FROM Andrew Blankstein
New Rules for the LAPD? Two members of the LA Police Commission are calling on the LAPD to overhaul its use of force policy. Those changes include defining – clearly – when officers can use deadly force, and holding officers accountable when they do. The changes in policy – proposed by Commission President Matt Johnson and Commissioner Robert Saltzman – would reshape the way the Commission examines police shootings if they’re approved.
San Bernardino Mass Shooting Fourteen people were shot to death this morning and 17 others were injured at a holiday party for state health workers at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. Three shooters escaped in a black SUV.
The City of LA Has Guns in Its Crosshairs This week, the LA City Council passed a measure requiring gun owners to store their weapons under lock and key at home. And earlier this year, Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an new ordinance that restricts the amount of ammunition in high-capacity magazines. Gun rights activists filed suit last week to overturn it – in an interesting way. We get to the bottom of why cities are tackling this issue – and why other governments are not. KCRW's Steve Chiotakis is joined by Emily Alpert Reyes, City Hall reporter for the LA Times, and Andrew Blankstein of NBC News.
LAPD Focuses on South LA The Los Angeles Police Department says it’ll send dozens of elite officers into South LA in response to an increase in crime and reported gang violence. The department is highlighting the fact that about half of the 39 killings that happened, in the city as a whole, in the month of August, took place in that area. Will the strategy work? And what’s going on with the crime rate in cities all across the country, and right here in Los Angeles?
Murky Link between SoLA Violence and Social Media Chatter Threats that used to be spray-painted on the sides of buildings are now turning up on line. They might come from anywhere — but they're creating fears in some neighborhoods.
Possible End to Christopher Dorner Manhunt A week-long manhunt that became an international news event has finally ended in the mountains east of Los Angeles. Christopher Dorner, a former officer of the Los Angeles Police Department, appears to have died in a burning cabin after a shootout with Sheriff's Deputies from San Bernardino County. Andrew Blankstein reports for the LA Times .
LA School Safety in the Aftermath of a National Tragedy At a joint news conference today, the Superintendent of LA Unified appeared with Mayor Villaraigosa and the Chief of Police to tell parents about efforts to increase security at LA schools. Chief Charlie Beck announced a combined joint effort with LAUSD Police, promising that officers will be present at least daily at every elementary and middle school. John Deasey, superintendent of the nation's second largest school district, vowed, despite the district's "devastating budget cuts," to augment security . To reduce the number of guns on the street, Mayor Villaraigosa promised an update on the gun buyback program run by the Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development from May, 2013 to Wednesday, December 26.
Study and Safety at USC Early yesterday morning, after a typical evening of library study, Ying Wu drove Ming Qu to her apartment in the West Adams District a mile from campus. While they were chatting in his double-parked BMW, both were shot. She died in the passenger seat, he on the steps of a building he tried to enter in search of help. The LAPD is searching for a lone attacker, who might have been photographed by surveillance cameras.
What Does the LA Fire Department Have to Hide? The Los Angeles City Fire Chief Brian Cummings admits he issued misleading statistics on whether his department has been responding to emergency calls in time to save lives. Now he's announced that he's limiting public updates on emergency calls, saying he's acting on advice from City Attorney Carmen Trutanich.
Stowaway Slips Past Security, Flies from NY to LA A Nigerian man named Olajide Oluwaseun Noibi got through the TSA checks in New York City, flew Virgin Airlines on an expired boarding pass in someone else's name and arrived in Los Angeles last Friday. He was arrested while trying to fly to Atlanta. Andrew Blankstein is covering the story for the Los Angeles Times .
The Aftermath of Shooting at Local Schools El Camino High, eight other public schools and several private schools were shut down for several hours yesterday as police searched for a gunman. An El Camino High policeman had been shot off campus by a man who still hasn't been captured. He's described as white, in his late 40's, with a grayish pony tail, wearing a black jacket and jeans. The police officer was wearing body armor, and is resting at home. The shooting at Gardena High is a case of a different order. A student brought a gun into a classroom, and it went off when he put his backpack down on a desk. One student was shot in the neck and yet another in the head. One remains in critical condition.
Judge Suspends Jessica's Law Los Angeles Judge Peter Espinoza has blocked enforcement of the residential requirements of Jessica’s Law . That’s the measure passed by the voters in 2006, barring registered sex offenders from living within 2000 feet of a school or a park where children gather. The Judge says that may undermine public safety rather than promoting it. Andrew Blankstein reports for the Los Angeles Times .
Two Sinkholes in Valley Raise Questions about DWP Pipes Early this morning in the San Fernando Valley, firefighters responded to a call about flooding. As they were backing-up their engine, the ground gave way and the 22-ton vehicle fell into a muddy sinkhole. The incident was in Valley Village, just two and a half miles from yesterday’s broken water main in Studio City. Andrew Blankstein reports for the Los Angeles Times.
"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."
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.
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?