Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

UC Barred from Using Standardized Tests in Admissions and other stories: Monday Morning Memo

Also, video records from Borderline Grill shooting may not be made public

Courts & Rulings

Judge rules that passage of SB 394 violated state Constitution

Instead of having the opportunity to present his case before the parole board next summer, convicted murderer Nathen Ramazzini will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars after a Sacramento County Superior Court judge ruled that the passage of Senate Bill 394 violated the California Constitution.

The Appeal Democrat

High Court tosses immunity for guards accused of keeping inmate in filthy cells

Texas prison guards can be sued over claims that they placed a mentally ill inmate in cells covered in feces and raw sewage, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, reversing a decision that shielded the guards under the controversial doctrine of qualified immunity. The case stems from six days that inmate Trent Taylor spent at a psychiatric prison unit in Lubbock, Texas, where guards first placed him in a cell covered in what court documents described as "massive amounts of feces."

Courthouse News Service

Retired deputy sheriff can't contest firing, C.A. holds

The Los Angeles County Civil Service Commission properly dismissed the appeal of a deputy sheriff who was fired after being granted a disability retirement, the Court of Appeal for this district held yesterday, rejecting the contention that a 2014 decision authorizes continued jurisdiction. Justice Elizabeth A. Grimes of Div. Eight wrote the opinion, which affirms a ruling by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary H. Strobel who denied a petition for a writ of mandate sought by retired Deputy Martin Diero.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Two years after Thousand Oaks shootings, court issues impede release of Borderline report

A court order shielding certain police use-of-force records from public view is complicating the release of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office report on the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill two years ago, officials said. Sheriff Bill Ayub has previously said he would release the report after District Attorney Greg Totten completes his review of the use of force by officers responding to the bar, which is pending.

Ventura County Star

Father has no claim based on USC flunking his son

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday affirmed a determination by the District Court for the Central District of California that a man has no cause of action for the emotional distress he allegedly suffered as the result of the University of Southern California spurning his pleas to relieve his son, a student there, of a disciplinary action against him.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Gun conviction stands for Mexican developer who sought to buy San Diego mayoral race

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday upheld, for a second time, a gun-possession conviction of a Mexican businessman who illegally contributed nearly $600,000 to the 2012 San Diego mayoral race. The panel, comprised of Circuit Judges Milan D. Smith Jr., Paul J. Watford, and Andrew D. Hurwitz, withdrew its original opinion filed in March 2019 and filed a new one after the U.S. Supreme Court remanded the case in light of its decision in a case months later that addressed the mens rea element of illegal firearms possession under 18 U.S.C. §922(g).

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Appeals court upholds ruling against tests for admissions

A California appeals court on Thursday upheld a lower court's ruling barring the University of California from using the SAT or ACT in admitting students to any of its campuses this year. The appeals court ruling largely addressed the legal standards for appeals and didn't focus on the merits of the decision. The appeals court found that the University of California had not shown that it would be irreparably harmed by the ruling.

Inside Higher Ed

Justices pick apart draft status in public-access fight

The U.S. Supreme Court dove in Monday to debate over when the public has the right to access secret government documents that could illuminate the rationale behind endangered species protections. But the Freedom of Information Act tangle was notable for another reason as it also marked the debut on the bench of the newly confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Courthouse News Service

Judge orders feds to reconsider asylum denials in metering class action

A federal judge extended the scope of her preliminary injunction on Trump administration restrictions for immigrants seeking asylum at U.S. ports of entry, saying Friday that officials must reopen asylum claims that were denied before the injunction was issued last year. On July 16, 2019, the Trump administration implemented the "Asylum Transit Rule" which made immigrants' asylum claims invalid if they arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border from a country other than their country of origin and failed to apply for asylum there first.

Courthouse News Service

Lawyers deserved no more than $15,000 in ADA-based case

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday affirmed an award of $15,000 in attorney fees to a firm that specializes in filing lawsuits against small businesses for breaches of the Americans With Disabilities Act, rejecting the firm's protest that the District Court erred in finding that the full $34,873.50 it claimed was excessive in light of it obtaining only a $4,000 statutory penalty, assessed based on the lack of a handicapped parking space.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

COVID-19 & Justice System

Newsom election orders an overreach, California judge rules

Amid the Covid-19 health crisis, a California judge ruled Monday that Governor Gavin Newsom exceeded his authority by amending state election law to require sending vote-by-mail ballots to all registered voters, calling the executive order "an unconstitutional exercise of legislative power." The tentative ruling by Sutter County Superior Court Judge Sarah Heckman comes just one day before Election Day, though it will not change the outcome of the 2020 election in California.

Courthouse News Service


LA County DA's office gets grant for DUI training

The California Office of Traffic Safety - through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - has awarded a $1.5 million grant to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office for DUI training and prosecution. The funding will allow the DUI Training and Prosecution Section to continue using proper training tools and resources to work with law enforcement in an effort to increase the number of officers who are certified as drug recognition experts in Los Angeles County.

Press Release

More sex assault charges filed against adult film actor Ron Jeremy

Prosecutors said they have filed seven additional sexual assault counts against adult film actor Ron Jeremy, which together with previous charges carry a maximum sentence of more than 300 years in prison. The seven new counts, filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, involve six women and go back to 1996, the prosecutor's office said in a statement. They add to other charges previously filed against Jeremy, 67, whose real name is Ron Jeremy Hyatt.

NBC News

Northridge woman accused of insurance fraud for claiming car was stolen after husband led police on high speed chase

A 24-year-old Northridge woman is facing multiple felony insurance fraud counts involving an allegedly false claim that her car - which was involved in a high-speed police pursuit with her husband at the wheel - was stolen, the state Department of Insurance announced Monday. DOI investigators and prosecutors allege that Ghosh filed the claim with Farmers Insurance to try and avoid criminal charges being filed against her husband.

City News Service

Man charged with vandalism, hate crime in caught-on-video Torrance attack

A man faces vandalism and hate crime charges in connection with a caught-on-video attack against two people in Torrance earlier this year, officials announced Monday. Gregory Edward Howell, 29, of Carson, was charged with one count of assault with a deadly weapon - a shovel - and a special hate crime allegation, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.



In a dramatic turnaround, challenger George Gascón wins race for LA County District Attorney

Jackie Lacey conceded defeat at an emotional news conference Friday to challenger George Gascón in the race to become Los County's top prosecutor. Former San Francisco District Attorney Gascón maintained his significant lead Friday in his effort to unseat Lacey. The incumbent said Friday that the lead is too great to overcome and vowed to move forward. "I will work with my successor to ensure that there is an orderly transfer of leadership in my office," Lacey said at a Friday news conference.

NBC4 Los Angeles

Measure J's 'Care First' public safety plan headed for victory

County voters appeared Wednesday to have passed a charter amendment 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. With initial vote-counting from Tuesday's election complete, Measure J had the support of 57% of voters and a lead of nearly 4,000 votes.

My News LA

Proposition 17: California passes measure allowing felons on parole to vote

A ballot measure restoring the right to vote for felons on parole was decisively passed by California voters on Tuesday. Proposition 17 will change the state Constitution to give the vote to an estimated 50,000 people who supporters said have paid their debt to society and should be able to choose their representatives and shape the policies that affect their daily lives. "This is a victory for democracy and justice," said Taina Vargas-Edmond, chair of the Yes On Prop. 17 campaign.


Bid to end cash bail system fails in California

Californians soundly rejected a ballot measure that would have put an end to the bail system, with statewide results Wednesday showing it down by 11 points. Unofficial results provided by the California Secretary of State show Proposition 25 tanked in nearly every county outside the Bay Area, with the exception of Yolo County and Alpine County. The statewide vote tally stood at 44.6% to 55.4% Wednesday.

Courthouse News Service

Prop. 20, which tightens crime punishment rules in California, loses at the ballot

An initiative to increase punishment for theft crimes and make some prisoners ineligible for parole hearings was resoundingly rejected Tuesday by California voters, who reaffirmed their decisions of recent years to reduce some criminal penalties. With votes reported from most of the state's precincts, Proposition 20, backed by law enforcement organizations, was trailing seriously.

San Francisco Chronicle

Oregon votes to decriminalize heroin, meth, other street drugs

Voters in Oregon approved a ballot measure Tuesday that will decriminalize the possession of small amounts of harder street drugs including but not limited to heroin, methamphetamines and cocaine. With more than 70 percent of expected votes reported on the Oregon state website, Measure 110 lead with nearly 60 percent of the vote. The ballot measure would mean that the possession of a "non-commercial" amount of a number of drugs, which varies in amount by type, would be punishable by no more than a $100 fine.

The Hill

Two council races highlight Los Angeles 2020 city elections

Challenger Nithya Raman held a narrow lead Wednesday night in her effort to oust incumbent David Ryu from the Los Angeles City Council's District 4 seat. With initial vote counting from Tuesday's election complete - but an unknown number of ballots still remaining to be tallied - Raman had 52.4% of the vote, with more than 5,400 votes separating the pair. "This is a moment of hope," Raman said in a prepared statement.

City News Service

Prop. 16: California's affirmative action measure fails

California voters have rejected an attempt to reinstate affirmative action programs in public hiring, contracting and college admissions, keeping a 1996 ban on the government granting preferential treatment based on race and gender. Supporters of Proposition 16 had hoped to overturn the ban amid a national reckoning over racism following the deaths of Black Americans and other people of color by police.


Policy/Legal Issues

A rapist who terrorized Del Mar got 326 years in prison. The law changed and now he's up for parole

Before he attacked them, the stranger would follow his victims to their Del Mar homes. He would return to sneak in through an unlocked door, grab the victim from behind, press a cold blade to her throat. The ambushes started in 1993. Over three years, seven women were attacked. Five were sexually assaulted. All of the victims were alone in their homes, and some were fresh out of the shower when he confronted them.

Los Angeles Times

California AG Becerra defends state's death penalty, but his personal view may be different

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has defended the state's death penalty against legal challenges, including one supported by Gov. Gavin Newsom. At the same time, he says he has "serious reservations" about the death penalty and voted to repeal it in 2016. In a filing last week, the first by a California governor, to challenge application of the state's death penalty law, Newsom asked the state Supreme Court to make it harder for prosecutors to obtain a death verdict under current law by requiring to agree, beyond a reasonable doubt, that death rather than life without parole is the proper punishment.

San Francisco Chronicle

Department of Justice announces the use of body-worn cameras on federal task forces

Today, the Justice Department announced that it will permit state, local, territorial, and tribal task force officers to use body-worn cameras on federal task forces around the nation. The department's policy will permit federally deputized officers to activate a body-worn camera while serving arrest warrants, or during other planned arrest operations, and during the execution of search warrants.

Department of Justice/Office of Public Affairs News Release

Statement by FBI Director Christopher Wray on the use of body-worn cameras on federal task forces

FBI Director Christopher Wray released the following statement concerning the Justice Department's announcement that it will permit state, local, territorial, and tribal task force officers to use body-worn cameras on federal task forces around the nation. The department's policy will permit federally deputized officers to activate a body-worn camera while serving arrest warrants, or during other planned arrest operations, and during the execution of search warrants.

FBI Press Release

Enhanced sentencing for reckless crimes debated at Supreme Court

If a person swings a baseball bat in a joking manner, loses control and strikes their friend standing nearby, do those actions qualify as a reckless use of force? That was one hypothetical posed by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday, when the high court explored the interpretation of a specific phrase in the Armed Career Criminal Act. Charles Borden was caught with a gun during a traffic stop in April 2017 and pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a firearm.

Courthouse News Service

Los Angeles County/City

Attorneys seek to pull Garcetti deeper into aide's sexual harassment suit

Attorneys for a police officer suing the city over alleged sexual harassment by a former advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti are attempting to pull the mayor deeper into the case. In a court motion filed Friday, the attorneys are demanding Garcetti give sworn testimony about the former aide, Rick Jacobs. They also want Garcetti to answer questions about a second alleged incident involving the mayor they say is relevant to the case, according to documents filed with the motion.

Los Angeles Times

Board of Supervisors may lack authority to oust Sheriff Alex Villanueva

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has made quite a few enemies during his relatively short time on the job. The Civilian Oversight Commission unanimously issued a resolution calling for him to step down, and at least two members of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors are actively looking for ways to remove him from his role - but it may prove difficult to force him out. Chiefs of police are appointed by mayors, and can be removed by them.

Los Angeles Magazine

Public Safety/Crime

PPCC urges LA council to continue LAPD beach detail funding

The Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) urged the Los Angeles City Council to continue funding the Palisades' LAPD Beach Detail patrol. The Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness (PPTFH) joined the PPCC in an October 27 letter to the L.A. City Council. The LAPD Beach Detail consists of two officers who monitor the coasts and hillsides of Palisades for crime activity, while also helping control levels of homelessness in the area.

Canyon News

The Thin Blue Line is under attack

And now it's Philadelphia, which joins Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Kenosha, Wisc. on the list of cities where routine police encounters have gone violently wrong, leading to days of rioting and chaos on the streets, all of which, we are endlessly assured by our sophisticated betters in the media, meets the ever more capacious definition of "mostly peaceful protests." On its face, the police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. in Philadelphia should not be controversial.

The Pipeline

Authorities rescue teen from human trafficker during a parole compliance check

A 20-year-old man was arrested for allegedly trafficking a minor, pimping and pandering a woman in Long Beach, authorities said Friday. The Long Beach Police Department said they began investigating on July 1, when they pulled Marcus Harris over and determined that he was on parole. During a parole compliance check, they "found evidence that Harris was engaged in the pimping and pandering of a female adult," police said.

City News Service

Body of missing Los Angeles firefighter found

Mexican officials announced Wednesday that they had located the body of Frank Aguilar, a California firefighter who disappeared without a trace in late August. According to Hiram Sánchez Zamora, the state's central prosecutor, human remains were found on October 23 in Playas de Rosarito that had apparently been burned. After an investigation and with genetic comparative samples, officials determined that these were the remains of Aguilar.

NBC4 Los Angeles

Body cam video shows Fred Williams jump a fence while holding a gun when deputy fatally shot him in Willowbrook

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department late Friday released footage of the fatal shooting of Fred Williams III, who was killed during a foot chase in Willowbrook this month in what marked the first deputy shooting captured on department-issued body cameras. Sheriff's officials released an 11-minute briefing that included body camera footage, security video and radio communications from the incident.

Los Angeles Times

Hollywood film producer arrested for another sexual assault

A Hollywood film producer was arrested for another sexual assault last week after being out on bail for sexual assault charges in Santa Barbara County. The Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office filed felony sexual assault charges against David Guillod, 53-years-old of Sherman Oaks, in June of this year. He was charged with 11 felonies that include rape, kidnapping for rape, and rape of an unconscious and/or intoxicated person among several women.

edhat Santa Barbara

LAPD arrests at least 40 protesters, cites others downtown on election night

LAPD officers arrested about 40 people and cited about 30 others who were protesting near Staples Center and at downtown intersections on the evening of the election after declaring several unlawful assemblies in the area, authorities said. The arrests took place in the area near the Metro Blue Line station on Washington Boulevard and Grand Avenue, where dozens of people filled an intersection, some circling the area on bicycles, and others were blocking train tracks, said LAPD spokesman Officer Mike Lopez, who addressed members of the media near the station.

San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Burglars steal riot gear from Army National Guard armory in Ontario

Someone cut through a fence and burglarized the Army National Guard armory in Ontario on Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 3, getting away with riot gear and other equipment but apparently no firearms. The burglary was discovered sometime after 4 p.m. The armory is at 950 N. Cucamonga Ave. Ontario police Officer Eliseo Guerrero, a department spokesman, said the stolen items included expandable batons, shields, face shields, body restraints and megaphones.

Riverside Press-Enterprise


Beware: $1,200 stimulus check text messages are a scam

Many individuals have recently reported receiving texts with fraudulent messages telling them that they need to click on a link in order to accept their stimulus check payment. If you receive one of these, please don't on the link, the text is a scam trying to cheat you out of money. Since March, when the coronavirus pandemic started ravaging the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission has received more than 5,000 complaints from individuals who received fraudulent text messages, according to News10NBC.


Consumer privacy initiative sails to victory in California

A ballot initiative meant to strengthen privacy protections for Californians passed handily with 56% of the vote Tuesday. San Francisco real estate developer Alastair Mactaggart proposed Proposition 24 to safeguard against efforts by business groups and tech industry efforts to weaken the existing California Consumer Privacy Act, passed in 2018 to give Californians more control over how companies collect and use their personal information.

Courthouse News Service

How to get the old Gmail, Calendar, Google Drive icons back on Android, iPhone, and Chrome

In case you missed the news, Google announced a big revamp of its productivity suite in October. That change saw G Suite become Google Workspace and, with it, new branding for every product. That includes the incredibly popular Gmail service, and that's perhaps the tweak that's made the biggest impact on users. A lot of people just aren't happy with Google's new design, which switches from the distinct red color and iconic envelope shape and instead adopts all four of the company's signature colors.

9to5 Google


California voters like Biden, unions not so much

With a turnout that smashed all records, millions of votes remain to be counted in California, but tallies so far are providing some strong themes, to wit: - The disdain of President Donald Trump as Californians gave challenger Joe Biden a victory in the state of historic proportions. Voters favored Biden by a 2-1 margin. - Democrats retained their overwhelming control of the Legislature and the state's 53-member congressional delegation. A few seats are changing partisan hands, but not enough to make any practical difference in either venue.

Orange County Register

California goes big on criminal justice reform, setting a new, uncertain path

California voters expressed a clear appetite for criminal justice reform on election night, supporting a series of ambitious changes after a summer of mass protests sparked a painful reckoning around racial injustice and debate over the role of policing. Results throughout the state have not been finalized. But on statewide ballot measures and in key local races, voters backed progressive candidates and policies that promised to hold police more accountable and shift taxpayer funding away from law enforcement and toward social services.

Los Angeles Times

Four cops charged in Floyd death to be tried together

The four former police officers charged in connection with the arrest and death of George Floyd will face trial together in March, a Minnesota judge ordered Thursday, and that trial is tentatively staying in Minneapolis. Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill granted prosecutors' motions to try fired Minneapolis police officers Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng together in an order filed Wednesday night and released Thursday morning.

Courthouse News Service


Drug dealer sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping and mutilation of marijuana dispensary owner

A Newport Beach pot dealer was sentenced to life in prison Friday for the kidnapping and mutilation of a Southern California marijuana dispensary owner who was found in the Mojave Desert after a harrowing abduction. Hossain Nayeri, who gained fame by staging a daring escape from the Orange County jail while awaiting trial, was sentenced Friday to two consecutive life-without-parole prison terms for the brutal kidnapping and torture.

NBC4 Los Angeles

Student sentenced to more than 15 years after stabbing his 2 fathers while home from college

A 23-year-old man in California has been sentenced to more than 15 years in prison for stabbing both his fathers multiple times. Matthew Boulet was handed down a sentence of 15 years and four months on Thursday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced. Last month, Boulet pleaded no contest to two counts of attempted murder and admitted to causing great bodily injury in an attack on July 24, 2018.


Drug dealer whose victim died gets 15 years in prison

A 29-year-old Van Nuys man who pleaded guilty to selling fentanyl to a 22-year-old man who overdosed and died was sentenced Monday to 15 years in federal prison. James Dorion Rodriguez pleaded guilty in December to a count of distribution of fentanyl resulting in death. Investigators suspect Rodriguez meant to sell cocaine to his victim in March 2018, but accidentally gave him fentanyl, according to federal prosecutors.

My News LA

Corrections & Parole

79th California prison inmate dies of COVID-19 complications

An inmate at a central California prison died of complications from the coronavirus Saturday, authorities said, becoming the state's 79th person to have a fatal case of COVID-19 while they were incarcerated. The Avenal State Prison inmate died at a hospital, the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a news release. The prisoner's name was not released. There have been 15,872 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state prison system, according to online statistics.


Articles of Interest

What I expect from a frontline leader

In 1996, I was supervising an LAPD citywide gang unit and we were doing some work in Rampart Division. I was in Rampart Station using the restroom when I was approached by a sergeant. It was a guy I knew from a few years ago when he was a young officer working Newton Street Division. He was now a newly appointed sergeant assigned to Rampart. At this time, my oldest son had graduated from the LA Police Academy a few months earlier and was now also assigned to Rampart.


DOJ seizes $1B in bitcoin from Silk Road transactions

The Department of Justice is forfeiting an estimated $1 billion worth of bitcoin it seized in connection to transactions from shuttered online black market Silk Road. The agency reports that the action involving proceeds from the illicit marketplace - which offered drugs and services such as hacking - is the largest cryptocurrency seizure in DOJ history. "Silk Road was the most notorious online criminal marketplace of its day," said U.S. Attorney David Anderson of the Northern District of California in a statement Thursday.

The Recorder


San Bernardino County grand jury says Upland was 'deceptive,' tried to hide pension costs

The San Bernardino County grand jury has found the city of Upland was "deceptive" and tried to hide information from residents when it removed the city treasurer's annotation regarding $112 million in unfunded pension costs from several of his reports. The panel's report Monday, Nov. 2, said the city staff had removed handwritten notes made by the city treasurer on five different monthly treasury reports, from January 2019 to June 2019, without informing the City Council that the reports presented for its approval were altered.

San Gabriel Valley Tribune

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