FROM Tony Rackauckas
Orange County D.A. Informant Scandal A special committee report released yesterday found that a “failure of leadership” at the Orange County district attorney's office paved the way for big problems with its jailhouse informants. The report also calls the office “a ship without a rudder” and describes prosecutors as having a “win-at-all-costs mentality.” We hear from Orange County D.A. Tony Rackauckas and an outside expert responding to the report.
Counties Sue Over Painkillers Two California counties are suing the pharmaceutical industry over prescription painkillers. Prosecutors from Orange County and Santa Clara County say five major drug companies are responsible for an addiction epidemic that’s plaguing their communities. The counties accuse the drug makers of illegally marketing the painkillers.
Tony Rackauckas on the Kelly Thomas Verdict There was a 33-minute video tape showing police officers beating an unarmed man, complete with sound of one officer threatening violence and the pleas of help from the victim. But after three weeks of testimony, it took an Orange County jury just two days to acquit former Fullerton cops Manual Ramos and Jay Cicinelli of manslaughter and second-degree murder in the death of homeless, mentally ill Kelly Thomas . District Attorney Tony Rackauckas brought the case.
Troubled Veteran Formally Charged with Serial Killings Former Marine and Iraq war veteran Itzcoatl Ocampo has been formally charged in the stabbing deaths of four homeless men in Orange County from December 20 to January 13. That announcement came today from Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. After enlisting in the Marines right out of high school, Ocampo came home in 2008 a changed man. We speak with the DA and with reporter Louis Sahagun, who's been following the story for the Los Angeles Times . Banner image: Anaheim Police Department
Law Enforcement in Orange County The City of Fullerton made international headlines in July, when a 37-year old homeless schizophrenic named Kelly Thomas died after a police beating. Yesterday, Republican District Attorney Tony Rackauckas made headlines of a different kind. He filed second-degree murder charges against Fullerton officer Manuel Ramos and accused both Ramos and his colleague, Corporal Jay Cicinelli, of involuntary manslaughter. We speak with the DA, Thomas' father and an advocate for the mentally ill.
OC DA Discusses Fullerton Beating Case More than a month ago a 37-year-old, homeless schizophrenic was beaten by six Fullerton police officers. Kelly Thomas died after five days in a coma, and his father, Ron Thomas, has released pictures of Kelly's face and head, horribly disfigured. Public outrage continues. At a demonstration this weekend, several hundred people demanded justice, and two city council members have called on Police Chief Michael Sellers to step down. The officers are on paid leave, and the department has said only that Kelly resisted when police approached and tried to search his backpack. Today, for the first time, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas spoke out about the charge by Kelly's father that his son was murdered, first spoke with Dave Lopez of Channel 2 News and then with Which Way, L.A.?.
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.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
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?