Violent outburst. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck says his department will start cracking down on violent demonstrators protesting the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the racially charged Trayvon Martin case.
About 150 people broke off from a peaceful protest last night in Leimert Park and launched a violent spree of vandalism and assault that left several people injured and some store and car windows busted. More than a dozen people were arrested.
Mayor Eric Garcetti praised demonstrators for exercising their First Amendment rights and he said that protests following the Zimmerman verdict have been mostly peaceful. But Garcetti said the actions of a few require a stiff police response.
“The trial that we saw in Florida has ignited passions, but we have to make sure it will not ignite this city,” Garcetti said. “We see a small group that has taken this opportunity to exploit the situation (with) acts of vandalism, attacks against other community members.”
Among those attacked was a television reporter for Channels 2 and 9 and his cameraman, who reportedly suffered a concussion.
Police Chief Beck said his department dispatched more than 300 police officers to quell the violence in the Crenshaw business district. He advised people planning to demonstrate again today not to bring their children, just in case more violence breaks out. KCBS
Prop. 8 fight. The California Supreme Court won’t halt same-sex marriages in the state while it considers a long-shot appeal from the sponsors of Proposition 8. The group Protect Marriage has challenged whether the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on Proposition 8 should apply statewide. It asked the state Supreme Court to stop same-sex marriages until the issue is decided. In a brief order, the court rejected that request yesterday. The justices are not expected to rule on the group’s broader appeal until next month at the earliest. San Francisco Chronicle
Refusing food. The number of California inmates participating in a hunger strike has dropped substantially. But prison officials say that more than 2,500 inmates are still refusing food. About 30,000 inmates skipped a couple of days of meals when the protest started a week ago. A main complaint of the inmates is policies that allow some high-security inmates to be locked in solitary confinement for years on end. But they’ve also demanded better food and warmer clothes, among other things. Prison officials call the hunger strike a mass disturbance. They say there has not been any violence associated with the protest. L.A. Times
Jails fix. The L.A. County Board of Supervisors is expected to hear a presentation today on options for upgrading the county’s jail system, with an emphasis on the need for mental health services and separate facilities for high-security inmates. The board has considered various plans to modernize, expand and reconfigure aging and outdated jails over the past six to seven years. But the board has not taken any action, balking at the price tag and raising concerns about the long-term viability of various proposals. L.A. Daily News
Filner allegations. Former supporters are ratcheting up the pressure on San Diego Mayor Bob Filner to resign for mistreating women. The former allies – led by one-time San Diego Councilwoman Donna Frye – have released details of Filner’s alleged sexual harassment, including unwanted kisses, groping and derogatory comments. They say Fillner told one female staffer while they were riding in an elevator that women employees would do better if they “worked without their pants on.” Filner says he’s guilty of bad behavior but hasn’t done anything illegal. He says he plans to get professional help – but he has no plans to resign. U-T San Diego