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LA County Report Shows Arrests, Bookings Down Dramatically During COVID-19

By Elizabeth Marcellino, City News Service LOS ANGELES (CNS) - From March to mid-June, as stay-at-home orders took effect and Los Angeles County officials moved to release jail inmates to prevent the spread of coronavirus, jail bookings dropped by more than half, according to a report available today on the county's website. However, the numbers of people behind bars may be creeping up again, although the report cautioned that it is too soon to draw reliable conclusions about the reason for the higher numbers. County officials, criminal justice...

LA County to Begin Offering Audio, Video Appearances for All Criminal Courts

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles County's court system is set to expand audio and video court appearances for hearings to all 250 criminal courtrooms, starting today. The Webex service -- which had been in place in 32 courtrooms throughout the county -- will be available in each criminal courtroom at nearly two-dozen courthouses, according to the court. The program was initially launched in April, with defendants who were willing to waive their court appearances appearing via video from jail for arraignment. "The court has prioritized and expedited...

LAPD Officers Charged With Falsifying Gang Records May Upend Criminal Cases

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Criminal charges filed against three Los Angeles Police Department officers accused of falsifying records about gang affiliation has led to a review of hundreds of criminal cases, the District Attorney's Office confirmed today. The officers -- who were assigned at the time to the LAPD's Metropolitan Division -- allegedly falsified field interview cards and misidentified dozens of people who were stopped by the officers as gang members. Prosecutors allege some of the false information contained in thecards was used to wrongfully enter people into a state gang database.

Officers Struck By Projectiles, Protesters Shot With “Nonlethal” Rounds

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - At least three people were recovering today after being injured in confrontations with police during multiple demonstrations in downtown Los Angeles. All three suffered minor injuries and were taken to hospitals for treatment, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department's Margaret Stewart. Protesters, in support of the two-month police protest movement in Portland, Ore., smashed windows and spray-painted slogans at the Metropolitan Detention Center and threw objects at officers during a federal courthouse confrontation. Two separate demonstrations began in front of Los Angeles City...

Statewide Polling Shows Consensus Building for Police Reforms

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Statewide polling highlighted today by a multi-ethnic coalition of Los Angeles-based nonprofit organizations shows a consensus building, particularly among com-munities of color, that police reforms are necessary, as well as support for protests against police brutality. The poll -- co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Urban League, HOPE (Hispanas Organized for Political Equality) and CAUSE (Center for Asian Americans United for Self-Empowerment) -- concludes that most Californians believe that recent protests of police brutality have brought people closer together and raised awareness of racial discrimination. "We stand shoulder...

Becerra Restricts Access to LAPD Gang Records

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has revoked access to Cal-Gang records generated by the Los Angeles Police Department, following LAPD Chief Michel Moore's decision to permanently withdraw from the program after an internal audit uncovered significant misuse of the gang-tracking database by LAPD personnel, the AG's office said today. The restriction applies to all statewide users of the CalGang database. The state's justice department has issued a bulletin to all law enforcement authorities urging agencies that use CalGang's database to strongly consider measures, including a thorough internal audit, to validate...