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Four Southern California men have been killed in confrontations with police in less than a week. In one of the recent shootings, LAPD officers were wearing body cameras. Body cams are seen by many as a valuable tool to reduce police violence – that officers will be less likely to shoot or assault a suspect if they know their actions are being recorded. But is that true? Then, Gordon Davidson, considered the patriarch of Los Angeles theater, has died. KCRW theater critic Anthony Byrnes worked with Davidson and joined Press Play for a remembrance. Next, for more than two decades, filmmaker Kirsten Johnson has traveled the world with her camera capturing footage for documentaries. Now, she’s cut some of that footage into a film of her own: a meditation on what it means to turn a camera on the world, aptly named “Cameraperson.” And finally, the true identity of the Italian novelist Elena Ferrante has, allegedly, been revealed, but many fans and other writers are not happy about it.

Image: A woman protests in the face of a police officer wearing a body camera as people protest the death of Alfred Olango, who was shot by El Cajon police Tuesday, by blocking traffic near the parking lot where he was shot in El Cajon, California, U.S. September 29, 2016. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon

Study: Complaints against police drop when cops wear body cams 11 MIN, 35 SEC

Two black men were shot and killed by police over the weekend. In one of the shootings, LAPD gang officers were wearing body cameras. Body cameras are seen by many as a valuable tool to reduce police violence – that officers will be less likely to shoot or assault a suspect if they know their actions are being recorded. But is that true? According to a new study, that may be what’s happening. Researchers at Cambridge University monitored three police departments in the United Kingdom and California, including the Ventura PD, and they found that complaints against the police dropped an astonishing 93 percent from the year before.

Guests:
Barak Ariel, Cambridge
Ken Corney, Ventura Police Department

More:
Study: Police using body cameras see huge drop in complaints

Four SoCal men have been killed by police in less than a week 7 MIN

An 18-year-old man named Carnell Snell Jr. was shot and killed by police Saturday afternoon in South Los Angeles. LAPD said that Snell and another man ran from a car that police suspected was stolen, and that Snell had a gun and was turning toward police when he was shot. Witnesses say that Snell, or CJ as he was known, was shot in the back as he was running away. Protesters demonstrated around the Snells’ South LA neighborhood, and in front of Mayor Garcetti’s house in Hancock Park, which police say was egged. Then Sunday afternoon, news came in of another fatal shooting involving police in South LA – the fourth Southern California man to die in a confrontation with police in less than a week. Activist Earl Ofari Hutchinson spoke with Press Play about his Sunday meeting with the Snell family.

Guests:
Earl Ofari Hutchinson, journalist and civil rights activist (@earlhutchinson)

More:
Coroner's officials identify man shot dead by LAPD after police pursuit in South L.A.

Patriarch of Los Angeles theater, Gordon Davidson, dies at 83 7 MIN, 35 SEC

Gordon Davidson, considered the patriarch of Los Angeles theater, died Sunday night at the age of 83. While Los Angeles isn’t really known as a theater town, what it is known for in the theater world can largely be accredited to Davidson, the founder of the Mark Taper Forum at the Music Center, the Kirk Douglas theater in Culver City, and the producer and director of hundreds of shows. KCRW theater critic Anthony Byrnes worked with Davidson and joined Press Play for a remembrance.

Guests:
Anthony Byrnes, host of 'Opening the Curtain' (@theaterthoughts)

More:
Gordon Davidson, Mark Taper Forum founder and L.A.'s 'Moses of theater,' dies at 83

'Cameraperson': a meditation on a life behind the camera 14 MIN, 5 SEC

For more than two decades, filmmaker Kirsten Johnson has traveled the world with her camera capturing footage for documentaries. She filmed the desperation of war-torn Sudan and the stories of sexual assault victims in the American military; she followed French philosopher Jacques Derrida as he tossed out bon mots. Now, she’s cut some of that footage into a film of her own: a meditation on what it means to turn a camera on the world, aptly named “Cameraperson.”

 

Guests:
Kirsten Johnson, documentary filmmaker

More:
CAMERAPERSON film

Elena Ferrante’s 'unmasking' is causing outrage 8 MIN, 10 SEC

The true identity of the Italian novelist Elena Ferrante has, allegedly, been revealed, but many fans and other writers are not happy about it. Elena Ferrante is the pen name of a bestselling author who’s been publishing anonymously for almost a quarter of a century. But a story out Sunday in the New York Review of Books claims that Ferrante is actually Anita Raja, a translator who lives in Rome – and it makes a compelling case.

Guests:
Alexandra Schwartz, New Yorker

More:
Elena Ferrante: An Answer?

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