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LA County Overhauling Crisis Response to 911 Calls

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles County took a step forward today in overhauling its crisis response system, approving a direct line for law enforcement to access county mental health teams and quickly triage 911 calls. Supervisor Janice Hahn said the 911 system was failing the public. She pointed to a recent article about 39-year-old Eric Briceno, who the Los Angeles Times reported was beaten and Tasered to death by deputies who responded to a mental health call in March. "Eric's parents had called 911 for help, but they didn't get...

LA County Jail Population Is Back Up Above State Overcrowding Limits

By Elizabeth Marcellino, City News Service LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Following a COVID-19-related push to drop Los Angeles County's jail population by roughly 5,000 inmates to prevent the spread of the virus, the number of prisoners has grown by nearly 15%, according to a report posted to the county's website. As of Aug. 27, the countywide jail population was 13,280, up from a low of 11,723 just a few months ago. That uptick was attributed in part to restrictions on transfers during the coronavirus pandemic that have put thousands of individuals...

Chief Moore: Pandemic Now Driving Up Violence

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore says the COVID-19 pandemic has helped drive gun violence and increase killings in the city this year, including by spurring economic despair and interpersonal dramas while undercutting efforts to interrupt cycles of retaliation. "What we're sensing is a lot of stress, a lot of communities that are on edge, a certain amount of depression," Moore said during a morning meeting of the civilian Police Commission in remarks reported by the Los Angeles Times. In addition to serving as an emotional and...

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.