Newsletter: Essential California: The riots changed the LAPD, but many young officers barely remember what unfolded

LAPD officer Delwin Fields guards the intersection at Central and 46th Street on April 30, 1992.
LAPD officer Delwin Fields guards the intersection at Central and 46th Street on April 30, 1992.
(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Monday, May 1, and here’s what’s happening across California:


A generational shift

Turnover in the Los Angeles Police Department has led to a generational shift. Many young LAPD officers barely remember the 1992 riots even as they work in a department shaped by the unrest. “They learn from the people that have learned from 1992,” LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said of young officers. “A change in culture doesn’t necessarily mean that the newest recipients of that change in culture understand how it got to where it is. They just know the change in culture.” Los Angeles Times


How Maxine Waters became ‘Auntie Maxine’

After 14 terms, 78-year-old Rep. Maxine Waters is more popular than ever, largely because of her refusal to attend President Trump’s inauguration. Since then she’s become big with the kids, drawing a following of “young black activists [who] in particular see a powerful and familiar figure in the impeccably dressed older woman expressing her opinion.” Los Angeles Times

Changing treatment

In Boyle Heights, a medical clinic is trying to help reduce the amputation rate for Los Angeles’ poorest residents. This is a tall order, which requires treating wounds as well as helping people better manage the disease. Los Angeles Times



How the riots changed Venice: Gentrification is not a recent fad in Los Angeles. It’s been happening here for a long time. Times columnist Robin Abcarian goes inside how the L.A. riots affected “tiny Oakwood, a 1.1-mile-square neighborhood, which had been the only Los Angeles beachside community where black people were allowed to purchase homes after Venice was built in the early 20th century.” Los Angeles Times

More allegations: The officer embroiled in one of the most high-profile shootings by Los Angeles police in recent years is also facing domestic violence charges in Orange County. Los Angeles Times

An enlightening Uber ride: An Uber ride to LAX allowed one writer to meet some of her neighbors who also happened to have fled from Fairouzeh, Syria. The Daily Beast

South L.A. revisited: “For me L.A. isn’t heaven, but it’s also not hell,” says one immigrant. New York Times


Turnabout: Liberal sanctuary cities in California and elsewhere may well win their legal battle against Trump thanks to Supreme Court rulings once heralded by conservatives, including a 2012 opinion that shielded red states from President Obama’s plans to expand Medicaid coverage. Los Angeles Times

Fear is in the air: Reports of domestic violence and sexual assaults among Latinos have dramatically dropped this year, and police officials believe it because of fears about being deported. New York Times


Fear, Part 2: Are Trump’s fear tactics on illegal immigration actually working? Washington Post

Driven by grief: The California liberal who is fighting illegal immigration. The Mercury News

Immigrant detained: On Saturday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained a Mexican immigrant with a pending asylum case. It was his 18th birthday. Lawyers from the Immigrant Defenders Law Center fought Erik Javier Flores Hernandez’s deportation case and helped him apply for asylum. LAist


Reform it, please? Even though parking cheats who use disabled placards are not the world’s biggest problem, Times columnist George Skelton argues they frustrate the daily lives of many motorists who respect the law and play by the rules. Los Angeles Times

Not so fast: Los Angeles County has a new government-run energy program, but the track records of similar public energy efforts show that the initial cost advantage doesn’t last. Los Angeles Times

Get your shots: The University of California had mandated that incoming students must be vaccinated for a host of diseases, but at the last minute it decided to give one final reprieve to the freshman class entering this fall. Sacramento Bee

Listen while you drive: Hear Times reporters discuss the view of the Trump era from the Golden State on the California Politics Podcast. Los Angeles Times



A grim scene: One woman was killed and seven other people were wounded, several critically, after an armed man opened fire Sunday at a swimming pool at a San Diego apartment complex. Los Angeles Times

Two arrested after carjacking: Police say two suspects arrested in a stolen car may be tied to a shooting rampage through Los Angeles suburbs that killed one man and left two others wounded. Los Angeles Times

Crash: Authorities say an 18-wheel truck plowed into an occupied apartment complex in Fullerton on Sunday morning. CBS Los Angeles

Pedestrian killed: A man was killed after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver and then by a bus in Van Nuys early Sunday, Los Angeles police said. Los Angeles Daily News


From Canada with love: In March, Canada’s top climate official, Catherine McKenna, met with Gov. Jerry Brown, who hoped to bring Canada into his Under2 Coalition, a collection of 170 nations, states and provinces pledging to keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius. San Francisco Chronicle

Shark attack: A woman who was standing in the ocean with friends near San Onofre State Beach in northern San Diego County had part of her upper thigh torn off by a shark. Los Angeles Times


What makes a chef? Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold explores what it means to be a chef in Los Angeles in 2017. He writes, “The access to deep-cut non-European cooking is unparalleled — it is possible in some neighborhoods to find restaurants serving a dozen regional cuisines from China or Latin America within a few minutes’ walk.” Los Angeles Times

My shot: Meet the teachers who waited in line for nearly 24 hours to snag the first tickets to the musical “Hamilton” in L.A. Los Angeles Times

Fahrenheit 450-what? Science fiction writer Ray Bradbury lived in one house in Cheviot Hills for 50 years. One of L.A.'s most prominent architects, Thom Mayne, and wife Blythe Alison-Mayne knocked it down to build a new home. So what’s it like? KCRW

A staple ends: The Venice Beach Freak Show, a bizarre tourist attraction on the boardwalk, is closing. Its last day was Sunday afternoon, and it included a six-hour street performance that served as protest, farewell and fundraiser. Los Angeles Times

Check ’em out: A collection of photos captures Silver Lake. The Eastsider


San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles area: sunny Monday and Tuesday. Sacramento: sunny Monday, partly cloudy Tuesday. More weather is here.


This week’s birthdays for those who made a mark in California: former Mayor Richard Riordan (May 1, 1930), actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (May 2, 1972) and Clippers star Chris Paul (May 6, 1985).

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. Send us an email to let us know what you love or fondly remember about our state. (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 and ideas to Benjamin Oreskes and Shelby Grad. Also follow them on Twitter @boreskes and @shelbygrad.