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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 22, 2014 | By Christine Mai-Duc and Ruben Vives
The city of Long Beach will pay $380,000 to a man who was Tasered and beaten with flashlights by police when he asked for a badge number. A jury found that officers had arrested Perry Grays without probable cause and used excessive and unreasonable force against him, and awarded him $441,000. On Tuesday, the City Council approved the negotiated settlement amount and said it would not appeal the verdict. Grays, a married father of three who worked as a security guard, filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city and five officers who responded to a noise complaint at his home on Feb. 6, 2011.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal appeals court became the first in the nation to rule that prospective jurors may not be excluded because of their sexual orientation, a decision that expands juror protections beyond race and gender and provides legal ammunition to challenge laws that limit gay rights. The sweeping, unanimous decision Tuesday by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a mixed jury verdict in an antitrust case involving an AIDS drug. The 9th Circuit said the case would have to be retried because an obviously gay juror was unjustifiably excluded from the jury.
SCIENCE
January 16, 2014 | By Monte Morin
Electronic cigarettes are either a potent weapon in the war against tobacco, or they are an insidious menace that threatens to get kids hooked on nicotine and make smoking socially acceptable again. There are health experts who back each point of view. But they do agree that the empirical evidence that will tell them who is right will not be in for several years. "There are a few studies out there right now, but scientists like to have a gazillion," said Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine and director of the Center for Tobacco Control at UC San Francisco.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 14, 2014 | By Paloma Esquivel, Adolfo Flores and Jack Leonard
Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas took the boldest move in his long career in 2011 when he stepped up to a podium for a news conference and laid out his case against two Fullerton police officers he accused of killing Kelly Thomas. "The public has been crying for justice for Kelly," he said as a television screen next to him flashed the words "TRUTH" and "JUSTICE. " This week's swift decision by a jury to acquit the officers of all charges dealt a blow not just to the family and supporters of Thomas but to the 70-year-old, four-term district attorney who put his reputation on the line by personally trying the case.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2014 | By Adolfo Flores
An Orange County jury has reached a verdict in the case of two former Fullerton police officers accused of killing a schizophrenic homeless man during a violent encounter in 2011. Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli are charged with striking Kelly Thomas with a baton and a stun gun in a beating that left the homeless man comatose. He died five days after the altercation. Monday was the first full day of deliberation. The case went to the jury late Thursday and jurors did not deliberate on Friday.  VERDICT: POLICE OFFICERS FOUND NOT GUILTY It went to jurors after Orange County Dist.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2014 | By Adolfo Flores and Paloma Esquivel
A range of reactions from outrage to measured acceptance poured in Monday after an Orange County jury - after deliberating only hours - found that two former Fullerton police officers were not guilty of beating a homeless man to death. "I would do the same thing again," Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas said. "I think it's a matter that a jury had to see. " Rackauckas, who tried the case himself, said he respected the jury's decision and moved immediately to dismiss charges against a third officer who was indicted in the case but had yet to be tried.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 9, 2014 | By Adolfo Flores
An Orange County jury has begun deliberating the fates of two former Fullerton police officers accused of killing a schizophrenic homeless man during a violent encounter at a city bus depot in 2011. Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli are charged with striking Kelly Thomas with a baton and a stun gun in a beating that left the homeless man comatose. He died five days after the altercation. The case went to the jury following Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas' rebuttal after three days of closing arguments.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 7, 2014 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before figuring out why 2014 is dragging. The Skinny: Apparently the first Monday after Jan. 1 is the most depressing day of the year. I actually was in a good mood yesterday. Go figure. Maybe I'm just grateful not to be at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Tuesday's headlines include a look at the growth of digital sales of TV and movies. Also, Michael Bay's flame-out at CES and a new show about youth football has the NFL throwing a flag.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 7, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
Australian filmmaker and former Palme d'Or winner Jane Campion has been named president of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival competition jury. Campion will lead a group that has the task of handing out the Palme and other top prizes to the approximately 20 competition films. Campion has a deep history with Cannes. She is the only female director to have won the Palme, taking the honor for "The Piano" in 1993. She appeared at the festival with her period drama "Bright Star" in 2009 and godfathered the Australian coming-of-age drama "Sleeping Beauty" two years ago. Festival director Thierry Fremaux said in a statement that Campion "is one of those directors who perfectly embody the idea that you can make films as an artist and yet still appeal to a worldwide public.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 2014 | By Adolfo Flores
The fate of two former Fullerton police officers charged in the death of a mentally ill homeless man could be in the jury's hands by late Tuesday as attorneys complete closing arguments in the high-profile case. Kelly Thomas, 37, died five days after a July 5, 2011 altercation with police, an incident that sparked outrage and led to sweeping changes in the college town. Former officer Manuel Ramos is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the incident, and Jay Cicinelli with involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force.
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