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Grand jury investigating dealing with of case the place deputy kneeled on inmate’s head

Good morning, and welcome to the Important California publication. That is Occasions employees author Gale Holland coming to you from my sweaty redoubt in Echo Park, Week 2 with out air-con.

A legal grand jury is investigating the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Division’s dealing with of a videotaped incident by which a deputy violently subdued an inmate by kneeling on his head for 3 minutes.

It’s unclear whom the grand jury is concentrating on, if anybody. However Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who faces a troublesome runoff election in November, has been accused by three high-level executives of making an attempt to maintain the March 2021 incident — uncovered by The Occasions this yr — underneath wraps.

The incident occurred two days after jury choice had begun within the trial of Derek Chauvin, the previous Minneapolis police officer who later was convicted of murdering George Floyd by kneeling on his neck. Throughout routine searches on the San Fernando Courthouse, a few inmates saved speaking and laughing after they have been informed to pipe down. Deputy Douglas Johnson ordered inmate Enzo Escalante, who was awaiting trial on a number of prices, together with homicide, to face a wall.

Safety video obtained by The Occasions reveals Johnson strolling intently behind Escalante by means of a hallway and towards a wall. Escalante then circled and punched the deputy within the face a number of instances.

Johnson and different deputies took Escalante face right down to the bottom. After Escalante was handcuffed, Johnson saved his knee on the inmate’s head for 3 minutes. Information present Escalante was taken to a hospital for therapy of minor accidents, together with contusions to each ears and abrasions on his neck.

In an inner drive evaluate, Cmdr. Allen Castellano wrote that division officers have been apprehensive concerning the optics of the kneeling, “given its nature and its similarities to extensively publicized George Floyd use of drive.” Officers determined to not pursue legal prices towards the inmate, even supposing he had repeatedly punched a deputy within the face, the report stated.

Johnson is the deputy who took grotesque images that have been handed round of the scene of the helicopter crash that killed Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and 7 others. He’s anticipated to testify in Vanessa Bryant’s extremely publicized trial over the picture breach towards L.A. County, which is about to begin this week.

In March, The Occasions revealed video of the kneeling incident and detailed efforts by division officers to maintain it quiet. The incident drew nationwide consideration when Villanueva introduced that the reporter who wrote the story was underneath legal investigation. He shortly took again these remarks.

After The Occasions’ report, Villanueva stated he first realized of the case in November, eight months after it occurred.

However former Asst. Sheriff Robin Limon, who was as soon as certainly one of Villanueva’s high advisors, alleged in a authorized declare that she personally introduced a DVD with a video of the incident to Villanueva 5 days after it occurred. She additionally stated she watched it with him and two different sheriff’s officers. Villanueva later demoted Limon. Los Angeles Occasions

And now, right here’s what’s occurring throughout California:

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L.A. tales

A man smiles in a closeup photo.

West Coast rapper Drakeo the Ruler outdoors an L.A. recording studio in March 2021.

(Wyatt Winfrey / Courtesy of Scott Jawson)

Rap music for “joints”: Beginning at age 13, NeroYSL was out and in of Los Angeles juvenile corridor earlier than he began to pursue music. The 25-year-old Mid-Metropolis resident is now a rising expertise in a method of L.A. rap launched by the late Drakeo the Ruler. Nero explains the L.A. stereotype-busting style is designed for “joints” — subtle, high-maintenance, wealthy, flashy, well-dressed folks. “For those who signal [to a label] proper now, they gone attempt to throw a lowrider within the again and put you in a Dickie Swimsuit, and that’s what we by no means been,” Nero says. Knock LA

Olivia Newton-John dies at her Southern California ranch: No trigger was given for the loss of life of the 73-year-old actor and singer, however she went by means of years of therapy after her 1992 prognosis of breast most cancers. The most cancers returned in 2017. Already a star, she broke out of her harmless, clean-cut picture with the meteoric success of the film and soundtrack for “Grease.” Her duet with John Travolta “You’re the One That I Need” hit No. 1. Los Angeles Occasions

Jeanie Buss takes a flip at defining Lakers’ “Showtime”: With blood dripping from the hand he used to punch a mirror, former Lakers coach Pat Riley struggled to rally his 1990 squad for a playoff comeback towards the Phoenix Suns. The staff’s 63-win season nonetheless went down the tubes, however Riley’s account of this second is a spotlight from “Legacy: The True Story of the L.A. Lakers,” a forthcoming Hulu documentary, NBA author Ben Golliver writes. The sequence, the most recent in a Lakers TV sweepstakes that additionally included “Profitable Time” and “They Name Me Magic,” was conceived by Jeanie Buss to supply a definitive account of her father Jerry Buss’ groundbreaking tenure as staff proprietor and to introduce Laker “Showtime” greats to a youthful era of followers. It debuts Aug. 15. Washington Submit

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Politics and authorities

Closeup of a man in suit and tie standing outdoors in the sun.

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley speaks to media outdoors Handbook Arts Excessive Faculty, the place he taught highschool English.

(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Occasions)

Candidate calls California the place “everybody can’t wait to depart behind”: Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) additionally informed the viewers on the conservative CPAC conference in Dallas that our state is the place folks “stroll down streets that double as restrooms and injection websites.” Kiley, from Placer County, however is asking voters in November to elect him to characterize the state’s new third District Home seat. Within the Might major, former President Trump endorsed Kiley, who acquired 3.5 % of the vote in final yr’s unsuccessful recall of Gov. Gavin Newson. Sacramento Bee

Crime, courts and policing

Mercedes driver charged with homicide in crash that killed 5 in Windsor Hills. Nicole Lorraine Linton, a registered nurse, is accused of reckless disregard for all times in reference to Thursday’s multi-vehicle crash that killed a pregnant girl, a child and three different adults. Prosecutors stated investigators discovered Linton had a historical past of harmful crashes and knew the menace posed by her driving habits.

Echo Park Lake fence dismantled: Police stated somebody reduce 300 ft of chain-link fencing erected greater than a yr in the past following a police sweep to take away homeless encampments from the park. Hanging from a tree within the park was a chunk of fence and an indication studying, “Group De-Fence!” One other signal learn, “Individuals’s Park LA Welcomes U.” Park rangers are opening a legal investigation. Los Angeles Occasions

A man jogs along a path bordered by palm trees and alongside a body of water.

A jogger runs by fencing that was torn down round Echo Park Lake on Monday morning.

(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Occasions)

What occurred to Jack? When Texas Christian College scholar Jack Elliot went overboard and died in a lake close to Austin, his school buddies portrayed it as a tragic boating accident. Now, legal prices allege a coverup by two of the Corona del Mar Excessive Faculty graduate’s buddies, together with his girlfriend, who went to Huntington Seashore Excessive Faculty. OC Register

Beverly Hills Automobile Membership and proprietor’s “Actual Housewives” hyperlink: The basic automobile dealership’s lot is east of downtown and the railroad tracks, removed from Beverly Hills. A number of the vehicles appear like they belong in a museum, others in a scrapyard. This immense and diversified stock is one distinguishing function of this upstart firm, which has challenged the normal enterprise mannequin of the basic automobile business. The drive behind the corporate is Alex Manos, 40, a telegenic entrepreneur of the web age who’s is engaged to Farrah Aldjufrie, daughter of “The Actual Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Kyle Richards. The dealership has grown into one of many nation’s greatest sellers, however through the years, prospects have alleged in lawsuits that Beverly Hills Automobile Membership offered them automobiles that had undisclosed harm or faulty elements or have been misrepresented by the corporate. Los Angeles Occasions

Well being and surroundings

A uranium ghost city, a California mining firm: Neighbors constructed a “loss of life map” plotting the place residents of two New Mexico communities died of most cancers. For many years, Homestake Mining Co. of California and federal regulators promised to wash up uranium air pollution in these cities. Now, Homestake desires to purchase out owners to keep away from the prices of remediating the land and water. Los Angeles Occasions and ProPublica

How do pandemics finish? Medical historian Charles Rosenberg says his analysis into nineteenth century cholera outbreaks in Venezuela suggests an epidemic could not have one endpoint however two: a celebrated conclusion when an authority declares it over, and a muted one when everybody loses curiosity. Zocalo

California tradition

Agricultural titans battle over a dry San Joaquin Valley pipeline: The controversial pipeline sits empty, caught in an offended feud between two of California’s largest land barons, Silicon Valley developer and farmer John Vidovich and Pasadena-based cotton king J.G. Boswell Co. Vidovich says he wants the pipeline. The Boswell firm says the road threatens its personal water provides. In the meantime, small farmers fear that each of the titans will promote treasured water to the very best bidders, then ship it far-off. The Mercury Information

A group of young people in masks stand together beneath trees, clapping and holding posters.

Youth Local weather Strike Los Angeles supporters display outdoors Metropolis Corridor as a part of a world day of local weather motion in March.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Occasions)

Younger individuals are deeply apprehensive over local weather catastrophe: Many search remedy, and a crop of specialists together with “eco-therapists” has risen to assist them address environmental fears. Some younger individuals are discovering aid working towards change with teams equivalent to Earth Guardians and Youth Local weather Strike Los Angeles. Los Angeles Occasions

Why fast-food eating places can’t discover employees: California’s fast-food employees are paid almost $6,000 much less a yr than comparable staff in groceries, shops, pharmacies and electronics shops, in accordance with a brand new report from UC San Francisco and Harvard. San Gabriel Valley Tribune

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California almanac

Los Angeles: largely sunny, 88. San Diego: largely sunny, 80. San Francisco: changing into sunny, 70. San Jose: changing into sunny, 78. Fresno: sunny, 96. Sacramento: sunny, 89.

And at last

As we speak’s California reminiscence is from John R. McNicholas Jr.:

My people have been elevating 4 youngsters in Glendale’s Glenoaks Canyon, again when the highway led to stables and an unsupervised rifle vary. Simply earlier than the Purple Automobiles have been junked in 1955 — I used to be 6 — my mom took us to trip the trolley into downtown L.A. and again. On the L.A. finish of the road, we stood and watched the conductor undergo the automobile and switch all of the seats round to face the wrong way. He drove the return journey from what had been the again of the automobile. I used to be shocked and amazed.

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