After eight years heading one of the nation’s largest police agencies, retiring Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck gives TCR a frank assessment of the challenges of being a big-city reform chief, what it takes to change the culture of American policing today, and some key lessons he learned.
The nation’s most populous county is embarking on an overhaul of its juvenile justice system that could, in the long run, all but end the practice of arresting and prosecuting youth under 18, except for the most serious crimes.
As the campaign against sex trafficking grows into a $47 million cottage industry, it has also been spurring a “moral panic” that sex workers say makes them increasingly vulnerable to police abuse, and turns them into targets for those with religious or moral objections to prostitution.
The sale of marijuana for recreational use becomes legal on New Year’s Day, but administrative complications have slowed the sales application process in Los Angeles. Other cities, including Santa Cruz, San Diego, Shasta Lake, San Jose and West Hollywood, are ready to light up.
On Jan. 1, California’s 58 county sheriffs will be on the front lines of implementing the state’s new immigrant sanctuary law, which is designed to limit the people that law enforcement agencies can detain, question or investigate at the request of federal immigration officials. Many of those sheriffs were opposed to enactment of the law, says the Los Angeles Times.
Inmates at a San Bernardino County jail claimed they were subjected to Taser gun torture and brutal pat-down searches that their attorneys characterized as sodomy. Nearly three dozen inmates will be compensated for the abuse, which is under investigation by the FBI.
A medical journal says gun purchases increased by more than 50 over normal rates in California during the six weeks following the 2012 mass murder at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. Handgun purchases in the state rose 41 percent after the 2015 murders of 14 people in San Bernardino.