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 3, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Only On 2: Crime Rate Drops As LAPD Steps Up Fairfax Patrols With Funding From Councilman Paul Koretz
It's an area known for its vibrant eclectic flair: as Melrose Avenue offers food, shopping, and a true feel of Los Angeles. But this summer it got a reputation for crime. “You have the guys outside the Shoe Palace who was shot,” said Jimmy Jabahan of Heat Exchange Melrose. Janbahan said the crime in the area is increasing at a dramatic rate.“It's been absolutely the worst I've ever seen it, living here all my life,” he added. The Los Angeles Police Department is increasing funding for more officers on foot, bicycles and even horseback to patrol the area. “The citizens of LA expect and demand to be in a crime-free area,” said St. Ken Price of the LAPD. “So having one street crime is too much.” And the efforts have been helping: Overall crime in the last month is down 30 percent compared to the month before, the LAPD reported. The increase in patrols is part of a new program funded by LA Councilman Paul Koretz, who is using his district's discretionary fund to pay for overtime for officers. It has paid over $30,000 so far. Councilman Koretz's Office said the $30,000 buys about 300 hours of overtime. They plan to keep the funding coming, to make sure this area is as safe as possible. CBS 2

LA City Council Offers $50,000 Reward In November 2020 Shooting Death
Police Tuesday announced that a $50,000 reward has been offered to the public for information leading to the identification, apprehension and conviction of the persons responsible for the November 2020 shooting death of a man in South Los Angeles. Robert Maurice King was standing on the southeast corner of 59th Street and Denker Avenue at about 7 p.m. on Nov. 20, 2020, when two suspects approached him in a vehicle and fired multiple shots, killing him, the Los Angeles Police Department reported. Police said the Los Angeles City Council has approved a $50,000 reward in the case. LAPD South Bureau homicide detectives urged anyone with information regarding the shooting to call them at 323-786-5115, Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or go directly to .

Missing California Woman's Ex-Husband Suspects Foul Play: 'Something's Dirty Here'
Heidi Planck, a Los Angeles mother, has been missing for more than two weeks as of Tuesday, and her ex-husband suspects there may be some foul play behind her disappearance. Planck's family reported her missing to the Los Angeles Police Department on Oct. 20 after she failed to pick up her 10-year-old son from school, but she was last seen on Oct. 17, when she abruptly left her son's football game in Downey before it was over. Jim Wayne believes his ex-wife's job may have played a role in her disappearance after he received a phone call from a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) official on Oct. 21 asking him what he knows about her boss, Jason Sugarman. "I don't know how she got my name and I don't know how she got my number, but she called me and started asking me questions about Sugarman," he said. "Something's dirty here." Planck was working as a controller and executive assistant for an investment advisory company under investigation by the SEC called Camden Capital Partners LLC, according to her LinkedIn and Facebook profiles. The SEC in 2019 charged Camden Capital executive Sugarman and his business partner, Jason Galanis, with securities fraud. The pair had developed a scheme to steal $43 million from its clients that they purported to invest in Native American tribal bonds. Sugarman "ultimately siphoned almost $9 million in cash for his direct and personal benefit," according to a 2019 SEC complaint. Galanis pleaded guilty to "multiple fraudulent schemes" in January of 2020 and was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison. FOX News

Suspect Denies Shooting At LAPD Officers Before Woman's Accidental Killing
The suspect whose pursuit led to a Los Angeles police officer accidentally shooting and killing an assistant manager outside the Trader Joe's store in Silver Lake in 2018 says in a handwritten note to lawyers representing the victim's family in a civil suit that he never fired any shots after his car crashed outside the business. “I did not fire any shots outside of the store…” says Gene Evin Atkins, who further alleges police altered video footage and planted shell casings. He also says he wants the family of Melyda “Mely” Corado to win their lawsuit against the city and that he hopes their lawyers have the family's best interests at heart. The civil case attorneys cited the letter Friday, when Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Malcolm Mackey granted their motion to delay a hearing on the city's motion to dismiss the case from Nov. 12 to next May 13. In their court papers, the plaintiffs' attorneys say Atkins may have waived his Fifth Amendment rights by sending the letter and they now hope to depose him in preparing their opposition to the city's dismissal motion. They note that the judge twice denied them access to the LAPD's Force Investigation Division report into the shooting until after Atkins' criminal case trial is over. A pretrial hearing in the criminal matter is scheduled Nov. 18. Lawyers for the City Attorney's Office opposed the delay in hearing their dismissal motion, saying in their court papers that Atkins' claim in his letter that he did not fire his gun before entering Trader Joe's is “belied by ballistics evidence collected at the scene.”

California Police Departments Push Back Against Vaccine Mandates
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva recently warned that the county's vaccine mandate is causing a “mass exodus” in his department. Meanwhile, 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. “I have repeatedly stated the dangers to public safety when 20%-30% of my workforce is no longer available to provide service, and those dangers are quickly becoming a reality,” Villanueva said in a statement he posted on social media. Across the country, law enforcement agencies have pushed back against vaccine mandates. Just yesterday, a judge suspended a Dec. 31 deadline for Chicago police officers to be vaccinated — the latest development in possibly the most publicized battle between a city and a police department. Cops eschewing the shot are in a particularly precarious position because officers are largely unable to social distance or work from home. Meanwhile, COVID-19 is by far the most common cause of duty-related deaths in 2020 and 2021, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, which has been tracking law enforcement deaths nationwide. The LAPD isn't the only department in the Golden State pushing back against vaccine mandates. None have seen widespread resignations, but many have indicated that losing officers due to the shot requirement could mean straining already reduced staff at departments. Los Angeles Times

As Sheriff Villanueva Blasts Vaccine Mandate, LASD Falls Further Behind LAPD In Shots For wee
ks, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has blasted the county's vaccine mandate for employees, saying he won't force his deputies to get inoculated. It's a decidedly different stance from the one taken by Michel Moore, chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, who has agreed to enforce the vaccination rules city officials put in place. And it shows in their vaccination figures. About 53% of 16,070 Sheriff's Department employees, both sworn and civilian, have had at least one dose of a vaccine, compared with 74% of 12,143 LAPD employees, according to figures released by each agency. Villanueva has made dramatic claims that the mandate would trigger a mass exodus, on Tuesday telling reporters that about a hundred more employees retired in the last year than in the year before, and that 238 more employees are transferring to other agencies or switching careers. Those figures include departures that occurred before the county mandate was in place. But he provided no specific evidence that employees have quit or retired early because of the vaccine mandate other than saying: “People are not happy with the vaccine mandate. The fact that we're seeing the uptick, we are attributing it to the vaccine mandate.” Villanueva, who said he is vaccinated, has encouraged department members to get the shots but doesn't think they should be fired for refusing because it should be a personal choice. Los Angeles Times

New Theory About Mysterious LAX ‘Jet Pack Man' Released By Police
Following nearly two years of reported sightings of a man flying at relatively high altitudes around aircrafts landing at Los Angeles International Airport, the police department released a new theory -- there may not have been a man after all. A helicopter crew captured images of a life-sized balloon flying over Century City last November, near where earlier sightings had been reported, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The balloon reportedly resembles the fictional character "Jack Skellington" from Tim Burton's 1993 movie “A Nightmare Before Christmas.” The first reported sighting of a possible jetpack flier was made on Aug. 30, 2020, after two different commercial airline pilots reported seeing a man in a jet pack hovering near LAX, ABC News reported. The second report was made on Oct. 14, 2020, and the third was made on July 28, 2021, all in the same surrounding area as the first. Federal authorities said that none of the theories surrounding the sightings have been confirmed, and they are continuing to investigate the situation with the Federal Aviation Administration. ABC News

7-Year-Old Girl Shot, Wounded In Willowbrook
A 7-year-old girl was wounded in a shooting in Willowbrook Tuesday night, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office. The girl, whose identity was not released, was struck in the foot by a gunshot at 8:45 p.m. in the 1300 block of East Imperial Highway. Sheriff's deputies took the girl to a local hospital. Her condition is unknown. Footage from Sky5 shows that the Sheriff's Department had taped off a Chevron and was investigating a dark-colored car at the gas station. KTLA 5

Ex-Con Gets Life Sentence In Murder Of Former College Football Player
An ex-con was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for murdering a former Long Beach City College football player during a robbery outside a fast-food restaurant just over three years ago. Shortly before handing down Edward Jacobs' sentence, Superior Court Judge Judith L. Meyer called the Sept. 26, 2018, shooting death of Guy Eugene Alford III a "tragedy." Jurors deliberated just over two hours before finding Jacobs, 32, guilty Sept. 30 of first-degree murder for the early morning killing of the 20year-old Hawthorne man in the drive-thru lane of a Jack-in-the-Box near 52nd Street and Atlantic Boulevard in Long Beach. Jurors found true the special circumstance allegation of murder during the commission of a robbery. Jacobs -- who had prior convictions from 2011 for robbery and 2015 for attempted robbery -- was also found guilty of possession of a firearm by a felon. The victim's mother, April Roby, told the judge it has been 1,130 days since she was able to touch her son and that the call she received from the coroner's office about her son's death "plays over and over in my mind." "My future stops right at my son's grave because I'm a childless mother," she said. "The world has lost a great Black man, again to senseless violence." The judge told Alford's mother she thought it was "extremely likely that your son took a bullet" for the other passengers who were in the vehicle with him outside the fast-food restaurant. NBC 4

Man Fatally Shot On Carson Sidewalk Identified Authorities Tuesday publicly identified a 55-year-old man who was fatally shot on a Carson sidewalk during a confrontation that was witnessed by a sheriff's deputy. The shooting was reported at 4:40 p.m. Friday in the 21600 block of South Figueroa Street and was witnessed by a deputy, according to Deputy Alejandra Parra of the Sheriff's Information Bureau. “A deputy patrolling Carson was stopped for a red light at the intersection of Carson Street and South Figueroa Street when his attention was drawn by the sound of shouting to the retail center on the northeast corner of the intersection,” she said. The deputy saw a man pointing a handgun at an unknown target within the retail center. “The suspect then fired six to seven rounds before running north into the retail center,” Parra said. “The deputy quickly contained the area with the assistance of responding deputies.” Deputies found James France, whose city of residence was unknown, on the sidewalk suffering multiple gunshot wounds and unresponsive, she said. Paramedics rushed him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A second victim, who was not injured, was located in the retail center, Parra said.

Video: Glass Flies As Man Shoots At Officer Along Dark Road
The state's Office of the Inspector General on Monday released its preliminary report on an October incident in which a Norwich police officer returned fire after being shot at several times by a resident with a rifle. The brief "Officer-involved Use of Deadly Force" report, by Inspector General Robert Devlin Jr., does not add much new information beyond what was previously provided by the Norwich Police Department and court documents, but identifies the officer as Scott Dupointe and includes police video of the officer taking fire. At approximately 9:55 p.m. on Oct. 26, Dupointe responded to a report of "shots fired" in the area of Westwood Park and observed a man police identified as Andrew O'Lone carrying a rifle. The report states O'Lone fired several shots at Dupointe, hitting his cruiser's windshield and prompting the officer to return fire. Neither Dupointe nor O'Lone were shot. O'Lone fled the scene, but surrendered at his 123 Westwood Park residence a short time later, the report states. Norwich Bulletin, Conn.

Connecticut State Police Get $2.3M Grant To Fight Heroin, Fentanyl Trafficking
Connecticut state police will use a $2.3 million grant from the Department of Justice to support its investigations of heroin, fentanyl and other opioids, which caused a record number of drug deaths last year. The state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection is one of 13 law enforcement teams receiving funding this year from the federal Anti-Heroin Task Force Program. The DOJ's Office of Community Oriented Policing selected agencies in states with high rates of admissions into detox and rehabilitation programs for heroin, fentanyl and other opioids. Nearly half of all clients in state addiction programs last year were admitted for use of heroin or other opioids, with heroin being the most common. That's across more than 10,000 people who entered detox and rehabilitation programs through the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services in fiscal year 2020, and tens of thousands more who were admitted to outpatient programs. While most people entering treatment say they are addicted to heroin, the drug is now commonly mixed with illegally-made fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Hartford Courant

Public Safety News

Los Angeles County Lays Out Requirements For Lifting COVID-19 Mask Mandate
Los Angeles County's health director presented a set of criteria Tuesday being monitored for a possible lifting of mask-wearing mandates at large outdoor events and in indoor settings such as workplaces, but the requirements likely mean face coverings will be around into the new year. The county has maintained its strict masking requirements despite growing vaccination numbers and downward trends in COVID-19 hospitalizations and infections. Speaking to the county Board of Supervisors, Barbara Ferrer said the Department of Public Health has developed a list of key metrics the county must meet before the mask mandate can be lifted for large outdoor events and in indoor settings with less than 1,000 people. Most notably, the county must have three consecutive weeks of "moderate" virus transmission as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means the county must have a cumulative seven-day new case rate of less than 50 per 100,000 residents. FOX 11

LA County Ready To Start Vaccinating Kids 5-11, As Final Federal OK Nears
Los Angeles County received its first shipment of pediatric doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine today, the same day a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee approved the shots for kids aged 5-11. The committee's approval follows the OK given last week by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Once CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky gives final approval — possibly Tuesday or Wednesday — the shots will immediately become available to those aged 5-11. An influential advisory panel on Tuesday recommended kid-size doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for all children ages 5 to 11, putting the U.S. on the brink of the major expansion of vaccinations. A final decision was expected soon. Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said there are 900 providers in the county that will be ready to administer the pediatric doses. “Sites that receive doses today might be able to start vaccinations as early as tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon or Thursday,” Ferrer told the county Board of Supervisors. Los Angeles Daily News

LA Firefighters Commuting From Alaska, Florida, North Carolina Could Be Forced To Relocate
Los Angeles City Fire Department firefighters who commute thousands of miles to work each month could be forced to relocate to Southern California if a residency requirement is imposed in order to keep emergency personnel closer to the city in the event of a major disaster. A report prepared for the Board of Fire Commissioners showed 115 firefighters currently live out of state, including 36 about 1200 miles away in Idaho, 10 about 2000 miles away in Tennessee, 11 about 1300 miles away in Texas, and 15 more than 600 miles away in Utah. One firefighter commutes from Alaska ZIP code 99603, 3,617 miles away, or an estimated four-day drive in the event of a major emergency. Another lives in Florida ZIP code 33914, or 2,645 miles away. Only 499, or about 15-percent of the workforce, lives within city limits, according to the analysis. “My number one concern is that unexpected, catastrophic event that we have to recall people,” Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas told the Fire Commissioners Tuesday. “This report shows us that we have 115 people that live out of state,” he said. NBC 4

Local Government News

L.A. City Council Members Propose Dozens Of Changes To Redistricting Map
The Los Angeles City Council took the first step Tuesday toward reworking a controversial map of the city's political boundaries, with council members drawing up 38 proposals for reworking the plan submitted by a citizens commission. Some of the proposals are minor, such as one to ensure that Little Ethiopia is placed in a single council district. Others are far more sweeping, raising the possibility that major chunks of the Redistricting Commission's draft map could be discarded and replaced. Council President Nury Martinez, a critic of the commission's work, called for city officials to prepare an alternative redistricting map, one that relies heavily on a proposal submitted last month by a Latino labor group. Under her proposal, the labor map would serve as a template for several districts in the the San Fernando Valley, including her own. The labor map calls for Martinez to reclaim key parts of her district, including the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area and the neighborhood of Lake Balboa. It also would keep intact much of the East Valley district represented by Councilman Paul Krekorian, who has been facing the possibility of representing an area that is 100% new to him. KTLA 5

LA Approves $2M For Signs To Enforce New Law Aimed At Curbing Sidewalk Homeless Encampments
Two million dollars in spending from Los Angeles' homeless services fund was approved Tuesday for the printing and installation of signs to enforce a new law prohibiting people from sleeping and camping on sidewalks and in parks. The law, which went into effect Sept. 3, prohibits sleeping, sitting, camping and obstructing the public right of way at several locations, many of which require a resolution to be passed by the council before enforcement can take place. The city administrative officer and chief legislative analyst estimate that 20 signs and five replacements are needed for each enforcement location. As of Oct. 6, requests for enforcement had been submitted for 116 locations, and 79 were approved by the council as of Tuesday. Councilman Mike Bonin and Councilwoman Nithya Raman cast the two dissenting votes to fund the signage, as they did for the original ordinance and all resolutions requesting enforcement.  NBC 4

Koreatown Hoarding Home: LA City Council Pledges To Clean Towering Mess
A home in  Koreatown  is catching the city and the neighborhood's attention for all the wrong reasons. FOX 11 was on Harvard Boulevard where piles of trash and debris were stacked on top of each other at the homeowner's driveway. Neighbors tell FOX 11 the hoarding had been an ongoing issue at the home for about two or three years. The home is occupied by a man and his elderly mother, neighbors tell FOX 11. On Tuesday, a statement from Los Angeles's 10th District City Council Office revealed that crews will make their way to the home to clean up the area. Cleaning efforts will kick off Thursday, according to city officials. Below is a statement released by Karly Katona, Chief of Staff of the 10th District City Council: "Ever since this location was first brought to our attention in late August, the 10th Council District team has actively engaged the Fire Department, Building and Safety Department, City Attorney's Office, as well as appropriate County agencies and neighbors, in an effort to bring swift resolution to this concerning matter. At the request of our office, the Neighborhood Prosecutor from the City Attorney's Office is in court today seeking support from the court to address the public health and safety concerns by allowing City crews to clean-up the property in a timely manner." FOX 11

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: