Alex's Feed
May 8, 2015

Man found guilty of murder in 1995 kidnapping and stabbing in California

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Southern California man was convicted of murder on Thursday in a 1995 kidnapping and stabbing that gained international attention when his accomplice, who had become a professor in Europe, was arrested three years ago.

The case stems from the killing in Orange County of 24-year-old Gonzalo Ramirez, who was hacked to death with a meat cleaver.

May 7, 2015

Judges to review arrests by California officers in racist texts scandal

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – San Francisco’s district attorney has appointed three retired judges to review the integrity of 3,000 arrests involving more than a dozen police officers who engaged in racist and homophobic text messages, his office said on Thursday.

District Attorney George Gasc√≥n said the officers’ actions compromised public trust in law enforcement.

May 6, 2015

California city plans $16 minimum wage by 2019, highest in U.S

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – Emmeryville, a small city in the San Francisco Bay Area, has given initial approval to the nation’s highest minimum wage by setting baseline pay at $16 an hour in 2019, with gradual increases leading up to that level.

The 5-0 vote on Tuesday by the city council in Emmeryville, a community of about 10,000 residents, follows moves by several major U.S. cities to sharply raise their minimum wages.

May 6, 2015

Aide to California attorney general arrested in probe of fake police

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – An aide to California’s attorney general has been charged with impersonating a police officer for his role in a self-proclaimed police organization that traces its roots back 3,000 years and claims jurisdiction in much of the United States and Mexico, authorities said on Wednesday.

The criminal charge against Brandon Kiel, who has served as deputy director of community affairs for Kamala Harris’ California Department of Justice, represents a potential embarrassment as the Democratic attorney general campaigns for a U.S. Senate seat.

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
park.

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.