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A group of high-powered lawyers working for free has delivered a scathing report about top Sheriff's officials not just tolerating, but encouraging, excessive violence against inmates in County jails. The big question is whether the Sheriff will implement or ignore upcoming recommendations for reforms. Also, three people have now died from hantavirus in Yosemite National Park, which failed to warn visitors of the danger despite requests from state public health officials. Some 22,000 people might have been exposed. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, Republicans, Democrats and "the Middle Class."

Katie Cooper
Anna Scott

Main Topic LA Sheriff Lee Baca and Violence in County Jails

Reports of frequent brutality by Sheriff's deputies against inmates in LA County jails led the Board of Supervisors to a blue-ribbon commission. Last week, the commission's investigators published their findings after interviewing some 150 people and reviewing 15,000 pages of documents. They found that, "harsh force is used as the default position, not as the last resort." They said Under Sheriff Paul Tanaka "promoted a culture that tolerated the excessive use of force." They also concluded that Sheriff Lee Baca "failed to monitor and proactively control the use of force in the jails." Baca's spokesman has denied the claims and said that Baca himself won't comment until the commission itself issues recommendations.

Miriam Krinsky, Los Angeles Citizens Commission on Jail Violence
Celeste Fremon, WitnessLA.com (@witnessla)

Reporter's Notebook Hantavirus Outbreak at Yosemite 4 MIN, 37 SEC

Hantavirus is a rare cause of disease, but it can be deadly, as visitors to Yosemite Valley are finally been warned. Eight have contracted the mouse-borne ailment since June and three have died. The National Park Service says 22,000 might have been exposed—10,000 of them visitors from around the world. Christina Jewett reports on health and welfare issues for California Watch and the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Christina Jewett, Center for Investigative Reporting (@JewettCW)

Main Topic The Mythology of the Middle Class 31 MIN, 1 SEC

Image-for-WWLA.jpgThe convention halls in both Tampa and Charlotte echoed with outreach to the Middle Class, starting with the wives of both candidates for the White House. Both Democrats and Republicans are campaigning with traditional appeals to "the Middle Class." Is that a phrase that's losing its meaning?  Do the party platforms offer credible promises about helping Americans fulfill "the American Dream?"

Graphis: EN2008/flickr

Hedrick Smith, PBS Frontline Producer
Paul Taylor, author and demographer (@paultaylordc)
Samuel Popkin, University of California, San Diego (@SamPopkin)
Clive Crook, Bloomberg View (@clive_crook)

The Candidate

Samuel L. Popkin


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