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Civil Rights Violations

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NEWS
February 6, 1991 | CARL INGRAM, TIMES STAFF WRITER
As an unexpected consequence of a gun control law that took effect Jan. 1, the names of people admitted for mental health treatment at California hospitals are being recorded in state law enforcement computers. Although meant to keep firearms away from those who are considered dangerous to themselves or to society, the practice also applies to psychiatric patients who voluntarily check themselves in for treatment and have no history of violent behavior.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 28, 2014 | By Adolfo Flores
Five San Francisco police officers are expected to appear in court Friday to faces fraud and theft charges. A federal grand jury has indicted the officers and a former city policeman in two separate cases, one involving the theft of drugs and computers from suspects, the U.S. attorney's office announced Thursday. A San Francisco Police Department sergeant, officer and former officer face multiple charges in connection with selling marijuana, as well as stealing money, gift cards and computers from suspects.
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NEWS
April 15, 1990 | Associated Press
Federal court records have been unsealed in a case one attorney dubbed "Water Closet Gate" involving secret videotaping inside a police station men's room. The documents released on Friday show that Concord Police Chief George Straka was on vacation in the summer of 1986 when Capt. Bob Evans ordered the camera to be hidden in the ceiling above a urinal. Evans hoped to catch officers suspected of clogging the urinal with paper towels, resulting in the flooding of the chief's adjacent office.
OPINION
December 9, 2013
Any lingering doubt about whether there are deep-seated problems of abuse at Los Angeles County jails should be put to rest by Monday's arrests following the unsealing of formal charges against 18 current or former sheriff's deputies. Any inclination to pass off more than two years of news reports and official probes detailing inmate beatings as simply the result of a few rogue deputies should be shelved. Some of the allegations are familiar, involving inmates suffering unwarranted abuse and beatings.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 19, 1997 | ANDREW BLANKSTEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy who allegedly punched and pointed a gun at a man being treated in an Antelope Valley emergency room was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday on charges of violating federal civil rights laws. The case against Deputy Henry Meyers, 30, was brought after the Sheriff's Department reported his conduct to federal authorities.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 5, 1991
A Burbank Superior Court jury has found that six Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies did not violate the civil rights of a Montrose man jailed three years ago for resisting arrest. The jury deliberated for three days before rejecting a $5-million civil suit filed by Thomas Alan, in which he charged civil rights violations, battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Neither Alan nor his attorney, Michael J. Schiff, could be reached for comment.
NEWS
December 6, 1985 | PAUL HOUSTON and DAVE PALERMO, Times Staff Writers
The FBI will investigate possible civil rights violations in a series of bombings and suspicious fires at offices of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in Santa Ana, Washington and Boston, the Justice Department said Thursday. The announcement marked a broadening of federal involvement in the incidents, which have resulted in one death and a serious injury.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 30, 1991 | United Press International
A Los Angeles federal court jury Monday ordered two white detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department's Foothill Division to pay more than $15,000 in damages for violating the civil rights of a black family during a search in Van Nuys. The jury deliberated less than a day before awarding the damages to Robbie Townsend, 49, and her two nephews, Dennis Thomas, 25, and Michael Thomas, 22. Townsend's son, Eric Brown, listed also as a plaintiff, received nothing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 6, 1995 | IAN JAMES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Sixty-four Thai garment workers who told authorities they were held against their will in an El Monte sweatshop filed a civil lawsuit against their alleged captors Tuesday, seeking several hundred million dollars from 11 factory operators whom they accused of involuntary servitude, false imprisonment, racketeering, assault, and civil rights and labor law violations.
NEWS
October 27, 1994 | DAN MORAIN and DANIEL M. WEINTRAUB, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
FBI agents are investigating possible civil rights violations at the maximum security Corcoran State Prison near Fresno, where seven inmates have been shot to death by guards since the prison opened in 1988, officials said Wednesday. The investigation began at Corcoran within the past month and has entailed interviews with prison guards, inmates and officials.
