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Morning Brief: Police Reform, LAFD Leadership Woes, And A Basque Boarding House

LAPD 's motto "to protect and to serve" on the side of an electrical box in front of LAPD HQ.
(Chava Sanchez
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Good morning, L.A. It’s May 26.

The first anniversary of George Floyd’s death gave the nation a reason to reflect on the past year, and see what’s different — and what isn’t — when it comes to systemic racism and police reform.

In L.A., my colleague Frank Stoltze reports that some changes have moved faster than ever before, while others may languish for longer than reformers would like.

Among the most prominent of the year’s changes was the ouster of former L.A. District Attorney Jackie Lacey in the November 2020 election. Black Lives Matter-L.A. and other activists had long been pushing for her removal, arguing that she failed to prosecute officers involved in deadly shootings.

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Lacey’s replacement, George Gascón, ran as a reformer and has promised to review hundreds of past police shootings.

Additionally, last year the city cut the L.A. Police Department’s budget, and took steps to reduce police presence at public schools, take armed law enforcement out of traffic stops, and deploy social workers instead of police officers on some mental health calls.

Many activists who’ve been working to reimagine public safety say that George Floyd’s death at the hands of a former Minneapolis police officer set into motion an historic public outcry, one that demands unprecedented change.

“Activists no longer want to nip around the edges,” said Melanie Ochoa, who focuses on police practices at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, adding that the new agenda is to “eliminate contact with police in as many ways as possible.”

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

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • LAFD Commissioner Steve Glazier alleges he is not being reappointed to the board in order to pacify the head of the firefighters' union.
  • A plan to run dedicated bus lanes on Colorado Boulevard through Eagle Rock has divided residents, business owners, transit advocates and other stakeholders.
  • AAPI advocates want LAUSD to introduce anti-bullying initiatives to protect students of Asian descent when they return to school.

Before You Go ... The Sole Resident Of Chino's Last Basque Boarding House

A wide shot of a man in a plaid shirt and blue jeans standing inside an empty bar, next to a wooden bar
Michel Bordagary, the last resident of the Centro Basco boarding house in Chino, stands beside the establishment's bar.
(Al Kamalizad
For LAist)

In Chino, on the western edge of San Bernardino County in the heart of the region's historic Basque community, the boarding houses have shut down one-by-one, as the young men who traditionally lived in them moved into apartments and the sheepherders of the West disappeared.

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That leaves Centro Basco, which has been open since 1940, as Southern California's last remaining Basque boarding house, and Michel Bordagary as its last boarder.

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