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Morning Briefing: Reimagining Public Safety

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

The city’s work to reimagine public safety is moving forward. At a meeting yesterday, a city council committee endorsed the idea of asking local nonprofits to brainstorm a system in which social workers or health professionals, rather than armed officers, would respond to nonviolent 9-1-1 calls.

In the glacial pace of City Hall, the next step is for the idea to be put to a vote before the entire council. But it’s a step, and one that has some elected officials pretty jazzed.

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"I'm as giddy as a school boy. I cannot wait to begin," said Committee Chair Herb Wesson. "Because I truly believe ... that we're going to send a message throughout this country."

The committee’s action happened to come on the same day that the county coroner’s office released its autopsy of 29-year-old Dijon Kizzee, who was shot and killed by two sheriff’s deputies in August. The report found that Kizzee was shot 16 times, and at least five of those shots were to the back. His fatal injuries included “trauma to the heart, lungs, liver and left kidney.”

Kizzee was initially pulled over for riding his bicycle against traffic.

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

Jessica P. Ogilvie

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

Policing Law Enforcement: L.A.'s City Council is looking to pilot a crisis response program that sends social workers and/or health professionals to non-violent 911 calls, instead of armed officers. The L.A. County Coroner’s autopsy of 29-year-old Dijon Kizzee, who was shot and killed by two Sheriff’s deputies, details 16 gunshot wounds, with at least five sustained from behind.

Coronavirus In L.A.: The long-awaited guidelines from the state on the reopening of theme parks were delayed again. The LAUSD board gave Superintendent Austin Beutner emergency powers to deal with the coronavirus outbreak – and he has moved aggressively under that authority. Scientists agree that the simplest, easiest way to fight the coronavirus is to get most people to wear masks, yet the political fight over face coverings rages on.

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Local Landmarks: Traffic lanes around Long Beach’s bright new replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge will be closed over the weekend while workers connect ramps of the 710 Freeway.

Film News: Today marks the 40th anniversary of Somewhere in Time, a film that took one of the longest, weirdest journeys to becoming a cult favorite. The L.A. District Attorney has filed six new charges against disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein.

L.A. Stories: Here's how Angeles Crest Creamery founder Gloria Putnam is regrouping after the Bobcat Fire scorched her business. Writer and actress Judy Jean Kwon reflects on what’s lost when a family immigrates to a new country. At a local gathering for China National Day, oppressed Chinese minority groups came together to show unity.

On The National Stage: A federal judge has ruled the count for the 2020 Census must continue through the end of October. Now that President Trump has tested positive for COVID-19, what happens next with the election?

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Weekend Reads

There's a lot going on in the world right now, and it’s hard enough to keep up with our day-to-day lives, let alone to stay current on the news. But if you have some time this weekend, these articles provide some much-needed insight into the current moment in L.A., as well as some news you may have missed:

Check out some of L.A.’s best Latinx-owned restaurants. (Daily Trojan)

This fourth-grader provided an insider’s take on what it’s really like to be a distance learner. (

Our friends at L.A. Taco offer up their guide on where to eat, drink and chill east of the L.A. River. (L.A. Taco)

Eight motels in L.A. have been purchased by the county for homeless housing. (Urbanize L.A.)

Homeless kids face a near-impossible dilemma with distance learning, with no access to the internet and few public spaces available for studying. (NBC Los Angeles)

UCLA students marched to get police off their campus. (Daily Bruin)

In the face of rising rents and the pandemic, people are leaving L.A. for greener pastures. (dot.LA, L.A. Taco)

California took a step closer to providing reparations for the descendents of people held in slavery in America. (L.A. Watts Times)

Grace Community Church in Sun Valley is fighting for its right to hold indoor services – and calling the First Amendment into question. (KCRW)

Activists are fighting to keep tienditas in Boyle Heights. (The Eastsider)

Photo Of The Day

Uyhgurs joined Hong Kongers and activists from other diaspora communities in L.A. who are fighting Chinese repression.

(Josie Huang/LAist)

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The news cycle moves fast. Some stories don't pan out. Others get added. Consider this today's first draft, and check for updates on these stories and more. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

This post has been updated to reflect changes in what's coming up for today.


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