FROM Merrick Bobb
County Jails, Abuse of Authority, and the FBI Today's Los Angeles Times reports that a sheriff's deputy took $1500 to smuggle a cell phone into the Central Los Angeles County jail. What he didn't know was it was part of a sting operation by the FBI. The Deputy has resigned, but Sheriff Lee Baca denounced the FBI for possibly breaking the law and conducting an investigation he calls "unnecessary." (Sheriff Baca declined our invitation to join in this discussion.)
Are LA Sheriff's Playing Games with the Law? Today's LA Times reports that LA County Deputy Sheriffs have been competing to see who can arrest the most people and impound the most cars in a period of 24 hours. Lt. James Tatreau, who organized the events in southeast county cities, including Lakewood, Bellflower and Paramount, says it's all about "bragging rights" and "having a little fun." The Police Foundation in Washington, DC calls it "highly problematic and inappropriate." Sheriff Lee Baca himself says it promotes "the wrong values." Merrick Bobb is Special Council to LA County and President of the Police Assessment Resource Center, which makes regular reports on the Sheriff's Department .
Chief Bratton Apologizes for LAPD Treatment of Protesters LA Police Chief William Bratton’s most highly trained officers went out of control last Tuesday, when Platoon B of the Metro Squad fired rubber bullets and swung batons at peaceful demonstrators and reporters. The Chief says the cops outnumbered the few he called "agitators" more than three to one. LA Police Protective League President Bob Baker says, "We are being damned before a trial or investigation," which is having "a profound impact not only on Metro but every officer in the city."
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
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.
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?