Alex's Feed
May 5, 2015

California asks court to block prisoner’s sex-reassignment surgery

LOS ANGELES, May 5 (Reuters) – California officials have
asked an appeals court to block a judge’s order requiring the
state to pay for the sex-reassignment surgery of a prisoner,
arguing in court papers that the inmate has no medical need for
the operation.

Michelle-Lael Norsworthy, 51, who was born male but
identifies as a woman, was convicted of second-degree murder in
1987. She is seeking to become the first inmate in state history
to undergo gender-reassignment surgery.

May 1, 2015

California city’s ban that stopped nativity scenes at park upheld by court

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Thursday found a
Southern California city acted without violating the U.S.
constitutional protection of free speech when it prevented a
group from installing Christmas nativity displays at a public

The controversy over nativity displays at a park overlooking
the ocean in Santa Monica raised questions about how government
can remain neutral when faced with competition for public space
between religious and atheist groups.

Apr 30, 2015

California ACLU group launches app to record possible police misconduct

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A California civil liberties group launched a mobile application on Thursday that will let bystanders record cell phone videos of possible cases of police misconduct and then quickly save the footage to the organization’s computer servers.

The California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union said the app will send the video to the organization and preserve it even if a phone is seized by police or destroyed.

Apr 29, 2015

Nearly half of young Americans lack confidence in justice system: survey

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – Nearly half of young Americans believe the U.S. justice system has racial and ethnic biases and they strongly believe the use of police body cameras will make law enforcement fairer, a Harvard University study showed on Wednesday.

The survey was released as Baltimore recovered from riots this week that followed the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died after suffering a spine injury while in police custody.

Apr 28, 2015

Commission approves policy for Los Angeles police body cameras

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Los Angeles Police Commission approved a policy on Tuesday clearing the way for the widespread use of body cameras by patrol officers in the second-largest U.S. city, as tensions rise in the United States over police use-of-force incidents.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said in December the city would equip 7,000 Los Angeles Police Department officers with the devices over the next two years to capture their day-to-day interactions with civilians.

Apr 24, 2015

Population of North American sage-grouse sharply declining -study

LOS ANGELES, April 24 (Reuters) – The number of breeding
males in the greater sage-grouse population of the United States
and part of Canada has declined by 56 percent in recent years,
in a sign of trouble for the ground-dwelling bird, a study
released on Friday showed.

The study from the Pew Charitable Trusts comes as the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service prepares to make a decision before the
end of September on whether the bird should be protected under
the Endangered Species Act.

Apr 24, 2015

PETA claims victory for animal rights in demise of SeaWorld Trainer Barbie

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Mattel Inc said on Friday it has ended production of its SeaWorld Trainer Barbie doll, a move cheered by an animal rights group that has been a leading critic of SeaWorld for its treatment of killer whales.

Mattel spokesman Alex Clark said production of the doll ended when a license agreement with SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment expired last year. He did not say why the deal was not renewed.

Apr 21, 2015

Sage-grouse in California, Nevada excluded from federal protection

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – The U.S. government denied protection on Tuesday
to a type of prairie bird found in Nevada and California in a
victory for mining and ranching groups who feared sage-grouse
protections could restrict their livelihoods.

Federal officials said the move to exempt the so-called
bi-state population of greater sage grouse from Endangered
Species Act protection comes as the federal government considers
whether to impose measures to protect a broader species of the
bird that lives in nearly a dozen U.S. states.

Apr 21, 2015

Los Angeles police officer charged with assault over videotaped arrest

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Los Angeles police officer was charged on Monday with assault for his part in the videotaped arrest of a black man who contends he was kicked so hard he lost a tooth filling.

The charge the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office brought against Officer Richard Garcia, 34, stems from an Oct. 16 arrest that has already resulted in a federal lawsuit against the city.

Apr 21, 2015

Judge approves settlement to prevent excessive force at L.A. jails

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A court-appointed panel will oversee a plan to prevent excessive use of force by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies at two large downtown jails, under a settlement of a federal lawsuit given final approval on Monday.

The agreement approved by U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson resolved a lawsuit brought in 2012 by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California against the Sheriff’s Department.