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

April 15, 2022
Law Enforcement News

30 Arrests Made In Operation Targeting Violent Crime In Los Angeles
A three-day joint federal, state and local effort focused on suspects wanted for violent crimes in Los Angeles resulted in 30 arrests, including 10 for murder, police said Wednesday. There were also nine arrests for attempted murder, four for great bodily injury to a child, three each for armed robbery and rape of a child under 14 and one for assault with a deadly weapon, police said. The arrestees included 15 documented gang members, police said. There were 10 firearms seized. Operation FAST was led by the Los Angeles Police Department's Gang and Narcotics Division and conducted from March 28-30. There were 15 local, state and federal agencies involved, including the United States Marshals Service and Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force. NBC 4

Police Searching For Suspect In Fatal Pico Union Stabbing
The Los Angeles Police Department is looking for a suspect who they say fatally stabbed a 34-year old in an "unprovoked" attack. The suspect was casually walking down West 6th Street near the corner of Bonnie Brae Street on the afternoon of Friday, April 8. Police say he fatally stabbed Sergio Santay. "It doesn't look like the two individuals knew each other. It looks like the suspect walked up to the victim, completely unprovoked, no argument, and the stabbing began," said Matthew Cruz with LAPD. Santay's family told Eyewitness News they're devastated. ABC7 also spoke with vendors near a Pico Union market who describe Santay as friendly. He was originally from Guatemala. Police say the stabbing occurred in the 600 block of Bonnie Brae Street and when officers arrived, the suspect had fled down an alley north of Wilshire Boulevard and attempted to stab two more individuals, but was unsuccessful. Photos of the suspect pulled from surveillance video were posted on LAPD's Twitter Thursday morning. Police have also recovered video of the actual stabbing, which they say is too violent to release to the public. ABC 7

Two Men In Maserati Are Struck In Drive-By Shooting In South L.A.
Police are investigating the drive-by shooting of two men in a Maserati in South Los Angeles early Thursday after the victims managed to track down officers nearby and ask for help. The incident occurred about 1 a.m. as officers with the Los Angeles Police Department and the California Highway Patrol were in pursuit of a reportedly stolen vehicle in the area, according to the LAPD. Officers abandoned the pursuit because it presented a danger to other motorists, authorities said. The vehicle they were chasing later collided with two other vehicles near the intersection of South Main Street and East Florence Avenue, according to Officer Annie Hernandez, of the LAPD. The driver was taken into custody with non-life threatening injuries, she said. The two wounded men in the Maserati then drove up to the scene and flagged down police, Hernandez said. They told police they'd been struck in a drive-by shooting at a gas station near South Florence Street and West Figueroa Avenue shortly before 3 a.m., she said. The men told police they were sitting in their car when a person in an unidentified vehicle drove by and shot into their vehicle, Hernandez said. The two men were taken to a nearby hospital. One man was listed in critical condition and the other in stable condition, according to Hernandez. Los Angeles Times

Man Killed In Hit-and-Run Collision In Boyle Heights
The Los Angeles Police Department is seeking the public's help in searching for the suspect who killed a man in a hit-and-run collision Tuesday evening. According to the LAPD, the collision happened around 8 p.m. on April 12, near Indiana Street and Dennison street. The suspect's vehicle, a dark-colored 1997 to 2001 Jeep Cherokee, collided with the man as he walked across Indiana Street. Police said the suspect drove off westbound on Olympic Boulevard after striking the victim. While paramedics tried to help the pedestrian, he was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said that the suspect's Jeep Cherokee had black rims and believe it will have extensive front-end damage as well as a broken front driver side headlight. The identity of the victim has not been released. CBS 2

'They Are Going To Keep On Doing It': Store Owners Considering Arming Themselves Amid Crime Surge
As crime continues to rise across Southern California, many business owners are starting to take matters into their own hands and arm themselves. Business owner Joe Green calls his pistol his peacekeeper. "You have a right to protect your business, you have a right to protect property and individual lives." Broadway Wine and Spirits in Santa Monica has been in Green's family since 1986. They've never had serious problem, but the recent spike in crime and robberies in Southern California has Green concerned. "When I see what's going and you see three or more people come in, do the smash and grab and they're coming in with weapons, you have no guarantee that you're going to come out of that alive. You don't know what they're capable of," he told FOX 11. Green believes the current laws in the state of California are favoring the criminals. That's why he decided to arm himself... to protect his business. "There's no consequences. It is an opportunity; they are going to keep on doing it." He is not alone. Many Southern California residents are arming themselves with guns in the wake of all the violence. Sheriff Alex Villanueva said he received more than 8,000 applications for concealed weapons. "If you, you're going to come in and you're going to do something like that. You might be met with something that you don't want to be met with. You know so be careful," he added.  FOX 11

Ex-Political Donor Ed Buck Sentenced To 30 Years Prison For WeHo Drug Deaths
A former Democratic political donor who supplied drugs to two men who overdosed in his West Hollywood apartment was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in federal prison. Ed Buck, 67, was convicted last year of nine felony counts stemming from the deaths of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean. Evidence showed Buck lured young Black men who were often experiencing homelessness, addiction, and/or poverty to his apartment for sexually charged sessions in which he would inject them with methamphetamine and drug them with sedatives, with and without their consent. “He will be a danger to the community until the day he dies,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Chelsea Norell told the court. Moore and Dean died of methamphetamine overdoses 18 months apart — Moore in July 2017 and Dean in January 2019. After less than a day of deliberations on July 27, 2021 — the four-year anniversary of Moore's death — a federal jury in downtown Los Angeles found Buck guilty of all charged counts.

Major Drug Bust On Glencoe Results In Seizure Of $2 Million, Hundreds Of Pounds Of Cannabis
Two suspects have been arrested in a major drug operation on Glencoe Avenue. Last week, LAPD Pacific Narcotics Detectives served a search warrant on the 4000 block of Glencoe Ave, according to LAPD. Several hundred pounds of cannabis and over $ 2 million in cash were recovered. This is the largest drug bust the division has made in the last year. Police say the suspects were arrested for illegal trafficking of cannabis. The suspects have been charged with possessing a controlled substance for the purpose of transporting it, selling it, or providing it to another person.  WestSide Current

Woman, 85, Reported Missing From Toluca Lake Area
Authorities sought the public's help Thursday to find an 85-year-old woman with dementia who went missing in the Toluca Lake area. Soghra Karimi was last seen about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday near the 4500 block of Arcola Avenue, the Los Angeles Police Department reported. “She has been diagnosed with dementia,” an LAPD statement said. “Soghra does not operate a vehicle and was last seen on foot.” Karimi is white, 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighs 140 pounds, and has brown hair and eyes. Anyone with information on her whereabouts was urged to call the LAPD North Hollywood Station at 818-754-8409, 877-LAPD-247, or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Tipsters may also use the website .

Man Suspected In $150K Nike Robbery, Other L.A. Retail Thefts Carried Out By ‘Crew' Of Thieves
A man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of taking part in a robbery at an East Los Angeles Nike store and several “grab and go” retail thefts, authorities said. More than $150,000 worth of merchandise was taken from the Nike store, according to a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department news release. The suspect, Julian Gutierrez, has been tied to the Nike robbery as well as other retail thefts that happened from February through April of this year. Detectives believe the man committed the crimes as part of a larger “crew” of thieves and uses juveniles to help with the thefts, the Sheriff's Department said. At least one boy is now in custody in connection with the Nike store thefts and is suspected in others, officials said. When detectives arrested Gutierrez in Inglewood, they found several thousand dollars' worth of new clothing in his vehicle with the tags and security devices still attached, according to the Sheriff's Department. “Suspect Gutierrez admitted to several recent ‘Grab and Go' thefts in the Southern California region, including thefts from Ross Dress for Less Stores in Huntington Park and Downtown Los Angeles,” officials said. Detectives are still working to determine exactly how many thefts the crew may be responsible for.  KTLA 5

California Bill Would Further Restrict ‘Ghost Guns' And Stop Sale Of Firearm Parts, Kits
Proponents of stricter gun laws are rallying behind a new bill working its way through the California Legislature aimed at tackling the untraceability of so-called "ghost guns." "The bill would create prohibitions and processes surrounding existing ghost guns in California to ensure that those already in circulation are properly serialized by the California Department of Justice," said Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action. AB 1621 was introduced by Assemblymember Mike Gipson, who represents California's 64th Assembly District that includes Southern California communities such as Carson, Compton and Gardena. The bill would regulate gun kits or parts known as "precursors." "AB 1621 aims to halt the sale of firearm precursor parts until such unfinished parts are regulated as firearms and frames under the federal law," he said. "Ghost guns" are virtually untraceable and can be assembled by unlicensed buyers from legally purchased kits. The bill states sellers and manufacturers of these parts frequently market the products by emphasizing its lack of serial numbers and claim they are less regulated. Gipson said the restrictions are needed in addition to federal regulations, including those President Joe Biden announced Monday. ABC 7

Colorado Sheriff's Office Mourns Death Of K-9 Killed In Shootout
The El Paso County Sheriff's Office mourned the death of one of the agency's K9 officers, Jinx, after it was shot in a skirmish in Manitou Springs on Monday night. A Manitou Springs Police Officer and El Paso County Sheriff's deputy shot and killed a man after police allege he shot at law enforcement while they tried to contact him about suspected menacing. During the exchange, Jinx was shot and killed, Colorado Springs Police Department announced. "We are heartbroken to announce that K9 Jinx was killed in the line of duty last night" the sheriff's office tweeted. "The loss of K9 Jinx cannot be put into words as his passing leaves a hole in our EPSO Family." The sheriff's office held a procession for Jinx Tuesday morning that included law enforcement vehicles driving down North Nevada Avenue. Jinx joined the sheriff's office in March 2020 and was just over 3 years old. "Our thoughts go out to his handler, his family, and the EPSO K9 Unit," the sheriff's office tweeted. "Good boy, Jinx." The Gazette

619 Fallen LEOs To Be Honored During 34th Annual Candlelight Vigil
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has announced that the names of 619 fallen LEOs are being added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial this year. The names will be engraved and properly dedicated during the 34th Annual Candlelight Vigil in Washington, DC, on May 13, 2022. Of the officers being honored this year, 472 were killed during 2021 (of which 319 fatalities were COVID-19-related). It is the largest number of officers ever added to the memorial in a single year. An additional 147 officers died before 2021. With these additions, there will now be 23,229 officer names engraved on the Memorial, representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, federal law enforcement and military police agencies. An estimated 30,000 people attend the Candlelight Vigil ceremony during National Police Week. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's ceremony will be the first held in a traditional setting since 2019. “The names of the 619 fallen officers going on the memorial this year is a solemn reminder that each day is fragile, and that officers risk their lives daily so that we all may live safer together,” said Marcia Ferranto, CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund in a statement. “The ultimate sacrifice put forth by these brave men and women will never be forgotten.” PoliceOne

Maine LEO Returns To Full Duty After Amputation, Shares His Journey
Life is known for throwing us challenges. For some, those challenges are bigger than others. Two years ago, Trooper Mickael Nunez lost his leg. Nunez was setting up stop spikes to end a high-speed pursuit when the driver struck him, throwing Nunez into the air. "For a fraction of a second, I thought, 'Oh no. This is really bad.' And I felt this overwhelming sense of fear," Nunez told News Center Maine. Despite his injuries, Nunez forced himself to remain calm. "I just knew I had to keep mentally fighting," Nunez said. At the hospital, Nunez underwent hours of surgery for his broken right leg. As an avid runner and hiker, Nunez pleaded with surgeons to save his leg. But after 12 hours under the knife, doctors determined they needed to amputate. Those who knew Nunez best were worried about life after the amputation. "He's a physical guy," said Lt. Patrick Hood, troop commander. "For me, not having a lot of experience with amputees, [I thought] he can't lose that leg. That is not an option." But Nunez persevered through rehab and hard work. In 2021, Nunez returned to full-duty service and became the first amputee in Maine State Police history, according to the report. Nunez had to learn to drive with his left leg and pass each physical fitness test with his prosthetic.  PoliceOne

Public Safety News

Firefighter Taken To Hospital After Battling Blaze At Mount Washington Home
A firefighter was taken to the hospital for evaluation after battling a blaze at a two-story home in the hilly neighborhood of Mount Washington. The fire was reported just before 11 a.m. in the 4600 block of East San Andreas Avenue at a large, hillside home. According to LAFD spokeswoman Margaret Stewart, the fire appeared to have started in the crawl space below the first floor and extended up. Firefighters managed to put out most of the flames, but had to work to find the source of smoke that was emanating from parts of the home. A total of 67 firefighters were called out to the scene, which was declared a knockdown within an hour and 17 minutes, the LAFD said. One firefighter was evaluated and taken to the hospital for a medical concern in fair condition, Stewart said, adding that it was a non-traumatic issue. The cause of the fire is under investigation. CBS 2

BA.2 Omicron Subvariant Drives Up COVID Cases In LA County Schools
According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, a countywide increase in COVID-19 infections is also being reflected at schools, where tests of students and staff had a positivity rate of 0.19% for the week ending April 8. The 822 positive tests recorded that week represented a 42% increase from the prior week, according to the county. Health officials say the highly contagious BA.2 omicron subvariant is causing the increase. On Wednesday by California Public Health Director Dr. Tomás Aragón, who also noted that BA.2 is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the state. While COVID-19 hospitalization rates are near an all-time low, we are seeing an increase in COVID-19 transmission in some parts of the state,'' Aragón said. This underscores the need for Californians to remain vigilant and protect themselves and their communities by getting vaccinated and boosted. "Vaccines continue to offer strong protection against COVID-19, including this variant. This is why the FDA has authorized a second booster dose for those in our most vulnerable categories, including people aged 50 and older. Getting this additional booster is the best way to maintain your protection against COVID-19 and its variants.'' ABC 7

California Says Asymptomatic People Exposed To Coronavirus Don't Need To Quarantine
California is no longer recommending a five-day quarantine period for people who are exposed to the coronavirus but remain asymptomatic, a move that could potentially result in a relaxation of similar rules in Los Angeles County. Doing so, officials say, would relieve the burden for employers and institutions to keep otherwise healthy people at home following exposure. The move also reflects a new pandemic reality, according to state officials — that slowly but steadily increasing vaccination rates and the availability of anti-COVID drugs are reducing the overall risk of California's hospitals being overwhelmed in potential future surges. The California Department of Public Health still recommends everyone who tests positive or shows COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, isolate and stay home for at least five days following the onset of illness or after the date of the first positive test. The state says isolation can end after the fifth day if the person has no symptoms, or the symptoms are resolving, and a rapid test result on the fifth day is negative. Individual counties can keep rules in place that are stricter than the state's, if local health officials believe it's necessary. Los Angeles Times

Mayor Eric Garcetti Delivers His Final State Of The City Address, Highlights Some Goals
Mayor Eric Garcetti delivered his final State of the City address Thursday, which highlighted aspects of his upcoming 2022-23 fiscal year budget proposal. During his speech, the mayor discussed the most pressing needs of the city and ways to address it in his budget. They include keeping the city safe and clean, increasing housing, housing the homeless and addressing the climate emergency. "My goal is to hand over a city budget to our council that is stronger than ever. An infrastructure program unequaled in our nation and a pathway to house our people and save our planet with the urgency that this moment demands," Garcetti exclaimed. Garcetti mentioned the creation of a $21 million Climate Equity Fund focused on "mitigation and resilience efforts in the low-income neighborhoods that bear a disproportionate amount of environmental harm." The $21 million fund will be used to hire and train "underrepresented and displaced" workers to retrofit buildings to be more energy efficient, Garcetti said. It will also be used for air monitoring at oil drilling sites -- which the city is in the process of phasing out -- with the data made available to the public. The fund will also be used to distribute air purifiers to people who live in the most polluted areas and provide new insulation and cool roofs for people who live in low-income neighborhoods with the highest heat indexes. FOX 11

Local Government News

LA City Council Members Seek To Expand City Meeting Language Interpretations
A motion aimed at expanding live interpretation of City Council committee meetings to Spanish and other languages will be considered by the Los Angeles City Council after being introduced by Councilman Kevin de Leon and Councilwoman Nithya Raman, who said Thursday the city “must go further to ensure equitable participation in the democratic process.” The motion, which was introduced Wednesday, requests the City Clerk and the Information Technology Agency to issue recommendations to the City Council for the expansion of live interpreting services for all of the City Council's committee meetings, both online and in-person. “Over half of LA's nearly 4 million residents speak a language other than English at home,” Raman said in a statement Thursday. City Council meetings currently feature live interpretation for Spanish speakers, but committee meetings only provide interpreting services if requested by City Council committee chairs at least 72 hours in advance. “And even if interpretation services are requested in advance of a meeting, they only cove public comments made in other languages; the content of the remainder of the meeting is never able to be interpreted into Spanish or any other language,” the motion, which was seconded by Councilman Curren Price, states.

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: