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 19, 2021
Law Enforcement News

$9 Million Awarded To SoCal Police Departments For More Officers As Part Of DOJ Grant
The Department of Justice is giving more than $139 million in grant funding to hundreds of law enforcement agencies - including several in southern California - aimed at improving community policing. The money is being issued through the department's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services' COPS Hiring Program. The DOJ said it provides direct funding to 183 law enforcement agencies across the country, allowing them to hire 1,066 additional officers. Southern California law enforcement agencies are slated to get about $9 million from this program, which includes money for the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Pomona and Anaheim police departments. LAPD along with Anaheim Police both plan on hiring 20 more officers with the funding. San Bernardino plans on hiring eight while Pomona plans on getting five. Many departments in the U.S. have implemented a form of community-oriented policing, which can mean different things for different departments. However, community policing has evolved with the nation's renewed focus on police accountability. Many departments are turning to community policing as an alternative to law enforcement to deal with mental health problems and domestic conflicts. "We are committed to providing police departments with the resources needed to help ensure community safety and build community trust," said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. "The grants we are announcing [Wednesday] will enable law enforcement agencies across the country to hire more than 1,000 additional officers to support vitally important community oriented policing programs." ABC 7

LAPD Investigating Death Of Model Christy Giles
Authorities Thursday were investigating the death of model Christy Giles. The 24-year-old was dropped off at an undisclosed hospital in the Los Angeles area and died on Saturday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Other details were not released by police. Giles' cause of death has been listed as “deferred pending additional investigation,” the Los Angeles County coroner's office reported. According to the New York Post, Giles was left at the hospital after a night of partying, and a woman who was described as Giles' friend was left at a separate hospital and is on life support with no brain activity. Los Angeles police declined further comment on the case, citing the ongoing investigation. Giles' husband, Jan Cilliers, was quoted in published reports as saying video exists of three masked men dressed in black who pulled up to the hospital and pushed the model's body out of a Toyota Prius without license plates.

LAPD Releases Body-Cam Footage Of Downtown LA Hostage Rescue
Thursday night, the Los Angeles Police Department released new video of a fatal officer-involved shooting in October that occurred in downtown LA when a man went on a crime spree and ultimately took a woman hostage at the Santa Fe Lofts and Apartments building. The suspect, 45-year-old Rudy Anderson had barricaded himself inside the apartment building on South Main where he took the woman hostage. SWAT officers can be seen in the footage bursting into the apartment where they shot and killed Anderson. The woman was not injured. Earlier, police could see the 45-year-old suspect through the windows as a he held a gun to the woman's head. Before he took the female victim hostage, police said Anderson attempted to carjack a driver who then managed to get away. Anderson also went into a business on Broadway and fired shots, where he grazed a 14-year-old boy's head. Before that, he held a gun to a man's head and pulled the trigger, though the gun did not fire. The officer-involved shooting is under internal LAPD investigation. CBS 2

Father, Son Accused In 3 East Los Angeles Murders Plead Not Guilty
A man and his son Thursday entered pleas of not guilty to three separate murders in East Los Angeles that took place between 2014 and 2018. Anthony Velasquez is charged with three counts of murder. He is accused of gunning down Jesse Avalos in February of 2014, Eduardo Robles in July of 2015 and Amanda "Nikki" Lopez in April of 2018. Manuel Velasquez, Anthony's father, is charged with one count of murder in connection to Robles' death and being an accessary in the other two. The arrests came after an $80,000 reward was offered in the case and investigators received multiple tips. A preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 25, where both sides will present their evidence in the case. Anthony Velasquez remains in custody with his bail set at $6 million. Manuel Velasquez's bail is set at just over $2 million. Avalos was found shot to death on Feb. 11, 2014, at about 3:25 a.m. in the 4800 block of East Telegraph Road, sheriff's Capt. Joe Mendoza said at an August news conference. About four hours before he was killed, Avalos had received a call from an acquaintance asking him to go to the location to jump-start a vehicle, and he went there to help, Mendoza said. Avalos was found shot to death while seated in the driver's seat of his SUV. Two suspects were seen leaving the area. ABC 7

LAPD Seeking Public Help To Find Woman Who Went Missing In Woodland Hills
Police Thursday sought the public's help to find a woman who went missing in Woodland Hills. Michal Prager, 67, was last seen on Tuesday near Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills Medical Center in the 5600 block of De Soto Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Prager is white, 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighs 120 pounds and has brown hair and eyes. Anyone knowing her whereabouts was urged to call the LAPD missing persons office at 213-996-1800, or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.

Police Investigating Domestic Violence Report In Northridge Area
Police Thursday were sent to a residence in the Northridge area on a report of domestic violence. The incident was reported about 11 a.m. near Darby Avenue and Dearborn Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. No arrests were immediately reported. Authorities urged people to stay away from the area while an investigation was conducted.

Police: Driver Who Withdrew Cash From LA-Area Bank Followed To Glendale Where Vehicle Was Burglarized
Police need help identifying the driver of a vehicle that apparently followed a person from a bank in Los Angeles to Glendale in order to break into their vehicle. The vehicle break-in is just the latest in a series of follow-home burglaries and robberies reported out of Los Angeles. Glendale police say the vehicle burglary happened in the 200 block of South Central Avenue just after 9 a.m. last Saturday. The driver had just come from a bank in Los Angeles, where they had withdrawn cash, and was apparently followed to Glendale, where the vehicle was broken into shortly after being parked. “The MO is consistent with numerous similar, recent ‘jugging' or bank-follow incidents involving suspects in rental cars following victims from bank parking lots,” a crime bulletin from Glendale police said. Earlier this month, the LAPD issued a community alert warning of a rise in follow-home robberies. Since then, similar incidents have been reported in the Fairfax District, one attempt was made to rob TV host Terrence J, and an ambush of a couple followed home to Upland was caught on video. CBS 2

Santa Monica Robbery Victim Chases Thieves, Who Open Fire During Escape Attempt
The Santa Monica Police Department is asking for the public's help after a robbery attempt turned into a car-to-car shooting in Santa Monica on Monday. The altercation began at about 2 p.m. in the 2600 block of 34th Street, where a man was attempting to park his car. A black sedan pulled up, then a passenger got out and demanded a cell phone and wallet from the man, said Lt. Rudy Flores of the Police Department. The man turned over his valuables, Flores said. “The suspects then fled in the vehicle. And the victim, trying to get a better description of the vehicle or license plate, ended up following the suspects,” Flores said. The victim chased the thieves for nearly a mile, and on Pico Boulevard, a robber fired his gun at the pursuing victim, Flores said, but he was not injured. “We are very concerned for not only the victim but the public who was around during this time,” he said. Police are looking for the suspects, who are believed to be driving a newer model Nissan Versa or similar four-door sedan. The car is believed to have chrome wheels and tinted windows as well, Flores said. Police don't believe the robbers knew the man, and there is no information to indicate this is another of the follow-home robberies that have plagued many recently in Los Angeles County. KTLA 5

LASD Seeking Public's Help With Homicide Investigation In Compton
Investigators with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department sought the public's help with information on the murder of 45-year-old Theron Davis who was found shot to death in an alleyway in Compton Wednesday. The sheriff's department was called to an area located near the intersection of South Willowbrook Avenue and East El Segundo Boulevard around 9:40 a.m. Shortly after, responding deputies pronounced Davis dead at the scene. Anyone with information is asked the call the LASD Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Those who wish to remain anonymous can submit tips online.  FOX 11

Philippine Church Leader Charged In L.A. Grand Jury Indictment With Child Sex Trafficking Under Threats Of ‘Eternal Damnation'
The leader of a Philippines-based church was charged with having sex with women and underage girls who faced threats of abuse and “eternal damnation” unless they catered to the self-proclaimed “son of God,” federal prosecutors announced Thursday. Apollo Carreon Quiboloy and two of his top administrators are among nine people named in a superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury last week and unsealed Thursday. The indictment includes three Los Angeles-based administrators of Quiboloy's church who were charged last year. The new indictment also names a church administrator in Hawaii. Quiboloy, 71, is head of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ church, founded in 1985. The church claims to have 6 million members in about 200 countries. Its United States headquarters is in the Van Nuys area of Los Angeles. The church backed the 2016 candidacy of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, a close friend of Quiboloy. Duterte used the group's radio and TV program in southern Davao city to express his views on issues way back when he was mayor of the southern port city. Quiboloy claims to be “the appointed son of God” and in 2019 claimed he stopped a major earthquake from hitting the southern Philippines. KTLA 5

7 Riverside, Los Angeles County Men Arrested In DEA Crackdown On Meth Trafficking Across
The US Seven men were arrested this week as part of a major DEA operation to shut down meth trafficking throughout the country. “Operation Crystal Shield” was launched in March of last year to crack down on eight major methamphetamine transportation hubs that the DEA says accounted for more than 75% of the methamphetamine seized in the U.S. in 2019. The operations in Riverside and Los Angeles counties are believed to be linked to the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, and involved in the transportation and delivery of large quantities of crystal methamphetamine. The investigation identified Southern California-based narcotics courier/stash house managers, plus several locations associated with the courier and drug trafficking organization, according to the DEA. The men arrested Wednesday faces a litany of drug trafficking charges. During Wednesday's raid, federal agents also seized 3 pounds of methamphetamine, a kilogram of heroin, 2 kilograms of cocaine, a handgun, and about $50,000 in cash. The DEA says virtually all methamphetamine in U.S. is transported by tractor trailers and personal vehicles along the nation's highways and is often found alongside cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl. Methamphetamine seizures have been on the rise, with the DEA collecting more than 6,000 kilograms in 2019, a 120% jump from the previous year. CBS 2

15-Year-Old California Girl Allegedly Abducted By 20-Year-Old Man Found Safe: Police
The 15-year-old California girl who was the subject of a statewide Amber Alert has been found safe, officials said. Now, Santa Rosa police say the entire ordeal was a hoax. Earlier Thursday, an Amber Alert was issued for Georgiana Bambaloi, who was reportedly abducted in Santa Rosa by a group of men. The teen is from Vallejo and investigators had reason to believe they were in the Los Angeles area. The Amber Alert was issued for Orange, San Diego, Los Angeles and Riverside counties. Santa Rosa police said an officer responded to a report of a missing person at the Rotten Robbie gas station on the 2500 block of Guerneville Road late Wednesday afternoon. During their investigation, officers learned that Bambaloi was possibly taken against her will, said authorities. Her parents told them that she was forced into a dark-colored Jeep by several men. A separate witness told investigators that she was standing with family members at an Arco station across from Rotten Robbie. Surveillance video shows that a man wearing an orange shirt ran across the Arco parking lot about 1:40 p.m. on Wednesday, grabbed Bambaloi, and forced her into a dark grey vehicle, which then headed eastbound on Guerneville Road, police said. Bambaloi's parents told police she was forced into a dark-colored vehicle by several men Wednesday just after 4 p.m. at a gas station. The suspect had been identified by authorities as 20-year-old Ionita Cimino.  FOX 11

Outgunned: The Story Of A Woman, An Abuser, And California's Failing Gun Control
Eighteen miles south of the Central Valley home that was her prison, down Highway 99 past almond orchards and trucks overloaded with hay bales, sits the Madera County Superior Court. The four-story steel-structure with its light granite exterior boasts 10 courtrooms, large flat-screen monitors and a glass-skinned atrium. The courthouse opened in 2015 in this county of 160,000, part of a decades-long effort to shift funding and oversight of local courts to the state and ensure equal access to justice for all Californians. “The Madera Courthouse was designed to demonstrate the transparency and dignity of democracy, providing a place to facilitate the workings of the American ideals of justice,” the architect's website says. Calley Garay, a 32-year-old mother of three young boys, came here in June 2020 seeking protection against her abusive husband. Julio Garay warned her that a restraining order was nothing more than a piece of paper and wouldn't keep him away, court records show. But the beatings were getting worse, the threats more ominous, and local law enforcement was still investigating her allegations. She needed help. So in June of last year, planning for a new life with her children free from his control, Calley filled out the standard domestic violence restraining order request. Hers was one of 72,000 such forms Californians – mostly women – filed statewide that fiscal year, including 211 in Madera County. CalMatters

Portland Leaders Agree To Spend Millions More On Police, Public Safety
The Portland City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a $44 million spending plan to bolster policing and public safety, assist those living on the streets and clean up garbage and debris generated at campsites across the city. Mayor Ted Wheeler and city commissioners delivered the 5-0 decision amid mounting frustration over a deepening homelessness crisis, record shootings and homicides and trash that continues to line commercial and residential blocks. In recent weeks, hundreds of residents submitted written and public testimony to City Hall decrying what they described as rising disorder and despair. “There are many paths to improvement,” Wheeler said, “but the uniting sentiment throughout these testimonials was an overwhelming want for meaningful and immediate action.” But even as the massive cash infusion aims to address some of Portland's most pervasive and contentious issues, city leaders acknowledged its limitations. “This budget doesn't solve everything,” said Commissioner Carmen Rubio. “We need to focus on systemic inequities and problems. There is so much more work that needs to be done.” Oregon Live

Death Penalty Recommended For Man Who Killed Girlfriend And Her Young Son Over What To Watch On TV
A Hillsborough County jury and judge have decided the man convicted of killing his girlfriend and her 10-year-old son, after a fight over what to watch on TV, should die for his actions. Tyrone Johnson was convicted of first and second-degree murder for shooting Stephanie Willis and her young son, Ricky to death in October 2018. On the day of the killings, 42-year-old Tyrone Terell Johnson called 911 claiming he was being attacked by Willis. Deputies responded to 4302 Mariners Cove Court in Tampa before 7 p.m. and found the victims inside the apartment where the three lived. Johnson's trial lasted just more than a week. The jury was shown dramatic video of Johnson's interrogation after being arrested. They were also shown images of the scene, where Ricky and his mother's bodies were found next to each other on the floor. Johnson's public defender, Jennifer Spradley, said Willis had been drinking that day, with an argument over changing the TV channel turning to personal insults, including ones about Johnson's son's suicide. Johnson's attorney claimed Stephanie said, "I see why your son killed himself like a [expletive] because you're a little [expletive]."  FOX 11

Public Safety News

Los Angeles' Three-Day Memorial For Victims Lost To Pandemic Begins Thursday
Los Angeles is having a three-day memorial beginning Thursday to memorialize the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. The “Strength and Love, The City of Angels' COVID-19 Memorial” is organized by Mayor Eric Garcetti's office. The memorial comes as another 22 COVID-19 deaths were reported on Wednesday, raising the overall death toll to 26,923. “It's not enough for us to simply share those numbers. We need to grieve together, we need to come together, and we need to embrace one another. That's what Strength and Love, the city of L.A.'s COVID-19 memorial is all about,” Garcetti said Wednesday. The memorial's theme Thursday is Honor and the city is encouraging residents to clap at 8 p.m. for the city's first responders, essential workers, small business owners, community organizers, caregivers, neighbors and families for their work holding Los Angeles together during he pandemic. On Friday, the memorial's theme is Remember and the city asks that residents light a candle in their window at 8 p.m. to pay homage to the memory of those lost to the pandemic. The memorial ends on Saturday with a theme to mobilize. People are asked at 8 p.m. to wave a flashlight or phone light outside to light up L.A. to represent the city working to be more kind, united and resilient than before.

Mayor Garcetti Warns Of Winter COVID-19 Surge In L.A.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, who just returned from quarantine overseas after developing COVID-19 in Scotland, warned Wednesday that a coronavirus surge was likely during the upcoming holiday season and urged residents to get vaccinated to keep case numbers and hospitalizations down. “The answer to who should get the vaccine is simple: everyone,” Garcetti said. “If you have family members who are coming for Thanksgiving or Christmas or the holidays, get them vaccinated.” Garcetti noted that vaccination protection diminishes over time and used himself as an example of a breakthrough infection. The mayor said he had put off getting a booster shot and came down with COVID-19 while attending a United Nations climate conference in the United Kingdom. He had a mild fever for a day, flu-like symptoms and lost his taste and smell for a few days “but then was fully recovered, probably thanks to the vaccine that I got earlier this year,” Garcetti said. KTLA 5

No COVID Spike Detected Following Halloween, LA County Health Reports
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Thursday that the county has not seen a spike in COVID infections following Halloween, unlike the situation last year when cases began rising sharply. She said she is hopeful that residents will continue to exercise caution over the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. "We will need to take a cautionary note from what we're currently seeing in other parts of the United States and in other parts of the world right now," Ferrer said. "In the Mountain West and throughout Europe, cases are rising and hospitals are once more flooded with COVID cases, almost all of them among unvaccinated people. These trends remind us that the virus is much more easily transmitted when people are indoors and intermingling without protection from vaccines and other mitigation measures." FOX 11

California's Coronavirus Cases Top 5 Million As Hospitalizations Continue To Drop
California has now reported 5 million coronavirus cases, a sobering total that underscores the pervasiveness of the COVID-19 pandemic during its nearly two-year rampage through the state. The milestone comes at a somewhat promising, though still precarious, time in the outbreak. The daily numbers of newly recorded infections and those hospitalized with the disease have declined in recent weeks, a welcome trend heading into the heart of the fall-and-winter holiday season. But officials have long circled this winter on their cautionary calendar, warning that the combination of holiday travel, colder weather and increasing indoor gatherings could threaten to fuel the still-potent pandemic. “I recognize the fear that many of us have as we now enter into the winter, as we enter into a season where — if past is prologue — we should anticipate an increase of cases, an increase in hospitalizations, an increase in people in ICUs, and tragically the likelihood, if we don't take seriously this moment, an increase in the number of people that will lose their lives,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said this week. 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: