Angelica

Angelica

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A San Francisco judge has said “no” to President Trump’s executive order to reduce federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities.  The ruling temporarily blocks efforts to force localities to cooperate with immigration enforcement.  

 

Judge William H. Orrick of the United States District Court said only Congress could place such conditions on spending and that the president has overstepped his boundaries. 

 

The ruling applies nationwide, and was the third setback for the Trump Administration.  Earlier this year, two temporary bans on travel—from several predominantly Muslim countries—were blocked by federal judges.

 

Justice Department lawyers argued in the case that the government did not intend to withhold significant amounts of money.  However, Orrick noted that the president and Attorney General Jeff Sessions had suggested the punishment could be far greater. 

 

The block was also an early verdict on the question of whether the White House can coerce cities and counties into helping federal immigration agents detain and deport immigrants who are not authorized to be in the country. 

 

The president told Fox News in February that sanctuary cities “breed crime; there’s a lot of problems.”  He added, “If we have to, we’ll defund. We give tremendous amounts of money to California — California in many ways is out of control, as you know.”

 

Orrick wrote that because the Constitution gives Congress the federal wallet, the president may not impose new conditions on federal funds to municipalities. The Supreme Court has held that the federal government cannot compel states to administer a federal program.

 

“This is why we have courts — to halt the overreach of a president and an attorney general who either don’t understand the Constitution or chose to ignore it,” Dennis Herrera, the San Francisco city attorney, said in a statement. “Because San Francisco took this president to court, we’ve been able to protect billions of dollars that fund lifesaving programs across this country.”

 

While the judge’s order temporarily stops the White House from placing new restrictions on federal funding without going through Congress, it does not keep the administration from enforcing existing rules on federal grants. 

 

 

 

On April 15, the Public Works Department (Environmental Services Division) partnered with the Social Justice Learning Institute and Consolidated Disposal Service-Republic Services to host its 7th annual Earth Day Jazz Fest on the South Lawn of City Hall.  Earth Day is celebrated nationally and focuses on conserving our natural resources.  

 

This year’s theme, “Renew the Cool,” highlighted the City’s Urban Greening Plan, beautification initiatives,  and current development projects, and welcomed the two NFL teams that will be playing here in 2019—the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers.   

 

Musical guests featured the legendary Lenny Williams (back by popular demand from 2015), Southern California’s premiere R&B, funk and contemporary powerhouse band DW3, Phillip Lauth, Elaine Gibbs and the NuSoul Band, Jesse Campbell of “The Voice,” “America’s Got Talent’s” Ronee Martin, “American Idol’s” Jacob Lusk, “The Voice’s” Kim Yarbrough, and “BET Comic View’s” Annie McKnight. 

 

Additionally featured were a variety of speakers, booths, presentations, and activities for the entire family.  Vendors provided information and demonstrations on environmental sustainability, water conservation, and healthy living.  The Earth Day Jazz Fest received rave reviews from community members, participants, and dignitaries.  It turned out to be an amazing event that brought the community together for a fun filled day, and provided educational resources for all.   

 

“With the support of the mayor, council members, and city administration, it’s always a pleasure to bring the Earth Day Festival to the community.  Several partners and community support make this event so successful.  Each year it keeps getting bigger and better.  The community looks forward to the annual event and we work hard so as not to disappoint,” said Angela Williams, Environmental Services Manager.  

 

Adriana Grimes, Staff Assistant, Environmental Services Division, added:   “It was truly enjoyable collaborating with partners and colleagues with the common goal of bringing a fun, informative, and positive event to the City.  Community engagement was a key aspect, and to have received such wonderful feedback from our residents, dignitaries, and employees about how this year’s Earth Day Festival was one for the books, means so much.” 

 

By Veronica Mackey

 

A public hearing was held on Tuesday to receive input on the availability of non-profit agencies to provide paratransit service to elderly and disabled residents within certain areas of Inglewood. 

 

A grant by the City’s Federal Transit Administration gives priority consideration first to nonprofits, then to government agencies.  But, according to Sabrina Barnes, Director of Parks, Recreation and Library Services, there were no takers.

 

“A hearing was held to see if there are any nonprofits to provide the service.  The city did mailings and made phone calls, and was not able to find anyone.  We also reached out to nonprofits we worked with before and invited them to this meeting,” Barnes said. 

 

The City will now move forward and apply for the grant directly.  Inglewood estimates $843,000 is needed to replace paratransit busses. The City will match the funds by $84,300 or 10 percent.  “The City has about 8 vehicles they want to replace.  They are at least 10 years old with an average of 97,000 miles,” Barnes said.

 

Council members approved:

 

•A resolution declaring the result of the General Municipal Election held on April 4, 2017 

 

•Adoption of a resolution approving Final Tract Map No. 65357 to allow the subdivision of 12 condominium units on an approximately 18,979 square-foot property at 417 N.

Market Street 

 

•Approval to pay a $12,000 invoice submitted by the Los Angeles Dodger Foundation for fencing related improvements to the baseball field at Darby Park. The Dodgers originally donated $300,000 to Inglewood to build the field 

 

•An agreement for the Darby Park Surface Improvement Project

 

•Approval to pay an invoice to Century 1st Auto Body & Paint, Inc., for auto body repair services provided to City vehicles 

 

City Clerk Yvonne Horton thanked her staff for their hard work and dedication during the April 4 election.  Treasurer Wanda Brown announced the U.S. debt is $19.6 trillion, compared to China that has $1.2 trillion.

 

Supporters of Kisha Michael and Marquintan Sandlin, the couple shot and killed over a year ago by Inglewood police, showed up again, demanding release of the police investigation report and all video footage, firing of police officers and a retribution fund to compensate their 7 children

 

“The information out there doesn’t make any sense, it just doesn’t add up,” a man said.  Another man thanked everyone for “continuing to be civically engaged.” He added that Michael and Sandlin’s children have waited long enough for justice.   “That’s seven birthdays, two Easters and a Christmas.” 

 

There were praises all around for last weekend’s Earth Day celebration.  “It was a job well done,” one man said.   He also thanked the city council and told members to “Keep up the good work.” 

 

Newly re-elected Councilman George Dotson thanked West Basin Municipal Water District Director Gloria Gray for adding an ocean-friendly garden to the Civic Plaza’s landscape.  The garden is planted right behind City Hall.  He also thanked Clerk Horton and staff for their excellent work during the election.

 

Councilman Alex Padilla added his praise and thanks for the new garden and also noted rising property values in the city.  “Councilman (Ralph) Franklin and I attended a meeting with Inglewood renters and homeowners.  Property values have gone up by 85 percent. It’s good to know that Inglewood is moving in the right direction.”  Kudos went to Angela Williams, Environmental Services Manager, who organized Earth Day, with help from staff and volunteers.

 

Mayor James Butts used his closing comments to congratulate Councilmen Padilla and Dotson on their “overwhelming victories, which is evidence of the overwhelming public support.”  He also added to his comments made last week about the Michael-Sandlin case:  “When the police investigation is over, all you will hear from us is the employment status of the officers.  The officers’ personal records, by California law, are confidential.”

 

On Tuesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed critics and offered condolences to the family of Robert Godwin Sr. during his F8 conference, a meeting of software developers. The young billionaire came under fire for allowing the horrific video of a live murder to remain on his website for more than 2 hours.

 

On Easter Sunday, Steve Stephens recorded his random shooting of 74 year-old Godwin in Cleveland on Facebook Live.  He blamed it on his gambling debts and a breakup with his girlfriend.

 

The killer claimed to have killed up to 15 people in another video.  However, police have not been able to confirm any of the alleged murders. 

 

Since the Godwin shooting was uploaded, a debate has begun over the responsibility of social media.  A downside to social networking, critics argue, is that it provides an instant audience for murderers, terrorists and other hardened criminals.  Through it, mentally unstable individuals get the attention they seek.

 

In a video, Zuckerberg openly admitted that Robert Godwin Sr.’s death reminded them that the company “has a lot of work to do” especially in video uploading and reporting. 

 

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Robert Godwin Sr…and we will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening,” Zuckerberg said.

 

Justin Osofsky, vice president of Facebook’s Global Operations department, said in a statement released on Monday, “It was a horrific crime — one that has no place on Facebook, and goes against our policies and everything we stand for.” He said the company is exploring ways to improve reporting flows and speed up review time.

 

This is not the first time a serious crime has been posted on Facebook. In January, four black people in Chicago were accused of attacking an 18-year-old disabled white man and broadcasting the assault on the service while making anti-white racial taunts.  A month later, the suspects pleaded not guilty.

 

 

 

 

LAPD Police Commissioners approved a new use of force guideline on Tuesday will change the way force is used by officers in Los Angeles.

 

The emphasis on de-escalation, a tactic meant to reduce incidents of police-involved shootings by first employing non-lethal maneuvers whenever possible. The new policy is summarized in just one sentence.  However it will have far reaching implications on police conduct and how officers engage with suspects.

 

The one sentence which will be added to the LAPDs manual of policies and procedures is: “Officers shall attempt to control an incident by using time, distance, communications and available resources in an effort to de-escalate the situation, whenever it is safe and reasonable to do so.” 

 

The change gives LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Chief Beck greater authority to discipline, or possibly fire officers if they fail to properly de-escalate before opening fire. 

 

The LAPD published a 2015 Use of Force executive summary that found an annual average of 44.6 officer involved shootings in the city from 2011 to 2015, slightly below the average in Chicago.

 

Last year, according to the Los Angeles Times, the commission found eight shootings by L.A. cops to be unjustified. 

 

In a statement on the LAPD website, Beck said as a result of enhanced de-escalation training and directives in 2016, “the Department did experience a significant decline of 17% in officer-involved shooting incidents, a 52% reduction in rounds fired per officer, while facing an 18% increase in suspects possessing firearms during officer involved shooting incidents.”

 

De-escalation tactics include expanded mental health intervention training, scenario-based training on decision-making and tactics for deadly force and non-deadly encounters, increased deployment of less-lethal options such as additional TASER's, 40 mm launchers, and bean bag shotguns.

 

Craig Lally, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the police union, said the pressure of officers losing their job due to use of force has caused commissioners to give in to politics. “They might lose their house, their family, their kids because they make one bad move. If you make a mistake, you’re going to…go through hell for it,” he said

 

Black Lives Matter activists say the policy change doesn’t go far enough.  BLM organizer Melina Abdullah noted that during a mental health crisis, the first responder should be mental health workers, not police. 

 

Police Commission President Matt said the board has a “moral obligation to preserve life when we can.”

 

 

 

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