Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Court Throws Out Terrorism Enhancement for Suspect Caught Speaking About Killing Thousands for ISIS in the Bay Area, and other stories

"Opening a social media account does not inherently or unequivocally constitute conduct motivated to 'affect or influence' a 'government by intimidation or coercion,'" says Ninth Circuit Appeals Court judge

 

November 4, 2020

California Court of Appeal takes unusual course of issuing apology: Div. Three of the Fourth District Court of Appeal yesterday did something courts seldom do: It issued an apology to counsel for having wasted their time. Acting Presiding Justice William W. Bedsworth wrote the opinion, which was not certified for publication. The appellant is Bernard Raymond Pearle-Van Pelz, an inmate at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Motion to inspect Riverside wiretap records was improperly denied - Court of Appeal

A Riverside trial judge used the wrong standard in ruling on, and denying, a retired California Highway patrol officer's request to inspect materials related to a wiretap issued at a time when the county's massive wiretap operation was under national scrutiny, Div. Two of the Fourth District Court of Appeal held yesterday, avoiding an issue raised as to whether there is a qualified right of access to the materials under the First Amendment.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Federal court says California can't use sentencing workaround to prevent deportations

A federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected California lawmakers' attempt to spare hundreds of low-level offenders from deportation by shortening their maximum sentences by a day. Federal law requires deportation of unauthorized immigrants convicted of crimes that the law classifies as "base, vile or depraved," including most theft offenses, and that are punishable by a year or more behind bars.

San Francisco Chronicle

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals throws out terrorism enhancement, sentence for man who opened Twitter accounts for ISIS, talked about wanting to kill 10,000

In a rebuke of a Bay Area federal judge's decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down a terrorism enhancement against a man who was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for opening six Twitter accounts for an undercover agent he believed was a member of ISIL.

Bay Area News Group

Warrantless-entry tangle faces high court unraveling

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide whether the belief alone that a person has committed a misdemeanor is enough basis for police to enter a home without a warrant. The case involves Arthur Lange, of Sonoma, California, who was playing music loudly in his car while headed home in 2016. After observing Lange honking his horn, highway patrol officer Aaron Weikert followed from a distance, intending to initiate a traffic stop but not activating overhead lights or his siren.

Courthouse News Service

Court officials warn of email scam about jury duty

Los Angeles County residents were warned today about an email scam that threatens fines if they don't appear in federal court for jury duty. The sender - [email protected] - purports to be from Clerk of Court "Sherry Mason.'' Similar warnings were also issued by authorities in South Dakota, Oklahoma and North Carolina and Idaho, the latter of which noted that the email's sender is a "fictitious person.''

City News Service

The admissibility of co-conspirator statements revisited

As determined court administrators reopen courtrooms retrofitted for COVID-era jury trials, a growing backlog of complex criminal trials are starting to move forward. Despite all of the changes to the physical layout of courtrooms hosting these trials, one feature of many of these trials will seem quite familiar - the government's reliance on co-conspirator statements to win cases.

New York Law Journal

Sixth Circuit strikes down ban on political speech in bus ads

An appeals court panel sided with a conservative free speech group Friday and ruled a Detroit-area public transit authority's ban on political speech in ads violates the First Amendment because such speech is not clearly defined. The American Freedom Defense Initiative filed suit against the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation, or SMART, in 2010, after two of its proposed ads regarding Islam were rejected for placement on buses.

Courthouse News Service

Chief justice appoints work group to address homelessness

California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has charged a newly formed group with leading a judicial branch response to homelessness, an effort that will include scrutinizing surplus properties for possible shelter sites. The Work Group on Homelessness, named Friday, will also look at possibly expanding existing services, such as homeless courts found in some larger counties, and working with the Legislature and the governor's office on other initiatives.

Law.com

Reversal of conviction draws dissent from incensed jurist

Div. Six of the Court of Appeal for this district has reversed the conviction of a man for offenses involving the possession of firearms and drugs based on the trial court's denial of a motion to suppress as evidence, items found in his bedroom during a protective sweep, drawing an angry dissent from a justice who accused his colleagues of usurping the role of the trial judge and displaying "appellate bravado."

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

U.S. judge denies new government bid to remove China's WeChat from U.S. app stores

A U.S. judge in San Francisco on Friday rejected a Justice Department request to reverse a decision that allowed Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google to continue to offer Chinese-owned WeChat for download in U.S. app stores. U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler said the government's new evidence did not change her opinion about the Tencent app.

Reuters

Filing suit before governmental entity acts on claim is impermissible

An injured harbor patrol officer who filed a complaint for damages against the Port San Luis Harbor District the same day he applied to file a late claim under the Government Claims Act failed to comply with the claims presentation requirement of the act, the Court of Appeal for this district held yesterday. The opinion by Justice Martin J. Tangeman of Div. Six affirms a judgment by San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Ginger E. Garrett.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

C.A. rebuffs ex-judge Casas in effort to avoid settlement

J.B. Casas Jr., who sat as a judge of a municipal court in Los Angeles County in the 1980s but was bounced from his post by voters when he came up for election, has now incurred rejection in the Court of Appeal, which found meritless the contention that his agreement to pay $250,000 in settlement of a malpractice action against him is unenforceable because his wife would not go along with it.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Supreme Court receptive to damages battle over no-fly list

Several justices with the U.S. Supreme Court hinted Tuesday that a law protecting religious freedoms includes a subtext that would allow individuals to sue government agents for money damages. In the underlying 2013 suit, Muhammad Tanvir accused FBI agents of violating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) by placing him and two others on the No Fly List without any evidence they posed a threat to aviation safety.

Courthouse News Service

Judge denies county's petition to overrule commission, keep DA investigator off job

A judge has decided not to grant an order to keep fired investigative commander Tracy Towner off the job he lost in the Ventura County District Attorney's Office more than two years ago. In a 20-page ruling issued last week, Ventura County Superior Court Judge Mark Borrell found the county government had not demonstrated any grounds for "disturbing" last year's decision by the Civil Service Commission to reinstate Towner.

Ventura County Star

Judge: US can't replace Trump in columnist's slander suit

President Donald Trump's request that the United States replace him as the defendant in a defamation lawsuit, which alleges he raped a woman in a Manhattan department store in the 1990s, was denied Tuesday by a federal judge. The decision by U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan came after the Justice Department argued that the United States - and by extension the American people - should replace Trump as the defendant in a lawsuit filed by the columnist E. Jean Carroll.

AP

Amy Coney Barrett sworn in as newest Supreme Court justice

The Senate confirmed Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Monday, just days before Election Day, solidifying the conservative majority on the court as it is set to consider several high-profile cases in the coming months. She was sworn in shortly thereafter by Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas at the White House. Barrett was confirmed by a vote of 52-48 on Monday evening, after Democrats exhausted the procedural maneuvers undertaken to delay her confirmation.

CBS News

Husband-slayer acts too late in seeking leave to file second habeas petition

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a request to file a second petition for writ of habeas corpus by an Orange County woman who was convicted in 1993 for killing her husband and cooking his dismembered remains. Omaima Aree Nelson was found guilty in Orange Superior Court of second-degree murder for the gruesome killing of William E. Nelson in their Costa Mesa apartment and sentenced to 27 years to life to life in prison.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Judge proposes deal to get more help for Oakland during protests

A federal judge offered to tweak an injunction against the Oakland Police Department Tuesday after the city's policing partners refused to provide aid during protests unless restrictions on tear gas and rubber bullets were lifted. "On one hand I insist when you do policing, you do it with certain constitutional norms," U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero said during a virtual court hearing Tuesday.

Courthouse News Service

Calif. Bar escapes ADA suit over in-person bar exam

A federal judge Tuesday tossed a law school graduate's Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit alleging the State Bar of California discriminated against him by failing to provide adequate accommodations for his disabilities for the October online bar exam during the COVID-19 pandemic. In her order permanently dismissing the case, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton said the state bar provided some accommodations and responded to Benjamin Kohn's requests.

Law360

COVID-19 & Justice System

Jury trials could resume in North County after completion of flooding repairs

Eleven of the 19 replacement doors needed to restore two Santa Barbara County Superior courtrooms that flooded more than two years ago were delivered Wednesday, advancing the prospect that jury trials soon will continue in the North County. The doors were delivered with a promise that the remaining six will be delivered Thursday, according to Superior Court spokesman Darrel Parker.

Santa Maria Times

Prosecutors

California prosecutors risk conflict for cop cash under new bill

California's elected prosecutors would be required to recuse themselves in police conduct investigations if they took campaign contributions from law enforcement unions under proposed legislation unveiled Thursday. Legislation to be introduced Dec. 7 when state lawmakers return to Sacramento would declare it a conflict of interest for a prosecutor to take a financial donation from a law enforcement agency that employed the officer or an association representing the officer who allegedly used unlawful force.

Bloomberg Law

Ron Jeremy hit with seven new sexual assault charges in Los Angeles, faces 330 Years in prison if found guilty

With just six days to go in a tight Los Angeles County District Attorney's race, incumbent Jackie Lacey's office just unveiled seven new sexual assault charges against Ron Jeremy. Involving five women and a 17-year-old girl, the new charges and previous claims could see 67-year-old porn star facing 330 years in state prison if found guilty. The rape and other sex crimes revealed today range from 1996 in the San Fernando Valley to 2013 in a West Hollywood bar.

Deadline

Criminal charges filed against animal activist Marc Ching

The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office has filed animal-related charges against Marc Ching, one of Hollywood's favorite animal activists. The three misdemeanor charges filed against Marc Teruo Ching, 41, include practicing veterinary medicine without a license, false advertising, and unlawfully engaging in the business of processing, packing and preparing "fresh and frozen horsemeat or any other meat product" for use as pet food without holding a valid license, according to the criminal complaint.

CBS Los Angeles

Northern California prosecutors again seek death for Scott Peterson

Northern California prosecutors said Friday they will again seek the death penalty for Scott Peterson in the slaying of his pregnant wife and unborn son nearly 19 years ago, even as a county judge considers throwing out his underlying conviction because of a tainted juror.

AP

Federal prosecutors to handle complaints of election fraud

United States Attorney Nicola T. Hanna announced today that Assistant United States Attorneys Lindsey Greer Dotson and Thomas F. Rybarczyk will serve as District Election Officers for the Central District of California during this year's general election period, which culminates on Election Day on November 3.

Orange County Breeze

California DA blasts Newsom's leadership: 'The blood of the children ... is on your hands'

The Fresno County district attorney condemned California Gov. Gavin Newsom's changes to the state's bail policies amid COVID-19, in light of a recent crime spike. Newsom, who has made efforts to reform California's criminal justice system while in office, initiated the release of thousands of nonviolent state inmates starting in April and announced in September that he would be closing a state prison next year.

Fox News

Canadian officer defends arrest of Huawei executive at US request

Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou returned to a Vancouver courtroom Monday, kicking off a second set of hearings into her abuse of process allegations against Canadian law enforcement who arrested her at Vancouver's airport nearly two years ago on a U.S. extradition warrant.

Courthouse News Service

Woman allegedly posed as prosecutor, dropped charges against herself

A New Hampshire woman allegedly posed as a prosecutor and then falsified records related to drug and stalking charges filed against her, court documents say. Lisa Landon, of Littleton, used the state's electronic system to drop the charges and submitted fake documents in three separate criminal cases last year, according to a review by the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Fox News

DA's Race

DA Jackie Lacey says experience as trial lawyer makes her the better candidate

Lacey tells Inside the Issues what she learned on the job as a trial lawyer gives her an edge over her opponent. One case in particular, she said, is a great example of how that experience helped a case. "One case that we just reviewed, where there's a lot of pressure to file it, was a case where the two deputy sheriffs were shot near the train station," she said.

Spectrum News1

What to know about the Los Angeles County district attorney's race

Incumbent Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey is being challenged by a former Los Angeles Police Department assistant chief and San Francisco District Attorney in a high-profile election contest to lead the nation's largest local prosecutor's office. The DA runs an office with nearly 1,000 lawyers in the country's most populous county.

NBC4 Los Angeles

Jackie Lacey-George Gascon race for LA district attorney remains heated

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey is fighting to keep her seat for a third term despite an aggressive challenge by self-styled reformer, former LAPD officer and San Francisco DA George Gascon and some progressive groups that have long called for her resignation. Lacey garnered significantly more voter support than Gascon in the March primary election but was ultimately unable to claim the majority necessary to avoid a runoff, pulling in 48.6% of the vote to Gascon's 28.2%.

City News Service

Policy/Legal Issues

Gov. Newsom alleges racial bias in opposing a death penalty case

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday threw his support behind the appeal of a man on death row convicted of murder arguing in an amicus brief that "racial discrimination infects the administration of California's death penalty." The decision to intervene in the death row case follows a promise by Newsom during his first term as governor that no prisoner in the state would be executed while he is in office, a pledge made when he imposed a moratorium on the death penalty.

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles City, County debut response teams for mental health incidents

Los Angeles city and county officials Monday announced the start of a partnership to dispatch unarmed mental health responders to situations where they can help, rather than police officers or firefighters. The government officials said the Therapeutic Transportation Pilot Program will greatly reduce the number of calls police and firefighters will have to handle, giving them more flexibility to respond to other more immediate emergencies.

NBC4 Los Angeles

How much bias is too much to become a police officer? Experts fear new law might backfire.

An ambitious new law in California taking aim at potential biases of prospective officers has raised questions and concerns among police officers and experts who fear that if implemented inadequately, the law could undermine its own mission to change policing and the culture of law enforcement.

Washington Post

LAPD Chief Michael Moore: Uncensored & Unafraid (Audio)

Detective Moses sits down with his old boss, LAPD Chief Michel R. Moore. We learn about Chief Moore as a person, his thoughts on the movement to defund police, zero tolerance for violence against officers and his response to criticism.

KABC LA

How should California support prisoners released amid COVID-19?

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently vetoed Senate Bill 369, which would have created a commission to study prisoner reentry amid COVID-19. The bill could have addressed the urgent need to determine how to promote successful reentry during a public health emergency accompanied by a weak labor market.

CalMatters

Jackie Lacey is a longtime champion for mentally ill defendants. But do her reforms go far enough?

After years of frustration with a criminal justice system that seemed to favor incarceration over treatment of mentally ill defendants, Mark Gale said he found an ally in Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey. Gale, whose son suffers from schizophrenia and had been arrested at least twice in the 2000s, says Lacey deserves credit for helping to conceive many of the programs that offer services to mentally ill defendants in L.A. County today.

Los Angeles Times

County police departments can no longer investigate their own officers' use-of-force incidents

Local police agencies in Riverside County have adopted a new policy that dictates that police use-of-force incidents will no longer be investigated solely by officers from the same agency. An outside local agency will now determine whether the officer's actions were appropriate under the new plan. Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin describes the change as a timely clarification of how use of force is investigated in the county.

LRIS

LAPD gets approval to begin recording, storing aerial footage of protests

The Los Angeles Police Department received approval Tuesday to begin recording and storing aerial footage of protests and other large gatherings from its helicopters - a new capability that the department said would expand its "operational readiness" and protesters and civil liberties advocates denounced as unconstitutional government surveillance.

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles County/City

Celebrations after Dodgers' World Series win turn unruly, violent in downtown LA; 8 arrested amid looting, vandalism

Celebrations for the Dodgers' World Series win took a chaotic turn overnight in parts of Los Angeles, including in downtown where at least eight people were arrested, multiple officers were injured, a semi-truck was looted and a police vehicle and some businesses were vandalized.

ABC7 Los Angeles

Los Angeles County settles civil suit involving deputy public defender

Los Angeles County has agreed to pay out $450,000 to settle a civil case involving an alleged sexual assault by a deputy public defender of a client at a Lancaster courthouse five years ago, according to county records. The plaintiff, Dominga, accused Emmanuel Bart-Plange, who was the woman's court-appointed attorney in a petty theft case in 2015, of coercing her to give him oral sex and then warning her to keep quiet, according to the 2018 civil lawsuit against the county and Bart-Plange.

Los Angeles Daily News

Villanueva says there are better ways for a 'productive relationship' than call for his resignation

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said there are better ways to communicate respectfully with the county's Civilian Oversight Commission than calls for his resignation. "If they want to maintain respectful dialogue, well I think there's better ways to do it than call for my resignation," he said Wednesday, during a live broadcast.

The Signal

Board of Supervisors postpones decision on removing Villanueva as L.A. County Sheriff

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors postponed a decision Tuesday about whether it will consider avenues to remove Sheriff Alex Villanueva from his post before voters have a chance to do so in 2022. Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Sheila Kuehl had recommended that the board round up its lawyers, inspector general, civilian oversight commissioners and acting CEO to look at options for removing or impeaching the sheriff.

WEHOville

Deputy alleges violent arrests help officers earn notoriety in LASD-based 'Executioners' gang

"Inking parties" are a secret ritual to initiate deputies into the alleged "Executioners" gang in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, according to a sworn deposition testimony by LASD Deputy Art Gonzalez. "There are parties after, you know, after a shooting," Deputy Gonzalez testified. "Some people say it's to celebrate that the deputy's alive, and others believe it's to celebrate that they're going to be inking somebody."

ABC7 Los Angeles

Chaos and confusion as judge pushes plan to clear homeless camps from near freeways

The red Prius came to a stop under a freeway overpass in the San Fernando Valley. Out jumped Pastor Donald Dermit, bearing hygiene kits, Capri Suns and exhortations from 2 Corinthians. Dermit and two other outreach workers approached Robin Lee and Andrew Carolus, two of the homeless people living in a cluster of tents sheltered by the 101 Freeway. Lee rolled a joint as they spoke.

Los Angeles Times

A massive legal fight still hangs over the Aliso Canyon gas leak, five years later

The Aliso Canyon storage facility leak, which released an estimated 109,000 metric tons of natural gas into the air in and around the northwest San Fernando Valley, has led to a level of litigation that is just as massive in scale. Five years from the day the months-long gas leak began, 35,717 plaintiffs have lawsuits still pending in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Daily Republic

Eric Garcetti's #MeToo comeuppance

A bully is someone dumb enough to eventually pick on the wrong person and whose misbehavior is finally noticed by the right person. The latter is what finally happened last week to LA Mayor Eric Garcetti when Joe Biden's campaign distanced itself from him and told him to stay away from some final campaign events. It was in response to additional allegations of serial sexual harassment by Garcetti's long-term right-hand man Rick Jacobs, whose accusers say Garcetti was present during the incidents, but who laughed them off and kept enabling Jacobs.

CityWatch

Garcetti denies witnessing alleged sexual misconduct by former top adviser

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Wednesday denied witnessing any alleged sexual misconduct or harassment by his former Deputy Chief of Staff, Rick Jacobs, who has been accused by multiple men. "No, absolutely and categorically no," Garcetti said when questioned by reporters about the allegations during a remote COVID-19 update.

NBC4 Los Angeles

L.A. City Council delays vote for new limits on where homeless people can camp

Los Angeles is again considering a proposal to greatly restrict where homeless people may camp in public places around the city - rules that opponents say would criminalize homelessness. The City Council on Wednesday spent four hours debating changes to the city's code before President Nury Martinez decided to delay a vote to Nov. 24.

AP

Public Safety/Crime

Protester wounded by projectile is charged with assaulting LAPD officer

A protester who is suing the city of Los Angeles and several LAPD officers after being shot and badly wounded by a police projectile during a major protest in the city this summer has been charged with assault in the same incident. Bradley Steyn, 49, was charged with assaulting an officer and resisting or obstructing an officer in a misdemeanor complaint filed in California Superior Court by City Atty. Mike Feuer's office Monday, court records show.

Los Angeles Times

LBPD's Looting Task Force arrests 45 since June 1

The Long Beach Police Department announced Wednesday, Oct. 28 that its Looting Task Force has arrested 11 additional suspects for alleged looting, bringing the total arrests to 45 since June 1. The LBPD formed the Looting Task Force on June 1, 2020, with the sole purpose of conducting criminal investigations for significant crimes during the civil unrest experienced in the city in late May.

City News Service

Violent hate crimes in L.A. hit highest level in more than a decade; white supremacist acts jump 38%

Los Angeles County reported the highest number of violent hate crimes last year in more than a decade, with white supremacist crimes jumping by 38%, while attacks on the transgender community surged 64%, according to a new report. Of the 524 hate crimes reported in the county last year, 343 were of a violent nature, the largest number in this category since 2008, according to the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations 2019 annual report.

Los Angeles Times

LA's surge in homicides fueled by gang violence, killings of homeless people

Curtis DeTurk had always been a "drifter," but he had a dream, according to his sister Shelby Schnitz. A religious man from a tight-knit family, DeTurk, 27, had recently moved from Indiana to Los Angeles with the hope of becoming a famous guitar player. "He just wanted a fresh start where no one knew him and he could become famous," she said.

Union-Bulletin

U.S. Marshals find 45 missing children in operation "Autumn Hope"

The U.S. Marshals Service has recovered 45 missing children as part of an operation called "Autumn Hope," CBS Columbus, Ohio, affiliate WBNS-TV reports. During the the multi-agency enforcement operation, 169 arrests were made by the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force. USMS officers in Southern Ohio and Southern West Virginia worked with Ohio Attorney General's Office and the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force to find the missing and exploited children during the October mission.

CBS News

Hate crimes on the rise in Orange County

The OC Human Relations Commission released its 2019 Orange County Hate Crime Report on October 20. For the fifth consecutive year, the numbers of crimes increased. Hate crime was up 24% in 2019 over the previous year. "We know that hate crime is grossly underreported and that we likely do not hear from the majority of people who are targeted each year," Allison Edwards, CEO of OC Human Relations, wrote in a statement.

Fullerton Observer

Racial disparities in LAPD stops fueled by failed crime-fighting strategy, audit finds

An independent review of hundreds of thousands of stops conducted by Los Angeles police officers last year has found that racial disparities previously identified in a Times investigation were in part the result of failed strategies to use traffic and other minor violations "as a pretext to identify or suppress more serious crimes."

Los Angeles Times

FBI warns ransomware assault threatens US healthcare system

Federal agencies warned that cybercriminals are unleashing a wave of data-scrambling extortion attempts against the U.S. healthcare system designed to lock up hospital information systems, which could hurt patient care just as nationwide cases of COVID-19 are spiking. In a joint alert Wednesday, the FBI and two federal agencies warned that they had "credible information of an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers."

AP

Consumer

Authorities seize $3.5 million in fake goods at Port of L.A./L.B.

U.S. Customs officials announced a seizure of 25,000 fake Viagra pills Tuesday at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport, along with more than 5,100 pieces of apparel knockoffs of a wide range of brands including Gucci and Nike, and nearly 930 counterfeit makeup and perfume items. The merchandise, which was seized last month, has a street value of about $3.5 million, according to Customs and Border Protection officials.

My News LA

California/National

North of Los Angeles, two Republicans chart different paths for political survival

In northern Los Angeles County, a natural political experiment is playing out in one of the state's fiercest electoral battlegrounds. A pair of Santa Clarita Republicans, freshman Congressman Mike Garcia and state Sen. Scott Wilk, are charting different political paths as they try to defend seats in two overlapping swing districts.

KQED

Seattle City Council mulls law that could result in dismissal of many misdemeanor crimes

The Seattle City Council is considering new legislation that would create a legal loophole that would make substance addiction, mental illness or poverty a valid legal defense for nearly all misdemeanor crimes committed in the city. The council's consideration of the plan has occurred with virtually no public discussion about the proposal, which has been included in the municipal budgeting process. The council has not, so far, conducted a standalone meeting to discuss the idea.

KOMO

Giuliani associate charged in New York with cyberstalking

Kenneth Kurson, a friend of Jared Kushner who helped run the 2008 presidential campaign of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, was arraigned Friday on federal cyberstalking charges. The complaint in New York's Eastern District brings more bad press to the White House on the same day that Amazon Prime is launching the new "Borat" sequel, which includes a compromising appearance for Giuliani.

Courthouse News Service

30 cops injured, 1 run over, after fatal OIS sparks violence in Philadelphia

Outrage sparked by the shooting death of a Black man by police on Monday ripped across Philadelphia overnight amid protests that saw looting, vandalism and violent clashes between demonstrators and law enforcement officers. At least 30 police officers were injured late Monday into early Tuesday, including a 56-year-old sergeant who was clipped by a black pickup truck, NBC Philadelphia reported.

New York Daily News

Ballot Issues

Measure J seeks to mandate spending on 'Care First' public safety plan

In addition to the state propositions on the November ballot, Los Angeles County residents have another issue to consider - Measure J, a amendment to the county charter requiring that a minimum of 10% of the county's unrestricted general funds be spent on housing, mental health treatment, jail diversion programs and other alternatives to incarceration.

My News LA

The ballot initiative that could change how you think about defunding the police

Something shifted in the weeks following the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, or at least it felt that way. Calls to defund the police rang out in protests across the country and through the halls of city government. The Minneapolis City Council, in a widely covered June rally, announced a veto-proof majority in support of dismantling its deadly police force.

The New Republic

Convictions/Sentences

Former OC security guard pleads guilty to impersonating federal agent

A man who worked as a security guard at an Orange County retirement community pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony charge for pretending to be a federal agent. Donovan Pham Nguyen, 34, pleaded guilty to one count of impersonating a federal officer, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. According to the plea agreement, Nguyen began working at the retirement community's private security company in 2015.

CBS Los Angeles

Former youth coach pleads no contest to lewd acts on 3 boys

A Rowland Heights man who coached youth baseball faces more than nine years in state prison for lewd acts on three boys, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said on Friday, Oct. 23. Carlton Murray Harris Jr., 48, pleaded no contest Thursday, Oct. 22, to one count of committing a lewd act on a child under age 14 and two counts of committing a lewd act on a child 14 or 15 years old, Deputy District Attorney Leslie Bouvier said.

City News Service

Enrique Marquez of Riverside sentenced in 2015 San Bernardino terror attack

A Riverside man was sentenced today to 20 years in federal prison for conspiring to commit terrorist attacks in the Inland Empire and for providing assault rifles later used in the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack that killed 14 people. Enrique Marquez Jr., 28, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Jesus Bernal.

Orange County Breeze

Nxivm founder sentenced to the remainder of his life in prison

Keith Raniere, founder of the company Nxivm, has been sentenced to 120 years in prison. US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis read the sentence in Brooklyn federal court Tuesday, after more than a dozen people gave victim impact statements at his sentencing. Garaufis said in his decision that the crimes Raniere was convicted of are "cruel, perverse and extremely serious."

CNN

Corrections & Parole

Former San Bernardino County probation officer convicted of killing wife, unborn child granted parole

A former San Bernardino County probation officer convicted of killing his wife and unborn daughter has been granted parole. Rodney Patrick McNeal was originally sentenced to 30-years-to-life in prison for the March 1997 murders of 39-year-old nursing student Debra McNeal and her unborn daughter in Highland. McNeal was convicted and sentenced in 2000.

ABC7

Parole Board releases woman linked to Vallejo murder two decades ago

The California Board of Parole has granted release from prison a woman connected to the murder of a Berkeley man some two decades ago in Vallejo. After an Oct. 15 parole hearing for Natalee Brown, who was serving a life sentence at the state prison for women in Chino, the board found she no longer poses "an unreasonable risk" to the community, Solano County District Attorney Krishna Abrams noted in a press release released Wednesday.

Times-Herald

Articles of Interest

Walmart files pre-emptive lawsuit against federal government in opioid case

Walmart sued the federal government in an attempt to strike a pre-emptive blow against what it said is an impending opioid-related civil lawsuit from the Justice Department. The retail giant said in a lawsuit filed Thursday that the Justice Department and Drug Enforcement Administration are seeking to scapegoat the company for the federal government's own regulatory and enforcement shortcomings in combating the opioid crisis.

Wall Street Journal

Student sues Naval Academy over expulsion for social media posts

A Naval Academy student facing expulsion for alleged racist social media posts filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to overturn the recommendation, claiming the academy's commanders violated his First and Fifth Amendment rights by their monolithic fealty to "woke" culture and critical race theory.

Courthouse News Service

Defamation costs Allstate $4M, even after court erases wrongful termination verdict

Allstate Insurance Co. was within its rights to fire Michael A. Tilkey from his $200,000-a-year job as a broker after he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, a California appellate court ruled Monday. On the other hand, the carrier's decision to report that Tilkey had been terminated because of reasons related to "domestic violence" amounted to defamation, deserving an award of $4,247,287.50 in compensatory and punitive damages, the 4th District Court of Appeal panel found.

Claims Journal

'Sue if you must': Lincoln Project rejects threat over Kushner and Ivanka billboards | Ivanka Trump

The Lincoln Project "will not be intimidated by empty bluster", a lawyer for the group wrote late on Saturday, in response to a threat from an attorney for Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner over two billboards put up in Times Square. "Sue if you must," Matthew Sanderson said. The New York City billboards show the president's daughter and her husband, both senior White House advisers, displaying apparent indifference to public suffering under Covid-19.

The Guardian

Apple, Google and a deal that controls the internet

When Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai, the chief executives of Apple and Google, were photographed eating dinner together in 2017 at an upscale Vietnamese restaurant called Tamarine, the picture set off a tabloid-worthy frenzy about the relationship between the two most powerful companies in Silicon Valley. As the two men sipped red wine at a window table inside the restaurant in Palo Alto, their companies were in tense negotiations to renew one of the most lucrative business deals in history: an agreement to feature Google's search engine as the preselected choice on Apple's iPhone and other devices.

New York Times

Lawyer for Johnny Depp kicked off case after press leaks

On more than one occasion, the judge presiding over the lawsuit between the divorced actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has made it clear that he doesn't want their Virginia defamation case tried in the press. Coming off the latest disappointment on that front, Judge Bruce White threw Depp's attorney Adam Waldman off the case on Friday after finding that the lawyer had given the press confidential information covered under a protective order.

Courthouse News Service

Walters: Left wing cancel culture is out to get Feinstein

Sen. Dianne Feinstein has been a fixture of California politics for 60 years, beginning with an appointment to the state's then-separate parole board for women. To put that in context, her political career began seven years before Gov. Gavin Newsom was born. From the parole board, Feinstein moved to San Francisco's Board of Supervisors, to two unsuccessful runs for mayor, to acting mayor when Mayor George Moscone was assassinated in 1978, to two mayoral terms on her own, to an unsuccessful bid for governor in 1990 and finally to her election to the U.S. Senate in 1992.

Mercury News

Pension

COVID-19 will bring total pension debt to $1.62 trillion this year

There's no denying that COVID-19 has impacted the global economy, and it's weighed on public pension funds too. The Institute for Pension Fund Integrity published a report on COVID-19's impact on public pensions. Data from the Equitable Institute suggests that COVID-19 will bring total pension debt to $1.62 trillion this year. Those losses haven't hit budgets yet, but they will mean higher pension bills starting next year.

ValueWalk

 

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