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 10, 2022
Law Enforcement News

Los Angeles Deputy DAs Slam George Gascón For Declining Their Invitation To Defend Himself Against Recall
A group representing more than 800 Los Angeles prosecutors invited their boss to defend himself from a petition seeking to oust him in a recall election. He declined. Democratic L.A. District Attorney George Gascón's own deputies slammed him for blowing them off at a virtual town hall event at which they'd asked him to explain why he shouldn't be recalled Wednesday. They also wanted to ask him questions about "his policies and decisions." They had invited him last week and asked for a response by 1 p.m. Wednesday – which they received at 12:23 p.m. The deputies also accused Gascón of rarely actually showing up to work and of violating the public's trust. "The District Attorney ran on a promise of transparency," the Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA) said in a statement. "It is clear from his actions today that this promise was merely a political platitude. Unfortunately, his refusal to meet with his own deputies is consistent with the secrecy with which he manages his administration." In response to an inquiry about the ADDA's criticisms, Gascón's office provided a copy of a letter he sent to ADDA President Michele Hanisee earlier Wednesday.  FOX 11

Family Pleading For Help In Solving Murder Of 22-Year-Old Mom In South LA
The family of Ezmeralda McGee is pleading for people to come forward with information related to her murder. Family said McGee was shot on January 24 at a street takeover at 64th and Western. According to LAPD, McGee, 22, was with a 16-year-old girl and a 27-year-old man. All three were shot, and the 27-year-old man drove them away and flagged down an LA County Sheriff's vehicle for help at Imperial and Western. McGee was the only one who did not survive. The other two were hospitalized. "She was en route to the hospital and she flatlined. She was trying to hang on, I know she was. She always wanted to go home to her daughter," said Jasmine Mathews who was best friends with McGee. The family has been holding their own fundraisers, selling T-shirts and food, hoping to raise awareness about the murder, garner leads in the case, and pay for funeral expenses and a reward. LAPD told FOX 11 they do not have any suspects or a description to release at this time, and are asking the public for information in the case.  FOX 11

Deadly LAPD Shooting During Standoff Ruled Justified, But Chief Orders SWAT Changes
Los Angeles police acted appropriately when they killed a gunman who had wounded a SWAT officer during a standoff in March, the LAPD's civilian oversight board ruled Tuesday. Officer Rodney Williams was shot in the cheek while providing cover to allow another officer to toss a tear gas canister into the University Park home where 36-year-old Jorge Cerda had been holed up for hours, police said. Moments after Cerda shot Williams, he emerged from the home carrying a shotgun. Officer Steve Hernandez, another SWAT member, then fatally shot Cerda from a perch in an adjacent second-story apartment, according to the LAPD's account of the incident and the officer's body-camera video. The five-member Police Commission, which rules on all shootings by officers, voted unanimously that Hernandez had followed department policies in shooting Cerda after it reviewed a report on the incident by LAPD Chief Michel Moore, who reached the same conclusion. Following the department's investigation into the shooting, Moore also ordered SWAT to make changes to how it responds to certain scenarios. The exchange of gunfire occurred after Cerda's family members had called police to the home in the 1000 block of West 21st Street and told them Cerda was brandishing a gun, had fired into the air, and appeared to be under the influence of drugs. Los Angeles Times

Tourist Robbed, Shot In Venice After Being Followed By 2 Suspects Wearing Ski Masks, Police Say
A tourist was shot and wounded during a robbery in Venice Wednesday afternoon after he was followed by two suspects, police said. Los Angeles police said the incident happened around 1:45 p.m. near Washington Boulevard and Dell Avenue, a couple blocks east of the pier. The victim, a visitor from Florida, was walking with his girlfriend back to their rental car when they were approached by two suspects who had followed them from the beach, police said. Police said the suspects, who were wearing black ski masks, got out of their car and demanded the man's Cartier watch. When the tourist refused to hand over the watch, police say he was shot in the leg. The suspects then fled the scene. The shooting victim went to a hospital in Marina del Rey. His condition is unknown. A description of the suspects was not immediately available. ABC 7

One Dead, One Injured In Collision Between Vehicle, Motorcycle
One person was killed and another injured in a collision between a motorcycle and a vehicle in the Vermont Square area on Wednesday. Authorities were dispatched to the scene at around 4 p.m. after the incident was reported, and when they arrived on scene they found that one of the people involved had died at the scene on South Figueroa Street near the 110 Freeway. The other person was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, though it was not immediately clear whether it was the driver of the vehicle or the person riding the motorcycle. The identity of the victim was withheld pending notification of next of kin. Investigators are working to determine a cause in the collision. Both sides of Figueroa Street were closed as a result of the collision, with no timetable for when lanes would be reopened to traffic as an investigation continued. CBS 2

LAPD: Man Pretended To Be Woman On Dating App To Lure Men Before Drugging, Assaulting Them
The Los Angeles Police Department is searching for additional victims of a man they said posed as a female on online dating apps in order to lure men to a residence before drugging and sexually assaulting them. Aadrian Evelyn, 32, of Los Angeles, was arrested in connection with three separate sexual assaults of three different males that occurred in recent months, the LAPD said Wednesday. Evelyn remains in police custody with $300,000 bail. According to the victims, they responded to an online dating app, believing that they were communicating with a woman. The woman then sent pictures and sexually suggestive texts that made the victims believe that they were going to go to the woman's residence to engage in a sexual encounter. Instead, when the victims arrived, they were met by Evelyn, who claimed to be a friend of the female. Detectives determined that Evelyn pretended to be a single female through photos and texts, in order to lure the victims to the apartment. Once they arrived, Evelyn is believed to have drugged the victims and sodomized them while they were unconscious. Victim statements and DNA evidence were used to link Evelyn to the assaults.  FOX 11

Ex-Sylmar Wrestling Coach's Conviction Upheld For Sex Crimes Involving Nine Children
A state appeals court panel Wednesday upheld a former high school wrestling coach's conviction on sex-related charges involving nine children. The three-justice panel from California's 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled that it was “satisfied” that Terry Terrell Gillard “received a trial that was fair and comported with due process.” The Sylmar resident — who is serving a 71-year prison sentence — was convicted in May 2019 of three felony counts each of committing a lewd act on a child, committing a lewd act on a child 14 or 15 and oral copulation of a person under 18, along with 28 felony counts of procuring a child to engage in a lewd act and 10 misdemeanor counts of child molestation. The charges involved seven boys and two girls between the ages of 11 and 17 whom he met through the wrestling teams at John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in Sun Valley and the Boys and Girls Club of San Fernando between 1991 and 2017. The appellate court panel noted in its 39-page ruling that jurors heard testimony that Gillard directed young teenagers to perform sexual acts while he watched and routinely groped the two girls.

Violent Crimes Against Children On The Rise, L.A. School Police Say
The Los Angeles School Police Department is growing concerned about violent attacks on children who are walking to and from school or in some cases, near their own homes. Sgt. Rudy Perez of the LASPD said the young children are easy targets and are becoming victims of violent crime and an alarming rate. “They're not going to fight back,” Perez said. “We're just seeing a wave of high violence crimes affecting our student body.” Tuesday on L.A.'s westside, a sophomore at Hamilton High School was shot by someone who drove up and opened fire. The teen was hospitalized and is currently in stable condition, police said. On the morning of Feb. 2, two sisters were robbed of their phones and jewelry while walking along Melrose Avenue. Surveillance footage showed the two sisters being attacked. Perez is investigating that assault and said it's one of a half-dozen similar robberies targeting students. He said a “community approach” will be needed to put an end to these attacks. “As parents, as a school community, we have to create a culture of safety and we have to begin to be part of these answers,” Perez said. “We cannot allow our students to be victimized.” KTLA 5

Felony Suspect In Custody After North Hills Standoff
A felony suspect has been taken into custody at the end of a standoff in the North Hills area. The unidentified suspect had refused to get out of his car near the Nordhoff Street offramp from the northbound 405 Freeway. The standoff prompted a SigAlert for the Nordhoff Street off-ramps to the northbound and southbound 405 Freeways at about 9:20 a.m. due to the standoff. The southbound off-ramp was reopened, but the northbound off-ramp stayed closed for another 90 minutes. All off-ramps and lanes in the area are now back open, police said. CBS 2

Help Sought In Fatal Shooting Of 14-Year-Old Boy In Florence-Firestone Area
Investigators are asking the public for help Wednesday in identifying whoever gunned down a 14-year-old boy in the Florence-Firestone area of unincorporated Los Angeles more than a year ago. On July 3, 2020, Otis Rayjon Williams was walking to the store when a car pulled up at the mouth of an alley south of 98th Street, between Central Avenue and Pace Avenue. Someone in the driver's seat of the vehicle, described as possibly a 2015 to 2018 Dodge Challenger, fired several shots at Williams, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Lt. Derrick Alfred said during a morning news conference. Williams was pronounced dead at the scene. The boy's mother, Francine Brazil, said her son was struck in the chest three times. “I just want to know why … he was only 14,” Brazil said during the news conference. After the shooting, the Challenger fled west on 98th Street, then north of South Central Avenue and out of view, according to the Sheriff's Department. The vehicle was blue in color with one black stripe on the hood between two air scoops. It also had a black roof, trunk, spoiler and gas cap, according to investigators. The car was missing its front license plate. KTLA 5

CHP Arrests Motorcyclist In Mission Hills After High-Speed Chase
A motorcyclist was arrested late Tuesday in Mission Hills after a police pursuit that reached speeds of 145 mph. Police arrested the suspect around 10:15 p.m. near a mobile home park, said Officer Patrick Kimball of the California Highway Patrol. The chase began around 9:30 p.m. on the 14 Freeway, where officers responded to calls of someone on a motorcycle driving at high speeds. The suspect led officers onto the 405 Freeway, driving at 100 mph before leaving the freeway and appearing to tip the motorcycle over before running into a mobile home park. CHP officers quickly took the suspect into custody, Kimball said. It was not immediately known what charges the suspect could be facing. Los Angeles Daily News

Family Targeted In Jan. Burglary Asking For Help In Recovering Priceless Family Photos, Heirlooms
An East Los Angeles family is pleading for help in recovering priceless valuables that were taken from them when they were targeted in a January burglary, in which four thieves stole their 1,000 pound safe, straight out of their family-run grocery store. They don't want the money back, which they know is already long gone. They just want the priceless photos and documents that have been passed down through the family for generations. Francisco Ramirez started a string of local business in the community he loved, after immigrating to the United States from Mexico with next-to-nothing. He started off making tortillas, before he was able to turn his profit into several butcher shops and grocery stores in the 1970's. He passed away in 2019, and after serving the community for so many years, his family is hoping that they will in turn give back to him and his loved ones in their search for these priceless items. La Blanquita Carniceria and Tortilleria was struck by four burglars on January 25, when they broke through the front door and headed straight up to where the family kept their 1,000 pound safe, after checking areas of the store where people may have been working late. CBS 2

Judge Denies Request By Danny Masterson To Have Rape Charges Dismissed
A Los Angeles judge Tuesday rejected a request by actor Danny Masterson to have rape charges against him dismissed. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Coen said he found there was sufficient evidence to allow the case against the former "That '70s Show" and "The Ranch" actor to proceed. Last May, a different judge ruled at the end of a preliminary hearing that Masterson should proceed to trial on the charges of raping three women at his Hollywood Hills home between 2001 and 2003. Masterson, 45, remains free on $3.3 million bail. He is due back in court May 31 for a hearing on pretrial motions. The criminal complaint, filed last June, alleges that Masterson raped a 23-year-old woman between January and December 2001. He is also charged with raping a woman who was 28 at the time and a 23-year-old woman he had invited to his home some time between October and December 2003, according to Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller. ABC 7

11 Years For Woman Convicted In Fatal Hit-and-Run Of Police Officer
A woman who was found guilty in a fatal hit-and-run of a Tennessee police officer has been sentenced to 11 years in prison. Janet Hinds, 57, was sentenced on Monday, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported. A jury convicted her in September of vehicular homicide by intoxication in the death of Nicholas Galinger. The 38-year-old rookie officer was inspecting a manhole cover that had water flowing from it late one night in February 2019 when Hinds hit him with her car and fled. Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Don W. Poole said before handing down the sentence that he believes Hinds was sincere in her regret and that she didn't mean to kill anyone, but she “did intentionally drink before getting into her vehicle.” Barry Galinger teared up while speaking about his son, who he said was happy to be working in Chattanooga. When thinking about what to say to Hinds in the years since the hit-and-run, he said the most upsetting part was that she didn't stop or immediately turn herself in after realizing what she had done. District Attorney Neal Pinkston asked the court to impose the maximum sentence of 15 years. He said Hinds had driven under the influence on several other occasions. Associated Press

Officers Shot On Virginia College Campus Mourned As Heroes
Two officers who were shot to death on the campus of a private college in Virginia were mourned as heroes Wednesday by their families, friends and police officers from around the country. About 3,000 people attended the memorial service for Bridgewater College campus police office John Painter and campus safety officer J.J. Jefferson, who were gunned down on Feb. 1 when they responded to reports of a suspicious man on campus. Painter and Jefferson were close friends who were known as “the dynamic duo" on the campus of the small liberal arts college. Speakers at the service — including Gov. Glenn Youngkin — hailed the officers' bravery and said they may have saved countless lives by confronting the gunman. Alexander Wyatt Campbell, a 27-year-old former student at the college, was arrested shortly after the shootings and has been charged with murder. Authorities have not discussed any motive for the killings. Campbell's mother, Cheryl Campbell, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch her son struggled with mental illness. Associated Press

Suspected ‘Ringleader' Of Chicago Smash-and-Grabs Charged In Multiple Burglaries, Top Cop Says
A Maywood man was arrested Monday after Chicago police identified him as the “ringleader” of a group involved in a series of retail burglaries on the Northwest Side and downtown from the end of last year into the new year, according to Superintendent David Brown. Tacarre Harper, 27, is facing multiple felony counts of burglary, police said. Brown and Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx held a news conference at the police headquarters Tuesday afternoon to announce the charges. The string of robberies included that of a Burberry store downtown at the beginning of the year, Brown said. Harper's organized group allegedly conducted smash and grabs of retail stores from Nov. 26 to Jan. 6. Brown said Harper contributed to the loss of $175,000. The Burberry store burglary, which is in the 600 block of North Michigan Avenue, made up majority — $150,000 — of that total. Harper had four active warrants at the time of his arrest, Brown said. He is also suspected in dozens of additional burglaries of liquor, electronic and clothing stores across Chicago and surrounding suburbs. Chicago Tribune

Public Safety News

Woman Seriously Injured In Sun Valley Apartment Fire
A woman was seriously injured after a fire broke out at an apartment in Sun Valley Wednesday afternoon. Around 5:05 p.m., Los Angeles Fire Department units responded to reports of a fire in the top unit of a three-story apartment building on the 7200 block of Lankershim Blvd. Firefighters ripped the roof off of the corner unit and were able to prevent the fire from spreading. It was fully extinguished by 5:26 p.m. The woman was taken to a hospital in “at least” serious condition with burn injuries, the LAFD said. No other injuries were reported. The cause of the fire was under investigation. CBS 2

LACo COVID Hospitalizations Fall Near Trigger For Lifting Outdoor Mask Mandate
The number of COVID-19-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals fell below 2,600 Wednesday, moving closer to the level that will start the clock for lifting the county's outdoor mask-wearing mandate for large events, schools and childcare centers. According to state figures, there were 2,597 COVID-positive patients in local hospitals as of Wednesday, down from 2,702 on Tuesday. Of those patients, 528 were being treated in intensive care, a drop from 547 a day earlier. Hospital figures have been steadily dropping, and if the trend continues, the number could fall below 2,500 in the next day or two. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer has said if the number stays below 2,500 for two consecutive weeks, the county will lift its mask mandate for outdoor “mega-events” and outdoors at schools and childcare centers. The indoor masking mandate, however, will remain in place until much stricter criteria are met, despite the state of California lifting its indoor mask requirement for vaccinated people next week.

Heat Advisory In Effect For Most Of SoCal With Temperatures Nearing 90 Degrees
It's going to be hot and windy in Southern California as a warming trend continues and portions of the region will get hit with Santa Ana winds. A heat advisory has been issued for most of Southern California including Los Angeles, with temperatures close to 90 degrees going into the weekend. Los Angeles and Orange counties will see sunny skies Thursday with temps reaching a high of 89 degrees. Overnight lows will dip into the high 50s. The valleys and Inland Empire Thursday will experience sunny weather with temperatures hitting 90 degrees, prompting alerts for fire danger. Overnight lows will fall to 60 degrees. Beaches will also enjoy beautiful sunny weather with temperatures reaching 85 degrees Thursday. Overnight lows will hit around 59 degrees. Mountain communities will continue to warm up. Expect sunshine with temperatures reaching 60 degrees Thursday. Expect overnight temperature lows to be in the high 20s. Deserts will see a high of 74 Thursday, with overnight temperatures dipping to 34 degrees. ABC 7

Local Government News

LA City Council Wants To End Family And Child Poverty By 2035
The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to adopt a goal for the city to end  family  and childhood poverty by 2035. The motion is part of Council President Nury Martinez' priorities for the year, which she announced on Jan. 11, during one of the City Council's first meetings of the new year. "As city leaders and as representatives of these communities, these are the very people that we need to fight for," Martinez said during the meeting. "The L.A. that is working for those who are wealthy and have access isn't working for the people who I represent and who a lot of us represent." The motion approved Wednesday instructs the Community Investment in Families Department to develop a plan to meet the goal, including thorough recommendations for a prioritized expansion of current city programs and the creation of new programs. FOX 11

Los Angeles Looks To Make All New Buildings In City Zero-Carbon
Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nithya Raman announced plans Wednesday for a proposed ordinance that would require all new construction buildings in Los Angeles to be zero-carbon. Buildings in Los Angeles account for 43% of the city's greenhouse gas emissions, more than any other sector, she said. Under her proposal, new zero-emission construction would not include gas lines, with heating systems and other appliances operated by electricity. Appliances in the buildings would also have to be energy efficient. Once Los Angeles transitions to 100% renewable energy — which the city aims to achieve by 2035 — the buildings would operate on the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's carbon-neutral grid. “This is such a critical moment for us to be engaging in this work. We are seeing rising temperatures, the risks of more dangerous wildfires, more serve droughts, more deaths from heat exposure, we're seeing a worsening air quality threaten our residents' health,” Raman said.

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: