Tag: Los Angeles City Council

Los Angeles City Council Approves Changing Name of Rodeo Road to Obama Boulevard

The Los Angeles City Council voted to rename Rodeo Road as Obama Boulevard in honor of former President Obama, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced in a tweet Tuesday night.

“We’re thrilled that Angelenos and visitors will forever be reminded of the legacy of President @BarackObama when traveling across L.A.,” he said in the tweet.

City Council President Herb Wesson proposed the name change in June 2017.

Not to be confused with the upscale Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Rodeo Road is a 3.5-mile street that runs from near the Culver City border east to Mid-City.

In his proposal, Wesson noted that Obama held a campaign rally at Rancho Cienega Park on Rodeo Road when running for president and that the area already has streets named after presidents, such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. It’s a residential strip in a predominantly African American community.

The road is also home to Dorsey High School, Baldwin Hills Elementary School and Rancho Cienega Sports Center and Park — where Obama held a campaign rally when he was running for president. East of La Brea Avenue, the new Obama Boulevard will intersect with Martin Luther King Boulevard (which was renamed from Santa Barbara Avenue in 1983).

The move is not the first to honor the former president in the greater Los Angeles area. In September, a resolution by state Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) to rename a portion of the 134 Freeway passed. Several California schools have also been named after Obama, and in the Monterey Bay town of Seaside, city leaders designated one street Obama Way.

Source: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-oabma-boulevard-20180828-story.html

Los Angeles City Council Approves $1.5 Million Settlement in Police Killing of Ezell Ford

Ezell Ford street memorial (photo via latimes.com)

article by Kate Mather and David Zahniser via latimes.com

The Los Angeles City Council agreed Wednesday to pay $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the family of Ezell Ford, whose 2014 killing by Los Angeles Police Department officers became a local touchstone in the national outcry over police shootings.The settlement comes two weeks after Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey announced she would not criminally charge the two officers who shot Ford during a scuffle in his South L.A. neighborhood.

The Aug. 11, 2014 shooting of Ford, a 25-year-old black man, generated controversy almost immediately. More than two years later, local activists and others use his death as an example in their ongoing criticism over how officers interact with black and Latino residents. Many — including those with the Black Lives Matter movement — still describe the shooting as an unjust killing, continuing to chant Ford’s name along with others killed by police.

Ford, who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, was walking near his South L.A. home when two officers assigned to an anti-gang unit tried to stop him. After Ford ignored officers’ commands, authorities said, Officer Sharlton Wampler tried to grab him. He later told investigators he thought the 25-year-old was trying to toss drugs. Authorities said Ford then knocked Wampler to the ground and tried to grab his gun during a scuffle, prompting both Wampler and his partner to shoot.

In a 28-page memo outlining their decision not to charge the officers, prosecutors said Ford’s DNA was found on Wampler’s holster, and bloodstains on the officer’s uniform and scuff marks on his utility belt suggested Ford was on top of him during the struggle. In 2015, the Police Commission concluded that Wampler violated LAPD policy when he fired at Ford. The board said it looked at the “totality of the circumstances” — not just the moment he fired — and faulted the officer’s decision to approach and physically contact Ford.

To read full article, go to: L.A. City Council approves $1.5-million settlement in police killing of Ezell Ford – LA Times

Los Angeles to Pay $24 Million to Two Men Imprisoned for Decades After Wrongful Murder Convictions

The Los Angeles City Council agreed Tuesday to pay more than $24 million to settle lawsuits from two men who alleged that investigations by dishonest Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detectives led to their wrongful murder convictions and caused them to spend decades behind bars.

Kash Delano Register, who won his freedom in 2013 after lawyers and students from Loyola Law School cast doubt on the testimony of a key prosecution witness, will receive $16.7 million — the largest settlement in an individual civil rights case in the city’s history, his attorneys said. Bruce Lisker, who was released from prison in 2009 after a Times investigation into his conviction, will get $7.6 million.

Though the cases were unrelated, both men contended that detectives ignored evidence of their innocence and fabricated evidence of their guilt.

City lawyers concerned about the police misconduct allegations recommended the settlements, saying in confidential memos to the City Council obtained by The Times that taking the cases to trial could be even more financially devastating.

“This is an extremely dangerous case,” city attorneys wrote of the Lisker case. And Register’s case was even “more problematic,” they said.

“Today’s action helps make amends for the many years these men will never get back, and for lives that will never be the same,” said Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for City Atty. Mike Feuer.

City Councilman Paul Krekorian, who heads the budget committee that weighs settlement payments, said the two cases were the “very unfortunate” result of police misconduct in the past, but did not reflect how the department operates today.  “It’s just regrettable that these two individuals spent the better part of their lives in prison as a result of the inadequacy of the investigations that happened back then,” Krekorian said.

Register, who has always maintained his innocence, spent 34 years in custody after being convicted of the 1979 armed robbery and murder of Jack Sasson, 78.  The case against Register was based on eyewitness testimony. No murder weapon was recovered and none of the fingerprints lifted at the West Los Angeles crime scene matched Register’s. Police seized a pair of his pants that had a speck of blood on them, but the blood type matched both Sasson’s and Register’s. Register’s girlfriend testified that he was with her at the time of the shooting.

A key prosecution witness in the case was Brenda Anderson, who told police she heard gunshots and saw Register sprinting away from the scene. She picked him out of a photo lineup, police said. But Anderson’s sisters said they told police that her account wasn’t true.

Continue reading “Los Angeles to Pay $24 Million to Two Men Imprisoned for Decades After Wrongful Murder Convictions”

Deborah Ale Flint Confirmed as New Head of Three Los Angeles Airports

 The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday, June 23, 2015, confirmed Oakland airport executive Deborah Ale Flint as the next Executive Director of Los Angeles World Airports. (CITY OF LOS ANGELES )
Deborah Ale Flint, new Executive Director of Los Angeles World Airports. (CITY OF LOS ANGELES)

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday confirmed Oakland airport executive Deborah Ale Flint as the new Executive Director of Los Angeles World Airports.

Flint served as the director of aviation for the Port of Oakland.

In her new role, she will lead the city authority that oversees the Los Angeles International, Ontario International and Van Nuys airports.

In comments at the council meeting, Ale Flint talked about the “love story” of L.A.’s airports.

Ale Flint said her vision is “to make sure that we’re the most innovative, that we have the best passenger experiences, that we’re protectors and creators of great environment around the airport, that we have a world-class airport, and that we’re first-class neighbors.”

LAX is currently undergoing a multibillion-dollar overhaul.

“It’s an important economic development engine for the city and we know that ,with your leadership there, we will continue to grow and expand,” Councilman Curren Price Jr. said to Ale Flint.

The final vote was 13-0.

article by KPPC staff; contributions by Brian Frank via scpr.org