California Watch has uncovered 850 cases of documented abuse of patients with cerebral palsy, mental disabilities and severe autism, but only two arrests and no prosecutions. One case has been called a "homicide." With legislators calling for an investigation, we hear what’s happened at five state-run centers housing 1800 people who can't help themselves. Also, the death in Brentwood of right-wing blogger and publisher Andrew Breitbart. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, the drug war moves to Central America.
FROM THIS EPISODE
A report by California Watch has raised questions about the level of care for 1800 Californians with cerebral palsy, mental disabilities and severe autism. It found 850 documented cases in the past three years of patient abuse or unexplained injuries at five so-called "Development Centers" run by the state. In three years, there were only two related arrests. In one incident, an autistic man died after his neck was broken and his spinal cord was crushed and disfigured. Internal investigators failed to protect evidence and waited five days to interview witnesses.
A phenomenon in conservative publishing, Andrew Breitbart helped start the Huffington Post, was a long-time editor of the Drudge Report and ran his own websites attacking what he called "big Hollywood," "big government" and "big media." He brought down New York's Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner for tweeting pictures of himself in his underwear and was accused of cherry-picking a speech by a black Agriculture Department official to make it sound like a racist attack on white people. The 43-year-old had a history of heart trouble and died suddenly near his home in Brentwood early this morning. Mickey Kaus is based in Venice where he writes the blog Kausfiles for the website Daily Caller.
As the drug war continues, the Obama Administration has tried to emphasize prevention and treatment here in the US, to reduce the demand that fuels so much deadly violence south of the border. In the meantime, Mexico's outright warfare against drug cartels has caused the drug dealers to move further South into Central America, where the homicide rate now leads the world. What is the US doing to stop the demand for heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine? Why are Central American leaders calling for legalization?
Sebastian Rotella, ProPublica (@ProPublica)
Vanda Felbab-Brown, Brookings Institution (@VFelbabBrown)
Jose R. Cardenas, National Security Council (former)
Gil Kerlikowske, Office of National Drug Control Policy
More From Which Way, L.A.?
Which Way, LA? The Question that Won't Go Away 23 years ago, the fires of the Rodney King riots were burning and the sirens wailing when KCRW first asked, WWLA? We've been through fires, floods, earthquakes and massive social, cultural and economic change. While this is the last program titled WWLA? the question still needs to be asked. We talk with a group of important and thoughtful people about what LA has become and about the challenges to be faced in the future…as we continue.
Then and Now: Is LA Still the Car Capital of the World? Urban planners got some bad news today. Ridership on public transit in Southern California is on the decline, despite the billions being spent in recent years to build light rail and subway lines. Why aren't more drivers leaving their cars at home, as traffic gets more congested than ever? Meantime, there's a shortage of money to repair aging roads, bridges and other parts of the infrastructure. We look at the impact on the state's economy.
Does California Have a Double Standard for the Public's Protection? Porter Ranch and Vernon are mirror images of each other. In one, schools have been closed and thousands of residents are being moved away by the polluter—just months after a natural gas leak was discovered. In the other, residents complained for years about health risks to school children from exposure to lead and arsenic from a battery recycling plant— until the federal government finally stepped in.
Is 'Warfare' a Thing of the Past at the LAPD? Video of police misconduct wasn’t as common 25 years ago as it is today. The spectacle of LAPD officers beating Rodney King was a wake-up call, but didn’t persuade a jury in Simi Valley. When the cops received not-guilty verdicts, the city exploded. We hear from veteran officers who say they’ve changed. What about their tactics? Have they gained the trust of marginalized communities and people of color?
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Curious Coast: One listener wanted to know more about LA’s indigenous communities, here’s why Araceli Argueta is a lifelong resident of the Los Angeles area, but she still doesn’t consider herself an L.A. native. At least, not in the traditional sense of the word.… Read More
LA’s Tongva descendants: ‘We originated here’ KCRW listener Araceli Argueta wanted to know more about the history of Los Angeles’ indigenous people and submitted this question to Curious Coast. “What Native Tribes’ lands are we on?… Read More