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

July Deadliest Month in a Decade in LA; Generic Drugs Hit Potential Legal Block; Killer of BofA Exec Faces only 5 Years if Convicted and Other Stories: Monday Morning Memo

It's constitutional to force women to cover on top when men can go shirtless; Marijuana users can be discriminated against in the job market; Riverside defendant judged too crazy for mental health treatment

 

August 19, 2021

San Bernardino County Professional Firefighters Local 935

LA County Supervisors voted to put homeless in fire hazard zones into housing to prevent wildfires. Fires at homeless encampments have already caused costly wildfires and frequent urban fires.

A rising tide of violence in Los Angeles

There were more aggravated assaults in Los Angeles in July than during any month in over a decade, with 1,299. The spike highlights one of the emerging concerns about public safety during COVID-19. Overall crime has fallen sharply, as social distancing and lockdowns kept people apart. But violent crimes - from murders to shootings and assaults - have been climbing to alarming levels.

Crosstown

With 46 murders, Los Angeles sees deadliest month in more than a decade

The city of Los Angeles in July recorded 46 homicides, by far the highest monthly count in at least a decade. The figure is more than double the 20 murders in April, according to public data from the Los Angeles Police Department, and shows that an alarming trend is not slowing down. The period from Jan. 1-June 30 was already the deadliest first six months of the year since at least 2010, when the LAPD began making its data public. The 46 deaths in July is a 21% jump from the 38 recorded last month.

Lost C.A. opinion is found, potentially inuring to benefit of petitioning inmate

The finding of a "lost" unpublished 1979 Court of Appeal opinion in a case has resulted in the prospect that a man found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder will be able to establish that he was convicted under the ancient felony-murder rule, which has been largely legislatively abrogated in California, and is entitled to a resentencing under ameliorative legislation.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Judge dismisses murder conviction in Sunset Beach killing over alleged misconduct

An Orange County judge on Monday, Aug. 9, overturned the 2010 jury conviction of a man serving life in prison for the killing of a marijuana dealer in Sunset Beach because sheriff's deputies refuse to testify about alleged misconduct. Meanwhile, first-term District Attorney Todd Spitzer, who requested a new trial, indicated he will hire an independent firm to investigate the office's handling of the murder case.

Orange County Register

Juvenile offender can't be ordered to pay for domestic violence prevention program

The county Probation Department is obliged to pay for a treatment program in which a person adjudged to be a juvenile delinquent is obliged to enroll under a court order, irrespective of the ability of the minor or the parent to undertake the expense, Div. Five of the First District Court of Appeal decided yesterday. Justice Gordon B. Burns wrote the opinion. It reverses an order by Costa County Superior Court Judge Leslie G. Landau denying a motion by "M.W." to have the county undertake the expense of a M. 52-week "Batterer's Intervention Program."

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Ninth Circuit clarifies pre-trial inmates have a constitutional right to a proper medical screen and to direct-view safety checks

Gordon v. County of Orange, et al .: On September 8, 2013, Gordon was arrested by the Placentia Police Department on heroin-related charges and booked into the Orange County Central Men's Jail. During his intake, Gordon informed Defendant Debbie Finley, a registered nurse, of his 3-grams-a-day heroin habit. Despite having a policy for opiate withdrawal, jail staff placed Gordon on an alcohol withdrawal protocol and in regular housing rather than medical unit housing.

JD Supra

Murder case against reputed head of Southern California Mexican Mafia is tossed out

The reputed head of the Orange County Mexican Mafia is no longer facing murder and other criminal charges related to the killing of a Placentia drug dealer during a confrontation prosecutors allege was ordered by gang leaders from behind bars. Orange County Superior Court Judge Patrick Donahue on Friday dismissed the criminal case against Johnny Martinez, which included murder, conspiracy, burglary and attempted robbery allegations tied to the 2017 slaying of Robert Rios at a Placentia home, court records show.

Orange County Register

Judge's order to oust county lawmaker automatically stayed

A woman whose appointment to a vacancy on the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors was declared unlawful by a Superior Court judge because preliminary decision-making was made via emailed communications rather than in open session, in violation of the Ralph M. Brown Act, was entitled to retain the seat during the appeals process, the California Supreme Court held yesterday.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Courtroom behavior could derail plea deal for immigrant cleared in pier shooting

An undocumented immigrant cleared of murder in the 2015 shooting death of Kate Steinle is close to reaching a plea deal on federal gun possession charges, but his behavior during a hearing Monday could delay the guilty plea indefinitely. Jose Inez Garcia-Zarate has been held in jails and prison hospitals for the last six years following his arrest for the July 5, 2015, shooting death of Steinle on a San Francisco pier.

Courthouse News Service

A federal appeals court throws into question the fate of 'skinny labels' - and access to generic drugs

In a decision with enormous implications for the U.S. health care system, a federal appeals court panel issued a ruling that throws into question the ability of generic companies to "carve out" uses for their medicines and supply Americans with lower-cost alternatives to pricey brand-name drugs.

Stat

Appellate judges uphold Ocean City's topless ban

A federal appeals court on Wednesday affirmed a Maryland beach town's right to ban women from topless sunbathing. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond ruled unanimously that Ocean City's law, which allows men to be topless but not women, is constitutional.

AP

Federal Court in California greenlights drug testing of job applicants

A U.S. District Court recently dismissed the lawsuit of a former employee who claimed disability discrimination after he was terminated for testing positive for marijuana in a pre-employment drug test. Espindola v. Wismettac Asian Foods, Inc., Case 2:20-cv-03702. The Court held that an employer can condition an offer of employment on passing a pre-employment drug screening, including a test for marijuana.

JD Supra

Federal appeals court rejects cap on air ambulance fees

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that U.S. law bars a Texas price cap on air ambulance fees related to the treatment of injured workers, disagreeing with the Texas Supreme Court's ruling on the issue. In Air Evac EMS Inc. v. State of Texas, Department of Insurance, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled that the U.S. Airline Deregulation Act, which bars states from regulating air carrier prices, preempts state price caps on air ambulance reimbursements.

Business Insurance

Judge denies mental health diversion for man accused of attempted murder, says mental illness too severe, sets trial

A defendant diagnosed with severe schizoaffective disorder was denied mental health diversion here in Riverside County Superior Court late last week - the diversion would have authorized his release for up to two years so the defendant could receive treatment. Mental health diversion is a program that allows defendants to undergo up to two years of treatment instead of being prosecuted and placed in jail.

David Vanguard

C.A. broadens liability for negligent entrustment, hiring

Div. One of the Fourth District Court of Appeal held Friday that liability for negligent entrustment of a vehicle or the negligent hiring of a person who is to drive a company vehicle may be founded on a failure to make sure that the person holds a driver's license. Actual knowledge of a person's unfitness to drive is not required, Justice Cynthia Aaron wrote.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Los Angeles District Attorney

Cooley, others urge Bonta to exercise control over Gascón

Former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, along with 10 other victims' rights attorneys and a former Los Angeles Police Department detective have called upon state Attorney General Rob Bonta to exercise his state constitutional authority over the county's current top prosecutor, George Gascón. The call for a crackdown on Gascón came in an Open letter dated Sunday and publicly released yesterday.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Attorney blasts conflict over prosecutor still on payroll of LA County Public Defender's Office

A victims' rights attorney has asked a judge to remove a Los Angeles County prosecutor from the case of a convicted killer contesting his death penalty sentence because the prosecutor appears to be on the payroll of the defense. Documents obtained through a public records request show Deputy District Attorney Diana Teran remains employed with the Los Angeles County Public Defender's Office, where she is paid $218,042 annually while she is on loan to the District Attorney's Office, attorney Kathleen Cady said in a motion filed last week in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

East Bay Times

George Gascon's sinking poll numbers

If George Gascon, the rogue district attorney for Los Angeles County, had Scooby-Doo as a dog, he would be hearing "ruh roh" around the house a lot these days. That's because Gascon's radical policies are infecting the electorate, and they don't like it. That's why there is a recall effort to boot him from office, and a poll that recently came out shows that Gascon is in trouble.

The Daily Signal

Campaign to recall LA DA Gascón struggles to gain traction

The campaign to recall L.A. District Attorney George Gascón is struggling to gain traction. When it was approved to begin gathering signatures in late May, the recall campaign had five months - until Oct. 27 - to collect nearly 580,000 valid signatures of registered voters to get on the L.A. County ballot. We're now halfway through that time period, and the recall has collected roughly 175,000 signatures, said spokesman Tim Lineberger.

LAist

SM Council delays discussion on Gascon

July 29, 2021 The City Council did not end up discussing a resolution regarding Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon that had been proposed by Councilmember Phil Brock. The resolution did not go so far as to express no confidence in the DA, as has been done by 24 other area cities. Instead, the resolution asks Gascon to follow state law regarding bail and sentencing of criminal defendants.

Culver City Observer

Prosecutors

Former LAPD officer charged in fatal shooting inside Corona Costco

A former Los Angeles Police Department officer was charged with voluntary manslaughter in an off-duty shooting that killed an unarmed man and wounded the victim's parents at a Southern California Costco. Salvador Sanchez also was charged with assault with a semiautomatic firearm in connection with the 2019 confrontation during a shopping trip at the Costco in Corona.

NBC4

L.A. Sheriff's Department detectives face charges from allegations they lied in arrest report

Two Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department detectives have been charged in connection with falsehoods prosecutors allege they made about a 2018 drug bust and arrest. Det. Pedro Guerrero-Gonzalez, a lead investigator with the department's gang unit, participated in the search of an East Los Angeles home that produced contraband firearms and amounts of controlled substances like heroin and meth, according to The Los Angeles Times.

The Wave

Family of banking executive Michelle Avan demands upgraded charges against ex-boyfriend who faces only 5 years if convicted

The family of Michelle Avan has voiced their outrage with the charges leveled against Anthony Duwayne Turner, the man accused of killing the prominent Bank of America executive, KTLA reports. According to their attorney, the family is saying that the charges are not enough. They are reportedly requesting that Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón file a special circumstances murder charge against the suspect in the crime.

Black Enterprise

Man charged with murder in connection to fatal hit and run outside Santa Monica bar

A 29-year-old man faces murder and DUI charges in connection to a fatal hit and run that occurred outside a Santa Monica bar. According to the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD), the incident took place around 1:05 a.m on the 3100 block of Santa Monica Boulevard. Officers arrived on the scene and found a man on the street, police say.

Santa Monica Mirror

Teen driving $65K Camaro accused of causing crash that killed grandmother in Porter Ranch

A 71-year-old woman who was on her way to attend evening prayers at a mosque was killed by a teen suspected of speeding in Porter Ranch.

The Los Angeles Police Department responded to a call of a multiple-vehicle wreck at Corbin Avenue and Mason Avenue around 7:30 p.m. on July 30. A teenager was driving a 2021 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was traveling westbound on Corbin Avenue when the teen made a right turn on Mason Avenue.

Fox11

Policy/Legal

Newsom says 'don't ever confuse' him with 'defund police movement'

California Gov. Gavin Newsom took a definitive stance against the progressive "defund the police" movement in a virtual interview with a number of California news outlets this week. "I'm very, very committed to addressing the issue of crime and violence. You couldn't run for mayor, get reelected for mayor, or be a halfway damn good mayor if you didn't care about that," Newsom said during his Thursday interview, reflecting on his time as mayor of San Francisco.

Fox News

Police work in 2021: When you don't arrest anyone, no one gets hurt

It was a small story on a local news channel's website, one that may not have attracted much interest. "Pursuit and Standoff in Valley Village Ends Without Suspect in Custody," read the August 8 headline from CBSN Los Angeles. This seemed odd. How, I wondered, did the suspect give the cops the slip when he was surrounded and with a police helicopter overhead?

Jack Dunphy/PJ Media

LA deputies shot in ambush sue 'ghost gun' kit maker

Two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies badly wounded in an ambush shooting last year sued a Nevada company Monday for making the parts for a "ghost gun" used in the attack. The lawsuit alleges Polymer80 Inc. negligently and unlawfully sold an "untraceable home-assembled gun kit" that resulted in the September attack. It was the latest effort to deal with the proliferation of ghost guns, which are put together from commercial kits or parts bought online.

Police 1

One-third of inmates from Sacramento serve less than half original sentence, DA says

Nearly one-third of inmates sent to prison from Sacramento County in recent years ended up serving less than half their original sentence, with some serving far less than that, according to new figures released Wednesday by Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert.

Modesto Bee

Los Angeles County/City

'They're worn out': LAPD contends with hundreds of officer resignations, retirements after protests, pandemic break out

America's police departments are dealing with a nationwide recruitment crisis, analyses from law enforcement agencies both large and small say, with an ever-growing wave of officers quitting their jobs at the same time that new hires are scarce. As furor over the death of George Floyd and other African Americans at the hands of police swept the country in 2020, an acute increase in resignations and retirements quickly followed.

Los Angeles Daily News

In heated Sheriff's race, reform candidate Rhambo secures Kuehl's endorsement

Positioning himself as the polar opposite of controversial L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, LAX Police Chief Cecil Rhambo has gained the backing of Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. The politics of the two career law enforcement officers sharply differ. While Villanueva believes the Sheriff's department needs more authority and independence to effectively tackle crime, Rhambo feels there is a need to embrace oversight from outside the department.

Santa Monica Daily Press

LA deputies union blasts executive order mandating COVID vaccines

The president of the union representing Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies said Thursday the union was "blindsided" by an executive order mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for all county workers. County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis issued the executive order late Wednesday, citing rising case numbers attributed to the infectious Delta variant of COVID-19, and saying, "the need for immediate action is great."

City News Service

Supes use earmarks in place of Measure J

After a court ruling struck down Measure J as unconstitutional, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors took steps Tuesday toward earmarking funds to implement the goals of the county ballot measure that would have diverted funds away from law enforcement and toward alternatives to incarceration.

The Signal

Homelessness surges in Venice Beach, leaving locals at odds

The Los Angeles community of Venice Beach is rich with cultural touchstones: Muscle Beach, a seaside skate park, and the bustling boardwalk filled with street vendors and musicians. Amid the pandemic it's also emerged as a microcosm of the homelessness catastrophe in the U.S.'s second-largest city - and a focal point for public anger over the issue in Southern California.

Bloomberg CityLab

LA County commits to community investment – to match Measure J, which court put on hold

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday, Aug. 10, to commit 10% of unrestricted county-generated revenues to community investment, mirroring the aims of Measure J, which was struck down by a legal challenge. In July, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary Strobel ruled that Measure J was unconstitutional because it interfered with the board's own authority under state law to set the county's budget. That decision is under appeal.

City News Service

Mayor's crisis response director says COVID-19 vaccination 'literally saved my life'

When Joe Avalos developed a dry cough a couple of weeks ago, he thought it must be his allergies acting up, or all the dust from the new development in his neighborhood. The reserve Los Angeles Police Department officer and director of Mayor Eric Garcetti's Crisis Response Team did not think it was COVID-19, he said. After all, he'd received the Pfizer vaccination in December, and he was careful with social distancing and wearing his mask.

Juvenile arrested in the killing of shoe store employee in Melrose shooting

A juvenile was arrested Thursday in the killing of a store employee at a Shoe Palace after a dispute broke out during a shoe raffle in Melrose, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The shooting occurred on Wednesday, when 26-year-old Jayren Bradford tried to intervene during an argument between a group of customers. Paramedics took Bradford to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

NBC4

The crime catastrophe

One of several catastrophes already wrought by the Biden administration and the Democratic Party is rising crime, not only due to attempts to defund the police but also due to local "progressive" policies. The George Floyd riots in multiple cities around the country, including attacks on many federal buildings, claimed at least 25 lives, per the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data project (ACLED), and up to $2 billion in damages to businesses and private property, all in only five months.

The Daily Item

L.A. man arrested after allegedly stealing, reselling $85,000 worth of merchandise

A man was arrested after $85,000 worth of stolen merchandise was found being resold in Los Angeles, Glendale police announced Monday. Angel Pedro, 44 of Los Angeles, was arrested on suspicion of felony theft and receiving known stolen property, the Glendale Police Department said in a news release. On June 23, grand theft occurred from a retail store on the 200 block of N. Glendale Ave. in the city of Glendale, according to police.

KTLA

Community 'violence interrupters' work to stem rising crime

When Rasheedat Fetuga became a teacher, she worked hard to help protect her students, many of them poor and from a nearby housing project. When one of her favorites was shot and killed at 16, she stood at his funeral and vowed to do more. That was the beginning of the Gideon's Army violence interrupters, a small group that works in predominantly Black North Nashville to defuse tense situations before they become violent.

NBC4

Board approves motion to reduce fire risk in homeless encampments

Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion authored by Supervisor Shelia Kuehl and coauthored by Supervisor Kathryn Barger that will reduce the risk of fires from homeless encampments by connecting unhoused individuals in areas designated as Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones with housing and resources and ensuring areas remain free of encampments.

5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger News Release

Consumer

Fake product reviews destroy Amazon's credibility

Amazon has a problem, a big problem, and it's obvious when you know where to look. Amazon's product review system is awash in fraud, paid endorsements, and particularly troubling manipulation by the e-commerce juggernaut itself. Many of the positive reviews are fake or for something else altogether, while Amazon removes negative reviews. Amazon has as much incentive in keeping away the negative reviews as the shady sellers do.

The Counterfeit Report

Google or Gmail storage full? Easy ways to quickly free up space

I lost count of how many emails I got when Google announced a change to its storage policies, doing away with unlimited storage for photos and videos. Still trying to figure out a better long-term photo management solution? I can help. Tap or click to see all the free storage you can get. If you have an Amazon Prime account, you're in luck. Or maybe you only rely on Google's services for search and email.

The Kim Komando Show

Amazon to pay shoppers hurt by others' products, does not admit liability

Amazon.com on Tuesday said it would pay customers who suffer injuries or property damage from defective goods others sell on its U.S. platform, in a new policy that could reduce litigation. For years, consumers have sued the world's largest online retailer, arguing it is liable when a merchant sells bad products on Amazon.com. A woman in Pennsylvania, for instance, in 2016 sought to blame Amazon for a merchant's retractable dog leash that blinded her eye when it snapped.

Reuters

California/National

Chicago cops turn backs on Mayor Lori Lightfoot after fatal police shooting

Chicago police officers turned their backs on Mayor Lori Lightfoot when she visited a hospital after two of their colleagues were shot, one fatally - and a former cop has blasted progressive politics for the death. Officer Ella French, 29, is the first Windy City cop killed since Lightfoot became mayor in 2019, but the city's officers have faced a surge of gunfire in the past two years.

New York Post

Lori Lightfoot seemed more outraged over COVID violations than the shooting of CPD Officer Ella French

"We will shut you down," said Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot, "we will cite you, and if we need to, we will arrest you, and we will take you to jail." She was stern and resolute in the proclamation, leaving little doubt that she intended to follow through with her threats. And to whom were those threats addressed? Was she talking to Chicago's violent gangsters, the people who make life intolerable for their fellow citizens?

Jack Dunphy/PJ Media

Brave deputy dies in domestic violence call-out

We mourn the loss of Kern County Sheriff's Deputy Phillip Campas, a dedicated lawman, father, husband and veteran. Family, friends and law enforcement officers from across the county and nation filled Mechanics Bank Arena in downtown Bakersfield Friday to remember the SWAT deputy, who last month gave his life to save others. We also mourn the loss of a mother and her two sons, who were targeted by an enraged man, who turned his gun on his family and Deputy Campas before he was killed.

The Bakersfield Californian

L.A., San Francisco's Sheriff's Deputies Unions balk at vaccine mandates

Sheriff's deputies unions in both Los Angeles and San Francisco are balking at miscommunication regarding COVID-19 vaccine requirements, as cities are increasingly requiring their employees to be inoculated against the virus or risk losing their jobs. On Friday, the San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs' Association threatened that a number of its officers will quit or retire early if they are forced to get the coronavirus vaccine.

Newsweek

Convictions/Sentences/Pleas

Former Roseville firearms dealer sentenced to 4 years in prison for using peace officers' identities to obtain and sell new off-roster firearms

Joseph John Deaser IV, 51, of Arizona, was sentenced today to four years in prison for aggravated identity theft and the illegal sale of firearms by a federally licensed dealer in violation of state law, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced. Under state law, California has an approved roster of firearms that may be sold to the public. A Federal Firearms Licensee is required to make sure any handgun sold is on the approved roster.

Department of Justice News Release

Washington man gets 25 years for murdering sister's rapist after meeting him in jail

A Washington man serving time for a wild police chase found himself sharing a cell with the convicted child rapist who had once victimized his sister - so he killed him. Shane Goldsby, 26, was sentenced to more than 24 years in prison Tuesday for the murder of Robert Munger, a 70-year-old who was serving a 43-year sentence for his child sex crimes, according to local reports.

Fox News

Attorney General Bonta announces sentencing in two-year EBT fraud scheme

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced the plea and sentencing of Jawuan Antonio Gibson for operating an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) fraud scheme across California. Gibson, who was arrested in 2019, pleaded guilty to four counts of grand theft, one count of possessing access card making equipment, and two counts of accessing a computer to commit fraud and admitted a special allegation that through his scheme he caused over $500,000 in loss.

Attorney General Rob Bonta Press Release

U.S. Army veteran from Reseda convicted in attempted bombing at 2019 rally in Long Beach

A San Fernando Valley Army veteran was convicted Wednesday for attempting to bomb a rally in Long Beach in 2019, officials said. Mark Steven Domingo, 28, of Reseda, was found guilty of providing material support to terrorism and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, according to a news release from the United States Attorney's Office in the Central District of California.

KTLA

Corrections & Parole

Mother of murdered toddler speaks out on killer's early parole

Twenty years ago, a tragedy left a mother without her son, and today, she feels like she is living through that all over again as the killer is recommended for parole. 23ABC's Mythili Gubbi spoke to Tammy Bell who shared her story about the continued fight for justice two decades later. Tammy Bell's son, Johnathen was just 20 months old when he was tortured and killed by Michael Panella.

23ABC Bakersfield

California correctional officers union to fight new COVID-19 vaccine mandate, memo says

The union representing California state correctional officers plans to fight vaccination requirements for its members, according to a Friday memo. The California Correctional Peace Officers Association said in the emailed note to members that it would use "all the tools at its disposal," including legal appeals and labor negotiations, to fight two recent efforts to mandate vaccinations.

Sacramento Bee

Parole allowed for man who buried California victim alive

Gov. Gavin Newsom has allowed the release of a killer who served four decades in prison for the murder of a developmentally disabled California man who was buried alive, officials said Monday. Newsom took no action last Friday on the state parole board's latest decision granting parole to David Weidert, his office said Monday, meaning that Weidert, 58, is now eligible for release.

AP

Santa Rosa man convicted in 1997 gang shooting denied parole again

A Santa Rosa man sentenced to life in prison for a 1997 gang shooting was denied parole on Tuesday by a state board, the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office said. Mario Gaburel, 51, was convicted of attempted murder after he opened fire on four people in a car on Feb. 21, 1997. He was accused of planning the shooting as a retaliation against rival gang members who he believed had stabbed his 16-year-old stepson.

The Press Democrat

U.S. prisons mull AI to analyze inmate phone calls

Prisons in the United States could get more high-tech help keeping tabs on what inmates are saying, after a key House of Representatives panel pressed for a report to study the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze prisoners' phone calls. But prisoners' advocates and inmates' families say relying on AI to interpret communications opens up the system to mistakes, misunderstandings and racial bias.

Reuters

Violations, gross misconduct discovered following state prison investigation

The California Prison Industry Authority or "CAL P.I.A" employs inmates in order to teach them good habits and occupational skills. They oversee the production of more than 1,400 products like furniture, clothing, and even growing food. Those items are then sold with the profit going back into the program which should make it self-sufficient. But an investigation by the state auditor's office discovered repeated violations of state laws and hiring that constitute gross misconduct.

Fox26 Fresno

Articles of Interest

Anatomy of an officer-involved explosion: a post-mortem on LAPD's E. 27th Street fireworks blast

As the dust from the Los Angeles Police Department's catastrophic fireworks detonation continues to settle on the red-tagged homes along E. 27th Street, a slew of questions remain about the June 30 blast that traumatized and temporarily displaced at least 75 people, injured at least 17, shattered windows, shuttered businesses, and destroyed vehicles up and down the street, and contributed to the deaths of elders Auzie Houchins and Ramón Reyes.

Streetsblog LA

Federal judge sides with Norwegian Cruise Line in fight with Florida over vaccine passports

A federal judge on Sunday night sided with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings in a fight with Florida over vaccine passports, granting the cruise line's request for a preliminary injunction that blocks a state law barring businesses from requiring proof of vaccination. In a nearly 60-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams stated that Florida "fails to provide a valid evidentiary, factual, or legal predicate" for its prohibition on vaccine passports.

Politico

Gavin Newsom's flawed death penalty moratorium

Anthony Avalos should have celebrated his 13th birthday. Instead, his family members are in mourning. "I miss him so much," Anthony's aunt, Maria Barron, said at a public memorial in May. "I wish he could be here today." More than three years after the Lancaster boy was brutally tortured and murdered, Anthony's family remains without justice.

790 KABC

Criminal-justice reformers chose the wrong slogan

After George Floyd's murder, when sweeping criminal-justice reforms seemed more possible than ever, many Black Lives Matter activists and their allies settled on a rallying cry: "Defund the Police." That choice was a disaster. The slogan - shorthand for cutting spending on law enforcement and redirecting it toward social services, or, for more radical proponents, moving toward eventual police abolition - is a political liability, largely due to justified fears that, if implemented, it would lead to many more murders, assaults, and other violent crimes, disproportionately harming victims in America's most marginalized communities.

The Atlantic

C.A. restores malpractice suit by widow of one-time NBC CEO

The Court of Appeal for this district yesterday reinstated a legal malpractice action brought by the widow of Grant Tinker, who produced the Mary Tyler Moore Show and other TV hits, went on to become chairman and CEO of NBC, holding that if the trier of facts finds that Tinker signed a pre-marital agreement that wasn't reviewed by a lawyer and did not waive representation in writing, the instrument is void not voidable.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Success on police reform hinges on funding, not defunding law enforcement

Recent public opinion polls have found that concern over crime is at its highest point in four years as a spike in violent crime plagues major cities across the country. From the perspective of the Peace Officers Research Association of California, the nation's largest statewide law enforcement association and where I serve as president, the growing public concern about violent crime doesn't detract from the need for federal legislation to improve policing - it underscores that need and the need for such legislation to include increased funding for law enforcement.

The Hill

Why Hollywood guilds haven't cut ties with a police union

The Writers Guild of America East triggered a surge of intra-union activism in Hollywood in June 2020 when it called for the major labor federation AFL-CIO to disassociate from a police union in its ranks. The effort was one tangible way, these workers felt at the time, that they could choose to fight for racial justice within the entertainment industry.

The Hollywood Reporter

Mexico sues U.S. gun manufacturers for contributing to arms trafficking deaths

The Mexican government sued United States gun manufacturers and distributors Wednesday in U.S. federal court, arguing that their negligent and illegal commercial practices have unleashed tremendous bloodshed in Mexico. The unusual lawsuit was filed in U.S. federal court in Boston. Among those being sued are some of the biggest names in guns, including: Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc .; Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, Inc .; Beretta U.S.A. Corp .; Colt's Manufacturing Company LLC, and Glock Inc.

AP

The man who lost $20 billion in two days is lying low in New Jersey

Facebook

Governor Newsom allowed parole to go through for David Weidert, who buried his disabled victim alive in order to cover up a $500 burglary

He sits on the porch in a white plastic chair, a swing set out back, the lawn freshly mowed. Here in suburban Tenafly, 15 miles from midtown Manhattan, few would guess that this unassuming figure is none other than Bill Hwang - the man who just lost more than $20 billion. "Billion with a B?" gasps a neighbor down the block, when told of the epic blowup at Hwang's Archegos Capital Management.

Bloomberg Wealth

Landlord sues L.A. for $100 million, saying anti-eviction law caused 'astronomical' losses

One of the region's most prolific apartment builders has sued the city of Los Angeles over its COVID-19 eviction moratorium, saying his companies have experienced "astronomical" financial losses and are legally entitled to compensation from the city. GHP Management Corp., owned by real estate developer Geoffrey Palmer, said in its lawsuit that 12 buildings it manages have experienced more than $20 million in lost rental income as a result of the measure.

Los Angeles Times

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