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Morning Brief: Policing Super Bowl Events, A 16-Year-Old Homicide, And The Cowboy Lifestyle

An LAPD patrol car drives by on a neighborhood street as two officers inside look out the window.
LAPD officers patrol near a homeless encampment in Venice.
(Chava Sanchez
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Jan. 31.

L.A. public health officials report that COVID-19 cases are declining, but they’re far from gone; yesterday, officials reported nearly 17,000 new positive tests. Nevertheless, the city is getting ready to host an expected 150,000 out-of-town visitors for the upcoming Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, and the L.A. Police Department is ready. 

In a statement last week, the department said it was “fully prepared” to staff the event as well as the week leading up to it, which will be full of NFL-related events and activities around the city.

Officials at LAPD said they issued the statement in response to concerns that there wouldn’t be enough coverage due to the high number of officers out sick with the omicron variant. As of early January, 1,628 employees — 1,398 sworn officers and 230 civilians — had requested a medical or religious exemption from the vaccine mandate.

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Law enforcement was required to begin their vaccine regimen in September of last year.

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The game won’t be the only attraction in L.A. geared towards football fans. Starting on Feb. 5, one week before the Super Bowl, the National Football League will set up a so-called “interactive football theme park” at the L.A. Convention Center starting Feb. 5. That means fans will be spread out across the city, from downtown to Inglewood.

Meanwhile, if all this Super Bowl stuff is kind of off your radar and you’re mostly just wondering what you need to know about the Rams in order to not sound dumb at a Super Bowl party (ahem), here’s a some basic info to get you started.

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

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • A second effort to recall L.A. District Attorney George Gascón has begun. 
  • L.A. County Public Health officials reported 16,835 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases to nearly 2,650,00 since the pandemic began. 
  • NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be led by a woman for the first time in its history.  
  • An arrest has been made in connection to a 16-year-old homicide, the death of 21-year-old Pertina Epps whose body was found in a Gardena carport. 
  • An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.1 was recorded near Palomar Mountain yesterday morning.

Before You Go ... Keeping The Cowboy Lifestyle Alive In Compton

Two people, a man and a child, smile for a picture. The man wears a cowboy hat while he puts his arm around the child.
Jordan Humpheys, left, and Ghuan Featherstone spoke about the cowboy lifestyle and lessons at their StoryCorps recording in Los Angeles, last month.
(Maja Sazdic for StoryCorps)

Ghuan Featherstone first rode a horse at Griffith Park when he was eight, but he never forgot the feeling. He opened Urban Saddles in 2019, and helps keep the cowboy lifestyle alive in the South Central L.A. streets.

Read the whole story here.

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