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Family Of Gardena Man Shot By LA Sheriff's Deputy Demand Independent Investigation

L.A. County Sheriff's deputies shot and killed a young man identified by family members as 18-year-old Andres Guardado on Thursday, June 18, 2020. The family says Guardado worked as a security guard. Screenshot courtesy of NBC4.

The family of an 18-year-old student fatally shot by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy is challenging the department's version of the events that led to his shooting and is demanding an independent investigation into his death.

Andres Guardado was working as a security guard for a Gardena auto body shop when deputies drove up Thursday night. The Sheriff's Department says he produced a handgun in view of deputies and ran away.

The Sheriff's Department held a press conference late Saturday afternon, with Sheriff Alex Villanueva offering his condolences to the Guardado family and saying a thorough investigation is underway.

Captain Kent Wegener said a modified .40 caliber gun was recovered at the scene with 13 live rounds, but that he doesn't believe the gun was fired during the incident. When asked if Guardado pointed the gun at deputies, Wegener said that "remains to be seen" because they don't have video of the actual shooting. He was not asked about the deputies' account of the incident.


Sheriff's Department Says Shooting Victim Possessed An Illegal Gun

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Native Angelenos Just Tore Down A Statue Of Junipero Serra On Olvera Street

Screenshot from a video by LA Taco

California might not have any Confederate statues, but we do have plenty of monuments to Junipero Serra, widely known as the "father" of the California Missions. He's less known for what actually happened — the mass destruction of the Native population in California.

Today, a group of Native activists tore down the statue of Serra on Olvera Street. LA Taco producer Memo Torres captured a video:

As the statue lay on the ground, Native children used it as a bench. Red paint was also splashed over Serra's head and the statue was torn down with a rope around the neck.

Activists tore down a Serra statue in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park yesterday, as well as a statue of Francis Scott Key, composer of "The Star Spangled Banner," who was a known slave owner.

Serra was a Spanish priest,who came to what was then Alta California (part of Mexico), to spread Catholicism to the indigenous population. (Here in L.A. that was mostly people from the Tongva tribe.)

Serra eventually spearheaded 21 missions on the coast, from San Diego to San Francisco. The missionaries were responsible for the ultimate destruction of Tongva culture. Tongva people who joined the missions in California essentially became slaves, forced to do manual labor. They suffered from disease, many of the women were raped, and thousands died or were killed. Those who resisted and remained in the countryside often starved, as their hunting grounds were turned into farms by the colonizers.

Pope Francis canonized Serra in 2015. Some 50 different tribes in California condemned the sainthood, according to Deborah Miranda, author of "Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir," a book about her ancestors' experiences in the Spanish missions. She is a member of the Ohlone Costanoan Esselen Nation of California.

A statue of Father Junipero Serra stands in front of the San Gabriel Mission in San Gabriel, California. In 2015, Pope Francis canonized the controversial Spanish missionary. (Frederic J. Brown / AFP via Getty Images)

This isn't the first time Serra monuments have been vandalized. In 2017, a Serra statue outside the Santa Barbara Mission was decapitated and covered in red paint. Another lost its head in Monterey. Another in Mission Hills was tagged with the word, "murderer."


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Enforcing Statewide Mask Order Can Be Awkward For Small Businesses

Taco shop owner David Fuertes gives a bag to a customer including her purchase of masks, gloves and sanitizer on April 9, 2020 in Whittier, California. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images) FREDERIC J. BROWN/

For residents of San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange Counties, there’s been a bit of mask whiplash.

First, masks were required countywide. Then, they weren’t. Now, they’re mandatory statewide.

But enforcement often falls to small business owners and their workers.

At the Farmer's Market in Upland on Saturday, many vendors said they were uncomfortable asking people to wear masks.

"They’re probably going to be upset," said Venus Sánchez, who sells Doterra essential oils and has a compromised immune system. "It’s your choice. Do you want to be healthy or sell something?"

Another vendor, Sandy Solis, makes bags, blankets and now, masks. She was shocked by how many people were walking around the farmer's market without them, but she kept quiet.

"I don’t want to not have people come in just because they’re not wearing [a] mask," she said. "Hopefully they’re coming in without a mask to purchase a mask!"

But sometimes, it’s the business owners who don’t want to wear masks. Like Christian Batriz, who makes and sells scented candles.

He doesn't think masks should be required in public, but said: "if I have a customer that comes up to me with a mask, I’ll wear a mask out of respect for them."

"We’re all here trying to make money. Don’t wanna scare our customers away."

Yup, Those Explosions You're Hearing All Over LA Are (Mostly) Illegal Fireworks

Fireworks light up the Los Angeles skyline on the 4th of July.

Have you heard those booms multiple times, at all hours of the night in your neighborhood? Do you wake up in a hot sweat thinking a bomb has been dropped? Is your dog stressed as hell?

Yes, this happens every summer, but maybe there's something about the global pandemic that's inspiring people to go extra hard this year. Whatever the reason, the use of fireworks is officially up across Southern California.

A Riverside County Sheriff's sting operation seized a sizable stock of illegal fireworks on Thursday. County Fire Captain Fernando Herrera says there are big penalites for misusing fireworks, even legal ones. "Fines can range up to $50,000 and you could also serve time in jail," he told KPCC/LAist.

Herrera also warned that it's fire season out there (and we can't really handle another crisis right now).

"Fireworks can and will cause wildland fires that can destroy property, and obviously cause injuries, not only to your family but your neighbors."

All fireworks and pyrotechnics are banned in Riverside County, except for the approved areas of Blythe, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, and Indio.

In both unincorporated L.A. County and the city of L.A., all fireworks are illegal, including those deemed "safe and sane." Within L.A. County, though, 39 cities allow "safe and sane" fireworks to be bought and sold — although many of those cities have restrictions on them — including Monterey Park, La Puente, and Rosemead.


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Yesterday's Juneteenth Celebration In Leimert Park Was Massive

Chanel Martin, who moved to Los Angeles from Chicago, said it was great to see the community come together in solidarity. Chava Sanchez/ LAist

Celebrations of Juneteenth were bigger than ever this year, given the timing of the many Black Lives Matter protests for racial justice, sparked by the police killing of George Floyd.

Juneteenth gatherings happened across the city of Los Angeles, but Leimert Park might have had the biggest of them all.

By many accounts, this was the largest crowd locals had seen in the 11 years of Leimert Park's annual Juneteenth Celebration.


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Saturday's LA Protests And Rallies: When And Where

Sidney, a New Yorker who now lives in L.A., was excited to participate in Juneteenth celebrations: “You see us in the news when we’re dead, you rarely see us in the news when we’re experiencing extreme joy."

Another weekend filled with protest marches and other actions denouncing police brutality is set for various parts of Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Events planned for today include:

VENICE: Paddle out for peace and unity at Breakwater surf spot, Pacific and Windward avenues, 9 a.m.

HOLLYWOOD: “March for Justice,”' Hollywood Blvd. and Ivar Ave., 9:30 a.m.

PASADENA: Families for Black Lives, Rose Bowl lawn, 10 a.m.

LOS ANGELES: children's protest, 3820 Santa Rosalia Dr., 10 a.m.

BALDWIN HILLS: “Fathers and Children march for Unity, Equality and Justice,” Crenshaw and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards, 11 a.m.

GLENDALE: Juneteenth Celebration,'' 1621 Cañada Blvd., 11 a.m.

MALIBU: caravan protest up PCH, 18741 Pacific Coast Hwy., 11 a.m.

SANTA ANA: 507 West 4th St., 11 a.m.

HUNTINGTON BEACH: Huntington Beach Pier, 11 a.m.

ECHO PARK: Black and LGBTQ+ Youth Solidarity March to City Hall. Begins at Echo Park Lake, noon

GRANADA HILLS: Zelzah Park, 11690 Zelzah Ave., noon

INGLEWOOD: Kareem Court and Pincay Dr., noon

ALISO VIEJO: Pacific Park and Aliso Creek Rd., noon

LOS FELIZ: Skate protest, Vista Theater to Echo Park, 4473 Sunset Dr., 1 p.m.

LONG BEACH: car protest and voter registration, 5400 E. Ocean Blvd., 1 p.m.

TORRANCE: 3331 Torrance Blvd., 1 p.m.

LONG BEACH: 1 World Trade Center, 1 p.m.

INGLEWOOD: Juneteenth Rally/Celebration, Ladera Park, 2 p.m.

LOS ANGELES: Los Angeles City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., 2 p.m.

COMPTON: Juneteenth speakout, MLK Memorial on Compton Blvd., 2 p.m.

SANTA ANA: Fourth and French streets, 3 p.m.

GARDENA: Rowley Park, 13220 Van Ness Blvd., 4 p.m.

LOS ANGELES: Pico and Redondo boulevards, 4 p.m.

LOS ANGELES: “Fight the Power'' protest, Los Angeles City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., 4 p.m.

MANHATTAN BEACH: Celebration of Juneteenth and Black fathers, '2600 N. Bayview Dr., 4 p.m.