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LAPD Releases Body Cam Video Of Boyle Heights Beating


Warning: The video above contains offensive language and violence.

The Los Angeles Police Department on Tuesday released footage from body-worn cameras of an officer beating a suspect in Boyle Heights who was trespassing. The incident has prompted calls for criminal charges against the officer.

Earlier, bystander video of the April 27 incident prompted Chief Michel Moore and District Attorney Jackie Lacey to describe the officer’s actions as “disturbing.”

The new body cam video captures the officer and his partner rousting the man from a vacant lot after the owner had called to complain of a couple living there. In the video, the man repeatedly taunts the officer with expletives as he leaves the lot and walks down a sidewalk.

The officer eventually stops him and tries to detain him, but the man pushes the officer away. The officer then starts punching the man as he stands with his hands behind his back. As the pummeling continues, a woman in a nearby house is heard on the tape telling the officer’s partner, a woman, that she needs to calm him down. “I know,” the woman officer, who has not been identified, says.

As backup arrives, the officer, who has also not been identified by the department, claims the suspect attacked him.

Moore, who introduces the body cam videos on camera, said he released the videos in the interest of transparency. It’s likely he was also trying to diffuse anger over the incident, said Cal State Fullerton Professor Phillip Kopp. “They’re trying to provide context to the situation by saying ‘hey here’s what happened from start to finish,'” Kopp said.

The officer has been placed on administrative leave.

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Judge To Juvenile Justice Advocates: The Kids Can't Go Home

FILE PHOTO: A juvenile detention officer barks orders to dozens of teens in the early morning hours at Camp Afflerbaugh in 2013. Grant Slater / KPCC

In a hearing ordered by the California Supreme Court, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge today ruled against two juvenile justice advocacy organizations seeking the release of low-risk and medically fragile youth detainees now held in the county’s juvenile detention system.

The California Supreme Court ordered the expedited hearing after the Center for Juvenile Law and Policy and the Independent Juvenile Defender program petitioned the state’s highest court for the release of qualified detainees to protect them from the spread of COVID-19 within juvenile facilities.



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Congresswoman Calls Tour Of Coronavirus-Ravaged Terminal Island Prison 'Disturbing'

Family members of incarcerated prisoners rallied at Terminal Island on May 8 calling for more action to protect inmates from the virus (Emily Elena Dugdale/LAist).

Congresswoman Nanette Barragán today toured the Terminal Island prison in San Pedro where more than 700 people have tested positive for COVID-19. She said what she saw and heard was "disturbing."

She said inmates could not practice social distancing, and were wearing ill-fitting or incorrectly worn masks.

There are 1,042 prisoners at the facility, many of whom need long-term medical or mental health care.

As of today, the prison reports:

  • 150 active cases of the virus among prisoners
  • 15 active cases among staff.
  • Seven inmates at the prison have died of COVID-19
  • More than 500 have recovered from the disease, according to a live tracker maintained by the federal Bureau of Prisons.

Currently, 16 inmates are hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms.

Barragán said the L.A. County Department of Public Health offered to test all of the prison's correctional officers, but the prison warden, Felicia Ponce, declined the offer.

Barragán said:

"The warden said that she cannot force the correctional officers to test for COVID-19."

Barragán said she was deeply concerned with the fact that only six inmates from the facility had been recommended for home confinement under the CARES Act, despite the fact that 17% of the prison is minimum security.

"We're not even close to the number of folks that might be in a better position being on home confinement," she said.

Families of incarcerated prisoners rallied outside the prison last Friday, calling for more action to protect inmates from the virus.

The prison warden said they are undergoing a second round of review to recommend more inmates for home confinement. It's expected to be completed May 22.


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LA Supes Extend Eviction Protections For Tenants, But Not Big Businesses

An apartment for rent in Central Los Angeles. (Matt Tinoco/LAist)

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today took action to continue to shield renters hit hard financially by the pandemic. The voted today to:

  • Extend through August eviction protections for residential tenants
  • Explore a pathway for renters and community groups to buy properties facing default — an effort to keep properties out of the hands of large corporate landlords.

Note: There will be no eviction protections at all for publicly traded and multinational commercial tenants.


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LA Restaurants Now Have Guidelines For Whenever They Reopen Their Dining Rooms — But That Won't Be Anytime Soon

People eat lunch at a street food restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand on May 7, 2020. (MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP via Getty Images)

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Southern California restaurants aren't likely to reopen for dine-in seating any time soon but when they do, eating out will look totally different than it did in the Before Times.

You might have to place your order in advance, even if you're dining in. Dining rooms will probably be much emptier. The bar areas of most restaurants will likely remain closed. And you almost certainly won't be able to watch your waiter prepare tableside guacamole or Caesar salad (we miss you, La Parrilla and Dal Rae).

Although only two of California's 58 counties — Butte and El Dorado — are currently able to move deeper into Phase Two of the state's reopening plan, more counties are looking to modify their stay-at-home orders. When they do, here are some of the rules that officials want restaurants to follow, according to guidelines released today by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Let's clarify: California is NOT requiring restaurants to abide by these guidelines. Many restaurant reopening rules will be set at the county and local level. This is a buffet of options that authorities can choose to implement as they loosen stay-at-home orders.

"None of this means anything if customers don't feel safe," Newsom said in a press conference today. "And none of this matters if employees don't feel safe and don't want to come back to work. I don't see the issue of economic opening and growth disconnected from health."

A waiter serves customers at a cafe in Palma de Mallorca on May 11, 2020 as Spain moved towards easing its strict lockdown in certain regions. (Jaime Reina/AFP via Getty Images)


Here are some of the big front-of-house changes restaurants might have to make to restore dine-in eating:

  • Prioritize and potentially expand outdoor seating.
  • Reconfigure dining rooms to allow for at least six feet of distance between tables — and between people who are dining, working or passing through entrances and exits.
  • Install physical barriers or partitions at cash registers, bars and host stands.
  • Require reservations and space out the timing of these reservations so employees can disinfect areas of the restaurant before seating a new party.
  • Ask customers to stay in their cars or away from the restaurant while they wait to be seated.
  • Allow dine-in customers to order in advance so they spend less time inside a restaurant.
  • Require patrons to wear face coverings when they're not eating or drinking.
  • Provide disposable menus to dine-in customers.
  • Limit the number of patrons at a table to people living in the same household or people who have asked to be seated together (i.e. no communal tables).
  • Limit the number of employees who serve individual parties.
  • Don't put out shared items such as condiment bottles or salt and pepper shakers.
  • Require patrons to fill their own takeout containers (i.e. you'll have to put your own leftovers in a to-go box).
  • Prioritize curbside pickup and delivery over dine-in eating.


What about back-of-house suggestions, the stuff that impacts employees but customers often don't see?

California officials want restaurants to come up with an overall safety plan for their establishment and train all employees in it. The document includes specific recommendations.

A waiter wearing gloves as a preventive measure against COVID-19, sets up a table at a restaurant in Medellín, Colombia on March 16, 2020. (Joaquín Sarmiento/AFP via Getty Images)

Here are some of the big back-of-house changes restaurants might have to make to restore dine-in eating:

  • Take employees' temperatures and/or screen them for symptoms at the beginning of their shift.
  • Encourage workers who are sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home.
  • Provide employees with face coverings and gloves and make sure they use them.
  • Provide disposable gloves to servers, bussers and other workers who move dirty dishes or handle trash bags.
  • Provide dishwashers with gear that protects their eyes, nose and mouth from contaminant splash.
  • Frequently clean high-traffic areas and surfaces, which might include entrances, exits, bathrooms, door handles, crash bars, light switches, ATM PIN pads and receipt trays.
  • Give employees time to implement cleaning practices during their shifts.
  • Disinfect tables, chairs, booster seats, highchairs and booths between each customer dining location after every use.


Whatever regulations are put in place for dine-in eating, will customers feel comfortable returning to restaurants? If they feel safe, will they have money to go out? And if they do, will they want to jump through all these hoops to sit in a restaurant for a dining experience that feels nothing like it once did? That's uncharted territory.


LA's Economic 'New Normal' Includes A Whole Lot of Pain

Chairs up on tables at Grand Central Market, a scene that has quickly become a familiar sight. All restaurants in Los Angeles have been ordered to close their dining rooms. Chava Sanchez/LAist

COVID-19 has remade the Los Angeles economy. Millions of people are out of work in the region. Businesses are struggling to hang on and Angelenos who are still working don't know how much longer they will have a job.

Even as stay-at-home restrictions are eased and the local economy reopens, it's far from business as usual. Shoppers, diners and tourists are all staying home. City governments are facing depleted coffers and slashing budget forecasts.

Our SoCal Economic Stress Tracker addresses the pandemic's strain on the workforce and L.A. city government. It’s a visual, data-driven deep dive into our shared economic pain.


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Could Sewage Give A Coronavirus Warning?

Pipes convey wastewater at Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant near Dockweiler Beach. (Courtesy Dan Tuffs)

You might not have taken an individual test to see if you have the coronavirus, but you could be contributing to a community-wide diagnostic exercise every time you use the toilet.

Our collective waste will be providing some valuable data about coronavirus to scientists at USC. That’s because even if we don’t have symptoms, the coronavirus can be detected in the stools of 30% to 60% of infected people.

Testing wastewater at treatment plants around L.A. County could provide an early sign that the virus is on the decline, or give an early warning of a new outbreak.


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Cal State Announces Virtual Classes For Fall 2020

The California State University Board of Trustees held its meeting online on Tuesday, May 12, 2020. (Cal State screenshot)

The 23-campus California State University system will conduct almost all of its classes online for the fall 2020 semester, Chancellor Timothy White said today.

In an announcement during the online CSU Board of Trustees meeting, White said a few exceptions will be made for instruction that can not be effectively delivered online, like nursing classes and essential lab courses.

But most students will continue with the remote learning classes that started in March when campuses were shut down because of the coronavirus outbreak. White told the trustees that "evolving data" from public health officials show the potential for a second wave of COVID-19 in the fall and into 2021.

"Experts also point out that immunity in the population is now approaching the 2 to 3% range and needs to be in the 60 to 80% range to begin to achieve the so-called herd immunity," White told the trustees. "That won't happen during the next 18 months. And there is no vaccine yet. And while hope springs eternal, it is unlikely that one will become widely available throughout the coming, academic year."

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Newsom: Pharmacies Can Test For Coronavirus; LA County Shouldn't Feel Pressure To Open Restaurants


During his daily address on California's response to the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced new modifications to the statewide stay-at-home orders, expanded testing that could include some pharmacies, and reopening restaurants. You can read highlights below or watch the press conference above.


Guidelines to expand testing are being released today, though Newsom notes that while they may have the option, some may not do so right now or at all. But there are 6,492 pharmacies in the state where that could potentially happen.


The governor announced additional statewide modifications, though he noted that some areas may continue with stricter local orders — including L.A. County, which just announced stay-at-home orders will extend into the summer. But local areas now have the option to open up offices if telework isn't possible, Newsom said.

Traditional malls, outlet malls, and strip malls can also be opened for pickup. Other services being allowed by the state to reopen include car washes and pet grooming.


Counties that have met state guidelines will also be allowed to bring back modified versions of:

  • Dine-in restaurants
  • Outdoor museums
  • Shopping centers and other in-store retail

Some exceptions are being looked at for counties that meet 13 of the 14 readiness criteria due to local circumstances, such as a prison in their county that they don't manage, or a nursing facility that pushes up its numbers, Newsom said.

Butte and El Dorado counties are the first allowed to move deeper into Phase 2 after self-certification, Newsom said. The state has been in contact with 27 counties, and four are having deep technical assistance calls today, Newsom said. He expected two more counties to be able to self-attest this afternoon.

Newsom encouraged people to follow their own county's numbers via the state coronavirus website.


Newsom noted that restaurants are already a challenging industry with high rents, high fixed costs, and low margins. He added that federal help, both existing and future, will be key. The governor also added that L.A. County in particular shouldn't feel pressure to start reopening restaurants soon, given local conditions.

The state isn't setting explicit limits on capacity as restaurants reopen, Newsom said, but its guidelines emphasize physical distancing.


Newsom said that both the state and the nation have been underperforming when it comes to providing testing.

A month ago, the state was averaging 2,000 tests per day, Newsom said — within the last 24 hours, there were 41,000 tests in the state, with an ongoing average of 35,000 per day. The total conducted so far: 1 million.

He noted that tests at the state's sites are free, and encouraged people to look at ones run by the state and its partners, rather than going to pop-up sites that may charge you out-of-pocket or charge your insurance. You can find details on getting tested and locate sites near you here.

The state is shooting for 60,800 tests per day, Newsom said, based on a Harvard recommendation of 152 tests per 100,000 people. They hope to get to 80,000 — Newsom noted that it would be possible to hit 90,000 a day if everything went perfectly and supplies were available.

The governor said that roaming tests will be used to reach those in more remote areas.


California has had an additional 77 coronavirus deaths and 1,443 confirmed cases in the last 24 hours, Newsom said. ICU numbers went down 1.3 percent, while hospitalizations went up 1.1 percent. Newsom noted that seeing weeks of stability is encouraging, but that we need to see a significant decline.


Newsom said the state has been able to secure 15,000 rooms for the homeless as part of Project Roomkey, which is meant to help house people in a population vulnerable to coronavirus.

Details on increased testing for those in nursing homes will be released within the next couple weeks, California Health & Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said.

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Stay-At-Home Orders Will Extend Into Summer, LA County Public Health Director Says

A man rides his bicycle past a mural reading "Stay Home / Life Is Beautiful" during the coronavirus pandemic on April 3, 2020 in Los Angeles. Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Los Angeles County's stay-at-home orders will continue, in some form, into the summer, Barbara Ferrer, who heads the public health department, confirmed to county leaders today. She told the Board of Supervisors at Tuesday's meeting:

“We know with all certainty that we would be extending health officer orders for the next three months."

Unless there was a "dramatic change" in the spread of coronavirus in the county, Ferrer said there is "no way that we could in fact see us not needing to continue with a set of restrictions."

Ferrer said her department hopes to ease the current restrictions over the next three months, but said the recovery process "will be months long, based on the tools we have at-hand today."

The state and regional stay-at-home orders had an initial end date of May 15. Judging by Ferrer's comments, the order will likely extend into July or August.

In an interview with Nick Roman, who hosts our newsroom's "All Things Considered" afternoon show on 89.3 KPCC, Ferrer said extending the orders:

"Allow us to have really limitations on what opens how it opens most safely for both workers and customers, and how we can all continue to do our part. It was never meant to suggest that the order as it exists today is in effect for the next three months. We've been modifying the order since the very beginning of the time we issued the orders back in March."

Listen to the full interview:

As of Monday, there were more than 32,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in L.A. County. More than 1,500 people have died countywide.


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Hospitals Cautiously Resume Elective Surgeries

Kaiser Permanente says its figuring out a game plan for resuming elective surgeries, but isn't there yet.

Since the pandemic began, I’ve been talking to healthcare workers and hospital administrators about life on the frontlines.

Hospitals were bracing for the wave of COVID-19 patients. But as the coronavirus curve flattens, they’re finally feeling a sense of temporary steadiness. Enough of it, anyway, to resume some elective surgeries that they’d had to postpone, to keep beds and staff available.

But it won’t be as simple as re-opening their doors to non-COVID patients. So, what will elective surgeries look like now?


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Some Good News! LAist & KPCC Won 3 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards

Thanks, Ed! RTDNA

We just won three regional Edward R. Murrow Awards! The honor from the Radio Television Digital News Association is named for the legendary radio and TV newsman.

