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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 30, 2011 | By Robert Faturechi, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca has accepted gifts from executives seeking his agency's business, individuals who later received special treatment from him, and even a pair of felons implicated in a massive money-laundering and fraud scheme, according to a Times review of disclosure records . Donors have lavished on Baca free rounds of golf, meals, fine wines and liquor, and tickets to sporting events. Since becoming sheriff in 1998, he has accepted more than $120,000 worth of gifts and free travel.
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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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OPINION
September 11, 2010
What does Sheriff Joe Arpaio have to hide? For years the Maricopa County, Ariz., lawman has vehemently denied allegations that his deputies engage in racial profiling and unconstitutional searches and seizures while prosecuting their boss' immigration enforcement policies. But now, when given the opportunity by the Justice Department to lay those charges to rest, Arpaio is digging in his heels and refusing to comply with a demand for records and documents. This obstruction is baffling.
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
December 1, 2013
Despite background investigations that revealed wrongdoing, incompetence, or poor performance, the department still hired dozens of problem applicants in 2010, internal records show.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 23, 2013 | By Tony Perry
A San Diego County sheriff's deputy shot a suspect during a physical altercation with "four intoxicated people smoking marijuana" in the laundry room of an apartment complex in Vista, officials said Thursday. The incident occurred Wednesday night. The suspect, whose name was not released, was taken to a hospital and was listed in stable condition. The deputy, who was also injured, was treated at a hospital and released. A Taser was used in the incident, but it was unclear whether it was used by the deputy or the suspect, the sheriff's department said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 14, 2013 | By Lisa Girion
A Los Angeles County sheriff's patrol car and SUV collided in Palmdale on Saturday, leaving two people dead and two others with minor injuries, authorities said. The accident occurred about 4:30 p.m. at 17th Street East and Avenue R, said Inspector Scott Miller of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Paramedics pronounced two people dead at the scene, he said. The sheriff's deputy involved in the accident was taken to a hospital with minor injuries. ALSO: Man's car containing his wife's ashes is stolen at carwash Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is latest campus to report meningitis case Ronni Chasen autopsy report reveals early police account of her death lisa.girion@latimes.com Twitter: @lisagirion lisa.girion@latimes.com
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 31, 2014 | By Scott Glover
Acting Los Angeles County Sheriff John L. Scott on Friday suspended a controversial program that consisted of politically appointed civilian “field deputies” who served as aides to former Sheriff Lee Baca. The suspension of the program followed reports on KABC-TV Channel 7 news that raised questions about the extent of the deputies' duties. The most recent report aired Thursday night . Channel 7 reported that there were four employees of the program drawing a combined salary of $500,000 and receiving perks such as take-home cars and cellphones.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 22, 2013 | By Robert Faturechi
A fundraiser being hosted by Los Angeles County sheriff's officials Thursday night ended in violence, with one guest arrested and more arrests possible, a spokesman confirmed. Sheriff's deputies were hosting a party at Cities, a bar and restaurant in East Los Angeles, to raise money for an annual law enforcement relay race. About 2 a.m. Friday, there was an altercation that involved off-duty deputies and guests. One woman invited to the party was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 3, 2013 | By Seema Mehta
Sheriff Lee Baca was ordered Tuesday to report back to Los Angeles County supervisors on who was responsible for hiring county officers who had committed serious misconduct on or off duty, according to a Times investigation published this last weekend. The 2010 hires were prompted by a consolidation aimed at saving money. Read the Times investigation  » Supervisor Mike Antonovich, who made the motion for the investigation, said that the board was promised at the time that only those officers who met Sheriff's Department standards would be hired.
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 Kate Mather
Two former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies have been charged with conspiracy, perjury and altering evidence in connection with planting guns inside a medical marijuana dispensary to justify two arrests in 2011, prosecutors said. Julio Cesar Martinez, 39, and Anthony Manuel Paez, 32, were charged with one felony count each of conspiracy to obstruct justice and altering evidence as a peace officer, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. Martinez was also charged with two felony counts of perjury and one of filing a false report.
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 Kate Mather
Two former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies have been charged with planting guns at a medical marijuana dispensary to arrest two men, one of whom prosecutors said was sentenced to a year in jail before the bad evidence was discovered. Julio Cesar Martinez, 39, and Anthony Manuel Paez, 32, face two felony counts of conspiracy to obstruct justice and altering evidence, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office announced Wednesday. Martinez was charged with two additional felony counts of perjury and one count of filing a false report.
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 12, 2013 | By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy has been charged with felony assault for allegedly striking a 19-year-old inmate in the back seat of a patrol car, a prosecutor said Friday. The L.A. County district attorney's office charged Matthew John Funicello, 31, with assault under the color of authority in connection with a July 22, 2011, incident in which the deputy allegedly struck an inmate several times. "We allege the deputy struck the inmate several times in the face and torso with his fist," said Jean Guccione, a district attorney's spokeswoman.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 4, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
A Los Angeles County supervisor blasted her government attorneys Tuesday for not allowing her to see reports from internal investigations of deputy-involved shootings and other use-of-force incidents. Gloria Molina, who has frequently complained about the cost to the county of lawsuits alleging wrongdoing by the Sheriff's Department, said board members aren't getting information needed to decide whether taxpayers should pay to represent deputies in court. Molina wants other board members to support her request for Sheriff's Department investigation records related to a September 2013 deputy-involved shooting in East Los Angeles.
NATIONAL
April 18, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
Cody Wygant was an avid player of video games like "Aliens Extermination" and "Call of Duty. " The role-playing games were so important that the persistent screams of his 16-month-old son was too much of an annoyance, according to the Citrus County sheriff's office in Florida. So Wygant, an unemployed resident of Homosassa, Fla., about 90 miles west of Orlando, suffocated the boy and left him in a playpen, officials allege. "It is inconceivable that a father could kill his infant son -- it just baffles the mind," Citrus County Sheriff Jeff Dawsy said in a statement.
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