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George Gascón Prepares To Be Sworn-In As LA County’s Top Prosecutor

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - George Gascón will be sworn in as Los Angeles County's 43rd district attorney today, marking the beginning of a new era after Jackie Lacey held the job for eight years. "I was elected by the people and this community will have a seat at the table as we work to modernize our criminal justice system," Gascón said Nov. 18 in a written statement, as he announced his transition team. "Those that have been directly impacted by the work of this office have unique insights that are integral to an effective...

Metro Officer Alleges He Was Punished for Not Meeting Arrest Expectations

By Bill Hetherman, City News Service LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A veteran Los Angeles police officer is suing the city, alleging he was stripped of his gun and badge and reassigned to his home for not producing enough gang and gun-related arrests while a member of an elite unit. A representative for the City Attorney's Office could not be immediately reached for comment on Mario Fernandez's lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages. According to his court papers, Fernandez, a 14-year LAPD veteran, was assigned to a coveted position in...

LA County Takes First Steps Toward New Youth Justice Department

By Elizabeth Marcellino, City News Service LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted today to take the first steps in transitioning to a rehabilitative, 'care-first' model of juvenile justice, a plan expected to ultimately move funding and responsibility out of the probation department and into a new Department of Youth Development by 2025. The move was based on a set of recommendations laid out in a report titled Youth Justice Reimagined, produced by the county's Youth Justice Work Group. It calls for reducing the overall size...

Virus Outbreak at Downtown LA Federal Detention Center Sickens 219 Inmates

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A coronavirus outbreak at the downtown Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center has grown today to infect 219 inmates and forced officials to cancel all visitation at the facility. Along with the virus-positive inmates, 12 employees of the facility have been infected, according to the Bureau of Prisons' website. The BOP also reported that 16 inmates and 10 employees of the center have recovered from the virus. There have been no inmate or staff deaths connected to the detention center, according to the BOP. Of...

LAPD Bars Use of Unauthorized Facial Recognition Platforms

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Los Angeles Police Department has barred officers and detectives from using outside facial recognition platforms in their investigations after uncovering a handful of detectives had used a powerful commercial software platform known as Clearview AI without permission, it was reported today. In a Nov. 13 directive sent to the entire agency, Deputy Chief John McMahon, who heads the LAPD's information technology bureau, noted that the only facial recognition system that LAPD officers are authorized to use is provided through the Los Angeles County Regional Identification System, which is maintained...

LA County Board of Supervisors to Reconsider Options to Remove Sheriff

By Elizabeth Marcellino, City News Service LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set today to vote on whether to look at options for removing elected Sheriff Alex Villanueva as the county's top lawman, rather than waiting to see if voters will do so in 2022. Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Sheila Kuehl co-authored a motion -- first presented to the board two weeks ago -- recommending that the county direct its lawyers, inspector general, civilian oversight commissioners and acting CEO to look at possible avenues for...