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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 17, 2011 | By Ann M. Simmons, Los Angeles Times
Known for her flamboyant hats and dazzling jewelry, Bernice Woods relished being in the public eye. So when the longtime community volunteer and former Compton city councilwoman died last month, her children opted to place her open casket in the drive-thru display window of Robert L. Adams Mortuary in Compton. "My mother was a community person," said Gregory W. Woods, 55, the youngest of the deceased woman's 10 children. "She meant so much to so many people. It is only fitting and proper that she would be viewed this way. " Adams funeral parlor, a fixture in Compton since 1974, brings to the business of death a convenience of the living: drive-thru viewing of the dead.
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OPINION
April 27, 2014 | Times Editorial Board
The recent revelation that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department secretly conducted aerial surveillance of the entire city of Compton for nine days in 2012 prompted outrage from the city's mayor, its residents and civil liberties groups. The Sheriff's Department justified the surveillance by saying it was only a brief test of a program provided by a private security company. A small, manned Cessna plane equipped with an array of cameras flew six hours a day and only in daylight, beaming video information back to the local sheriff's station.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 14, 1989
The report on present-day Compton ("Black Middle Class Keeps the Faith for Compton," Part I, June 26) and its proud residents is a lucid testimonial not only on pride of ownership, but also pride of community. The article should be read by all ethnic groups who, despite social stigma and stereotypes nurtured by bigots believing in "exclusive neighborhoods," continue to think that the latter is the sole way to go on the road to the American success story. The Compton story defies this.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2014 | By Angel Jennings, Richard Winton and James Rainey
After learning this week of a nine-day aerial surveillance program conducted in 2012, Compton Mayor Aja Brown proposed a policy that would require authorities to notify the public before installing monitoring equipment. “There is nothing worse than believing you are being observed by a third party unnecessarily,” Compton Mayor Aja Brown said Wednesday. “We want to assure the peace of mind of our citizens.” The proposal for the so-called “citizen privacy protection policy” came amid public outrage among Compton residents who were never notified of the pilot surveillance program and said it amounted to an invasion of privacy.  For nine days in early 2012, a small Cessna plane recorded low-resolution images of every corner of the 10.1-square-mile city and beamed them to the local Sheriff's Department station, where deputies observed incidents including fender benders, a string of necklace snatchings and a shooting.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 23, 2013 | By Paloma Esquivel
A man was shot and killed in Compton on Friday night, according to sheriff's officials. Deputies were called to the 900 block of West 134th Street about 8 p.m., according to a statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. No further information was immediately available. ALSO: Homicide Report: Track killings in L.A. County¿¿¿ Tour bus crash: Company has logged numerous safety violations Filner resignation: San Diego council to vote on harassment settlement Twitter: @PalomaEsquivel paloma.esquivel@latimes.com
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 30, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
A young man was shot to death in Compton early Tuesday evening but police were releasing few details about the incident. The shooting occurred about 6:10 p.m. in the 1300 block of Chester Avenue, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Homicide Report: Tracking killings in L.A. County The victim, a male juvenile, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the release. ALSO: Social workers involved in horrific child torture case fired Lake Forest explosion not a meteor, probably fireworks blast O.C. firefighter among those arrested in Huntington Beach rioting Twitter: @aribloomekatz | Facebook ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 14, 2013 | By Angel Jennings and Abby Sewell
One of the candidates who ran for city treasurer in Compton's primary election has filed a lawsuit seeking to contest last month's election results. Jasper Jackson petitioned the court to halt incumbent Douglas Sanders from assuming office due to alleged voter fraud. In the 10-page complaint filed last week, Jackson contends that "Compton City Clerk Alita Godwin and others have conspired, aided, abetted in the suppression, non-collection, destruction of relevant evidence and election materials concerning the April 16, 2013, election, under a variety of pretenses.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 29, 2013 | By Nicole Santa Cruz
Compton city officials announced efforts Thursday to combat a recent spike in gang-related homicides.  This year, the city has had 22 slayings , all of which have been classified as gang-related by authorities, according to figures provided by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which patrols Compton.  Last year, there were 21 killings, 15 of which were classified as gang-related.  Mayor Aja Brown said Compton, a city of...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 4, 1992
Compton Mayor Walter R. Tucker III wants to declare as a city landmark an apartment that George Bush called home for a mere six months in 1949. That's a nice thought perhaps, but an unnecessary gesture. Tucker's proposal brings to mind the contrast between the Compton of mid-century and the Compton of today. Back then the area attracted an ambitious oilman with a young family. Today, the Santa Fe Gardens apartment complex that was home to a man who would be President is quite troubled.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2014 | By Richard Winton
Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said Wednesday there were no "Big Brother" aspects to an airborne video-surveillance program over Compton that was tested in 2012. Under the nine-day trial program in January 2012, a video camera was mounted on a small plane that was deployed for six-hour periods during the day, the department said. The plane, which flew out of Long Beach Airport, was operated by a private company that provides airborne surveillance technology. Nicole Nishida, a sheriff's spokeswoman, said the program was limited in scope and the department did not see a need to announce it because the city already used ground surveillance cameras in any areas.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2014 | By A Times Staff Writer
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department acknowledged this week that Compton residents were not notified of an airborne video-surveillance program that was tested in 2012. "No notification to the residents was made because this system was being tested in a city where cameras were already deployed and the system was only being evaluated," the department said in a statement released Tuesday. Officials said the department decided the program was not useful and dropped it after the test period.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2014 | By Ruben Vives
L.A. County sheriff's detectives have exhausted all leads in the January murder of a man in Compton and on Wednesday offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction. Tauruson McMillian, a public works employee in the city of Pasadena, was killed about 6:40 p.m. Jan. 4 in the 1300 block of North Wilmington Avenue in Compton. Lt. John Corina said the 34-year-old had left a friend's house and was talking to his girlfriend on the phone as he was driving his red 2004 Chevy SS Monte Carlo when someone fired at him from a light-colored sedan.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2014 | By Richard Winton
Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said Wednesday there were no "Big Brother" aspects to an airborne video-surveillance program over Compton that was tested in 2012. Under the nine-day trial program in January 2012, a video camera was mounted on a small plane that was deployed for six-hour periods during the day, the department said. The plane, which flew out of Long Beach Airport, was operated by a private company that provides airborne surveillance technology. Nicole Nishida, a sheriff's spokeswoman, said the program was limited in scope and the department did not see a need to announce it because the city already used ground surveillance cameras in any areas.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2014 | By Angel Jennings, Richard Winton and James Rainey
To the 96,000 residents of Compton, the little Cessna would have looked like scores of other small planes that flew over the city each day. But anyone paying close attention might have noticed the single-engine craft kept circling the city in a continuous loop. What they could not have known was that it packed unusual cargo - a bank of a dozen wide-angle industrial imaging cameras. They recorded low-resolution images of every corner of the 10.1-square-mile city. For nine days in early 2012, the small plane beamed the images to the local Sheriff's Department station, where deputies observed fender benders, necklace snatchings and a shooting.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Tuesday that an airborne video-surveillance program that was tested in 2012 was deemed not useful for the agency's crime-fighting needs. Under the nine-day trial program in January 2012, a video camera was mounted on a small plane that was deployed for six-hour periods during the day, the department said. The plane, which flew out of Long Beach Airport, was operated by a private company that provides airborne surveillance technology.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2014 | By Jason Song
Jewel Wade remembers the tense atmosphere at Compton Community College in 2006, when it was rumored the school would close. "The whole school was kind of depressing because nobody knew what was going on," Wade recalled Tuesday. State officials did strip the school of its accreditation and turned the campus into a satellite of a nearby two-year college. The $25-million library, which had been set to open in 2007, was found to be plagued with code violations and sat unused for nearly seven years before finally opening late last month after undergoing extensive renovations that cost an additional $4 million.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 16, 2013 | By Abby Sewell and Angel Jennings
A former Compton deputy fire chief -- who has also starred on a reality television series -- has been arrested on suspicion of arson and grand theft in connection with a fire that destroyed hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of radio equipment in late 2011. Marcel Melanson, 37, was arrested at his home Wednesday by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Compton had bought the radio and communications equipment in 2010, when the city was planning to end its contract with the Sheriff's Department and reinstate the Compton Police Department.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2014 | By Ryan Menezes
A former Compton Fire Department battalion chief pleaded no contest Tuesday to felony charges of arson of property and embezzlement by a public official. Marcel Melanson, 38, was accused of stealing valuable city-owned radio equipment, then setting a fire to cover up the theft. He is expected to be sentenced to three years and four months in state prison, a prosecutor said. Melanson must pay restitution, but the amount is still being determined, the prosecutor added. As a result of the plea, authorities dropped the more severe charge of arson of a structure and a second embezzlement count.
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