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Morning Briefing: Sheriff’s Deputies Clam Up In Court

Sequarier McCoy, aunt of Dijon Kizzee, speaks on the community gathering to protest his killing at the hands of sheriff's deputies. (Brian Feinzimer/LAist)
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Good morning, L.A.

On the first day of a rare coroner’s inquest, four L.A. County Sheriff’s department employees invoked their Fifth Amendment right in the death of 18-year-old Andres Guardado at the hands of a sheriff’s deputy – including the officer who fired the fatal rounds.

Guardado was reportedly working as a security guard at a Gardena auto body shop when he was shot in the back five times by Deputy Miguel Vega. The circumstances surrounding the shooting remain unclear; at least two different scenarios have been described so far, by a witness and Vega’s attorney.

However, as my colleague Frank Stoltze reports, the case has become exceptional in several ways. In July, the L.A. County Coroner’s office took the unusual step of releasing Guardado’s autopsy while it was still on a security hold requested by the Sheriff’s department. Then, Medical Examiner-Coroner Dr. Jonathan Lucas made the decision to pursue the inquest that began yesterday; it’s only the 13th such investigation since 1931.

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Retired appellate justice Candace Cooper, who is hearing the inquest, said yesterday that she’s unsure whether the Fifth Amendment can apply here. Her verdict – on all fronts – remains to be seen.

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

Jessica P. Ogilvie

Coming Up Today, December 1

Guiliana Mayo looks at how L.A.’s small businesses are creatively shifting their business models and products to meet the new COVID economy. She talks with a gin distiller who now mass produces hand sanitizer, a pornographer who pivoted from directing to performing in front of the camera, and more.

California leaders will unveil a much-anticipated Master Plan For Early Learning and Care that will shape programs in the state for years to come. Mariana Dale has the story.

Mike Roe examines a new mural that will be unveiled outside Netflix headquarters.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

Race In L.A.: As part of our Racism 101 project, our panelists are answering your questions. In the latest installment, we explore: “At what point does appreciation for another culture cross over into appropriation?”

City Hall Scandal: Former L.A. Deputy Mayor Raymond Chan will face federal charges related to the wide-ranging corruption case against former city councilman José Huizar.

Money Matters: The daily count of passengers at LAX has been averaging about a third of what it was last Thanksgiving, even on some of what are usually the busiest days of the year. Viewers are streaming 60% more content at home than they were a year ago.

Coronavirus Updates: The latest coronavirus numbers and data in California show that there’s likely to be a post-Thanksgiving spike in cases, which may mean implementing what Gov. Gavin Newsom described as dramatic, drastic action.

California Kids: University of California hopefuls just got an early gift: a few extra days to turn in their applications for the fall 2021 semester. A San Gabriel Valley school district is sending a biweekly care package of books, supplies and a little surprise to kindergarten students during this year of virtual classes.

Election 2020: In one of the last U.S. House of Representative seats still unsettled after the Nov. 3 election, Republican Mike Garcia has won the race for the 25th Congressional District against challenger Christy Smith.

And Now … Tortoises: A struggling population of tortoises native to the Mojave Desert has led UCLA scientists to rethink how to save threatened species.

Here’s What To Do: Enjoy drag queen hijinks, honor World AIDS Day, cozy up to a holiday-themed concert, and more in this week’s best online and IRL events.

Photo of the Day

Leah Diaz, 5, opens a kindergarten care package sent by the Rowland Unified School District.

(Courtesy Chanel Martinez )

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