Economic Assistance Pilot) program is the largest of its kind in the United States. "Its name perfectly captures what we're doing here in L.A. because we're taking a big leap forward in our generational fight to end poverty, to break the back of our addiction to poverty here in America,'' Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday. The application process opened Friday. People can apply at . More information is available from Councilman Curren Price's district office at (323) 846-2651. Only households with at least one dependent child will be considered, and recipients must live in the city of Los Angeles, be over the age of 18, and have an income at or below the federal poverty line. They also must have experienced economic or medical hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than a quarter of the recipients will come from Price's District 9. ABC 7

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: