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

February 3, 2022
Law Enforcement News

Hundreds Gather To Honor LAPD Officer Fatally Shot In South L.A.
Hundreds of officers, family and friends gathered Wednesday morning to honor Fernando Arroyos, a Los Angeles police officer fatally shot during an armed robbery attempt last month when he was off-duty. “A young officer who held such promise for this city, who was just beginning his career as a police officer ... was suddenly, violently and senselessly taken from us in a murderous act of violence,” Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said at Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills. “May the full weight of our criminal justice system be brought to bear” on the people who killed him. Arroyos attended 42nd Street Elementary School and Audubon Middle School, graduated from Crenshaw High in 2012 and went off to UC Berkeley, where he earned a degree in legal studies. He then returned home to Los Angeles, to pursue his dream of joining the LAPD. His dream came true in December 2018, when he reported to the LAPD academy for recruit training. He excelled even then, specifically in running, and was selected as one of the class road guards. Eventually, he landed at the Olympic Division, not far from where he'd grown up. In addition to his daily duties of protecting the community, he called his mother and grandmother every day to ensure they'd eaten, taken their medicine and were well-rested. Moore described an officer who would go the extra mile to return a stolen bike to a victim and extend his watch so others could go home. At work, “he was well-respected and loved by many.” Los Angeles Times

Man Suspected Of Assaulting Officer Is Arrested After Boyle Heights Standoff
A man suspected of assaulting a police officer was arrested after an hours-long standoff in Boyle Heights on Tuesday. Officers initially responded around 1:30 p.m. to a report of a man with a gun in the 1500 block of Pleasant Avenue, said Officer Drake Madison, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman. The assault occurred as officers were setting up a perimeter, Madison said. The spokesman said he did not have information on whether the man shot at officers or used some other kind of weapon. After the assault, the man barricaded himself inside a building, possibly an apartment complex, Madison said. SWAT officers were called to the scene, he said. The man was taken into custody without incident around 6 p.m., Madison said. Further information, including the man's name, age, city of residence and possible charges, was not available Tuesday night. Los Angeles Times

Biden Steps Up Fight Against ‘Iron Pipeline' Of Illegal Guns
The Biden administration is expanding a crackdown on untraceable guns and firearms trafficking along the East Coast “iron pipeline” and elsewhere as police departments across the nation fight surging gun violence that's left a trail of bloodshed already this year. President Joe Biden plans to announce the effort during a visit Thursday to New York City, where he'll also showcase his plan to work with state and local law enforcement to get guns and repeat shooters off the streets. Biden also will stop at a school to meet with violence intervention leaders. The visit comes as illegal guns flood the streets and gun violence claims scores of lives, including those of police officers. At the same time, Biden, a Democrat, is trying to dispel criticism from the right that he hasn't been tough enough on crime. But his modest announcements — expanding on initiatives already underway and offering suggestions for localities on how to spend federal dollars — demonstrate the limits to what he can do when there is no appetite in Congress to pass gun legislation. The strongest effort in recent years failed, even after 20 children and six adults were killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Chief Michel Moore of the Los Angeles Police Department said more money is important but fully staffed federal law enforcement agencies would also make a big difference. “The efforts of criminal justice reform need to include the factors feeding into violent crime,” he said. “Our conversations with the White House have been that we recognize the need for criminal justice reform, the role of policing and accountability, but we also need to be similarly invested in bringing police the needed resources to address the increase in crime.” NBC 4

2 Men Arrested In Connection With 2020 Shooting On Venice Beach Boardwalk: DA's Office
Two men have been arrested and face multiple charges in a 2020 shooting that left a 28-year-old mother of two dead in Venice Beach, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced Wednesday. The Dec. 1, 2020, shooting killed Ky Thomas as she waited outside a bike rental store near the Venice Beach Boardwalk with her boyfriend, her sister and her sister's boyfriend, Gascón said in a press release. A confrontation between Thomas' group and Isiah Eugene Caldwell Jr., now 28, and Jonathan Michael Singh, now 30, preceded the shooting, in which Caldwell is believed to have pulled the trigger, Gascón added. Caldwell and Singh will each face one count each of murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder, the release said. “Additionally, Singh faces one count of possession of an assault weapon, a rifle, and Caldwell faces one misdemeanor count of carrying a loaded firearm on one's person or in a vehicle,” the release added. Thomas' mother, Cortlyn Bridges, and others called for justice in the case outside of the bike shop on Jan. 23, and the men were arrested three days later, according to jail records. KTLA 5

LAPD Honors One Of Department's First Black Officers
The Los Angeles Police Department on Wednesday dedicated the roll call room at a downtown police station to honor the memory of one of the first Black officers in the agency's history. LAPD Chief Michel Moore presided over a ceremony Wednesday afternoon at the LAPD Central Station to honor Robert William Stewart, who joined the department in 1889. Stewart "was wrongly accused of sexually assaulting a white teenage girl in the year 1900," LAPD Officer Norma Eisenman said in a statement."While awaiting trial, the city of Los Angeles voted to fire him," Eisenman said. "Despite being acquitted of all charges by a jury trial, Mr. Stewart was never offered his job back and spent the rest of his life working as a janitor and laborer." Wednesday's event is designed to honor his memory and address the wrong that Mr. Stewart endured. The Los Angeles Police Department will be dedicating the Central Division Police Station roll call room in his honor and dedication plaques have been installed to continue his legacy." On Feb. 23, 2021, Moore and the Los Angeles Police Commission voted to posthumously reinstate Stewart into the LAPD. FOX 11

Silver Lake Hit-and-Run: Video Shows Bicyclist Being Struck By Vehicle; Police Searching For Driver
The Los Angeles Police Department has released dash cam footage in hopes of locating the driver who struck a bicyclist in Silver Lake. The hit-and-run occurred January 16 around 4:20 p.m. in the area of Glendale Blvd. and Allesandro St. According to officials, the bicyclist was traveling south on Glendale Blvd. when a silver Hyundai Elantra, 2012 to 2016, rear-ended the bike. Video shows the man falling to the ground; however, he shortly got up and walked to the sidewalk. The vehicle kept on driving. His bike was damaged beyond repair. Police say the driver continued southbound on Glendale Blvd. and was last seen going westbound on Berkley Ave. from Allesandro St. The bicyclist suffered minor injuries. There is no description on the driver, however the vehicle is believed to have front-end damage to its right side and is missing its right front hub cap. A $5,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the driver. Anyone with information is urged to contact Central Traffic Division at (213) 833-3713. You can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or by visiting . FOX 11

Woman Found Shot, Wounded In Elevator Of Woodland Hills Apartment Building
A woman was discovered shot and wounded in the elevator of a Woodland Hills apartment building early Wednesday morning. The shooting occurred at a building in the 22000 block of Victory Boulevard sometime before 3 a.m. Los Angeles police told CBSLA that a Good Samaritan found the victim in an elevator with a gunshot wound to her leg and called 911. The woman was rushed by ambulance to a hospital. Her condition was not confirmed. A person of interest was detained at the scene, police said. It's unclear if he is a suspect. There was no word on where exactly the shooting occurred and whether authorities had identified a possible motive. CBS 2

49ers Fan In Medically-Induced Coma After Suspected Beating At SoFi Stadium During NFC Championship
A San Francisco 49ers fan is in a medically-induced coma after officials believe he may have been beaten up in a SoFi Stadium parking lot during the NFC Championship Game over the weekend. On Sunday, the Los Angeles County Fire Department responded to a call in Lot L of the stadium around 4 p.m., which was during the Los Angeles Rams-San Francisco 49ers showdown in Inglewood. After firefighters checked up on the man, they realized he needed to be taken to the emergency room. After the man was taken to a Torrance hospital, the Inglewood Police Department was notified of the incident. Hospital staff told police the man is being placed in a medically-induced coma and believed the injuries were the result of a suspected beating. FOX 11's sister station identified the victim as 40-year-old Daniel Luna, a 49ers fan who also owns a restaurant in Oakland. SkyFOX was over the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance Wednesday night, where the man is believed to be treated at. The alleged parking lot incident remains under investigation. As of Wednesday night, officials have not identified a suspect responsible for the man's severe injuries. FOX 11

UCLA Instructor's Behavior Alarmed Students Before Threats Of Mass Campus Violence
To his students at UCLA, the warning signs about lecturer Matthew C. Harris seemed abundant and longstanding. By the spring 2021 quarter, the philosophy lecturer had gained a reputation as odd and quixotic, speaking haltingly, changing his syllabus willy-nilly and spending the first four weeks of his “Philosophy of Race” class without once showing his face over Zoom. Things got weirder as the term progressed, students said, leading up to a final exam that included an essay question about the hate-filled manifesto of Christopher Dorner, a former LAPD officer whose 2013 shooting rampage killed four people and wounded three others. Students were asked to consider the “oppression, disrespect and loss of dignity” suffered by the homicidal ex-cop. Eventually, one student said she reported Harris to campus authorities and the FBI, after he directed another student to his YouTube channel, which included disturbing references to sexual perversion and bomb threats at Los Angeles International Airport. UCLA removed the post-doctoral fellow from his post last spring, after emails he sent to his mother uncovered even more graphic, and specific, alleged threats. Los Angeles Times

Pickup Truck Spotted At Scene Of Several Convenience Store Robberies In Santa Clarita Valley
Police need help tracking down a pickup truck they believe to be involved in a series of convenience store robberies in the Santa Clarita Valley. Since Monday, Jan. 24, authorities say they have investigated five convenience store robberies in the Santa Clarita Valley, and one in Agua Dulce. A distinctive pickup truck was spotted in the area of several of the robberies, investigators said, but it's not known if the occupants of the truck are witnesses or directly involved in the robberies. Details about the robberies were not released. A special bulletin from the sheriff's Santa Clarita Valley Station was released Wednesday, asking for help tracking down the pickup truck. It was described only as a lifted white truck with an after-market roll bar. Anyone with information about the truck can contact Detective Nisenoff at (661) 287-5601. CBS 2

Lancaster Parents Plead Not Guilty In Decapitation Of Two Children
The parents of a 12-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl who were decapitated in Lancaster pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murder and child abuse charges. The children's father, Maurice Jewel Taylor Sr., now 35, was arrested in December 2020 and charged with two counts of murder involving his 12-year- old son Maurice Jr. and 13-year-old daughter Maliaka, along with two felony counts of child abuse under circumstances or conditions likely to cause great bodily injury or death involving his two other sons, who were 8 and 9 at the time. The children's mother, Natalie Sumiko Brothwell, now 45, was arrested last September at her home in Tucson, Arizona, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. She is also facing the same counts as Taylor. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office confirmed that the two older children were decapitated and that the two younger boys were shown their slain siblings and forced to stay in their bedrooms for several days without food. The victims were stabbed Nov. 29, 2020, and their bodies were still inside the family's home in the 45000 block of Century Circle when authorities arrived five days later, according to Deputy Eric Ortiz of the LASD. FOX 11

Man Pleads Guilty To Posing As Tom Brady Teammate In Super Bowl Rings Fraud
A 24-year-old man who posed as a former New England Patriots player in order to purchase what he would claim were “family” versions of Tom Brady's 2017 Super Bowl ring and then tried to sell them to an Orange County sports-ring broker has admitted to federal fraud charges. Scott Spina Jr., a New Jersey resident, pleaded guilty Tuesday, Feb. 1, in Santa Ana federal court to felony counts of mail and wire fraud, as well as aggravated identity theft, for a scheme in which he obtained and sold three Super Bowl rings engraved with the name “Brady” — one later sold at auction for more than $300,000. In 2017, Spina bought a legitimate Super Bowl ring from a player who had been on the Patriots 2017 championship team and had left the franchise. The Super Bowl rings for that year's championship team included five “Lombardi trophies,” representing the number of championships the Patriots had won at the time, and was engraved with “Greatest Comeback Ever,” a reference to the team coming back from a 28-3 deficit. Los Angeles Daily News

Woman Arrested In Death Of Boston Cop Found In Snowstorm
A Mansfield woman is facing charges connected to the death of a veteran Boston police officer found unresponsive outside a Canton home in the freezing cold of Saturday's nor'easter. Massachusetts State Police detectives on Tuesday arrested Karen Read, a 41-year-old Mansfield resident, three days following the death of Officer John O'Keefe, the Norfolk District Attorney's office said. The 16-year Boston officer was found outside a Fairview Road home in Canton early Saturday and brought to Good Samaritan Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead several hours later. Read now faces charges of motor vehicle homicide, manslaughter and leaving the scene of a motor vehicle collision causing death, authorities said. Her arrest follow several days of “intense investigation,” Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey. While more information about what happened Saturday could be released when she appears in Stoughton District Court Wednesday, the district attorney said that she had driven to Canton with O'Keefe in the early hours of that morning. In a statement late Tuesday, he said, “Tonight our thoughts are very much with those whom John left behind.” PoliceOne

NYC Cops Pack Streets Once Again For Funeral Of 2nd Slain Officer
Throngs of police converged Wednesday for New York City's second funeral in a week for an officer ambushed while answering a call for help in Harlem, mourning Wilbert Mora hours after another colleague was shot and wounded. Organ music filled Fifth Avenue as officers from around the city and beyond gathered for Mora's funeral Wednesday morning at the Roman Catholic cathedral where his police partner, Jason Rivera, was eulogized and posthumously promoted to detective Friday. Both officers were shot Jan. 22 while responding to a call about a domestic argument in an apartment. “It's a horrible loss for the community, for the city, for anyone that's a first responder," Linden, New Jersey, Officer Raymond Wegrzynek, 34, said outside the cathedral for the latest in a series of police funerals he's attended in his six years of police work. “It's a thing that we do. We all come together.” Mora's funeral came shortly after the sixth shooting this year of a New York Police Department officer. Associated Press

Critically Wounded St. Louis Officer Is Showing ‘Amazing' Progress
The outlook was grim when St. Louis Police Officer Colin Ledbetter was shot last week while trying to apprehend a suspect. Right after the shooting, Police Chief John Hayden said Ledbetter was in “very critical” condition. Now, there's cause for hope. On Monday, Ledbetter's family told the St. Louis Dispatch that their son's condition continues to improve. “We've talked to a few experts about the survival percentages, and he's doing amazingly well,” said Steve Ledbetter. The elder Ledbetter says his son is now off a ventilator but remains sedated. However, the officer was able to recognize his mother and girlfriend. Ledbetter and a second officer were shot on Jan. 26 while pursuing a car connected to a homicide, according to the St. Louis Dispatch. Officer Nathan Spiess was shot in the leg and released from the hospital on Sunday, according to KSDK. Steve Ledbetter thanked the hospital staff, EMTs and responding police officers for getting his son to the hospital quickly. “That saved him,” Ledbetter said. “I spoke to another St. Louis officer who rode in the ambulance with Colin and put pressure on him to slow the bleeding. He said: ‘Colin would have done the same thing for me.'” Although his son still has a long way to go, Steve Ledbetter says “all signs are positive.” PoliceOne

Public Safety News

LA County COVID Hospitalizations Fall Again, But Another 102 Deaths Reported
While daily case numbers, hospitalizations and testing-positivity rates have been steadily falling, the number of COVID-19-related deaths remained elevated on Wednesday, Feb. 2, with Los Angeles County reporting another 102 fatalities. The deaths pushed the county's cumulative number of fatalities from throughout the pandemic across the 29,000 mark, reaching 29,099. The county reported another 15,664 COVID infections Wednesday, raising the overall pandemic total to 2,683,644. The rate of people testing positive for the virus was 8.8% as of Wednesday, roughly the same as Tuesday's 8.9% — but well below the 20% rate seen a month ago. According to state figures, there were 3,515 COVID-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals as of Wednesday, down from 3,710 on Tuesday. The number of patients in intensive care fell below 700, at 699, down from 719 a day earlier. County health officials on Wednesday also touted continued declines in the numbers of school students and staff testing positive for the virus, and the accompanying decline in the positivity rate. Los Angeles Daily News

Los Angeles County Expands Testing Sites To Libraries, Relaunches Mail-Order Program
Even as infections wane, county public health officials continue to expand its COVID-19 testing offerings throughout Los Angeles County. The LA County Department of Public Health will expand its pick-up COVID testing program to 14 new county library sites capable of providing 7,000 more free testing kits a day. With the expansion, more than 13,000 testing kits will be available daily to Los Angeles County residents without an appointment. The tests that will be provided are not rapid antigen tests and will require registration online with a smartphone. They should be used immediately, and returned to the site where they were picked up, with results coming in between 24 to 28 hours via email. The test kits cannot be reserved, and will be distributed on a first-come basis. County officials say there is a limit of one kit per person, or two kits per family. The county also relaunched its mail-order testing program on an “intermittent schedule and with new guidelines.” LA County residents who are symptomatic or believes they were exposed to COVID can order a home testing kit, which will be delivered and returned via FedEx. CBS 2

Omicron Landed In Affluent L.A. But Poor Communities Of Color Ended Up Being Hit Hardest
The Omicron wave swept through Los Angeles over the last two months with unprecedented speed, but ultimately traced a grim path that is becoming increasingly familiar two years into the pandemic. Cases first exploded in affluent communities, where air travel likely introduced the latest coronavirus variant, which got a head start in places like South Africa, London and New York. At first, it appeared the variant might be a “great unifier,” spreading equally throughout the county, but then it took a hard turn toward lower-income communities of color that had already suffered the most throughout the pandemic. By January's end, officials with the L.A. County Department of Public Health said South and South Central Los Angeles, East L.A. and parts of the San Fernando Valley once again had the highest coronavirus case rates in the county. The shifts “likely reflect the fact that we're now seeing increased transmission among those whose jobs are putting them in close contact with others and who often live in crowded housing,” L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. Los Angeles Times

Local Government News

Bonin Blunder Sends Venice Median Project Back To City Council For Vote
The Los Angeles City Council will once again vote on the Venice Median Project after receiving and voting on inaccurate information submitted by Councilmember Mike Bonin. In an effort to fast-track the Venice Median project, Bonin supplied inaccurate information to the City Council when it voted on the project last December. In a new motion to be voted on today, Bonin states that the City Council approved certain land use documents related to the Project that were missing required materials and maps, and included other materials and maps inconsistent with the requested action. Numerous errors and oversights regarding the project have been highlighted by Jamie Hall in a lawsuit filed in January on behalf of the Coalition for Safe Coastal Development CSCD, an organization that represents the coastal interests of Venice. WestSide Current

Los Angeles Receives $21 Million For Project Homekey Permanent Housing Site
Los Angeles received more than $21 million from the state to buy an apartment building to turn into permanent supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday. The grant is part of Project Homekey, a state program to create permanent housing in apartment buildings and hotels for people who are homeless or at-risk of being homeless. The state is on track to create 1,208 units through the program, which was started in 2020. Funds were also given to Sacramento to create 92 units of permanent supportive housing. “California is moving with unprecedented speed to house people experiencing homelessness through Homekey,” Newsom said. “Behind every grant award we make for Homekey is the story of a Californian who will no longer have to sleep in a tent, in a car or on the street  — these 170 units represent a fresh start for our most vulnerable residents.” CBS 2

LA City Council Seeks Crackdown On Contracted Companies Underpaying Workers
Citing an instance in which a company contracted by the city failed to pay its workers overtime, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed a motion Wednesday aimed at strengthening enforcement of its prevailing wage laws. According to the motion, the Bureau of Contract Administration discovered a large contractor with more than 33,000 employees that was awarded “numerous public works contracts” repeatedly required employees to work uncompensated overtime. According to the bureau, the company performed electrical work on 19 projects between March 2, 2015, and Feb. 22, 2021. “Companies like this sometimes bid, and they underbid, because they know they're going to be able to cheat the system by paying their workers less, having them come in two hours earlier or leave two hours late, which, you know, completely circumvents all of our prevailing wage laws and allows them to do the work for cheaper, to underbid and essentially rip us off as a city,” Councilman Bob Blumenfield said before the vote Wednesday.

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: