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 17, 2022
Law Enforcement News

Man Dies By Suicide After Standoff That Shut Hollywood Boulevard For Hours, Police Say
A man who police said was suicidal and armed with a gun in a parked vehicle in Hollywood took his own life Wednesday, ending an hours-long standoff that had closed Hollywood Boulevard and forced evacuations and lockdowns at nearby facilities and schools, according to the LAPD. Det. Meghan Aguilar, a Los Angeles police spokeswoman, said SWAT officers approached the man's SUV about 12:30 p.m. — two hours after he'd last communicated with officials on the scene — and determined he was dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. “They put a camera inside the vehicle remotely, on a pole, and they saw he appeared to be deceased,” Aguilar said. Fire Department medics then pronounced him dead, she said. The man's death concluded a standoff that began when police received a report about 8:30 a.m. of a suicidal man with a gun in a parking lot in the 1600 block of Schrader Boulevard. When officers arrived, they saw the man with a firearm, set up a perimeter and called crisis negotiation and mental health teams to the scene as they began evacuating nearby buildings, including the Los Angeles LGBT Center and a construction site across the street. Los Angeles Times

Reward Offered For Information In September Murder Of Chinatown Property Manager
A $50,000 reward has been offered for information that leads to the arrest of the person or people responsible for the September murder of Michael Lam. On the night of September 3, 2021, LAPD officers responded to the 900 block of Centennial Street for a report of a battery that had just occurred. When officers arrived on scene they learned that a man was taken to the hospital by L.A. Fire personnel for treatment of blunt force trauma. Police later learned that the man, identified as 59-year-old Michael Lam, died at the hospital from his injuries. Detectives learned that Lam was the property manager of the apartment complex where he was attacked. Investigators believe Lam was involved in some sort of argument that got physical which led to his injuries. The Los Angeles Police Department has obtained a $50,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of Lam's attacker. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Los Angeles Police Department at 1-877-527-3247 or visit the L.A. Crime Stoppers website. KTLA 5

Los Angeles D.A. Modifies Policy On Juvenile Cases In Wake Of Controversy
Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón has modified his blanket ban on trying juveniles as adults due to a pending state Supreme Court case and continuing backlash over a decision to allow a 26-year-old to plead guilty to sexually assaulting a child in juvenile court last month. Under the new policy, which was circulated throughout the office on Tuesday, prosecutors must notify Chief Deputy Sharon Woo if a defense attorney seeks to move a case from adult court to juvenile court, and seek her permission to object to that motion. The document also directs prosecutors to notify Woo of cases where a defendant is “already an adult when proceedings are initiated in juvenile court.” The latter circumstance seems to mirror the controversial case of Hannah Tubbs, who was sentenced to two years in a juvenile facility last month for sexually assaulting a child in Palmdale in 2014. Tubbs was 17 at the time of the crime, but was not linked to the assault until 2019, when her DNA was entered into a database due to an arrest in another state. The decision to try Tubbs as a juvenile drew immediate condemnation from L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva and L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger. It also raised questions about the county's failure to create a suitable housing setup for defendants who would have otherwise been sentenced to the state Division of Juvenile Justice. Gov. Gavin Newsom initiated steps to shutter the system, which largely housed older juvenile offenders convicted of violent crimes, in 2019. Los Angeles Times

Woman Stabbed In Fairfax; TMZ Reports Incident Stemmed From Fight Over Shoes
A woman was rushed to the hospital after being stabbed in Fairfax during a fight. The Los Angeles Police Department responded to a call near the intersection of Melrose Avenue and Genesee Avenue a little after 2:15 p.m. Wednesday. Police say the woman was stabbed in the stomach area. According to a report from TMZ, the stabbing stemmed from an argument over the line placement outside a Foot Locker on Melrose Avenue. A group of people were waiting in line outside the store for a shoe release event before the fight over line placement broke out – which ultimately ended with a woman being stabbed. Police tell FOX 11 that the woman was not involved in the fight, she was trying to help a child get out of the way when she was stabbed. The suspect left the scene but was soon arrested. According to police, the suspect and victim knew each other. The incident comes months after a shoe employee from a nearby store, not to be confused with Foot Locker, was shot and killed while trying to break up a fight. The fight, which took place outside Shoe Palace back in August 2021, stemmed from an argument over a shoe raffle. The Aug. 2021 shooting left 26-year-old Jayren Bradford dead. A 16-year-old juvenile was later arrested in connection to Bradford's shooting death. FOX 11

LAPD Releases Photos Of Man Suspected Of Assaulting 2 Women Near Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood
The Los Angeles Police Department is asking for the public's help in identifying a man suspected of assaulting two women in two separate incidents Tuesday. The first incident happened around 1 p.m. in the 800 block of North Vista Street in Los Angeles, near Melrose Avenue. Police say that a woman was pushed into a garage and the suspect intended to rape her, but she was able to escape. Surveillance video from the incident showed the victim and the man walking into the driveway of a home, then disappearing from the camera's view. Moments later, the woman is seen running away, back to the street. The suspect later appears in the frame. The woman ran into the path of Aaron Colbert, who was driving. Colbert drove her to a nearby police station. About 15 to 20 minutes later, a similar incident involving the suspect happened in the 7600 block of Hampton Avenue in West Hollywood, according to the L.A. County Sheriff's Department. A woman was pushed into her apartment. In that case, the woman screamed and the man ran off, authorities said. LAPD released images of the suspect. He is described as Black, with black hair and brown eyes. He has a mustache and weighs about 140 to 150 pounds. He is described as being between 5' 8" to 5' 9" tall and around 30 to 35 years old. He is homeless and was wearing dark clothing and carrying a bag in the first attack, police said. ABC 7

VIDEO: Two People Robbed At Gunpoint In Downtown LA Parking Lot; Police Searching For Suspects
Detectives with the Los Angeles Police are asking for the public's help in locating and identifying two suspects involved in two separate follow-home robberies. The first crime happened December 11 around 8 p.m., in a parking structure in the 1200 block of South Flower Street in Downtown Los Angeles. Surveillance cameras captured a vehicle following two victims as they exited their vehicle and walked into the elevator area. According to LAPD, as the victims were waiting for the elevator, two suspects stormed the area armed with handguns. The suspects pointed handguns at the victims and demanded their property. The suspects got away with their jewelry, phone, and key and fled the area. As the suspects ran out of the lobby, they entered two different cars, one of which belonged to the victim, and drove off southbound on flower Street. A getaway driver was in the suspect's car, a Volkswagen Tiguan. According to police, the victim's car was quickly recovered along with his cellphone. A few hours later, a second robbery occurred in the 23500 block of Calabasas Road, according to a statement from LAPD. FOX 11

LAPD Officers Take Robbery Suspect Into Custody Following Pursuit
Los Angeles Police Department officers were in pursuit of a suspect wanted for stealing a vehicle during a home invasion robbery on Wednesday. Rampart Division officers began pursuit just after 5 p.m. in the Los Feliz area. After a very brief chase, the suspect bailed from the vehicle on foot. Prior to stopping the vehicle, a black Mercedes G-Class, authorities reported that the suspect drove through a fence and up onto the sidewalk, before stopping at New Hampshire and Greenwood Place. Authorities reported that they had taken one person into custody. CBS 2

TV Producer Gets 8 Years In Prison For The Death Of Her Sister In Studio City
A television producer charged with killing her sister pleaded no contest Wednesday to voluntary manslaughter. Jill Blackstone, 59, was immediately sentenced to eight years in state prison following her plea to one felony count of voluntary manslaughter involving the March 2015 death of 49-year-old Wendy Blackstone in Studio City, along with three felony counts of animal cruelty involving three dogs — two of whom died. In an April 2018 statement announcing Jill Blackstone's arrest, Los Angeles police said homicide detectives believed “the motive was Jill's frustration of being forced to provide Wendy long-term care, as well as the associated financial hardship.” Jill Blackstone told Los Angeles police detectives in a March 2015 interview that her sister had profound vision and hearing loss. She told police that she had devoted her life to “saving animals and saving people” and “helping Wendy” and “would never want to bring her harm.” “I know what it looks like. This was not, this was not me. It's just not,” she told the detectives. Earlier in the interview from a hospital bed, she said she had used a charcoal barbecue to make burgers, then went to get something and remembered falling in the driveway. She said she awoke in broad daylight to the sun beating down on her neck, called a friend and told her she thought she was having a stroke because she couldn't walk. Los Angeles Daily News

Missing 67-Year-Old South LA Woman Found
A Silver Alert has been issued by the California Highway Patrol after a 67-year-old woman from South Los Angeles went missing Wednesday. Prior to her disappearance, Jeorgina Espinoza, 67-years-old was last seen at around 11 a.m. in the area of East 35th Street and San Pedro Street, and was wearing a black shirt, gray pants and brown shoes. CHP officials disclosed late Wednesday evening that Espinoza had been safely found.  CBS 2

Three Shootings In 24 Hours Investigated In Southeastern San Diego
A 24-year-old man was shot in the Mount Hope neighborhood Wednesday, marking the third shooting in southeastern San Diego within 24 hours and prompting detectives to investigate whether the incidents are connected, police said. The latest shooting happened about 12:25 p.m. in the area of Market Street and Gateway Center Way, near the northern entrance of Mount Hope Cemetery. A witness reported seeing someone shooting out of a gray sedan, police Officer David O'Brien said. When officers arrived, they didn't find a victim. The man who was shot had been taken to a hospital in a private vehicle. His injuries were not considered life-threatening, police said. According to police radio traffic, officers found at least four shell casings on the street. The incident happened within 24 hours of two other shootings in southeastern San Diego, including a shooting that left one man dead and another man wounded in the Mountain View neighborhood Tuesday afternoon. Considering the location and time frame of the gunfire, detectives were trying to determine whether the three incidents were related, Lt. Andra Brown said. Los Angeles Times

Rising Gun Deaths Push Cities To Shore Up Police And Services
As the coronavirus pandemic approaches its third year, it has worsened another deadly crisis for American cities: gun violence. With a rise in homicides in more than a dozen major U.S. cities, local leaders and gun safety experts are renewing their efforts to strike a balance between relying on law enforcement and engaging others, such as social workers, to reduce violence in at-risk communities. There's a shift in focus from early in the pandemic, when racial justice protests following the murder of George Floyd sparked calls across many cities to defund police departments by sharply reducing their budgets or even eliminating them. Wary that such debates could stall violence reduction efforts even as deaths spike, some local leaders are turning from the defund movement and pleading with state and federal officials to help them coordinate among law enforcement, health care agencies and social services groups. Facing political pressure over the increased violence, President Joe Biden met this month with New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat and former police captain who just weeks into his first term has released a plan to combat what he called “the domestic terror” of gun violence. Under the blueprint, New York City plans to increase the number of police officers in key, high-violence neighborhoods, where officers will be clearly identifiable and wearing body cameras. The city will launch a summer youth employment program and will invest in violence intervention programs such as mediation and mental health services. PoliceOne

Public Safety News

LAFD Crews Knockdown Fire At Marijuana Grow Op In South LA
Los Angeles Fire Department crews were engaged with a vehicle fire Wednesday evening when it spread into a nearby business. The vehicle reportedly caught on fire on the street outside, which spread to to an electrical pole before reaching the business, which is said to be a marijuana growth operation on 57th Street in South L.A. Initial crews on hand requested additional units after switching into defensive mode, as smoke conditions intensified and flames could be seen escaping through the roof of the one-story building after a portion of the roof collapsed. The blaze was first reported at around 7:20 p.m., and was reported extinguished at 8:37 p.m., taking the 74 firefighters on hand exactly 84 minutes. There were no injuries reported. CBS 2

L.A. County Marks 30,000 Dead From COVID-19
Los Angeles County has marked its 30,000th death related to COVID-19. The milestone came on Wednesday, when 102 deaths were reported, the second-highest daily death toll recorded in 11 months. There have now been five days since late January when daily death tolls have reached triple digits. Daily death tallies are still high and have yet to begin a sustained drop, even as daily coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have started to decline. Over the past several weeks, L.A. County has been averaging 63 to 73 COVID-19 deaths a day, according to a Times analysis of county data. “Sadly, many residents continue to lose their lives to this dangerous virus. Our hope is that as we drive case and hospitalization numbers lower, deaths will decline,” the county Department of Public Health said in a statement. “I send my heartfelt condolences to everyone mourning the loss of a loved one due to COVID-19,” county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. The announcement came on the same day L.A. County lifted a mask requirement that applied to outdoor mega-events — such as those at the Hollywood Bowl, Dodger Stadium, SoFi Stadium and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum — and outdoor spaces at K-12 schools and child-care settings. Los Angeles Times

Search And Rescue Teams Looking For L.A. County Hiker Missing In Mt. Pinos Area
Kern and Ventura county search and rescue teams are looking for a hiker from Los Angeles County reported missing in the Mount Pinos area. Family members of 73-year-old Gab Song of Torrance, say he went hiking in the Mount Pinos area on Tuesday and never returned home. Search and rescue teams had been searching since Wednesday morning in the area where he was last known to be. Song is described as an experienced hiker, but he went alone and wasn't prepared for weather in the area on Tuesday, his family said. Kern County sheriff's officials say search teams saw 6 to 8 inches of snow on the ground in the area during their search. The search for Song is ongoing. Two helicopters, multiple snow rescue vehicles and ground personnel were utilized in the search, officials said. Song's vehicle was recovered near the Mt. Pinos trailhead in Frazier Park. Song's family says he is 5 feet 9 inches tall. He did not bring needed medication with him on the hike. If you've seen Song, you are asked to call the Kern County Sheriff's Office at 661-861-3110. KTLA 5

California Officials To Unveil Shift To ‘Endemic' Approach To Coronavirus
California officials will unveil Thursday a plan for coexisting with the coronavirus, which scientists say is likely to be around for the foreseeable future. The plan presumes the most populous state is entering an endemic stage, where the virus still exists in a community but becomes manageable as immunity builds. “The focus is going to be being prepared and being ready,” California's health secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly, said Monday in presaging the announcement. “How do we continue to live with a virus that changes and kind of throws curveballs at different times?” he said, given that there is no guarantee the next variant won't be more virulent. The move comes a day after California lifted its latest indoor masking mandate and after officials said they would delay until Feb. 28 an announcement on when they will stop requiring masks in schools. KTLA 5

Local Government News

LA City Council Votes To Explore Volunteer Medical Corps To Help The Unhoused
The Los Angeles City Council passed a motion Wednesday aimed at creating a volunteer emergency medical corps tasked with providing medical services to homeless Angelenos. The motion was introduced in October by Councilman Joe Buscaino and seconded by Councilman Gil Cedillo. "LA, as we know, is home to a large number of major research and teaching hospitals with thousands of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals,'' Buscaino said before the vote. "Yet, over 1,000 unhoused Angelenos die on our streets every year. We have got to look at ways of mobilizing this human capital onto our streets and organizing a volunteer medical corps to help provide medicine to the unhoused.'' In the motion, Buscaino noted that unhoused people don't have access to regular preventative care and have to rely on emergency room visits and Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics to get primary care. NBC 4

LA City Council Seeks Law To Increase Pet Owners' Awareness About Animal Laws
The Los Angeles City Council asked the city attorney to prepare an ordinance that would require pet stores, veterinarians, dog parks and animal rescue organizations to display certain laws that apply to pet owners, as recommended by the Department of Animal Services. Laws that would be posted include: Cats and dogs are required to be spayed or neutered after the age of four months, with some exceptions; dogs are required to be licensed after four months old, and dog owners must show proof of spay/neuter and rabies vaccination to obtain a license at the cost of $20; dogs must be leashed when outside the owners' properties or places of residence; dog owners are required to clean up after their dogs in public; dog owners are prohibited from tying their dogs to stationary objects for more than three hours in a 24-hour period, or deny them proper water or shelter for long periods of time; households are only allowed to have up to three dogs and three cats; pet owners cannot leave their pets unattended in vehicles if it is hot or cold or if there is poor ventilation or a lack of water that endangers the health of the animals; it is illegal to feed mammalian predators, including coyotes, foxes, possums, raccoons and skunks; and people who sell dogs or cats must have special permits from L.A. Animal Services, and selling animals on sidewalks is generally prohibited. WestSide Current

LA Council Members Seek Law To Bring Transparency To Tenants' Utility Bills
Councilwoman Nithya Raman and Councilman Paul Koretz introduced a motion Wednesday aimed at creating a law in Los Angeles to provide more transparency for tenant utility bills by requiring landlords and billing agencies to provide written disclosures about how utility charges are allocated to each tenant. “So many of the city's low-income renters are unable to take advantage of the wide array of services available to them because they have no way to verify their utility charges,” Raman said. “Not only does this system make no sense, it leaves money on the table that could help tenants pay their bills.” According to Raman's office, Seattle adopted an ordinance in 2003 requiring landlords and third-party billing agencies to disclose their formula for tenants' utility bills, along with meter readings for the entire building. Tenants are then able to more easily dispute their bills when they are being overcharged. The motion, which was seconded by Councilman Mike Bonin, notes that many large apartment buildings have a single meter, with utility bills for each tenant estimated.

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: