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5.5 Ridgecrest Earthquake Aftershock Rocks Southern California

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(Courtesy USGS)

A quake measuring greater than magnitude-5 struck east of Ridgecrest around 6:30 p.m. tonight.

The U.S. Geological Survey gave a preliminary measurement of 5.1 magnitude and said it stuck a little more than 10 miles south of Searles Valley at a depth of 6.9 kilometers.

Quake expert Lucy Jones said the quake measured in at 5.5 magnitude, though, and she called it a "large late aftershock."

Ridgecrest was hit last year by major back-to-back earthquakes last summer. The first quake, a magnitude 6.4, hit on July 4. That earthquake, the biggest to strike the region in many years, turned out to be a foreshock of a 7.4 magnitude quake that struck the next evening.

As she did when the first big Ridgecrest earthquake happened last year, Jones reminded everyone tonight that there's about a 5% chance that a bigger quake will follow.

Jones told us:

"It is indeed an aftershock to the earthquake that occurred last July. It's been 11 months since the main shock."

She said that was a common pattern with earthquakes, noting there have been 40,000 quakes in that area since last summer. She called the magnitude 5.5 a "late large aftershock" and she noted the last magnitude 5 aftershock to the 1994 Northridge quake took place in 1997.

LISTEN TO OUR INTERVIEW TONIGHT WITH LUCY JONES

READ THE FULL STORY:

THE BIG ONE IS COMING. GET PREPARED

We don't want to scare you, but the Big One is coming. We don't know when, but we know it'll be at least 44 times stronger than Northridge and 11 times stronger than the Ridgcrest quakes last year. To help you get prepared, we've compiled a handy reading list

Mayor Garcetti Says He Wants $250M In Budget Cuts, To Be Redirected To Communities Of Color

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Screenshot from Mayor of LA Facebook page

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today he wants to redirect $250 million from the city's budget towards health and education in the black community and other communities of color, adding that he is listening to "what people are saying" about racial inequities in society.

He directed the city administrative officer to find the cuts, which he said would come from every department, including the LAPD.

That money will go to jobs in health and education and will be "focused on our black community here in Los Angeles, as well as communities of color, and women and people who have been left behind," Garcetti said, adding that the funding will be designed to "lead to structural reform, not just one-off payments for this moment."

Garcetti also promised concrete changes to how the LAPD operates.

"We need to make a firm commitment to change, not just with words but with actions," he said.

STEPS ON REFORM

  • Garcetti is placing a moratorium on adding people to the Cal Gang database, a collection of the names of people thought to be gang members, which has been roundly criticized for inaccuracies.
  • He promised to invest in "young people" through community service and youth development, to "keep people away from any criminal justice system."
  • He said he will increase departmental training, focusing on implicit bias.

THE POLICE COMMISSION ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL STEPS

L.A. Police Commission President Eileen Decker said her panel will work with the city administratiive officer to identify $100-$150 million that could be cut from the LAPD budget for reinvestment in communities of color. She said she and her colleagues are working on "establishing an agressive reform agenda," that allows for increased transparency and accountability, including:

  • Amending training for cadets to "accurately portray the history of the police dept."
  • Amending department policy to require officers to intervene when other officers use "excessive force"
  • Supporting the establishment of an independent prosecutor outside the D.A.'s office to work on cases of police misconduct
  • Improving programs that keep kids out of juvenile detention
  • Expanding mental health training for police officers, as well as de-escalation and crowd control training
  • Figuring out if the early warning system can be used to better identify "problematic" officer behavior more quickly
  • Making LAPD documents more transparent to the public — specifically on use of force complaints, crime stats, dept. policies and data on racial profiling

CURFEW

The mayor said if all goes well tonight, the city will not impose a curfew tomorrow.

READ THE POLICE COMMISSION'S POSITION

All The LA County And City Curfews For Wednesday

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Protestors demonstrate against racism and police brutality in L.A.'s Fairfax District on Saturday, May 30, 2020. (Josie Huang/LAist)

Editor’s note: This post is no longer being updated. Click here for the latest information on local curfew orders as of Thursday, June 4.

As peaceful protests and civil unrest continue on Day 8 following the death of George Floyd, another round of curfews instituted by Los Angeles County officials and individual cities have been announced.

Here’s what we know about curfews for Wednesday, June 3, 2020.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY

After some confusion,* L.A. County officials have confirmed that Wednesday night's curfew goes into effect at 9 p.m. and lasts until 5 a.m. on Thursday, June 4. The L.A. Sheriff's Department, however, says it will not start enforcing the curfew until 10 p.m.

Either way, it's definitely a later curfew than we've seen in previous days.

Per the county, tonight's curfew DOES NOT apply to:

  • peace officers
  • firefighters
  • National Guard or other military personnel deployed to the area
  • emergency medical services personnel
  • individuals traveling to and from work
  • individuals working on a public work of improvement construction project
  • credentialed media representatives involved in news gathering
  • people experiencing homelessness and without access to a viable shelter
  • individuals seeking medical treatment

REMINDER: Other cities within L.A. County may institute curfews that start earlier.

*Around noon, officials sent an emergency alert saying the curfew started at 9 p.m. Then, at 3:18 p.m., officials sent another emergency alert saying the curfew started at 10 p.m. L.A. County clarified this (sort of) in response to our Tweet.

BEVERLY HILLS

Beverly Hills officials have announced two different curfews: one for business districts beginning at 1 p.m. today, the other a citywide curfew in effect at 4 p.m. Both orders expire at 6 a.m. Thursday.

A full list of the business district areas can be found here.

BURBANK

Burbank will adhere to the countywide curfew, which runs from 9 p.m. Wednesday to 5 a.m. Thursday. City officials had earlier said the curfew would start at 5 p.m. but changed their minds.

CULVER CITY

Culver City officials announced a citywide curfew from 6 p.m. Wednesday through 6 a.m. Thursday.

Homeless people in Culver City are exempt, according to the new order. The city's bus service will be suspended at 8 p.m. and resume after 6 a.m. Thursday.

City Manager John Nachbar also announced that 25 members of the National Guard would be deployed in the city this afternoon to protect the Westfield Culver City Mall. He explained the reason this way:

"During each of the past several evenings, there have been up to 100 cars at a time circling the Westfield Culver City Mall with persons attempting to gain access to vandalize and loot. Using significant resources, CCPD and local law enforcement partners have been successful in fighting off these criminal attempts, including using methods such as using buses to block mall parking lot entrances... The National Guard will only be deployed at the mall. Their mission will be to protect the mall. How long they remain deployed there depends on the security situation at the mall."

Nachbar also said the city's police department "has made no arrests or citations for curfew violations, which I believe is evidence that the curfew order is not being used to infringe on people’s rights to protest or to target disadvantaged populations or people of color."

GARDEN GROVE

Garden Grove's curfew starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday and expires at 5 a.m. Thursday.

GLENDALE

Glendale's curfew continues to be in effect from 9 p.m. Wednesday to 5 a.m. Thursday.

LONG BEACH

Long Beach will be under curfew from 9 p.m. Wednesday to 5 a.m. Thursday.

SANTA MONICA

Santa Monica officials say Wednesday's curfew order will begin at 6 p.m. and end at 6 a.m. Thursday.

TORRANCE

Torrance has set its curfew for 8 p.m. Wednesday through 5 a.m. Thursday.

WEST HOLLYWOOD

West Hollywood's curfew now starts at 9 p.m. Wednesday and ends "at sunrise" Thursday. (The city initially announced a 6 p.m. curfew but later amended it.)

UPLAND

Upland will be under curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. every evening from Wednesday, June 3 through Monday, June 8.

And in other counties...

ORANGE COUNTY

Anaheim has instituted a curfew from 9 p.m. tonight through 5:30 a.m. Thursday. Hundreds of people gathered for a peaceful demonstration outside Anaheim City Hall earlier Wednesday.

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY

Earlier this week, the city of San Bernardino, which is the county seat, declared a local state of emergency and ordered a curfew from 6 p.m. to sunrise, which "will continue nightly throughout the duration of the State of Emergency," according to the city's website.

In Highland, officials on June 1 declared a state of local emergency and implemented a citywide curfew from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. The curfew expires in seven days unless it's terminated earlier.

Rialto remains under curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. every night "until futher notice."

This is a developing story; check back for updates.

