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

March 10, 2022
Law Enforcement News

1 Arrested, 1 Injured In Shooting At Homeless Encampment Near Rose And Main Parking Lot
One person is in custody after a shooting at an encampment next to a parking lot located at Main Street and Rose Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Police say the incident took place around 12:45 p.m. at 256 S.Main Street. According to officers, police responded to a call of a shooting. When police arrived, they found one person experiencing homelessness suffering from a gunshot wound to his buttock. Officers located the suspect, also a person experiencing homelessness, and took them into custody without incident. Police were able to recover the gun believed to be used in the shooting.  WestSide Current

The LAPD Is Having a Serious Recruitment Problem
As the mayor's race heats up, the leading candidates are all harrumphing about growing the size of the Los Angeles Police Department, which now numbers about 9,500 officers. The only question is by how much. There's just one problem: The LAPD can barely get people to come aboard. The department will be lucky in the near future just to maintain its current staffing level. Los Angeles Magazine

In L.A.'s election, Ukraine and the role of NATO emerge as campaign issues
Several candidates in the June 7 election have begun criticizing the Democratic Socialists of America, whose supporters in L.A. are looking to unseat at least two City Council members. Days after Russian troops entered Ukraine, the DSA issued a statement calling for the U.S. to withdraw from NATO, which serves as a defense pact for much of Europe and North America. Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, who is seeking reelection in a district with several Ukrainian churches and cultural institutions, said such statements send the wrong message. Voters, he said, should see a connection between those “irresponsible” stances and labor organizer Hugo Soto-Martinez, a candidate backed by the DSA's L.A. chapter. “He's embraced and is endorsed by DSA, and they have very reckless and dangerous positions. One of them is to abolish the police,” said O'Farrell, whose district spans from Echo Park to Hollywood. “And so I think those positions are out of step with reality.” “Once he said we do that, like Norway, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Iceland, we won't need armed officers,”, Hugo Soto-Martinez, City Council Candidate said. Read More

Why Two Los Angeles County Prosecutors Are Suing DA Gascón
Senior Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys Maria Ramirez and Victor Rodriguez on Wednesday announced a lawsuit against District Attorney George Gascón, alleging they were reassigned because they complained about certain policies. According to the lawsuit, "Both plaintiffs were subjected to retaliation in the form of removal from their positions as bureau directors and demoted to the positions of head deputy because they disclosed and/or refused to take actions that they reasonably believed were violations of law." Both Ramirez and Rodriguez have been employed by the District Attorney's Office for more than 30 years, were in positions of "high authority" with regular access to Gascón, and aspired for promotions to assistant district attorney, the suit alleges. "Plaintiff was forced to randomly select only one victim and charge one crime pertaining to that chosen victim," the lawsuit says. "Plaintiff raised concerns that at trial, if the randomly chosen victim was not available and the case not therefore provable, the case could be dismissed, and the juvenile would have no accountability. All these filings would constitute fraud on the court and, among other things, violate plaintiff's ethical and prosecutorial obligations under the law." FOX 11

Suspect Pleads Not Guilty In Attack On Nurse At Bus Stop
A man accused of killing a 70-year-old nurse who was waiting at a bus stop for her ride to work when she was attacked pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a murder charge. Kerry Bell, 48, is charged in the unprovoked Jan. 13 attack that killed Sandra Shells, who was waiting to for a ride to her job at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. She was struck at about 5:15 a.m. near Vignes Street and Cesar Chavez Avenue, near Union Station. Shells struck her head on the ground when she fell. She died three days later at the hospital where she had worked for nearly four decades, developing a bond with co-workers in the toughest of times. Grieving co-workers held a vigil outside the hospital for the beloved nurse. Bell was arrested about 1 1/2 hours after the attack. He was jailed on $2 million bond. His next court date is May 26 when there will be a hearing to determine whether there's enough evidence for him to stand trial. In January, LAC+USC Medical Center announced a memorial fund to benefit the Shells' family. The Sandra Shells Memorial Fund will also help other families who have been affected by violence. “We lost a very kind, caring, inspirational nurse,” said nurse Terri Thompson, who organized the vigil and knew Shells for more than 30 years. NBC 4

Video Shows Suspects Viciously Attack Lamborghini Driver During Follow-Home Robbery In Downtown LA
Police are asking the public's assistance to identify suspects who pistol-whipped a Lamborghini driver during an attempted robbery in downtown Los Angeles. The victim dropped off a friend after dining in Hollywood Sunday and was driving back to his residence when he noticed about 11:15 p.m. in the 1100 block of South Grand Avenue, near Olympic Boulevard, that a white sedan was following him, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The victim turned down an alley and parked his car next to the door leading to his apartment building. The white sedan and another car followed the man and stopped in the middle of the alley. As the victim walked to the rear entrance of his apartment building, two males emerged from the sedans "while additional suspects remained in their vehicles'' and approached the man, police said. One male pointed a gun at the victim and demanded his watch. "The victim became involved in a physical altercation with the suspects and was subsequently pistol whipped,'' the LAPD reported. The suspects reentered their cars following the altercation and fled. It was not immediately known if they managed to steal anything from the victim. ABC 7

Council OK's LAPD To Accept $250,000 Anti-Terrorism Grant Despite Worries About Racial Profiling
The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to authorize the Los Angeles Police Department to accept a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through the Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention Program despite two councilmembers objections over worries about racial profiling. The money will be used to update the curriculum for the department's Providing Alternatives to Hinder Extremism Program training, according to a report by the city administrative officer. That program “seeks to utilize a risk assessment measure to identify and assess prospective individuals, address their specific needs, link them to appropriate services across agencies and community resources, as well as follow up contacts to determine if the interventions have reduced their risk of reactivation on a trajectory or pathway to violence,” according to the report. Training under the program is provided to public safety personnel, mental health professionals and school counselors. The curriculum will be updated to reflect the objectives of raising awareness of “radicalization to violence” and to help personnel know how to contact threat assessment and management teams. Los Angeles Daily News

Man Charged For SoFi Stadium Assault That Left Man In
A Coma Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón announced that a man has been charged for the assault outside SoFi Stadium that put a man in a coma. “We want to continue to ensure that our sporting events are safe for everyone,” said Gascón. “We will not tolerate violent behavior at what should have been a joyous occasion for our county.” Bryan Alexis Cifuentes, 33, was charged with one felony count of battery with serious bodily injury. Cifuentes is accused of the violent assault of 40-year-old Daniel Luna on the afternoon of the NFC Title game between the Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers. Investigators allege that Luna shoved Cifuentes, who was wearing a Rams Jersey from behind. The man retaliated pushing Luna in the back from behind and punching him. Luna was found 30 minutes after the NFC title game began. He was then transported to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and placed in a medically-induced coma. He stayed in this condition until March 9, when his family announced Luna was out of a coma but remained hospitalized.  CBS 2

Student Brings Loaded ‘Ghost Gun' To School In Lincoln Heights
A school in Lincoln Heights was temporarily placed on lockdown Wednesday after authorities found a student armed with a fully loaded 9-millimeter handgun inside one of the classrooms, officials said. The Los Angeles School Police Department said they received a tip around 10 a.m. about a student with a possible gun on campus at the East Los Angeles Skills Center, located in the 3900 block of Seling Place, near the intersection of Valley Boulevard and North Mission Road. After receiving the tip, the school was placed on lockdown. Officials then located the student inside a classroom with their peers with the loaded weapon. The 22-year-old suspect was on parole and has a history of illegally being in possession of firearms, police said. Officials noted the student is a possible local gang member. He was booked at the Hollenback Community Police Station. The name of the student was not released by authorities. FOX 11

Crenshaw High School Placed On Lockdown After `Large Disturbance'
Crenshaw High School was placed on lockdown Wednesday following a “large disturbance” on campus, authorities said. The school at 5010 11th Ave. was placed on lockdown “due to a large disturbance involving 100+ students on the campus,” according to a statement from the Los Angeles School Police Department, which reported late Wednesday morning that officers had “restored order” on the campus. “The school will remain on lockdown for the day with a modified dismissal for students,” school police later said. “LASPD will remain on scene to assist school administration with peacekeeping.” No one was hurt in the incident, which began at about 9:45 a.m., CBS2 reported. In a statement to the station, the Los Angeles Unified School District suggested that the situation might have been related to an incident at the school Friday, when two adults “entered the campus without authorization,” prompting a lockdown.

VIDEO: Passenger Attacks Uber Driver Over Canceled Ride In South LA
An Uber driver captured video on his dash camera of a passenger punching him repeatedly after a dispute over a canceled ride in South Los Angeles. The incident happened on Saturday, March 5, when the driver, who did not want to be identified, was picking up a passenger in the Vermont-Slauson neighborhood. "I was driving for Uber. I got a ride request to go pick up a certain individual, and I got to that location and I was waiting. It got to five minutes and the rider had not shown up yet, so I went ahead and canceled the ride," said the driver. The driver said he then received another ride request shortly after. "I accepted it [ride request] and it was the person I had just canceled. I turn around, and I go back to the pickup location. The individual got in the vehicle and he said 'oh you're the driver who just canceled my ride request,' and I said yeah because you hadn't shown up," he said. The driver said the passenger started arguing with him, and called him "hostile." In the video, the driver tells the passenger he is recording the incident and asks the passenger to leave. The passenger asks if he will be refunded, and the driver tells him he will receive a refund. The passenger still gets upset. "He just got aggressive with me and then he went and punched me and started hitting me and I jumped out of the vehicle and ran. I'm not sure if he followed me but he took my car keys. He ripped out the wires in my car and then took my cell phone," said the driver. FOX 11

3 Hurt After ‘Heroic' CHP Officers Put Vehicle In Path Of Wrong-Way Driver On 10 Freeway In Mid-City
Two California Highway Patrol officers escaped serious injury after a wrong-way driver careened into their SUV on the 10 Freeway in Mid-City early Thursday morning. The collision occurred at about 2:15 a.m. on the westbound 10 Freeway, near La Cienega Boulevard. According to CHP, the officers responded to a 911 call about a wrong-way driver. When they arrived on the 10 Freeway, they tried to turn on their lights and sirens to stop him. When that failed, they put their own vehicle in the path of the wrong-way driver. “All I saw was the car crash into the highway patrol car, they were doing a traffic break, and then, bang, like that,” a witness told CBSLA. The CHP officers were taken to a hospital with minor injuries. The wrong-way driver was also hospitalized in unknown condition. He appeared to be conscious and breathing as he was loaded into an ambulance. “These officers, with their heroic actions, they placed their lives directly into the path of that wrong-way driver, saving an unknown amount of lives,” CHP Officer Yerba told CBSLA. CBS 2

Widespread Sexual Abuse Of Girls Plagued L.A. County Detention Camp, Women Allege
At least 20 women say they were sexually assaulted over the course of a dozen years at Camp Scott, Los Angeles County's all-girls juvenile detention facility, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday. The women allege a culture of abuse at the Santa Clarita Valley military-style boot camp, where no fewer than 10 staff members subjected them to repeated sexual assault. The incidents occurred between 1996 and 2008, according to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Many of the women say the violations started with staff at the detention center watching them shower and progressed to unwanted touching and eventually forced sex acts. In at least one case, a deputy probation officer is accused of impregnating a teenager, court documents show, while another staff member continued to victimize a different girl even after she was released, meeting her at a motel for sex. “The perpetrators used this position of trust and authority to repeatedly sexually abuse juvenile females in their custody, care, control and direction,” the lawsuit states. Don Meredith, a member of the L.A. County Probation Oversight Commission, said he could not comment on any ongoing litigation or criminal or internal investigations of Camp Scott. Los Angeles Times

FBI Impersonator Convicted Of Defrauding California Immigrants
A 44-year-old man has been convicted of impersonating an FBI agent and wire fraud after scamming immigrants in a California town, authorities said. Ivan Isho, an Arizona resident, pretended to be an FBI agent between 2016 and 2017 and claimed that he could help Assyrians living in Ceres, in Northern California, get visas for their family members living outside the country, the U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District of California said in a release. Isho showed his victims fake FBI credentials and a gun to shore up his story, federal prosecutors said. During a four-day trial last week, Isho claimed that he had the fake FBI credentials as part of a Halloween costume. The Assyrians who were scammed paid Isho thousands of dollars through wire transfers and offered him copies of personal documents, according to court records. Isho was never employed by the FBI, prosecutors said, and he did not have any ability to help obtain visas nor did he ever try to do so. He also left threatening and harassing voicemails for one female victim and her husband while posing as an FBI agent. Los Angeles Times

2 Fugitives Suspected Of Murder In Hawaii Are Arrested In Southern California Two men suspected of killing a person in Hawaii were arrested in Southern California on Wednesday, according to authorities. Juan Tejedor Baron, 23, was taken into custody by federal marshals and Los Angeles police around 4:18 p.m. on a Greyhound bus in Anaheim that was bound for Mexico, according to the Honolulu Police Department. Scott Hannon, 34, was arrested by federal marshals and Los Angeles police at 5:44 p.m. near the intersection of West Manchester Boulevard and South Oak Street in Inglewood, Honolulu police said. The investigation that led to their arrests began around 10:30 a.m. Monday in Hawaii, which is two hours behind Pacific time, after officers were sent for a welfare check in the upscale community of Hawaii Loa Ridge, police said. Hawaii Loa Ridge is a private subdivision in East Honolulu that boasts tennis courts, parks, a clubhouse and gatehouse security, according to the homeowners association website. After an initial investigation, officers opened a missing person case, police said. Later Monday, detectives spoke with a 23-year-old man, later identified as Baron, who said that he was in a relationship with the missing person and that he lived at the home. Los Angeles Times

‘Heartbroken': All-Female Group Of Massachusetts Troopers Carry Casket Of Fallen Sister-In-Blue
An all-female class of Massachusetts state troopers escorted the casket of fallen “sister” Tamar Bucci, who was killed in the line of duty last week, to the Revere church where thousands waited to pay their last respects. Bucci, 34, was killed when a tanker truck struck her cruiser on Interstate 93 in Stoneham late Thursday night. She was switching lanes to help a disabled vehicle at the time of the crash. The women donned their dress formals as they served as pall bearers and carried the casket from Basile Funeral Home to Saint Anthony of Padua Church where family, friends and police and firefighters from across the nation waited to say their final goodbyes at Tuesday's wake. The wake was scheduled to start at 4 p.m. and will continue until 7 p.m. The funeral will take place at 11 a.m. Wednesday, also at the St. Anthony of Padua Church in Revere. “Trooper Bucci is not just a coworker to us. She is our sister and we are heartbroken by this devastating loss to our membership,” Patrick McNamara, vice president of the State Police Association of Massachusetts, said. PoliceOne

Michigan Deputy Shot, Wounded While Serving Felony Warrant
A Michigan sheriff's deputy was in stable condition Wednesday after he was shot and wounded while serving a felony warrant at a home, authorities said. The Lapeer County deputy “was shot multiple times” and hospitalized, Michigan State Police said on Twitter. State police said earlier that the shooting occurred in Brown City, a community of about 1,300 residents that's located in both Lapeer and Sanilac counties, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) northeast of Flint. State police spokeswoman Lt. Kim Vetter said the status of the person or persons involved in the shooting was not immediately available for public release. “It's still an active scene and so it's going to be a little while before we're able to confirm" the details, she told The Associated Press. State police said that the agency was investigating the shooting at the request of Lapeer County Sheriff's Office and that “there are no suspects at large and no threat to the community."  Associated Press

Public Safety News

LA County Reports 55 New COVID Deaths; Hospitalizations Fall Below 700
Los Angeles County reported another 55 COVID-19 deaths in its latest data, while the number of hospital patients with the virus fell below 700. The 55 new deaths gave the county an overall pandemic death toll of 31,138. Another 1,157 cases of COVID were also confirmed Wednesday, lifting the cumulative total from throughout the pandemic to 2,807,057. The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 0.9% as of Wednesday. According to state figures, there were 666 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals as of Wednesday, down from 706 on Tuesday. The number of those patients being treated in intensive care units was 122, down from 133 a day earlier. County health officials said they were working to increase the number of providers who can offer residents access to anti-COVID therapeutics, while also striving to raise awareness about their availability. According to the Department of Public Health, the oral medications are Paxlovid and Molnupiravir are prescription drugs that must be taken within five days of COVID symptoms developing. Paxlovid is available for anyone age 12 and older who weighs more than 88 pounds. Molnupiravir is available for anyone 18 and over.

Local Government News

LA City Council Approves Motion Calling For End Of Vaccination Proof At Indoor Businesses, Restaurants
With the county easing its COVID-19 masking and vaccine-verification rules, the Los Angeles City Council took the first step Wednesday toward ending the city's mandate requiring proof of vaccination to enter many indoor establishments and large outdoor events. The city ordinance, which went into effect Nov. 8, requires people over age 12 to show proof of vaccination before patronizing indoor restaurants, gyms, entertainment and recreational facilities, personal care establishments and some city buildings. The law also requires people to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend outdoor events with 5,000 or more people. On Wednesday, the council approved a motion introduced by Council President Nury Martinez that essentially calls for rescinding the requirements, although individual businesses would be permitted to voluntarily require proof of vaccination from patrons. The vote instructed the city attorney to prepare a new ordinance rolling back the requirements and bring it back to the council for a final vote. CBS 2

Proposal Would Limit How L.A. Landlords Can Screen Potential Renters
Three Los Angeles City Council members introduced a package of renter-protection measures they say would help promote fair access to housing amid the city's worsening homelessness crisis. The motions introduced Wednesday by Council Members Mike Bonin, Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Nithya Raman would significantly restrict what kind of information landlords can ask from prospective tenants. The proposed ordinances would prohibit screening prospective tenants on the basis of their criminal, eviction or credit histories. Landlords would also be required to publicly display uniform rental criteria before renters pay application fees. “It's about making it easier for people to get housed and stay housed” amid the homelessness crisis and evictions that will come if pandemic-era tenant protections are repealed, Bonin said. Cynthia Strathmann, executive director of the tenant rights organization Strategic Actions for a Just Economy, which consulted on the proposed legislation, said that using credit checks and criminal history to screen potential tenants has discriminatory effects. Los Angeles Times

About the LAPPL - Formed in 1923, the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) represents the more than 9,900 dedicated and professional sworn members of the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPPL serves to advance the interests of LAPD officers through legislative and legal advocacy, political action and education. The LAPPL can be found on the Web at: