Showing posts with label California. Show all posts
Showing posts with label California. Show all posts

June 19, 2019

The Rainbow Flag to Fly Over California Capitol

For the first time in state history, the flag of LGBTQ Pride flies above the California Capitol.

The Rainbow Flag, which sits below the U.S. and California state flags, will fly til July 1.

It’s no coincidence that this historical act — mirroring similar ones in Colorado and Wisconsin – comes amidst a President Donald Trump administration ban on the flying of such flags at U.S. embassies.

“In California, we celebrate and support our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community’s right to live out loud – during Pride month and every month,” Newsom said in a statement Monday. “By flying the Pride flag over the State Capitol, we send a clear message that California is welcoming and inclusive to all, regardless of how you identify or who you love.”

Vice President Mike Pence, who has a history of opposing LGBTQ political efforts such as marriage equality while governor of Indiana, defended the administration ban.

“When it comes to the American flagpole and American embassies and capitals around the world, having the one American flag fly is the right decision,” Pence said.

The rainbow flag routinely flew outside many embassies in recent years. The Pride flag was flown during Pride Month as part of then-President Barack Obama’s advocacy for LGBTQ rights, according to the Washington Post.

Several U.S. embassies, including ones in South Korea, India, Chile, and Austria, have defied the administration edict and flown the Pride flag, according to Huffington Post.

Monday’s historical rainbow flag raising is the first time it’s flown above the Capitol. In previous years the flag was hung from balconies inside and outside the Capitol, and the building was illuminated in rainbow colors in 2015 to celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to affirm same-sex marriage as a right in all 50 states and U.S. territories.


August 31, 2018

California Voted to Treat The Poor in The Courts The Same as The Rich: No Cash Bonds

 How many thousands you said, your honor? No problem!


California’s newly signed law abolishing money bail makes the livelihoods of thousands of bail bondsmen obsolete – and in Sacramento, which is dotted with colorful figures from the industry, many are frustrated by the move.
There are 3,200 licensed bail bondsmen in the state and the industry accounts for at least 7,000 jobs, according to Maggie Kreins, vice president of the California Bail Agents Association. .
“Bail bondsmen are insurance agents,” said Topo Padilla, president of the Golden State Bail Association and Sacramento bail bondsman. “We issue an insurance policy to the court guaranteeing a person’s appearance in court. If a person fails to appear in court, the bail industry goes out and returns people to the court. If we fail to return the person to court in time, we pay the full amount of the bond.”
The new law, SB 10, replaces the money bail system with a “risk assessment” of an individual’s likelihood of returning for court hearings and their chances of getting arrested again. Those who are deemed “low-risk” would be released with the least restrictive non-monetary conditions possible, while “medium-risk” and “high-risk” defendants could be held awaiting trial. 
"Really and truly a bail bond is nothing more than accountability,” said Greg Padilla, who owns Greg Padilla Bail Bonds in Sacramento. “That’s all it is.”  
The new law faces strong opposition from the bail bond industry, which moved to block the law Wednesday by introducing a referendum drive, asking voters to delay and ultimately overturn SB 10.
“With a stroke of a pen, this bill eliminates the bail bond business,” Topo Padilla said. 
Topo co-owns Greg Padilla Bail Bonds with his father, Greg, who has been in the industry for nearly 40 years.
Bail bonds is a family business for the Padillas, spanning three generations. Greg’s wife, son and grandson work in the bail industry. His son, Leonard Padilla, made an illustrious name for himself as a bail bondsman and led a life that is sometimes stranger than fiction. 
Leonard isn’t chasing people who jumped bail anymore, but his father still runs the business from his storefront directly across the street from the Sacramento County Main Jail.
“By October 1 of next year, we’re gone,” Greg said of SB 10. “So we just have to go find a job.” 
He has 14 full-time employees and two locations in downtown Sacramento. He said he didn’t know how they would fight SB 10 but he know people are looking into ways to do it. 
Tony “The Tiger” Lopez, another notable Sacramento bail bondsman, isn’t sticking around to see what happens. He’s closing up shop. leaving the bail bond business and moving out of state, he said. 
“By next year, it’s over, it’s a wrap, we’re done,” he said.  Lopez has been a bail bondsman for 19 years, taking up the business after a career as a professional boxer where he was a three-time World Boxing Champion.
“Who’s going to chase the people who don’t show up to court?” he said. “If they don’t show up, on my dime and our dime, we chase them . . . Anywhere they go we go, because if we don’t find them we actually pay that bond cost.” 
SB 10 replaces bondsmen with county-funded teams that are responsible for finding people who don’t show up on their court date.
“It’s stupid, there’s no other word for it, it’s just stupid,” he said. 

August 6, 2018

Is California Forcing Schools to Show Kids Gay Sex?

Q: Is California forcing “schools to show kids ‘gay sex'”
A: No. California law requires the state’s history curriculum to include “the role and contributions of” LGBT people.

Is it true the governor wants gay pornography taught in schools?
With the new school year around the corner, a bogus claim about California’s inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender figures in the state’s history curriculum is making the rounds on Facebook.
Readers began asking us about the issue after pictures of California Gov. Jerry Brown startedshowing up on Facebook with the text: “SODOM AND GOMORRAH: CALIFORNIA GOV. JERRY BROWN TO FORCE SCHOOLS TO SHOW KIDS ‘GAY SEX’ AS PART OF INCLUSIVE LGBT CURRICULUM.”                                                                    

It’s not true.
The claim started out on the notoriously unreliable website YourNewsWire, which posted this story in December 2017: “California Gov. Jerry Brown To Force Schools To Show Kids ‘Gay Sex.’” Since then, it has been shared on 20 different Facebook pages and reached a social media audience of 2.8 million in total, according to data from Crowd Tangle.
A month after it first went up, that story was copied and used with the headline that’s now making the rounds on Facebook.
Although that version of the story doesn’t appear to have been shared widely, the photo and headline that were taken from it have been shared more than 32,000 times since being posted on Facebook on July 9.
The problem is, it’s spreading misinformation loosely related to something that is true.
It is true that California amended its education law in 2011 to require the inclusion of “the role and contributions of” lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans in the study of history for primary school students. The law had previously required the inclusion of contributions of “both men and women, Native Americans, African Americans” and other ethnic groups “to the economic, political, and social development of California and the United States of America.”
The amended law took effect in 2012, but the new textbooks that reflect the curriculum change will be used for the first time in the 2018 school year — the new books were approvedby the state’s board of education in November 2017.
The books will include “a more complete picture of the accomplishments and challenges faced by LGBT individuals in American history and culture, such as astronaut Sally Ride and comedian Ellen DeGeneres,” according to a press release from California’s superintendent of public instruction, Tom Torlakson.
School districts aren’t required to use the books, according to the release. They may choose to use other materials as long as they comply with the law.
And nowhere in the law does it mandate “the use of gay pornography in elementary schools in order to teach children about LGBT sex,” as the YourNewsWire story claims. That’s purely made up.
Editor’s note: is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk false stories shared on the social media network.
Adl-Tabatabai, Sean. “California Gov. Jerry Brown To Force Schools To Show Kids ‘Gay Sex.’” 28 Dec 2017.
California Legislature. Education Code — 51204.5. As amended, 2011. Accessed 1 Aug 2018.
California State Board of Education. Minutes for the Nov. 8-9, 2017 meeting. Discussion is on page 19.
Torlakson, Tom. California State Superintendent of Public Instruction. “State Board Approves Instructional Materials that Give K–8 Students a Deeper, Broader Understanding of History and Social Sciences.” 9 Nov 2017.

June 29, 2018

Gang member Charged with Killing of 10 Yr Boy Who Had Come Out as Gay

Alleged Killer: (Because of men like this is the reason many support the death penalty).

This is a follow up story:

 In memory of Anthony👼 and Gabriel

This story originally posted on  by Kit Ramgopal and Karin Roberts 

A man described as a member of a violent gang was arrested Wednesday and charged with murder in the death of a 10-year-old boy in Southern California, officials said. The boy, Anthony Avalos, had recently come out as gay, a county official said, and some suspect that homophobia played a role in his death.
Anthony Avalos was taken to a hospital on June 20 after his mother, Heather Barron, called 911 to report that he had been injured in a fall, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. He was not breathing and unresponsive when emergency workers found him in his Lancaster home, and he died the next day.
His body showed signs of physical abuse and malnutrition, child welfare workers said, and his death was classified as suspicious.
At a news conference on Wednesday, Sheriff Jim McDonnell said Barron's boyfriend, Kareem Leiva, 32, had been arrested on murder charges and was being held on $2 million bail. McDonnell said that while being interviewed, “Leiva made statements that led detectives to arrest him for the murder of Anthony Avalos.”

Image: Anthony Avalos
Anthony Avalos

Before Leiva’s arrest, Brandon Nichols, deputy director of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, told The Los Angeles Times that Anthony had “said he liked boys” in the weeks prior to his death. The department confirmed this detail to NBC Los Angeles but declined to provide additional details.
McDonnell declined to discuss a potential motive but he did tell reporters that homophobia “has not come up in our investigation as a motivation at this time.”

Image: Anthony Avalos
Anthony Avalos

However, Avalos’ uncle David Barron, the brother of Heather Barron and a co-worker of Leiva’s, told NBC News that Leiva has a history of homophobia. He recalled a number of times when Leiva said he was “uncomfortable just being around” gay men.
Caseworkers reportedly documented that Leiva was a member of MS-13, the criminal gang frequently mentioned by President Donald Trump during his immigration speeches. At least one branch of the gang, located in El Salvador, reportedly kills members found to be gay.
Before his death, Anthony had suffered years of physical, sexual and emotional abuse at the hands of family members, according to the Department of Children and Family Services. Caseworkers responded to 12 different complaints between February 2013 and April 2016, including sexual abuse by a grandparent when Anthony was 4, and general neglect.
“In private interviews, Anthony disclosed details consistent with media reports that he was beaten, locked up, and not fed,” Bobby Cagle, the director of the department, wrote in a statement shared with NBC News.
Image: Anthony Avalos

                                                                 Anthony Avalos 

Some of the complaints were substantiated, but others were unfounded or inconclusive, Cagle said. Anthony stayed with relatives from May to December 2014 while his family received in-home counseling, but he was eventually sent back home. Cagle said the last complaint regarding Anthony was in April 2016.
The department said eight children ranging in age from 11 months to 12 years old have been removed from the home of Barron and Leiva “pending further investigation.” They are now in the department's custody. It is not clear whether Barron will be charged in connection with her son's death.
Karla Avalos, one of the boy’s aunts, expressed frustration that Anthony and the other children were ever permitted to return to the home after being removed. “I'm mad, because there was multiple reports done,” Karla Avalos told NBC News. “There were phone calls, and nobody did anything. I don’t know why they thought that was OK for them to go back with their mother.”
“What is wrong with the system?” she asked.
Anthony Avalos’ death bears a striking resemblance to a 2013 case in neighboring Palmdale, less than 10 minutes from Lancaster.

Image: Gabriel Fernandez
Gabriel Fernandez, who was routinely beaten, starved, forced to sleep in a closet and tortured until his 2013 death by his parents.NBC News

Eight-year-old Gabriel Fernandez died in May 2013 after being routinely beaten and starved by his mother and her boyfriend. Prosecutors said Gabriel was systematically abused because his mother’s boyfriend thought the boy was gay. Like Anthony, Gabriel was on the radar of the Department of Children and Family Services, though he was never removed from his home.
Gabriel’s mother, Pearl Sinthia Fernandez, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in February and was sentenced earlier this month to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, was sentenced to death earlier this month.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl told The Los Angeles Times that the possibility that both Anthony and Gabriel were targeted for being gay was particularly heartbreaking.
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence,” Kuehl told the paper. “I know that young people in my community every day find themselves at risk of violence.”
Lorri Jean, CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, said her organization has been warning the county about the “unique problems that LGBT kids face.”
“This was a sad and tragic murder, but the tragic truth is that it was predictable,” Jean told NBC News. “If nothing is done, it won’t be the last.”

April 25, 2018

Golden State Killer Who Terrified California 1974-86 Has Been Caught, Fmer Cop

This breaking news for Adamfoxie🦊 email registered readers

Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, is facing capital murder charges after being identified as the suspected serial killer and rapist responsible for 51 rapes and 12 murders in California between 1974 and 1986. 

California authorities on Wednesday announced the arrest of the suspected Golden State Killer, who they say is responsible for 12 killings, 51 rapes, and more than 120 burglaries over a 12-year period.
Joseph James DeAngelo, a 72-year-old Sacramento resident, and former police officer was arrested early Wednesday, authorities said. He is ineligible for bail, jail records show.
Authorities said DeAngelo was a former cop in two different agencies. He was with the Exeter Police Department between 1973 and 1976 and then employed by the Auburn Police Department from 1976 to 1979 until he was fired for allegedly shoplifting a can of dog repellent and a hammer from a Sacramento drug store. Authorities said they were looking into whether he committed any of the alleged Golden State Killer–related crimes while on duty as an officer.
Police arrested DeAngelo when he stepped out of his house in Sacramento on Wednesday, the same area where he allegedly began his crime spree in the 1970s. Authorities said he was "very surprised" when apprehended. His family, including adult children, is cooperating with authorities, police said.

DeAngelo is facing capital murder charges for the March 1980 killings of Lyman and Charlene Smith, Ventura County authorities said. He was charged with two counts of murder with three special circumstances, including multiple murders, murder during the commission of rape, and murder during the commission of a burglary.
He is also charged with two counts of murder with special circumstances for the killings of Katie and Brian Maggiore in Sacramento, the county's district attorney, Anne Marie Schubert, said at a news conference.
"The answer has always been in Sacramento," Schubert said.
She added that the arrest came after a multi-jurisdiction effort to track the killer down using the latest in forensic technology.
"We all knew ... that we were looking for a needle in a haystack, but we all knew the needle was there," Schubert said.

Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert speaks to reporters.
NBC NewsSacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert speaks to reporters.
Federal and local authorities were observed outside DeAngelo's home in Citrus Heights on Wednesday morning, the Sacramento Bee reported.
The Golden State Killer was given various names, including the East Area Rapist, the Original Night Stalker, and the Diamond Knot Killer, and was wanted for a series of rapes, homicides, and burglaries in California between 1974 and 1986.
His alleged victims ranged in age from 13 to 41, and included women alone at home, with their children, or their spouses.
Starting in the summer of 1976, the authorities say the Golden State Killer was responsible for several rapes and burglaries in the Sacramento suburbs of Rancho Cordova and Carmichael. In 1978, the authorities say he fatally shot a couple who were walking their dog in Rancho Cordova.
He is then suspected of committing several rapes and homicides in Northern California, striking fear in residents, many of whom slept with guns at the ready and kept dogs for protection.

The method of attack involved breaking into victims' homes as they slept, shining a flashlight into their faces, and tying them up, according to the FBI. He then raped women residents and ransacked their homes, often stealing small items, such as coins, cash, identification, and jewelry. Some victims reported later getting phone calls from the suspect.
He would usually attack suburban couples, tie them up, rape the woman and then kill both of them, according to authorities.
However, after July 1981, no crimes believed to be connected to the Golden State Killer were reported until the 1986 rape and killing of an 18-year-old girl in Irvine. It was the last known crime related to the serial rapist and killer, whose crimes were linked through DNA.
In 2016, the FBI announced a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the Golden State Killer's arrest and conviction. He was described as a white male, approximately 60 to 75 years old, 6 feet tall with blond or light brown hair, and an athletic build.
FBI officials have said the suspect also appeared to have an interest or training in military or law enforcement techniques and that he was proficient with firearms.
The case was back in the spotlight earlier this year after a book on the Golden State Killer, I'll Be Gone in the Dark, was published. The book was written by the late Michelle McNamara, a crime journalist who "was determined to find the violent psychopath."
McNamara was still writing the book at the time of her death, but it was completed and published this year after her husband, Patton Oswalt, got an investigative journalist, Billy Jensen, and McNamara's lead researcher on the book, Paul Haynes, to complete her work.
In tweets celebrating the bittersweet moment, Oswalt credited the suspect's capture, in part, to his wife's work.
"She kept coming at him," Oswalt said in one tweet.

April 12, 2018

While The Police Accused The Family of Suicide Another Family Goes Down The Ridge inAbout The Same Spot

Officials are looking for a family of four after a vehicle was seen sinking into water near the same treacherous area the Hart family fatally crashed into weeks ago. 
A Honda Pilot SUV matching the description of the Thottapilly family's vehicle was seen submerged in the Eel River in Mendocino County around 1 p.m. Friday.
The San Jose Police Department said that might have been the last known whereabouts of 42-year-old Sandeep, 38-year-old Soumya, 12-year-old Siddhanty and 9-year-old Saachi.
The family who was expected to return to San Jose, Calif., on Friday from a road trip to Portland, Ore., was reported missing by a family member on Sunday. 
San Jose Police Department Officer Gina Tepoorten told KPIX 5 the family never made it to their destination, and no one has heard from them since Thursday. 
The water has been too dangerous for divers to search for the family, The Press Democrat reports, but officials will search the river once water levels drop. Last week, a storm dumped 2 to 5 inches of rain on the region. 
Witnesses said the vehicle drove off Highway 101 in rainy weather onto a turnout, and then went over the side, the Democrat reports. 
A few miles south, authorities continue to search for members of the Hart family after their GMC Yukon plunged off of a cliff into the Pacific Ocean. The crash, believed to be intentional, killed at least five members of the eight-member family. A body was recovered Saturday in the vicinity of the Hart crash.   

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March 22, 2018

Video Show Police in Sacramento Shoot an Unarmed Black Man on GrandPa's Back Yard


Sacramento police officers shot and killed 22-year-old Stephon Clark, a father of two who was unarmed, in the backyard of his grandparents' home on Sunday night.
"The only thing that I heard was pow, pow, pow, pow, and I got to the ground," Sequita Thompson, Clark's grandmother, told The Sacramento Bee. "I opened that curtain and he was dead."
A police department statement says: "Prior to the shooting, the involved officers saw the suspect facing them, advance forward with his arms extended, and holding an object in his hands. At the time of the shooting, the officers believed the suspect was pointing a firearm at them. After an exhaustive search, scene investigators did not locate any firearms. The only item found near the suspect was a cell phone."
Clark was pronounced dead on the scene by personnel from the fire department.
On Wednesday, the Sacramento Police Department released video and audio of the incident: body camera footage from the two officers involved in the shooting; video from the police helicopter that directed the officers to Clark; audio of the initial 911 call reporting a man in a hoodie breaking car windows; and audio from the police dispatch. 

Sacramento Police Department YouTube
Taken together, the audio and video paints a portrait of an incident that moved heartbreakingly fast and then achingly slow. 

The recordings begin with a man calling 911 to report a man in a hoodie and dark pants breaking car windows. The officer in the helicopter spots Clark running and walking through backyards, and tells officers on the ground that the suspect has just used a "toolbar" to break the window of a residence.
With direction from the helicopter officer, the officers on the ground follow and confront Clark.
In a dark backyard lit only by what appear to be gun-mounted flashlights, the officers' body camera footage shows what happened next. 
Sacramento Police Department YouTube 
Sacramento Police Department YouTube
"Show me your hands – gun!" the first officer yells. A few short seconds later he yells, "Show me your hands! Gun! Gun! Gun!"
The second officer begins firing multiple shots. Then the first officer begins firing, too – they fire about 20 shots in all.
Hidden by tall grass and the darkness, Clark's body isn't visible, but there are no signs of movement.
The first officer yells again, "Show me your hands!" and the other adds, "Let's see your hands."
"He's down, no movement," the second officer tells the dispatch. "We're going to need additional units."
"You alright, you hit?" says one officer. "Yeah, I'm good," the other officer replies.
The first officer reloads his weapon.
"He's still down, he's not moving," the officer says. "We can't see the gun."
Backup units arrive on the scene.
"He came up, and he kind of approached us, hands out, and then fell down," the first officer tells one of the new arrivals.
The two officers who fired their weapons continue to hang back, holding position, occasionally yelling that they need to see Clark's hands.
The second officer tells someone that the suspect had "something in his hands, looked like a gun from our perspective."
For more than five minutes, the two officers are seen standing behind the corner of the house with their weapons drawn.
When they finally approach the man they shot, one of the officers handcuffs Clark's lifeless body.
"We're going to need CPR stuff," he says. The officers put on gloves and talk about going to get a rescue mask.
Then officer one says "Hey, mute?" and the video's sound clicks off. The last two minutes of the video are silent.
The two officers involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave. The officers have been with the department for two and four years, respectively; both had four years prior law enforcement experience with other agencies before joining the Sacramento force.
The Bee reports that before police released the videos to the public, they first showed them to Clark's family:
"Allowing family to see such videos before they are released to the public is part of a city policy adopted in late 2016 by the city of Sacramento after the fatal shooting by police of Joseph Mann, a mentally ill black man. Mann's shooting led to major reforms in the department, including a requirement that all patrol officers wear body cameras.
"The reforms also require police to release videos in "critical incidents" such as officer-involved shootings and deaths in custody within 30 days of the event. Sacramento police Chief Daniel Hahn, the city's first African American chief, has been releasing videos more quickly than the requirement and for a broader range of events than covered by the new law since taking over the department last summer."
The videos of the last minutes of Stephon Clark's life have sparked questions in Sacramento and online, about how the police handled the situation — and how they might have thought Clark had a gun.
"The object ultimately determined to be what police saw in Clark's hand was a cellphone his girlfriend and mother of his two children, Salena Manni, had loaned him," the Bee reports. "It was in a rose gold-colored case with a black clip on the back for holding items like credit cards, she said."
There is also a debate over what possible repercussions the two police officers might face.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg released a statement on Wednesday evening.
"I viewed the videos carefully," he said. "Based on the videos alone, I cannot second-guess the split-second decisions of our officers and I'm not going to do that."
"The questions raised by the community and councilmembers are appropriate and must be answered during the investigation," he continued. "For instance, what are the protocols regarding the use of force and for rendering emergency aid during officer-involved shootings?"
Sacramento police say additional video and audio will be released soon.
"This is an unfortunate moment," community activist Berry Accius told the Bee. "This moment is probably going to set us back. ... We got transparency. Now we need accountability. We can't get that young man back."

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