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Sep 2021
Newswatch September 29, 2021

Good Morning. It's been two months since the Parker Foundation's 1951 LAPD Squad Car was sent off for much-needed repairs, but as of August 1, 2021, the ol '51 is back home at the Elysian Park Police Academy. If you would like to come by and get your photo taken with the Foundation's LAPD vintage patrol car, click here to see details on how you can schedule a time to do that.

Law Enforcement News

Head Of Police Commission Slams Unvaccinated LAPD Officers, ‘Dubious’ Exemption Claims
The head of the civilian panel that oversees the Los Angeles Police Department denounced in strong terms the resistance to COVID-19 vaccinations among LAPD officers on Tuesday morning, which he called “appalling.” “I personally find it appalling that the personnel of a department charged with public safety would willfully, intentionally and brazenly endanger the lives of those who they have taken an oath to protect,” Los Angeles Police Commission President William Briggs said. Briggs also called it “extremely dubious” that more than 2,600 LAPD personnel have legitimate medical or religious reasons to be exempted from the looming vaccination mandate for city employees, as they have claimed. The board of the union that represents rank-and-file LAPD officers denounced Briggs for his remarks about the exemption claims, calling them “unjustified, bigoted, and reckless.” “His blanket labeling of religious exemption applications as being ‘dubious’ when they have not even been submitted, let alone evaluated, will have a chilling effect on police officers exercising and expressing their long-held religious beliefs,” the Los Angeles Police Protective League’s board wrote in a statement to The Times. “Mr. Briggs should apologize to all those he has accused of lying without any evidence to back it up and focus his time on reducing what is far from ‘dubious’: the huge increase in homicides, shootings, and street-level robberies plaguing our city.”
Los Angeles Times

LAPD’s $18.5 Million Plan To Reform Itself After 2020 Protest Response Heads To City Council
Los Angeles police commissioners on Tuesday approved a plan to spend $18.5 million to train police officers in less violent tactics when responding to mass protests, but also questioned some of the new units and technology that would be adopted as a result. The plan — drafted after a trio of reports last year found the Los Angeles Police Department’s response to the 2020 George Floyd protests was largely chaotic and violated the rights of demonstrators — must still go before the City Council to be adopted. Developed by outside consultants and community activists, as well as commanders at LAPD and at least one police commission member, the planned reforms would change how thousands of police officers are trained to respond to protests where the First Amendment rights of demonstrators must be protected. More than half of the $18.5 million will effectively be spent on officer pay and overtime to cover training hours. About $5.5 million would go to a special unit of officers trained specifically to respond to crowd control situations. Another $3.8 million would cover the overtime costs of training more than 4,800 officers in how to use less-lethal projectile weapons that shoot hard foam or rubber bullets, as well as how to set up field jails. And about $2 million would be spent on training commanders in how to organize LAPD’s overhead response to protests.
Los Angeles Daily News

Man Killed In Hit-And-Run In Koreatown Area
A man was struck by a vehicle and killed in the Koreatown area, and police Tuesday sought public help to find the hit-and-run driver. Paramedics sent to Crenshaw Boulevard and Ninth Street at about 9:30 p.m. Monday took the injured victim — described only as a man roughly in his 30s — to a hospital, where he died, the LAPD reported. Information on his identity was not immediately released. A preliminary investigation revealed the man was crossing the street outside of a marked crosswalk when he was struck by a white vehicle driving southbound on Crenshaw Boulevard, according to the LAPD. The driver stopped and exited the car following the collision, but re-entered and fled the scene without identifying themselves or offering aid, police said. No further description of the vehicle or the driver was available. A standing reward of up to $50,000 has been offered by the city of Los Angeles for information that helps solve a fatal hit and run. Anyone with information on the case was urged to call 877-LAPD-247.
MyNewsLA.com

$150,000 Reward Offered For Information In Murder Of El Sereno Business Owner Reza Mousavi
A $150,000 reward was offered Tuesday for information leading to the killer of an El Sereno business owner last year. Reza Mousavi, 36, was standing in front of his business on Huntington Drive in El Sereno on Oct. 28, 2020 when he was shot several times. Police say that even though the shooting happened at about 11:45 a.m. in the middle of the week on a busy street, they have been unable to find witnesses to the murder. Police on Tuesday released video of the suspect. The video shows the gunman wore a blue Dodgers hoodie, black pants, black shoes, and a face mask, and walked around the area at least twice before the shooting. The city of Los Angeles posted a reward for information leading to Mousavi’s killers last month. But Mousavi’s friends and families contributed $100,000, for a total of $150,000, to further encourage any potential witnesses to come forward.
CBS 2

Pursuit Of Stolen Amazon Delivery Truck Ends In Crash In Hollywood: LAPD
Authorities were investigating after a police pursuit of a stolen Amazon delivery truck ended in a crash in Hollywood. The Amazon truck was reported stolen in the 1800 block of Whitley Avenue, and police began chasing it around 5:45 p.m., said Officer Jeff Lee, a Los Angeles police spokesperson. A little more than 2 miles later, the truck crashed near the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Wilton Place, Lee said. Footage from the scene showed a gray Toyota sedan was involved and had a smashed-up front-end, primarily on the passenger side. The Amazon truck did not appear to have sustained significant damage. A male was seen handcuffed and being loaded into the back of a police car. An ambulance was requested for the driver of the other car, but the extent of their injuries was unknown, Lee said. No further details were immediately available.
KTLA 5

Man, 79, Reported Missing In South Los Angeles
Police Tuesday were seeking a missing 79-year-old man last seen in South Los Angeles. Clarence Henry was last seen Monday in the 100 block of West Century Boulevard, near the Glenn Anderson (105) and Harbor (110) freeways, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Henry is Black, 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information on his whereabouts was asked to call the LAPD Missing Persons Unit at 213-996-1800. Calls made during non-business hours or on weekends can be directed to 877-527-3247. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at lacrimestoppers.org.
MyNewsLA.com

Woman, 25, Reported Missing In Venice Beach
Police today were seeking a missing 25-year-old woman who was last seen in Venice Beach. Jessie Jean-Baptiste was last seen Saturday, though a time and approximate area was not available, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Jeffrey Lee said. Jean-Baptiste is Black, 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs 145 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information on her whereabouts was asked to call the LAPD Missing Persons Unit at 213-996-1800. Calls made during non-business hours or on weekends can be directed to 877-527-3247. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at lacrimestoppers.org.
WestSide Current

30-Year-Old Man Reported Missing
Authorities Tuesday sought the public’s assistance to find a missing 30-year-old man last seen near the Criminal Courts Building in downtown Los Angeles. Scott Dessie is Black, 6 feet, 1 inch tall, weighs 170 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. He was last seen Sept. 13. Anyone with information on Dessie’s whereabouts was asked to call the LAPD Missing Persons Unit at 213-996-1800. Calls made during non-business hours or on weekends can be directed to 877-527-3247. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at lacrimestoppers.org.
MyNewsLA.com

Authorities Investigating Shooting In East Los Angeles
Authorities are investigating a shooting in East Los Angeles. Emergency crews responded to a call in the 1300 block of Indiana Street. Officials did not specify what prompted the shooting to take place. Officials did not give the identities of the shooter and the person being shot. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the incident.
FOX 11

Family And Deputies Ask For Help On 4-Year-Old Compton Murder Case
Four years ago, 21-year-old Estephan Hernandez was murdered in a drive-by shooting in Compton leaving a hole behind in the hearts of his family and community members. With a $10,000 reward still being offered, they're hoping someone comes forward with any information. "Today is his fourth anniversary," Lydia Gonzalez said about her son in Spanish. "We do this every year in remembrance of our son." "Mr. Hernandez sat right here on 148th street in the unincorporated area of Compton and was gunned down for no apparent reason," said Lt. Brandon Dean of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. At the time of his death, Hernandez was a Cal State Long Beach student and worked as a group mentor there. He was said to be the first in his family to go to college and was set to graduate soon with the goal of becoming a social worker. Detectives said he had no gang ties and four years later, they've come to a crossroad. "That's why we're back out here on the four-year anniversary to let everyone know, we're still working this case and we need information," Dean said. Detectives, family and friends are hoping for just a little bit of information that can further the investigation. A long-time family friend is praying that the family can one day see justice.
ABC 7

San Gabriel Valley Residents Arrested In Alleged $2.5 Million Scam Involving Target Gift Cards
Three San Gabriel Valley residents and a San Bernardino County resident were arrested Tuesday in connection with an alleged fraud scheme that induced people into purchasing thousands of Target gift cards, which were then used at stores in Los Angeles and Orange counties to purchase electronics and other goods. Bowen Hu, 26, of Hacienda Heights, and Tairan Shi, 27, of Diamond Bar, both Chinese nationals, are among four people named in a federal indictment detailing the alleged fraud scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The two other defendants — Blade Bai, 33, of El Monte, and Yan Fu, 58, of Chino Hills — are expected to be summoned to appear in court next month. Bai is a U.S. citizen, while Fu is a Chinese national, prosecutors said. The defendants are estimated to have laundered more than $2.5 million in gift cards between June 2019 and November 2020.
Los Angeles Daily News

San Francisco Is 'Drowning In Fentanyl.' Where Is The Drug Coming From?
San Francisco is in the grips of an unprecedented drug epidemic as fentanyl floods the street-drug marketplace, intensifying the peril of addiction and leading to a staggering number of overdose deaths. While myriad other drugs such as cocaine, heroin and especially methamphetamine are part of the city's recreational drug supply, the number of accidental overdose deaths tied to the astonishingly cheap, potent and addictive synthetic opioid went up 483% from 2018 to 2020. Fentanyl was detected in the blood of 89 of the 260 total people who died from overdoses in San Francisco in 2018, while it was present in 519 of the 712 people who overdosed in 2020, data shared by the city with SFGATE showed. Illicit fentanyl, which can be 50 times more powerful than heroin, emerged in San Francisco only a few years ago. As recently as 2015, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said it didn't seize any fentanyl in its Northern California region. The agency confiscated 15 kilograms in 2016 and numbers rose in following years.
SF Gate

Suspect In The Shooting Death Of Florida Deputy Joshua Moyers Caught
The Jacksonville man sought in the weekend death of Nassau County Deputy Joshua Moyers has been caught, according to the Nassau County Emergency Management center. Following a five-day manhunt in and around Callahan near where the 29-year-old deputy was mortally wounded early Friday, 35-year-old ex-Marine Patrick Rene McDowell was found, the agency's tweet announced just before 12:30 p.m. "The fugitive murder suspect has been apprehended near Callahan," it said. Various news agencies reported the capture occurred in a baseball field concession stand next to a Callahan school. The deputy was shot during a 2:30 a.m. Friday traffic stop of a Chrysler minivan on Sandy Ford Road about 3 miles south of Callahan. The driver, next to a female passenger, shot Moyers in the face and back, Sheriff Bill Leeper said. A second deputy found Moyers wounded on the ground, while the abandoned minivan and the passenger were found nearby. Moyers, whose body camera recorded the shooting, died Sunday, the Sheriff's Office said.
Florida Times-Union

Florida AG Backs Bill To Punish Cop Killers With Death Penalty
With support from Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan is hoping to push his proposed legislation, which ups the penalties against cop killers, across the finish line. Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, first introduced the Thin Blue Line Act in 2017, but it has never been signed into law. In a joint press conference Monday morning at the Bradenton Police Department, Moody announced that the bill has her full support. "We will protect those that have signed up for these dangerous jobs to protect us. We will not tolerate the rise of lawlessness against our police officers," Moody said. The Thin Blue Line bill would allow juries to consider any murder or attempted murder of a police officer, firefighter or other first-responders as an "aggravating factor" in death penalty considerations. The rule already applies to federal law enforcement officers who are killed in the line of duty. The U.S. House of Representatives previously voted in support of the Thin Blue Line Act in 2017. Buchanan said he's hopeful that the House will vote to pass it again and get the bill to the U.S. Senate, which also needs to vote on the bill before it heads to President Joe Biden's desk.
The Bradenton Herald

Public Safety News

Los Angeles May Soon Require Proof Of Vaccination For Indoor Restaurants, Gyms, Entertainment Venues
The Los Angeles City Council will consider an ordinance Wednesday to require people to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination before entering indoor restaurants, bars, gyms, shopping centers, entertainment venues and personal care establishments beginning Nov. 4. Starting Oct. 21, indoor public spaces that fall under the ordinance would be required to display advisory notices of the vaccination requirement. The ordinance would apply to: establishments that serve food or beverages, including restaurants, bars, fast food establishments, coffee shops, tasting rooms, cafeterias, food courts, breweries, wineries, distilleries banquet halls and hotel ballrooms; gyms and fitness venues, including recreation facilities, fitness studios (including for yoga, pilates, dance, and barre), boxing gyms, fitness boot camps and facilities that hold indoor group fitness classes; entertainment and recreation venues including movie theaters, shopping centers, concert venues, performance venues, adult entertainment venues, commercial event and party venues, sports arenas, convention centers, exhibition halls, museums, malls, performing arts theaters, bowling alleys, arcades, card rooms, family entertainment centers, pool and billiard halls, play areas and game centers; and personal care establishments, including spas, nail salons, hair salons, barbershops, tanning salons, estheticians, skin care, tattoo shops, piercing shops and massage therapy locations, unless medically required.
FOX 11

Rapid COVID-19 Tests In Short Supply In California
Sarah Voit likes to keep 10 to 15 rapid test kits on hand in case any of the residents of the Family Emergency Shelter Coalition in Hayward need to be tested for COVID-19. They’ve had some infection scares, and the antigen tests — which return results in minutes — have been crucial to curbing the virus in the family shelter. But in recent weeks, the staff has struggled to purchase enough rapid test kits. The local Walgreens and Costco have started limiting sales to one per customer. “We ran into the same issue at the beginning of the pandemic when we were trying to buy Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer,” said Voit, the shelter’s program director. Three weeks ago, a child living at the shelter was sent home from school after a classmate contracted COVID-19. Voit’s team used the rapid tests on the whole family. They all came back positive.“Because we had those kits on hand, we were able to send them immediately to the isolation and quarantine hotel the county runs,” she said. “Otherwise it could have taken three to five days to get those results and many more families could have gotten sick.”
CalMatters

Local Government News

Councilman Mitch O’Farrell Elected President Pro Tempore Of LA City Council
Councilman Mitch O’Farrell was elected Tuesday as the Los Angeles City Council’s president pro tempore after Councilman Joe Buscaino stepped down to enter the 2022 mayoral race. O’Farrell will assume the position on Friday. “I appreciate the vote of confidence, it’s a great honor,” O’Farrell said. “We’ve done great things, colleagues, and I will acknowledge that there are differences of opinion and approaches on this council, but I will also commit to anyone … I am committed to being a resource for any and all without judgment. That’s my philosophy on public service and constituent service, that will be my philosophy as your president pro tem.” “As is the long-held tradition of giving up council leadership when running for another office, today I will be stepping down from my ceremonial position of Council President Pro Tem and will be supporting my good friend Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson to replace me,” Buscaino said in a statement.
CBS 2

LA County Board Of Supervisors Extend Some Temporary Protections For Renters
The LA County Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to preserve some eviction protections, keeping the moratorium on commercial evictions and extending protections against tenant harassment and retaliation to give tenants, a defense against unjust evictions. “I want us to be flexible. I want us to always take into account what’s happening with the pandemic,” said LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. Thomas Harrison is a renter who switched careers to day-trading to make ends meet after he was unable to find work during the pandemic. It caused him to get behind on his rent payments. “I have a constant feed of applications that I make for me to go out and work,” said Harrison. The board’s vote comes two days before the end of a state moratorium on evictions.
CBS 2

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