FROM Richard Drooyan
Sheriff Lee Baca Resigns… Why Now? Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca will step down at the end of the month. He made the announcement at a news conference this morning. Baca was running for a fifth four-year term and facing some stiff opposition, not to mention a lot of negative press. Earlier today on KCRW, LA Times reporter Robert Faturechi ran down the scandals that have plagued Baca's tenure, not least of which is the recent federal indictment of 18 sheriff's deputies .
Is the LAPD Stepping Backwards? Since the Rodney King beating and the riots of 1992, new police chiefs and commissions have earned high marks for reforming the Los Angeles Police Department. But lately, there's been a string of jury verdicts for abuse and misconduct. It's usually the taxpayers who are on the hook but, in one case, jurors assessed punitive damages against an individual officer.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.