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

May 19, 2022
Law Enforcement News

LA Council OKs $11.8B Budget Featuring $87 Million LAPD Increase
The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday, May 18, approved an $11.8 billion budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year, with an $87 million increase to the Los Angeles Police Department, as well as a second year of historic spending of over $1 billion related to homelessness. The lengthy budget process began on April 20, when Mayor Eric Garcetti proposed an $11.77 billion budget, up from the current fiscal year's $11.2 billion. Among the most significant changes in Garcetti's plan was an 8.5% increase to the LAPD's operating budget to about $1.9 billion. The department's total funding, which includes pensions, would be about $3.2 billion. During budget hearings that began on April 26, the Budget and Finance Committee — chaired by Councilman Paul Krekorian — heard from general managers, executive directors and senior staff members of all city departments regarding how the proposed budget would impact their services. The committee revised the budget and presented it to the City Council for approval on Wednesday. Council members also introduced 25 motions related to the budget, some of which were approved during the meeting and others which will first be reviewed by committees. Los Angeles Daily News

Garcetti Wanted 9,735 Cops. But L.A. Won't Be Able To Hit That Target
The Los Angeles City Council scaled back Mayor Eric Garcetti's spending plan for the Police Department on Wednesday, after receiving a report that said his target for police hiring cannot be achieved. Garcetti proposed a citywide budget last month that called for the recruitment of 780 officers — a number that, once departures are factored in, would increase LAPD staffing to 9,735 officers. Chief Legislative Analyst Sharon Tso, who advises the council, warned in a recent memo that the LAPD would not reach that number, since staffing at the department has continued to decline. Council members reworked the mayor's budget proposal, ensuring that — even in the most aggressive recruiting scenario — the city would have no more than 9,615 officers by June 2023. And Tso's budget memo said a more realistic outcome, given the city's ongoing labor shortage, is that the department would find itself with fewer than 9,500 officers by that date. The council made the changes as part of their approval of a city budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. Los Angeles Times

Police Search For Killers Who Beat 28-Year-Old Man To Death In Downtown LA
Police continue to search Wednesday for the killers of a 28-year-old man who was found beaten to death in downtown Los Angeles. Oscar Gaytan, 28, was found lying on the sidewalk on Flower Street near 7th Tuesday morning with a head injury. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Witnesses told police Gaytan was walking south on Flower when he got into some type of argument with a number of other people, who assaulted him and were last seen running away on Flower. A Gofundme page set up by a person who identified herself as Gaytan's cousin said he was trying to catch Metro to get home when he was robbed. The page said Gaytan was a son, brother, father, uncle, and cousin, and described him as a loving, kind, and strong person who was always helping others. Investigators say they are looking for security or surveillance video in the area, and did not have suspect information. CBS 2

1 Dead After Vehicle Hits Pedestrian In Downtown L.A.: Police
A person is dead after they were struck by a vehicle in downtown Los Angeles Wednesday night. The collision was reported at 9:48 p.m., when police responded to the 300 block of South Figueroa Street, said Officer Cruz of the Los Angeles Police Department. The collision does not appear to be a hit-and-run, Cruz said. Aerial footage from Sky5 showed a white or gray small-to-midsize SUV that was near the scene with its blinkers on and apparent damage to the car's hood. The circumstances that led up to the collision and the name, age and gender of the victim have not yet been released. KTLA 5

Alleged Follow-Home Robber Arrested After Seeking Treatment For Gunshot Wound At Local Hospital: LAPD
A participant in a downtown Los Angeles follow-home robbery was arrested after he went to a local hospital to be treated for a gunshot wound, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The robbery took place at about 2:11 a.m. Sunday in the 800 block of South Hope Street, where five people attacked a man as he returned to an apartment complex from a restaurant in Hollywood, police said in a press release. During the attack, gunfire was exchanged, “resulting in the victim sustaining multiple gunshot wounds” before the suspects fled in a white sedan, possibly a Nissan Sentra, police said. The victim was taken to a local hospital, where he was listed in stable condition, but one of the attackers also sought medical treatment for a gunshot wound Sunday at a local hospital, where he was arrested, police said. That suspect, Justin Alphonso Sanchez, was charged with robbery and assault with a deadly weapon on Tuesday, and he remains in custody without bail, police said. As of Wednesday, he is being held at the Inmate Reception Center in Chinatown, according to jail records. Police are still searching for the other four robbers and their car, and they are considered armed and dangerous. KTLA 5

Woman Killed After Car Collides Into Pole In Sun Valley; Hundreds Without Power
A woman was killed in a collision late Wednesday night in which a car was sent careening into a power pole in Sun Valley. The crash occurred in the area of Lankershim Boulevard and San Fernando Road at about 10:45 p.m. According to Los Angeles police, a Nissan Versa going east on Lankershim Boulevard ran a red light and collided with a Lexus that was traveling north on San Fernando Road. The impact sent the Nissan careening into a power pole and bringing down power lines. The driver of the Nissan, a woman in her 30s, died at the scene, police said. She was not immediately identified. The collision also knocked out power to 555 L.A. Department of Water and Power customers. The outage was still in effect as of 6:30 a.m. Thursday. The downed power lines shut down Metrolink Antelope Valley train service between Sylmar and Sun Valley. Antelope Valley Line 201 to Lancaster and AV Line 210 to Los Angeles were canceled. For the latest Metrolink service information, click here.  CBS 2

Reseda Man Sentenced To Prison For Illegal Gun Sales
A man with a long criminal history was sentenced Wednesday to nine years and seven months in federal prison for breaking into self-storage units throughout Los Angeles County and stealing dozens of firearms, some of which were sold to other convicted felons. Rick Herst, 36, of Reseda, pleaded guilty last year to federal counts of conspiracy to traffic in firearms and selling firearms to a convicted felon. Herst engaged in the scheme while released on bond and facing felony charges for “beating a man with a baseball bat,” according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. “The harm defendant caused is not just the theft and resale of these deadly weapons; the gravity of offense is who he knowingly sold the weapons to — criminals,” the government's sentencing memorandum says. “Although many guns have not been recovered, those that have were largely found in the hands of felons or recovered at crime scenes.” Herst was charged two years ago along with Jeffrey James LaFraniere, 39, of the San Fernando Valley, and Alan Elperin, 31, of Mission Hills.

Man Pleads No Contest To Possession Of Destructive Device
A man arrested last summer on suspicion of leaving Molotov cocktail-type devices at a subway station in Los Angeles was sentenced Wednesday to three years in state prison after pleading no contest to possession of a destructive device. Frederick Brown, 50, was arrested on Aug. 2 by Los Angeles police after being detained at the MacArthur Park Red Line station near Sixth and Alvarado streets. Officials said Brown, who reportedly is homeless, was suspected of leaving three homemade devices containing liquid that had the odor of gasoline on the Red Line station platform at Vermont and Santa Monica Boulevard on July 30. “We thank and congratulate LAPD for working closely with Metro personnel and contract security to foil this grave threat as well as to quickly investigate and apprehend a suspect,” Metro officials said. “It is proof that, working together, our safety and security partner team can successfully thwart a potentially dangerous incident on the transit system.

South LA Mom Pleads Not Guilty In 4-Year-Old Daughter's Death
A woman pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murder and other charges stemming from her 4-year-old daughter's death following an alleged assault in the family's South Los Angeles home nearly two years ago. Akira Keyshell Smith, 36, was ordered May 4 to stand trial on one count each of murder, torture and assault on a child causing death involving the Aug. 11, 2020, death of her daughter, Eternity. The criminal complaint alleges that Smith was convicted in 2016 of assault with a deadly weapon and in 2014 of injuring a spouse, cohabitant, fiance or boyfriend. In a May 3 court hearing, the girl's 18-year-old brother testified that his mother kept "slapping and slapping" Eternity that day, and that he also saw his mother choking his sister and "kicking her while she was on the floor." The young man -- who said he told his mother to stop -- testified that his mother eventually went to her room while he checked on his sister, who was on the floor in the hallway. He said he subsequently told his mother that the girl's stomach was moving in a weird way. FOX 11

Cops At Right Place At Right Time Snag Thief In Beverly Hills
A pair of Beverly Hills motorcycle cops were at the right place at the right time to nab a suspected thief Wednesday afternoon. Video shared with KTLA showed the officers near the intersection of Rodeo Drive and Brighton Way when a person running with a large bag on their side begins to cross their paths. One of the officers ditched their bike and tackled the fleeing suspect as the other officer arrived to help. It's unclear what was stolen, but police say an investigation is underway. KTLA 5

Family Of Young Volleyball Star Seeks The Public's Help To Find Her Killer
Seven months to the day since her murder, the family of a talented young volleyball star is asking for public's help to find her killer. Her radiant smile was hard to miss. And Daina Monroe's family says her skills on the volleyball court shined as bright as that smile. "She had an infectious smile," said Terrell Ferguson, her uncle. Monroe, whom was lovingly called Gucci, had a promising future that was cut tragically short. On Oct. 18, police say the 18-year-old Culver City high school grad was gunned down as she sat in a car with friends outside her mother's house. At a news conference outside of Inglewood Police Department Wednesday, her family had a message for her killer. "You took a sweet innocent person that had nothing to do with gang life, nothing to do with illegal nefarious activity and you took them away from a dad, mom, brother sister, cousins, aunts for nothing. You took them away." Less than a month ago Monroe's grandfather, Michael, who was fighting cancer was also shot and killed. Michael Monroe was going through chemo treatment and had cancer, said Maisha Monroe Layne, Monroe's daughter. He was getting ready to go the hospital, going to the cleaners, but didn't even make it out his car to get the cleaners. "This is just I want to know why, whoever you are, to just turn yourself in," she said. NBC 4

3 Armed Suspects Rob Marijuana Dispensary Near Pasadena
Deputies with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department responded to an alleged robbery at a marijuana dispensary on East Colorado Boulevard just outside the city limits of Pasadena, after receiving reports of shots fired. Authorities said that three male suspects armed with multiple handguns got away with marijuana, as well as a purse that contained an unknown amount of cash. The suspects, who reportedly fired a guns multiple times, were able to get away in a grey Dodge Charger. Deputies arrived to the scene just as the suspects were about to take off, which lead to a short pursuit on the 210 Freeway, though authorities lost the suspects on the 134 Freeway. A short time later, deputies located a vehicle that matched the description of the Charger off of Atlantic Boulevard in Alhambra. Authorities then called for backup from various agencies for help setting up a perimeter around a building they believe the suspects might be holed up in.  CBS 2

'Deeply Disturbing': Man Arrested In Possible Hate Crime Shooting At Dallas Hair Salon
The possibility that last week's shooting at a Korean hair salon in Dallas may be part of a series of racially motivated attacks on the Asian-American community is “chilling and deeply disturbing,” Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said in a statement. “I want our city's Asian-American community — which has appallingly faced increased vitriol in recent years — to know that the City of Dallas and the people of Dallas stand with them,” Johnson said in his statement Friday. “Hate has no place in our city. This gunman must be arrested swiftly and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” Dallas police announced Tuesday that a suspect in the salon shooting is in custody. In an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by the Star-Telegram, the suspect was identified as 36-year-old Jeremy Theron Smith. His girlfriend told police that Smith had been having delusions that Asian people are “after him or attempting to harm him” since he was in a car crash two years ago with an Asian man, according to the affidavit. Police said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon that they are investigating the possibility that the salon shooting was the result of a mental illness but that, for now, evidence points them toward the attack being a racist hate crime. The investigation is continuing, and Smith has not been charged in the other shootings. Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Video: Motor Officer Sent Flying, Is Injured After Car Runs Stop Sign
A motorist ran a stop sign and collided with a South San Francisco police motorcycle officer Tuesday afternoon in Redwood City, police said. The crash was reported at 2:25 p.m. at Fifth Avenue and Bay Road, a four-way stop, according to the South San Francisco Police Department. The officer was working in the city as part of the Saturated Traffic Enforcement Program, a collaboration of law enforcement agencies in San Mateo County, police said. The officer entered the intersection westbound on Fifth Avenue with his emergency lights and siren activated. At the same time, a motorist entered the intersection from southbound Bay Road without stopping first and broadsided the officer, police said. The motorist immediately stopped and cooperated with the investigation, police said. Police said alcohol and drug impairment is not suspected as a factor in the collision. PoliceOne

Public SafetyNews

Person Dies In Fall From Downtown LA Building
A person fell or jumped from a high-rise building in downtown Los Angeles Wednesday and died, authorities said. Firefighters sent to the 100 block of South Figueroa Street at about 10:05 a.m. on a report of a jumper reported that the person had fallen about 11 stories, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the person was outside a window, jumped or fell from the building, and was fatally injured. Information on the person's identity was not immediately available.

LA County Reports Nearly 4,400 New COVID Cases; Hospital Numbers Climb
The growing local spread of COVID-19 was evidenced when Los Angeles County reported 4,384 new infections in its latest data, and perhaps more troubling, the number of people hospitalized surged upward. According to county and state figures, there were 363 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals as of Wednesday, up from 327 a day earlier. The number of those patients being treated in intensive care was 55, up from 44 on Tuesday. COVID hospital numbers had been steadily dropping in recent months, falling to as far as 219 on April 20, but the number has been inching upward ever since. Health officials are keeping a close watch on the hospitalization figures, because a sharp rise on top of widespread community transmission of the virus could lead to a renewal of mandatory indoor mask-wearing rules. The 4,384 new cases reported Wednesday lifted the county's overall total from throughout the pandemic to 2,922,210. The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus, while still relatively low, rose to 3.2% Wednesday, up from 2.6% on Tuesday. FOX 11

With New Coronavirus Wave, L.A. Faring Much Better Than New York. Can It Last?
Los Angeles County is doing significantly better than New York City so far in this latest spring wave of Omicron cases, and officials remain hopeful that California can avoid the significant increases in coronavirus hospitalizations seen on the East Coast. The New York City health commissioner, Dr. Ashwin Vasan, said Tuesday that the city was entering a high COVID-19 alert level, warning that there is high community spread of the coronavirus and “pressure on the healthcare system is increasing.” He reiterated a call to wear masks in indoor settings and also urged seniors or others at high risk of severe COVID-19 to wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings and to avoid gatherings. By contrast, L.A. County is poised to enter the medium COVID-19 community level this week, and “COVID-19 is not currently straining our healthcare system and our healthcare resources,” L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Tuesday. Ferrer has urged residents to wear high-quality masks — like KF94, KN95 and N95 respirators — while indoors, get vaccinated and boosted, get tested when feeling sick or potentially exposed to the coronavirus, and prefer to gather in well-ventilated areas, with outdoors offering the lowest risk. Los Angeles Times

Local Government News

LA Controller Calls For City To Use Empty City-Owned Land To House Homeless
Los Angeles Controller Ron Galperin urged officials Wednesday to take advantage of empty, city-owned land to house people experiencing homelessness, adding that he's identified 26 city properties that could be used to house thousands of people. "It is clear that more must be done right away to address the unparalleled tragedy on our streets," said Galperin. "People across Los Angeles are suffering and dying because they lack shelter night after night, with people of color impacted disproportionately. We need more housing solutions now. Using vacant, publicly owned properties would bring thousands of people off the streets, and help them get access to health, mental health and other critical services they so badly need." Galperin spoke alongside Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission Founder Ken Craft and SoLa Impact Vice President of Development Ekta Naik from an empty lot in the Green Meadows area of South Los Angeles. The property is the largest one identified by the controller as being suitable for housing. FOX 11

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: