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

January 24, 2022
Law Enforcement News

L.A.'s Wakeup Call? Murders Are Prompting Angelinos To Question Progressive Approach To Public Safety.
Los Angeles County district attorney George Gascón—a George Soros-backed progressive Democrat—won over voters last year with promises of sweeping criminal-justice reforms. To help him win the November 2020 election, virtually every elected Democrat in California withdrew their support from the two-term incumbent DA, Jackie Lacey, a moderate Democrat. The Biden-Harris administration, the  Los Angeles Times , and Black Lives Matter leaders all rushed to endorse Gascón. Today, the City of Angels has become synonymous with lawlessness. Images of train robberies have gone viral. The data show staggering surges of homicides, gun violence, and sexual assaults, and one can see with one's own eyes the open-air drug scenes, rampant homelessness, streets lined with human excrement and needles, prostitution, filth, and squalor. Last year saw 52 percent more homicides than in 2019; shooting incidents were up 59 percent over the same period, according to the LAPD. On being sworn in, Gascón announced that his office would no longer prosecute a range of misdemeanor crimes, from resisting arrest, trespassing, and drug possession to making criminal threats. Additionally, he said that he would not seek the death penalty and would not impose extra sentencing time for gang membership. Gascón has tried to explain away rising crime. “The reality is that we go through these cycles,” he says, “and we go through the cycles for a variety of reasons. . . . In many ways we cannot prosecute our way out of social inequalities, income inequalities, the unhoused, the desperation that we have.” His words offer a good distillation of the progressive prosecutor worldview: crime is the fault of almost anyone but those who commit it.  WestSide Current

Man Accused Of Killing Brianna Kupfer Inside Hancock Park Store Charged With Murder
A homeless man suspected of killing 24-year-old UCLA grad student Brianna Kupfer inside a Hancock Park furniture store was charged Friday with murder. Shawn Laval Smith, 31, is accused of fatally stabbing Kupfer on Jan. 13 while she was working alone inside the Croft House boutique furniture store in the 300 block of North La Brea Avenue. The murder charge against Smith includes an allegation that he used a knife in the commission of the crime. Smith was arrested Wednesday in Pasadena following a weeklong manhunt fueled by $250,000 in reward money. Los Angeles police Lt. John Radke said Kupfer was working alone inside the store around 1:30 p.m. when she was killed. "She sent a text to a friend letting her know that there was someone inside the location that was giving her a bad vibe," Radke said. "Regrettably, that person did not see the text immediately." Her body was found in the store by a customer about 15 minutes after the text was sent. Radke said the attack appeared to be completely random and unprovoked. Smith was seen on surveillance video walking away from the store through a rear alley. Surveillance cameras also caught him casually shopping about 30 minutes later at a nearby 7-Eleven store. He was also spotted shopping at other stores before and after the killing, police said. FOX 11

19-Year-Old Victim Of Fatal Shooting Outside Recreation Center In South LA
Detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department are investigating the shooting death of a 19-year-old man in South Los Angeles. It's unclear whether the victim was the intended target. The shooting occurred outside the Trinity Recreation Center in South LA's Historic South-Central neighborhood around 10:30 p.m. Authorities said the victim and his friend were standing near the basketball court having a conversation after a game when two cars pulled up and those inside the vehicles began shooting at one another. Investigators believe the victim was hit by a stray bullet. The teen victim was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Officials say his friend was not injured in the shooting. The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with any information is asked the contact the LAPD.  FOX 11

Four People Killed And One Wounded In ‘Ambush' Shooting At Inglewood House Party
Four people were killed and one person was wounded early Sunday after more than 40 rounds of ammunition were fired in an “ambush” shooting at a birthday house party in Inglewood. The city's mayor called the shooting the worst act of violence in the city in years. Firefighters and paramedics were dispatched at 1:43 a.m. to a house in the 1300 block of Park Avenue, according to a Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatcher. The house was an Airbnb short-term rental, one of the tenants said. Sources said those participating in the crime were gang-related, but officials said they didn't know a motive for the shooting and were looking for suspects. Two of the victims who were killed, Breahna Stines and Marneysha Hamilton, were sisters. Their mother, who asked to be identified only by her first name, Tiffney, said family had gathered Saturday at the home where the shooting took place to celebrate Stines' 20th birthday, which was Sunday. Hamilton was 25. During a news conference, Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. said multiple weapons were used, including one assault rifle and one handgun in what he described as an “ambush.” The victims appeared to have been targeted, he added. “This is the largest number of shooting victims that have been injured in this city since the 1990s,” Butts told reporters. “When I think about this and hear a crime like this anywhere in New York, in Los Angeles, in Santa Monica, in Culver City, these are sociopathic killers that have to be sequestered from society.” Los Angeles Times

