SoCal air board restricts urban oil fields + South LA cardiologist and community activist dies

A view of the Budlong oil drilling site. | Matt Tinoco

A view of the Budlong oil drilling site. | Matt Tinoco

Southern California air board puts new restrictions on urban oil fields: Southern California oil companies have been ordered by the South Coast Air Quality Management District to improve communications with neighbors regarding odor complaints. South LA has several active oil drilling sites that have caused health and noise problems for residents. (Los Angeles Times)

James Mays dies at 77; South L.A. cardiologist and community activist: James Mays, a local activist, passed away due to complications from lung disease. Mays was a cardiologist and also started several community outreach programs to help families in South Los Angeles. (Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles midwives aim to end racial disparities at birth: African American midwives are working in underserved areas to give pregnant mothers and their children the best shot at life. A South LA birthing center is working to make pregnancy and birth more affordable. (Al Jazeera America)

Garcetti and Beck say city is working to halt rise in homicides: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck held an emergency summit to address rising violence in South Los Angeles over the past month. The city is working with local community leaders and organizations to stop the sharp increase homicides. (Los Angeles Times)


LAPD seeks witnesses to Ezell Ford shooting

By Ashley Yang and Celeste Alvarez

LAPD press conference on Ezell Ford investigation. | LAPD Twitter

LAPD press conference on Ezell Ford investigation. | LAPD Twitter

Los Angeles city officials and law enforcement officers reinforced their plea Thursday for witnesses to come forward with more information about the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Ezell Ford, a mentally ill African-American man, by two Los Angeles Police Department officers more than three months ago.

“We are here today united in the search for truth,” L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti told reporters at a news conference. “The community, the poor family, our police officers and the city deserve nothing less.”

The LAPD expressed need for the community’s assistance in forming a clear account of the circumstances surrounding Ford’s death. Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said her office will also be accepting witness statements if the public does not feel comfortable reaching out to the LAPD. [Read more…]

City collects 950 guns in buyback

Commander Andrew Smith holds a 9mm handgun. | Daina Beth Solomon

Commander Andrew Smith holds a 9mm handgun. | Daina Beth Solomon

A World War II rifle outfitted with a grenade launcher, a 9mm handgun inlaid with silver and a Mexican flag emblem, and the type of semi-automatic rifle used by the Sandy Hook gunman will soon meet the same fate: meltdown.

The Los Angeles Police Department collected 950 weapons last weekend in its eighth annual buyback program that gives Angelenos gift cards for guns, no questions asked.

See also on Intersections: Tackling gun violence in South LA

Police Chief Charlie Beck said the program intends to rid homes and streets of “unwanted” arms. [Read more…]

Reward money for Christopher Dorner withdrawn

The $1.2 million reward money put up for the ex-LADP officer Christopher Dorner may never actually make it into the hands of the citizens that helped with the manhunt. Click here to read more.

City officials hold press conference on assault at Dodger Stadium

Listen to an audio story by Annenberg Radio News:


The Giants fan who was attacked by two unidentified men on the Dodgers’ opening day remains in a medically induced coma.

City officials said they wanted the suspects responsible to own up. Councilmen Ed Reyes, whose district includes Dodger Stadium, had a stern message for the attackers.

“[To the] cowards who did this, I know you’re listening,” Reyes said. “I know you’re out there. You have to know that we will find you. We will track you down. You’re better off turning yourself in.”

The victim, Bryan Stow, suffered major head injuries. Doctors said he will likely have brain damage. His family was at the press conference, but they didn’t speak. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa offered his sympathies to them.

“I can safely say, on behalf of virtually every single resident, and there are almost 4 million of them here in the city of Los Angeles, that we can say to the Stow family that our hearts and prayers are with you and your family in this very difficult time,” he said.

imageVillaraigosa also spoke on behalf of the family who told him they know the attack doesn’t reflect the Dodger spirit. However, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said things will be changing at Dodger games.

“There’s a homestand next week,” Beck said. “If you go to that homestand, you’re going to see a sea of blue, and it’s not going to be Dodger Blue. It’s going to be LAPD blue. Public safety in this city is my responsibility, and I will make sure I expend whatever resource necessary to keep fans safe at Dodger Stadium.”

LAPD said they believe at least 100 people witnessed the assault. Currently, the reward stands at $100,000 for the suspects. Officials encourage those with information to call 1-877-LAPD.

Police chief says crime rates are down

Listen to the audio story here:

Many people are angry at police officers because of a shooting that involved a Guatemalan immigrant; the shooting occurred several weeks ago. Police Chief Beck said the Los Angeles Police Department should be more open about its actions with the community. He also added that the installation of cameras in police cars will be helpful.

South LA Podcast:  Police Chief Charlie Beck visits USC

On Thursday, March 5, 2010, Police Chief Charlie Beck visited the USC Galen Center to speak to an audience of students, professors, business owners and community residents. He spoke about his methods of improving public safety in the area and his specific goals for the Los Angeles Police Department. He also spoke about how to improve the relationship between the USC Department of Public Safety and the police department.

Beck served as a police officer in South LA for many years and has served during the best and worst periods in the departments history. He recalled a time when the LAPD was known as an “occupying army” by many of the residents of South LA, but he also remembered the period of transition that improved the department’s standing within the community. During his speech, Beck addressed the LAPD’s past and present, but also explained what he hopes the future will bring.