MORE ON LA PROTESTS

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Thousands Gather Downtown To Protest Los Angeles DA Jackie Lacey

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Black Lives Matter LA supporters raise signs in front of City Hall while protesting Jackie Lacie. (Michelle Moro for LAist)

Black Lives Matter Los Angeles promoted and organized a march today in partnership with BLD PWR to protest L.A. District Attorney, Jackie Lacey's record when it comes to prosecuting cases involving LAPD officers.

The organization announced the protest yesterday via Twitter, with this message: "LET'S HOLD JACKIE LACEY AND THE KILLER COPS SHE'S PROTECTING ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE MURDERS IN OUR COMMUNITY."

The protest began at 3 p.m. in front of the Hall of Justice, where Lacey's office is.

These protests happen every Wednesday, but today there are thousands of participants, rather than the usual 25 or so.

READ MORE ABOUT DA JACKIE LACEY

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A Victory For Protesters: LA City Council Motion Seeks Up To $150 Million In LAPD Budget Cuts

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Protestors in downtown Los Angeles. Chava Sanchez/LAist

Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez, along with Councilmembers Herb Wesson, Curren Price and Monica Rodriguez, introduced a motion today to request up to $150 million in budget cuts for the Los Angeles Police Department.

The motion, seconded by budget committee chair Paul Krekorian, is designed to redirect the money to disadvantaged communities and communities of color.

The proposed cuts would amount to a relatively small fraction of the overall LAPD budget of $3.1 billion, but the motion is still a victory for a coalition of activists, led by Black Lives Matter-LA, who have been pushing the city to defund the police department and adopt a "People's Budget" proposal that invests in mental health care, housing and other social services.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Black Lives Matter Los Angeles (@blmlosangeles) on

Martinez issued a statement along with the motion:

"The City of Los Angeles is in the midst of a health and economic pandemic unlike any we have ever seen in our lifetimes. Following the gruesome murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, we are also in the midst of a social and racial justice crisis of epic proportions where the good people of Los Angeles, as well as the nation, are asking their leaders to re-examine our priorities and to commit to taking a giant leap forward in recognizing and ending racism against Black Americans. That commitment must be sustained and ongoing long after the marches and headlines end, but it begins with a fundamental question: ‘Where are we putting our limited dollars?’ Our budget is just one aspect of change. If we are going to finally end the sin of racism and all of its illogical, dehumanizing and sometimes deadly consequences, including in our police department, then we have to provide real solutions for real people who need our assistance. The peaceful marches and demonstrations throughout our city and nation, represent one important step, today’s legislation is another. Ultimately, we cannot talk about change, we have to be about change."

The leadership of the union that represents the LAPD rank-and-file blasted the motion. In a statement, the board of directors of the Los Angeles Police Protective League said the motion “demonizes” police officers and is “offensive.” It said over the past week, LAPD officers have been “attacked with frozen water bottles, cinder blocks, rocks, and urine-filled bottles,” and have acted “professionally and with great restraint.”

Speaking later on Wednesday, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said he has directed the city's administrative officer to identify $250 million in cuts from "every department, including the police department," to be redirected to health and education in the black community and other communities of color.

READ A COPY OF THE MOTION BELOW:

READ MORE ABOUT THE PUSH FOR A 'PEOPLE'S BUDGET':

George Floyd's Death Is One Of Many Reasons Activists Are Pushing For A 'People's Budget' In LA

UPDATES:

6:30 p.m.: This story was updated to include the Police Protective League's response.

7:00 p.m.: This story was updated to include Mayor Garcetti's remarks.

Barack Obama Has 3 Suggestions For Ending Police Brutality

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Former President Barack Obama has some suggestions for government leaders responding to anti-police brutality protests sweeping the United States.

When Obama spoke earlier this week, he voiced support for protesters and called for nonviolence. Today, he addressed mayors and county representatives directly.

"Let me begin by acknowledging that although all of us have been feeling pain, uncertainty, disruption, some folks have been feeling it more than others," Obama said, speaking at a remote town hall hosted by his organization, the Obama Foundation.

He said he and former first lady Michelle Obama were grieving and praying for the families of people killed by police. He also said the disruption and tragedies of the past few weeks — and months — offer an opportunity to awaken more people to structural problems in our society. He cited disparities in policing as well as health outcomes, which he said the COVID-19 pandemic has "thrown into high relief."

