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 20, 2022
Law Enforcement News

LAPD Budget Proposes $87 Million Increase After Recent Rash Of Robberies
Police are getting a new influx of cash after violent robberies across Los Angeles have put communities on alert. "Obviously, they don't feel safe, usually these streets are filled up," said Trice Moffett who works along Melrose. Others that work in Melrose, like Angel Rivas are trying to keep a low profile to stay safe, hiding his jewelry whenever he goes out. L.A. City Council's answer to handling the uptick in some crime categories, in Melrose and many other districts, is to increase the police department's budget. The proposal will increase LAPD's budget by $87 million bringing the department's grand total to $1.9 billion. The increases will happen in 2.8% increments year-over-year with the goal to hire 780 new officers. "The revised budget is acknowledgment that the city can't fix what it broke when it defunded the police department in the summer of 2020," said Jerretta Sandoz, vice president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents city police. In addition to the increased budget, Sandoz believes that the city needs to publicly thank its officers. "For one they could voice publicly their appreciation for Los Angeles Police officers, " she said. "They say it a lot behind closed doors — but publicly they don't say it. They could pay us more because we're understaffed and not paid enough." CBS 2

Support For ‘Defund The Police' Has Dropped Nationwide, Poll Finds
A national poll by the University of Massachusetts Amherst found support dropping for the Black Lives Matter movement and a number of police reform policies — from bans on police use of military-grade equipment to bans on officers using chokeholds — which had seen rising popularity in recent years. But even as support for reforming America's local and state police departments dropped, opposition to the policies did not necessarily increase. Rather, roughly one-quarter of respondents expressed indifference to the proposed policy changes. “It is no surprise that the public's one-time enthusiasm for policies designed to bring about wholesale changes to the nation's police departments has waned in the past year,” said Tatishe Nteta, the poll's director and an associate professor of political science at UMass. “What is somewhat surprising,” he added, “is that this decline is seen across the board, with ardent supporters of police reforms such as progressives, Democrats, African Americans and young Americans also exhibiting a decrease in their support for these changes.” The poll of 1,000 people nationwide found that “defund the police” policies remain highly unpopular, even more so than in a UMass poll from April of 2021. PoliceOne

Given a chance to avoid jail and criminal charges, mentally ill, addicted and homeless people in L.A. pass
A diversion program in Los Angeles designed to keep mentally ill, addicted or homeless adults out of jail and instead provide treatment and housing is having little success, according to statistics provided by police officials. Nearly three-quarters of the 283 people deemed eligible for the Alternatives to Incarceration Diversion Program since it launched at the Los Angeles Police Department's 77th Street jail last summer declined to participate in it, the LAPD figures show. Dozens of others have failed to comply with the program's requirements. Only 17 people have completed the program. Los Angeles Times

Man Accused In Dave Chappelle Attack Charged With Attempted Murder For Unrelated Stabbing
The man accused of attacking comedian Dave Chappelle earlier this month has been charged with attempted murder for an unrelated stabbing that took place in December. Isaiah Lee, 23, faces one count of attempted murder, the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office announced Thursday. He allegedly stabbed his roommate during a fight at a transitional housing apartment on Dec. 2, 2021. As a result of media reports about the Chappelle case, the victim recently identified Lee as the person who committed the assault he had previously reported to police. Lee pleaded not guilty to the charge Thursday and is scheduled to return to court on June 2. The case was filed for warrant on May 18. Earlier this month, on May 3, Lee is accused of running on stage with a weapon as Chappelle was finishing for the Netflix is a Joke comedy festival at the Hollywood Bowl, and assaulting him. The D.A.'s office referred a misdemeanor assault case involving Lee to the L.A. City Attorney's Office for the on-stage incident. KTLA 5

Trial For Nipsey Hussle Murder Suspect Eric Holder Jr. To Start On June 2
Three years after rapper Nipsey Hussle was murdered in front of his Hyde Park clothing store, the man charged in the murder will finally face a jury. A judge confirmed Thursday that trial for Eric Holder Jr., now 32, will begin June 2. Holder was indicted in May of 2019 on one count each of murder and possession of a firearm by a felon, and two counts each of attempted murder and assault with a firearm. Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Joseph Asghedom, was shot to death on March 31, 2019 outside The Marathon Clothing, a store he owned at Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard. Two other men were wounded in the shooting. Holder's trial date was originally scheduled to startJan. 5, 2021, but may have been postponed into 2022 due to the pandemic. The trial, including jury selection, is expected to last about four weeks.  CBS 2

Driver Of Tesla On Autopilot In Fatal Gardena Crash To Face Trial, Judge Rules
A judge ruled Thursday that a trial can proceed against a Tesla Model S driver in a 2019 crash that left two people dead in Gardena. The case is the first felony prosecution in the U.S. against a driver using widely available partial autopilot technology. At a preliminary hearing in Compton, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Teresa P. Magno found there is sufficient evidence to try Kevin George Aziz Riad, 27, on two counts of vehicular manslaughter. Prosecutors allege Riad was reckless and negligent when the Tesla slammed into a Honda Civic at 74 mph on Dec. 29, 2019 near the intersection of Artesia Boulevard and Vermont Avenue, where the 91 Freeway transitions to a street. Gilberto Alcazar Lopez, 40, of Rancho Dominguez and Maria Guadalupe Nieves-Lopez, 39, of Lynwood, who were in the Civic, were pronounced dead at the scene. The Tesla's Autosteer and Traffic Aware Cruise Control were active when it blew through a red light and struck the Honda, prosecutors said. Los Angeles Daily News

Distraction Robber Targets Elderly West LA Woman On Her Porch
A West Los Angeles woman still has the fake chain a thief draped over her while the real necklace was stolen off of her. Priti does not want to give her last name for safety reasons but was robbed the day after Mother's Day by a woman pretending to ask for directions. A  Ring  camera video shows a woman getting out of a white car and then heading over to Priti. The woman is then seen clasping her hands over Priti as if she is blessing her. "I have to give this away because it's my birthday," is what the stranger told Priti and then she started putting the necklace on her neck. "I don't know how she pulled the chain so fast," added Priti. "In 20 seconds, she took my chain off, but I didn't feel anything on my neck, my skin – nothing was rubbing." The video shows the stranger move something from her right hand to left behind Priti's head. "I was just completely geared into what she was saying, so I was congratulating her," said Priti. "I said, ‘Happy birthday to you! Oh, I wish I have something to give you.'" The woman kisses Priti's hand in the video before walking back to the car.  FOX 11

LASD Releases Video Of Nov. 2021 Deadly Shooting On Metro Rail Platform In Willowbrook
On Thursday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department released surveillance video of the Nov. 2021 deadly shooting on the Metro rail platform in the Willowbrook area. In the video, a violent attack breaks out at the Willowbrook Rosa Parks rail station. In the graphic video, an unsuspecting victim was on the phone waiting for the train before a man walked up to him and shot him in the head. The suspected gunman from the November 21 incident, later identified as 28-year-old Anthony Hollenbeck, was found by four deputies as Hollenbeck was waiting on the platform. In the video, Hollenbeck jumped down on the rail tracks and was shot by a deputy. The shooting victim was pronounced dead at the scene and Hollenbeck died at the hospital. The shooting remains under investigation, LASD said in the newly-released video.  FOX 11

Man Arrested After Allegedly Sparking Threat Fear At Beverly Hills High
A man was taken into custody Thursday after pointing a so-called “airsoft” gun at Beverly Hills High School and posting a picture on social media, causing students and staff to shelter in place. The Beverly Hills Police Department confirmed about 4:10 p.m. that the shelter-in-place orders at BHHS were lifted following the arrest. The school was placed on the orders about 1:05 p.m. after authorities were made aware of a photo on social media depicting what appeared to be a gun pointed in the direction of the high school, according to the Beverly Hills and Los Angeles police departments. LAPD officers located the suspect who posted the photo, which was taken in the 10000 block of South Santa Monica Boulevard in Century City, just west of the Beverly Hills city limits and about 100 yards from the western edge of the campus, and took the man into custody. During the arrest, authorities also recovered an airsoft gun — a kind of low-power weapon used in recreational sports that shoots non-metallic projectiles. Police noted the suspect had no known connection to the high school, but no further details were immediately released.

School Employee Accused Of Supplying Fentanyl To Students
A 46-year-old employee with the Bright Futures Academy in Riverside is behind bars after being accused of giving fentanyl to students. Melissa Haarlem-Garrison is a bus driver and part of campus security who lives on campus with her husband, David Garrison, 58. Officers say that on Tuesday they found more than 100 suspected fentanyl pills in addition to two had guns and ammunition in the couple's home. Police initially responded to a call from the school regarding a problem with a student when they learned about another student who died from an overdose last week. Haarlem-Garrison was arrested and later booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center for possession of narcotics for sale, sale of narcotics to minors, possession of controlled substances, drug addict in possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm on school campus, being a person prohibited from owning or possession a firearm, and child endangerment. She is being held on $50,000 bail. Garrison was arrested and later booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center for possessing a firearm on campus and being a person prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm. He is being held on $25,000 bail. FOX 11

California Cops Use DNA From Victim's Fingernails To Solve 1988 Slaying
Death caught Lucille Hultgren's killer before the law could, but the Galt woman's final desperate acts ultimately helped investigators solve her murder, Galt police and Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert announced Tuesday. “We're here for one person and her family. That is Lucille Hultgren,” Schubert said at Galt Police headquarters. Hultgren's killer: Terry Leroy Bramble, a Galt transient and convicted sex offender who lived for years on the city's streets and under a Highway 99 overpass before he died of natural causes in 2011. Bramble was 32 when he strangled and stabbed Hultgren, 79, to death in May 1988 in her Poplar Street home just weeks after Mother's Day that year. Hultgren, who had lived alone for several years after her husband died, was last seen by her neighbors May 20, 1988 — Hultgren's 79th birthday — then- Galt Police Chief Doug Mathews told the Galt Herald in a 2013 story marking the 25th anniversary of her murder. “Lucille Hultgren was a mother, a wife, a 79-year-old woman who lived her life with dignity until it was taken away by a sex offender,” Schubert said. Sacramento Bee

2 Dead, 8 Wounded After Teenage Brawl In Chicago Leads To Shooting
A mass shooting that started with a brawl among a group of teens has left two people dead and eight wounded late Thursday, blocks from the Magnificent Mile, according to Chicago police, who say they have one person in custody. An additional victim had suffered burns, possibly from being injured on the nearby CTA Red Line subway, according to a witness and a Chicago Fire Dept. spokesman. The shooting happened about 10:40 p.m. in the 800 block of North State Street outside the Chicago Avenue subway station and a McDonald's at 10 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago police said in a media notification. As of early Friday, police have arrested one person and recovered a gun from the scene of the attack. The dead have not been identified yet and police released no further details about the victims. In a statement, Mayor Lori Lightfoot decried the “outrageous act of violence” and promised to put more police officers in the area, including a fixed post at the intersection and another at the Red Line station. Chicago Tribune

Public Safety News

Man Killed In Fire At Recording Studio In Hollywood, Authorities Say
A man was killed after a fire broke out at a recording studio in Hollywood Thursday evening. Firefighters with the Los Angeles Fire Department were called just after 5:40 p.m. to the two-story building located at 6600 Lexington Ave. The man was found dead after firefighters extinguished the blaze, according to authorities. Two people were evaluated for smoke inhalation, but did not wish to seek medical attention, authorities said. In an Instagram post shared Thursday night, TV star Sharon Osbourne said her daughter, Aimee Osbourne, was inside the studio at the time with her producer. "They are the lucky two that made it out alive," she wrote. "It is utterly heartbreaking that someone lost their life today in this fire & we are sending our prayers to this person & their family. What happened today was beyond horrific. I really hope moving forward that buildings like this are better regulated for fire safety." ABC 7

L.A. County Moves From ‘Low' To ‘Medium' COVID Risk Level
Amid an uptick in cases, Los Angeles County is moving from a “low” to “medium” COVID-19 community level, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention community rating system, officials announced Thursday. The seven-day average of daily reported COVID-19 cases nearly tripled over the past month, with 4,725 new cases reported Thursday, L.A. County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a briefing. While the test positivity remains relatively low, the rate increased to 3.5% — that's about two times higher than the rate reported a month ago on April 19, according to the Department of Public Health. There is also a modest increase in hospitalizations, with the seven-day average of admissions reaching about 330 people, compared to about 230 a month ago. On Thursday, 379 people were hospitalized with the virus in L.A. County. KTLA 5

CDC Expands COVID-19 Booster Recommendation To Include Kids 5 To 11
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention quickly adopted the recommendation to expand COVID-19 booster doses to healthy elementary-age kids — just like what is already recommended for everybody 12 and older. "CDC now recommends that children ages 5 through 11 years should receive a booster shot 5 months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series," according to an agency statement. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), an influential advisory panel to the CDC, approved a motion to recommend the expansion after a meeting on Thursday. The hope is that an extra shot will shore up protection for kids as infections once again are on the rise. "Vaccination with a primary series among this age group has lagged behind other age groups leaving them vulnerable to serious illness," said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, in a statement. "We know that these vaccines are safe, and we must continue to increase the number of children who are protected," she said. Eleven panelists voted yes, one voted no and another declined to vote during Thursday's vote. "A single Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster dose is recommended for persons ages 5-11 at least 5 months after the primary series, under the FDA's Emergency Use Authorization," according to the interim recommendation read during the panel meeting.  FOX 11

Local Government News

Rick Caruso Endorsed By Former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan
Los Angeles Mayoral Candidate and real estate development billionaire Rick Caruso recently announced an endorsement from former Mayor Richard Riordan. Riordan, 92, is the last Republican Mayor of L.A., serving from 1993 to 2001. "I am so pleased to share that Mayor Richard Riordan and his wife Elizabeth Gregory Riordan have offered their support for my candidacy for mayor of Los Angeles," Caruso said in a statement released to the public. "Mayor Riordan is both a role model and an inspiration. I am grateful to have his and Elizabeth's support. Mayor Richard Riordan's legacy motivates me as I campaign across this city every day." Like Caruso, Riordan is also a billionaire who at the time of his campaign spent nearly $6 million of his own money, according to The Los Angeles Times. Caruso has reportedly spent around $30 million thus far. Caruso's public release further detailed Riordan's time as Mayor, indicating that he was "reelected by an overwhelming margin" with "more than 60 percent of the voters supporting his efforts to improve public safety, create quality jobs and reform Los Angeles' public schools." CBS 2

LA Controller Candidate Rob Wilcox Drops Out Of Race, Endorses Paul Koretz
Los Angeles City Controller candidate Rob Wilcox, who currently serves as communications director for City Attorney Mike Feuer, has dropped out of the race and endorsed Councilman Paul Koretz. Ballots for the election have already been sent out with Wilcox' name. Voting ends on June 7. “Nearly a year ago, I jumped into the race for Controller because I believed that I was the best candidate to get LA moving again,” Wilcox said. “However, it has become evident that I do not have sufficient financial support to be able to finish in the top two in the primary and advance to the November election, so I have decided to step aside.” The ballot includes controller candidates Koretz, certified public accountant and housing justice advocate Kenneth Mejia, self-described public school teacher J. Carolan O'Gabhann, self-described chief financial officer David Vahedi, CFO and Assistant Director of the Department of Public Works' Bureau of Street Services Stephanie Clements and Reid Lidow, a former executive officer to Mayor Eric Garcetti.

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: