Newsletter: A demand for answers in Andres Guardado’s death

Hundreds of people rallied and marched outside the Compton Sheriffs' Office
Hundreds of people rallied and marched outside the Compton sheriff’s station on Sunday to protest the death of Andres Guardado, a security guard who was shot by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Monday, June 22, and I’m writing from Los Angeles. First, here’s a quick look at the week ahead:

Forget the Croisette: With the Cannes Film Festival — the world’s largest film festival and movie market — cancelled due to the coronavirus, beginning Monday the Cannes Marché du Film will be hosting the first major virtual film market since the start of the pandemic. But unlike with the typically splashy French Riviera film festival, Variety reports, “expectations as far as dealmaking are low for most” at the virtual edition.

[See also: “What Cannes 2020 lineup says about the canceled festival” from film critic Justin Chang in the Los Angeles Times]

A funeral service for Rayshard Brooks will be held Tuesday in Atlanta. Brooks, a Black man, was shot twice in the back on June 12 by a white officer who was trying to arrest him at a fast-food restaurant for being intoxicated behind the wheel of his car. Atlanta’s police chief resigned hours after shooting.


Also Tuesday: John Bolton’s contentious memoir will be published. A federal judge ruled Saturday that the former national security advisor can move forward in publishing his tell-all book despite efforts by the Trump administration to block the release because of concerns that classified information could be exposed.

[See also: “Five takeaways from John Bolton’s book” in the Los Angeles Times]

San Francisco Pride will head online over the weekend for the 50th annual San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration. Big Freedia is headlining the musical performances.

And now, here’s what’s happening across California:

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department still hasn’t explained why a deputy fatally shot 18-year-old Andres Guardado on Thursday night in Gardena. Sheriff’s officials said Guardado was armed and had fled from deputies but have not said what prompted the shooting. One of the deputies shot him in the upper torso six times, according to authorities. Family members said Guardado was working as a security guard near the location where he was shot.

Sheriff’s officials also said Saturday that Guardado was armed with an illegal handgun and was not wearing a uniform identifying him as a guard. But their failure to explain what actually led to the shooting has infuriated protesters, who on Sunday said they are concerned the shooting was unjustified and demanded more answers from authorities.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Gardena on Sunday. Protesters and sheriff’s deputies later engaged in a tense standoff outside the Compton sheriff’s station, with authorities using what appeared to be tear gas to disperse a small group who had broken off from the otherwise peaceful demonstration.

Congresswomen Nanette Barragán and Maxine Waters and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas have called for independent investigations into Guardado’s death, including one conducted by state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra. Barragán and Waters also criticized deputies for not wearing body cameras; Sheriff Alex Villanueva blamed the delay in outfitting deputies with body cameras on a lack of support from the county Board of Supervisors. Los Angeles Times


Despite gradual reopening, California’s unemployment rate remains stagnant. “California’s job growth engine has come to a screeching halt like an automatic car transmission that suddenly gets thrown into reverse,” said Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West. “We are forecasting the deepest U.S. and global recession since the Great Depression, and California’s economy will not be spared from the pandemic’s economic and financial damage.” Los Angeles Times

Infectious disease experts expressed alarm Sunday over the pace of new coronavirus infections in several states in the South and Southwest, with one likening the spread in parts of the country to a “forest fire.” With the United States now reporting a quarter of the world’s coronavirus cases, and daily new-infection counts exceeding 30,000 nationwide on at least two recent days, eight states — California among them — last week hit single-day new-case highs, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Los Angeles Times


She’s been by his side for years. Now an L.A. councilman’s wife figures in FBI probe: As a City Hall corruption inquiry zeroes in on Councilman Jose Huizar, filings raise questions about whether Richelle Huizar could be called to testify. Los Angeles Times

How two Black women in L.A. helped build Black Lives Matter from hashtag to global movement. Melina Abdullah and Patrisse Cullors are two of BLM’s guiding forces. Los Angeles Times

Police violence against journalists recalls the slaying of Ruben Salazar: Salazar was killed on Aug. 29, 1970, when a sheriff’s deputy shot a tear-gas projectile into the covered doorway of a bar in the chaos of the police melee that followed the Chicano Moratorium in East Los Angeles. Los Angeles Times


A lifeline for working parents, L.A. County day camps struggle to adapt to new rules. “Everybody’s like, ‘What’s the plan?’ There’s a lot of plans,” said Dan Pardo of the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles, which typically runs day camps for 4,000 to 5,000 children a week in the summer. Los Angeles Times

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Tijuana, hit hard by coronavirus, is starting to reopen. Some parts never closed. San Diego Union-Tribune


Rep. Adam B. Schiff withdrew his endorsement of Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey ahead of a contentious November election. In a tweet Saturday morning, Schiff (D-Burbank) alluded to recent protests and calls for criminal-justice reform after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody. Los Angeles Times

Assemblyman Phil Ting has denied allegations that an extramarital affair had influenced his work as a legislator, but the San Francisco Democrat publicly apologized to his family and constituents for not being faithful to his wife. San Francisco Chronicle

The mayor of a Northern California city lashed out at Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order requiring face coverings. Reinette Senum, mayor of Nevada City, made the statements in a Facebook post Saturday. Los Angeles Times



The World Health Organization on Sunday reported the largest single-day increase in global coronavirus cases by its count, at more than 183,000 new cases worldwide in the latest 24 hours. Los Angeles Times

COVID-19 has ravaged the Latino community in Sonoma County. “The data points to the structural inequities across our county that communities of color experience, such as lower incomes, lack of access to healthcare, inadequate, crowded housing conditions, including having multiple families in one home due to the high cost of living,” said Dr. Sundari Mase, the county health officer. Santa Rosa Press-Democrat

Mysterious deaths of infants and children raise questions about how early coronavirus hit California. But eight weeks after Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a statewide hunt for undetected early COVID-19 deaths, the effort remains hobbled by bureaucracy and testing limits. Los Angeles Times


When are California museums reopening? Some already have. Here’s the list. Los Angeles Times

Oakland’s Laney College has placed a faculty member on administrative leave after a social-media post alleged that the faculty member had asked a Vietnamese American student to “Anglicize” her name for his personal comfort. East Bay Times

Remembering the Central Valley man who invented the pluot. Floyd Zaiger, who died June 2 at 94, transformed the stone fruit industry from his farm just west of Modesto. Modesto Bee


Antelope Valley high school’s decision to drop its Rebels mascot is long overdue, some say. Quartz Hill High School celebrated the “Johnny Rebel” nickname with a cartoon Confederate soldier and the Confederate flag as its mascot. Los Angeles Times

A poem to start your week: “Say Thank You Say I’m Sorry,” a new poem from Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Jericho Brown about life during the pandemic. New York Times

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Los Angeles: partly sunny, 80. San Diego: partly sunny, 71. San Francisco: sunny, 67. San Jose: sunny, 89. Fresno: sunny, 102. Sacramento: sunny, 98. More weather is here.


This week’s birthdays for those who made a mark in California:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (June 22, 1933), Rep. Adam Schiff (June 22, 1960), environmental activist Erin Brockovich (June 22, 1960), actress Mindy Kaling (June 24, 1979), California billionaire and former presidential candidate Tom Steyer (June 27, 1957) and filmmaker Mel Brooks (June 28, 1926).

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints, ideas and unrelated book recommendations to Julia Wick. Follow her on Twitter @Sherlyholmes.