"They're the outcomes not just of the immediate moments in time, but they're the result of a long history of slavery and Jim Crow and redlining and institutionalized racism that too often have been the plague, the original sin, of our society."

Obama said he was heartened to see members of law enforcement march alongside protesters, and to see those who showed restraint and who listened.

He believes local governments can immediately take three steps to improve their response on these issues:

  • Enact the reforms recommended by the 21st Century Policing task force, which his administration commissioned in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting and subsequent protests in Ferguson, Missouri.
  • Have mayors and county leaders review their use-of-force policies with members of the community and report on their planned reforms.
  • Every city should become a My Brother's Keeper community, an initiative launched by the Obama administration to address the lack of opportunities for boys and young men of color.

Obama also cited a couple of organizations as resources:

Obama joined a panel discussion about these issue. You can watch the video above.

Panelists:

  • Brittany Packnett Cunningham — activist, writer, educator
  • Phillipe Cunningham — Minneapolis city council member
  • Playon Patrick — My Brother's Keeper youth leader
  • Eric Holder — former U.S. attorney general
  • Rashad Robinson — president, Color of Change

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LAUSD Likely To Implement ‘Hybrid’ Schedules This Fall — If The District Reopens Campuses

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The Los Angeles Unified School District has not yet decided whether its 472,000 students will return to campuses in the fall, Superintendent Austin Beutner said today.

But if campuses do reopen, Beutner said students will likely attend classes on “hybrid” schedules, spending only a few days in a classroom per week and learning from home the rest of the time.

How will this work? Also still unclear right now, Beutner said — but the superintendent did offer a window into LAUSD leaders’ thinking.

In his update, the superintendent shared a few examples of staggered schedules. He didn’t commit to any particular one, but did say whatever option the district chooses, LAUSD will stick with it for the school year — unless “health and science experts provide new information.”

The L.A. Unified School District is considering arrangements for students to attend schools on 'hybrid' schedules. This set of possibilities — taken from a set of slides Superintendent Austin Beutner shared during a recorded video update — are among the options LAUSD officials are considering. Other possibilities include students attending school for four days at a time, then taking 10 days off. (Screenshot/LAUSD)

Last week, L.A. County education officials released their own guidelines for reopening the county’s more-than 2,400 schools. Among their recommendations: masks for all students and staff, one-way hallways and continued social distancing at all times.

But schools aren’t necessarily required to follow the “best practices” suggested in the county’s handbook; it’s up to each of L.A. County’s 80 districts to create their own reopening plan. County superintendent Debra Duardo said the only hard-and-fast rules schools must follow are public health orders.

State officials have also teased their own forthcoming set of guidelines on reopening schools, but Gov. Gavin Newsom said late last week that they were still in draft form.

READ THE FULL STORY:

MORE ON THIS STORY:

Need A Moment To De-Stress? Meet LA’s Newest Mountain Lion Kittens

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P-54, a three-year old mountain lion living in the Santa Monica Mountains, recently gave birth to a litter of kittens – males P-82 and P-83, and female P-84. (Courtesy of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area)

If you, like us, could use a moment to de-stress, these photos of cranky mountain lion kittens should help.

Big mood from this little lion. (Courtesy of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area)
(Courtesy of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area)

The three kittens — two males and a female — were recently discovered in the Santa Monica Mountains. Biologists from the National Park Service located, examined and tagged the cats, NPS spokesperson Ana Beatriz Cholo said in a press release.

The trio, now dubbed P-82, P-83 and P-84, all appeared healthy, she said.

The kittens' mother is P-54, a 3-year-old cougar that biologists have been tracking since early 2017. Researchers believe this is her first litter.

The father is believed to be P-63, based on location data from his and P-54's radio collars, which put them together several months back.

Biologists are hopeful that the new kittens represent a positive step for genetic diversity in the local mountain lion population. P-63 came into the area from the Simi Hills, north of the 101 Freeway. Rsearchers took genetic samples from the newborn kittens for testing, Cholo said.

Wildlife researchers have warned about puma inbreeding within the Santa Monica Mountains, where the big cats are hemmed in by our freeways and isolated from other territories and mountain ranges. That leads the mountain lions to mate with their close relatives, which puts the population in jeopardy.

Researchers say the lions of the Santa Monica Mountains could disappear within 50 years. Back in April, Southern California’s mountain lions were placed on the state’s endangered species list, although on a temporary basis. A permanent listing could go into effect in 2022.

So stay healthy, little lions. We’re all rooting for you!

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LA Metro Buses Are Taking LAPD Detainees To Jail. Here's Why

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People arrested by LAPD board an L.A. Metro bus on May 30, 2020. (Frank Stoltze/LAist)

After L.A. Metro suspended services Saturday night due to curfews and safety concerns, many riders were left stranded.

But when it emerged that Metro's buses had been used to take people arrested by the LAPD to jail later that night, and in the days following, the frustration escalated.

L.A. City Councilmember Mike Bonin, who's also on Metro's board of directors, was vocal about his concerns, saying it seemed "particularly off to shut down service for essential workers and then provide service to transport detainees" when many were being cited for non-violent curfew violations.

I wanted to understand how this joint effort between the LAPD and the public transit agency works, especially given that bus operators in other U.S. cities have refused to transport protesters arrested by police.

READ THE FULL STORY:

Morning Briefing: LAPD Under Fire

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People aboard a metro bus during a protest in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles on May 30. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Never miss a morning briefing. Subscribe today to get our A.M. newsletter delivered to your inbox.

At yesterday’s police commission meeting, Angelenos turned out by the hundreds to condemn what they described as LAPD’s heavy-handed response to peaceful demonstrations, particularly its liberal use of tear gas and rubber bullets. Many called for LAPD Chief Michael Moore to be fired.

Moore also came under fire for equating looting with murder, although he quickly walked those remarks back.

In other policing news, police often describe the crowd control methods they’ve been using – like rubber bullets, tear gas bombs and pepper spray projectiles – as non-lethal, but in reality, they can cause permanent bodily harm or death. At least one reporter has been permanently blinded by a rubber bullet in the course of reporting on the recent uprisings.

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

Jessica P. Ogilvie


Coming Up Today, June 3

Efforts to keep children from falling behind during the COVID-19 pandemic have been massive, expensive and unprecedented. Still, officials – including local school district leaders and Gov. Gavin Newsom – admit these efforts likely won’t be enough to prevent a crisis of “learning loss” in California schools, reports Kyle Stokes.

Robert Garrova talks to people in various communities around the city to hear how they feel about their relationship with the police.

Marina Peña has stories from three protestors, two of whom were arrested.

Never miss an LAist story. Sign up for our daily newsletters.


The Past 24 Hours In LA

L.A. Protests: On day seven of nationwide demonstrations sparked by the killing of George Floyd, Angelenos continued showing up to protest racism and police brutality. A few hundred protesters set up outside Mayor Eric Garcetti's official residence in Hancock Park.

Safeguarding Black Lives: A bill that quietly advanced in Sacramento before the nation erupted in protest proposes reparations and education to help remedy generations of inequality and discrimination. The focus in this moment, UCLA's Isaac Bryan told us, should be "the movement for black lives."

LAPD Chief Under Fire: In a statement issued late Monday, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said of his earlier remarks that equated murder and looting: "I deeply regret and humbly apologize for my characterization." Moore came under intense heat, as dozens of citizens publicly called for him to be fired over the department's response to the protests.

Policing The Protests: Law enforcement officers across the country are using supposedly “non-lethal” crowd-control methods, but rubber bullets, tear gas bombs and pepper-spray projectiles can kill, blind or maim for life. There’s not much research about whether government-enforced curfews accomplish anything, but some experts worry that, in communities of color, curfews will encourage aggressive policing.

Talking To Kids: Tips from L.A. parenting experts and parents themselves on how they're coping with current events and starting conversations with their children about race and injustice.

Turning The Tables: Compared with 1992, L.A.'s unrest has flipped geographically: the protests and looting have been in affluent areas, while South L.A. has been absolutely quiet.

The D.A. Weighs In: L.A. District Attorney Jackie Lacey said of the officer charged with George Floyd's murder: “That's somebody that shouldn't have been in the policing to begin with,” and added that she is "angry that so many African American men have been murdered by police."

Coronavirus In Numbers: There are now 57,222 coronavirus cases and 2,448 deaths in L.A. County, and at least 117,214 cases and 4,305 deaths in California. Worldwide, there are more than 6.3 million cases and over 380,000 deaths.

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