Mother Seeks Help In Finding Person Who Killed Her Daughter In Venice Beach In 2020
At about 5 p.m. on Dec. 1, 2020, Ky Thomas, a 28-year-old mother of two, was gunned down near the Venice Beach Boardwalk. Now, with no arrests in the case more than a year later, Thomas' mother, Cortlyn Bridges, is asking for help in discovering who killed her daughter. “I want justice for my daughter. The killers have not been found,” Bridges said. Thomas, mother to an 8-year-old girl and a 1-month-old son at the time of her death, was believed to be part of a dispute that also involved her boyfriend and three other men, who fled after the shooting, police said. Bridges wants government officials to offer a reward for information leading to the capture of those responsible, but so far, no reward has been made available. “I've contacted the city councilman, the governor, the mayor, nothing's been done,” Bridges said. While police have suggested the killing may have been gang-related, Bridges rejects that theory. “Run her name. My daughter wasn't a gang member,” Bridges said. Bridges also said anyone who was there that day or lives nearby might know something, and she wants them to reveal what they know about the killing.  KTLA 5

Venice Fight Results In One Dead, One Injured, One Arrested
An altercation that broke out in Venice on Sunday evening resulted in one death, one injury and one person arrested. All three individuals involved in the incident were males. The identity of all three men has been withheld by authorities as an investigation continues. Los Angeles Police Department officers were dispatched to the intersection of Venice Boulevard and Beethoven Street at around 7 p.m., and when they arrived they found one person dead at the scene. CBS 2

Boy Wounded In Chesterfield Square Shooting
A 15-year-old boy was hospitalized Saturday evening after he suffered multiple wounds in a shooting in a parking lot in the Chesterfield Square area of Los Angeles. The shooting was reported about 5 p.m. outside the business at 1975 W. Slauson Ave., according to a desk officer at the Los Angeles Police Department's Operations Center. The boy was standing in the parking lot when a vehicle drove up, three males got out and fired shots at him, striking him multiple times and fleeing, the officer said. Paramdeics took the boy to a hospital, where he had stable vital signs, the officer said.

Homeless Man Arrested For Attacking Two Women Near 20th And Santa Monica
A transient has been arrested after attempting to assault a female retail employee at a local store and subsequently attacking an elderly woman on the street. The suspect was arrested Friday afternoon for assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse in a situation that is reminding residents of the tragic murder of Brianna Kupfer by a homeless man last week. In the Santa Monica case, the suspect entered the Santa Monica Music Center on the 1900 block of Santa Monica Blvd. without a mask and a female employee went behind the counter to retrieve a mask for him. At that point, he followed her, yelled sexually inappropriate comments and attempted to grab her. “He was trying to attack her,” said Councilwoman Lana Negrete who owns and works at the store. “So I had to get a music stand and use it to physically try to push him out while he was swinging.” SMPD responded to the store but the suspect had left the property by the time officers arrived. However, at about the same time, officers received a call for a suspect with a similar description attacking an elderly woman at 20th and Arizona. “A homeless male threw an unknown liquid at an 83-year-old female who was standing on the corner,” said Lt. Rudy Flores. “When the victim asked the suspect what he was doing the suspect kicked the victim knocking her down onto the street.” WestSide Current

LA Seeks To Spread Awareness About Human Trafficking Ahead Of Super Bowl
Local and state officials will kick off an anti-human trafficking campaign at the Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday to spread awareness ahead of the Super Bowl, which, like other large events, is susceptible to high levels of human and sex trafficking. The airport installed signs on its digital screens and in the airport's 460 restrooms to share resources for people who want to report suspected human trafficking and abuse before, during and after the Super Bowl on Feb. 13. The efforts are part of the It's A Penalty campaign, which works to prevent abuse, exploitation and human trafficking worldwide, particularly during large sporting events. The signs feature this year's It's A Penalty campaign ambassadors, Los Angeles Rams player Johnny Hekker, Tampa Bay Buccaneers player Chris Godwin and Green Bay Packers player Aaron Rodgers. “Large events, such as the Super Bowl, can lead to increased instances of human trafficking due to a high influx of visitors,” It's A Penalty states on its website. “And when it comes to the prevalence of commercial sex industries, California is particularly vulnerable because of its proximity to international borders, number of ports and airports, significant immigrant population and large economy that includes industries that attract forced labor.”

Man Shooting From Rooftop In Huntington Park, LASD Says
A man was shooting from the roof of a home in Huntington Park early Monday morning, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. No injuries were reported as of 6:30 a.m. The active shooter was in a residential area at Sale Place and Santa Fe Avenue. Tactical operations from the LASD and the LASD Sheriff's Enforcement Bureau were well underway at 6:40 a.m., and NewsChopper4 Alpha was near the scene to see authorities attempting to persuade the man off the roof. The possibly armed man, atop one of the homes in the neighborhood, may have already discarded the gun around 6:40 a.m., but authorities were proceeding with caution and assuming he was still armed as they continued the negotiations. The LASD responded to the call at 5:15 a.m. NBC 4

14-Year-Old Boy Dies After Being Shot In The Head In Pasadena; Murder Suspect Arrested, Police Say
A man has been arrested on suspicion of killing a 14-year-old boy who was shot in the head in Pasadena, authorities announced Friday. Investigators identified 24-year-old Alexis Ibarra as the suspect and took him into custody in the 600 block of Mar Vista Avenue, the Pasadena Police Department said. Officers also recovered a firearm "and other evidence'' allegedly linking Ibarra to the shooting. Officers were summoned about 3 p.m. Tuesday to the 1600 block of North Los Robles Avenue, three blocks north of Washington Boulevard, by fire department paramedics who were treating the boy in the area, according to police Lt. Keith Gomez. The paramedics were in the area on an unrelated call when a man driving a white Toyota stopped and asked for help with the boy, who was sitting in the front passenger seat with at least one gunshot wound to the head, according to police. The boy was taken to a hospital, where he died of his injuries Thursday. Detectives determined the teen was struck by gunfire at the intersection of Los Robles Avenue and Eldora Road before he was driven to the paramedics, Gomez said. ABC 7

SoCal Woman Killed In 1977 Identified By Cold Case Team
A Southern California woman who was killed in 1977 has recently been identified by the Riverside County Regional Cold Case Homicide Team. A skull and other skeletal remains found in 1986 were identified this week as those of Linda LeBeau, who was reported missing in Tustin, the Riverside County district attorney's office said. Her remains were found down an embankment along the Ortega Highway in Lake Elsinore by Cal-Trans crews. Investigators determined that the victim had been shot in the head but they couldn't identify the remains, the DA's office said. Last August, the Regional Cold Case Homicide Team had several sets of remains exhumed and sent for DNA comparisons. LeBeau's remains were identified after a possible match was found between DNA of possible relatives and DNA in a state missing persons database, authorities said. LeBeau was born on April 10, 1950. She was divorced and her boyfriend reported her missing to Tustin police in 1977, authorities said.  FOX 11

NYPD Officer Fatally Shot, Another Officer Gravely Wounded While Responding To Domestic Violence Call
New York City lost a police officer in the line of duty Friday night when he was fatally shot and his partner was wounded as they responded to a tense domestic violence call at a Manhattan apartment, officials and law enforcement sources said. The gunman who fired on the two officers was also killed, said officials. The officers, responding to a 911 shortly before 6:30 p.m., quickly found themselves in a dangerous situation involving a mother and her son fighting in an apartment on W. 135th St. near Malcolm X Blvd. in Harlem, sources said. Shots began flying at almost the moment they hit the door of the first-floor apartment. Sources said body cam video captured the chaotic shootout. “They went into the building and it jumped off,” said neighbor Garrett Fowler, 62. “There were two guys being brought out of the building on stretchers. They weren't moving at all.” The wounded cops were rushed to nearby Harlem Hospital, where one was pronounced dead and the other was clinging to life, officials said.  New York Daily News

Texas Deputy Who Mentored Young Officers Is Fatally Shot During Traffic Stop
A deputy with Harris County Precinct 5 in Texas was “brutally murdered” during a traffic stop early Sunday, Jan. 23, officials say. Cpl. Charles Galloway, a 12-year veteran with the department, was identified as the victim in the shooting, which took place in southwest Houston. Galloway pulled over a man during a traffic stop around 12:45 a.m., and the suspect “got out of his vehicle and immediately fired upon the deputy multiple times, striking him, and then drove off,” according to Houston Police Chief Troy Finner. The suspect fled in a white “newer model” Toyota Avalon, the chief said. The suspect has not been caught as of Sunday morning. An “assault-type weapon” was used in the shooting, officials said. Harris County Precinct 5 Constable Ted Heap said no traffic stop is routine, but Galloway did not have an opportunity to defend himself in the shooting. “This is senseless, it makes no sense whatsoever,” Finner said. The 47-year-old Galloway prided himself on mentoring young officers in the department, Heap said. He recently switched shifts to night shift to become a field training officer.  The Charlotte Observer

