Monday Morning Memo for November 20, 2017
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Murderous cult leader Charles Manson dies at 83
Charles Manson, the sinister hippie cult leader who declared himself “the Devil” and dispatched his followers to commit a series of Hollywood murders in 1969 that shocked the country, died Sunday night in a California hospital, state officials told NBC News. He was 83 years old. Michele Hanisee, president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys for Los Angeles County, said Sunday night: “Today, Manson’s victims are the ones who should be remembered and mourned on the occasion of his death.”
CA Legislature has turned its back on public safety … it’s time for them to correct their mistake
The state Legislature has repeatedly beaten down common-sense attempts to fix the most egregious flaws in the social-engineering experiments known as Prop. 47 and Prop. 57. Fed up, a coalition of public safety proponents has taken the initiative to address some of these flaws.
Proposed measure would undo parts of Prop 47
Elk Grove Assemblyman Jim Cooper hopes voters can do for him what other assembly members would not. “I hate ballot measures, it needs to be done is the legislative process, really talk about it and dive in deep,” Cooper told FOX40. Monday at the State Capitol cooper and others pushed a proposed ballot measure that would partly change crime in California.
News Conference: Failed policies cause of high crime: Cooley
Former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley discusses the death of Sheriff Dept. David March and how authorities were able to capture his killer only after laws were changed. Cooley also says that crime is going up because of recent propositions and legislative acts. “People who should be in, are out,” Cooley says.
Privately funded project to reduce recidivism begins in Ventura County
A new funding model that puts private investors on the hook for the cost of a social program aimed at curbing the rearrest rate of people on probation has launched in Ventura County. The Ventura County Project to Support Reentry is based on what’s called the “Pay for Success” project that was first implemented in the United Kingdom.
Two men arrested as car, truck thefts plague Taft
Two men were arrested on auto theft charges as Taft Police work to put an end to an epidemic of vehicle thefts. Two more vehicles were stolen in Taft last week and through Nov. 7, 47 auto thefts have been reported in the city in 2017, according to Taft Police Department stats. That’s on top of 41 in 2016 and more than double previous years.
Supreme Court takes on California case about free speech and abortion
Does a California law violate the Constitution by requiring anti-abortion pregnancy centers to inform clients about free or low-cost abortion and contraception services? That’s the question the Supreme Court is taking on, in a new case it accepted on Monday. California’s Reproductive FACT Act became law in October of 2015.
LA Sheriff’s body cam plan draws mixed reviews
The Los Angeles County Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission Thursday got its first look at the department’s proposal to use body cameras. While the panel didn’t take a position on the plan to outfit nearly 6,000 deputies, it heard a variety of views from watchdogs who attended the meeting.
Attorney General announces final regulations to implement Racial and Identity Profiling Act
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced that the regulations drafted by the California Department of Justice (DOJ) for the collection of data pertaining to law enforcement stops under Assembly Bill 953 (AB 953), the Racial and Identity Profiling Act (RIPA) of 2015, are now final.
The FBI called him ‘Captain America.’ But the informant had a secret
The evidence seemed overwhelming. A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy was caught on video stealing trim from an impounded vehicle. Another deputy was captured taking cash after a motorist was shaken down to avoid his car being towed. A third was caught on tape rummaging through an SUV at a tow yard and accused of pilfering designer sunglasses from it.
San Jose: Police academies top 100, a year after fielding seven recruits
Police Chief Eddie Garcia isn’t the type who needs a megaphone, but he was easy to hear when he addressed San Jose’s police academy recruits this time last year – all seven of them. Monday, when Garcia made those same rounds, he made a point to ask, “Can everyone hear me?”
Police body cameras can threaten civil rights of black and brown people, new report says
The number of U.S. police departments outfitting their officers with body cameras increases each year, but the cameras can pose a threat to civil rights if the departments fail to set rules that govern when officers review footage from their cameras, according to a new report.
Should police get to view bodycam footage immediately?
The use of body cameras by police has become more widespread, but there remain inconsistencies in how law enforcement agencies around the country deal with the footage, raising concerns among community activists who look to the videos to bring greater transparency to how police interact with citizens.
South L.A. man charged with threats against sheriff’s deputies and others at Inglewood courthouse
A South Los Angeles man was arrested by federal authorities Wednesday for allegedly making a series of online threats to kill law enforcement personnel and others at the Inglewood courthouse, a nearby school and a private business. John Patrice Hale, 42, who used the online moniker “Frost K Blizzard,” made the threats using techniques such as Tor and proxy servers designed to make his internet posts anonymous, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
Studies show ‘proactive policing’ works, but social cost less clear
Any American who pays attention to law enforcement has heard of the strategies: “Broken Windows,” “Stop and Frisk,” “Zero Tolerance.” These are all variations on what’s broadly known as “proactive policing”: efforts to seek out and prevent the causes of crime before it happens, as opposed to a more reactive policy of just sending police when called.
White supremacist hate crimes, violence against transgender people surge in LA County, report finds
Nearly a quarter of all hate crimes reported in Los Angeles County last year were based on sexual orientation, making gay men, lesbians and LGBT organizations the group most frequently targeted for the first time in many years, according to a new report.
Hate crimes up in California, and U.S., for second consecutive year
Hate crimes rose for the second straight year in 2016, with increases in attacks motivated by bias against blacks, Jews, Muslims and LGBT people, according to FBI statistics released Monday. There were more than 6,100 hate crimes last year, up about 5 percent over the previous year.
Millions already stolen from major stars in string of Hollywood home invasions: Cops
Several celebrities have been targeted by residential burglars this year, prompting comparisons to a similar string of Hollywood home invasions between 2008 and 2009. Cesar Millan, host of the “Dog Whisperer” television series, was the first star targeted, according the New York Post.
Most California sheriffs fiercely opposed the ‘sanctuary state’ law. Soon they’ll have to implement it
Two years ago, as others in California were limiting cooperation with federal immigration agents, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department welcomed them into its jail. Sheriff Margaret Mims gave U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement unrestricted access to databases and private rooms to interview inmates.
Join the fight to end human trafficking in Ventura County
About 4:30 a.m. one morning this March in Ventura, a 17-year-old girl made a phone call that may have saved her life. Most of us were asleep at the time, and when it comes to human trafficking, most of us in Ventura County still are. From a small room in the unassuming La Quinta Inn on Valentine Road, this young woman, enslaved in the sex trade, dialed the national human trafficking hotline.
They confessed to minor crimes. Then City Hall billed them $122K in ‘prosecution fees’
When Cesar Garcia pulled the letter out of his mailbox, he immediately recognized the name of the law firm on the envelope – Silver & Wright. Eighteen months ago, they had dragged him to court, called him a criminal, cost him thousands of dollars and made his life hell. What did they want now? Garcia opened the letter, prepared for the worst, but was still shocked by what he found inside.
Sex, drugs and the public library
An NBC4 I-Team undercover investigation has exposed rampant illegal behavior at Los Angeles public libraries. For three months, I-Team hidden cameras captured scenes of drug use, lewd acts and other criminal activity at local branches that the head of the library system described as “shocking” and “disturbing.”
Operation targeting Mexican mafia, drug cartels nets 47 arrests, 200 pounds of drugs in Southern California
A joint operation targeting high-ranking members of the Mexican mafia and the Mexican drug cartel yielded 47 arrests and the seizure of 36 firearms and 200 pounds of drugs Thursday, Nov. 9, throughout Southern California.
‘We see them at their worst’: How L.A. County’s mental health team is working to end a stigma
Long after he has helped them, the teenagers and the elder adults who want to take their lives tend to linger in the mind of Los Angeles Sheriff Deputy Rene Gonzalez. After he’s able to link them to services, the 10-year veteran of the department rarely sees them again. Yet, he often wonders what happens to them.
Dangerous psychiatric patient escaped from Hawaii and flew to California
Around 9 a.m. Sunday, a man who called himself Bill walked out of his home in Kaneohe, Hawaii, and took a cab to the airport. He chartered a flight from Oahu to Maui, then flew from Maui to San Jose, Calif., where he landed at 7:30 p.m. local time. The journey was uneventful. But there was a problem. “Bill” was actually an alias used by Randall Saito, whom prosecutors described as a pathological predator.
Assault weapons not protected by Second Amendment, federal appeals court rules
Maryland’s ban on 45 kinds of assault weapons and its 10-round limit on gun magazines were upheld Tuesday by a federal appeals court in a decision that met with a strongly worded dissent. In a 10-4 ruling, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said the guns banned under Maryland’s law aren’t protected by the Second Amendment.
Taxpayers have standing to contest law based on conflict
The Fourth District Court of Appeal has held that taxpayers have standing to challenge an ordinance based on an alleged violation of a conflicts-of-interest statute. Thursday’s opinion, by Acting Presiding Justice Patricia D. Benke, puts the San Diego-based Div. One at loggerheads with Div. Two, in Riverside, which held to the contrary in 2015.
Defendant may challenge fruit of unlawful detention
The First District Court of Appeal has held that while a passenger in a car owned by another had no reasonable expectation of privacy in that vehicle, he can still challenge the lawfulness of the detention of the occupants which preceded a warrantless search, resulting in the discovery of gun owned by him.
C.A. reverses manslaughter conviction of caretaker who left the premises
The Court of Appeal for this district yesterday reversed the involuntary manslaughter conviction of a caregiver who left the house briefly to fetch medicine from a pharmacy and whose paralyzed patient died from asphyxiation when her ventilator became disconnected.
Kid’s torture killer guilty: Death penalty for Palmdale 8-year-old’s agony?
A Palmdale man was convicted Wednesday of the torture- killing of his girlfriend’s 8-year-old son, whose short life and agonizing death also led to a murder charge against his mother and criminal counts against social workers accused of ignoring his plight.
Prosecutor in Palmdale abuse case was victim of child abuse
After a Palmdale man was found guilty of first-degree murder in the torturous death of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez, the prosecutor in the case was emotional over the victory and admitted he, too, was a victim of child abuse. Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami was seen crying as he embraced Gabriel’s biological father after the guilty verdict was announced on Wednesday.
Man, 55, convicted in California cold case killing from 1988
Prosecutors say a man has been convicted of fatally shooting a jewelry salesman at a Los Angeles-area gas station nearly three decades ago. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office says Albert Clark faces 32 years to life in prison when he’s sentenced Jan. 10. The 55-year-old found guilty Monday of one count of first-degree murder with an allegation that he used a handgun in the commission of the crime.
In Robert Durst case, detective will testify for the defense
In a Los Angeles courtroom over the past 10 months, John Lewin, the deputy district attorney prosecuting the New York real estate scion Robert A. Durst in the murder of his friend and confidante Susan Berman, has called 17 witnesses to the stand to build his case. On Tuesday, the defense will try to counter the prosecution’s narrative and call its own witness.
Couple charged with sexually assaulting 16-year-old student of private South L.A. school they ran
A man and woman who once owned and operated a private school in South Los Angeles were charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old student back in 2000, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Monday. The charges come after the pair – Joseph Horace Green, 52, and Chanell Nicola Warren, 43 – were on the run for 17 years before being arrested in October.
Los Angeles man found guilty of 1988 Pasadena murder
A Los Angeles man was found guilty Monday of the murder of a jewelry salesman at a Pasadena gas station in 1988. Albert Ahmad Clark, 55, was found guilty of one count of first-degree murder with the allegation that he used a handgun in the commission of the crime, according to a statement from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Unfair impact? Bail for the same crime can be $1,000 for some, $50,000 for others
Arrested for being drunk in public? You could get to bail out of jail in Los Angeles County for $250, but get arrested for the same crime in Ventura County and it could cost you $2,500. In Orange County, a person arrested for misdemeanor prostitution could need $1,000 to get from behind bars, but in neighboring San Bernardino County the price tag is $50,000 under the posted bail schedule.
Police warned about using algorithms to decide who’s locked up
Police should not keep suspects locked up because a computer program has told them they are likely to be offenders, a human rights group has told MPs. Algorithms that predict whether someone is a criminal based on past behaviour, gender and where they live could be “discriminatory”, Liberty said.
A black man was fatally shot in the back. A wealthy, white teen suspect is free
California bail reform activists might have a new poster child. Eighteen-year-old suspect Cameron Terrell is facing one count of murder, two counts of premeditated attempted murder and enhancement allegations that he participated in an October killing to benefit his predominantly African-American gang, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office complaint filed against him.
He was out on bail, then wrote $21,000 in bad checks, now he’s heading to prison
Donald Land pleaded guilty to 13 felony counts of passing non-sufficient funds checks at 13 different businesses throughout Tulare County. According to a press release from the Tulare County District Attorney’s office, Land also admitted a special allegation that he was out on bail when a number of the checks were cashed.
2 San Bernardino County lawyers disbarred for misconduct
Two San Bernardino County lawyers have been disbarred for misconduct, the State Bar of California announced Monday, Nov. 13. Ann Elizabeth Herring, 56, of Redlands was disbarred Sept. 29 and ordered to notify her clients. Herring had pleaded guilty to felony embezzlement or fraud of an elderly dependent by a caretaker, a crime of moral turpitude.
L.A. lobbyist Ken Spiker Dies at 93
Ken Spiker, a longtime Los Angeles city official who went on to found a prominent lobbying firm representing business interests before local governments, died Nov. 6 at age 93. Spiker had been in declining health for a few years, though the nature of the illness was not disclosed. The McKeesport, Pa., native came to Los Angeles in 1950 and spent 28 years working for the city, including 13 as the chief legislative analyst, providing policy advice to the City Council.
Rape, sex assaults of women and girls behind bars: LA County crackdown
Women and girls behind bars in Los Angeles County have been targets of rape and sex assaults, so the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted Tuesday to more aggressively pursue compliance with a 2003 federal law aimed at reducing such dangers for jail inmates and juvenile probationers.
L.A. County may begin routine inspections of massage parlors for signs of sex trafficking
Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn previewed a proposal Tuesday to have massage parlors routinely inspected by health officials looking for signs of sex trafficking. “Human trafficking is not constrained to sex trafficking, but also for people who might be forced to work or people who might not be receiving appropriate payment for their services. Some people are now calling it labor trafficking,” Hahn said. ”
Lawmakers to Californians: Do as we say, not as we do
With a declaration that “public servants best serve the citizenry when they can be candid and honest without reservation in conducting the people’s business,” lawmakers passed the California Whistleblower Protection Act in 1999. The idea was to protect workers who report misconduct, so that they can blow the whistle on bad actors without losing their jobs.
Second woman alleges misconduct by state Sen. Tony Mendoza
A second young woman is alleging that state Sen. Tony Mendoza behaved inappropriately toward her while she was employed by the Artesia Democrat. The woman, Jennifer Kwart, came forward with her account hours after The Bee published a story Thursday about a Senate investigation of allegations that Mendoza on at least two occasions invited a 23-year-old fellow to his home to review her résumé for an open job in his office earlier this year.
Did state senator Tony Mendoza fire 3 women who reported sexual harassment?
California state Sen. Tony Mendoza fired three employees after they reported his alleged inappropriate behavior toward a young female colleague, according to an attorney representing one of the staffers. “This smacks of retaliation,” attorney Micha Star Liberty said Thursday. The Mendoza allegations are the latest to roil the Legislature following the release of a letter signed by more than 100 women last month.
Supreme Court agrees to hear antiabortion challenge to California disclosure law for pregnancy centers
The Supreme Court said Monday it will hear an anti-abortion group’s free-speech challenge to a California law that requires “crisis pregnancy centers” to notify patients that the state offers subsidies for contraception and abortion.
Court sides with Becerra’s ballot description of gas tax initiative
Republicans seeking to rescind California’s new 12-cent-a-gallon gasoline tax for road repair suffered a setback Friday when a state appeals court upheld Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s official title and summary for a repeal initiative, emphasizing its effect on roadwork funding ahead of its impact on taxes.
California Senate changes process for sex harassment claims
The California Senate announced Sunday it will hire an outside legal team to investigate all complaints of sexual misconduct and recommend discipline following new allegations against Democratic Sen. Tony Mendoza. The Senate has long handled harassment complaints internally by human resources employees that report to a committee of five lawmakers and has not made details of complaints or discipline public.
Female lawmakers allege harassment by colleagues in house
For years, Republican Rep. Mary Bono endured increasingly suggestive comments from a fellow lawmaker in the House of Representatives. But when the congressman approached her on the House floor and told her he’d been thinking about her in the shower, she’d had enough. She confronted the man, who she said still serves in Congress, telling him his comments were demeaning and wrong. And he backed off.
Third woman alleges misconduct by state Sen. Tony Mendoza
A third woman is alleging that Sen. Tony Mendoza behaved inappropriately toward her when she worked in his Capitol office seven years ago. Haley Myers said she told the Assembly in 2010 that Mendoza engaged in behavior that she considers sexual harassment when she worked as a legislative aide for him in Sacramento.
Federal RICO class action
A federal RICO class action, apparently the first in this case, accuses Harvey Weinstein and his movie company of sexually abusing aspiring actresses under threats of blacklisting and other retaliation.
New rules with hefty fees set for growing, selling marijuana in California
California officials proposed new rules Thursday for the growing, transporting and sale of marijuana when the state begins issuing licenses in January, and industry officials said the regulations and hefty fees are a mixed bag. The regulations do not limit the size of cannabis farms, but require every plant to be traced from farm to sale.
Banning legal marijuana doesn’t stop illegal market
The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to advance an ordinance to prohibit commercial cannabis activity and outdoor personal cultivation in the county’s unincorporated areas ahead of Jan. 1, when new state laws pertaining to marijuana go into effect. By prohibiting such activity, the majority of Orange County supervisors are out of step with the will of most Orange County voters, 52 percent of whom backed Prop. 64 last November, legalizing recreational marijuana.
Can’t find a bank for all your cannabis money? Marijuana businesses in California and Colorado can empathize
California’s cannabis industry has a banking problem. Federal rules keep most marijuana businesses from even opening a checking account. Many deal in cash. It’s a problem in other places with legal pot, like Colorado. The reluctance of banks to deal with the cannabis industry is all too familiar to Tim Cullen, CEO at Colorado Harvest Company.
Report warns of counterfeit Apple chargers
If you’re upgrading your iPhone in the next couple of months, we have an important warning about buying an extra charger or car charger for that phone. But this year we have a new warning from Underwriters Labs about thousands of dangerous, counterfeit chargers for sale. Katie Skerchock learned a frightening lesson about counterfeit phone chargers last fall.
Daimler trademark lawsuit alleges that Amazon.com doesn’t do enough to prevent infringement and counterfeits
On October 20th, German carmaker Daimler filed a lawsuit in the Central District of California alleging claims of federal trademark infringement committed by Seattle, WA-based e-commerce giant Amazon.com, Inc. The suit alleges that Amazon has been complicit in the sale of counterfeit Mercedes-Benz parts and cites Amazon’s very successful business model of efficient infringement.
U.S. threatens localities with sanctuary policies, despite previous court rulings
The Trump administration on Wednesday told 29 local and state governments with “sanctuary” policies, including San Francisco, Berkeley and Contra Costa County, to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement or forfeit some federal grants – despite federal court rulings that such demands are unenforceable.
Despite court order to give up weapons, Tehama gunman fired guns with impunity, frightening neighbors
In March, a Tehama County judge ordered Kevin Janson Neal to stay away from neighbors and turn in his firearms. But that edict, part of a temporary restraining order sought by his neighbor, did not keep Neal away from his weapons.
What if we treated gun violence like a public health crisis?
When U.S. officials feared an outbreak of the Zika virus last year, the Department of Health and Human Services and state officials kicked into high gear. They tested mosquitoes neighborhood by neighborhood in Miami and other hot Gulf Coast communities where the virus was likely to flourish. They launched outreach campaigns to encourage people to use bug spray. And they pushed the development of a vaccine.
CalPERS wants broke cities to deliver bad news to out-of-luck pensioners
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System would like someone else to deliver the bad news when local governments quit paying their bills and put a retiree’s pension in jeopardy. CalPERS at a three-day meeting that begins today plans to propose a new law that would compel public agencies to notify their employees and retirees when a local government decides to separate from the $343 billion fund.