Deadly force

May 24, 2019

Newsom, top lawmakers approve deadly force restriction bill


Sac Bee's HANNAH WILEY: "California’s most prominent bill to restrict when cops can use deadly is moving forward, but with changes that make criminal prosecutions of police officers less likely."


"Assembly Bill 392 is now co-sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, all but ensuring the legislation moves closer to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk."


"Following the amendments, Newsom said in a news release that AB 392 is “an important bill” that “will help restore community trust in our criminal justice system."


House passes big retirement savings bill, first in 13 years

: "The House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that, if signed into law, would represent the first major change to retirement plans since 2006."


"The bill, HR1994, passed 417-3. A similar bill in the Senate also has bipartisan support. Both are designed to get more employees covered by retirement plans, especially at smaller companies that don’t offer one. But experts are divided on how big a dent they can put in the huge gap in retirement savings."


Dems see Newsom as a sign to move further left

Sac Bee's BRYAN ANDERSON/HANNAH WILEY"From paid family leave to a $15 minimum wage, California Democrats have led the nation on pushing several progressive policies into law."

"With Gov. Jerry Brown out of office and Gavin Newsom at the helm, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon sees an opportunity for the state to move even further to the left."

"There’s a lot about Gavin that has people excited, and that’s a good thing,” Rendon said in a recent interview with The Sacramento Bee’s California Nation podcast."

Serial ADA lawsuit filer indicted in Sacramento on federal tax fraud charges


Sac Bee's SAM STANTON"Sacramento-area attorney Scott N. Johnson, who has sued thousands of small businesses in Northern California alleging violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act, was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges that he filed fraudulent tax returns on funds he received from the lawsuits."

"Johnson, a quadriplegic whose lawsuits have garnered settlements, forced ADA improvements at various storefronts and driven some firms out of business, was charged with three counts of making and subscribing a false tax return, U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott’s office said."

"The indictment alleges that Johnson understated his income from 2012 throu-gh 2014 from settlements of lawsuits filed under the ADA, the visionary act signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990."


Even if raid on journalist was illegal, source may be outed

The Chronicle's EVAN SERNOFFSKY"If a judge rules that San Francisco police officers illegally searched a journalist while trying to unmask his source, they won’t be able to use any of the seized evidence against him. But they may still be able to use the tainted information to go after the source, legal experts said Thursday."

"You can’t challenge the seizure of material that isn’t yours,” said Rory Little, a law professor at UC Hastings in San Francisco who stressed he was commenting on the law and not the particulars of the disputed case. “The person whose place is searched can suppress the evidence, but not someone else.”

Tourists spent $500M at Yosemite in 2018, and even more at another park Sac Bee's EMILY CADEI: "Visitors’ spending in the communities around California's national parks soared by $800 million in 2018, according to a new report from the Department of Interior."

"The report, prepared by economists with the U.S. Geological Survey and National Park Service, found that nearly 40 million visitors spent an estimated $2.7 billion in local gateway regions while visiting National Park Service lands in California last year. That’s up from $1.9 billion in 2017."

"Visitors to Yosemite National Park, alone, spent $495 million in the surrounding area, ranking it second among the 28 national parks, monuments and historic sites in the state. While that tops 2017 spending by more than $40 million, it’s less than the $521 million visitors spent in 2016 — which was a high-water mark for Yosemite and its environs."|

Two more dead gray whales turned up this week near Bay Area beaches

The Chronicle's GWENDOLYN WU::"Two more dead gray whales have been spotted near Bay Area shores, bringing the total to 13 carcasses this year, officials said Thursday."

"One gray whale was found floating Monday a quarter-mile off Point Knox Lighthouse on Angel Island, said Giancarlo Rulli, a spokesman for the Marine Mammal Center."

"After the U.S. Coast Guard alerted the center, officials towed the mammal onshore later in the day. Experts performed a necropsy — the 12th performed in the Bay Area this year — to determine the cause of death, Rulli said."

READ MORE related to Education: Prosecutors subpoenaed records of 9 CU students in admissions scandal -- LA Times's MATTHEW ORMSETH; The Times' investigation of George Tyndall, former USC gynecologist accused of sexually abusing students -- LA Times


BART eyes fare hikes of roughly 16% over 6 years as ridership slumps


The Chronicle's RACHEL SWAN: "BART is proposing fare increaseat a time when riders are dropping off, a trend that’s spurred tense arguments over how to make the transit system more palatable. It’s also accelerated BART’s efforts to force people to pay."


"Strained by lost revenue and heightened demands to hire police officers,the Board of Directors is considering six years of incremental 3.9% fare jumps, based on inflation. They would start in 2022 and continue every two years until 2028, amounting to 16% over the entire period."


California's jails are so bad some inmates beg to go to prison instead


LA Time's ABBIE VANSICKLE/MANUEL VILLA: "Ever since he stole his first car at age 10, Cody Garland has spent much of his life behind bars. Now 35, he has served time at eight different California prisons."


"But the hardest stint, he says, was not in a state penitentiary. It was in a Sacramento County jail, where in 2016 he was sentenced to serve eight years for burglary, identity theft and other charges."


"Medical care at the jail was even worse than in prison; untreated glaucoma left him legally blind, he says."


READ MORE related to Prisons & Public Safety: After reports of chaos in LA juvenile halls, state officials visit two facilities -- LA Times's MATT STILES



Trump authorizes Barr to declassify documents in 'spying' probe


Bloomberg News's JOHN HARNEY/MARGARET TALEV: "President Donald Trump on Thursday gave Attorney General William Barr "full and complete authority" to declassify information related to his inquiry into investigations of the 2016 presidential election."


"The president, in a memorandum, directed U.S. intelligence agencies to cooperate with Barr's review, which he has said would look into allegations by Trump and his allies that his campaign was spied upon and that various figures in the Justice Department and the FBI were trying to undermine him."


"Today's action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions," the White House said in a press release Thursday night."


READ MORE related to POTUS45: View from outside California's blue bubble: Trump could win re-election -- The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI 



Harvey Weinstein reaches $44M settlement with accusers and creditors


LA Times's RICHARD WINTON/STACY PERMAN/MEG JAMES: "Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has reached a tentative $44-million settlement with women who have accused him of sexual assault as well as creditors of his former studio, according to two people familiar with the arrangement."


"The proposed deal, which has not been finalized, was hammered out this week during mediation hearings stemming from bankruptcy proceedings for the Weinstein Co., according to the knowledgeable people who were not authorized to speak publicly."


"Under the proposed settlement, $30 million would be earmarked for accusers, unsecured creditors and former Weinstein Co. employees, according to one of the people. The remaining $14 million would be used to pay legal fees, this person said."

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