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

August 1, 2022
Law Enforcement News

Man Arrested After Standoff With LAPD Near Hollywood Farmers' Market
A man who allegedly fired shots near the Hollywood Farmers' Market, prompting its closure, was taken into custody Sunday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Witnesses called police around 7:30 a.m. to report a man with a gun firing multiple shots in the 1600 block of Cosmo Street, according to police. When officers arrived at the scene, they found the suspect yelling and throwing out items from the balcony of his apartment, police said. There were no injuries, no weapon was seen and officers were attempting to make contact with the suspect at that time. The farmers' market closed for the day and officials said its vendors and staff were safe. The suspect was barricaded inside his apartment and a standoff with SWAT ensued, officials said. Police said the suspect was taken into custody a little before noon.  FOX 11

One Person Detained After Sheriff's Deputies Are Shot At In East L.A.
A person was detained after Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies were shot at in East L.A. late Friday afternoon, authorities said. Deputies were shot at after responding to a call for service at 4:50 p.m. in the 4200 block of Fisher Street, said Deputy Alejandra Parra, an L.A. County Sheriff's Department spokesperson. The deputies were responding to a report of an assault with a deadly weapon, said Deputy Veronica Fantom, another department spokesperson. Deputies did not open fire during the incident, Fantom said. Authorities set up a containment zone and had one person detained by 6:15 p.m., she said. The containment will remain in place for an unknown duration. Further information about the shooting was not immediately available. Los Angeles Times

12-Year-Old Boy Struck By Stray Bullet In South L.A., Police Say
A 12-year-old boy was transported to the hospital Saturday evening after he was apparently struck by a stray bullet in South Los Angeles. The shooting happened around 6:45 p.m. near the intersection of Wilmington Avenue and Century Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Police say a 12-year-old boy was inside his home when he was hit by gunfire and suffered serious injuries. He was transported to the hospital by ambulance where he was listed as being in stable condition. His condition is currently unclear. Investigators do not believe the child was the intended target and are currently working under the assumption that he was hit by a stray bullet. A traffic collision was reported near the area, but it's unclear if the crash is connected to the shooting. At this time, no suspects have been identified and police are working to determine if the shooting may have been gang motivated. Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to contact the Los Angeles Police Department tip line at 1-877-527-3247. KTLA 5

LAPD's Harbor Division Gifts Students In Need Free Backpacks Filled With Much-Needed Supplies
Hundreds of Los Angeles students are ready to head back to school thanks to an event held by LAPD's Harbor Division. The group handed out 2,500 backpacks Saturday afternoon at Peck Park in San Pedro. Each one was loaded with school supplies and other items, including masks, antibacterial wipes, socks, and more - all for children in need. 99 Cents Only Stores donated all of the items. Parents said they're appreciative to have a little help this year, especially with the rising costs for school supplies.  ABC 7

Alley Near Nipsey Hussle Murder Scene Will Be Closed For More Than A Year Due To Crime Issues
The alleyway near where rapper Nipsey Hussle was killed in South L.A. in 2019 will be temporarily closed to address what authorities say is a rash of criminal activity in the area. The Los Angeles City Council voted Friday to close the alley, located west of Crenshaw Boulevard between West Slauson Avenue and West 58th Place, for 18 months. Los Angeles City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who led the charge to close the alley, wrote in an August 2020 motion that the alley has “become a hotspot for criminal activity” and advocated for it to be closed to “mitigate criminal activity and/or illegal dumping.” Harris-Dawson asserted that the alley has become the site of theft, robberies, drug abuse and two shootings. “The city should take action to ensure that this site remains a safe place for residents and visitors alike,” he continued. “There is a need to erect concrete barriers at the entrance of the alley on West Slauson Avenue and at the alley's midpoint northerly of West 58th Place to close the alley, but preserve access to the residential and commercial properties adjacent to the alley.” Los Angeles Times

7 Arrested For Pointing Lasers At LAPD Helicopters
At least seven people were arrested this month for allegedly pointing lasers at police helicopters, particularly during illegal street takeovers, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Only one of the seven was identified: Xavier Randall, 21, who was arrested on July 2 for pointing a laser at a police helicopter during a street takeover, according to an LAPD news release. Randall was charged with one count of assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer and a second, unspecified charge. The six other people who were arrested are pending criminal charges from the district attorney's office, authorities said. “The laser strikes present a serious risk of injury to the pilots and crew of the aircraft,” according to the department's statement. “The attack has its own penal code section created for it due to the risk to the general public caused by an incapacitated or blind pilot.” In November 2020, Los Angeles outlawed the possession of laser pointers and laser-style devices during public demonstrations, rallies, protests or picket lines. According to LAPD, there has been “a significant increase in the number of arrests” related to the laser beams pointed at police officers and aircraft in recent months. Lasers are a common gimmick at illegal street takeovers, often used along with fireworks, to attract attention to the event. Los Angeles Times

Captured On Video: Woman Violently Attacked In A Hollywood Parking Garage
A woman who was celebrating her birthday is now recovering after she was brutally beaten in an attack that was captured on cellphone video. The incident took place inside a parking garage near Las Palmas Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard. "It didn't have to escalate to that situation," said Cynthia Stergious, who spoke with CBSLA Saturday, before meeting with detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department. "I don't understand how someone could be so cruel." Stergious, who suffered multiple blows to her face and body, said the attack in the parking garage happened in the early morning hours Friday. "I have stitches right here. It kind of hurts to talk a little. I have stitches right here. I have a bruise on my leg. It is humongous," she told CBSLA's Lauren Pozen. She said that she and her friends had just celebrated her 26th birthday at Revel Lounge. As they all walked back to their cars across the street, she said two men approached them in the garage. "Words were exchanged. I don't know what was said, when one of my friends got hit on the head," Stergious said. The 26-year-old said that those same men then started calling her names, and more words were exchanged between her and the men. Shortly after that, she said her mind went blank.  CBS 2

LAPD To Launch Traffic Operation On 6th Street Bridge Following String Of Crimes
The Los Angeles Police Department will launch a traffic enforcement operation on the newly opened 6th Street Bridge after many have flocked there for street takeovers and other antics. "Due to recent illegal activity and various safety concerns occurring on the 6th Street Viaduct, the Los Angeles Police Department's Operations Central Bureau will be conducting a traffic enforcement operation to ensure safe passage and movement along the bridge itself," LAPD officials wrote in a release. Officials said that the bridge will be subject to closures but hope to reopen them quickly after. The LAPD added that the operation hopes to deter any criminal activity and to arrest anyone violating the law. Officers will also investigate previous criminal activity along the bridge. The renovated bridge, which opened to great fanfare earlier this month and cost the city nearly $600 million, has been a frequent target of burnouts, sideshows, takeovers, and other illegal activity, such as a person getting a haircut in the middle of the road. As a result, authorities closed the bridge earlier this week for several consecutive days. CBS 2

Hollywood Reality TV CEO Gets Prison Time For $2 Million Fraud Scheme
The CEO of two Hollywood production companies that specialize in reality television programming has been sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison for obtaining a $2 million business loan using fabricated documents and by lying about his companies' financial circumstances. Jonathan Lee Smith, 41, of West Hollywood, on Thursday was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of the loan, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. He pleaded guilty last year to a single federal wire fraud charge. Smith managed and owned two production companies, Hoplite Entertainment Inc. and Hoplite Inc. To convince a private lender to fund the $2 million loan, Smith falsely said that his two companies had accounts receivable of $3,348,000, and he submitted falsified license agreements and other forgeries to back up the claim, according to his plea agreement filed in Los Angeles federal court. To convince the lender to give him additional time to repay the loan, Smith falsely stated that payment was imminent and he also emailed a fake record showing a $100,000 wire payment from Hoplite Inc. to the lender. Los Angeles Daily News

Calabasas Business Struck By Group Of Thieves: LASD
A group of men stole from a business in Calabasas Friday evening, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The grand theft was reported at 7:35 p.m. in the 4700 block of Commons Way, said Lt. Roth of the LASD. A total amount of merchandise taken has not yet been established, but authorities say five or six men wearing black hoodies entered the store and grabbed merchandise, and one of the thieves spoke with employees. The men then fled the store in different directions. The store was identified as the Feature store, which “sells high-end apparel and accessories,” according to the Acorn newspaper. KTLA 5

Indiana Officer Killed During Traffic Stop; Suspect Arrested
A young Indiana police officer was killed early Sunday when a man got out of his car during a traffic stop and opened fire, authorities said. The suspect was caught roughly 30 minutes later after a car chase, state police said. Noah Shahnavaz, 24, was an officer at the Elwood police department, 50 miles northeast of Indianapolis. He stopped the driver of a Buick LaCrosse just after 2 a.m. “For an unknown reason, the suspect exited the Buick and fired multiple rounds, striking the officer at least one time,” state police said. Shahnavaz was a U.S. Army veteran who had been an Elwood officer for 11 months. “A senseless act of violence robbed this young man of the life and career he deserved,” Mayor Todd Jones said. People placed flowers next to a patrol car outside the police department. "The cop didn't deserve to die like that," resident Donna Williams said. The 42-year-old suspect has a criminal record, which includes a conviction in 2006 for firing a gun at Indianapolis officers, said Andrew Hanna, Madison County's chief deputy prosecutor. Sheriff Scott Mellinger told The Herald Bulletin that the shooting made him go “from being prayerful to being angry.” Associated Press

Deputy Who Was Conducting Traffic Stop Dies After Driver Slams Into Him
A deputy was killed Friday after an alleged drunk driver rammed his vehicle into the officer who was outside of his cruiser conducting a traffic stop. Smith County Sheriff's Deputy Lorenzo Bustos, 29, had his cruiser pulled over with its lights activated with two people handcuffed in the back. Bustos, who was standing several feet behind the vehicle, was working the stop with Deputy Michael Skinner, who was inside the vehicle on the passenger side, the Longview News-Journal reported. After nearly 30 minutes into the traffic stop, a driver hit Bustos with his vehicle, which was traveling at a "very moderate to fast speed," according to police. Bustos was pushed under the cruiser and suffered severe head trauma. He was transported to a hospital, where he later died from his injuries. "He had become to be very loved by all of his cohorts and co-workers. He was doing a great job," Sheriff Larry Smith said, noting Bustos had only been with the department for about six months. Skinner was released from the hospital with minor injuries. The driver was arrested and charged with intoxication assault, which was later upgraded to intoxication manslaughter, the Longview News-Journal reported. PoliceOne

Public Safety News

LAFD Knocks Down House Fire In Adams-Normandie Area
Firefighters knocked down a house fire early Sunday morning that threatened other buildings in the Adams-Normandie area. The blaze at 2646 S. Western Blvd. was reported at 12:21 a.m., according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart. The department dispatched 46 firefighters to the scene and extinguished the flames in 19 minutes, Stewart said. No other structures were threatened. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire remained under investigation, she said.

L.A. County Has Cut Back On COVID-19 Contact Tracing As Supercontagious BA.5 Surges
After Julianne Cline went out and got tested for COVID-19 this June, text messages and voicemails soon piled up from Los Angeles County contact tracers who wanted to talk to her. Cline, 32, ignored them. She had been sick for days, and by the time she roused herself from bed to get officially tested, it seemed like “by the time they would have done any contact tracing, it would have been so long that those folks would have likely already gotten sick,” the Manhattan Beach resident said. Besides, she said, “I just didn't feel comfortable sharing my personal experience with the county.” As the pandemic has dragged on, L.A. County contact tracers have struggled to reach and interview people with COVID. In January, amid a crush of cases driven by the Omicron variant, there were weeks when contact tracers were reaching and interviewing less than 10% of their assigned cases, county data show. This summer, that number has stagnated below 30% in recent weeks — better than during the winter surge, but far below the success rates seen for L.A. County contact tracers earlier in the pandemic. And even when they have coaxed people to be interviewed, few of those phone calls led to additional conversations with others who they might have exposed, county statistics show. Los Angeles Times

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: