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10
Nov 2021
Newswatch November 10, 2021

Good Morning. Join us for the 4th Annual LAPD Foothill Fitness Run on Saturday, November 13th at the Hansen Dam Aquatic Center. The event will begin at 6:30 a.m. Registration is now open and includes an official t-shirt and medal. Click here for more information.

Law Enforcement News

LA County DA Gascón Under Fire As Convicted Killer Set To Be Released 6 Years Into 50-Year Sentence
As George Gascón closes in on his one year anniversary as Los Angeles County's district attorney, another controversial move by his office is raising questions about his criminal justice system reform policies. This month, his office used a legal technicality that will lead to the release of Andrew Cachu, a convicted murderer and documented gang member who was sentenced to 50 years in prison. Cachu was convicted of gunning down 41-year-old Louis Amela outside a Palmdale restaurant in 2015. At the time, Cachu was a few weeks shy of his 18th birthday, but was tried as an adult. An attorney for the Amela family says they are outraged about the release and shocked that the District Attorney's Office failed to even consult with them about the move. "They feel as though that the only person the District Attorney's Office is concerned about is the murderer," said Kathleen Cady, the attorney for the Amela family. "It really is just devastating and they feel as though justice has not been served in their case and that their voice is essentially being silenced." On Tuesday afternoon, Gascón met with family members of violent crime victims in an effort to get feedback on his office's efforts. For more than two hours, they sat in a circle outside the L.A. County Hall of Records building, telling their stories and sharing suggestions with the district attorney.
ABC 7

Man Killed In El Sereno Shooting; Investigation Underway
A man was shot to death Tuesday in El Sereno, and an investigation was underway. Officers sent to Klamath Place and Eastern Avenue at 12:53 a.m. found the victim suffering from gunshot wounds, the Los Angeles Police Department reported. The man died at the scene, police said. Authorities withheld his name, pending notification of his relatives. Police said there was no information on a suspect or suspects. Anyone with information on the case was urged to call 877-LAPD-247.
NBC 4

78% Of LAPD Now At Least Partially Vaccinated; Few Refuse To Sign Mandate Notice
About 78% of Los Angeles police personnel have now received at least one COVID-19 vaccination dose, with 172 LAPD employees receiving their first dose just in the last week, officials said Tuesday. The increase came as police supervisors began hand-delivering notices to unvaccinated LAPD employees informing them that they must start paying for regular COVID-19 testing and be vaccinated by Dec. 18 unless they receive a medical or religious exemption. Officials had been concerned that a large number of officers would refuse to sign those notices, resulting in their being sidelined pending a disciplinary process to terminate their employment, but so far that hasn’t happened. Of 2,158 notices served to unvaccinated employees in recent days, just three — two sworn officers and one civilian employee — refused to sign off on the notices, leading them to be assigned home pending disciplinary hearings, LAPD Chief Michel Moore told the civilian Police Commission on Tuesday morning. In total, Moore said that nearly 3,600 of the more than 12,100 LAPD employees were due to receive a notice, including 2,239 employees who have sought an exemption, and that 60% of them had been served as of Tuesday. Moore said the department was working to reach the other 40% as quickly as possible, though many of them are on leave and not currently reporting for duty.
Los Angeles Times

Suspects Follow Victim To His Sherman Oaks Home, Attempt To Rob Him At Gunpoint
Authorities are searching for four suspects involved in an attempted armed robbery in Sherman Oaks in the early morning hours Wednesday in which they allegedly tailed a man to his house. The attempted robbery occurred just after 3 a.m. outside a home in the 14000 block of Valley Vista Boulevard, a few blocks south of Ventura Boulevard. According to Los Angeles police, four suspects riding in a silver Jeep Cherokee followed the victim to his house. At least one of the suspects was carrying a gun. When the victim got to his house, the suspects attempted to rob him, but were unsuccessful. They did not get into the home itself, police said, and no shots were fired. They sped away from the scene. The victim allegedly jumped back into his vehicle and tried to follow them, police said. He flagged down a California Highway Patrol officer. The victim and his girlfriend who reside at the home were not injured. It was not immediately clear where he was followed from. The four suspects were only described as Black males. There was no immediate word regarding whether footage of the incident was caught on any security cameras in the area. All this comes after the LAPD Monday issued a community alert warning Angelenos about the ongoing crime trend of “follow-home robberies.”
CBS 2

Child Dies, 3 Remain Hospitalized Following 2-Vehicle Wreck In South Gate
A boy has died at an area hospital due to his injuries sustained in a horrific two-vehicle crash in South Gate earlier this month, officials said. On Nov. 3 just before 4 p.m., officers with the South Gate Police Department were called to a crash at the intersection of Firestone Boulevard and San Juan Avenue. One of the vehicles overturned and four people were inside. Three adults and a boy were rushed to an area hospital. Days later, police confirmed the young victim died at a local hospital. His age and identity have not been released. SkyFOX was over the scene where a silver car was flipped upside down and a convertible was completely smashed. Officials did not specify the conditions of the three adults involved in the crash. The cause of the crash is under investigation. However, investigators believe speed was a factor.
FOX 11

Man Shot, Killed In Inglewood
A man was shot and killed in Inglewood Tuesday evening and authorities were searching for the culprit. The shooting occurred at about 7:25 p.m. in the 10700 block of Firmona Avenue, near Lennox Park, according to Deputy Miguel Meza of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The victim was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His name was not released pending notification of next of kin. No suspect description was provided. Anyone with information on the shooting was asked to contact the LASD Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at lacrimestoppers.org.
MyNewsLA.com

Persons Of Interest Named In Search For Gunman Who Traded Fire With Police In Tujunga Canyons Area
Authorities have named two persons of interest in their search for whoever shot at a police officer shortly after a pursuit in the Tujunga Canyons area of Sylmar Monday morning. Investigators believe 38-year-old Juan Carlos Vazquez was involved in the attempted murder of the police officer just before 4 a.m. on the Little Tujunga Canyon Road in the Los Angeles National Forest. The shooting occurred when police located a white GMC pickup they had been pursuing but temporarily lost track of. The vehicle had apparently broken down in the 13000 block of Little Tujunga Canyon. The driver opened fire when police arrived, authorities said. An officer with the San Fernando Police Department returned fire but it was unclear if the driver, who immediately fled the area, was struck. Investigators are currently searching for Vazquez and 37-year-old Maria Deboni, who they described as his girlfriend, in connection with the case. Vazquez has black hair and brown eyes, stands 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs about 176 pounds. He should be considered armed and dangerous, according to authorities.
KTLA 5

L.A. County Sheriff’s Custody Assistant Charged With Trying To Bring Meth Into Downtown Jail
A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department custody assistant has been charged with trying to bring methamphetamine into the Men’s Central Jail nearly three years ago, officials announced Tuesday. Jose Flores, 42, faces one felony count each of transportation of a controlled substance and attempted bringing of an illegal substance into a jail, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. The department originally said the defendant was 30 years old. The incident occurred on Nov. 28, 2018. Flores was stopped by law enforcement officers in the jail’s parking structure and they found more than 100 grams of methamphetamine in his vehicle, officials said. Authorities did not release any additional details about the allegations. The case was filed for warrant on Nov. 3. It’s unclear, however, why it took so long for Flores to be charged. He is expected to be arraigned March 8, 2022.
KTLA 5

Prosecutors Want To Charge Fentanyl Drug Dealers With Murder, Sparking Legal Battle
Some Southern California district attorneys are joining a growing national push to file murder charges against drug dealers who manufacture or sell fentanyl that ends up leading to deaths. The efforts are part of a controversial move by authorities to target drug dealers who sell opioids laced with a deadly load of fentanyl, which is as much as 100 times more powerful than morphine. They have faced pushback from some in the legal community, who say it amounts to prosecutorial overreach and goes beyond what the law allows. “These are not overdoses. These are murders,” Orange County Dist. Atty. Todd Spitzer said Tuesday. “These dealers are essentially handing a loaded gun to unsuspecting victims knowing that they will probably die, and they don’t care. Fentanyl is cheap, it’s easy to get, and it’s killing people who had no idea they were taking it.” Under Spitzer’s plan, those convicted of possession for sale of heroin, cocaine, or opiates that commonly contain fentanyl will be warned of the deadly consequences of trafficking. They could then be charged with murder if they go on to sell to someone who dies.
Los Angeles Times

3 Boston Cops Shot, Suspect Dead In Hours-Long Standoff
A Boston police officer was released from Boston Medical Center Tuesday night after he and two colleagues were shot during an hours-long standoff with a suspect in Dorchester. The two other officers are still in the hospital, CBS Boston reported. The six-hour standoff, which ended with the suspect dead, began Tuesday morning on Ferndale Street. It continued into the mid-afternoon, with SWAT trucks and ambulances crowding the Dorchester street as police negotiated with the suspect who was inside a home. The suspect had refused to leave a family member’s apartment and was threatening them, NBC Boston said. When police went into the building Tuesday afternoon, the suspect shot at them. The officers returned fire and killed the suspect, police said. The three officers shot are all expected to survive, though some suffered serious injuries, Boston Police Superintendent-in-Chief Gregory Long said, according to NBC. Dozens of officers lined the sidewalk outside Boston Medical Center as one of the injured officers was released from the hospital Tuesday, CBS Boston said.
MassLive.com

Video: Suspect Fires Multiple Shots At Texas Police Station Building
Police are offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of a suspect who discharged a weapon into a police station Monday afternoon. Surveillance video captured the moment a white four-door sedan drove into the parking lot of the Harris County Precinct 4 Constables Office. The video shows the suspect firing multiple shots at the front doors, windows and building before fleeing the scene, Click2Houston.com reported. "If anyone recognizes the suspect or vehicle, you are urged to contact the Precinct 4 Constable’s office at 281-376-3472 or local law enforcement," Constable Mark Herman said. No injuries were reported.
PoliceOne

Dramatic Video Shows Officers Rescuing Woman From Sinking Car
Recently released bodycam footage shows officers rescuing a woman who was trapped in a sinking car that crashed into a canal Friday. The dramatic video shows officers breaking windows of a pizza delivery car to get the trapped female driver out safely. "This is another great example of Port Orange police officers’ daily commitment to the safety of their community and their willingness to put themselves in harm's way to protect a stranger," the Port Orange Police Department said on Facebook. Port Orange Police Sgt. William Harrison told FOX 35 Orlando that the driver "got a little confused and turned left directly into the canal because the water was level with the road." The area, Sgt. Harrison said, had been dealing with flooding. "Climb out the back," one officer is heard telling the woman. "I need you to climb out the back." "I got her!" one of the officers shouts. The woman was taken to a hospital, but didn't suffer serious injuries. One officer cut his arm on the window glass during the rescue, according to the report.
PoliceOne

Public Safety News

Firefighters Battle Intense Blaze At Bellflower Storage Facility
Dozens of firefighters battled a fast-moving blaze at a commercial building in Bellflower that was threatening nearby structures, officials said Tuesday. The fire was reported around 2:35 p.m. at ExtraSpace Storage located at 17701 Ibbetson Ave., the Los Angeles County Fire Department reported. Video from Sky5 showed heavy smoke and flames coming from the single-story building, which is located adjacent to other businesses, including a car wash and apartment homes on a nearby street. More than 80 firefighters battled the third-alarm fire from the ground and the roof of the building. At 5:05 p.m., the fire was still actively burning. No injuries were reported, but an apartment had to be red-tagged and residents were displaced. The intersection of Artesia Boulevard and Woodruff Place were temporarily closed down to make way for fire vehicles. By 10 p.m., crews were still on scene trying to extinguish the flames completely. The cause of the fire was under investigation.
KTLA 5

Free COVID-19 Testing Site Returns To Dodger Stadium
A free COVID-19 testing site has returned to Dodger Stadium. Curative, who hosts the test sites, previously partnered with CORE to host a mass COVID-19 testing site at the stadium, however, the current site is operated solely by Curative. The site is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily and is closed from 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. for lunch. As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 400 appointment slots were available to book each day through Sunday. Visitors can access the site by entering through the downtown Gate E entrance. Test results are expected within one to two days of the swabs arriving at Curative’s labs. As of Tuesday, Los Angeles County’s rolling average daily rate of people testing positive for COVID-19 was 1.3%.
CBS 2

Local Government News

USC gave Rep. Karen Bass a full scholarship worth $95,000 while she served in Congress
During Rep. Karen Bass’ first year in Congress in 2011, she contacted government ethics officials with a request: Could she accept a full scholarship for a graduate degree at USC. The House Committee on Ethics cleared Bass’ request to accept the USC School of Social Work tuition award, ultimately valued at over $95,000.
Los Angeles Times

LA City Council Advances Draft Redistricting Map, Public Hearing On Wednesday
The Los Angeles City Council today advanced a draft map of proposed new borders for its 15 districts, ahead of the first of two state-required public hearings on the map tomorrow. Over the last week, council members made significant changes to a draft map originally recommended by a civilian redistricting commission. City Council President Nury Martinez had blasted that original map, saying the commission's drastic changes to council districts “confused and alienated thousands.'' On Nov. 2, council members introduced dozens of amendments to the commission's draft map, followed by more changes introduced by the City Council Ad Hoc Redistricting Committee on Friday. One of the most significant changes made by the committee was reversing the commission's decision to move Exposition Park back into Council District 8 from Council District 9, where it has been for the last 10 years. During the redistricting process a decade ago, USC and Exposition Park were located in Council District 8, and this year's civilian commission voted to leave USC in Council District 9 but move Exposition Park back to Council District 8.
WestSide Current

LA City Council Committee Advances Motion On Arming Park Rangers
A three-person Los Angeles City Council committee on Tuesday, Nov. 9, advanced a controversial motion by Councilman and committee member Joe Buscaino aimed at allowing on-duty park rangers to carry firearms. The Arts, Parks, Health, Education and Neighborhoods Committee advanced the motion with a 2-1 vote, with Buscaino and the committee’s chair, Councilman John Lee, voting in favor of advancing the motion, while Councilman Mike Bonin dissented. The motion was introduced in February 2020, and if approved by the full City Council, would direct the City Attorney to prepare an amendment to the city’s municipal code to allow park rangers to carry firearms. Supporters of the motion note that the city’s 28 park rangers are sworn peace officers and receive basic police training after they are hired. Under Los Angeles Municipal Code 63.41, park rangers have authorization to make arrests but not carry firearms. During an emergency, they typically call for backup from the Los Angeles Police Department. The motion to arm the park rangers was supported by the neighborhood councils representing Arleta, Northwest San Pedro, Hollywood United, Tarzana, and Foothills Trails District.
Los Angeles Daily News

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