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Deputies Who Killed Donta Taylor Were Investigated For Lying To Police During DUI Arrest

by Scott Frazier
November 15, 2021

A former LASD deputy was fired in 2017 for a previously unreported DUI. On the night it happened, he wanted special privileges.

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The First Whistleblower Lawsuit About The Compton Executioners Was Dismissed. What Happened?

by Scott Frazier
November 10, 2021

A custom mouse and mousepad in the regalia of the Compton Executioners sheriff’s deputy gang. (Court documents)

With only days before trial was scheduled to start, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on Thursday dismissed a high-profile whistleblower case that could have spilled out in court the secretive conduct of an alleged violent gang of sheriff’s deputies at the Compton Station who call themselves “Executioners.” Alan Romero, a lawyer for plaintiff Austreberto “Art” Gonzalez, said in a statement to Kate Cagle of Spectrum News that the judge’s actions amounted to nothing less than a “cover-up” on behalf of the Executioners and the Sheriff’s Department.

Speaking to LA Podcast, Romero said an hours-long final negotiation between Gonzalez and lawyers for the County of Los Angeles failed to produce a settlement. When lawyers informed Judge William Fahey that no agreement had been reached, Romero says the […]

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Feds Might Add More Defendants in “Ongoing” Ridley-Thomas Case. Who Might They Be?

by Scott Frazier
October 26, 2021

Prosecutors said they were worried about witness tampering at the arraignment of co-defendant Dr. Marilyn Flynn, the former dean of the USC social work school.

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Metro’s Oscar Nightmare

by Alissa Walker
May 3, 2021

From the director of Traffic. Photo by Alissa Walker

“You have got to be kidding me,” I said to no one in particular as I looked to the right, where a security guard for the Oscars was pointing me towards what looked exactly like a freeway ramp. It probably shouldn’t have surprised me that he told me to walk that way, a route with three “no pedestrian” signs, plus an additional sign that said “NO PEDESTRIANS” in words in case you missed the other three. But after spending 45 minutes trying to get to Union Station from the Little Tokyo side, with every street lined with signage reading “AWARD PERMIT ONLY LIMO/VALET” dead-ending in 8-foot chain link fences, a group of us on foot determined that this ramp — which apparently was, technically, a freeway ramp, but only for buses — was […]

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My Year as a YIMBY

by Roderick D. Hall
April 19, 2021

Monica Rambeau and Wanda Maximoff in a screen capture from Marvel Studios’ WandaVision.

Let me begin by stating that this is a critique of the approach taken by the YIMBY movement within California, not a critique of the solutions the movement is advocating for — though there is certainly room for that. I was employed by the movement from February 2020 to March 2021, and for me it was an exciting opportunity to move to a place I could call home while organizing for more “affordable” housing. However, as the events of 2020 begin to unfold, so too did my understanding of the movement I was employed by. And what caused me to disengage and eventually feel disgusted by the work I was doing was the ways in which it was being approached. I want to discuss the approach because […]

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Los Angeles to Settle Federal Abuse Complaint at LAPD Summer Camp

by Scott Frazier
February 28, 2021

On Monday, the City of Los Angeles is poised to formally authorize a settlement in the amount of $145,000 arising from allegations of child abuse at a 2019 “character building camp” organized and run by the Los Angeles Police Department. The settlement brings to an end a case in which children were said to have been ridiculed and threatened for limited English speaking ability, and made to punch one another as punishment for misbehavior.

The camp in question was part of the LAPD’s “Jeopardy Program,” which is described online as “a gang prevention/intervention program” for minor children “dedicated to helping [them] avoid a life of crime.” According to the LAPD the program is intended to help children “feel safe and develop physically and mentally,” showing them “there are concerned adults who will care about them now and in the future.”

Goals listed include “improv[ing] self-esteem,” “improv[ing] conflict resolution and other life-affirming skills,” and “decreas[ing] violent and other inappropriate behavior.”

All of this stands […]

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LA (and California) Got Jobbed by the Rent Relief Package

by Hayes Davenport
February 3, 2021

In the last federal stimulus package, the one from December, there was $25 billion dedicated to rental assistance for low-income tenants. This is good!

California is getting a little more than 10% of that money — $2.6 billion. This seems stupid. We should be getting more.

California makes up 12% of the population of the US.We have a higher percentage of renters than the average state (45% to 37% nationally).Our median rent is the second-highest in the country, just behind the state that is an actual island paradise.California has the third-highest unemployment rate right now (Hawaii also #1).

You’re telling me Montana got $200 million for rent relief in this package? That’s like $200 per person! We only got $62 a person! $62 in California buys you a carton of eggs. Montana doesn’t even want this freaking money! They’re holding back $183 million of it “in reserve”!!!

Why is it only the Republican administrations that shamelessly reward the states that voted for […]

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Improbably Rosy Predictions Underlie Newsom’s Abrupt Lockdown Switch-Off

by Scott Frazier
January 27, 2021

A powerful man, looking harried and desperate for a win, is speaking to a digital scrum of reporters and members of the public. His constituents are tired of severe shutdown measures. He feels pressure mounting from all sides – but especially from corporate interests – to produce some good news. New daily Covid cases have fallen sharply and a key metric that tracks the disease’s spread has fallen far below the level at which new daily cases might be expected to grow in the coming days. 

While admitting things are looking up and acknowledging the feelings of hope inspired by the still new vaccine rollout, he stops short of giving in to demands to relax restrictions. His administration, he says, will take a look at the matter in mid-February and not before. He concludes: “I think people want to see us making sure we don’t throw [recent progress] away by having a premature relaxation and then another big surge of infection.”

This […]

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What is up with this new California variant?

by Hayes Davenport
January 19, 2021

Kids are drawing pictures of the new coronavirus. That's a good thing. -  Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Very excited to announce that California has formed a brand partnership with a terrifying new COVID strain. The “California variant” has now received a dedicated headline in the LA Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and DEADLINE, BABY!!!

All of these articles mention the fact that this new variant might be more transmissible and also might be more resistant to available vaccines — which, if true, would be at least in the running for the most devastating single development in human history.

I read all the articles about this variant, completely lost my shit, and then looked into the data a little more. Now I am an expert and will calmly share the knowledge I’ve accumulated.

Let’s start with the reasons this strain might be something to worry about, followed by the reasons […]

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A Co-Conspirator on City Council

by Scott Frazier
January 13, 2021

As City Councilmember Mitchell Englander drove in furtive circles through the thicket of one-way streets downtown, he turned to his passenger and whispered under the din of the radio. Moments before, he had boosted the volume to an ache-inducing roar, the better to hide his words if someone happened to be listening. It was imperative that no one should hear him roughly coaching the man sitting next to him to deliver short rehearsible falsehoods:

“You just say ‘I was so drunk I don’t remember calling.’”

“‘No I didn’t arrange a massage for anybody.’”

“‘He shook my hand and said hello, that was it.’”

“‘He asked me a couple times how much does he owe me, he and John owe me, and I didn’t have an amount.’”

“‘…he and John owe me…’”

“‘…he and John…’”

ImageEnglander: “I couldn’t be happier… we couldn’t ask for a better representative for CD12.” Quote and screen capture from Councilmember John Lee’s Public Swearing-In Ceremony.

The passenger, Andy Wang, a purveyor of […]

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