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 25, 2022
Law Enforcement News

FBI director highlights overlooked ‘phenomena' of violence against police
FBI Director Christopher Wray on Sunday highlighted an increase in violence against police officers last year, including an alarming jump in police murders. “Violence against law enforcement in this country is one of the biggest phenomena that I think doesn't get enough attention,” he responded, adding that in 2021, “officers were being killed at a rate of almost one every five days.” The Hill

$50,000 Reward Offered For Information In Killing Of Sylmar Resident
A $50,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible in the fatal shooting of Alexander Garcia Aguirre, a 40-year-old man from Sylmar. Aguirre was found lying in a parking lot in the 13200 block of Maclay Street suffering from a gunshot wound at about 10 p.m. on November 12, 2021. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene, the Los Angeles Police Department reported. Witnesses told police they saw two men and a woman run from the scene just after shooting, City News Service reported. Police asked for the public's help to identify the shooter and, on April 12th, and the Los Angeles City Council approved the reward which is active for six months unless renewed by the council. Anyone with information should call Valley Bureau Homicide detectives at (818) 374-9550. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  CBS 2

Suspects Open Fire Outside Melrose Clothing Store In Broad Daylight In Brazen Robbery Attempt
Dramatic video shows the moments a group of suspects tried to chase down a victim in a brazen robbery attempt in the Melrose District. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, a man noticed he was getting followed by two men coming from a nearby alley in the Melrose District on April 10 at around 6 p.m. The man, who told LAPD he was wearing an expensive watch at the time, sprinted into a store on Melrose Avenue before the suspects followed the man and started firing six shots in the man's direction. LAPD said the suspects fired about six rounds toward the man's direction. The victim was not hit by the gunfire, LAPD said. On April 18, LAPD found an arrested 22-year-old Jamario Ray in connection to the violent robbery attempt. Ray is being charged with attempted murder and the bail was set at $1 million. Ray was also booked for the no-bail parole violation warrant, LAPD said. While Ray is behind bars, LAPD is still searching for the second suspect. The second suspect is described as a Black man in his 20s, listed at about 6 feet. Below is a surveillance image of the second suspect. Anyone with information on the incident or the two suspects is asked to call 213-486-6840. FOX 11

L.A. County Homeless Deaths Surged 56% In Pandemic's First Year. Overdoses Are Largely To Blame
Deaths of homeless people in Los Angeles County soared by 56% in the year after the start of the pandemic, driven primarily by an increase in overdoses, according to a study published this month. Between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, 1,988 deaths of people experiencing homelessness were reported, up from 1,271 in the 12 months prior, pre-pandemic, according to the Department of Public Health study. The numbers in L.A. County mirror figures recorded in San Francisco over a similar time period; between March 2020 and March 2021, 331 homeless people died in the city, more than twice the number reported in any previous year, according to a study coauthored by scientists at UC San Francisco, the San Francisco Department of Public Health and New York University. The L.A. County report, unlike past years, does not provide a homeless death rate due to restrictions put on the annual homeless count. “The findings in this report reflect a true state of emergency on the streets across our County,” First District Supervisor Hilda L. Solis said in a release. “In a civil society, it is unacceptable for any of us to not be profoundly disturbed by the shocking needs documented in this year's homeless mortality report.” In the year surveyed, 179 homeless people died of COVID-19, accounting for about a quarter of the increase in overall deaths from the year prior. Los Angeles Times

LA Woman Killed In Wrong-Way Crash On 105 Freeway In El Segundo
A 35-year-old Los Angeles woman was killed early Saturday in a wrong-way, head-on crash on the Glenn Anderson (105) Freeway in El Segundo. The crash was reported at 1:13 a.m. on the westbound Glenn Anderson Freeway east of Nash Street, according to California Highway Patrol Officer G. Pepi. The woman drove her silver 20015 Toyota Camry eastbound in the number one lane until it crashed head-on into a westbound black 2017 Toyota Prius driven by a 35-year-old Manhattan Beach man, Pepi said. The Prius driver unsuccessfully tried to avoid the crash by swerving to the right, the officer said. Paramedics pronounced the woman dead at the scene, Pepi said. Her name was not released pending notification of relatives. The Prius driver was taken to Harbor UCLA Medical Center with major injuries. A SigAlert was issued at about 1:45 a.m. and was canceled about two hours later, the officer said. It was not yet known whether alcohol and/or drugs played a role in the collision, Pepi said. Anyone with information was asked to call the CHP's West LA office at 310-642-3939. Los Angeles Daily News

Inflation, Crime, COVID: L.A. County Quality-Of-Life Scores Take A Hit Across The Board
Rising inflation and housing costs, an increase in crime and the lingering effects of the pandemic have taken a substantial toll on Angelenos' quality of life over the last year, according to a new survey from UCLA. The 2022 Quality of Life Index, prepared by UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs, dropped to 53 out of 100, the lowest score since it was started in 2016. This year's result is five points lower than the results of the 2021 and 2020 surveys and three points lower than the 2018 and 2019 scores of 56, the previous nadir. “What the pandemic couldn't do over the last two years, inflation and increases in violent and property crime succeeded in doing,” said Los Angeles Initiative director Zev Yaroslavsky, who oversees the project. “It appears that the dam has burst this year.” The survey measures 1,400 Los Angeles County respondents' satisfaction in categories including cost of living, transportation and traffic, the environment, public safety, education, race relations, healthcare and their neighborhood. It provides an overall score as well as individual scores for each category, providing a snapshot into the anxieties, preoccupations and satisfactions of L.A. County residents. Usually, Yaroslavsky said, changes in some categories are offset by shifts in other areas, providing for a consistent baseline; since 2016, the overall score has never risen or fallen by more than three points year-over-year and has never fallen below 55. Los Angeles Times

Watts Man Killed In Hit-and-Run; Authorities Searching For Suspect
Los Angeles Police Department investigators are searching for the driver of a vehicle involved in a fatal hit-and-run that occurred in the early morning hours of Friday. The victim, a male, was walking along Grandee Avenue and 103rd Street at around 2:30 a.m. when he was struck by a vehicle authorities described as a white, four-door sedan. They were unsure of the exact make and model of the vehicle. The suspect fled from the scene following the collision, where first responders declared the victim dead at the scene. His name was withheld notification of next of kin. Anyone with information on the hit-and-run was asked to contact LAPD South Traffic Division Officer Lopez Del Haro or Officer Hurd at (323) 421-2500. CBS 2

Woman Wounded In Drive-By Shooting In South Los Angeles
A woman in her late 20s was wounded during a drive-by shooting Saturday in South Los Angeles, authorities said. The woman was taken by a private vehicle to a hospital, where she was listed in stable condition, the Los Angeles Police Department's Media Relations Division reported. The woman was walking in the 2100 block of West Florence Avenue when a vehicle with three suspects approached her at about 2:15 a.m. and one of the suspects inside the vehicle fired shots. A motive for the shooting was not immediately known. CBS 2

VIDEO: Brazen Thieves Steal EV Charging Cables
Copper thieves have an easy new target... electric vehicle charging stations that are filled with copper wiring. Brazen thieves were caught on camera cutting the wires from a charging station in Van Nuys. "Out of the 40 stations that we have, 38 of them were stolen and the other two were damaged," said CEO of the nonprofit One Generation Jenna Hauss. She says the estimated cost in damages is over $18,000. "It's frustrating. I get that anybody that experiences theft or loss you can take it personal but for it to happen to a non-profit, where we serve over 8,000 individuals a year; the most frail older adults homebound isolated, caregivers just stings that much more." The parking lot of One Generation is well lit and gated, but the gate was cut wide-open. The incident occurred Tuesday around 2:30 a.m. Thieves are selling the charging cables to scrap metal dealers, and since most public charging stations are unattended... they are easy targets. The Los Angeles Police Department told Hauss that this kind of theft is becoming a new trend as more charging stations open up. FOX 11

Man Pleads Not Guilty To Allegedly Pouring Cement Over Body Of His Lover Found In Hawaii Bathtub
A 23-year-old man accused of killing his 73-year-old lover and pouring cement over his body in a bathtub in one of Hawaii's most exclusive gated communities has pleaded not guilty to murder. A public defender for Juan Tejedor Baron entered the plea during an arraignment Thursday, according to court records. Gary Ruby's decomposing body was excavated by authorities last month from a standalone soaking tub in Ruby's Hawaii Loa Ridge home. Police said Baron covered the cement with coffee grounds to mask the smell. Police said Baron planned to fraudulently take ownership of Ruby's car and home. U.S. Marshals and Los Angeles police later arrested Baron after finding him in a crawl space at the back of a Mexico-bound bus in Anaheim, California. Baron was extradited to Honolulu. Baron is being held without bail. His attorney requested a Spanish interpreter for a bail hearing scheduled for Monday, according to court records. FOX 11

Megan Thee Stallion Tearfully Recounts Alleged Shooting By Fellow Rapper Rapper Megan
Thee Stallion has given her first public interview about the 2020 Hollywood Hills incident in which fellow rapper Tory Lanez is accused of shooting at her feet, tearfully telling CBS' Gayle King that she feared for her life. Lanez, a 29-year-old Canadian rapper whose real name is Daystar Peterson, has pleaded not guilty to one count each of assault with a semiautomatic firearm and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle. The charges include allegations that he personally used a firearm and inflicted great bodily injury. In an interview set to air Monday on “CBS Mornings,” Megan Thee Stallion says the shooting stemmed from an argument when she was ready to leave a nightclub but the other two people with her in the car — including Lanez — were not. “So, I get out of the car, and it's like, everything happens so fast. And all I hear is this man screaming. And he said, `Dance, bitch.' And he started shooting. And I'm just like, `Oh, my God.` Like, he shot a couple of times. And I… I was so scared,” she told King. “He is standing up over the window shooting. And I didn't even want to move. I didn't want to move too quick. Like, 'cause I'm like, `Oh, my God. If I take the wrong step, I don't know if he's going to shoot something that's, like, super important. I don't know if he could shoot me and kill me.”

Man Fatally Shot In Florence-Firestone Area In Los Angeles County
Authorities are investigating the fatal shooting of a man late Friday night in the unincorporated Florence-Firestone area, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The shooting occurred about 11 p.m. in the 1400 block of East 77th Street, the sheriff's department said in a statement. Arriving at the scene, sheriff's deputies found a man lying in the street with “at least one gunshot wound to the upper torso,” officials said. The victim was declared dead at the scene. “That's the latest that we have,” sheriff's Deputy Maria Lucero said. “The investigation is ongoing … We don't have any additional information.” The sheriff's department requested that anyone with information about the shooting call the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477 or . Los Angeles Times

3 California Sheriffs Say State Lawmakers Hurting Cops' Efforts To Improve Public Safety
The sheriffs of Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties on Saturday hammered away at state lawmakers and other officials who they say have rejected measures that would have promoted public safety. The setting was the vast Hangar 4 at Chino Airport, where upwards of 700 people — almost all loudly supporting the sheriffs — heard Riverside County's Chad Bianco, San Bernardino County's Shannon Dicus and LA County's Alex Villanueva speak on an improvised stage with airplanes parked in the background. Nary a catcall was heard, nor were any critical questions read by the moderator, radio host Jennifer Horn, who said none were handed to her by organizers from the LA County Sheriff's Department. One woman, who after the Tri-County Sheriffs Forum circulated a petition to ban Dominion voting machines, which have falsely been linked to election fraud, said she had submitted a question about the devices. The sheriffs addressed a range of topics, including their refusal to enforce mask mandates, public outreach, fentanyl abuse, what they consider small penalties for illegal marijuana grows that threaten public safety and their efforts to issue more concealed weapons permits. Within those discussions, the sheriffs many times referenced disappointment with state politicians and, in Villanueva's case, his running battles with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles City Council and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board. Orange County Register

Supreme Court Set To Rule On Whether Miranda Warnings Are A Constitutional Right
The nation's high court will rule on a case that involves a health care worker who was questioned by law enforcement without being read his Miranda warning. The United States Supreme Court may soon decide whether or not police officers can face civil lawsuits if they fail to read Miranda warnings to suspects. The case that the nation's high court is weighing involves an incident in Los Angles which led to a suspect being questioned without hearing his rights. The outcome of this Supreme Court decision may answer a question that has gone unresolved for decades — are Miranda warnings a constitutional right? In Miranda vs. Arizona, the Supreme Court ruled, in 1966, that police must read defendants their rights before beginning any interrogation. The language of the Miranda warning is as follows: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?” While the court has ruled on the legality of Miranda warnings, it has not ruled on whether hearing them is a constitutional right in and of itself. That's one of the questions raised by the lawsuit, Terence Tekoh vs. County of Los Angeles. A patient accused Tekoh, a hospital nursing assistant, of sexual assault, and the health care facility alerted authorities. Carlos Vega, a deputy with the Los Angeles Police Department, questioned Tekoh and he eventually signed a confession. Tekoh claimed the interaction was very contentious, while Vega said otherwise. Tekoh said Vega never read him his Miranda warning — a fact that is not in dispute, according to the New York Times. Yahoo! News

Essential Politics: Republicans Are Still Gerrymandering, But How Much Is It Helping Them?
Florida's Republican-majority legislature wasted little time this week in giving Gov. Ron DeSantis what he wanted — new boundaries for the state's congressional districts that stand as one of the most aggressively partisan gerrymanders in the country. The plan, approved by the Florida Legislature this week and signed by DeSantis on Friday, would virtually guarantee Republicans 20 out of 28 districts in a state that splits almost evenly in politics — one where former President Trump's 51.2% victory in 2020 represented the second-widest margin in three decades. DeSantis' gerrymander may not survive court scrutiny — Florida voters amended their state constitution in 2010 to limit partisan line-drawing. His supporters hope a Republican-dominated state Supreme Court will read the limits narrowly. The court fight in Florida is one of two that will determine the final balance of this year's nationwide redrawing of congressional maps. The other will be in New York where the Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, will soon hear a challenge to Democrats' aggressive gerrymander. If Republicans were to win both those court fights, they likely would emerge with a small nationwide advantage from the once-a-decade process of redistricting. Overall, however, the main pattern of this year has been that courts, citizens commissions and changing demographics have limited the ability of Republicans to use gerrymandering to bolster their power in the House, reversing a decades' long pattern. Los Angeles Times

South Carolina Police Officer Shot, Killed After Suspect Opens Fire
A Cayce Police Department officer was shot and killed in the line of duty, officials said Sunday morning. Roy Andrew "Drew" Barr is the officer who died, police department spokeswoman Ashley Hunter said. Barr and other officers were responding to an overnight incident, according to Hunter. At about 2:45 a.m., police received a call about a domestic disturbance, police said. Officers arrived on the scene and three of them made contact with a person involved in the domestic incident, according to Hunter. That person opened fire and shot Barr, police said. "At this time, our City, our Cayce Police Department, our officers and our community mourn the loss of Cayce PSO Roy Andrew 'Drew' Barr," police said in a news release. There was no word if the shooter was arrested, or if police fired at that person. Police will hold a news conference in Lexington County to provide more information on the shooting.  The State

Cop, 22, Single-Handedly Rescues 6 From Fire, Then Aids Medical Call On His Way Home
Officer John Kane had the night shift of his life last week. The 22-year-old officer stumbled across a house fire, and, realizing no one had yet called 911, proceeded to rescue the six people inside. That alone would have been impressive, but for Kane it was only half time. The Dewey Beach police officer's action-packed night began around 3 a.m. Saturday when he saw smoke and an orange glow, ABC 6 reported. Kane went to investigate and found a house ablaze and four cars parked outside. “With no one standing outside and no one calling 911 yet, I knew I had to act quick because people were still in the house," Kane said. The officer called the fire department and then tried to find a way into the house. The front of the building was already fully engulfed, but Kane managed to enter through the back door. The officer went up the stairs, found six residents and helped them escape. “You know when you do this job, you may have to put your life at risk sometimes to help others. I just knew I had to help them and try to make sure everyone was safely out of the house at that moment,” Kane said.  PoliceOne

Public Safety News

LA County's COVID Hospitalizations Rise Slightly
The number of COVID-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals has increased by nine people to 218, according to the latest state figures out Sunday. Of those patients, 27 were being treated in intensive care, up from 19 on Saturday. The latest figures come two days after the county reported another 2,056 infections, raising the pandemic total to 2,859,799. Another 12 COVID-related deaths were reported Friday, raising the overall death toll to 31,924. Health officials have said that the majority of people who die of COVID complications have underlying conditions, mainly hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 1.6% as of Friday, down slightly from 1.8% on Thursday. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health does not report COVID data on weekends.

Pallet Fire Shuts Down 10 Freeway In Downtown LA
Crews have knocked down a pallet fire burning under the 10 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles that was causing "zero visibility" for drivers in the area. According to the LAFD, about 83 firefighters were responding to the fire, which started just after 8 a.m Sunday under the westbound 10 Freeway off-ramp at Lawrence Street. CHP shut down the 10 Freeway in both directions but is in process of reopening lanes. Authorities said the freeway itself was the primary exposure, and some nearby commercial buildings were threatened but not exposed. No injuries have been reported.  FOX 11

COVID-19 Was 3rd Leading Cause Of Death In U.S. For 2021, CDC Says
COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The information was released amid a pair of reports in the national public health agency's MMRW (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report), which listed COVID-19 behind only heart disease and cancer for the second year. One of the reports also found that death rates were highest among non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaskan Native and non-Hispanic Black or African American people. The second report showed that from 2020 to 2021, the differences in COVID-19 death rates decreased among the majority of racial and ethnic groups. The report also stated that non-Hispanic White people accounted for 60% to 65% of all people who died in the U.S. The information shows a “need for greater effort to implement effective interventions,” the CDC stated. “We must work to ensure equal treatment in all communities in proportion to their need for effective interventions that can prevent excess COVID-19 deaths,” the CDC stated in its report. The news comes one day after Los Angeles County issued an order requiring continued use of masks at airports and on public transit. KTLA 5

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: