LA’s Ethics Commission has passed a new version of campaign finance reform. But one commissioner says it’s being “loved to death” by people who say they share the same goals. We’ll hear both sides. Plus, the LAPD is investigating two videotapes for possible violations of excessive-force policy. Have well-intentioned reforms made it harder to enforce the law? Are the cops just failing to get the message?
FROM THIS EPISODE
A video recently posted on the website YouTube shows LAPD officers holding down and punching a man who says he can't breathe. Chief William Bratton says the officers might have been violating department policy on excessive force. Another tape shows an officer squirting pepper spray in the face of a man already sitting inside a patrol car. The district attorney has ruled there was no wrongdoing in that case, and that the officers used "professional courtesy" and "restraint." Police Commission members are still concerned, and the ACLU calls the incident, "appalling."
Last week's passage of Measure R demonstrated that LA voters care about ethics reform. Yesterday, the city's Ethics Commission passed new limits on campaign spending. They will be considered by the City Council, but in the meantime, one Commission member says it's being "loved to death" by people who say they share the same goals. He writes, "Spare us from the reformers. Give me a cynical old pol who at least keeps his or her word." We hear both sides.
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Which Way, LA? The Question that Won't Go Away 23 years ago, the fires of the Rodney King riots were burning and the sirens wailing when KCRW first asked, WWLA? We've been through fires, floods, earthquakes and massive social, cultural and economic change. While this is the last program titled WWLA? the question still needs to be asked. We talk with a group of important and thoughtful people about what LA has become and about the challenges to be faced in the future…as we continue.
Then and Now: Is LA Still the Car Capital of the World? Urban planners got some bad news today. Ridership on public transit in Southern California is on the decline, despite the billions being spent in recent years to build light rail and subway lines. Why aren't more drivers leaving their cars at home, as traffic gets more congested than ever? Meantime, there's a shortage of money to repair aging roads, bridges and other parts of the infrastructure. We look at the impact on the state's economy.
Does California Have a Double Standard for the Public's Protection? Porter Ranch and Vernon are mirror images of each other. In one, schools have been closed and thousands of residents are being moved away by the polluter—just months after a natural gas leak was discovered. In the other, residents complained for years about health risks to school children from exposure to lead and arsenic from a battery recycling plant— until the federal government finally stepped in.
Is 'Warfare' a Thing of the Past at the LAPD? Video of police misconduct wasn’t as common 25 years ago as it is today. The spectacle of LAPD officers beating Rodney King was a wake-up call, but didn’t persuade a jury in Simi Valley. When the cops received not-guilty verdicts, the city exploded. We hear from veteran officers who say they’ve changed. What about their tactics? Have they gained the trust of marginalized communities and people of color?
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