Courts, Rulings & Lawsuits

Federal judge rips California for denying gun purchases to ex-felons

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that California violated the Second Amendment rights of three men when it denied them the right to own or purchase firearms even though their prior felony convictions were vacated and their rights restored. Chad Linton, Paul McKinley Stewart, and Kendall Jones were convicted of nonviolent felonies in separate states decades ago.

Courthouse News Service

Supreme Court rejects murderer’s bid for early release

In a 5-2 decision released today the California Supreme Court denied a murderer’s claim that he has a constitutional right to eligibility for release from prison even though he was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. The Criminal Justice Legal Foundation joined the case of People v. Hardin to argue that an earlier appeals court ruling improperly amended state law to give the murderer and others like him the opportunity for release.

Criminal Justice Legal Foundation

Prosecutors’ union files unfair labor practices complaint against Gascón

The Association of Deputy District Attorneys has filed an unfair labor practices complaint against Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, alleging he made false, anti-union statements in an interview with a Southern California News Group editorial board member earlier this month.

Orange County Register

Claims filed five years after expulsion are time-barred

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed an order granting summary judgment in favor of the University of Southern California in a 2020 suit by a former student over his 2015 expulsion for alleged sexual misconduct, an action that was set aside in 2019 following a Title IX investigation.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

LAPD officer says he can no longer remain silent about alleged hazing and assault while participating in police football program

An LAPD officer who joined three other officers in a lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles over alleged sexual assaults during hazing rituals that he said happened during police league football practices said he felt compelled to take action after more than a decade of silence.


LA city attorney files cross complaint against Centurion football team

The city of Los Angeles has denied liability in a lawsuit by four LAPD officers who allege they were subjected to embarrassing hazing by fellow members of the LAPD’s internal football team that included being asked to step naked into frozen water. The plaintiffs are identified only as Does 1-4 in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit and they allege that the LAPD top brass did not do enough to stop the alleged hazing practice.


Ninth Circuit hears dueling appeals in California’s gun show sales ban

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday heard oral arguments in two cases stemming from California's ban on on the sale of firearms and ammunition at gun shows on state-owned property, including at county fairgrounds. The underlying law, SB 915, was by authored by Democratic state Senator Dave Min. It took effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

Courthouse News Service

Misdemeanor during probation did not preclude sealing of juvenile records

The Third District Court of Appeal has held that a juvenile court erred in determining that a minor was categorically ineligible to have his records sealed because he was adjudged a delinquent for a second time for the crime of misdemeanor battery before he completed probation on the first offense. Justice Elena J. Duarte wrote the opinion, filed Tuesday, reversing the order denying the motion to seal by Placer Superior Court Judge Todd D. Irby.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise


L.A. County sheriff’s deputy found not guilty of perjury in ‘sloppy’ 2019 gun case

A Los Angeles County jury found a sheriff’s deputy not guilty of perjury this week, more than two years after prosecutors charged him with lying in court. In 2019, Deputy Kevin Honea testified that he’d personally recovered a stolen gun from the front seat of a car - but prosecutors said video showed that another deputy found the weapon inside a bag in the trunk.

Los Angeles Times

3 men accused in L.A. County shooting spree plead not guilty

Three men charged in a random shooting spree in southeastern Los Angeles County pleaded not guilty Monday to murder charges. Timberland McKneely, 20, is facing the largest number of charges - six counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder - stemming from shootings Feb. 11 and 12 and last Nov. 24.

City News Service

Murder charges filed in South Los Angeles murder investigation

On February 15, 2024, the Tulare Police Department found a woman (later identified as Patrice Armstrong) deceased in the trunk of a burning vehicle. The subsequent investigation led detectives to the 1100 block of Century Boulevard in South Los Angeles. During a search of that location, it was determined to be the crime scene.

LAPD News Release

DUI suspect charged with murder in Pomona crash that killed 3 women returning home from baby shower

A man has been charged with murder and DUI in connection with a Pomona crash that killed three women who were returning from a baby shower, prosecutors announced Tuesday. Victor Siharath, 36, is accused of causing the violent collision that also left two other people injured, including a 12-year-old girl, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced at a news conference.


Man faces felony charges after allegedly hitting Terrell Owens with car in Calabasas

A man suspected of striking former NFL star Terrell Owens with a car following an altercation in Calabasas last year faces two felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon. An arrest warrant for Wonzur Ratcliff was issued last week with bail set at $100,000, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in an email, with no arrest having been made as of Tuesday morning.

Los Angeles Times

Election Results

Gascón bound for runoff in reelection bid

District Attorney George Gascón will be heading to a November runoff election in his bid to retain his position, squaring off against Nathan Hochman, a former US assistant attorney general who was the Republican candidate for state attorney general in the 2022 general election. With neither candidate earning more than 50% of the vote from Tuesday’s primary election, the top two vote-getters advance to the November general election.

City News Service

Hahn beats Villanueva for third term

Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn appeared to be heading for a third and final term Wednesday, narrowly maintaining enough of a margin to avoid a November runoff with former Sheriff Alex Villanueva. Unofficial results from Tuesday's election showed Hahn with 54.7% of the vote, just over the 50% she needs to avoid the runoff. Villanueva was a distant second with 30.6%, followed by Rancho Palos Verdes Mayor John Cruikshank, who had 14.7%.

City News Service

Holly Mitchell bests 3 challengers in District 2 LACo supervisors race

Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell earned another term representing the board’s District 2 Tuesday, easily defeating a trio of challengers. Mitchell, who was elected in 2020, was challenged by Clint Carlton, founder and CEO of Safe Squad Inc., an online safety platform for children and seniors; Daphne Bradford, an education consultant and community organizer; and Katrina Williams, CEO of Changing the Faces of Homelessness, a nonprofit organization.


Progressive groups slam controversial welfare and police-power measures passed by San Francisco voters

Mayor London Breed secured a major political victory this week as San Francisco voters approved two controversial ballot proposals that will increase police power and require welfare recipients to be screened for drugs to keep their benefits. Backed by around 63% of voters, Proposition F would require San Franciscans who receive cash welfare benefits from the local County Adult Assistance Program to undergo drug testing if the city believes they’re addicted to illegal drugs.

Courthouse News Service

Former Upland police lawyer who ran for judge in two counties loses both races

It looks as though Dieter Carlos Dammeier will stay planted in Rancho Cucamonga as an administrative law judge after losing judicial races in both Merced and San Bernardino counties in Tuesday’s primary election. Dammier, 55, who serves on the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board in Rancho Cucamonga, said he would likely have moved to Merced County had he won a seat on the bench there, as his son wants to attend UC Merced.

San Bernardino Sun


LA prosecutor says boss Gascón sent cops to intimidate her at home after blowing whistle on soft-on-crime memo

A Los Angeles deputy district attorney says her boss, Democratic District Attorney George Gascón, sent a plainclothes investigator to intimidate her at her home after she blew the whistle on a memo about the prosecution of street racing crimes, a high-octane problem in the county. "There was absolutely no necessity nor reasonableness in that approach," the prosecutor, Tatiana Chahoian, told Fox News Digital.

Fox News

California finds a new way to be soft on crime

The Legislature creates a new ‘systemic racism’ defense that risks turning many felons free. What would happen if lawmakers reinvented the criminal-justice system to target “systemic racism” instead of crime? California is about to find out. Thanks to a 2020 law called the California Racial Justice Act, every felon serving time in the state’s prisons and jails can now retroactively challenge his conviction and sentencing on the ground of systemic bias.

Wall Street Journal

Liberal California mayors are backing this ballot measure that could lock up repeat retail thieves

For the first time in ten years, California voters could get the opportunity to change a controversial law aimed at criminal justice reform. A new proposal, called The Homelessness, Drug Addiction and Theft Reduction Act, would roll back parts of Proposition 47, approved by California voters in 2014 to reduce overcrowding in jails by reducing punishments for some crimes, like theft and drug possession.


Producer alleges in new complaint that Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs was involved in shooting at recording studio

A music producer who is suing Sean “Diddy” Combs is doubling down on allegations that Combs and his son were involved in a shooting at a Los Angeles recording studio in 2022, as well as allegations of harassment. Combs was sued Feb. 26 by Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones, a producer on his most recent album, who alleged Combs sexually harassed, drugged and threatened him while he traveled and lived with Combs from September 2022 to November 2023.

NBC News

Elon Musk sues OpenAI over AI threat

Elon Musk says in a Thursday lawsuit that Sam Altman and OpenAI have betrayed an agreement from the artificial intelligence research company's founding to develop the technology for the benefit of humanity rather than profit. In the suit filed Thursday night in San Francisco Superior Court, Musk claims OpenAI's recent relationship with tech giant Microsoft has compromised the company's original dedication to public, open-source artificial general intelligence.

Courthouse News Service

‘Everyone is terrified of King Gavin’: Newsom’s unchallenged anti-homelessness gambit

On one side of California’s Proposition 1 - the ballot measure to overhaul how the state treats mental health disorders - are Gov. Gavin Newsom, an eight-figure campaign fund backed by Uber and ads featuring big city sheriffs. On the other is a 76-year-old former mental health policy analyst named John Li, whose $1,000 donation makes him the sole funder of the official opposition.


Homeless crackdown gains momentum in California as US Supreme Court test looms

Seven months into a crackdown by the city of San Diego on homeless encampments, many of the tents that once lined downtown sidewalks are gone. Now two California state senators - a Republican and a Democrat - have joined forces to propose a statewide version of San Diego's ordinance, which allows police to roust many homeless people even when shelter is unavailable.


Los Angeles City/County

Chief Dominic Choi continues to make history with the LAPD

At a Friday morning ceremony, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass swore in Dominic Choi as the interim chief of Los Angeles Police Department, the first Asian American to hold the position. "Today with the oath I am about to administer, Chief Choi will become the first Korean American to ever lead a major city police department in this country," Bass said. 


LA plans to end mental health van program

The LA City Fire Department recommended ending a pilot program that tested alternatives to police and fire responses to some mental health emergencies, finding that the situations encountered by field clinicians often required traditional emergency responses anyway. "This model had a negligible impact on call volume reduction," LAFD Assistant Chief Peter Hsiao wrote in a report to the Board of Fire Commissioners.


Deputy chief breaks new ground as first woman and Latina to lead Operations-Valley Bureau

Deputy Chief Ruby Flores, a figure of resilience and pioneering spirit within the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), has made history as the first woman and the first Latina to lead the Operations-Valley Bureau, the largest division within the LAPD. Overseeing the Valley Bureau, Flores is tasked with guiding law enforcement efforts across seven critical areas: Devonshire, Foothill, Mission, North Hollywood, Topanga, Van Nuys, and West Valley.

Valley Current

City of LA fails to deliver on promise to clear RV encampments

In nearly every corner of Los Angeles, residents have complained about RVs that park on their streets, giving shelter to the homeless, so last year Mayor Karen Bass promised to take action and start dismantling some of the encampments. But three months later, some of those promises remain unfulfilled, and thousands of homeless RVs still monopolize entire blocks across the city, like in the Harbor Gateway area in the southern tip of LA.


2 wrongly convicted men sue LA County sheriff’s investigators for allegedly framing them

Two men wrongly convicted and imprisoned for 17 years are suing Los Angeles County, claiming three sheriff’s detectives fabricated reports, hid exculpatory evidence and intimidated witnesses from telling the truth. Making the allegations are attorneys for Juan Rayford and Dupree Glass, both of whom were convicted of multiple charges of attempted murder and sentenced to 11 life terms each as well as an additional 220 years for gang enhancements. 

Orange County Register

Ex-probation chief’s suit alleges L.A. County fired him for being a whistleblower

Former Los Angeles County Probation Department chief Adolfo Gonzales, who was fired last March amid widepread dysfunction at the agency’s juvenile halls, alleges in a lawsuit that he was ousted for reporting dire staffing shortages to state regulators. Gonzales’ two-year, one-month tenure was marked by near-constant controversies. 

Los Angeles Times


LAPD's 'less-lethal' projectile launchers are leading to deadly encounters, report finds

Los Angeles police officers fired 40-millimeter projectiles intended to stop people through “pain compliance" at least 133 times last year - including nine cases where civilians were also shot at with firearms, according to a department report made public this week.

Los Angeles Times

Newsom must turn over secretary’s PG&E meeting records, California judge rules in journalist’s favor

A Sacramento, California, television reporter scored a win in court Tuesday over public records he’s seeking from Governor Gavin Newsom. Reporter Brandon Rittiman filed suit in August 2023 after a public records request to the governor’s office wasn’t properly fulfilled. The KXTV-TV/ABC 10 reporter wanted to see all calendar entries involving Ann Patterson, Newsom’s cabinet secretary, after she spoke at PG&E’s Investor Day last May.

Courthouse News Service

Officials: Scanners go unused in fentanyl smuggling fight (Video)

Much of the fentanyl that comes across the border passes through Nogales, Az., and while new technology is helping to identify the drug in vehicles, only a small fraction of vehicles are checked. NBC News' Julia Ainsley reports much of the available technology is unused. 

NBC News

Austin ‘at the brink of disaster’ as police staffing shortages set city back over 15 years: ‘Policies epically failed’ 

Austin, Texas residents are expressing outrage over police staffing shortages and longer 911-call response times in the aftermath of the city council’s vote to defund the department in 2020. In February, a section of the city was notably left without a single police officer for a few hours on a Saturday due to the ongoing shortages. 

Fox News

Video: Body cam shows fatal attack of Las Cruces Police Department Officer Jonah Hernandez

The Las Cruces Police Department released on Friday surveillance footage and video from a body camera worn by Officer Jonah Hernandez that captured the violent attack that resulted in Hernandez's death on Feb. 11. Hernandez responded to a trespassing call at 355 South Valley Drive at the intersection with Amador Avenue, where he was stabbed to death by 29-year-old Armando Silva.

Las Cruces Sun-News

Trump wins Supreme Court fight over Colorado ballot disqualification

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled to keep Donald Trump on Colorado’s ballot on Monday, finding that the state had no authority to disqualify the former president from the 2024 election. “Because the Constitution makes Congress, rather than the States, responsible for enforcing Section 3 against federal officeholders and candidates, we reverse,” the court wrote in a per curiam opinion. 

Courthouse News Service

US Border Patrol shoots, kills bandit robbing migrants in California

Border patrol agents in California shot and killed a bandit who was robbing other migrants as they crossed into the U.S. from Mexico. Multiple U.S. Customs and Border Protection sources confirmed that a criminal migrant who crossed the border in the San Diego sector was shot and killed by a member of the Border Patrol’s elite Border Patrol Tactical unit, or BORTAC, early Sunday morning.

Fox News


Jewish woman says she caught neighbor in act of drawing swastika on her groceries

A woman in West Hollywood is recounting the moments after she says her doorbell camera allegedly captured her neighbor writing a swastika on a box of Seltzer on her front door. Leah Grossman confronted her neighbor on Dec. 5th at 10:15 p.m., seconds after video captured Mark Nakagawa leaning down and writing on her groceries. 


Car thieves targeting Chevy Camaros in record numbers in LA County. How to prevent it

Chevy Camaros appear to be an attractive target for car thieves in Los Angeles County. The Los Angeles Police Department reports a 500% increase of stolen Camaros, particularly in the Newton Area near South Central. Car thieves are using key clone devices to break into newer models, according to the LAPD. About the size of a cell phone, these devices contain a programming tool that picks up the signal of a key fob nearby. 


4 Chileans stole from homes across L.A. in a case of ‘burglary tourism,’ police say

When a burglary crew cased a wealthy Pacific Palisades enclave off Sunset Boulevard last week, LAPD detectives were watching covertly. They weren’t going to let this crew get far. But the three men and teenage boy had already traveled quite far. They were in the U.S. as tourists from Chile. Three of the “burglary tourists” were apprehended without incident.

Los Angeles Times

Police warn of thieves using wifi-jamming tech to disarm cameras, alarms

Authorities with the Los Angeles Police Department are warning residents in Los Angeles’ Wilshire-area neighborhoods of a series of burglaries involving wifi-jamming technology that can disarm surveillance cameras and alarms using a wireless signal.  According to police, the burglaries typically involve three to four suspects who enter homes through a second story balcony.  


Fourteen suspects arrested in downtown L.A. retail thefts

Fourteen suspects were taken into custody during two separate retail theft blitz operations in downtown Los Angeles, police said Monday. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, retail thefts in downtown Los Angeles have become problematic, resulting in thousands of dollars in daily losses. "Blitz operations are conducted to address this issue by collaborating with impacted retailers to strategically saturate the problem areas with personnel and resources," the police department said in a statement.

City News Service

Articles of Interest

An 8-step comms strategy for overcoming ageism in the 2024 presidential election 

In today’s era of political division, our nation has witnessed a significant shift in the news delivery landscape. Gone are the days of trusted anchors like Cronkite and Huntley-Brinkley, replaced by various information sources ranging from reputable journalism to dubious platforms. Amid this vast amount of information, there’s a concerning trend: the spread of disinformation and falsehoods, which can distort reality and influence public perception.

PR News

Why the residents of this ultra-rich California town - home to Steph Curry - are volunteering to have their homes burglarized 

Unnerved residents of America’s wealthiest town are volunteering to have their multi-million homes burglarized as part of a new police sting operation, after a spate of break-ins. Lavishly leafy Atherton, California - home to NBA superstar Stephen Curry and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt - has seen ten residential burglaries so far this year, prompting local cops to launch a new “bait home” initiative.

New York Post

Washington Post reporter says shoplifting not a big deal because US built on ‘stolen land’

A new Washington Post report suggested that the crime problem in major American cities has grown into a “moral panic.” Post culture reporter Maura Judkis authored the piece in the paper’s Style section on Friday, with the headline “The zombie CVS, a late-capitalism horror story.” In it, Judkis noted how a Columbia Heights, D.C. CVS had been looted and shoplifted from so much that there was hardly anything of value on store shelves until it was shut down this week. 

Fox News

Critical Incident Stress Debriefings may be discoverable in civil litigation

After the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, there were nationwide protests against police brutality. One was on Boston Common after which four protesters filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Boston and three individual police officers. Pursuant to 42 U.SC. § 1983, the plaintiffs alleged that the officers used unreasonable and excessive force against them and violated their First Amendment rights.

Police 1

Windows includes built-in ransomware protection. Here’s how to turn it on

Ransomware is nasty stuff. This type of malware encrypts files on your PC so that you can’t access them - unless you must pay the attacker to unlock the data. In other words, your files are held hostage until you cough up the demanded ransom, unless you’re able to survive the ransomware attack using other means.

PC World

Avenatti loses appeal of fraud conviction for pilfering Stormy Daniels’ book advance

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday declined to overturn Michael Avenatti’s 2022 fraud convictions for pocketing nearly $300,000 from the $800,000 publishing advance for adult film actress Stormy Daniels’ autobiography. Avenatti was sentenced to four years in prison after a New York jury convicted him on counts of wire fraud and identity theft for diverting hundreds of thousands of dollars that a publisher was paying his client, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, for her tell-all memoir in 2018.

Courthouse News Service


California may face more than $40M in fines for lapses in prison suicide prevention

California could face more than $40 million in fines after it failed to improve suicide prevention measures in state prisons despite a federal judge’s warning that she would impose financial penalties for each violation. Chief U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller told state officials over a year ago that she would start imposing fines unless they implemented 15 suicide prevention protocols that had been lacking for nearly a decade.

Sacramento Bee

Lawyers say they’ve proved CDCR helped orchestrate San Quentin Six member’s murder. Prosecutors want them to stop asking questions

It’s only one week into a lengthy trial for three alleged Aryan Brotherhood members, but the defense attorneys say they’ve already established something: the 2015 murder of San Quentin Six member Hugo “Yogi” Pinell was a setup and prison guards had a hand in it. Pinell, 70, was stabbed to death at California State Prison, Sacramento, allegedly by two white inmates hoping to “earn” their way into the Aryan Brotherhood.

Bay Area News Group

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