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Sheriff Villanueva is a danger to the people he is sworn to serve

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This article was originally published at Los Angeles Daily News.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has long been a danger to the people that he is sworn to serve. As the Los Angeles Times editorial board has noted, the extremely dubious investigation he recently launched against two prominent public officials who have criticized him is a sign of just how dangerous he has become—”the type of person against whom the law and the Constitution were intended to protect us.”

In 2020, Los Angeles voters demanded change, by voting for Measure J, a measure that would reallocate large sums of funding from incarceration and policing to social services and alternatives to incarceration. Reformers that have espoused these same values have been elected up and down the ballot, and they continue to be. Substantial progress has been made, but Sheriff Villanueva is endangering all of it with his reckless, self-serving populism that is not making people safer.

Sheriff Villanueva ran for office as a reformer, making it a priority to get ICE out of the jails. But once elected, voters soon learned that they had been fooled – Sheriff Villanueva was no reformer. Instead, a rogue Sheriff that has put the County Sheriff’s Department under a dark cloud of shame, scandal, and corruption.

Unlike most law enforcement, sheriffs are elected, so LA County voters will have a voice come November in whether he continues in his role.

But the range of unacceptable behavior during Villanueva’s time in office and this latest abuse of power points to a larger question facing policymakers: how else do we hold accountable violent, corrupt officials that have been sworn to serve the public?

Those are among the questions addressed in a new policy roadmap for local public officials who are interested in transforming public safety in the United States.

After the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer sparked a national movement calling for accountability and reform, People For the American Way spent two years talking to criminologists, community activists, people in law enforcement, and public officials. These experts were asked what it would take to end violence and corruption from law enforcement, and what would it take to make communities safer and more just, once and for all?

The result of those conversations is “All Safe,” a policy roadmap for moving communities toward greater safety and greater accountability.

“All Safe” outlines some positive steps already being taken by some public officials. For example, one key step that has been taken by municipalities throughout the country is the restructuring of public safety departments to reduce unnecessary interactions with armed law enforcement officers. The City of West Hollywood has taken proactive steps to invest in unarmed, crisis response teams, expanding its public safety infrastructure and spending to be more holistic and effective. This is the same approach being taken by reform-leading cities like Ithaca, New York, which has also adopted a strategy to strengthen the screening of potential hires to its public safety departments.

Another necessary step to build safer, healthier communities for everyone is to strengthen policies that allow corrupt and violent officials to be held accountable. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has put a charter amendment on the ballot this fall, Measure A, to allow the Board of Supervisors to remove the sheriff, by a supermajority vote, for violations of law, neglect of duties, misuse of public funds or properties, falsification of documents, or obstruction of an investigation. The current board has signaled that it would be willing to use this power, if granted by the voters.

The record of Villanueva’s department – unjustifiable violence against civilians, resistance to accountability, and intimidation of critics and retaliations against political opponents – is a repudiation of the false narrative often promoted by Villanueva, that reform is somehow incompatible with improved public safety. In fact, the opposite is true.

The need to transform our public safety infrastructure is both an urgent and long-term task. Some Los Angeles area communities have gotten started, and have a choice to make this November, to make policing more effective, to keep communities safer, and to hold those that betray the trust of the public accountable.

Ben Jealous is president of People for the American Way. Lindsay Horvath is a councilmember who represents West Hollywood and is a candidate for Los Angeles County supervisor.


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Medford man facing charges for assault and battery with a weapon for incident at South Station

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A Medford man is facing charges for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon at South Station.

According to MBTA police, officers responded to a call on Friday morning for a report of an assault in progress.

When officers arrived to the scene, they located a male who had sustained a slashes to his face.

Witnesses at South Station pointed out another male, later identified as Hocine Lounici, 38, of Medford as the attacker.

Witnesses say they saw a verbal dispute between the two men when suddenly Lounici began to attack the victim with some instrument.

Officers stopped Lounici and determined he was responsible for the victim’s injuries.

Lounici was placed into custody and transported Transit Police.

The victim was transported to a local area hospital for a non life threatening injury to his face.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Boston 25 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch Boston 25 News NOW




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Readers sound off on Jewish lineage, Iranian protesters and leafy litter – New York Daily News

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Cedarhurst, L.I.: In your latest piece of half-truths and drivel, you state that Matthew Mahrer is a Jew, the grandson on his father’s side of a man who is a Holocaust survivor. Had you taken the time to Google what defines one’s Jewish lineage, it would have informed you that Judaism is passed through the mother-to-child process. Unless his mother and her mother before her were Jewish, Mahrer definitely is not.

Matthew Mahrer

The saddest and most damaging message of all, one that now serves the evil ideology we call modern-day justice and democracy, the one that has elevated those who excuse and explain away every kind of crime under the heading that these criminals are mentally ill and should be coddled and cared for in spite of their criminal actions. Their victims suffer yet again as blind Lady Justice lets their tormentors go free and clear.

We have fallen so low as a nation and as a people who once exemplified to the world the beauty and honor of the American way of life. It is difficult to even relate how far we have fallen. I recall The News once being a great newspaper and imparter of unbiased reporting — honest and truthful conveyors of news. Today, sadly, you have become a large part of what ails us as opposed to being a vehicle for bringing us the truth — instead of unbiased and unembellished purveyors of the truth serving to heal and bring us together. Rachel Bluth

Manhattan: I opened my edition of the Thanksgiving paper thinking that at last, we’ll have some good news. Page 2 did have photos of the Macy’s Thanksgiving balloons, but all the rest of the paper (except for the cartoons and sports) had the usual parade of violent attacks and murders. Yes, I realize that is part of the news, but at least on Thanksgiving, couldn’t you find positive stories about good people? And cute children and animals? We do need some good news and the Thanksgiving edition would have been the perfect one to feature positive stories. Suzanna Deutsch

Princeton, N.J.: Crime in New York City is out of control. Businesses are leaving, brazen shoplifting is common, people are being pushed onto subway tracks and, most importantly, the murder rate is frightening. Charles Winfield

Brooklyn: I think crime is the worst problem we have right now in NYC. It is the reason my friends and I have seriously cut back on our trips into Manhattan to see Broadway shows, visit museums and do other activities. But the crime issue is not only guns. As we’ve seen, knives and being pushed or punched can also be disastrous. Much of this is due to anger and mental illness, which must be dealt with. And that again brings up the question: What happened to the nearly $1 billion of ThriveNYC money intended for this purpose? Louise Veneroni

Newton, N.J.: Kyrie Irving has a constitutional right to freedom of speech, distasteful as it may be. He also has a constitutional right to act like a total jerk if he wants. However, Irving does not have a constitutional right to play in the NBA, and I challenge his apologists to demonstrate otherwise. By the way, I’m not Jewish. Michael Schnackenberg

Southport, Conn.: In 2018, Kyrie Irving said, “The Earth is flat.” He was not joking. Since my 5-year-old and 3-year-old sons both know that Kyrie is wrong about the shape of the Earth, why would we listen, let alone care, about his thoughts on the Jewish people? My family is Jewish, and if Kyrie thinks that Jews cause all of the problems on his flat planet, that is his right. And if he also believes that the moon landing was faked, the Holocaust never took place, Bigfoot is real and King Charles is a vampire, Kyrie is entitled to his uneducated opinions. Andrew Ginsburg

The Daily News Flash

The Daily News Flash

Weekdays

Catch up on the day’s top five stories every weekday afternoon.

Washington: On Tuesday, the Iranian team will play against the United States in the World Cup. This is the time to show solidarity with the Iranian protesters, as the American soccer players can afford to express their position freely, unlike the Iranian team. Some people may say that sports should not be politicized. Yet, this would be showing empathy and comradeship. It would put into practice the values that sports teach. Athletes in the U.S. have been kneeling in several matches. It would not make sense that during a match with Iran, the same athletes would not stand for human rights, in support of the people of a country that are dying for freedom. The U.S. team should find the confidence and courage to show that the people in the West are not indifferent. Anna Mahjar-Barducci

Rosedale: Re Mike Lupica’s “Zach it up!” (column, Nov. 20): There is a team from this country with a real chance of having the whole country get behind it. It’s the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, the current reigning, two-time World Cup champions. Wouldn’t it have been great if Lupica had spoken about us getting behind this team the way Brazil, England, Argentina, etc. do for their teams? Shirley Jordan

Elizabeth, N.J.: Somehow I do not see the compatibility of Hamas, Taliban and Whoopi Goldberg. Somehow the name Goldberg does not fit with an uncertainty about whether or not the Taliban and Hamas are terrorist groups. These yentas on “The View” need to be better educated before they comment on either the Holocaust or the survival of Israel. Let them visit Yad Vashem in Israel and Auschwitz, Treblinka and Majdanek in Europe. Joel M. Glazer

Manhattan: In a week of many outrages, Mayor Adams added to the list. He appointed a retired female dispatcher with whom he lived for a while to be in charge of police morale and mental health for a salary of about $250,000 a year with benefits galore. The words “corruption” and “incompetence” came to mind. The words “in the public interest” do not. This appointment should be challenged. Frankie Turchiano

Brooklyn: Former President Donald Trump, also known as a genius, announced his candidacy. He’s the right guy for the right job to bring economic and social change, as the criminals will be shuttled to jail for decades for their crimes. We will not be comfortable if he’s not elected. I can’t think of a more suitable guy to be the leader of our Free World. Raquel Hanon

Bellerose: I have heard from a number of people that our fellow residents in New York are somewhat rude. Well, I disagree. We have been through a lot because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us have lost loved ones and been sick ourselves. Our doctors, nurses, EMS workers, police, firefighters and the rest of our first responders helped us get through this and still do and need our praises. In my opinion, we are not grinches — many of us have tried to help our neighbors in need. I have lived in New York most of my 73 years and have tried to help others. As we approach the holiday season, let’s offer a friendly smile and a hello to all we meet. Our lives can only be defined by what we share with others who are in need of acts of kindness. Frederick R. Bedell Jr.

Maspeth: Our block had the tree-trimming group (seven people) come through. Even equipped with a leaf blower, brooms, etc., they left a horrendous mess in their wake. I asked the supervisor (a guy who sat around with a clipboard) if they were going to clean up the assorted branches that were strewn across the street and sidewalk. He said, “I’ll ask them.” Excuse me! Isn’t that part of their job, especially if they make the mess? Needless to say, nothing was done about it. Nice to know these people are earning their exorbitant pay with the least amount of effort. What a racket! Veronica Kwiecinski


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Overnight News Digest

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OND_candles.jpg

Welcome to the Overnight News Digest with a crew consisting of founder Magnifico, regular editors side pocket, maggiejean, Chitown Kev, eeff, annetteboardman, jck, Rise above the swamp, and Besame. Alumni editors include (but are not limited to) Man Oh Man, wader, palantir, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse (RIP), ek hornbeck (RIP), ScottyUrb, Interceptor 7, Neon Vincent, Doctor RJ, BentLiberal, Oke (RIP) and jlms qkw.

OND is a regular community feature on Daily Kos, consisting of news stories from around the world, sometimes coupled with a daily theme, original research or commentary. Editors of OND impart their own presentation styles and content choices, typically publishing each day near 12:00 AM Eastern Time.

Please feel free to share your articles and stories in the comments.

Images of the week, from The Guardian, of wildlife (also from The Guardian), of rewilding bears in Italy (last one from The Guardian), and of Asia from the AP, via the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Above the fold a few interesting stories on crime and corruption. Below the fold the rest of the world news.

We begin with this from Reuters:

Malawi’s Anti-Corruption Bureau has arrested the country’s Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima over graft allegations who is expected to be charged with three counts of corrupt practices by a public officer, among other charges.

From NDTV (Agence France-Presse):

Cardinal Becciu was removed from office and stripped of his cardinal privileges amid a scandal over the Vatican’s loss-making purchase of a luxury London property and misuse of Church funds.

A senior cardinal on trial for fraud secretly taped a conversation with Pope Francis where he asked the pontiff to confirm he had approved some secret financial transactions, it emerged Friday.

The existence of the recording, made in July 2021, just days before the trial of Cardinal Angelo Becciu began, emerged at a hearing on Thursday and a transcript was later published by Italian media.

From NextShark (via Yahoo! News):

‘Squid Game’ star O Yeong-su indicted for sexual misconduct in Korea

Michelle De Pacina

“Squid Game” star O Yeong-su has been indicted on sexual misconduct charges in South Korea.

The 78-year-old actor was indicted on Thursday and released without detention after being accused of inappropriately touching a woman’s body in 2017.

From CBS News:

Thieves who broke into a southern German museum and stole hundreds of ancient gold coins got in and out in nine minutes without raising the alarm, officials said Wednesday, in a further sign that the heist was the work of organized criminals.

Police have launched an international hunt for the thieves and their loot, consisting of 483 Celtic coins and a lump of unworked gold that were discovered during an archeological dig near the present-day town of Manching in 1999.

From the Washington Post:

A Hong Kong court on Friday found Cardinal Joseph Zen, the most outspoken senior Roman Catholic cleric in the city and its bishop emeritus, guilty of failing to properly register a now-defunct humanitarian fund.

The verdict came after Zen’s arrest in May, along with the arrest of four other people. Under a 2020 national security law that Beijing imposed to stifle dissent, all were accused of colluding with a foreign entity while trustees of the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund.

From the Independent (UK):

Everything wrong with the Qatar World Cup

From the deaths of migrant workers and discriminative LGBTQ laws to exploitation and corruption, Miguel Delaney reports on the true cost of the World Cup

Out of the many facts and figures circulated about Qatar’s problems, there is one realisation that should stand above everything. It is a disgrace that, in 2022, a country can host a World Cup where it has lured millions of people from the poorest countries on earth – often under false pretences – and then forced them into what many call “modern slavery”.




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