LOS ANGELES — LAPD officer David Rojas was charged Thursday for inappropriately touching a dead woman’s body earlier this year, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
According to the LAPD, on October 20, Rojas, a 4-year veteran of the Department, and his partner responded to a call where a woman had died from a fatal overdose.
CBS reported “[Rojas’ partner] left to retrieve paperwork from a patrol car while Rojas stayed with the body… It was at that point that Rojas was said to have turned off his bodycam and ‘inappropriately touched the woman’s body,’ LAPD officials confirmed. According to sources, the video showed him fondling the dead woman’s breasts.”
The Los Angeles Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division arrested and charged Officer Rojas with one felony count of “sexual contact with remains known to be human.”
An LAPD statement clarified “The allegation against Rojas was brought to the Department during the course of an investigation into the fatal overdose of a woman on November 11th, 2019. Investigators from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Internal Affairs Criminal Investigation Division, worked diligently to complete their investigation, which was presented to the District Attorney’s office on December 10, 2019.”
According to The Associated Press “[A] person, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the case and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said officials conducted a random inspection of the officer’s body camera videos and found the incriminating footage…The officer had disabled the body camera but the act was caught on video when he turned it back on, the person said, because the devices have two-minute buffering periods to capture what happens right before they are activated.”
Prosecutors are recommending bail be set at $20,000. If convicted as charged, Rojas faces a possible maximum sentence of three years in state prison. The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division.
Rojas’ arraignment will be scheduled at a later date.
Police Chief Michel Moore said, “This incident is extremely disturbing and does not represent the values of the Los Angeles Police Department.”
Bev Hills Police Chief to Retire Amid Discrimination Lawsuits
BEVERLY HILLS — Beverly Hills City Manager George Chavez announced that Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli will retire from the department, effective May 15, 2020.
NBC LA cites “several law enforcement and other sources” as saying that Spagnoli was notified “she had until Friday, April 24, to resign or face possible termination.”
Spagnoli joined BHPD in February of 2016 from the City of San Leandro in Northern California where she served as Chief since 2011. She has been accused in multiple lawsuits of using slurs and making remarks about Jews, employees who were LGBTQ and people of color. NBCLA reports on allegations of promoting mostly white men and having sexual contact with employees.
“During the Chief’s tenure, crime was reduced while the department increased diversity, public outreach, best practices and advancements in technology,” said Chavez. “We thank Chief Spagnoli for her service to our community and her three decades of public service in law enforcement.”
“I am grateful to have served Beverly Hills and proud of the accomplishments over the past 4 years to keep this world-class community one of the safest in the nation,” said Chief Spagnoli.
Chavez is expected to name an Interim Police Chief in the coming weeks.
WeHo Sheriff Adjusting Patrols and Services for Coronavirus Reality
WEST HOLLYWOOD — The West Hollywood Division of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department will be adjusting their patrols as businesses close and residents shelter at home due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus.
The station issued the following statement:
The COVID-19 virus, and the unprecedented statewide call for civilians to create social distance, has created a situation where many retail businesses in West Hollywood are closed. Based on concerns regarding the security of businesses in the City of West Hollywood, we have organized a plan for directed patrol of both high value commercial burglary targets and other retail establishments within the City. These directed patrols will be 24/7 until further notice.
We have identified several areas of the City that have a high density of commercial businesses that are more commonly subjected to burglaries. Our crime analyst and historical crime data supports this conclusion. These directed patrol units sole responsibility will be monitoring their assigned areas of the City.
We will also have dedicated directed patrol units responsible for monitoring our grocery stores and other vital resources. They will also include residential patrolling, as well. These added security enhancements will not affect the station’s normal patrol deployment.
The Sheriff would like to assure the community that police services are continuing.
The Station is fully staffed and as always, will respond to priority and emergent calls for service. In an abundance of caution and in an effort to prevent the unnecessary exposure and spread of the COVID-19 virus, the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station began taking non-emergent, property crime reports over the phone on March 12.
The station lobby is open to the public; however, for non-emergent services, those in need are encouraged to please call the Station business line at (310) 855-8850 ahead of time, and to use services available on LASD.org.
For emergency calls, please dial 9-1-1. Certain police reports can be made online at the station website, WeHoSheriff.
This system allows you to file a specific type of crime or incident report through this website. Once your report is reviewed and accepted, you will be emailed a free copy of the approved report for your records. You can report the following incidents:
– Lost or stolen cell phones valued $950 or less
– Lost or stolen property valued $950 or less
– Vandalism, excluding graffiti, where damage is valued under $400
– Theft from an unlocked vehicle valued $950 or less
– Theft from an open or unsecured area valued $950 or less
– Supplemental Loss Form (Must already have a LASD report number)
As the City continues to adapt to the challenges caused by the COVID-19 virus, deputies have been provided emergency response protocols to assist with community members who may be infected. Safety equipment measures for personnel have also been implemented. Stores and businesses are being monitored frequently where food, health and emergency resources can be obtained.
The Sheriff’s Department is working closely with Public Health and Emergency professionals such as the County Emergency Operations Center (CEOC), The County Department of Public Health (CDP), The Los Angeles County Department of Human Resources (DHR), and The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through our LASD Department Operations Center (DOC) which is open 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
Cops Aren’t Scared of Coronavirus, They Are Used To Danger
(TMZ) — The long arm of the law isn’t backing down from the highly-contagious coronavirus … and while cops are taking some precautions, they’re just used to facing danger at every turn.
Cops across the country are telling us the same thing … they’re not afraid to arrest and interact with suspects, break up fights or subdue people in the face of a deadly pandemic.
Our law enforcement sources in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Miami and Green Bay tell us their officers face much bigger dangers every day on the force — bullets, cars, staph infections, etc. — and most cops are under the age of 55, so they feel less at risk.
Sources tell TMZ … at the LAPD, COVID-19 is just another occupational hazard, and officers are being instructed to wear gloves and not touch their face. We’re told cops are still gonna get hands-on with suspects if they have to — they’re not just gonna let s*** hit the fan — and the virus won’t stop anyone from doing their job.
As we first reported … one woman’s already been arrested for allegedly threatening to cough on a cop and spread the virus.
Our sources tell us L.A. Sheriff’s Department deputies are using caution when responding to calls, and if they’re not sure how to handle a situation they’re being told to call a supervisor. We’re told LASD is picking and choosing battles, but if deputies need to get hands-on, they will … and they’re carrying special coronavirus kits.
Law enforcement sources tell us the NYPD has its officers wearing masks and gloves and exercising caution … but laws still gotta be enforced, and that’s what the NYPD is doing.
Our sources also tell us cops in Chicago are also being cautious, but they still have to answer calls and nothing’s changed on that front.
Ditto for police in Miami, though sources say cops might not respond to calls where a police report can be taken over the phone. Still, we’re told cops will still get in the mix when it’s necessary.
Law enforcement sources tell us police in Green Bay are educating themselves on the virus, and they want officers to have access to safety tools like wipes and gloves. In the meantime, cops are taking more reports over the phone and will respond to calls when needed.
Bottom line … coronavirus doesn’t mean this is the Wild Wild West.
Petition Circulating to Ask Judge to Keep Ed Buck in Jail
RAGE is Latest Venue to Fall Victim to the Pandemic
Koretz Won’t Back ‘Uplift Melrose’ Plan
Man Sentenced for Hit-and-Run Death of Pedestrian on Sunset
Beverly Grove Man Charged for COVID Relief Loan Fraud
County Hospitals Receive 300 iPads for Patients to See Family
Processions to Cedars Will Salute Healthcare Workers on National Nurses Day
WeHo Webinar: Loneliness, Isolation, Depression, and Anxiety During Pandemic
Texas & California Wet Markets Show Full Extent of Vile Conditions
White House Gift Shop Selling Coronavirus Commemorative Coins
21 Workers Test Positive for Coronavirus at Rock n Roll Ralphs
Residents of Whitley Ave Hold Dance Party From Windows, Balconies
Laurel Canyon Hosts Porch Concerts Amid Stay Home Order
WeHo’s Leslie Jordan Gains 3.5M IG Followers During Quarantine
‘Safer at Home’ Extended to May 15, Face Covers Required in Public
‘Project Runway’ Star Michael Costello Converts Factory to Produce Masks
Lisa Vanderpump Says Two Sides to Coronavirus Impact on Dog Adoptions
Strip Club Forced to Close After Busted by Local News
Extremist Groups Encourage Members to Spread Coronavirus to Police, Jews
LA’s Original Farmers Market – Business Booming During Pandemic
This Just In…
- Petition Circulating to Ask Judge to Keep Ed Buck in Jail
- RAGE is Latest Venue to Fall Victim to the Pandemic
- Koretz Won’t Back ‘Uplift Melrose’ Plan
- Man Sentenced for Hit-and-Run Death of Pedestrian on Sunset
- Beverly Grove Man Charged for COVID Relief Loan Fraud
- County Hospitals Receive 300 iPads for Patients to See Family
- Processions to Cedars Will Salute Healthcare Workers on National Nurses Day