Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Man Who Attacked 70 y.o. Nurse Downtown Finally On Trial; Developers Who Paid Bribes Can Build Their Projects; Accused Bishop Killer Pleads Not Guilty; State May Close 2 Juvvie Detention Facilities; Cal Retailers to Testify on Prop 47 and Other Stories: Monday Morning Memo

LAPD captain sues city over plastic bullets shot at 2020 protesters; Attorney Geragos sues LA Times for defamation; Courts Allow Companies to Do Fed's Unconstitutional Bidding; SJ Police Union Leader Accused of Smuggling Drugs;

Courts/Rulings and Lawsuits

Judge rejects 15-year plea deal in case alleging 3 murders

In a pivotal decision Thursday morning, an Alameda County Superior Court judge rejected a 15-year plea deal in a triple murder case - telling a packed courtroom that he wants a jury to decide. The case had been about to go to trial when newly elected Alameda County DA Pamela Price brokered the deal last month with defense counsel, Richmond-based attorneys David Briggs and Linda Fullerton.

Berkeley Scanner

California judge seeks to bar left-wing colleague from resentencing cop killer

A liberal Los Angeles judge's leftist Facebook posts have surfaced in a remarkable court filing from a judicial colleague who is asking for him to be removed from the resentencing of a convicted cop killer. Judge Patrick Connolly has taken the unusual step of asking a court to disqualify fellow Judge Daniel Lowenthal from presiding over the case, alleging in a 186-page court document that he is "biased" in favor of the criminal.

Fox News

Court tosses out woman's manslaughter conviction, says state prosecutors withheld evidence

The California Supreme Court on Monday overturned a woman's manslaughter conviction for a fatal stabbing because the prosecution had failed to disclose that the victim and a key witness had previously been convicted of aggravated assault, evidence that might have supported the woman's claim that she acted in self-defense. In a unanimous ruling, the court said prosecutors and the state attorney general have "a constitutional and an ethical duty" to turn over any evidence that could raise doubt about a defendant's guilt at any stage of the legal proceedings.

San Francisco Chronicle

Judge rules most of gay former school police chief's case can go to trial

A judge ruled Monday that a former chief of the Baldwin Park Unified School District Police Department can proceed to trial with most of her case against the district, alleging she was harassed by a BPUSD board member after disclosing in 2015 that she is gay. The judge, however, did pare the suit in his ruling.

Captain claims LAPD retaliated against him for protest whistleblowing

A Los Angeles police captain has filed a second lawsuit against the city, repeating many of the same allegations that he experienced retaliation after complaining about various issues, including that beanbag shotguns were wrongfully being used against non-violent demonstrators and media members in 2020 during protests after the George Floyd murder.

City News Service

Judge will review internal LAPD documents in captain's retaliation suit

A veteran Los Angeles police captain assigned to help oversee the policing of Metro subway lines and buses won a round in court Monday in his lawsuit alleging he was reprimanded for a trivial matter in retaliation for complaining that some personnel within his unit were being used for work unrelated to transportation duties.

City News Service

Mother had no right to admission of secret recordings

The Third District Court of Appeal held yesterday that a juvenile court did not transgress the due process rights of a mother in excluding from evidence audio and video recordings she had made interacting with her six-year-old child during a visitation in an effort to show that her parental ties with the child, who had been declared a dependent, not be severed.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

LAPD police union sues Chief Moore, wants images of undercover officers taken offline

The union representing Los Angeles police rank and file sued Chief Michel Moore on Tuesday to force the department to stop making officers' photos public and to claw back images of undercover officers given out under the state's public records law. The lawsuit follows more than a week of controversy, after the LAPD released the names, photographs and other identifying information of more than 9,300 officers to a watchdog group that posted them on its website.

Los Angeles Times

Celebrity attorney sues LA Times over Armenian insurance stories

Southern California plaintiffs' lawyer Mark Geragos sued the Los Angeles Times, alleging the newspaper defamed him in a series of stories over a $17.5 million settlement for Armenian genocide insurance cases. The lawsuit filed against the Times and three reporters comes one year after the newspaper ran stories that Geragos alleges defamed him and painted him in a false light.

Bloomberg Law

Smucker's out of a jam: Sixth Circuit says being a federal contractor does not make you a state actor

If you take on a federal contract, does that make you a state actor? No, according to a unanimous Sixth Circuit panel in Ciraci v. J.M. Smucker Company. As a federal contractor, in 2021 Smucker's was subject to President Biden's Executive Order 14042, which required employees working on certain federal contracts to get a COVID-19 vaccination. After Smucker's released the company's vaccine mandate, four Smucker's employees requested religious exemptions and were denied. Subsequently, the now former employees brought suit under the Free Exercise Clause, arguing the denial of their religious exemption impinged on their First Amendment rights.

Labor & Employment Insights

Victory at the Ninth Circuit: Twitter's content moderation is not "state action"

Earlier this month, the Ninth Circuit held that Twitter did not act as the government by banning a user months after a government agency flagged for Twitter one of his tweets on alleged election fraud. O'Handley v. Weber is the latest decision rejecting social media users' attempts to hold platforms liable for deleting, demonetizing, and otherwise moderating their content.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Ninth Circuit guts Seattle ban on criminal checks for potential tenants

A three-judge Ninth Circuit panel partially reversed a federal judge's decision to OK a Seattle ordinance that prohibits landlords from inquiring about the criminal history of tenants and taking adverse action based on that information. The Rental Housing Association of Washington sued Seattle in May 2018 claiming Seattle's Fair Chance Housing Ordinance unconstitutionally prohibits landlords from screening applicants for criminal records.

Courthouse News Service

Liberal justices balk at criminalization of certain speech linked to illegal immigration

The Supreme Court's review of a federal law criminalizing certain speech related to illegal immigration drew disapproval Monday from the court's liberal wing. Sotomayor was outspoken during oral arguments, questioning how the government prosecutors would distinguish between legitimate culprits - scams targeting vulnerable migrants - and the commonplace discussions that happen in households across the nation.

Courthouse News Service

Challenge to public access on private Montana land gets high court liftoff

The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 Tuesday to revive a lawsuit against the federal government by two Montana property owners who say a public road brought increased traffic, trespassers, and theft. Lower courts had ruled the suit by Larry Steven Wilkins and Jane Stanton barred by the Quiet Title Act, which has a 12-year statute of limitations, but Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for the majority that the law in question is a nonjurisdictional claims-processing rule.

Courthouse News Service


Man to stand trial in deadly 2022 attack of nurse, 70, at downtown LA bus stop

A man accused of fatally striking a 70-year-old nurse in the head in an unprovoked attack caught on surveillance video at a downtown bus stop was ordered Tuesday to stand trial on murder and assault charges. Superior Court Judge Sam Ohta rejected Deputy Public Defender Julianne Prescop's request to dismiss the murder charge against Kerry Bell, now 49, stemming from the Jan. 13, 2022, attack on Sandra Shells.

City News Service

Group accused of stealing food assistance money from LA's neediest residents

A group of Romanian nationals accused of swiping hundreds of thousands of dollars in state food and assistance payments from some of LA County's poorest families appeared in federal court Thursday on charges of bank fraud and identity theft. Prosecutors said members of the theft ring were arrested "in the act" after federal agents and LAPD detectives staked-out ATMs in the San Fernando Valley and Hollywood.

NBC4 Los Angeles

CHP officers, nurse charged with manslaughter for in-custody death

Six California Highway Patrol officers, a sergeant, and a registered nurse have been charged for the in-custody death of a 38-year-old man. All were charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter and one felony count of assault under the color of authority. Registered nurse Arbi Baghalian was also charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter. They all face a maximum of four years in prison if convicted.

Fox11 Los Angeles

S.F. D.A. Brooke Jenkins tells tourism conference the city 'will be enforcing our laws'

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins began her appearance at the city's annual tourism marketing conference with indirect criticisms of her predecessor and former boss, Chesa Boudin. "Not only was the relationship between my office and SFPD strained, when I took over, nonexistent when I took over, it was strained even before the previous administration in the D.A.'s office.

San Francisco Chronicle

Grand jury indicts Donald Trump in New York, first time a former president is charged criminally: recap

A New York grand jury voted to indict Donald Trump on unspecified criminal charges in a case that marks the first time a former president has been charged criminally, his lawyers confirmed. The grand jury had been investigating hush money payments to two women who claimed to have had sex with him. The outline of those payments became public only after he was elected in 2016 and more details were revealed in sworn testimony as Trump served in the White House.

USA Today

SJ police union exec accused of smuggling drugs as wedding gifts, chocolate

The top executive for San Jose's police union imported synthetic opioids over an eight-year period to orchestrate a national drug ring that disguised packages of pills as wedding gifts, makeup and chocolate, federal officials said Wednesday. Joanne Marian Segovia, the 64-year-old executive director of the San Jose Police Officers' Association, used her home computer and police union equipment to facilitate the mailing of the synthetic opioids, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

San Francisco Standard


Sweeping plan to 'depopulate' LA County jails embraced by supervisors

A sweeping proposal calling for depopulation and decarceration of the Los Angeles County jails will be considered Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors, drawing the ire of an organization representing police chiefs for 45 law enforcement agencies. The plan advanced by Supervisors Hilda Solis and Lindsey Horvath would declare a "humanitarian crisis" in the jails and advocate for or instruct several county agencies to evaluate, create and expand programs that would keep more people out of a jail, even after they are convicted of misdemeanors and some felonies.

Los Angeles Daily News

L.A. County D.A. Gascón's own prosecutors begin lining up to challenge him in 2024

Standing in front of a packed room in Whittier, longtime line prosecutor Jonathan Hatami promised to "restore civility" to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office and stand up for the crime victims he insists George Gascón has forgotten. Deputy Dist. Atty. Maria Ramirez - who along with Hatami is one of at least 16 L.A. County prosecutors suing Gascón for retaliation or defamation - says she'll bring her 30 years of experience to the helm of the nation's largest prosecutor's office, hoping to provide a calming presence after what she calls the "chaotic" nature of Gascón's tenure.

Los Angeles Times

ADDA links up with Civilian Mariners' Union

The union representing Los Angeles County prosecutors announced yesterday that it has formed an alliance with the nation's oldest maritime labor union, established in 1875. While the kinship of criminal prosecutors with civilian mariners is not apparent, an early-morning press release issued by the Association of Deputy District Attorneys ("ADDA") explained that through affiliating with The Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association ("MEBA"), the ADDA has become a member of the AFL-CIO, as well as Los Angeles Court's Coalition of County Unions, providing it with increased clout.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Oakland DA's soft-on-crime policies push victims' parents to fight back (Video)

Brenda Grisham, mother of a slain Oakland teen, criticizes Oakland D.A. Pamela Price's soft-on-crime policies that she believes favor criminals.

Fox News

CalRetailers testify on Prop. 47

At the request of Assemblymember James Ramos, CalRetailers President and CEO Rachel Michelin testified on Wednesday at a Joint Legislative Audit Committee, which included a request to review the efficacy of Prop. 47. Following Rachel's testimony, which was included alongside Assemblymember Ramos', the committee voted unanimously to approve the audit request.

Loss Prevention Magazine

'Killer Cop' Twitter account suspended in response to LA police union lawsuit

Twitter has suspended the account @killercops1984 for violating its rules and policies against inciting violence against police officers, Los Angeles Police Protective League officials said Monday, the week after the union took legal action against the owner of a website that lists bounties for the killing of police officers. "We are appreciative of Twitter acting swiftly to take down this dangerous website that called for the murder of Los Angeles police officers," Craig Lally, president of the police union that represents Los Angeles Police Department officers, said in a statement.

City News Service

Following a killer

I have not closely followed the story of Bryan Kohberger, the man accused of murdering four college students in Moscow, Idaho, last November. But, as is my habit, I listened to Megyn Kelly's podcast on Tuesday, when she spoke with author and journalist Howard Blum, who has covered the case for Air Mail and is writing a book about it for Harper Collins.

PJ Media

LAPD: Fallout from the K9 shootings

On Wednesday evening March 8th, 2023, Los Angeles police officers observed a male individual subsequently identified as 32 years old Parolee At Large Jonathan Magana. Magana who had an extensive violent criminal history and known gang member was released early (2 years out of a 5-year prison sentence) from State Prison under Prop 57. He refused to comply with the verbal commands by the police officers and then fled on foot from the immediate location. K-9 units were then requested to the location and a perimeter was established.


Biden will not assert executive privilege for court-ordered depositions of Wray, Trump

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Friday that President Biden will not assert executive privilege over court-ordered depositions from former President Trump and FBI Director Christopher Wray. Trump has also not requested an assertion of privilege over the depositions, the DOJ said in Friday's filing.

The Hill

Developers who paid bribes to LA officials will continue to profit (Video)

Real estate developers who paid bribes to former Los Angeles elected officials will continue to profit after the California Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to the developments. Eric Leonard reports March 24, 2023.

NBC4 Los Angeles

Los Angeles County/City

LA County quietly introduces 'decarceration' effort to swap jail time with slap on wrist

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is considering a plan to "decarcerate" jails by citing and releasing anyone with bail at $50,000 or less, city documents show. An agenda item has been added to the board's Tuesday meeting titled "Los Angeles County to Take Actionable Next Steps to Depopulate and Decarcerate the Los Angeles County Jails," Fox News has learned. The measure was introduced by Supervisors Lindsey Horvath and Hilda Solis, both Democrats, and only has one public comment attached to it.

Fox News

Suspended LA Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas convicted of bribery, conspiracy in corruption trial

Suspended Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas was convicted Thursday on federal bribery and conspiracy charges, along with mail and wire fraud, stemming from a bribery scheme in which he was accused of promising to steer millions of dollars in contracts to USC if his son got a scholarship and a teaching job. Ridley-Thomas is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 14.

ABC7 Eyewitness News

Gascón recall organizers blast recorder over petition challenge

Organizers of a recent effort to oust District Attorney George Gascón lashed out Thursday at the county clerk's office over allegations that signatures of dead people were found on recall petitions - calling the announcement an attempt to distract from what they call Los Angeles County's unwarranted rejection of the recall drive.

City News Service

Business owners struggle to deal with homeless encampments they say bring crime, hurt bottom line

Business owners in one area of Lincoln Heights are dealing with what a number of different blocks in Los Angeles struggle with: broken down vehicles, trash and a homeless encampment. Business owners say there has been a troublesome permanent homeless encampment set up along the south side of the railroad tracks near Richmond Street off of Mission Road.

ABC7 Eyewitness News

State regulators threaten to shut down 2 LA County juvenile halls

State regulators are threatening to close two of Los Angeles County's problem-plagued juvenile halls that have long been out of compliance with corrections requirements, according to the Los Angeles Times. In a letter Thursday to Interim Probation Chief Karen Fletcher, the California Board of State and Community Corrections said it would decide within three weeks whether to shutter the Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar and the Central Juvenile Hall downtown, the Times reported.

City News Service

The answer isn't "fines"'s a jail facility capable of constitutional housing and treatment

In 2019 the ACLU, and other anti-jail advocates, urged the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors to end the county's plan to construct a jail replacement facility. That facility would have ensured compliance with a Department of Justice (DOJ) initiated 2015 consent decree that addressed the inadequate mental health housing and treatment of thousands of county inmates.


Three inmates died in Los Angeles County jails in just over a week

Three Los Angeles County inmates died in an nine-day period this month, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, a grim milestone that comes even as the county is facing scrutiny in court for using a cash bail system that can keep poor people behind bars. To people paying close attention to the county's lockups, the cluster of deaths did not come as a surprise.

Los Angeles Times

LA Metro adding new security officers amid safety concerns

Two weeks after announcing the deployment of nearly 200 unarmed Metro Ambassadors aboard its trains and buses, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Monday it has approved the hiring of 48 new transit security officers to bolster public safety. T

City News Service


Walmart falls into the abyss of counterfeits and consumer deception

While consumers may expect e-commerce sites to behave ethically and vet their sellers and police the goods sold, a behind-the-scenes look at Walmart reveals a shockingly different practice. Walmart is both a direct retailer of fake and fraudulent items and has opened its website,, to global third-party sellers who can list almost anything they want, including counterfeit, replica, and fraudulent products.

The Counterfeit Report

California is run by politicians who are '100% pro-criminal,' 30-year law enforcement veteran says

A California sheriff criticized politicians for caving to what he called a "far-left agenda" that is fueling rising crime across parts of the Golden State. "We're just in a complete state of dysfunction," Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco told Fox News. "The far left is 100% anti-police, anti-sheriff, anti-public safety, pro-criminal. They are 100% pro-criminal."

Fox News

US charges suspected Russian spy who allegedly used fake identity to enter US, gather info from American citizens

The Justice Department announced charges Friday against a Russian national who allegedly entered the United States under a fake identity and gathered information from American citizens about the then-looming Russian invasion of Ukraine. For years, Sergey Vladimirovich Cherkasov, a 37-year-old agent of a Russian intelligence service, operated under the alias Victor Muller Ferreira, prosecutors said.


This sticker allows doctors to speed in California

A little-known part of California's vehicle code gives doctors the legal right to break speeding laws - so long as they are responding to an emergency. Vehicle Code 21058 allows a physician responding to an emergency call to be exempt from some of the laws governing speed limits. According to the California Medical Association, the exemption only applies when traveling to emergencies, when driving on freeways - and does not allow the driver to ignore other traffic rules (such as stop signs or HOV lanes).

KTLA5 Los Angeles

Planned closure of Blythe prison draws protest from leaders in Coachella Valley

After the state recently announced that a prison in Blythe will close in a couple years, several Coachella Valley officials have joined in calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom to reverse the decision, which they say could spell the demise of the small town along the California-Arizona border. The move is part of a larger push by Newsom's administration to reduce California's prison infrastructure and reform the state's criminal justice system.

Desert Sun

More guns are being stolen out of cars in alarming trend across the nation

More guns are being stolen out of vehicles in many U.S. cities, according to a new data analysis, which was first obtained and independently verified by NBC News. It's an alarming trend as shootings rise nationwide, propelled in large part by firearms obtained illegally. From 2019 to 2020, at least 180 cities saw a rise in gun thefts from vehicles, which now makes up the largest source of stolen guns, according to the nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety.

NBC News

The great abdication

On August 15, 2022, an intersection in South Central Los Angeles fell prey to a particularly Southern Californian form of anarchy. Parked vehicles blocked the crossroad to through traffic, while inside the blockade, cars sped in tight circles, their burning tires emitting acrid smoke. Just after midnight, spectators to this "street takeover" stormed into a nearby 7-Eleven.

City Journal


Shoplifting crimes in LA are on the rise

While new Los Angeles Police Department statistics show that violent crime is down, shoplifting has steeply increased. In January 2023, there were 805 shoplifting reports in the city of Los Angeles, which was the highest monthly total since at least 2010. Since August 2022, shoplifting has been steadily rising, with most of the crimes happening in department stores and clothing stores.


With thefts still high, California Prius drivers wait months for new catalytic converters

For several years, older Priuses have held the dubious distinction of being the No. 1 target of catalytic converter theft in California. Drivers whose converters have been swiped are now experiencing a second indignity: Thousands of Prius owners are ahead of them in line for the same part, and the delays could stretch on for months.

Los Angeles Times


Former Suge Knight attorney sentenced in conspiracy, perjury case

An attorney who briefly represented former rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight in what was a murder case at the time was sentenced today to five years probation and ordered not to practice law in California in connection with his guilty plea to conspiracy and perjury charges. Matthew Powell Fletcher, a Long Beach-based attorney who's now 58, pleaded guilty in February 2022 to one felony count each of conspiracy to obstruct justice in Knight's case and perjury under oath stemming from a State Bar disciplinary proceeding involving a separate murder case.

Long Beach Post

Ex-Californian sentenced for child mutilation-sex scheme

A former Southern California man who convinced troubled girls as young as 12 to perform masochistic acts and urged one to become his sex slave was sentenced Tuesday to 27 years in federal prison. Matthew Christian Locher was "a parent's worst nightmare," U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Gee said during his sentencing in Los Angeles, the U.S. attorney's office said in a statement.


Housekeeper's husband pleads not guilty to murder of Bishop David O'Connell

Carlos Medina, the man charged with murdering Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop David O'Connell in February, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in court Wednesday. News of O'Connell's Feb. 18 murder shocked the nation after it was reported that he died after suffering multiple gunshot wounds at his Hacienda Heights home.

Catholic News Agency

Purported romance scammer is sentenced to 10 years in federal prison

A Southern California man, who denied he's the "romance scammer" the FBI portrayed him to be, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison following his guilty plea to wire fraud and money laundering. Ze'Shawn Campbell, 35, was slammed with a prison term well above the federal sentencing guidelines and the prosecution's request of just under 6 years at a hearing Monday in LA federal court, as the judge wasn't persuaded that he had actually accepted responsibility for the crimes he pleaded guilty to.

Courthouse News Service

Articles of Interest

These 33 important buildings owned by L.A. County could be at risk in a major quake

For six decades, a boxy downtown building has been the beating heart of Los Angeles County government - home to the five supervisors, half a dozen departments and hundreds of employees who filter through its halls each week. For just as long, the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration has been vulnerable to collapse in the event of a major earthquake - one of 33 county-owned concrete buildings determined to be potentially at risk, county records show.

Los Angeles Times

Legal analyst, former New York City police commissioner discuss New York investigation into Trump (Video)

CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman, former New York City police commissioner Bill Bratton and Robert Costa join "Face the Nation" to discuss what could happen if former President Donald Trump is indicted and arrested in New York.

Face the Nation

Investigation continues after couple became the target of harassment, stalking by eBay employees

The online auction site eBay launched the e-commerce revolution when it was founded more than 20 years ago. Over the decades, it's drawn in 134 million users from mom-and-pop collectors on the hunt for bargains to small business owners. In 2022, users sold almost $74 billion worth of goods through eBay. But last month, buried in an otherwise dull annual financial disclosure - a note on page 105 hinted at a scandal inside the Silicon Valley giant.

CBS News

The FBI seized $40,000 a couple held in a deposit box 2 years ago, but won't say why and won't return their cash

Linda and Reggie Martin had their savings seized by the FBI from a deposit box in March 2021. Two years later, the agency still won't explain why it's holding their money. Agents raided the Beverly Hills, California branch of US Private Vaults and seized more than $86 million in cash, as well as jewelry and gold, from 1,400 safe-deposit boxes held by hundreds of people who were not suspected of any crimes, according to court documents previously seen by Insider.


FBI releases 2021 and first quarter 2022 statistics from the National Use-of-Force Data Collection

According to statistics reported to the FBI for 2021, 8,226 law enforcement agencies submitted use-of-force data to the National Use-of-Force Data Collection, which is managed by the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. These agencies represent more than 60% of all federal, state, local, tribal, and college/university sworn officers.



Inmate serving 247 years to life for San Diego murder killed in prison attack

A man who was serving a nearly 250 year-to-life prison sentence for fatally shooting a Linda Vista man was killed at Pelican Bay State Prison last week, allegedly by two fellow inmates. Joseph Hill, 53, died Thursday afternoon after state prison officials say two inmates attacked him in a prison yard. Hill was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead about two hours after the attack, according to the state.

Times of San Diego


Note to Mayor Bass: Unfunded pension liabilities are intergenerational theft

Despite having $48 billion in assets, the City's two pension plans are underfunded by almost $9 billion, an obligation that we are dumping on the next generations of Angelenos. And unfortunately, the City has no plan to eliminate this monster liability. In 2014, the LA 2020 Commission suggested the establishment of an independent pension commission to analyze and review the City's two pension plans and develop alternatives to fully fund the pension plans and to increase transparency.


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