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 19, 2022
Law Enforcement News

Convicted Murderer Vows To Get LA DA Gascón's Name Tattooed On His Face In Audio Obtained By Fox News
Fox News has obtained audio of a convicted murderer saying he's going to get Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón's name tattooed on his face because the prosecutor massively reduced charges in his case. "I'm going to get that n-----'s name on my face. That's a champ right there. F---in' Gascón," says gang member Luis Angel Hernandez in a jailhouse phone call. The audio was first made public in an episode of "Tucker Carlson Originals" about Gascón called "Suicide of Los Angeles," which is now streaming on Fox Nation. According to a law enforcement source, Hernandez shot and killed a delivery person for a marijuana delivery service during an armed robbery in 2018. He is a member of the OTF gang. Upon taking office, Gascón implemented a controversial directive that barred prosecutors from applying "enhancements" in nearly all cases, no matter how heinous the crime. Enhancements increase sentences based on the circumstances of a crime. "A robbery can be a purse snatch with no injury, or it can be a gun in your face," said Michele Hanisee, a current LA deputy district attorney. "Sentencing enhancements make sure that the perpetrator of the first and the perpetrator of the second are treated differently." Hernandez faced enhancements for being a gang member, using a firearm in the commission of a crime, and for the "special circumstance" of committing murder during an armed robbery. The enhancements were dropped because of Gascón policy, according to law enforcement sources. FOX 11

LAPD Officers Among 4 Hurt In Crash During Hollywood Pursuit
Four people were hurt, including two Los Angeles police officers, when a crash occurred during the pursuit of a stolen car in Hollywood early Tuesday morning. The collision took place at around 4:30 a.m. in the 6400 block of Santa Monica Boulevard. According to Los Angeles police, an LAPD patrol vehicle was in pursuit of a stolen car when it crashed into an uninvolved SUV. Footage from the scene showed the SUV overturned after having slammed into a utility pole. Two officers and two civilians were injured, police said. All four were taken to a hospital. Their conditions were not immediately released. The stolen car escaped the area and its occupants remain at large. Police were searching for the suspects in the area of Oakwood and Laurel avenues in the Fairfax District, about three miles from the crash scene. The circumstances that prompted the pursuit were unclear. The details of the collision were also unknown.  CBS 2

Cases against LAPD officers accused of making false gang claims fall apart
When Los Angeles police officers were accused two years ago of deliberately misidentifying people as gang members, the fallout was swift and sweeping. Six officers were  charged  with crimes and police officials opened investigations into two dozen more, seriously tarnishing the reputation of the LAPD's vaunted Metropolitan Division. In the years since, however, the case has largely fallen apart. Charges against three officers have been tossed out, while prosecutors have decided there isn't enough evidence to bring cases against the other officers suspected of possible wrongdoing. And the L.A. district attorney's office is now reconsidering whether to press ahead with the charges that prosecutors filed in the few cases that remain active, according to district attorney's records reviewed by The Times. Los Angeles Times

LAPD Officers Reunite With Pilot They Saved Moments Before Train Slams Into Crashed Plane In Pacoima
The man who survived after his plane crash-landed onto railroad tracks in Pacoima earlier this year, had an emotional reunion over the weekend with the quick-acting police officers that saved his life. Police body cameras show the moments when officers pulled pilot Mark Jenkins out of his downed plane right before it was hit by a Metrolink train, saving his life back in January 2022. On Saturday, four Los Angeles Police Department officers from the Foothill Division were honored for that life-saving rescue. Jenkins shared his appreciation for the officers who saved him. "I told them I loved them and thank you for saving my life, and a bunch of great, crazy guys," Jenkins said. "They did their duty and I thank them for that very much." An appreciation event was held at the Condor Squadron. The officers also got to fly with the Squadron. The officers reflected back to those moments in January when they jumped into action. "Just thinking back on that moment just hearing the train and feeling the vibrations through the floor, and just hearing crumpling metal, and I was just like 'wow, that was close, that was really close'" said LAPD officer Christopher Aboyte. "Being in the moment, it was just, we needed to take action," added LAPD officer Joseph Cavestany. "It was just kind of second nature." ABC 7

LAPD Investigating Killings Of Two Homeless Men In Nearby Shootings In Pacoima
Los Angeles police on Monday said they were investigating the killings of two homeless men in separate shootings in Pacoima over the weekend. Police said they were investigating the possibility that the two incidents, which happened close to each other, were related, but that “unfortunately, there is very little evidence in either case.” “They are hoping anyone who was in the area of either homicide will contact detectives,” said Det. Meghan Aguilar, an LAPD spokeswoman. The two incidents fit a years-long trend involving homeless people falling victim to L.A. gun violence in increasing numbers. In the first incident, at about noon Saturday, a 43-year-old man was found fatally shot in a ravine near the intersection of Dronfield Avenue and Terra Bella Street, police said. In the second incident, at about 6:45 p.m. Sunday, a 36-year-old man was fatally shot while standing on a sidewalk near a freeway overpass about a mile northwest from where the first victim was found, again on Dronfield near Paxton Street, police said. Police had not named either victim as of Monday, citing the need to first notify their families. They said they did not have a motive or suspect in either shooting. Through April 9, homicides in the city were down 7% from where they stood at this point last year, but were up 22.4% over the same point in 2020. The number of people who had been shot in the city, meanwhile, was down 5.6% from 2021, but up 67% from 2020. Los Angeles Times

Jacqueline Avant's Killer Shot Her In The Back, Laughed And Bragged About It, Records Show
The man who pleaded guilty to the murder of Jacqueline Avant in her Beverly Hills home last year shot her in the back and later laughed and bragged about the killing, according to court records reviewed by The Times. Aariel Maynor allegedly bragged to a friend in a phone call from jail that he would serve only 20 to 25 years because Los Angeles County prosecutors did not file special circumstances murder that could have meant life without parole or the death penalty, a sentencing document filed by prosecutors shows. Dist. Atty. George Gascón is seeking 150 years to life for the murder with a three-strikes enhancement, plus a consecutive 43-year term for other crimes. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kathryn Solorzano will hear arguments from the defense before sentencing Maynor as early as Tuesday. Maynor pleaded guilty to murder, attempted murder, possession of a firearm by a felon and two counts of burglary. The shooting took place early on the morning of Dec. 1. As Maynor sat in the Los Angeles County jail in December, he called a female friend and “laughed” about the killing and the publicity surrounding it, the sentencing document said. Avant was a noted philanthropist and political activist and the husband of music executive Clarence Avant. “That's not funny. That somebody's life,” replied the unidentified woman. Maynor continued to say he “was all over the news” and wondered, “You think my mama's seen that, though?” Los Angeles Times

Woman Killed After Shooting In South Los Angeles
A woman that was at least 20 years old was shot and killed while sitting in her car on Monday afternoon. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the shooting happened just after 3:20 p.m. near the intersection of Western and Florence Avenues. The woman and a man were sitting in their vehicle when they were shot. The woman died at the scene but the man, who was at least 30-years-old, was taken to the hospital and is currently in stable condition. Authorities have no information describing possible suspects. CBS 2

Alcohol A Factor In Hit-and-Run Crash That Killed 77-Year-Old Bicyclist In Griffith Park
Alcohol was a factor in a hit-and-run crash that left a 77-year-old bicyclist dead in Griffith Park Saturday afternoon, authorities said. The crash was reported about 3:45 p.m. as the bicyclist was heading north on Crystal Springs Drive, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The victim was struck by a gray BMW and died at the scene. He has not been identified. The driver got out of the car and ran away without helping the bicyclist or identifying himself. Witnesses at the scene helped responding officers find the driver, who was arrested and booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter. Police said alcohol was a factor in the crash, but did not elaborate. The suspect was identified Monday as 37-year-old Jairo Martinez. He remains in custody on $617,500 bail, booking records show. KTLA 5

Police Seek Help Finding Fatal Hit-And-Run Motorist In Wilmington Authorities Monday sought the public's help to find the hit-and-run motorist responsible for fatally injuring a homeless woman who was sleeping on a sidewalk in the Wilmington area. Olivia Espinoza, 56, was injured about 1:45 a.m. Saturday at E Street and Figueroa Place, and she died at the scene, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office and the Los Angeles Police Department. According to police, Espinoza was hit by a white GMC SUV that ran off the roadway. The suspect, who exited the vehicle, then abandoned it at the scene, fleeing in a second car described as a Nissan Altima, police said. “The Altima fled eastbound on E Street and left the GMC SUV abandoned on the sidewalk,” police said. No description was available of the suspect. A standing reward of up to $50,000 has been offered by the city of Los Angeles for information that helps solve a fatal hit-and-run.

Argument Between Renter, Landlord Triggers Gunfire, Police Chase In Beverly Crest
A woman was in custody Monday for allegedly firing a shot into the ground during an argument with another woman in Beverly Crest, police said. It happened around 9 a.m. in the 9500 block of Highridge Place, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Police say two women in the neighborhood were involved in a "residential property" dispute that turned violent. At first, police told FOX 11 that this could have been a fight between neighbors, but now on the scene, FOX 11 is hearing this could have been a landlord-renter dispute. The victim is an older woman who owns the property where this happened and the suspect - who is younger - was currently renting from there, FOX 11 has learned. A neighbor says she heard shots fired this morning, followed by screaming and her housekeeper telling FOX 11 she saw that younger woman grabbing the other woman by the throat. The younger woman then fled the scene, police said. A look at SkyFOX showed the incident triggered a short police chase ending near Rexford in Santa Monica. The woman, whose name was not immediately released, was expected to be booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, the LAPD reported. FOX 11 spoke to a neighbor who has lived in the area 50 years. She didn't want to be identified, but said that she is just stunned by all this, especially since that same woman who was arrested warned her about robberies just a couple of months ago.  FOX 11

‘Superfly' Actor Kaalan Walker Convicted Of Raping Women And Teens
A rapper-actor who appeared in the 2018 film "SuperFly'' was convicted Monday of raping multiple teens and young women in attacks dating back to 2013, but jurors acquitted him of charges involving three other alleged victims. Kaalan Walker, 27, was convicted of charges relating to three teenage girls and four women. He had originally been facing more than a dozen counts involving 10 alleged victims. In her opening statement in March, Deputy District Attorney Yasmin Fardghassemi told the Van Nuys jury the case involved women who didn't know each other, and the "single thing that unites all of these woman is the defendant Kaalan Walker.'' She detailed allegations made by 10 of the teens and young women, along with "strikingly similar'' allegations made by a teenager and two other women for whom no charges were filed. "You're going to see a dark side of him ..." the prosecutor told jurors, saying Walker primarily used Instagram and Twitter to lure his alleged victims to locations he chose by booking them for fake photo or music video shoots or with a false promise of introducing them to someone famous. "When they said 'Stop,' he didn't care,'' Fardghassemi said. Walker's attorney, Andrew Flier, countered that his client — whom he said had been "portrayed as a monster'' — is innocent of the charges.  NBC 4

Hollywood Hills Home Burglarized While Homeowner Was Inside
Police are investigating a home burglary in the Hollywood Hills captured on security cameras, and all while the homeowner was hiding in the bathroom the whole time watching it all unfold. The security video from the home on Pacific View Drive shows a group of masked men breaking in and casing out the hallway, one even turning the camera away. “Last night while I was watching TV, I heard some thumping going on and I thought maybe a raccoon was in my house,” the homeowner said. “I looked on the security camera, there happened to be one guy with a mask on sticking his head in the door and sticking carpet into the door to keep it open.”The homeowner asked NBC4 not to use his name or show his face. He says he was shocked to see the burglars rummaging through his drawers, his belongings and his personal space. It seems they made no attempt to be discreet but the homeowner says he's certain they knew he was home. “They weren't scared of the dogs, they knew I was at home watching TV and the lights were on and they still did it,” the homeowner said. All the while as this was happening last night around 11:15 p.m. he says he was hiding in the bathroom on the phone with police.  NBC 4

Burglar Smashes Glass Door Of Boyle Heights Restaurant
Police are looking for a burglar who broke through a glass door to get into a Boyle Heights restaurant early Sunday morning. The thief was captured on surveillance video as he entered Birria Los Socios on the 3500 block of East 3rd Place around 4:30 a.m. Sunday. Video shows the burglar wandering through the restaurant looking for cash and other valuables. He managed to steal an iPad and an iPhone, but video captures him unsuccessfully trying to pry open the cash drawer and the office door. The owner says unfortunately this isn't the first time his restaurant has been targeted, in fact, he said it's the fourth. Anyone with information about this break-in should contact the Los Angeles Police Department. You can submit an anonymous tip online at . KTLA 5

Longtime South Los Angeles Gang Leader Convicted In Racketeering Case
A federal jury Monday found a longtime senior leader of a South Los Angeles-based street gang guilty of federal criminal charges for conspiring to commit racketeering through various criminal acts including murder, extorting local businesses and the distribution of narcotics. Paul Gary Wallace, 56, of South Los Angeles, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and one count of using a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. U.S. District Judge André Birotte Jr. scheduled a July 29 sentencing hearing, at which time Wallace will face up to life in federal prison. According to evidence presented at his 11-day trial, Wallace was a member of the gang for more than 30 years and rose to become the leader and most influential member of a series of the gang's cliques responsible for control over territory in South Los Angeles. Wallace maintained his control over the gang through violence and intimidation. He murdered and conspired to commit murder to enhance the gang's reputation, to enhance his status within the gang, to retaliate against rivals, and to enforce discipline within the gang, according to evidence presented in Los Angeles federal court.

Man Who Supplied Fentanyl-Laced Pills To Rapper Mac Miller Sentenced To More Than 10 Years In Prison
A former resident of West Hollywood was sentenced Monday to 131 months behind bars for his role in supplying the fentanyl-laced pills that led to rapper Mac Miller's fatal overdose four years ago. Ryan Reavis, 39, pleaded guilty last year to a federal count of distribution of fentanyl, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Two others were also charged. Stephen Walter, 49, of Westwood, pleaded guilty to the distribution charge and is awaiting sentencing. The case against Cameron Pettit, 30, of West Hollywood, is pending. On Sept. 4, 2018, at the direction of Walter, Reavis supplied counterfeit oxycodone pills to the third defendant, according to papers filed in Los Angeles federal court. Reavis admitted knowing that the pills contained fentanyl or some other controlled substance. Shortly after Reavis handed over the fentanyl-laced pills, Pettit allegedly supplied the pills to Malcolm McCormick -- who recorded and performed under the name Mac Miller -- two days before the 26-year-old rapper suffered a fatal overdose in Studio City on Sept. 7, 2018, federal prosecutors said. Miller began rapping at 14 and built a large following before signing with the label of fellow Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa. ABC 7

3 Sheriff's Deputies Shot, Suspect Killed In Central Kansas
Three sheriff's deputies were wounded by gunfire and a suspect was killed during a shootout in central Kansas on Thursday, law enforcement authorities said. Cowley County Sheriff David Falletti said the deputies were responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle on U.S. 77 north of Winfield. When they made contact with a vehicle, three deputies were shot, Falletti said. A female alone in the car was found dead at the scene, Falletti said. The three deputies were taken to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita. The sheriff's office said late Friday afternoon that two of the deputies were in good condition and could be released soon. The third deputy had more serious injuries but was also expected to recover, the sheriff's office said. Authorities did not release any additional information. The sheriff said investigators were trying to determine what occurred before the shooting. Winfield is about 36 miles (58 kilometers) southeast of Wichita. Associated Press

Public Safety News

Firefighters Put Out Apartment Fire In Silver Lake
It took 11 minutes for 22 firefighters to put out a fire in one unit of a Silver Lake apartment building Saturday evening. The fire was reported at 9:46 p.m. at 1085 N. Myra Ave., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department's Brian Humphrey. The apartment building is a two-story garden-style structure with eight units and the fire was in a ground-floor unit, Humphrey said. No injuries were reported, he said.

LA County Reports 3,351 New COVID Cases Over 3-Day Period
Los Angeles County logged another 3,351 new COVID-19 cases for a three-day period ending Monday, while the number of virus-positive patients in county hospitals remained relatively stable. The new infections gave the county a cumulative pandemic total of 2,853,706 cases. The county reported another 21 COVID deaths for the three-day period from Saturday through Monday, raising the overall virus-related death toll to 31,872. The county no longer reports COVID numbers on weekends. According to state figures, there were 221 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals as of Monday, up slightly from 213 on Sunday. Of those patients, 31 were in intensive care, up from 29 a day earlier. The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 2.6% as of Monday. County officials have attributed the recent rise in daily case numbers and the testing-positive rate to the BA.2 subvariant, a more infectious offshoot of the Omicron variant that caused a winter surge in cases. BA.2 is now the dominant strain of the virus in the county, believed to represent 67% of new infections.

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: