Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

FBI Warns Terrorists Crossing Border with Fake IDs; Feds Taking Over Gun Offenses in California; County Supervisors Approve Paying $100k to Witness for Gascon; Union Forced NDAs Signed in Negotiations over Fast Food Wage Laws; You Need a Real ID, They Don't and Other Stories: Monday Morning Memo

Nathan Hochman endorsed by the ADDA (Gascon's staff); Court Reporter Shortage; Crime Tourism;

Courts, Rulings & Lawsuits

Supreme Court allows politicians to block constituents from personal accounts

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of local government officials in a First Amendment fight on Friday, finding that politicians can block members of the public from their social media pages without violating the First Amendment. In a unanimous opinion, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a Trump appointee, set guidelines for when public officials' accounts could be viewed as state action.


The two attackers of this elderly woman have been released from jail. A bill to repeal Prop 47, which reduced many violent crimes to misdemeanors, may show up as a ballot initiative

Courthouse News Service

Public officials can be held liable for blocking critics on social media

The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that public officials who post about topics relating to their work on their personal social media accounts are acting on behalf of the government, and therefore can be held liable for violating the First Amendment when they block their critics, only when they have the power to speak on behalf of the state and are actually exercising that power.


US appeals court upholds gun bans as bail condition

A federal appeals court on Monday ruled that barring defendants out on bail from possessing firearms while they are awaiting trial was constitutional even after a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2022 that expanded gun rights. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected arguments by two defendants in California that the pretrial firearm restrictions violated their right to keep and bear arms under the U.S. Constitution's 2nd Amendment.


Court must give notice of where habeas petition is sent

Div. Three of the Court of Appeal for this district has issued a writ of mandate directing the Los Angeles Superior Court to vacate an order denying a habeas corpus petition, faulting a procedure under which a judge acted on the petition with no notice to the partes of the assignment of the matter to him, thus barring the prospect of a peremptory challenge.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Prosecution for 1992 slaying is not barred despite dismissal after two mistrials

The Sixth District Court of Appeal held yesterday that a judge improperly dismissed on double jeopardy grounds the third attempt at the prosecution of a technology company chief executive officer on a murder charge stemming from a slaying that occurred more than 30 years ago, finding that that a 1996 order of dismissal in the interests of justice for insufficiency of the evidence, following two mistrials, did not amount to an acquittal.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Sacramento challenge to pause homeless encampment sweeps is moot, Ninth Circuit says

A three-judge federal appeals panel on Friday ruled that because an injunction stopping the city of Sacramento, California, from relocating unhoused people expired last summer, the city's appeal before them was moot. Attorneys for the city and the Sacramento Homeless Union argued the case Thursday before the Ninth Circuit panel.

Courthouse New Service


Federal prosecutors expanding efforts to charge local gun crimes in Los Angeles, Ventura Counties

The U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles announced Wednesday expanded efforts to empower local law enforcement officers, who typically present investigations to County district attorneys for prosecution, to bring some violent crime cases involving firearms to federal court, where people convicted of certain gun crimes can face far steeper terms in prison.


Can I get a witness? Sure - got $100K?

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors this afternoon unanimously approved to spend about $100,000 to re-hire former George Gascon's former chief of staff so she can act as a "central witness" in the multitude of civil cases his own employees have brought against him. Yes, correct: the county is now paying recently retired former county employee $107.24 an hour for up to 960 hours this fiscal year to help District Attorney Gascon fight the "employment, whistleblowing, and retaliation allegations" against him.

California Globe

Nathan Hochman endorsed by Association of Deputy District Attorneys

Nathan Hochman, the front-runner in the campaign for L.A. County District Attorney, announced today that he has received the endorsement of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys - another indication that George Gascon's own prosecutors want him removed from office. Hochman, a former federal prosecutor, U.S. Assistant Attorney General, President of the L.A. City Ethics Commission and criminal defense attorney, said the ADDA's support is important because he views the wisdom and experience of line prosecutors as the office's greatest asset.

Nathan Hochman Press Release

D.A. accuses Rebecca Grossman of 'illegal conduct' from jail, her legal team of jury tampering

Prosecutors want Rebecca Grossman's access to jailhouse phones cut off after they say she encouraged illegal conduct and her team attempted to tamper with jurors who convicted her of double murder. Deputy Dist. Atty. Ryan Gould and his colleague Jamie Castro filed a motion Monday that detailed several jailhouse calls Grossman had with her daughter and husband since her Feb. 23 conviction for killing two young brothers in a crosswalk while speeding on a residential Westlake Village street.

Los Angeles Times

No angels here

Most of the attention during November's election will focus on the "top ticket" races - the offices that provide our government's most visible face. But some of the most important elected officials appear down the ballot. And it's those who have attracted the attention of liberal activists with deep pockets, especially George Soros. In her story, "More crime, less punishment," Kim Henderson explains why Soros and others have spent millions of dollars to elect progressive district attorneys - not to enforce the law but to ignore it.

World News Group

5-time California DUI driver charged with murder following hit-and-run, prosecutors say

A California man who has five prior DUI convictions is now facing a murder charge after allegedly hitting and killing a pedestrian this week while driving under the influence of alcohol. Jonathan Lopez, 31, was seen "drinking alcohol and flipping officers off" after leading law enforcement on a short pursuit Tuesday following the fatal incident in Orange, California, in the Los Angeles area, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

Fox News

Correctional officer charged with sex abuse of 15-year-old at Ventura County youth facility

A 28-year-old corrections officer was charged with nine felony counts related to the sexual abuse of a 15-year-old girl under his supervision at a youth correctional facility, the Ventura County district attorney said Wednesday. Azzan Sandhu, of Fullerton, an employee of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, was charged with seven counts of committing a lewd act on a child, one count of using the child for the creation of child sexual abuse material and one count of communicating with a minor with the intent to commit a sex offense.

Los Angeles Times

Man charged with murder in death of girlfriend's 3-year-old son

A man suspected of killing his girlfriend's 3-year-old son has now been formally charged with the boy's murder. Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced Friday that Rena Lydell Naulls, 39, has been charged with one count of murder, one count of assault on a child causing death and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon with prior convictions.


13 Mexican Mafia members or associates charged for alleged roles in drug smuggling ring inside the Los Angeles County jail system, and violent assault on inmate

Authorities today announced that 13 members or associates of the Mexican Mafia prison gang have been charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office for their roles in a narcotic smuggling operation and violent assault that took place within the Los Angeles County jail system, two of whom are fugitives.

City News Service

3 men charged with 27 felonies in smash-and-grab thefts across California

State Attorney General Rob Bonta on Tuesday announced the filing of more than 27 felony charges against three men allegedly involved in an organized retail crime operation that targeted high-end stores in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, Alameda and Santa Clara counties resulting in more than $300,000 in losses.

City News Service


Recall campaign drops suit, cites 'stonewalling'

Nearly 18 months after filing a lawsuit against Los Angeles County over the disqualification of signatures in a recall effort against District Attorney George Gascón, the committee to recall the D.A. announced Tuesday that it was dropping its lawsuit. After hearing the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder's Office was rejecting nearly 200,000 signatures from the more than 715,000 collected, the Committee to Recall George Gascón sought injunctive relief in October 2022.

The Signal

New legislation to combat retail theft

The issue of retail theft has been a growing problem nationwide. According to a National Retail Security Survey, retail losses surged from $93.9 billion to $112.1 billion between 2021 and 2022, and the recent rise in smash-and-grabs has public officials and law enforcement joining forces to come up with solutions. On this week's "In Focus SoCal," host Ariel Wesler talks to Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur and CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee for a breakdown of new laws, and what law enforcement agencies are doing to help.

Spectrum News1

Why a California police department is replacing suspects' faces with Lego heads

The Murrieta, California police department has gained recognition this year for its creative placement of Lego heads over suspects' faces in images taken during arrests and bookings, leaving many of their Instagram followers wondering why. In a message posted Monday, the Police Department explained that on Jan. 1, a new law restricted how and when law enforcement agencies in California can share photos and mugshots.


SEIU responds to reporting on its use of NDAs in California's fast food law negotiation

The powerful labor group that helped lead negotiations in California's landmark fast-food minimum wage law broke its silence for the first time Friday on its use of non-disclosure agreements in the final negotiations of that law. KCRA 3 first reported last week that the Service Employees International Union, also known as SEIU, required representatives from the fast food and franchise industry to sign non-disclosure agreements in the final negotiations of the law.


Mom bares all: 'Our son is a product of the failed Prop 47'

Ten years of increased drug and serial theft crimes across California has taken its toll on the state's residents and businesses. Because of Proposition 47, there is no accountability when it comes to these crimes, theft is underreported and some stores are even told not to report theft crimes. Drug crimes are not prosecuted, nor are drug addicts getting the help they need. But help is on the way - a proposed ballot initiative to amend Prop. 47 is currently collecting signatures for the November 2024 ballot.

California Globe

Ninth Circuit publicly reprimands former U.S. attorney

A former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California has been publicly reprimanded by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for his role in an effort to seek reconsideration in the District Court of an attorney-fee order based on supposedly newly discovered information that was, in fact, not newly discovered, followed by participation in a frivolous appeal from a denial of the reconsideration motion.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Gavin Newsom is tacking rightward on crime - and he's not the only one

In the last six months, Gov. Gavin Newsom has sent state police into Oakland to crack down on thefts, announced new efforts to charge drug dealers with murder and sent attorneys from the California National Guard and the California Department of Justice to help Alameda County prosecute more people. His focus on prosecution and policing marks a departure from his past embrace of criminal justice reform efforts that focused more on rehabilitation than locking people in jail.

San Francisco Chronicle

Los Angeles County/City


Authorities are searching for those who shot and killed Sheriff Deputy Juan Escalante in front of his mother's home in 2008

Authorities search for suspects who murdered L.A. County sheriff's deputy

Authorities are offering a reward in the search for suspects who murdered a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy. The deputy, Juan Escalante, 27, was shot and killed in front of his mother's house in Cypress Park in 2008. At least six suspects, believed to be gang members, were arrested in the case and multiple people have been charged and convicted. However, investigators believe additional suspects still remain at large.


LA Superior Court system facing massive court reporter shortage

The Los Angeles County Superior Court system is facing a massive shortage of court reporters, and court officials say it will be difficult to fill all those vacancies. According to Superior Court CEO David Slayton, "we have over 100 vacancies that we have developed over time," for various reasons. Associate Superior Court Judge Sergio Tapia blames an aging workforce and a growing freelance workforce for the difficulties filling spots.


City denies L.A. officer suffered adverse work action in tracking suit

The majority of claims in a lawsuit filed by a Los Angeles police officer who alleges her high-ranking former LAPD boyfriend secretly tracked her after she ended the relationship in 2023 should be dismissed because she suffered no adverse employment actions, the City Attorney's Office maintains in new court papers.

City News Service

Who will be L.A.'s next police chief? City hires headhunter firm to lead search

To hire the city's next top cop, Los Angeles officials have turned to the same firm that helped pick former LAPD Chief William J. Bratton more than two decades ago. The city finalized a deal with the Northern California-based headhunter Bob Murray & Associates on March 1, but didn't announce the decision until Tuesday's meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners.

Los Angeles Times

LA Council votes to reform police accountability

The City Council voted Wednesday to advance reform options for police accountability, in what council members hope will be a major step in the latest effort to improve the Los Angeles Police Department's discipline practices. Council members voted 14-0 to request that the city attorney prepare an ordinance that would repeal provisions under the City Charter's Section 1070 that outline procedures to discipline a sworn officer.



FBI warns of suspected terrorists infiltrating U.S. with fake IDs via southern border

FBI Director Christopher Wray, in a recent hearing with the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, highlighted concerns regarding the escalation in potential threats against the U.S. Intelligence officials have observed a troubling trend: known or suspected terrorists exploiting the southern border by utilizing fake identification.

Law Enforcement Today

California is clearing criminal records - including violent crimes - to offer second chances

California has allowed expungements of misdemeanors and some lower-level felonies, but not crimes that would be serious enough to send the offender to prison. That's no longer the case: Under Senate Bill 731, which went into effect in mid-2023, Californians with most kinds of felony convictions, including violent crimes, can ask for their records to be cleared. Sex offenses are the primary exception.


Judge will appoint special master to oversee California federal women's prison after rampant abuse

A special master will be appointed to oversee a troubled federal women's prison in California known for rampant sexual abuse against inmates, a judge ordered Friday, marking the first time the federal Bureau of Prisons has been subject to such oversight. A 2021 Associated Press investigation that found a culture of abuse and cover-ups at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin brought increased scrutiny from Congress and the Bureau of Prisons.


With FOIA lawsuit, rights groups seek information on outdoor migrant-holding camps near San Diego

In an explosive new lawsuit, two migrant and refugee nonprofits are suing U.S. Customs and Border Protection in an effort to force the agency to hand over information about what the groups describe as bare-bones outdoor migrant-holding camps in the San Diego County desert. Towards the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, the Trump administration invoked Title 42, a public health measure that allows the federal government to suspend trade or immigration into the U.S. to prevent the spread of a communicable disease.

Courthouse News Service

TSA now requires migrants with insufficient IDs to undergo facial recognition check before flying

The Transportation Security Administration is now requiring migrants who do not have sufficient ID to submit to facial recognition technology in order to board domestic flights - amid continued concern about screening from Republicans and others. The agency told Fox News Digital in a statement that all adult travelers, "including noncitizens released after undergoing security vetting into the United States to await immigration proceedings, must present an acceptable form of ID to enter secure areas of an airport for onward travel."

Fox News


Sophisticated 'burglary tourists' fly from South America to rob wealthy homes, LAPD says

In the desert around Scottsdale, Ariz., on Monday, police officers hunted for a member of an international heist ring suspected of swiping jewels and luxury goods from homes across Los Angeles. Using helicopters and drones, they eventually found him hiding under a tree. The wanted man, it turned out, was a 17-year-old from Chile.

Los Angeles Times

CHP releases video of wrong-way driving crashing into patrol car

The California Highway Patrol has released video of a wrong-way driver crashing into a patrol car. Investigators say two officers were hurt on Wednesday when someone allegedly slammed into their patrol car on purpose on Interstate 80 in Davis. The CHP said the two officers were sitting in their patrol car on the shoulder of the freeway after a traffic stop, when the wrong-way driver in a white vehicle came racing towards them.


AI is helping retailers fight back against organized theft

Preventing retail theft before it happens - it sounds like a fairy tale, but artificial intelligence could make it a reality. Videos and images of organized "smash-and-grabs" at stores and malls across the country have gone viral online, and some of the nation's biggest retailers are turning to technology to stem the billions in losses and keep employees and customers safe.

Yahoo Finance

Video shows woman sent flying after being hit by car doing donuts in LA street takeover

Shocking video shows a California woman go flying after she was struck by a car doing donuts during a Los Angeles "street takeover." The blonde woman is seen in the intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard and West 63rd Street in the city's Hyde Park neighborhood over the weekend as a black sedan tightly circles around the crossroads, the footage shared online shows.

New York Post

A Sherman Oaks house was raided, looted in plain sight. What happened to its owner was worse

Not much happens on Kingswood Road without the neighbors noticing. The one-block street in Sherman Oaks ends in a cul-de-sac, and the people who live in the multimillion-dollar homes along it know each others' dogs, vehicles and daily routines. So when they didn't see Charles Wilding Jr., a shy, single man, for several months in the fall of 2020, neighbors became concerned.

Los Angeles Times

Articles of Interest

DOJ's lawsuit against Apple, ladies take over March Madness and Gannett and AP part ways

The U.S. Department of Justice along with 16 state attorneys general filed a lawsuit against Apple on Thursday, alleging that the company has illegally monopolized the smartphone market, and in doing so stifled innovation by locking out competitors from its app ecosystem, harmed consumers and caused prices to be artificially high.

PR News

Jonathan Glazer's Zone of Interest Oscar speech denounced in letter

More than 1,000 Jewish creatives, executives and Hollywood professionals have signed an Open letter denouncing Jonathan Glazer's "The Zone of Interest" Oscar speech. The list of co-signees provided to Variety Monday morning covers a broad swath of the industry including actors, executives, creators, directors, producers and representatives. About 500 more individuals have added their names to the nearly 500 who signed on when the Open letter was first published.


COVID-inoculation requirement did not violate confidentiality of Medical Information Act

A company that fired an employee for violating its mandatory inoculation rule during the COVID pandemic did not violate the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act by insisting on proof of vaccination status, Div. One of the First District Court of Appeal declared yesterday. The opinion by Justice Kathleen Banke affirms a summary judgment granted by Alameda Superior Court Judge Jenna Whitman in favor of the employer, Unchained Labs ("UL").

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Donald Trump sues ABC News and George Stephanopoulos over comments during Nancy Mace interview

Former President Donald Trump has again filed a defamation lawsuit against a major media outlet, this time over comments that ABC News' George Stephanopoulos made during a contentious recent interview with Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC). The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Miami, claims that Stephanopoulos defamed him during his questioning of Mace during an interview on This Week.



Boogaloo extremist sentenced to life in killing of federal security officer

A California man affiliated with the Boogaloo anti-government movement was sentenced to life in prison on Friday for his role in the killing of a federal security officer outside the U.S. Courthouse in Oakland during the George Floyd protests of May 2020. Robert Justus Jr., 34, drove the van from which his accomplice fired the gunshots that killed Officer Dave Underwood and wounded a second officer.

Courthouse News Serivice

4 LA residents sentenced in $8 million scheme that performed 600 sham weddings for green cards

Four Philippine nationals living in Los Angeles have been sentenced in federal court for an elaborate $8 million scheme that arranged more than 600 sham marriages, circumvented immigration laws and obtained green cards by falsely claiming undocumented clients were abused by their American spouses.

Orange County Register


California speeds plans to empty San Quentin's death row

California is accelerating its efforts to empty San Quentin's death row with plans to transfer the last 457 condemned men to other state prisons by summer. The move comes five years after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order that imposed a moratorium on the death penalty and closed the prison's execution chamber. It coincides with his broader initiative to transform San Quentin into a Scandinavian-style prison with a focus on rehabilitation, education and job training.

Los Angeles Times

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