Public Safety News

Memorial Service Honors L.A. County Firefighter Killed In Rancho Palos Verdes House Fire
A memorial service was held Friday in honor of Los Angeles County Firefighter Jonathan Flagler, who died battling a house fire in Rancho Palos Verdes earlier this month. Family, friends, along with hundreds of firefighters throughout the region, gathered at the 10 a.m. service at Cottonwood Church at 4505 Katella Ave. in Los Alamitos. At the service, Flagler was remembered for his love of family and helping others, described as exemplifying “what a true hero is: caring, selfless and brave.” His wife, Jenny, and their two sons, Brody and Jack, all spoke at the service. The boys reminisced about the fun side of their dad, discussing his love of football — he sometimes traded Sunday shifts to watch NFL games with his sons — and how he carried jolly ranchers around and passed them out to the boys' friends, earning him the nickname “Uncle Jolly.” His wife said she knew he was the one on their first date. “I knew he was the man I was meant to spend the rest of my life with. I didn't get the rest of my life, but I got the rest of his,” she said through tears. “Thank you, John, for your never-failing love and devotion to our family. You have left a piece of yourself in our voice.” KTLA 5

Firefighters Put Out Blaze In Vacant Koreatown Building
Firefighters worked Monday morning to put out a blaze in a vacant commercial building in Koreatown that was once a dental office. The fire was reported at 5:02 a.m. at 736 S. Vermont Ave., said the Los Angeles Fire Department's Margaret Stewart. The 35 firefighters had the flames out in 29 minutes, Stewart said. “Firefighters defended the exposed four-story apartment building, separated by only a few feet at the rear of the structure, from any damage while LAPD had the occupants remain sheltered in place,” she said. Flames could be seen through the roof of the building in video from the FOX11 helicopter. No injuries were reported, Stewart said.

LA County COVID Hospitalizations Drop Slightly, But Another 72 Deaths Reported
Los Angeles County reported another 72 deaths associated with the coronavirus Saturday, along with 39,117 new positive cases. More than 250,000 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the county over the past seven days, down from the 291,000 cases reported for the previous seven days, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Saturday's test positivity rate was 16.1%, a decline from 17.4% last Sunday. Meanwhile, the number of COVID-positive patients in L.A. County hospitals fell for the second consecutive day, dropping from 4,792 as of Friday to 4,698. However, the number of those patients in intensive care continued its worrisome climb, increasing from 740 to 769. The health department said residents who test positive should isolate away from others for at least five days. To exit isolation after day five, residents will need a negative COVID-19 viral test, have had no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medicine, and be asymptomatic or have improving symptoms. Residents who don't meet these criteria can exit isolation after day 10, provided they have no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medicine and are asymptomatic or have improving symptoms. FOX 11

Even As Omicron Surge Plateaus, L.A. County Health Officials Recommend Avoiding Gatherings
Even as the winter Omicron surge flattens, Los Angeles County health officials are urging the public to continue avoiding nonessential gatherings, saying coronavirus transmission remains at one of the highest levels ever seen in the two-year-old pandemic's history. With California averaging more than 100,000 new coronavirus cases a day recently, that's still more than twice as high as the peak of last winter's surge, in which 46,000 cases were recorded a day. The latest figure represents an extraordinary level of transmission that demonstrates how many more people are simultaneously infected and contagious than at any previous point of the pandemic. So even as officials express hope that California's winter surge is finally cresting, and in some areas, starting to decline, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said it's still wise to postpone nonessential activities where people are unmasked and in close contact with others, like dinners and parties. “We need to be extraordinarily cautious when there's this much community transmission. We've actually never had this much community transmission at any other point during the pandemic,” Ferrer said. “It's extraordinarily easy to be exposed. And for some people, when they are exposed, they can go ahead and become infected, and a small number of those people are in our hospital right now fighting for their lives.” KTLA 5

Local Government News

New Oil And Gas Wells Would Be Banned In LA Under Measure Being Considered By City Council
The University Park neighborhood of Los Angeles has a lot in common with urban areas across the U.S.: A dense population with lots of businesses and housing. A cluster of car dealerships. A row of restaurants. Schools and a community center. But nestled in the predominantly Latino community is something rarely found in urban areas outside California: an oil field. Pat Diaz, a 65-year old activist and University Park resident who grew up near a busy intersection, has felt the presence of the field since she was a child. She remembers the basement of her family home that she now owns smelled like tar and her mother used to get spontaneous nosebleeds and persistent headaches. When Diaz moved back to the neighborhood as an adult in 2009, she says she developed a chronic cough and lost her sense of taste. After comparing notes with neighbors in 2011, she realized such ailments were a widespread problem that residents blame on living near oil fields most recently operated by AllenCo Energy. "It has been the bane of my existence since I was young," she said. After a decade of complaints from residents like Diaz, the Los Angeles City Council is expected to vote as soon as next week on a measure that would ban new oil and gas wells in the nation's second most populous city and phase out existing wells over a five-year period. 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: