FROM Merrick Bobb
County Jails, Abuse of Authority, and the FBI Today's Los Angeles Times reports that a sheriff's deputy took $1500 to smuggle a cell phone into the Central Los Angeles County jail. What he didn't know was it was part of a sting operation by the FBI. The Deputy has resigned, but Sheriff Lee Baca denounced the FBI for possibly breaking the law and conducting an investigation he calls "unnecessary." (Sheriff Baca declined our invitation to join in this discussion.)
Are LA Sheriff's Playing Games with the Law? Today's LA Times reports that LA County Deputy Sheriffs have been competing to see who can arrest the most people and impound the most cars in a period of 24 hours. Lt. James Tatreau, who organized the events in southeast county cities, including Lakewood, Bellflower and Paramount, says it's all about "bragging rights" and "having a little fun." The Police Foundation in Washington, DC calls it "highly problematic and inappropriate." Sheriff Lee Baca himself says it promotes "the wrong values." Merrick Bobb is Special Council to LA County and President of the Police Assessment Resource Center, which makes regular reports on the Sheriff's Department .
Chief Bratton Apologizes for LAPD Treatment of Protesters LA Police Chief William Bratton’s most highly trained officers went out of control last Tuesday, when Platoon B of the Metro Squad fired rubber bullets and swung batons at peaceful demonstrators and reporters. The Chief says the cops outnumbered the few he called "agitators" more than three to one. LA Police Protective League President Bob Baker says, "We are being damned before a trial or investigation," which is having "a profound impact not only on Metro but every officer in the city."
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.