OPINION
July 16, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
It is a tragedy that Trayvon Martin ended up dead in his scuffle with George Zimmerman, a tragedy that Zimmerman caused. He shouldn't have assumed that Martin was up to no good, and he shouldn't have pursued him after a police dispatcher warned him not to. And yet not every tragedy or bad judgment is proof of a crime, much less a federal civil rights violation. When federal prosecutors bring charges after defendants have been acquitted in state court, they test the principle of double jeopardy, forcing suspects to stand trial twice on essentially the same facts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 2, 2013 | Jack Leonard and Richard Winton
U.S. Department of Justice officials have demanded that Los Angeles County, Lancaster and Palmdale pay a total of $12.5 million to residents who the federal government found were victims of harassment and intimidation in the Antelope Valley. The demand coincides with last week's accusation by the Justice Department that Antelope Valley authorities conducted a systematic effort to discriminate against African Americans who received low-income subsidized housing and that sheriff's deputies engaged in widespread unlawful searches of homes, improper detentions and unreasonable force.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 8, 2013 | By Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday approved a controversial rail yard serving the harbor, setting the stage for possible court challenges alleging violations of environmental and civil rights laws. The proposal to build a center for trains hauling freight from the largest port complex in the nation has raised questions about environmental justice, particularly for minority and low-income neighborhoods in west Long Beach, which would bear the brunt of the effects. Council members voted 11 to 2 to approve the Southern California International Gateway and certify its environmental analysis, saying that the $500-million project would bolster efficiency in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, create jobs and improve air quality in surrounding communities.
OPINION
March 29, 2013 | By David B. Oppenheimer
This year is the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s decision to violate an injunction forbidding him to pray, sing or march in public in Birmingham, Ala. On Good Friday 1963 (which fell on April 12 that year), King led a march from the 16th Street Baptist Church (where four black children would be killed in a bombing five months later), heading toward City Hall. He was almost immediately arrested, charged with violating a court order and taken to the Birmingham jail.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 27, 2012 | By Ari Bloomekatz, Los Angeles Times
Saying that both federal and local officials have mostly ignored their calls for transportation reform in Los Angeles, the Bus Riders Union on Wednesday called on President Obama to help restore about 1 million hours in bus service cuts made over the last several years. Hundreds of people led by the group rallied outside City Hall and loudly chanted: "President Obama, enforce, restore, expand our civil rights. " They danced and played drums, urged Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to take up their cause, and derided the Federal Transit Administration for not recognizing what they say are clear civil rights violations by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority caused by the service cuts.
NATIONAL
June 26, 2012 | By John M. Glionna
LAS VEGAS - They have names such as the Mongols, Stray Cats, Vagos and Bandidos, and they're fighting mad. Several biker groups have sued Las Vegas and North Las Vegas police in federal court over civil rights violations, alleging systematic harassment by police. The lawsuit was filed one day after members of the Mongols motorcycle group wrapped up a three-day national meeting in suburban Boulder City that brought police out in force to keep the peace. In papers filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, an attorney representing members of the Mongols and other clubs allege that law enforcement pressured bars and hotels in Las Vegas to cancel events with members of the Mongols and the Vagos.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 23, 1990 | DAVID REYES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Westminster police officer who fatally shot a young man during a scuffle at a birthday party testified at a civil trial Tuesday that he acted in self-defense because the man had threatened his life with a beer bottle. Officer Steven Phillips, who has been sued for excessive use of force and civil rights violations by the family of 18-year-old Frank Martinez, told jurors in U.S.
OPINION
March 30, 2012
Racial profiling by police is notoriously difficult to prove. That's not, as former Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton used to insist, because it's uniquely difficult to get inside an officer's head and determine why he pulled over this suspect or that. Analyzing the intent behind offenses is actually fairly commonplace - it undergirds hate-crime prosecutions, many assaults (a murder, for instance, is distinguishable from manslaughter by the intent of the perpetrator) and even civil rights violations, which generally must be committed with the intent to deprive a person of a protected right.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2011 | By Ari Bloomekatz, Los Angeles Times
The county's transportation agency on Monday released a one-year action plan to address civil rights violations cited in a federal audit. The audit criticized the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority for not doing enough to accommodate riders who speak little or no English and faulted the organization for poor planning. The audit found that a language other than English is spoken in 54% of homes in the county. In one section of the audit , which was also released Monday by the Federal Transit Administration, an examiner described a group of community members upset "with the lack of translated hand-out materials at public hearings and meetings.
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