L.A. Now
California: This just in
Black sergeant sues San Diego Police Department over racist cartoon

An African American San Diego police officer is suing the Police Department, alleging that he suffered harassment and job retaliation after complaining about the use of a racist cartoon during a training session.

Sgt. Arthur Scott, 43, a 10-year veteran of the department, complained about the cartoon, which depicted Frank McCarter, the department's first black officer, as "ape-like." The cartoon appeared around 1909 in the San Diego Sun newspaper.

In the lawsuit, filed on behalf of Scott by attorney Daniel Gilleon, Scott said the cartoon was displayed at a training session in August for prospective lieutenants.

The cartoon was displayed to show the political atmosphere in San Diego when McCarter was an officer, including when he was assigned to patrol a Chinese neighborhood in downtown. The cartoon includes racist images of Chinese and the word "chinks."

After Scott complained to the instructor, the cartoon was removed from the training materials. But several weeks later, Scott carried...

Read more
Mysterious shooting leaves one dead; wounded man shows up at hospital

Police are investigating a mysterious shooting at a Pasadena park Tuesday night. One man was found dead at the park, and a second man, with a gunshot wound, checked himself into a hospital hours later.

The shooting was reported about 10:20 p.m. at Villa Park near Marengo Avenue and Villa Street, and when officers arrived, they found a man in his 50s dead from apparent gunfire.

About two hours later and miles away, unknown to detectives working the crime scene, a man in his 30s walked into Huntington Hospital’s emergency room with a gunshot wound.

Nurses notified police, who believe he may have been involved in the shooting. It was unclear whether the man was a second victim in the incident or was involved in a different violent confrontation.

A witness told NBC4 that he heard up to nine gunshots. No arrests have been made and no motive has been determined.

Anyone with information is asked to call Pasadena police Lt. Diego Torres at (626)744-4517.


Read more
Parents, children mourn Monterey Park crossing guard killed in crash

A Monterey Park intersection was beginning to fill out Wednesday morning with candles, notes and other keepsakes in memory of a beloved crossing guard who was killed sitting in his folding chair on the corner.

The Los Angeles County medical examiner-coroner's office identified the guard as Abel Flores Castellanos, 76, and said he was killed about 3:40 p.m. when he was hit by a convertible at Garfield and Elmgate avenues.

“Thank you!” reads one note left at the scene, tweets from reporters at the scene showed. “U kept me safe when I was a kid. Thank you! On behalf of all us kids.”

Neighbors told reporters Castellanos had been helping kids cross that intersection for more than a decade. He was there even in the rain, resident Zak Falcon told NBC4.

The crash is being investigated by the California Highway Patrol. A 2004 Ford Mustang lost control in the intersection and hit Castellanos while he was sitting at the corner, according to KTLA. Witnesses reported that the car appeared to swerve...

Read more
Early morning fire races through 3 El Monte homes, displaces 11

A fast-moving fire in El Monte tore through three homes and sent plumes of smoke into the pre-dawn sky while residents fled the flames Wednesday.

The fire was reported about 3 a.m. in the 3900 block of Arden Drive, said Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatch supervisor Michael Pittman.

Responding to a call of a house fire, firefighters arrived on the scene in less than 10 minutes, but by then, the flames had ignited a carport and spread to a home next door and a residence in the back, Pittman said. Video of the blaze showed bright orange and yellow flames shooting from the first home’s windows.

One woman suffered minor burns as she shielded her children from the fire, KTLA reported. The home in the rear of the property was a converted garage, NBC4 reported. The blaze was out in less than an hour, officials said.

About 11 people were displaced by the fire, Pittman said, and the American Red Cross was at the scene to help the families.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


Read more
UC Santa Barbara overwhelmingly white? Not anymore

UC Santa Barbara has been designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), a recognition given to colleges and universities where Latinos comprise at least a quarter of the student body. The designation symbolizes UC Santa Barbara’s change from its old stereotype of three decades ago as a campus where some Latinos said they did not feel welcome.

That old cliche of UCSB as an overwhelmingly white campus is now “out of sync,” said Carl Gutierrez-Jones, UC Santa Barbara’s acting dean of undergraduate education.

The campus now is “very proud to have a student body that reflects the diversity of the state and is preparing all students to work effectively in that complex population,” he said.

The HSI status and allied membership in the Hispanic Assn. of Colleges and Universities, is shared by 261 other schools around the country, including 91 in California.  Three other UC campuses -- Riverside, Santa Cruz and Merced -- previously became association members.

The status can be a first step...

Read more
Earthquake: 3.2 quake strikes near Holtville

A shallow magnitude 3.2 earthquake was reported Wednesday morning three miles from Holtville, Calif., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 3:36 a.m. PST at a depth of 8.1 miles.

According to the USGS, the epicenter was six miles from El Centro, seven miles from Imperial and eight miles from Calexico.

In the past 10 days, there have been three earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater centered nearby.

This information comes from the USGS Earthquake Notification Service and this post was created by an algorithm.

Read more about Southern California earthquakes.

Read more