Law Enforcement
LAPD report on biased policing finds problem is more perception than reality
The Los Angeles Police Department has made “significant strides” in diversifying its ranks, training officers to avoid bias policing, rigorously investigating complaints and expanding community outreach programs, according to a new report on biased policing from Chief Charlie Beck. The five-member civilian police commission that oversees the department requested the report in September after a series of controversial shootings over the summer that sparked angry protests.
Documents show CalGang uses error-prone facial recognition
California’s secretive gang database, with information on hundreds of thousands of predominantly black and Latino men, uses a controversial overlay of sophisticated data analysis and surveillance technologies. The tools long have been dogged by allegations of racial profiling, inaccuracy and unconstitutional monitoring of free speech.
Jones: Undocumented license law in California may have led to UM drop
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced that Assembly Bill 60, a law which provided driver’s licenses to those who could not submit proof of legal presence in the U.S., may have led to a modest decrease in the number of uninsured motorists in the state. A preliminary analysis by the California Department of Insurance shows that in 2015, the first year since the passage of AB 60, the number of insured vehicles rose by 200,000 more vehicles than would have been expected.
LA regional human trafficking task force celebrates first year efforts
When Sheriff Jim McDonnell cut the ribbon launching the LA Sheriff’s Human Trafficking Bureau, he knew the impact would be felt throughout Southern California. Now, as the host to the LA Regional Human Trafficking Task Force, it celebrates its first year of efforts, and includes 18 governmental partners and 10 community based organizations who aid in the fight to end human trafficking.
A possible shift in L.A. transit patrols
Transportation officials are seeking to shift Metro policing duties from the Sheriff’s Department to the Los Angeles and Long Beach police departments, a significant change in approach to public safety on the county’s sprawling bus and rail system.  A report written by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and reviewed by The Times recommends transferring public safety responsibilities for more than half the subway and light rail system and 60% of the region’s bus service away from the Sheriff’s Department.
The heroin epidemic: A look inside an intervention in Simi Valley
Heroin use has grown at an exponential rate across the nation and experts say the addiction is a difficult one to break. ABC7 met with Action Family Counseling, a drug rehab facility headquartered in Santa Clarita, as it helped to facilitate an intervention for a family in Simi Valley. Robert Murphy has struggled to accept what’s become of his son. Once a happy and healthy child, Ryan Murphy became an addict on a dark and dangerous path.
LA Police Protective League will request audit to determine cause of low staff numbers
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union representing the LAPD rank-and-file,  said Monday it will request a city audit to determine the cause of “dangerously low” police staffing levels during the post-election protests last week and provide recommendations to ensure the safety of residents and officers.
Sheriff: Wanted man killed California deputy in ‘execution’
A man shot and killed a deputy in what police termed “an execution,” then stole a car and drove 150 miles to a small central California town where he was arrested after trying to steal a purse from a woman, who fought back and called authorities. Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Deputy Dennis Wallace was shot twice in the head as he checked on a report of a suspicious van parked near a fishing access spot outside the city of Hughson, about 10 miles southeast of Modesto.
Smoked pot? No college? The police still might hire you
Police departments are relaxing age-old standards for accepting recruits, from lowering educational requirements to forgiving some prior drug use, to try to attract more people to their ranks. The changes are designed to deal with decreased interest in a job that offers low pay, rigorous physical demands and the possibility of getting killed on duty all while under intense public scrutiny.
Ex-LA Sheriff Lee Baca mentally competent: Defense won’t oppose expert’s opinion
Attorneys for Los Angeles County’s former sheriff will not oppose a court-appointed medical expert’s conclusion that the retired lawman, now in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, is competent to stand trial on obstruction of justice charges, according to court papers.
LA County counted on Prop 47 to save money. It hasn’t yet
A California law that turned some felony offenses into misdemeanors to save costs has had no monetary benefits so far for Los Angeles County, according to a report presented on Tuesday. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors heard updates from eight department leaders – including Sheriff Jim McDonnell – on whether or not Proposition 47 has had any cost saving effects.
Investigation: How effective in curbing violent crime is Prop 47?
Dubbed the “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act” before its passage in 2014, Proposition 47 divides law enforcement officials over its impact to the state criminal justice system. The proposition reduced the following felony crimes to misdemeanors: Shoplifting, where the value of property stolen does not exceed $950. Grand theft, where the value of the stolen property does not exceed $950.
A pot shop on every L.A. corner?
In the city of Los Angeles, no more than 135 pot shops are considered to be somewhat legit. They enjoy limited legal immunity under 2013’s voter-approved Proposition D. But state tax officials say there are more than 900 dispensaries in the city, and some experts estimate the number could be as high as 1,500 – the vast majority of them illegal. It isn’t exactly amnesty, but there’s a movement afoot to legalize at least some of them.
Conviction & Sentencing
Appellate panel upholds man’s 12-year prison sentence for live-in boyfriend’s killing
A state appeals court panel Thursday upheld a man’s 12-year prison sentence for fatally stabbing and mutilating his live-in boyfriend at the West Hollywood apartment they briefly shared. The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark Windham should have sentenced Andre Davids to six years in prison for the March 29, 2014, death of Kurtland Ma.
Court: California sentencing measure applies to plea deals
A voter-approved ballot measure that reduced penalties for certain drug and property crimes applies to prisoners convicted under plea deals, the California Supreme Court said Thursday. A unanimous court overruled a lower court decision that could have limited the number of inmates eligible for Proposition 47’s benefits.
Canyon Country man sentenced to 27 years, eight months, for attack on deputies
A Canyon Country man who fought four sheriff’s deputies who responded to a domestic violence call was sentenced Wednesday to 27 years and eight months in prison. Calvin Charles Lynch, 29, appeared Wednesday in San Fernando Superior Court where he was sentenced. “Lynch was sentenced to 27 years, 8 months which is the maximum he faced,” Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, said Wednesday.
California prosecutor faces one-year suspension for falsifying confession
A county prosecutor in California who falsified a defendant’s confession and then said it was just a “joke” he was playing on a public defender now faces a year’s suspension of his law license. The California State Bar announced the action Thursday against Kern County Deputy District Attorney Robert Alan Murray.
He was supposed to drive an intoxicated teenager home. Prosecutors say this Uber driver raped her instead.
An Uber driver was charged with raping an unconscious teenager after she passed out in the back of his car while she was intoxicated, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors charged Samer Alaaeldin Mahran, 23, a resident of Huntington Beach, Calif., with multiple felony counts, including rape by use of drugs, forcible oral copulation upon a minor over 14 years of age, sexual penetration of a child over age 14 by a foreign object and force and unlawful sexual intercourse.
Ex-rehab owner accused of sexually assaulting patients, $175M billing fraud
The ex-operator of more than a dozen Southland drug treatment and rehabilitation facilities pleaded not guilty today to nearly 100 felony counts accusing him of sexually assaulting nine patients and masterminding a $175 million billing scheme. Christopher Bathum, 55, formerly owned and operated 13 Community Recovery treatment centers in Los Angeles County and Orange County, as well as six in the state of Colorado, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Lancaster man charged with murder of LASD officer has arraignment pushed back
The man charged with killing Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Steve Owen in Lancaster last month had his scheduled arraignment on Monday pushed back to Dec. 15 so his public defender could gather more information about the case. Deputy District Attorney Michael Blake told the judge in the courtroom he had spoken with Trenton Trevon Lovell’s public defender Monica Thelen about trying to provide a preliminary list of witnesses sometime this week.
County Government
Antonovich calls for more support for crime victims owed restitution
The county is trying to preserve restitution for crime victims, after voters once again approved a ballot measure – this time, Prop 57 – which has made it more difficult for the courts to collect from criminals. The increasing rate of recidivism since voters passed Proposition 47 in 2014, combined with the fact voters have once again lessened the penalties for many crimes – Prop 47 reduced nearly all drug and theft charges to misdemeanors – have hampered efforts by county officials to help victims.
Janice Hahn taps Supervisor Don Knabe’s aide as her chief of staff
An aide to Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe has been tapped as the new chief of staff for Rep. Janice Hahn when she succeeds the veteran Fourth District supervisor in December. Hahn’s office announced Wednesday that Nick Ippolito will serve as her top staffer. Ippolito has worked for the county for 25 years and currently serves as Knabe’s assistant chief of staff.
Pension battle pushes precedent in distressed California town
Letters sent by certified mail usually aren’t how state and local governments signal they’re about to breach the promise that public workers consider ironclad when it comes to retirement benefits. But that’s how Patsy Jardin, 71, of Loyalton, California, found out that she may lose much of her $48,000 annual pension because the town government failed to fund its long-term liabilities. Reading the letter delivered to her rural home made the former clerk “sick,” she said in an interview. “It’s my livelihood.”
State Government
Here’s why Mike Ramos wants to be appointed California attorney general
San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos said Monday, Nov. 14, that he’s interested in being appointed to serve the remainder of Kamala Harris’ term as California attorney general now that she’s been elected to the U.S. Senate. Ramos announced his intention two years ago to run for attorney general in 2018, when Harris’ term expires. But now that she’s a senator-elect Gov. Jerry Brown will have to appoint a replacement with approval from a majority of the Assembly and state Senate.
SF, LA police unions target SF DA Gascón in letter to Gov. Brown
Police union officials took another shot Wednesday at their longtime nemesis, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, this time in a letter sent to Gov. Jerry Brown asking that he not appoint a “failed prosecutor” to replace U.S. Sen.-elect Kamala Harris as state attorney general. Gascón, whose push to reform the police force has been met with stiff resistance, has been mentioned as a possible candidate for attorney general, but could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday. In the past, he has said he had no plans to run for the job.
Lots of strong prospects for California attorney general
Gov. Jerry Brown won’t have a hard time finding a well-qualified candidate to succeed U.S. Sen.-elect Kamala Harris as state attorney general. If there is one thing California has in abundance, it is lawyers with skill, steel spines and ambition. The difficulty will be in coming up with just one nominee.
Is Sacramento really boys’ town? Women lose ground in California’s Legislature
On a night many believed would be a milestone for women in politics, Cristina Garcia donned a Hillary Clinton T-shirt and a gray pantsuit and left her house in southeast Los Angeles. “Buenas noches,” the Democratic assemblywoman from Bell Gardens greeted her neighbors as she walked to an election-night party. Garcia was hopeful not only that voters would send a woman to the White House, but also that they would propel a bumper crop of women to the California Capitol.
A dozen hopefuls step up to the starting line for Los Angeles mayoral race
Y.J. Draiman would take Mayor Eric Garcetti’s job by boosting business. David Hernandez would supplant the mayor by building infrastructure. And Garcetti would be re-elected mayor by having already led Los Angeles. They were among the dozen candidates to formally declare they would run for mayor before the deadline ends at noon today. Candidates have until Dec. 7 to collect enough signatures to get onto the March 7 city election ballot.
L.A.’s March ballot has more than a mayor race
The election is over. Get ready for the election. In only a little more than 100 days, Los Angeles residents will go back to the polls to vote for mayor, city attorney, city controller, eight of the 15 L.A. City Council members and three of the seven L.A. Unified School Board members. Dozens of candidates have declared their intention to run. Quietly, serious campaigns are well under way. Where should the focus be?
Post-Election 2016
California parole changes may speed end to federal oversight
Voters’ approval of Gov. Jerry Brown’s sentencing reform initiative may finally give California the long-term solution it needs to end a decade-long legal battle over prison conditions that twice reached the U.S. Supreme Court and has cost taxpayers billions of dollars. Proposition 57 was pitched as a safety valve to reduce an inmate population that is steadily increasing despite state efforts to shift felons from overcrowded state prisons into equally burdened county jails over the past five years.
Passage of Prop. 57 poses questions
Law enforcement officials say they are concerned the passage of a new law that provides early parole consideration will place more felons “back on the streets” without addressing crucial program gaps. California voters on Tuesday passed Proposition 57 by a wide margin, with about 64 percent voting yes. The proposition, backed by Gov. Jerry Brown, was touted as a cost-saving measure to address the ballooning prison population.
Why Brown must actively guide Prop. 57’s criminal justice reform
Proposition 47, the 2014 state ballot measure that reclassified many felonies as misdemeanors, has proven divisive. Some strongly defend it, but many in law enforcement say it has led to more crime. Now Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest criminal justice reform measure, Proposition 57, has passed. It will make it easier for many felons – mostly those convicted of nonviolent crimes – to win parole from the state Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections by earning sentence credits for good behavior, rehabilitation or educational achievements.
Law enforcement leaders brace for Prop. 57 impacts
Law enforcement leaders are bracing for the impacts of Proposition 57, the voter-approved initiative that will make thousands of prison inmates eligible for earlier parole, allow state prison officials to expand credit for rehabilitation and give judges authority as to whether juveniles should be tried as adults. “There is less offender accountably and to a degree it also revictimizes the victims of crimes,” Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said.
Local authorities still determining impact of Prop 57 passage
San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said he will continue working with the Secretary of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to determine what impact the passage of Proposition 57 will have in the county. California voters approved the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act, better known as Prop 57, last week. It is supposed to help reduce the state’s prison population by providing more parole opportunities for some convicted felons.
Criminal justice reform rolls on in California, much to the chagrin of police leaders
Another defeat at the ballot box this week for California law enforcement leaders. For months, many police chiefs, sheriffs and prosecutors urged voters to reject Proposition 57, which will give thousands of state prisoners an early opportunity to be released. Voters overwhelmingly approved the measure 63.59 percent to 36.41 percent. The passage of Proposition 57 is only the latest measure to roll back the policies of the 1980s and 90s when crime rates were much higher than they are today.
ACLU fights California’s new death-penalty law
Following Californians’ Election Day approval of a proposition to keep the death penalty and speed executions, the ACLU sued the state, claiming Proposition 66 gives unelected officials “unbridled discretion” over executions. The ACLU of Northern California and two death-row inmates, Mitchell Sims and Michael Morales, claim California’s death-penalty law violates the state constitution’s separation of powers clause by allowing the defendant Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation instead of legislators to develop execution procedures.
Trump election won’t change immigration enforcement at some Southern California police agencies
Several major Southern California police agencies have no plans to alter immigration policies despite a pledge from President-elect Donald Trump to impose tougher immigration laws and deport some 2 million to 3 million immigrants with criminal records. The Los Angeles Police Department will not change its immigration policies, Chief Charlie Beck said in remarks reported Monday. “I don’t intend on doing anything different,” Beck said in a Los Angeles Times story.
In CA, some winners and losers
It’s all over and, with a few exceptions, it will stay that way for two more years. But like any other public event, ranging from bridge tournaments to the Super Bowl, there were winners and losers.  Here’s our take on who came out winners and who lost in the 2016 general election. WINNERS: Jerry Brown – California voters approved his Proposition 57, a move to loosen parole restrictions and reduce the prison population. The governor must be thinking “If only I were a few years younger, I could have clobbered Trump!”
Poll: Republican gubernatorial candidates would perform well behind Democrat Newsom
Good news for California Republicans: In a field of nine candidates for the 2018 gubernatorial race, they have two of the top three names, according to a poll released Tuesday. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Ashley Swearengin, the termed-out mayor of Fresno, placed just behind Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom in a poll of registered voters taken prior to last week’s presidential election, conducted by The Field Poll and the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley.
The Riggs Report: Death and taxes on the ballot
Benjamin Franklin is famously quoted as saying, “Nothing is certain except death and taxes.” California voters underscored that saying in last week’s election, turning down another effort to repeal the death penalty while also approving a higher tobacco tax and an extension of higher income taxes for the state’s wealthiest residents. But with the dust settling on the outcome of a ballot crammed with the most propositions in 16 years, the overall results defy an easy explanation or road map of where the state may be heading.
GOP assemblyman defeated, giving California Democrats supermajority
Republican Assemblyman Eric Linder has been defeated by Democratic challenger Sabrina Cervantes, giving the Democrats an expected supermajority in the California Assembly. Linder was one of at least two GOP incumbents who lost after last week’s election. Assemblyman David Hadley of Torrance also was defeated. Results from Riverside County showed Wednesday that Cervantes won 53 percent to 47 percent.
His party’s refusal to keep illegals out let Trump stomp his way in
America’s Republican elites are as stunned by Donald Trump’s conquest of the White House as the Democrats and the press. They shouldn’t be, since they created the conditions that led to Trump’s improbable victory. For decades the Republican establishment suppressed debate about the costs of mass low-skilled immigration. Anyone who questioned the wisdom of America’s de facto open borders policy was silenced with charges of xenophobia or simply ignored.
L.A. leaders just vowed to fight deportations under Trump. Here’s what they’ve proposed
s Angeles city officials on Thursday began outlining a wide-ranging battle plan for dealing with the Donald Trump presidency, vowing to push back against efforts to deport people in this country illegally while also working to protect – and perhaps even increase – federal funding for projects ranging from transportation to homelessness.
Texas was Obama’s chief antagonist. In Trump’s America, California is eager for the part
In the early morning hours after Donald Trump became president-elect of the United States, California Senate leader Kevin de León and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon were on the phone grappling with what comes next. Trump’s upset victory left the two Democrats reeling.  They saw the incoming administration as an existential threat to the progressive work they accomplished in the nation’s most populous state.
California voters embrace anti-gun ammunition control
Cementing California’s status as the most anti-gun state, voters overwhelmingly voted on Election Day for stronger gun control regulations, including new ammunition controls. The proposition features a provision that requires a person or business to get a single year license from the state Department of Justice to sell ammunition and requires sellers to conduct background checks for ammunition purchases.
The marijuana-initiative blunder that could cost California millions of dollars
Benjamin Franklin said that taxes, like death, are one of life’s few certainties. But due to a glitch in the technical language of California’s successful marijuana legalization initiative, the state’s pot smokers may prove him wrong. California’s marijuana legalization initiative is designed to raise significant tax revenue for the state.
Law Enforcement
Jump in assaults on California police officers alarms police, communities
Nine police officers have died in the line of duty so far this year in California, five of them since October. The total is not unusual – California loses 10 officers per year on average, according to the Attorney General – but the concentration of killings jammed into just a few weeks is unnerving to many on all sides of the thin blue line. More disturbing, perhaps, is the jump in assaults on police officers. Such attacks can include anything from armed ambush, similar to the one that killed two officers in Iowa on Wednesday, to a push or punch from a recalcitrant suspect.
Murdered LA deputy honored
A sign designating the interchange of the San Bernardino (10) and Long Beach (710) freeways in memory of slain Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Thomas H. Pohlman was unveiled Tuesday. Sheriff Jim McDonnell, Pohlman’s widow, Jenny Liepitz, and children Bryan Pohlman and Kelly Padilla-Pohlman attended the ceremony at Biscailuz Center Training Academy in East Los Angeles, said Eric W. Rose of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs.
LAPD fires two officers following death of UCLA student
The Los Angeles Police Department fired two officers who visited the apartment of UCLA student Andrea “Andy” DelVesco shortly after she was killed in September 2015. Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck fired Rhoadell Sudduth in May and Alisha Williams in September, according to documents obtained by CNN. An internal LAPD investigation found both officers guilty of misconduct because they responded to an emergency call from DelVesco’s neighbor but did not enter DelVesco’s apartment.
Women who alleged sexual assault by 2 LAPD officers testify: ‘I didn’t really feel like I had a choice’
She first met the two narcotics officers in July 2009 when they drove her to jail after she was caught buying methamphetamine in Hollywood. If she gave them names of drug dealers, they said, they could get her out of jail. The woman didn’t make any promises, she recounted, but took one cop’s phone number before she was booked.
Are Los Angeles police chases worth the risk to bystanders? Last year saw record injuries
Los Angeles police chases injured more bystanders in 2015 than in any other year in at least a decade, a surge that has renewed calls for the LAPD to reform a pursuit policy considered one of the most permissive in California. Seventy-eight people were hurt during LAPD chases they had nothing to do with last year, eclipsing the previous highest tally of 61 in 2005, according to a Times review of pursuit data reported to the California Highway Patrol.
California movie producer arrested in $26 million fraud
A California movie producer has been arrested on charges in a $26 million investment fraud. Prosecutors said David Bergstein was arrested Wednesday in Hidden Hills, California, and faces an initial court hearing in Los Angeles. The government said the 54-year-old Bergstein and a co-defendant – Keith Wellner – carried out the fraud by cheating investors at Weston Capital Asset Management, an investor adviser firm.
Robert Durst appears in LA court, enters plea in Susan Berman’s 2000 slaying
Real estate heir and documentary figure Robert Durst made a long-awaited appearance Monday in a Los Angeles courtroom on a charge of killing his friend 16 years ago. Durst pleaded not guilty during an afternoon arraignment at the Airport Branch courthouse in Los Angeles for the killing of his one-time spokeswoman Susan Berman in 2000.
Ex-Sheriff Lee Baca mentally incompetent? Trial awaits
Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca is seeking to introduce testimony at his forthcoming trial linking actions charged in a felony indictment to a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment he received years later. Baca’s attorneys want a jury to hear opinions from a psychiatrist, Dr. James Spar, regarding the retired lawman’s mental state in 2011 and 2013, according to court papers obtained Wednesday by City News Service.
Prosecutors reject criminal case against Manhattan Beach teacher
The District Attorney’s Office has rejected filing criminal charges against a Manhattan Beach Middle School teacher placed on leave last month in an alleged child annoyance case, police said Monday. The unidentified teacher, however, will remain on administrative leave from school while Manhattan Beach Unified School District officials conduct their own inquiry into the matter, authorities said.
Jury finds reporter, Rolling Stone responsible for defaming U-Va. dean with gang rape story
A federal court jury decided Friday that a Rolling Stone journalist defamed a former University of Virginia associate dean in a 2014 magazine article about sexual assault on campus that included a debunked account of a fraternity gang rape. The 10-member jury concluded that the Rolling Stone reporter, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, was responsible for defamation, with actual malice, in the case brought by Nicole Eramo, a U-Va. administrator who oversaw sexual violence cases at the time of the article’s publication.
Dallas Raines’ wife sentenced to probation, drug rehab for trying to strangle daughter
e wife of KABC-TV’s longtime weatherman Dallas Raines was sentenced to three years’ probation and drug rehabilitation for beating and trying to strangle their adult daughter as they drove home from a La Cañada country club, prosecutors said. As part of a plea deal, Danielle Raines pleaded no contest Friday to one felony count of assault by means likely to produce great bodily harm on her 25-year-old daughter, according to Ricardo Santiago, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
Driver gets 10 years for hit-run death of junior high teacher-cyclist
A Canyon Country man was sentenced to 10 years in state prison Monday for hitting a 53-year-old bicyclist with his car and then fleeing the scene of the crash, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced. Deputy District Attorney SuSu Scott said Lucas Guidroz, 28, pleaded no contest on Oct. 4 to one count each of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run driving resulting in death.
Killer gets life term for rampage at Los Angeles Airport
A gunman who killed a federal transportation security officer and wounded three other people during a rampage at Los Angeles International Airport was sentenced to life plus 60 years in prison Monday for the attack that crippled the nation’s second-busiest airport and disrupted travel nationwide. Paul Ciancia, 26, had faced the mandatory life sentence for murdering a federal officer, but prosecutors also sought the additional 60-year term because he showed no remorse and still clings to the beliefs that led to the violence in 2013.
Prison & Jail
Onetime jails chief returns to head troubled probation
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Wednesday formally appointed Terri McDonald, the onetime jails chief, to head the troubled Probation Department. Supervisor Hilda Solis called McDonald a proven leader and said she “will provide the seasoned command, leadership and management skills that the county needs right now.” Solis said the board had been looking for a candidate with a commitment to both public safety and the rehabilitation of offenders.
LA County jail problems linger with big lawsuits
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors agreed Wednesday to pay more than $3 million to the families of two people who died while in county jail. One case is from 2009, the other from 2013 – before reforms were underway in the jails, sheriff’s officials say. Helen Jones alleged her son John Horton, 22, was never properly placed in a mental health unit, despite a court order instructing jailers to do so.
Washington state prison department to stop calling prisoners ‘offenders’
The Washington state Department of Corrections is phasing out the word “offender” in an attempt to shake a negative social stigma connected with the term. For prisoners in classes, staff should now use “students.” And for those in the infirmary, they should say “patients.” “Individuals” is a better term, too, the department says.
Ballot Measures
Prop. 64: What to know now that marijuana is legal in California
California has joined a growing trend across the country by legalizing the recreational use of marijuana and hemp. By passing Proposition 64, Californians over 21 years of age can now legally smoke marijuana privately, and can have up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and up to 8 grams of concentrated marijuana, such as hash, in their possession, according to the Official Voter Information Guide for the proposition.
Calif. voters decide to uphold death penalty, streamline the process
California voters rejected a ballot measure that would have abolished the death penalty, and narrowly approved a competing measure designed to streamline the execution process. Proposition 62, which was opposed by about 56 percent of voters, would have repealed the death penalty for murder and replaced it with life in prison without parole.
Suit filed to block death-penalty measure Prop. 66
Opponents of a newly passed initiative aimed at speeding up executions have asked the state Supreme Court to block it from taking effect. Proposition 66, approved by voters Tuesday, will cause “confusion and upheaval” in the courts, interfere with their authority, and force both courts and lawyers into hurried and less-reliable decisions in capital cases, said the suit filed Wednesday by former state Attorney General John Van de Kamp and Ron Briggs, a former El Dorado County supervisor.
Proposition 57 passed
Law enforcement thinks they’ll be a lot busier now that one of the more controversial measures, Proposition 57, passed yesterday. “Law enforcement and the citizens are going to have to live with the effects of Proposition 57.” George Hofstetter with the Association For Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs is afraid that crime will go up… now that many violent felons will be reclassified as non-violent.
After Prop. 57, DA says we can’t forget about victims
At least 30,000 of California’s 130,000 state inmates could soon be considered for early release, the latest step in an unprecedented five-year effort to reduce California’s prison population, after voters approved a sentencing reform measure championed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Voters approve California gun control law
A gun- and ammunition-control initiative, the provisions of which include prohibiting the possession of large-capacity magazines, will become the law of the land in California thanks to voters’ approval. In addition to requiring the destruction or removal from the state of large-capacity ammunition magazines, Proposition 63 will also require most individuals to pass background checks and obtain Department of Justice authorization to purchase ammunition.
County Government
With Hahn and Barger elected as L.A. County supervisors, board will see its first female majority
Even in a state known for its diversity and progressive culture, women remain seriously underrepresented in California’s state and local government. The 15-member Los Angeles City Council has only one woman on it, and a report released two years ago found that women occupied fewer than 30% of elective city, county and state posts. But with Tuesday’s election, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has become a major exception.
California Democrats’ supermajority quest hinges on close races
Democrats were within striking distance of a supermajority in the California Assembly Wednesday, and liberal groups were successful in their bid to throw out a moderate Democratic Assemblywoman who has opposed labor and environmental regulations. But elsewhere, moderates reigned, and voters did little to upend the fractious balance of power between moderate and liberal lawmakers in the Democratic Party, giving Democrats only tepid gains on a night when they had hoped to sweep in more liberal candidates and score supermajorities in both houses.
Democratic supermajority won’t stop intraparty fighting, but may grow center
Democrats on Election Day have a very real chance at winning a two-thirds “supermajority” in the California Legislature. While that would be a major disaster for Republicans politically – if it were to happen – it would likely have little effect on the legislative process if recent history is any guide.  In fact, most of the larger defeats over the last year or so have been due to intraparty fighting.
Election 2018
Candidate filing period opens for LA mayor, city attorney, council seats
The exhausting, never-ending 2016 presidential election isn’t even over yet, but local Los Angeles candidates are already gearing up for the March election. The candidate-filing period for the Los Angeles mayoral, city attorney, controller and council seats opened Monday. Aspiring candidates will have until Friday to submit their declarations of intent to run, and about a month – from Nov. 12 to Dec. 7 – to submit nominating petitions.
See how they run: Candidates lining up for 2018 governor’s race
Up and down the state, candidates are gearing up for the next election. The 2018 gubernatorial election, that is. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is in and is quickly assembling a war chest. Ditto state Treasurer John Chiang. Former California schools superintendent and East Bay Assemblywoman Delaine Eastin says she’s gearing up to run, and Bay Area billionaire Tom Steyer is said to be considering it, too. And former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says he’ll be jumping in as soon as next week.
Antonio Villaraigosa, former L.A. mayor, jumps into the California governor’s race
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Thursday began his 2018 bid for governor after a three-year hiatus from the political limelight, joining a heady field of candidates that is expected to grow larger in the months ahead. The former mayor, who was raised by a single mother in Boyle Heights, said his campaign will focus on rebuilding the middle class and assisting Californians who have been “left behind” in the new economy, along with improving public schools and repairing the state’s deteriorating roads, bridges and other infrastructure.
State Bar
State Bar does not have to disclose racial data, judge rules
The State Bar does not have to disclose the race or ethnicity of the many thousands of Californians who took the bar exam because it would invade their privacy, a judge ruled Monday in a setback for a researcher who hoped the data would support his opposition to affirmative action. Richard Sander, a UCLA law professor, sued in 2008, seeking information on everyone who had taken the exam since 1972 – their race or ethnicity, what law school they attended and their scores on the exam.
Here is what Donald Trump wants to do in his first 100 days

At the end of October, Donald Trump spoke in Gettysburg, Pa., and released a plan for his first 100 days in office. The plan outlines three main areas of focus: cleaning up Washington, including by imposing term limits on Congress; protecting American workers; and restoring rule of law. He also laid out his plan for working with Congress to introduce 10 pieces of legislation that would repeal Obamacare, fund the construction of a wall at the Southern border, encourage infrastructure investment, rebuild military bases, promote school choice and more.
What does Donald Trump have in store for California?
Californians gave Donald Trump a stern rebuke Tuesday, handing Hillary Clinton a victory so lopsided that she ended up winning the nationwide popular vote. Now the multibillion-dollar question is: What does the president-elect have in store for California? As some disheartened California Democrats launched an online movement to secede from the United States, policy experts tried to gauge what to expect from a president-elect who thinks global warming is a hoax, free trade is a job killer and the Affordable Care Act must be repealed.
Liberal California braces for a Donald Trump presidency: ‘We are on high alert’
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee was avoiding questions about his interest in joining a possible Hillary Clinton administration last week, instead stressing the urgent need for more affordable housing to help lessen the scourge of homelessness in his city. “I need a good partner in the White House,” Lee, a Democrat, said at a campaign stop, where he touted his party’s presidential hopeful and sharply criticized her Republican rival, Donald Trump.
President Trump’s Justice Dept. could see less scrutiny of police, more surveillance of Muslims
The Justice Department is set to significantly shift its priorities under Donald Trump, reflecting the themes of a presidential candidate who consistently described the country as riven by chaos and in need of more powerful law enforcement. The department, which under President Obama built an aggressive civil rights division, is likely to take a more hands-off approach toward police departments alleged to have overused force and to loosen restrictions on surveillance in Muslim communities, according to legal analysts and Trump’s public statements.
California today: With Trump’s rise, a return to the ‘rebel state’
As the nation delivered Donald J. Trump a stunning victory, California went the other direction, embracing a progressive agenda. The state resoundingly backed Hillary Clinton, delivering her its 55 electoral votes, but it wasn’t enough to stem the wave of battleground states that lined up for Mr. Trump. “Probably no state is going to be more shocked by tomorrow morning’s headlines than California,” Bruce E. Cain, a professor of political science at Stanford University, said late Tuesday.
Trump plan calls for nationwide concealed carry and an end to gun bans
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump — who said he has a concealed carry permit — called for the expansion of gun rights Friday, including making those permits applicable nationwide. In a position paper published on his website Friday afternoon, Trump called for the elimination of gun and magazine bans, labeling them a “total failure.”
What now for true-blue California?
This was supposed to be, in the minds of many, the election that moved the rest of the nation closer to pluralistic, pro-tax, anti-gun, “progressive” California. Never mind. California voters reinforced the state’s image in a big way, favoring Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by a nearly 2-to-1 margin and passing ballot measures to tax the rich, regulate ammunition sales, soften criminal punishment, ban plastic bags, lift the ban on bilingual education and legalize marijuana.
What a difference a year makes!
One year ago the Dow was 5000 points higher than it opened today. Did I hear that right? Can this be? One year ago the Dow was at 14165! Now it is down 35%. Even Cramer, the thoroughly entertaining (to me, anyway) and highly energized TV financial markets commentator, now says get out of stocks. Get out of stocks? Who’da thunk? And, most of the rest of the world’s organized economies are in the same, sinking boat.
What we’ve learned about the media industry during this election
When the 2016 campaign began, legacy news organizations already faced dim industry projections. Slides in print revenue at newspapers and magazines were accelerating; online advertising, the escape plan for these businesses, teetered. Television executives, lamenting smaller audiences and less enthusiastic advertisers, had finally realized that the huge changes elsewhere in the media industry were coming for them, too.
Why the Latino vote didn’t save America
As someone who had, just 24 hours earlier, asserted that Latino voters would turn out in droves for Hillary Clinton and help save the republic from Donald Trump, I spent Election Night with huevos rancheros on my face. I was wrong. Actually, I was right but I was wrong.  I was right that Latinos did turn out big, at least in early voting. According to The Washington Post, Latinos accounted for a larger percentage of early voters than they did four years ago.
Who will Jerry Brown pick to fill very powerful office?
Tuesday’s election may be history, but another contest for one of California most influential offices looms – with just one voter who counts. With Attorney General Kamala Harris easily claiming a U.S. Senate seat Tuesday, Gov. Jerry Brown must appoint her successor, subject to confirmation by both legislative houses. Brown could name a caretaker to oversee the Department of Justice for the next two years or launch someone on a political career that could lead to the governorship, a U.S. Senate seat or even the presidency.
LA leaders to state: Don’t let SoCalGas resume at Aliso Canyon – yet
County supervisors voted Wednesday to press regulators to deny Southern California Gas Co.’s request to resume injecting natural gas into wells at the Aliso Canyon storage facility, where a four-month leak emitted 109,000 metric tons of methane and displaced thousands of residents. Supervisor Michael Antonovich recommended sending a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission and the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources asking that no new injections be allowed until regulators complete an analysis of the root cause of the leak.
Say goodbye to government by the people
When San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera announced that he would not defend the city in a federal lawsuit challenging state bail laws, he said, “Keeping people locked up for no reason other than they can’t afford to post bail can have far-reaching consequences. People lose their jobs and their homes. Families fall apart. Taxpayers shoulder the cost of jailing people who don’t need to be there. In other words, the current bail system is not just unconstitutional, it’s bad public policy.”
Ballot Initiatives
California’s 17 Propositions explained
Along with national and local races, Californians will be asked to vote on 17 state propositions November 8th. Marianne Kast with the Fresno League of Women Voters stopped by Eyewitness News This Morning, to explain some of them. Kast says the League is frequently asked about the propositions that receive the most advertisement. Those include: Proposition 53, a statewide approval for use of revenue bonds above $2 billion. 
California voters poised to pass new gun and ammo restrictions
California voters will decide Tuesday whether to approve an ammunition and gun-control initiative, that would prohibit the possession of large-capacity magazines and require background checks for the purchase of ammunition. According to a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll released Thursday, the measure has strong voter support with 58 percent in favor of it versus 35 percent opposed.
Gun control measure divides California’s politicians, law enforcement
A gun control measure on California’s ballot Nov. 8 is pitting sheriffs, police chiefs, and prosecutors against most of the state’s political establishment. A state that already has some of the strictest limits on gun ownership in the nation is asking voters to impose regulations on ammunition sales and make it a crime not to report a stolen gun.
Propositions 62 and 66: Two death penalty initiatives to appear on upcoming ballot
California voters will decide on two opposing ballot initiatives — Propositions 62 and 66 — that have to do with the death penalty — including one that seeks to repeal it — when they head to the polls on Nov. 8. Chris Wolfe reports for the KTLA 5 News.
Props 62 and 66: Death penalty debate behind enemy lines

I just saw the first ad from the supporters of Prop 62. Mike Ferrell, the head of that movement, claimed that a “yes” vote on Prop 62 saves innocent lives on Death Row, by giving them all Life-Without-the-Possibility-of-Parole death sentences. What a myth and twist in thinking. Would Mr. Ferrell be willing to debate any LWOP prisoners he has demonized? Or is he afraid of the truth?
If Prop 64 passes, what happens to prisoners convicted of marijuana charges?
Though his fate will hang in the balance on Election Day, Corvain Cooper won’t get to cast a ballot. The 37-year-old will be in a cell in central California’s Atwater federal prison, where he’s serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for convictions involving marijuana. “I was placed in a federal prison at its highest level, with felons who all committed acts of violence,” the Los Angeles native said in a series of monitored emails sent from prison.
Got bank? Election could create flood of marijuana cash with no place to go
Although the sale of marijuana is a federal crime, the number of U.S. banks working with pot businesses, now sanctioned in many states, is growing, up 45 percent in the last year alone. Still, marijuana merchants say there are not nearly enough banks willing to take their cash. So many dispensaries resort to stashing cash in storage units, back offices and armored vans.
Public safety united in opposition to Prop 57
Top law enforcement officials, peace officer and district attorneys’ associations, victims’ rights organizations and civic leaders from across the state have joined forces to speak out against Proposition 57,  which will be voted on in California’s general election on November 8. More than 50 county district attorneys, 30 county sheriffs, 20 police chiefs, 30 congressional members and thousands of peace officers, crime victims and criminal justice advocates represented by over 45 associations unequivocally urge voters to vote No on Prop 57.
Prop 57: Not just a ‘juvenile’ initiative
When touting the merits of The Public Safety & Rehabilitation Act of 2016 (also known as Proposition 57,) the 2016 California voters guide addresses the question surrounding juvenile arrests for violent or serious criminal offenses to be charged as adults. Those convicted could spend years incarcerated in California State prisons.
Inmates supporting Prop 57 Public safety ballot initiative
NBC4 was given exclusive access into law enforcement’s four-year-long investigation, which led to the burglary ring raid. It led them to uncover another enterprise, in which they discovered inmates urging friends and associates to approve Proposition 57. Proposition 57 would make approximately 7,000 prisoners eligible for parole after they complete their primary sentence.
Yolo County’s top prosecutor opposes Prop. 57
In what has been a statewide effort by prosecutors and county supervisors, Yolo County officials are opposing Prop. 57 on next Tuesday’s ballot. In a letter to local newspapers, District Attorney Jeff Reisig, and supervisor Jim Provenza and Matt Rexroad are asking people to think about Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Owen, who was murdered while responding to a burglary call at an apartment building four weeks ago.
Ballot measure could shorten prison time for inmates
Few politicians debate the notion that prison incarceration is an issue demanding attention. The question for California voters is if Prop. 57 addresses the problem adequately. Prop. 57 is called the “California Parole for Non-Violent Criminals and Juvenile Court Trial Requirements Initiative” and will be on the Nov. 8 ballot as a constitutional amendment and state statute.
District Attorney
DA’s office will review campaign contributions from donors with ties to Sea Breeze developer
The Los Angeles district attorney’s office said Monday that it would review a series of campaign contributions made by donors with ties to a developer who secured approval for a controversial $72-million apartment complex. On Sunday, a Times investigation showed that more than 100 donors who were directly or indirectly connected to developer Samuel Leung had made donations totaling more than $600,000 to L.A.-area politicians while his 352-unit Sea Breeze project was being reviewed.
Playboy Playmate Dani Mathers charged in fitness center body shaming case
A Playboy playmate was charged Friday after allegedly secretly photographing a nude woman in a fitness club locker room and posting the image to social media. Dani Mathers was charged with one count of invasion of privacy, the city attorney’s office announced Friday. If convicted, the 29-year-old faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Justice Department sues AT&T-DirecTV, alleges collusion in blocking Dodgers channel
For three seasons, thousands of frustrated Los Angeles Dodgers fans have missed Clayton Kershaw’s brilliant pitches. They also never got to watch Vin Scully’s emotional final season and a dominant march to the playoffs. Now, the U.S. Department of Justice says that baseball fans were shut out because of unfair play by DirecTV, which allegedly colluded with rival pay-TV companies in an effort to make sure that Dodgers games were not widely available in Los Angeles.
Attorney embezzles $150,000 to pay own debt
A disbarred attorney pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of taking nearly $150,000 from three people and using their money to pay personal debts. Fred Raymond Hunter Jr., 50, of Riverside, who was disbarred Oct. 16, 2014, was charged Friday with three felony counts of embezzlement by a fiduciary of trust, with sentencing enhancement allegations for theft exceeding $100,000 and aggravated white collar crime exceeding $100,000.
Why ex-Sheriff Lee Baca’s jail corruption trial will stay in LA County
Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca will be tried in Los Angeles County in December in connection with a jail corruption case after a federal judge denied his request Monday to hold the trial outside the area. U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson denied the motion to change the venue by Baca’s attorneys, who argued that thousands of news stories about the high-profile case this year have saturated the public to the point Baca could not get a fair trial in Los Angeles County.
Conviction & Sentencing
Gun battle with LAPD gets high-speed chase driver 32 years behind bars
A young man who led Los Angeles police on a high-speed chase during which his passenger fired shots at officers was sentenced Wednesday to 32 years in state prison. Avel Jowan Turks, now 20, was sentenced by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon immediately after pleading no contest to two counts of assault on a peace officer.
Eleven years for man who killed fellow transient outside fast-food restaurant
One of two homeless men convicted in the beating and stomping death of a fellow transient outside a fast-food restaurant in downtown Los Angeles was sentenced Monday to 11 years in prison. Derek Miller, 31, pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter in the Feb. 7, 2015, death of Derrick Hamilton. Co-defendant Charles Allender, 42, was charged along with Miller and convicted of second-degree murder following a trial.
Woman gets 21 years in prison for Hollywood fight
A woman shot by police after pointing a gun during a fight in a Hollywood parking structure was sentenced Monday to 21 years in prison. Diamond Shirley Vargas, 49, of Los Angeles was convicted of one felony count of assault with a firearm. Jurors deadlocked on five identical counts. Vargas was shot in the leg following a confrontation on Dec. 26, 2014, in the parking structure of the Hollywood & Highland center.
Rapist pulls victim into car, drives to vacant home, 150 years to life prison!
A rapist convicted of sexually assaulting three women in Los Angeles and two women in Lancaster was sentenced Wednesday to 150 years to life in state prison. James Smith was convicted of nine felony charges stemming from attacks on a 21-year-old woman in Los Angeles on Dec. 24, 2009; a 43-year-old woman in Los Angeles on Sept. 24, 2011; a 33-year-old woman in Los Angeles on March 22, 2012; a 28-year-old woman in Lancaster on Dec. 6, 2013; and a 19-year-old college student in Lancaster on June 16, 2014.
Law Enforcement
Many secret service agents’ overtime pay maxing out in raucous year (Video)
Many of the U.S. Secret Service agents on the campaign trail are not getting paid for all the overtime they’re putting in.
L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell discusses Hatzolah, Israel and Black Lives Matter
While appearing as a guest of attorney Andrew Friedman at the Nov. 1 American Friends of Magen David Adom Red Star Ball, which was held at the Beverly Hilton, drew more than 1,000 attendees and raised more than $14 million to support Israel’s ambulance, blood-services, and disaster relief organization, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell discussed what local emergency medical response services could learn from similar organizations in Israel, the state of police and African-American relations in Los Angeles in the age of Black Lives Matter and more with the Journal.
Former Long Beach officer arrested after alleged domestic assault and death threat
A former Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) officer was arrested today by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) and charged with felony counts by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division, including burglary, assault with a firearm and false imprisonment charges, the LBPD announced.
New law aims for police accountability in use of force cases
A new law aimed at holding police accountable for use of force incidents has raised concerns among both police departments and civil rights groups. California Assembly Bill 71 requires police departments to submit annual data of their use of force, from shootings to altercations resulting in great bodily harm, and makes the records accessible to the public.
Parents of Ezell Ford, who was fatally shot by LAPD officers, settle lawsuit with city
The parents of Ezell Ford, a mentally ill man who was fatally shot by Los Angeles police officers in 2014, have settled their wrongful death and state civil rights lawsuit with the city of L.A., according to court papers. Attorneys for Ford’s parents and the city reached the tentative settlement Oct. 21, according to an order filed by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rita Miller.
Trans women want cops to stop prostitution crackdowns
A coalition of activist groups is asking the Los Angeles Police Department to back off of its operations against transgender women suspected of prostitution. Those crackdowns usually happen in Hollywood, along Santa Monica Boulevard.
FBI in internal feud over Hillary Clinton probe
The surprise disclosure that agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation are taking a new look at Hillary Clinton’s email use lays bare, just days before the election, tensions inside the bureau and the Justice Department over how to investigate the Democratic presidential nominee.
Body cameras end guesswork in controversial cop stops? 1,000 deputies get them
The Los Angeles Police Department isn’t the only massive Southern California law enforcement agency grappling with the use of body-worn cameras in the wake of controversial shootings and confrontations around the nation. The Riverside county Board of Supervisors next week is expected to authorize Sheriff Stan Sniff to move ahead with plans to outfit all patrol deputies with body-worn cameras to “improve employee and citizen accountability.”
Fairbanks officer who predicted his own shooting has died
Fairbanks Police Sgt. Allen Brandt has died. The officer, who was shot earlier this month, suffered complications during surgery on his eye on Thursday. His condition deteriorated, and he was not able to recover, according to Acting Police Chief Brad Johnson. “Fairbanks lost a hero today,” Johnson said. “Our community, our department, our families and our friends are hurting.”
As threat evolves, Riverside County Sheriff’s gear up
Sheriff Stan Sniff, concerned that law enforcement officers in Riverside County and nationwide are increasingly encountering shooters firing high-powered weapons and refusing to surrender, has authorized his patrol deputies to wear special ceramic vests that are more likely to stop a bullet from a rifle than the vests they currently wear under their uniform shirts.
Prison & Parole
These puppies have a ‘magical’ effect on a state prison. Can they help inmates change?
When a pair of puppies stepped into a state prison’s highest security yard on a scorching summer day, dozens of felons fretted that the Labradors would singe their feet on hot pavement. “Pick them up! You’ve got to carry them. Watch out for their paws!” inmate Andre Ramnanan remembers his worried peers shouting at him.
Woman fights against early release of her brother’s killer
A Bakersfield woman is carrying on a lone fight against the early release of her brother’s killer, who was killed in a fiery car crash in August 2007 in Carson. William, better known as Bill, Cunha was 62 years old. According to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s reports, Cunha died when his vehicle was broadsided by another driver in a Chevy Avalanche.
Help stop parole of cop killer Voltaire Williams
We need your help to prevent a cop killer from walking free. Twice in two years, Voltaire Williams CDC# E17796, the convicted murderer of LAPD Detective Thomas Williams, has been up for parole. Both times, after organized efforts by the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) to send letters to Governor Brown and the Board of Parole Hearings, Williams was denied parole.
County Government
LA supervisors to vote on civilian oversight of sheriff
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is expected Tuesday to take the long awaited step of creating a civilian commission to act as a watchdog for the sheriff’s department. The idea of a citizen’s panel arose three years ago amid a federal investigation into inmate abuse inside LA County jails. That investigation led to the indictment of more than 20 deputies and the abrupt resignation of former Sheriff Lee Baca.
When CA voters cleaned house at the State Supreme Court 
Thirty years ago, on November 4, 1986, California voters ousted Rose Bird, chief justice of the California Supreme Court, by a margin of 67 to 33 percent. This landslide vote confirmed that, contrary to current rhetoric, a bipartisan ruling class out of touch with the people is not a new development. Bird had been the first female public defender in Santa Clara County before serving as campaign chauffeur for Jerry Brown during his run for governor in 1974.
Court: The crime is what you did, not what you could have done
California’s Proposition 47 reduces felony convictions to misdemeanors for property crimes of less than $950. But when Jullian Rendon tried to reclassify her forgery conviction as a misdemeanor because she was caught with $260 in counterfeit bills, prosecutors objected because Rendon also possessed materials – blank pre-cut paper money, Benjamin Franklin faces and other items – that she could have used to fabricate tens of thousands of dollars in additional fake bills.
SF city attorney Dennis Herrera condemns state’s bail system
A decades-old California law that keeps people in jail if they can’t afford bail after their arrest came under renewed attack Tuesday from San Francisco’s city attorney, who said the city wouldn’t defend the law in court, and a Bay Area legislator, who promised a bill to repeal it.
The law “creates a two-tiered system: one for those with money and another for those without.
Judge excoriates Orange County sheriff for alleged concealment of jailhouse informant evidence
Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals blasted county Sheriff Sandra Hutchens in court Friday over a seeming refusal to turn over all evidence related to a tainted jailhouse informant program that has allegedly violated the rights of numerous defendants and threatens to upend multiple murder cases in the county.
Changing face of Los Angeles reflected in judicial candidates
The extraordinary diversity within the population of Los Angeles is reflected in a judicial race that pits a British born prosecutor against a Vietnamese American civil litigator in a race that has brought background, experience and temperament to the fore. One candidate was educated in London and steeped in the culture that produced the “Rumpole of the Bailey” television series.
Jerry Brown touted his pension reforms as a game-changer. But they’ve done little to rein in costs
year after his 2010 election, Gov. Jerry Brown made a rare appearance at a legislative committee hearing to confront lawmakers about the steep cost of public employee pensions – and to demand that they pass his 12-point pension overhaul. Brown challenged fellow Democrats to drink political “castor oil” so public retirement costs would not overburden future generations.
As California turns left, conservatives’ culture war victories are being erased
Culture wars dominated California politics during the 1980s and 1990s, and for the most part those on the conservative side of the ideological scale prevailed. But then is then and now is now, and the tide appears to have turned.
Villaraigosa looks to former Newsom confidant to guide campaign
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa plans to turn to a San Francisco-based consultant and former confidant of rival Gavin Newsom to help guide his 2018 gubernatorial campaign, as he seeks to make inroads outside of Southern California. Villaraigosa’s plan to use Eric Jaye as a strategist, confirmed by multiple sources Monday, comes as Villaraigosa prepares to announce his candidacy shortly after the presidential election on Nov. 8.
L.A. City Council President wants to legalize pot shops, because they’re actually not legal
Pot shops in the city of Los Angeles technically are illegal. In 2013 voters approved a look-the-other-way law, Proposition D, which grants “limited legal immunity” to 135 or fewer dispensaries in L.A. that have kept up with certain regulations since 2007. Those collectives, however, could be outlawed on Jan. 1, 2018, when a package of state cannabis bills takes effect.
Anne Gust Brown for attorney general? She’s got a job, Jerry says
Perhaps no political parlor game has stirred as much curiosity among California politicos as Gov. Jerry Brown’s possible selection for state attorney general. Brown will have the opportunity to elevate the state’s next top law enforcement official if frontrunner Kamala Harris wins the seat of retiring U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer in the Nov. 8 election.
Politicians and activists demand answers on mystery donations tied to ‘Sea Breeze’ developer
Two Los Angeles-area elected officials and several neighborhood activists called Sunday for an investigation into campaign donations made by people with ties to a developer who secured City Hall approval for a controversial 352-unit apartment complex last year. The Times reported that dozens of donors with direct or indirect connections to real estate developer Samuel Leung gave more than $600,000 to L.A.-area politicians as his $72-million project was being reviewed.
Ballot Measures
Local law enforcement leaders say Prop 57 is ‘deceptive,’ will roll back victims’ rights, lowers criminal penalties
As voters prepare to decide on a slate of statewide ballot measures, local and regional law enforcement leaders have come out with a strong warning against Proposition 57, which they say will endanger the safety of the communities and citizens they serve. They’re also concerned that it will undermine the authority of local elected judges and erode four decades’ worth of advances in victims’ rights in California.
No on Prop. 57: Early release of violent criminals would be allowed
Proposition 57 is a dangerous and misleading constitutional amendment that will put the citizens of California at serious risk. The proponents of Proposition 57 have said this law will only affect “nonviolent” felons. They claim that only people in prison for “nonviolent” offenses will be eligible for early release. But the truth is there are few prisoners left in state prison that are truly “nonviolent.”
Proposition 57 would let thieves nonviolently steal our stuff
Vote “no” on Proposition 57 – unless, of course, you would like to go back to wondering if your auto has been nonviolently stolen while you’re sitting at the movies, unless you would like to go back to wondering while you’re at work all day, if your house has been nonviolently ransacked and your valuables purloined. It’s actually more cost-effective to keep thieves jailed than to “wonder.” How much is your peace of mind worth to you?
Governor’s Prop. 57 could be a danger to our communities
Is Proposition 57 a get-out-of-jail-free card containing dire consequences for our cities, streets and homes, or is it a desperately needed constitutional change that will make our prisons less crowded and provide hope to prisoners seeking redemption? Jerry Brown is perhaps the most popular politician in California history, having been elected governor four times. Proposition 57 is his personal crusade.
Prop. 57 puts every Californian in danger
Every once in a while the American people decide to change their mind on a contentious, hot-button issue of the day. It usually happens gradually, as people age and newer generations with different opinions replace them. We’ve seen this happen on a large scale with policy regarding civil rights, gay marriage and how we treat the mentally ill.
Proposition 57: Do you feel lucky?
Sponsors say Proposition 57, the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016, will save taxpayers money by making nonviolent felons eligible for parole earlier and improve fairness by having judges, not prosecutors, decide whether juveniles are tried as adults. Critics call it a “get out of jail early” card. I would add that it’s the sort of dishonest measure that becomes commonplace under unaccountable one-party rule.
Governor playing key role in two California ballot battles
California Governor Jerry Brown isn’t on the November ballot, but he’s playing a key role in two state initiative campaigns. He is the author of Proposition 57, a measure aimed at reducing overcrowding in the state’s prisons, and his ballot measure committee has contributed over $4 million — more than a third of the $11.5 million raised for the initiative, a MapLight analysis has found.
What you need to know about California’s 17 ballot measures
The Nov. 8 election is upon us, and Californians are already voting in record numbers. They face 17 ballot measures – tax increases, condom requirements, ammunition controls and marijuana legalization among them. What to do? Our complete voter guide is available here. But below you can find direct links to a brief rundown of what each measure does, what it costs and who’s taken a position on it and why.
California ballot initiative goes further on bullet background checks
A ballot initiative in California looks to go a step further on a bullet background check law already passed by the state’s legislature in May. Some of the major bullet points of Proposition 63 have already been voted on by California lawmakers and signed by the governor. The law is set to take effect in January 2019. But Prop. 63 adds more red tape to one of the processes getting the most attention – the bullet background check.
Burglaries up in Benicia since Proposition 47 passed two years ago
Crime reports show burglaries are up significantly in Benicia since voters passed state Proposition 47 two years ago. The latest crime report from the Police Department in September shows a year-to-date increase over last year’s numbers, and law enforcement officials are fighting back, Benicia Police Department spokesmen said.
Kidnapping victim Jaycee Dugard opposes Prop. 57
Seven years after she was freed from captivity, Jaycee Dugard has kept a relatively low profile. Despite writing a couple of best-selling first-person books about a life defined by her 1991 kidnapping and subsequent near-slavery, her precise whereabouts remain a mystery. Dugard is single, according to interviews, and spends her time focusing on her children.
Prop. 57 would release violent criminals and undermine victims’ rights
Make no mistake about it: Proposition 57 is a dangerous, dangerous ballot initiative that poses a great threat to the people of California. The ballot title and summary called the “Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016” could not be more misleading or further from the truth as to what it does or, worse yet, for what it would do.
Sergeant’s widow has strong words against Prop. 57
Families of local law enforcement officers killed in shootings this month spoke out Tuesday against Proposition 57, the so-called safety and rehabilitation act that Gov. Jerry Brown strongly supports. Brown supports it so much that he has put up $5 million of his own campaign money in support of the proposition.
Families of 2 slain officers call Governor’s Prop 57 campaign deceptive
Family members of two law enforcement officers slain in recent weeks have come out against Proposition 57, accusing Gov. Jerry Brown of attempting to deceive voters about the measure that would enable some inmates to be paroled sooner. “Governor Brown, I’m calling you out on this,” said Tania Owen, widow of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Owen, who was shot to death on Oct. 5 while pursuing a burglary suspect in Lancaster.
LA County Sheriff Jim McDonnell weighs in on upcoming ballot measures
Voters will be tasked with deciding on several measures during Election Day on Nov. 8, including measures that could have an impact on public safety. Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell and other law enforcement officials voiced their opposition to Proposition 57 and 62 and their backing of Proposition 66 on Tuesday. Proposition 57 would increase parole chances for felons convicted of non-violent crimes.
California voters are being asked to force transparency in the Legislature. Here’s a Proposition 54 explainer.
The backers of Proposition 54 don’t have to do much to explain their motivation for imposing a waiting period for final action on bills by the California Legislature. History, it turns out, does it for them just fine. There was the time in 2014 when an extension of a tax break for installing solar panels mysteriously appeared in the state budget and was on the governor’s desk in less than two days.
Gil Garcetti and Eric Siddall weigh in on Proposition 62
California is one of 30 states where the death penalty is legal, but on Election Day here in California – things could change. Proposition 62 is a ballot initiative designed to abolish the death penalty. A ‘Yes’ vote means…you want to get rid of the death penalty and replace it with life in prison, without the possibility of parole. A ‘No’ vote means…you want to keep things as they are and keep the death penalty in place.
California correctional officers launch pro-death penalty campaign
With polls showing California voters poised to abolish the death penalty in just two weeks, the state correctional officers’ union is underwriting a major drive to save capital punishment. The California Correctional Peace Officers Association on Monday released a pair of ads encouraging voters to reject Proposition 62, which would replace the death penalty with life imprisonment without parole, and support a competing measure, Proposition 66, that aims to expedite the process and resume long-stalled executions.
Death penalty opponents exaggerate cost of executions in new ad
If voters approve Proposition 62 this November, California would replace the death penalty with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Rather than focusing on moral arguments, supporters of the initiative have sought to make the campaign an issue of fiscal sensibility. In a new television ad, Ron Briggs, who managed his father’s successful 1978 ballot measure to expand California’s death penalty, says it was a mistake, emphasizing that the state would save money if it abolishes capital punishment.
Fleischman: The 7 ugliest propositions on the California ballot
There are 17 propositions on the California ballot next month. They range from good, to bad, to downright ugly. Below is a quick summary of the seven ugliest of the bunch – those easily deserving your “no” vote. Prop. 55 & Prop. 56 – Because we need taxes in California to be the highest in the nation, here are two massive tax increases placed right in front of you. Both of these are in the vein of the expression, “Don’t tax me, tax the guy behind the tree.”
Meet the main man fighting against California’s Prop. 64
The leading advocates for Proposition 64, the California initiative that would legalize and regulate the adult use of cannabis, are well known: Gavin Newsom, the dashing lieutenant governor; Sean Parker, the tech startup billionaire; and Jay Z, musician and general mogul. But who’s fighting it? That would be John Lovell. Lovell is a longtime law enforcement lobbyist who’s emerged as one of the leading voices against legalization in the nation’s largest state.
Terror attack put Californians behind sweeping gun-control initiative
In the aftermath of the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack which devastated the working-class Southern California community, Golden state lawmakers revitalized a longstanding gun-control debate. Backed by public polling and overwhelming support in many of California’s most populated districts, California Democrats responded quickly to the tragic mass shooting and proposed a barrage of new gun bills that were eventually inked by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Prison & Parole
Manson follower ‘Tex’ Watson denied parole in California
California parole officials recommended Thursday that Charles “Tex” Watson, the self-described right-hand man of murderous cult leader Charles Manson, should remain in prison 47 years after he helped plan and carry out the slayings of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six other people. Watson’s 17th parole hearing was held at Mule Creek State Prison, near Sacramento. He can seek parole again in five years.
Will California counties rethink charging parents fees for locked up kids?
If your kid gets arrested and locked up, it turns out you (the parent) might end up footing the bill. This might seem strange – after all, the state doesn’t charge adults for the cost of incarcerating them – but there is a little-known law that allows counties to collect money from parents for the cost of upkeep while their kids are in custody. One such parent is M.C., an Antioch resident who didn’t want her full name used because she worries for her and her son’s safety.
Man accused of killing Modoc sheriff’s deputy could face death penalty
A man accused of killing a Modoc County sheriff’s deputy has been charged with murder and could face the death penalty, authorities said. Jack Lee Breiner, 47, faces one count of willful, deliberate and premeditated murder for the death of Deputy Jack Hopkins, one count of attempted murder for shooting at Modoc Sheriff Mike Poindexter and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to the Modoc County district attorney’s office.
Backpage sex ad fight thrown out of court
A federal judge Monday threw out’s claim that the U.S. attorney general is enforcing an unconstitutional law against advertising the sex trafficking of children. Law enforcement agencies for years have claimed that’s online “Escort” and “Adult Services” ads are thinly disguised ads for prostitution, sometimes forced prostitution, sometimes of children.
Australian man charged with attempted murder at Miranda Kerr’s home
A man has been charged with the attempted murder of a security guard who was stabbed at the home of supermodel Miranda Kerr. Shaun Anthony Haywood, 29, allegedly slashed the guard’s face with a knife after breaking into the Australian model’s Los Angeles property to deliver a letter on 14 October, prosecutors say. Haywood, from Australia, was then shot by the armed security guard, the Los Angeles county district attorney’s office said.
Conviction & Sentencing
California man gets 1,503 years in prison for raping teen daughter
A Fresno man was sentenced to 1,503 years in prison for raping his teenage daughter over a four-year period, a case that stands in stark contrast to a recent controversial ruling in a Montana rape and incest case. The 41-year-old California man was sentenced Friday to the longest-known prison sentence in Fresno Superior Court history, the Fresno Bee reported. The Associated Press and CBS News are avoiding naming the man because it could identify his daughter.
2 L.A. gang members convicted of killing special-needs man for wearing red shoes, prosecutors say
Two gang members were convicted Monday of killing a 19-year-old man with special needs because he was wearing red shoes, prosecutors said. The eight-man, four-woman jury deliberated less than three hours before reaching guilty verdicts for Kanasho Johns, 29, and Kevin Deon Johnson, 26. They were charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Tavin Price on May 29, 2015 near a South Los Angeles car wash.
Prosecutor’s plea: Lock up for life killer of TSA agent at LAX
The man who opened fire inside a Los Angeles International Airport terminal in 2013, killing a TSA officer and wounding three other people, was bent on committing mass murder and should be sentenced to life behind bars, a federal prosecutor wrote in court papers obtained by City News Service.
‘El Chapo’ cohort gets 15 years for drug ring
A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced one of the most wanted Mexican cartel drug traffickers who also had ties to “El Chapo” Guzman to 15 years in prison. Victor Emilio Cazares Gastellum, 53, also known as “El Licenciado,” was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William Hayes for his role as the leader of a large-scale drug trafficking ring which moved drugs from Colombia and Venezuela through Central America to Mexico.
Law Enforcement
Feds: 24 charged with bringing drugs from LA to Chicago on Amtrak
Twenty-four people have been charged by federal authorities with using Amtrak trains to transport drugs from Los Angeles to Chicago. The indictments allege wholesale quantities of cocaine and heroin, obtained from Mexico and Southern California, were transported from Los Angeles to Union Station aboard Amtrak Express trains, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Crime down in Atwater, but public safety remains key political issue
It’s not every day a prominent Realtor and former city councilman uses a public forum to say his community is “going in a sh–hole.” Andy Krotik, director of government affairs for the Merced County Realtor Association, said during a meeting Oct. 6 that he was concerned about the public’s safety in Atwater.
Gaps in SF, state counts of police killings hinder grasp of issue
A little more than a year ago, outrage over police shootings around the country led California Attorney General Kamala Harris to launch an “unprecedented” project called Open Justice to provide user-friendly statistics – including counts of fatal police encounters – to researchers and regular citizens. But the public still isn’t getting a complete picture of these deadly incidents. Not even close.
The myth of the racist cop
FBI Director James Comey has again defied the official White House line on policing and the Black Lives Matter movement. The “narrative that policing is biased and violent and unfair” is resulting in “more dead young black men,” Mr. Comey warned in an Oct. 16 address to the International Association of Chiefs of Police in San Diego. That narrative, he added, also “threatens the future of policing.”
Report: half of US adults are in facial recognition databases used by police
A new report finds images of more than half of adults living in the US are stored in a series of police facial recognition databases, in many cases without any prior contact with police. That’s according to a new report that raising concerns and inconsistencies about privacy. A Martinez spoke with Alvaro Bedoya, executive director of Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology, who authored the report.
Dead sheriff’s sergeant had heart attack before crashing patrol car in Compton
A 47-year-old sheriff’s sergeant who died after his patrol car crashed in Compton had suffered a heart attack, the coroner’s office reported Wednesday. The crash occurred about 5:20 a.m. Monday at Myrrh Street and Willowbrook Avenue. Sgt. Al Lopez, a 26-year veteran of the department, died at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, according to the sheriff’s department.
‘The father of the modern police novel’ Joseph Wambaugh on ‘Dragnet,’ police shootings and Hollywood’s action addiction
Joseph Wambaugh earned the title “father of the modern police novel” in 1971 when he published “The New Centurions,” a raw, emotional look at the experiences of a class of new Los Angeles Police Department cadets in the years leading up to the 1965 Watts riots. No matter who had written it, “The New Centurions” would be a masterpiece, as are Wambaugh’s other police books, including “The Onion Field,” a nonfiction account of the kidnapping of two LAPD officers.
Americans’ respect for police reaches highest level since 1967, poll finds
Americans’ respect for local police jumped to its highest levels since 1967, according to a new Gallup poll Monday. The poll, conducted earlier this month, found 76% of Americans said they have “a great deal” of respect for police in their area, up 12 percentage points from last year.  The findings follow high-profile fatal attacks on police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, and come amid ongoing protests over police shootings of black men across the country.
Washington sheriff fires back at NFL over Josh Brown case
King County Sheriff John Urquhart fired back at the NFL, which called his agency out for not disclosing the extent of New York Giants kicker Josh Brown’s domestic violence accusations. “I don’t like to get pushed around by a bully,” Urquhart told KIRO-FM on Thursday. “Or I can be charitable and say they don’t know the facts. They don’t understand how public disclosure works. That’s a better way to put it, if I felt like being charitable.
California city proposes mandatory gun lock law
City leaders in San Jose, the third-largest city in the California, are evaluating a plan that would require gun owners to secure their firearms when they are not in use. Councilman Ash Kalra, a Democrat currently running for an open seat in the California State Assembly, is sponsoring the legislation along with Councilman Raul Peralez, a former San Jose police officer, in what he terms an effort to increase public safety.
Angelenos fight city’s ‘anti-gang’ orders
The Los Angeles Police Department unconstitutionally expands the reach of gang injunctions to impose “probation-like conditions” on thousands of people who are not gang members, a Youth Justice Coalition claims in a federal class action. The Youth Justice Coalition and two men claim the city and its police force’s repeated violations of due process disproportionately affect men of color.
California spent all-time high $21 billion on crime last year
A new report lays out a stunning price tag for the cost of crime in California last year: nearly $21 billion. Even as the state has launched criminal justice reforms in recent years aimed at reducing its prison population, California’s expenses related to responding to crime and incarceration have continued to rise to an all-time high for the state.
L.A. County Sheriff making naughty list of deputies
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has begun to compile a list of its own employees who’s past bad behavior could be problematic if those employees were called to testify about criminal investigations in court. For the first time that list is expected to be forwarded to the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office so prosecutors can check to see if a deputy or detective could be challenged in court about past dishonesty, law breaking, or incidents considered to be, “acts of moral turpitude.”
County Government
After $38-million deal collapsed, L.A. County secretly launched public corruption probe of retired CEO
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors secretly launched a public corruption investigation of its former Chief Executive William T Fujioka shortly after his retirement two years ago, examining his role in real estate dealings, a multimillion-dollar emergency communications project and other county business, according to a document obtained by The Times and officials familiar with the probe.
Hahn, Napolitano vie for powerful Los Angeles board seat
The race features someone who has worked in the trenches of Los Angeles County government against a longtime elected official who’s also among the region’s political elite. Put another way, the contest between Steve Napolitano and Congresswoman Janice Hahn is between and a man who is spending more than a million dollars on his own campaign against a woman who seeks to follow in the footsteps of her politically famous father.
On anniversary of blowout, activists vow to ‘keep fighting’ to shut down Aliso Canyon facility
On the one-year anniversary of the start of the catastrophic natural gas leak at the Aliso Canyon storage facility, environmental activists, Porter Ranch-area residents and political candidates renewed their call Sunday to “Shut. It. All. Down.” More than 125 people gathered at Holleigh Bernson Memorial Park in neighboring Porter Ranch for a community fair and rally that was followed by a march to Southern California Gas Co.’s Aliso Canyon facility and a “memorial ceremony.”
Californian’s fight against illegal college subsidies for illegal immigrants heads to court
The next front in the battle over in-state tuition rates for illegal immigrants will play out in a California appeals court on Nov. 3 in a lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch on behalf of California resident and taxpayer Earl De Vries. The issue there is not whether the California Legislature can authorize in-state tuition to illegal immigrants-courts have held that they can-but whether the University of California Board of Regents, an independent body from the state Legislature, can lawfully authorize in-state tuition for illegal immigrants at all University of California campuses in direct violation of federal law.
Opponents of Beverly Hilton project allege voter fraud
Opponents of the Beverly Hilton’s bid to erect the tallest building in Beverly Hills have asked Los Angeles County prosecutors and elections officials to investigate allegations of voter registration fraud. The allegations, including that more than 300 Beverly Hills voters are registered illegally to post office boxes rather than their home addresses, were made by a lawyer for Beverly Hills Residents and Businesses to Preserve Our City, a committee sponsored by a competing developer, Chinese entertainment and real estate giant Wanda Group.
Feud escalates between OC Supervisor Spitzer and DA Rackauckas
The ongoing feud between Supervisor Todd Spitzer and District Attorney Tony Rackauckas escalated Tuesday, with the supervisor using a relatively routine item on the board meeting agenda to bash Orange County’s top prosecutor for not having a “day-to-day” professional running the office. The discussion about whether Rackauckas should have a chief deputy as a second-in-command began when Patrick Dixon, a member of the committee Rackauckas formed to review the jailhouse snitch scandal, raised the issue at Tuesday’s meeting.
Second man charged in Venice Veterans Memorial vandalism
Vandalism charges have been filed against a second man accused of defacing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Venice just before Memorial Day, prosecutors said Thursday. Luis Daniel Medina, also known as “Pheb,” is scheduled to be arraigned today on one felony count of vandalism with over $400 in damage and one misdemeanor count of possession of tools to commit vandalism or graffiti.
Massage therapist pleads not guilty to sexually assaulting client during private session 
A massage therapist from Burbank pleaded not guilty Wednesday to sexually assaulting a client he met while working out of a North Hollywood gym, officials said. Daniel Holbert, 48, was charged in July with one felony count of sexual penetration by a foreign object by fraudulent representation, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. He is due back in court next month.
West Covina councilman pleads not guilty to misdemeanor DUI charge
A West Covina councilman pleaded not guilty Thursday to drunk driving charges in connection with a crash in June, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Michael Herman Spence, 50, had an attorney enter his plea Thursday morning to a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of a drug.
Woman pleads no contest to manslaughter in stabbing of brother’s girlfriend in Rowland Heights
A woman pleaded no contest Wednesday to one count of voluntary manslaughter in the fatal stabbing of her brother’s girlfriend, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. Lisette Kimberly Moreno pleaded no contest to a felony count of voluntary manslaughter for killing Annette Martinez, 21, with scissors.
She killed abusive hubby mayor of Bell Gardens: Self-defense plea deal falls apart
Efforts to reach a plea deal with no jail time have fallen apart for the wife of slain Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo Sr., who claims she shot and killed him in self-defense after enduring years of abuse at his hands, her attorneys said Monday. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy asked whether a plea deal had been struck when the parties were discussing potential trial dates for Lyvette Crespo, 45.
The feds had an open-and-shut bribery case against 2 brothers. Then it unraveled
The case against the brothers seemed like a sure thing. Last October, FBI agents arrested Sukhbir Singh and his brother Jimmy Sandhu, the owners of a tow truck company. The men were charged with bribing a member of the Huntington Park City Council in an effort to buy his support for higher towing fees.
Conviction & Sentencing
Former Sen. Ron Calderon sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison for bribery
Former state Sen. Ron Calderon was sentenced to three and a half years in federal prison Friday, four months after pleading guilty to one count of mail fraud. He also will be required to do 150 hours of community service after he is released from prison. The federal corruption case against Calderon, D-Montebello, also swept up his brother, former state Assemblyman Tom Calderon, D-Montebello, who on Sept. 12 was sentenced to 10 months in federal custody for money laundering after pleading guilty to hiding the tens of thousands of dollars in bribes paid to his brother.
Whittier Daily News
Moments after his child sexual assault conviction, an ex-teacher slit his own throat in court
The first indication that something was amiss came when Jeffrey Scott Jones slumped suddenly in the Southern California courtroom. His head struck the table in front of him, and shocked attorneys saw blood streaming from his neck. Jones, 56, had been on trial in Orange County Superior Court on Wednesday, accused of sexually assaulting and raping a girl when she was 13, according to court documents.
Killer teacher’s never getting out: Appeal rejected in wife’s slasher murder
The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to review the case against a former Los Angeles Unified School District elementary school teacher convicted of the slashing murder of his estranged wife who had taken refuge at a friend’s home in West Hills. Michael Rodney Kane was found guilty in March 2015 of first-degree murder for the June 15, 2013, stabbing death of his estranged wife, Michelle, 43.
Former Calif. college student sentenced to 30 years for trying to aid ISIS
A former California college student was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years in prison for trying to aid the Islamic State group. Muhanad Badawi, 25, was also sentenced to a lifetime of supervised release during a hearing in federal court in Santa Ana. He was convicted earlier this year of conspiracy to aid a foreign terrorist organization and other crimes.
Jury finds Camarillo man guilty of murder in deputy death
A Camarillo man accused of killing a Ventura County sheriff’s deputy was found guilty of second-degree murder Friday, ending a years-long saga that began with the death of Yevhen “Eugene” Kostiuchenko in October 2014. After nearly two days of deliberations – jurors agreed that Kevin Hogrefe, 27, was guilty of the death of Kostiuchenko while driving drunk.
Law Enforcement
Long Beach officer shoots and wounds man armed with a knife, police say
A Long Beach police officer shot and wounded a man who authorities said was armed with a knife and came toward the officer. The shooting occurred about 9:30 p.m. Thursday in the 100 block of the Colonnade in Naples, a tony district on the east end of Long Beach. Police were called to a home there after a man who appeared to be intoxicated tried to enter the home’s front door, Long Beach police spokeswoman Marlene Arrona said.
Thousands mourn Sgt. Steven C. Owen, who ‘fed the hungry,’ at Lancaster memorial service
The penetrating sound of bagpipes wailed as the flag-draped casket of Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Steven C. Owen, who was fatally shot by a parolee on Oct. 5, was escorted into Lancaster Baptist Church on Thursday for a memorial that celebrated “a life well-lived.” Thousands of law enforcement personnel, family, friends and dignitaries from around the nation came to the Lancaster church to pay their respects to the slain 29-year Sheriff’s Department veteran, who was remembered as a tireless patrol deputy, a consummate sergeant, a devout Christian and true family man.
New use-of-force reforms are shift in focus, not disciplinary change
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said a sweeping set of reforms approved by the Police Commission earlier this month won’t have a huge impact on police training or policy, but will mean a new focus for both. “I don’t think there’s gonna be a huge change,” Beck told Airtalk host Larry Mantle, “because we already do role-playing. We already do scenario-based training. We already have our fire arms trainings simulators. Much of this is in place, and it’s a further refinementof things we already do.”
Assassination attempt on Vallejo cops linked to boy’s shooting
A 41-year-old North Bay man with a felony criminal record attempted to assassinate two Vallejo police officers on a coffee break Sunday night, but his modified assault rifle jammed, police officials said Monday. Authorities said officers ultimately chased Adam Powell, who was wearing body armor, out of the Starbucks on Lincoln Road and shot him three times as he continued to fiddle with the weapon – shutting down what police said could have been a bloodbath.
Wait for facts before convicting Pasadena police: Guest commentary
Across the nation, a narrative has emerged that is most often false and feeds into race antagonism. It is the story of violent interactions between police and African Americans, ending with the death of an African-American man. Whatever the particulars, the resulting death is consistently used as a demonstration of “systemic racism.”
Registered sex offender accused of killing California deputy
A sheriff’s deputy shot dead in rural northern California was killed by a man listed in state records as a registered sex offender shortly after the deputy arrived at a home to investigate a domestic disturbance, authorities said Thursday. Deputy Jack Hopkins, 31, died instantly Wednesday morning and the suspect, Jack Lee Breiner, was arrested after a chase and shootout with another officer that left both wounded, the Modoc County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Video of St. Paul cop’s arrest attempt grabbed views. Here’s what you don’t see.
“Don’t shoot me!” a young man told a St. Paul police officer over and over again. The officer had his gun out, pointing at the ground, as the man walked away from him. A woman videotaped the encounter last month and posted it on Facebook, where it’s received much attention. The video ends after about one minute and doesn’t show what happened next. Police say the man was not shot – he ran away and remains at large.
Judge: Ex-LAPD sergeant violated ethics rules after stop of ‘Django Unchained’ actress, but shouldn’t be fined
A former Los Angeles police sergeant violated city ethics rules when he leaked to the media a recording from his controversial stop of an actress from “Django Unchained” – but should not be fined for doing so, a judge has determined. In a proposed order signed Friday, administrative law Judge Samuel D. Reyes agreed with city ethics officials that now-retired Sgt. Jim Parker inappropriately shared confidential information – audio from his personal recorder – and created a private advantage for himself “as it protected his reputation against allegations of racism.”
Man dies after exploding pipe bomb inside Oakland health clinic
A man has died after exploding a pipe bomb inside an Oakland health clinic Tuesday evening. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office confirmed a report of an explosion at the San Antonio Neighborhood Health Center, located at 1030 International Blvd. just before 6:30 p.m. Witnesses told Oakland police that a man in a wheelchair entered the lobby of the clinic armed with what appeared to be a pipe bomb. He then detonated the bomb, taking his own life.
Law enforcement officers killed and assaulted report released
Today, the FBI released its annual Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) report-this one covering the 41 felonious deaths, the 45 accidental deaths, and the 50,212 line-of-duty assaults of officers during 2015. Among the report’s highlights: The number of officers killed as a result of criminal acts in 2015-41-decreased from the 2014 figure of 51. The average age of the officers killed feloniously in 2015 was 40, and the average length of service was 12 years.
Head of nation’s largest police chief group issues formal apology for ‘historical mistreatment’ of racial minorities
The president of the country’s largest police chief organization formally apologized Monday for the “historical mistreatment” of racial minorities – one of the strongest statements a national police figure has made to date on race. Law enforcement officers have been the “face of oppression for far too many of our fellow citizens,” Terrence Cunningham, president of the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police, told thousands of police chiefs from across the country at the group’s annual conference in San Diego.
Injured sheriff prevails in medical records privacy case
A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy (identified as John Doe) and the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS) filed a complaint against the County of Los Angeles and other parties alleging that the defendants unlawfully accessed Doe’s medical information, and later discriminated and retaliated against him for asserting his right to keep that information confidential.
Slain Modoc County deputy to be transported to Redding
The body of the Modoc County Sheriff’s deputy who was killed while responding to a disturbance call Wednesday will be transported to his family in Redding on Thursday morning, according to spokeswoman Kristen Wilburn, a California Highway Patrol officer. Jack Hopkins, 31, was killed while responding to a disturbance call on Wednesday, according to the Modoc County Sheriff’s Office. Hopkins had worked as a deputy with the department since 2015.
Game Changer: The FBI’s RISC Mobile ID Query
If criminals on the streets often have the best and latest technology to help them commit crimes and conceal identities, shouldn’t the officer on the street be equally well equipped to fight these crimes? While cost is often a factor for agencies when considering elite technology for investigation and protection, one of the most useful tools for detection and safety is readily available and free of charge.
Cybersecurity: A call to action for police executives
Police executives need to understand four things about cybersecurity. First, there has been a dramatic increase in both the frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks such as ransomware and ad malware attacks that systematically target police systems. Second, police executives in both large and small organizations are responsible for the well-being of their entire organization.
White House plan aims to do the (almost) impossible: Identify homegrown extremists
The White House announced a plan Wednesday to help prevent Americans from falling prey to violent ideologies of the sort that drove mass killings in New York, San Bernardino, Calif., Chattanooga, Tenn., and Orlando in the past year. The effort, which is being overseen by the Department of Homeland Security, is short on details and new funding.
Failure to prosecute officers for bad shootings underscores need for discipline disclosure
The important difference between the decision by Los Angeles County prosecutors not to criminally charge Long Beach Police Officer Jeffrey Meyer for his deadly shooting of a man in 2015 and their many previous decisions not to charge police in shootings is that they pointedly took Meyer to task for substantial “tactical deficiencies” that needlessly turned an investigation deadly.
VIDEO: Should California abolish the death penalty or make it easier to execute?
Among the heap of statewide propositions California voters weigh in on next month, two are literally life and death decisions. Proposition 62 would abolish capital punishment in California, making life without the possibility of parole the maximum punishment for murder. The Yes on 62 campaign argues that the death penalty in California is a failed, immoral and incredibly expensive system, costing taxpayers upwards of $150 million a year.
LAPD officer fatally shot someone 12 days before killing another
An LAPD officer fatally shot someone 12 days before killing another, NBC4 has learned from our sister station Telemundo52. The mother of a 14-year-old Jesse Romero who was fatally shot by a Los Angeles police officer was shocked to learn the news. Teresa Dominguez, who is suing the department for the death of her son, wondered why did the department allowed the officer back to work after he had just killed someone else.
Our relationship with cops is not one of equals. Nor should it be.
Reading about the Chicago cop fearful of drawing her gun while being beaten by a convicted felon because she did not want to be judged on national news reminds me that it is time to talk straight about cops. Cops are not our friends. Nor should they be. To be sure, they are not our enemies either. Rather, they are here to do a job. A tough job. A job that is, frankly, boring some of the time, but then can turn on a dime into a life-or-death encounter.
VIDEO: San Francisco police officer suffering some paralysis after Friday’s shooting
A San Francisco police officer who was shot in the head Friday night in the city’s Lake Shore neighborhood is partially paralyzed on one side of his body, interim Police Chief Toney Chaplin said Saturday. Chaplin said police are not releasing the name of the officer, but he has been with the department for two years and is assigned to Taraval Station.
Officers to run in full uniform from LA to Sacramento to benefit fallen comrades
It’s gonna hurt. But it will go for a cause that benefits devastated law enforcement agencies and families like in the cases of a Los Angeles Sheriff’s department sergeant and two Palm Springs police officers this month. For the past six months, before he ever starts his job as a senior lead officer at LAPD’s Olympic Division, Joe Cirrito is already at work.
Prosecutors: Long Beach police officer turned a minor call into deadly shooting, but he won’t face charges
As he responded to a trespassing call last year, Long Beach Police Officer Jeffrey Meyer walked away from his partner and headed down an alleyway alongside an apartment complex tagged with gang graffiti. He stopped moving when he noticed a broken window in the rear of  the apartment he’d been trying to access. Meyer believed there were squatters inside.
VIDEO: Should California abolish the death penalty or make it easier to execute?
Among the heap of statewide propositions California voters weigh in on next month, two are literally life and death decisions. Proposition 62 would abolish capital punishment in California, making life without the possibility of parole the maximum punishment for murder. The Yes on 62 campaign argues that the death penalty in California is a failed, immoral and incredibly expensive system, costing taxpayers upwards of $150 million a year.
LAPD officer fatally shot someone 12 days before killing another
An LAPD officer fatally shot someone 12 days before killing another, NBC4 has learned from our sister station Telemundo52. The mother of a 14-year-old Jesse Romero who was fatally shot by a Los Angeles police officer was shocked to learn the news. Teresa Dominguez, who is suing the department for the death of her son, wondered why did the department allowed the officer back to work after he had just killed someone else.
Saluting a new kind of hero
It is standard practice of police departments across the country to honor officers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in doing their jobs. But a recent ceremony of the Los Angeles Police Department deserves special attention. For the first time, the department saluted officers who resolved dangerous situations without loss of life – even when their own lives were threatened and use of deadly force would have been justified.
Fundraising page created for children of LAPD detective who committed suicide
A GoFundMe page has been created to raise money for the education of the three children of a Los Angeles Police detective who took her own life Tuesday. Nadine Hernandez, 44, was found suffering from a gunshot wound after officers responded to a home in Whittier, according to Lt. Jay Tatman of the Whittier Police Department. She was later pronounced dead at a local hospital and the case is being handled as a suicide, officials said.
Tesla luxury electrics may have future in law enforcement
Just months after adding 100 electric cars for non-emergency duty, the Los Angeles Police Department plans to test a Tesla sedan as a patrol car, a department official said Friday. The large battery capacity of the Tesla sedan, affording it both high performance and longer range, sets it apart from the smaller electric cars on the market. However, the cost of the batteries puts the Tesla in the realm of luxury cars.
Justice Department will track police killings and use of force
Promising information that is more standardized and complete than has previously been available, Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the Department of Justice will collect data on the police use of deadly force in the line of duty. Lynch’s announcement amplifies a statement by FBI Director James Comey at the end of September, when he told a congressional panel that the bureau is in the process of setting up a database that can track police killings and other use of force during interactions with the public.
Ballot Measures
LA County Sheriff McDonnell, DA Lacey speak out against Prop 57
Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell and District Attorney Jackie Lacey added their voices Thursday to the chorus of law enforcement opposing Proposition 57, the statewide ballot measure that would make non-violent felons eligible for early parole. McDonnell and Lacey echoed opponents’ arguments that under Prop. 57, some violent felons might come up for early parole consideration.
Law Enforcement: Prop. 57 will put ‘hard-core criminals’ back on streets
A group of law enforcement officials gathered in downtown Los Angeles Thursday to blast a measure on the November ballot billed as an effort to keep “non-violent” convicts out of prison, saying the proposition will put dangerous people back on the streets. “Do we really need more parolees and hard-core criminals on the streets? That’s what Proposition 57 does,” said Brian Moriguchi, president of the Professional Peace Officers Association of Los Angeles.
No on Prop 57: The increasing burden of crime
Ninety nine police officers have lost their lives this year, 44 of them from gunfire. There has been a 78% increase in shooting deaths compared to last year and ambush style attacks have increased as well. In October alone, five officers have been killed, three here in California. The murderers of these police officers are exactly the types of criminals Proposition 57 seeks to release back into our communities.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck addresses false reports on his position on Prop 57
Amid several recently published false reports, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck reaffirmed that he does not support nor has he taken a position on Proposition 57. If passed, Prop 57 would modify California state law and the California Constitution to allow early release for certain felony offenders and require judges, instead of prosecutors, to determine whether a juvenile will be tried as an adult.
Prop. 57 not a good idea
Here we go again. To fix the state’s bloated, well over cost prison system, the governor simply just wants to put more criminals back on the streets. Voters should have learned the lessons from Proposition 47 and must say no to Prop. 57. Prop. 57 on the Nov. 8 ballot is titled Criminal Sentences Parole and what it would do is make more criminals eligible to be released back into the communities, would make it more difficult to try a juvenile as an adult and would switch millions of dollars in law enforcement costs from the state to the counties and cities.
It’s a question of conscience for Props 62, 66
Those who take another’s life in a way that merits California’s death penalty often lack remorse, guilt or anything approaching empathy. They have no conscience. But what about the rest of us? Do we put ourselves on the same plane? Is our thirst for revenge so overpowering that it blinds us to the injustices implicit in carrying out our state’s most severe and irreversible punishment?
California’s dying death penalty
Californians will abolish the death penalty sooner or later, it doesn’t really matter which argument ultimately convinces them, be it moral, financial or risk of executing innocent people. But the sooner Californians discontinue the death penalty, a primitive system that kills people, the better. On the ballot this Nov. 8 there will be two competing measures addressing the death penalty in California.
Commentary: Fix death penalty, don’t abandon it
Californians who want to abolish the death penalty and give heinous criminals life in prison without parole give various reasons. Some say taxpayers will save money. Others cite the chance of executing the wrong person. They say the system can’t be fixed. I disagree. It is far more expensive to house, feed, clothe, guard and provide healthcare for these depraved criminals for endless decades.
A proposition to legalize pot raises DUI concerns: ‘We are going to start losing folks in astronomical numbers’
The defendant told an LAPD officer he had smoked pot five hours before he was pulled over on Melrose Avenue for driving erratically. A blood test found a significant level of the chemical THC in his system, and a drug recognition expert ruled he was too impaired to drive safely. But a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury deadlocked on whether the young, off-duty valet had committed a crime by driving under the influence of marijuana, which he said he smokes for back pain and anxiety.
City Manager calls for an additional investigation into police custody death of Reginald “JR” Thomas
City Manager Steve Mermell announced Monday evening that the city will be hiring an independent investigator to conduct a review of the recent death of Reginald “JR” Thomas, a 35-year old African-American Pasadena resident who died in police custody after being tasered  and struggling with officers early on the morning of September 30.
Guns? Marijuana? Death penalty? Porn? Which California ballot proposition is most important? Question of the Week
Next month, California voters will be asked to make decisions about some hot-button issues: the death penalty, gun control, marijuana and pornography. And those propositions are only a few of the 17 measures on the Nov. 8 ballot, as you already know if you’ve begun to study the state’s 224-page Official Voter Information Guide that arrived in the mail recently.
No Prop. 63; these gun laws won’t make us safer: Endorsement
California has the strictest gun laws in the nation, but that hasn’t quelled our state politicians’ need to “do something.” In this election, Proposition 63 seeks to add yet another layer of rules, especially on the purchase of ammunition, on top of already stringent gun laws. On the surface, Prop. 63 is largely duplicative of a raft of gun bills passed by the state Legislature earlier this year – overriding some, while also imposing a few extra burdens on law-abiding gun owners.
Law enforcement, elected officials oppose governor’s Prop. 57
Officials from Merced, Mariposa and Stanislaus counties came together Thursday to voice opposition to Proposition 57, the governor’s public safety and rehabilitation act. Merced County District Attorney Larry Morse II led a news conference in front of the Merced County Courthouse Museum on Thursday morning as law enforcement and government officials formed a semicircle around him.
Reading ballot initiatives-fixing errors
Perhaps the worst of the many bad things about the California method of direct democracy is that inflexibility is the default. We’re the only place in the known universe where a law passed by the voters can’t be altered or fixed without another vote of the people. The good news is that some initiative sponsors don’t accept this default. They insert provisions into their measures allowing them to be amended.
District Attorney
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey walks out of heated town hall meeting
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey tried to hold a town hall meeting, but things got so heated, she ended up walking out. Lacey thought the meeting could offer a chance to explain how her office operates and also explain the law, especially as it pertains to officer-involved shootings. “I think that the district attorney’s office and the role is misunderstood,” Lacey said at the meeting, to which community members in the crowd yelled back, “No it’s not.”
Liberty Mutual settles false advertising claim for $925K
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced a $925,000 settlement Thursday with auto insurance provider Liberty Mutual Group Inc., for advertising an accident forgiveness program that was not available in California. The civil complaint was jointly filed yesterday in Riverside County Superior Court by district attorneys in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego counties and alleges unfair competition by Liberty Mutual.
Porter Ranch residents try intervening in gas leak plea deal
Complaining that their rights as victims of a massive natural gas leak were ignored, Porter Ranch residents are asking to intervene in a $4 million plea deal that Southern California Gas Company reached with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Attorney R. Rex Parris said the deal shortchanged residents because prosecutors did not consult the residents about their rights to restitution under the state constitution.
Parts of money bail fight in California advance
A federal judge refused to toss a constitutional challenge to San Francisco’s cash bail system, saying a class of pretrial detainees can pursue a 14th Amendment claim against San Francisco County Sheriff Vicki Hennessy. U.S. District Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers dismissed only part of a putative class action claiming the city and county of San Francisco unconstitutionally criminalizes poverty by jailing poor arrestees because they can’t afford to post bail.
No more Porter Ranch gas leak disasters: Feds find 44 fixes
A federal task force created following the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak near Porter Ranch issued dozens of recommendations Tuesday aimed at bolstering safety at underground gas-storage field, including design changes to ensure that a single “point of failure” in a well cannot lead to an uncontrolled leak.
Backpage arrests change little in Humboldt County
California Attorney General’s efforts to crackdown on sex trafficking and the arrests of’s CEO and top shareholders looks like it will have little effect in Humboldt County. For those engaged in the world’s oldest profession and the law enforcement agencies that crack down on it, the status quo appears to remain. is one of the nation’s largest online classified advertising sites and serves more than 30 cities across the state.
These 12 races will determine the California Legislature’s balance of power
The question for California legislative races is no longer whether Democrats will secure a majority. It’s how large their margin will be. Once again, liberal leadership is contemplating a two-thirds majority that would allow them to pass taxes, amend political spending laws and move measures to the ballot without any Republican support.
Tramadol: The opioid crisis for the rest of the world
Noot long ago, a Dutch neurobiologist announced a surprising discovery: A root used by rural West African healers to treat pain contains an apparently natural version of a man-made opioid. The root from northern Cameroon had such high levels of a painkiller called tramadol that mice given an extract and placed on a hot plate didn’t feel their feet burning at first.
Judge: Huge Southern Calif. wiretap program was legal
A Riverside County judge Friday upheld the legality of a massive wiretapping operation that secretly intercepted phone calls and text messages by tens of thousands of people to make arrests throughout the United States. Superior Court Judge John Molloy ruled that the district attorney was allowed to delegate the responsibility of approving wiretap applications to his second-in-command.
Heroin crime immunity yields mixed results, AP review finds
Reeling from a surge in heroin overdoses, authorities in the Cincinnati area made an offer: Hand in potentially deadly drugs and you won’t be charged. But the blanket immunity granted by a judge there over a month ago hasn’t brought in any heroin so far. Results from similar efforts elsewhere have also yielded few drugs, according to a review by The Associated Press.
Manson follower denied parole for 1969 murder
California officials said Friday that they have again denied parole for a follower of cult leader Charles Manson who is serving a life sentence for a murder he committed 47 years ago. Parole officials decided that Robert Beausoleil, 68, should remain in prison for the 1969 death of musician Gary Hinman. He can seek parole again in three years, said board spokesman Luis Patino.
Law Enforcement
Lancaster mayor blames Gov. Jerry Brown in sheriff’s sergeant death
The mayor of Lancaster claimed Thursday that a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department sergeant who served his area until being shot to death on duty last week would be alive if not for Gov. Jerry Brown’s “realignment” plan to reduce the state prison population. The governor’s spokesman said the mayor’s “wild claims” are baseless. 
GoFundMe account for Sgt. Steve Owen raises more than $40,000
A GoFundMe page created for deceased Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Steve Owen has raised more than $40,000 as of Monday morning. Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association president Brian Moriguchi created the fund on Oct. 6 for Owen, who was a member of the association.
Officer’s Kevlar helmet deflects gunman’s bullet, but mother and 9-month-old baby are wounded
A suspect who barricaded himself inside a home is dead after he gravely wounded his girlfriend and 9-month-old daughter Thursday, then fired numerous shots at police, striking an officer’s Kevlar helmet, authorities in Tulare said. Larry Zamora, 37, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound following an hours-long standoff and gun battle with law enforcement, Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said at a news conference.
It’s time for our input on use-of-force policies
News headlines from around the nation make clear the concerted effort by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) to convince the public and legislators to enact its principles on the use of force. The national debate on police training regarding “de-escalation” have portrayed the PERF principles as the vetted solution to the issue of police use of force.
Deputies hailed as heroes after saving suicidal woman from 5-story fall
Three sheriff’s deputies were hailed as heroes Wednesday for preventing a suicidal woman from falling several stories at the Gov. George Deukmejian Courthouse in Long Beach. The incident occurred about 4 p.m. Tuesday at the facility at 275 Magnolia Ave., the sheriff’s department reported. The 44-year-old woman had just appeared in court “regarding a family law matter,” a sheriff’s statement said.
Killings of officers increases stress for SoCal law enforcement 
When Long Beach police Lt. Steve James first heard that three Palm Springs police officers had been gunned down Saturday afternoon, he immediately texted a friend at the desert town department. James, the president of the Long Beach Police Officers Association, endured some tense moments when he believed his friend could have been one of the officers shot.
Latest fad in policing: ‘de-escalation’
Among the challenges faced by today’s police officers is trying to stay abreast of the latest fashions in law enforcement training. The challenge is all the greater when those fashions are dictated by politics, and greater still when adhering to them can get you killed. Witness the latest fashion in police work: “de-escalation.”
Social media companies suspend Geofeedia’s access after reported police tracking
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have suspended Geofeedia, a platform that collects real-time social media information based on location, from having access to its data. The decision follows an investigation that law enforcement used the tool to track activists and protests, the American Civil Liberties Union of North California (ACLU) published in a blog post Tuesday.
Death of LAPD detective investigating Derrick Rose rape allegations called likely suicide
Los Angeles Police Department detective who was investigating rape allegations against NBA star Derrick Rose died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said Wednesday. Officers found LAPD Det. Nadine Hernandez, 44, suffering from a single gunshot wound to the chest Tuesday afternoon in a Whittier home, according to the Whittier Police Department.
Crime rose in California in 2015
In a new report, the California Police Chief Association calculates violent crime increased more than 2 percent from 2014. There were almost four incidents of violent crime for each thousand state residents, a similar increase to the country as a whole. But police chiefs blame Proposition 47 for an even larger uptick in property crimes. The measure, which voters approved in 2014, reduced some nonviolent felonies to misdemeanors, particularly those involving theft or drugs.
LA County Sheriff seeks dialogue after law enforcement deaths
LA County Sheriff Jim McDonnell is calling for a community dialogue following the shooting deaths of three law enforcement officers recently in Southern California. “There’s an opportunity I think to use these tragedies as a springboard to hopefully get past some of the things we’ve seen over the past couple years … and be able to address grievances that people have with the police but also for us in the profession to be able to explain why we do what we do,” he said.
‘Ferguson effect’? Savagely beaten cop didn’t draw gun for fear of media uproar, says Chicago police chief
A Chicago police officer who was savagely beaten at a car accident scene this week did not draw her gun on her attacker – even though she feared for her life – because she was afraid of the media attention that would come if she shot him, the city’s police chief said Thursday. Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the officer, a 17-year veteran of the force, knew she should shoot the attacker but hesitated because “she didn’t want her family or the department to go through the scrutiny the next day on the national news,” the Chicago Tribune reported.
How an amateur genealogist solved a 48-year-old ‘Jane Doe’ case
The petite woman with bleached blonde hair was found slumped over a picnic table near Mount Hollywood Drive inside Los Angeles’ scenic Griffith Park. The brown-eyed beauty in her 20s was clad in a red-and-white polka dotted bikini, a white or light tan overcoat and dark sandals. On her manicured finger was a gold wedding ring with the inscription “C.B. to E.J. 9-4-20.” The date was June 8, 1968.
LA County to approve $1.5 million settlement for man killed by sheriff’s deputy
The family of a man killed by a sheriff’s deputy in 2012 is expected to receive a $1.5 million settlement from Los Angeles County. The county admits no wrongdoing in the settlement. On Tuesday, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors is expected to approve the settlement for the lawsuit brought by the two minor sons of Kenneth Rivera III and their biological mother.
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s bomb/arson truck stolen, recovered in Los Angeles County
A San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Bomb/Arson Detail utility truck was recovered Saturday, Oct. 8, after being stolen from a deputy’s home in Victor Valley. The deputy noticed the truck was missing from his driveway about 9:30 a.m. after waking up, according to a Sheriff’s Department news release. The truck was listed as stolen and investigators began canvassing the area in search of it.
Ballot Measures
Proposition 57 proposes earlier release for some non-violent prisoners
For the fourth time in five years, California voters are being asked to weigh in on the earlier release of certain prisoners, in this case, those convicted of “non-violent crimes.” Proposition 57, titled “The Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016,” would consider certain state-prison inmates convicted of non-violent felony offenses for release earlier than through previous release guidelines.
Law enforcement speaks out against Proposition 57
SLO County’s law enforcement community is trying to warn voters against supporting a ballot measure that would shorten prison sentences for less-violent offenders. SLO County District Attorney Dan Dow led a press conference Oct. 12 with representatives from multiple SLO County law enforcement agencies and police officers associations to oppose the passage of Proposition 57, which they claim could put dangerous criminals back on the streets and endanger public safety.
Santa Clarita’s legislative panel says “no” to the release of more prisoners
The Santa Clarita City Council will stand up and be heard on the controversial issue of Proposition 57. Meeting on Tuesday, the council’s two-member Legislative Committee embraced a recommendation that the full council oppose Prop 57 – the state-wide ballot measure that would hasten the release of some non-violent offenders from prisons, as part of a federal-court-ordered means of addressing overcrowding.
Ventura County opponents of Proposition 57 speak out
Members of local law enforcement agencies and city officials say a ballot initiative that would amend sentencing credits for inmates convicted of “nonviolent” crimes would increase violent crimes and endanger the lives of peace officers. Flanked by top law enforcement officials from throughout the county, District Attorney Greg Totten spoke to members of the media Tuesday at the Ventura County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association headquarters about what they say are “false claims” made by supporters of Proposition 57.
Proposition 63 won’t keep Californians any safer from gun violence
This summer the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown did something remarkable: They approved $5 million of taxpayers’ funds over five years to create the University of California Firearm Violence Research Center. We applauded the start of such a center at UC Davis because we believed strong steps must be taken to end the gun violence epidemic that has a maddening and deadly grip on our country.
California’s bad example for criminal-justice reformers
The vagrancy endemic to San Francisco seems to be spreading to the Golden State’s suburbs. Blame it, at least in part, on Californians’ well-intentioned efforts to reform the criminal-justice system by releasing low-level offenders from jail. Encampments with an estimated 500 homeless have formed in the dry Santa Ana riverbed by Angel Stadium and the city’s civic center.
Californians to decide fate of State’s death row
Stunted by federal challenges and a litany of habeas corpus petitions that have overwhelmed the courts, California’s seldom-used death penalty has come to a standstill. Despite having the most inmates awaiting execution – 700 currently housed on death row – the Golden State has not executed an inmate since 2006.
How could a sergeant’s alleged killer be in a program that worked with parolees?
On Friday, prosecutors filed a capital murder charge against 27-year-old Trenton Lovell for the shooting death of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Steven Owen. Authorities say Owen was shot multiple times in Lancaster Wednesday as he confronted Lovell at a burglary call. Sheriff Jim McDonnell called it a “calculated execution.” Michelle Egberts is the founder of AV East Kern Second Chance, a group that helps former offenders integrate back into society.
Prop. 57: Voters asked to allow earlier parole
For the third time in four years, California voters are being asked to approve an initiative that would soften the state’s tough-on-crime laws – this time by allowing prison inmates to seek parole earlier. Gov. Jerry Brown and other proponents, including the Democratic Party, say Proposition 57 is necessary to keep the prison population permanently below a cap imposed in 2011 after a panel of federal judges found that appalling health care services in the crowded lockups constituted cruel and unusual punishment.
California voters once again eye legalizing recreational pot
For the second time in six years, California voters will consider legalizing recreational use of marijuana. This time, supporters of the move have much more financial backing and professional campaign help than they did in 2010. And polls show Proposition 64 with more than the 50 percent of voter support needed to pass. Silicon Valley billionaires and wealthy backers from the already legal medicinal marijuana industry are among the top financial supporters, contributing a combined $21 million.
Garcetti eyes LAPD video policy change, advocates 2 tax measures on ballot
On ABC7’s “Eyewitness Newsmakers: Ask the Mayor,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said the Police Commission will begin hearings on the release of Los Angeles Police Department video, and in a few months, there is likely to be a change in policy. He cautioned that while video may be released sooner, it will not be released immediately after an incident. Garcetti pointed to the recent police shooting of a suicidal 16-year-old.
Assemblyman Steinorth proposes tax deduction to combat the costs of increased crime
Assemblyman Marc Steinorth has outlined a plan for new legislation to provide relief for citizens forced to purchase additional security measures to ensure their families’ safety. The cost of crime prevention in California is growing and previously safe neighborhoods are seeing a rise in crime. Under the proposal, all taxpayers would be allowed to claim a tax deduction against the cost of specified security equipment, including alarms, security cameras, and fencing.
Rapper Coolio charged with felony firearm possession in Los Angeles
Grammy-winning rapper Coolio was charged on Thursday with unlawful firearm possession stemming from a handgun that prosecutors said was found in his backpack during baggage screening at Los Angeles International Airport last month. The recording star, whose legal name is Artis Leon Ivey, 53, could be sentenced to as much as three years in state prison if convicted, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
Pressure builds on Los Angeles DA Jackie Lacey – Prosecute killer cops
Eight months after the LAPD killing of Jose “Peruzzi” Mendez – the 16-year-old killed by LAPD, and four other police killings of young Chicanos in Boyle Heights, an Oct. 6 call-in day action was organized by Centro CSO. “It felt good to call DA Jackie Lacey’s office today,” says Juan Mendez father of Jose “Peruzzi” Mendez.
Lawyer: CEO will fight sex trafficking charges
Handcuffed and dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit, the chief executive of an internet site authorities accuse of being “a hub for the illegal sex trade” waived extradition to California on Friday, and his attorney vowed to fight the “trumped up” sex trafficking and money laundering charges he faces. CEO Carl Ferrer was arrested Thursday and his Dallas headquarters was raided after officials in California accused him of felony pimping a minor, pimping, and conspiracy to commit pimping.
District attorney mulling charges after Sikh man was beaten and his hair was cut off
Sikh community leaders are urging that hate crime charges be filed against two men who were arrested on suspicion of severely beating a Sikh man in Richmond, Ca., last month and cutting off some of his hair. Maan Singh Khalsa, 41, was attacked in what Sikh leaders say was a hate-motivated assaulted directed at Khalsa’s religious beliefs and ethnicity.
Man pleads no contest to manslaughter in West Covina stabbing death of father
A man pleaded no contest Wednesday in the fatal stabbing of his father at their West Covina home in 2015, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. Maverick Jacob Jimenez pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter in the killing of Joey Alfred Jimenez, 49.   Prosecutors said that on Aug. 16, 2015, Maverick Jimenez stabbed his father during a fight in their home.
Man charged in death of 70-year-old mother, who was pushed from a window and stomped on, police say
A 40-year-old man was charged Wednesday in the death of his 70-year-old mother, who police say was pushed out of a second-story window in Van Nuys and then stomped on. Fernando Vargas faces one count of murder in the attack, which occurred Tuesday at 2:52 a.m. at an apartment complex in the 7400 block of Hazeltine Avenue, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
Man charged with trying to kill 2 L.A. sheriff’s deputies at Santa Monica Metro station
A 31-year-old man was charged Wednesday with trying to kill two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies who were patrolling a Metro station in Santa Monica, authorities said. Thomas Napack, 31, faces two counts of attempted murder of a peace officer. If convicted, he faces up to life in state prison, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
Conviction & Sentencing
On way to prison, defendant tells prosecutor: ‘Better hope I don’t get out’
A Fresno man was sentenced Tuesday in Fresno County Superior Court to 44 years to life in prison for shooting his unarmed friend in the back in a domestic violence case. Before George Xeng Fang was sentenced he took a verbal shot at prosecutor Andrew Janz: “Better hope I don’t get out.” In July, a jury found Fang, 33, guilty of assault with a firearm, being a felon in possession of a gun and shooting at an inhabited dwelling in the shooting of Dao Vang in February.
No death penalty for convict found guilty in 1979 rape, murder of Glendale woman
A man convicted of raping and murdering a Glendale woman in 1979 was spared the death penalty after a jury deadlocked Thursday on the third day of deliberations. Ten jurors voted for Darrell Gurule to spend the rest of his life in prison, while two felt he should be executed. The same jury convicted Gurule last month of killing Barbara Ballman, whose naked body, lying across the front seat of her Volkswagen Beetle, was found by fourth-graders on their way to Thomas Edison Elementary School one September morning in 1979.
Torrance wrestling coach found guilty of lewd acts with 25 students
A South Bay high school’s former head wrestling coach was found guilty Thursday of molesting 25 students – a conviction that could put him in state prison for life. The conviction of Thomas Joseph Snider, 48, came after a dramatic trial in Torrance’s courthouse, where victims testified that the longtime educator touched their genitals under the pretense of nude “skin inspections,” according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
18-year-old is convicted of murder in 2014 beating death of USC graduate student from China
A jury convicted an 18-year-old woman of murder on Thursday for her role in the 2014 bludgeoning death of a USC graduate student from China that led to heightened campus security and shock across the Pacific in the victim’s homeland. Alejandra Guerrero – who was 16 at the time of the attack near the university campus –  fidgeted with her hair as a clerk read the verdict in a downtown courtroom.
Man sentenced for fatal Monterey Park pizza parlor stabbing
A Bakersfield man received a sentence of more than 16 years in state prison Thursday for stabbing another man 15 times, killing him, at a Monterey Park pizza parlor four years ago, officials said. A Los Angeles Superior Court jury in Burbank convicted Jose De Jesus Ruiz, also known as Jose De Jesus Salas, 26, in July of second-degree murder for the Oct. 6, 2012, stabbing death of 25-year-old Patrick Raymond Ortega at Shakey’s, 1955 S. Atlantic Blvd.
Man to get 10 years in hit and run of Arroyo Seco teacher
Lucas Guidroz, 26, of Canyon Country, is expected to receive 10 years in state prison as a result of his plea to one count each of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run driving resulting in death. Deputy District Attorney SuSu Scott prosecuted the case.
Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 7 in Department I of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, San Fernando Branch.
New $350M federal courthouse unveiled; first case ex-LA Sheriff Baca
Almost four years in the making, downtown Los Angeles’ new $350 million federal courthouse was unveiled Thursday for the first time. While the U.S. Marshals Service has begun operations at the mirror-and- glass building, judges will begin moving to the sleek structure at Broadway and First Street in the next few weeks.
Justices appear inclined to preserve plea bargains affected by Proposition 47
The California Supreme Court appeared unwilling Wednesday to allow prosecutors to withdraw plea bargains affected by Proposition 47, which reduced some felonies to misdemeanors. During a hearing, several justices cited a precedent that said plea bargains can’t be revoked even if a subsequent change in the law results in a different penalty.
How a judge’s ‘horrible experiences’ with plumbers led to a murder conviction getting tossed out
If Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Eleanor J. Hunter’s experiences with plumbers had been better, the murder case of Vincent Tatum might have gone differently. Addressing a panel of potential jurors in her Compton courtroom, Hunter explained the importance of not prejudging witnesses and used her unfortunate run-ins with the tradesmen to illustrate her point.
Ruling challenges prevailing view of pension law
Three appeals court justices, citing the alarming view of critics that unaffordable public pensions are headed for the financial cliff, looked for a new way to allow a change in direction and found one. In a ruling in a Marin County case last August that reformers called a “game changer,” the panel weakened the “California rule” protecting the pensions of current workers. Most cost-cutting reforms have been limited to new hires, which can take decades to yield savings.
Sacramento County annual gun sales increase 406 percent in last 15 years
Sacramento County residents continue to buy firearms at an unprecedented rate, according to data released Wednesday by the California Department of Justice. Annual gun sales increased 406 percent in Sacramento County during the last 15 years, a larger jump than in any other urban California county. Each year since 2001, on average, about three guns were sold for every 100 county residents.
California Attorney General
Attorney General releases Reentry, Recidivism Reduction Programs report
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today released a report outlining best practices for developing reentry and recidivism reduction programs, based on the Attorney General’s “Back on Track – Los Angeles” pilot program. Back on Track – Los Angeles, an evidence-based pilot program, is an initiative of the Attorney General’s Division of Recidivism Reduction and Reentry.
Prison & Parole
Manson follower denied parole for 1969 murder
California officials said Friday that they have again denied parole for a follower of cult leader Charles Manson who is serving a life sentence for a murder he committed 47 years ago. Parole officials decided that Robert Beausoleil, 68, should remain in prison for the 1969 death of musician Gary Hinman. He can seek parole again in three years, said board spokesman Luis Patino.
State gains control of Los Angeles-area prison’s health care
California is regaining responsibility for providing medical care at an eighth state prison after 10 years of oversight. The federal court-appointed receiver who runs the inmate health care system on Friday gave the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation control over care at the California Institution for Men. The prison houses nearly 3,800 minimum- and medium-security inmates in Chino, about 35 miles east of Los Angeles.