FROM Steve Whitmore
LA Times Begs Sheriff Baca Not to Run for Fifth Term Saturday’s Los Angeles Times carried an editorial titled, “Don’t Run Again, Sheriff Baca.” It sites what it calls “an extraordinary cascade of scandals” including alleged beating of inmates at Los Angeles County jails, and an FBI investigation into alleged criminal wrongdoing. What are Baca’s plans for next year’s re-election?
Law Enforcement: Technology and Privacy Special cameras on law enforcement patrol cars continuously scan the license plates of other drivers. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck calls them, "an investigative tool with unlimited potential." The Sheriff's Department says information from a license-plate scan helped solve a murder months after it happened, but the American Civil Liberties Union says there's a problem with privacy. The LAPD won't answer questions while there's a lawsuit pending.
A Major Shakeup in Local Law Enforcement Paul Tanaka is the top appointee of LA County Sheriff Lee Baca. Tuesday, Tanaka was elected to a third term as Mayor of Gardena. Yesterday, he resigned as Undersheriff after 33 years in the department, effective on August 1 -- when he becomes eligible for full retirement pay.
Is LA Sheriff Lee Baca Playing Offense or Defense? LA County Sheriff Lee Baca says he's going to fire seven deputies calling themselves the Jump Out Boys, a secret clique of deputies who wear special tattoos that are modified to "honor" members who get into shootings. Robert Faturechi reported that story this morning in the LA Times . We hear from him, the Sheriff's Department and others.
Sheriff Baca Admits Mistakes, But What’s Next? LA Sheriff Lee Baca and his top Deputy Paul Tanaka answered tough questions last week about the abuse of inmates by deputies in the county jails. They testified before a commission appointed by the Board of Supervisors after it was revealed that a federal investigation was under way. Baca said he was not told about widespread abuse, but admitted he was to blame.
Is LA 'Secure' for American Citizens? The Obama Administration is setting records for deporting illegal immigrants with the highest rate in six decades. But some American citizens are being caught in the net. In the past few weeks, at least three citizens have been detained in Los Angeles County at the request of federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE. It's part of the Secure Communities program, under which the fingerprints of everyone arrested and booked by local law enforcement are checked against a federal database.
ACLU Calls for the Closure of the Men's Central Jail Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca has long called the Men’s Central Jail the biggest mental institution in the United States. Today, the American Civil Liberties released a report by psychiatrist Terry Kupers. It paints a picture of nightmarish conditions, where thousands of mentally ill prisoners are abused instead of receiving treatment. The ACLU says it should be shut down .
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.
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
"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."
Truth and Lies in Trumpland Donald Trump is using mis-information like no President has before him. It's an unprecedented challenge to the news media, and a potential threat to democracy. We hear how the "leader of all the people" is dividing Americans and confusing the rest of the world.