Here are our winners:


Reporting by Josie Huang, editing by Megan Garvey


Reporting by Emily Guerin, editing by Signe Okkels Larsen and Chava Sanchez


Collaboration with KQED, KPBS, Capital Public Radio and CalMatters

Reporting in our newsroom by David Wagner and Meghan McCarty Carino, editing by Adriene Hill, design and programming by Dana Amihere

NOTE: We also want to give a shout out to our new health reporter Jackie Fortiér who won for continuing coverage of the opiod crisis in Oklahoma.


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Morning Briefing: Our 'Not Perfect' Reopening


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Speaking to Josie Huang, Norma Garcia, the acting director of L.A.’s Recreation and Parks department, said that this weekend’s reopening of hiking trails was “very successful,” although “not perfect.”

Garcia may be speaking from a place of optimism, and while many trail-goers did wear masks, they also appeared to ignore social distancing guidelines. Meanwhile, at downtown’s Flower District, 27 businesses were cited for not adhering to safety protocols, and 40% of businesses surveyed by the county were in violation of the county health officer’s order.

So… “not perfect” might be a good way to describe it. We’re all anxious to get out of our houses. But here’s hoping we don’t forego our health and the health of our neighbors in our rush to do so.

As L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said in his now twice-weekly address, "It's only successful if people adhere to the guidance given out there."

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

Jessica P. Ogilvie

Coming Up Today, May 12

Hospitals are beginning to resume elective surgeries. But what, exactly, does "elective" mean? And what will protocols be? Elly Yu has the story.

College students began receiving federal stimulus checks late last week. Some students say the money will go to basic needs, reports Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, but that it's not enough. And not all college students will receive the same amount.

Mariana Dale reports on the L.A. County Department of Public Health’s new guidance on resuming preventative health care after finding that childhood immunization rates in L.A. County dropped more than 50% in April, compared to the same month a year earlier.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

L.A., California, The World: There are now 32,258 coronavirus cases and 1,569 deaths in L.A. County, and at least 68,221 cases and 2,724 deaths in California. Worldwide, there are more than 4.1 million cases and over 285,000 deaths. New data is providing even more confirmation that low-income communities and communities of color are suffering most in the pandemic.

Reopening California: Nearly 40% of surveyed L.A. County businesses that reopened over the weekend were in violation of the county health officer order, and more than two dozen businesses in downtown’s flower district were cited for not adhering to safety protocols. Emily Guerin checked in with some businesses that reopened Friday. Gov. Gavin Newsom said he expected announcements about counties reopening faster than the state as a whole to be coming Tuesday.

The 2020 Vote: L.A. County's Registrar clapped back at President Trump and other Republicans, calling criticism of the opening of a vote center in Lancaster "selective outrage.”

Today, In Mayoral News: Garcetti answered a range of pre-submitted questions from reporters and the public, including whether he thinks the city is reopening prematurely. Meanwhile, who is giving to his Mayor's Fund?

L.A. Kids: More than 95% of LAUSD students are now connected online.

Preventing The Spread (... We Hope?): Sheriff Alex Villanueva shows a video that he says shows a handful of inmates sharing water in what he claims is an attempt to infect themselves with COVID-19, while Metro is requiring that riders wear face masks.

Mental Health: Top officials in L.A. County's Dept. of Mental Health say the release of more jail inmates will strain resources. Support groups for veterans are struggling to keep up with demand during the pandemic.

Wildfire Season Arrives: A fire broke out just north of Santa Barbara, indicating that wildfire season isn't close – it's here.

L.A. Entertainment: Broadway musicals, Mr. Show and virtual escape rooms make up this week's best online happenings. William Morris/Endeavor, one of the most powerful agencies in Hollywood, took out a $260 million loan to help stay afloat as they also made large staff reductions.

Final Goodbyes: Paul Vasquez, who was 57, died Saturday at an emergency room in Mariposa. Vasquez went viral as the Double Rainbow guy. Born in East L.A., he worked as an L.A. County firefighter. His cause of death has not been reported, however he had recently shared on social media that he'd been tested for COVID-19 but thought "something else was going on."

Your Moment Of Zen

Visual journalist Chava Sanchez captured the sunset in Huntington Park over the weekend.

(Chava Sanchez / LAist)

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