Newsletter: Essential California: Stephon Clark was shot six times in the back, independent autopsy finds

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It is Saturday, March 31. Here’s what you don’t want to miss this weekend:


Stephon Clark, the unarmed African American man whose shooting by police has caused protests and national outcry, was shot six times in the back, an independent forensic pathologist said Friday. Dr. Bennet Omalu conducted an autopsy days after Clark was killed by police. He told reporters that his examination showed Clark was hit by eight bullets, and all but one entered while his back was turned toward the two officers. Los Angeles Times

Plus: California legislators are poised to again try to loosen some of the nation’s strictest prohibitions on the release of officer shooting and misconduct investigations. Los Angeles Times

The green land rush

Right now, B-Real and other cannabis entrepreneurs need industrial real estate where they can grow and manufacture their product, and shops where they can sell it. Both are increasingly in tight supply in Southern California as cities began this year to allow pot sales to adults without a doctor’s approval after the approval of Proposition 64 in 2016. B-Real is the stage name of Louis Freese, the frontman of South Gate hip-hop group Cypress Hill and longtime cannabis advocate who is gearing up to produce a lot more of his signature “Insane OG” strain. He recently rented an old warehouse in downtown Los Angeles for his growers and is looking for more space, perhaps miles away in the Mojave. Los Angeles Times



Health scare: Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was recovering Friday after undergoing emergency open-heart surgery during a procedure to replace a valve in his heart, according to his spokesman. Los Angeles Times

Barry O! Former President Obama is heading to Beverly Hills in May to raise money for Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri in his first post-presidential fundraiser for a candidate, according to an invitation obtained by The Times. Los Angeles Times

She’s out: Actress-turned-conservative commentator Stacey Dash is calling her congressional candidacy quits a little over a month after jumping into a Los Angeles race. Los Angeles Times

Strong column: California’s housing crisis reaches from the homeless to the middle class — but it’s still almost impossible to fix, argues columnist Michael Hiltzik. Los Angeles Times

Easter pardons: A deported U.S. Army veteran has been granted U.S. citizenship, a move made possible by California Gov. Jerry Brown’s pardon of a criminal offense last year.” Associated Press

Plus: Five immigrants with criminal records who face possible deportation were among those pardoned by Brown on Friday, continuing his tradition of granting clemency around the Easter holiday. Los Angeles Times

Bye, bye, Boyle Heights: The artist-run space 356 Mission is leaving the neighborhood. Founders Laura Owens and Wendy Yao explain why. Los Angeles Times

There’s more “Roseanne” coming to ABC: Fresh off the blockbuster return of the family sitcom — whose Tuesday premiere pulled in a huge 18.2 million viewers — the network announced Friday that it will keep the revival going with an 11th season. Los Angeles Times


1. Michael Avenatti, the adrenaline-fueled lawyer taking on President Trump. Washington Post

2. Amid the hipster foodies of Grand Central Market, one longtime chile vendor tries to hang on. Los Angeles Times

3. Why so many Mexicans revile the Colonial Californiano architectural hybrid that spread from Southern California. Los Angeles Times

4. “This stunning drone footage gives a bird’s-eye view of the beautiful falls and nature that run along the Lake Clementine reservoir in the Auburn area.” Sacramento Bee

5. A family of eight is likely dead in a plunge off a Mendocino Coast cliff. Press Democrat


In the Grapevine: The arrests of three men in Kern County were part of a larger immigration sweep in California’s agricultural heartland that has sent fear through the Central Valley, where for generations, immigrants here legally and illegally have picked crops. In some fields, almost all of the foreign workers are in the country without legal status. While many immigrants have been on edge since President Trump vowed a crackdown on illegal immigration, the recent sweeps have been particularly concerning because they included the arrests of people not specifically targeted by ICE. Los Angeles Times

Following up: California voters are joining this political party by mistake, but lawmakers aren’t doing anything about it. Los Angeles Times

The big picture: “Immigrant populations in the United States have been growing fast for decades now. Crime in the same period, however, has moved in the opposite direction, with the national rate of violent crime today well below what it was in 1980.” New York Times

A “fake news” fight: Why Devin Nunes and his local paper suddenly can’t stand each other.” Mother Jones

Coming to America: “For five days now hundreds of Central Americans — children, women, and men, most of them from Honduras — have boldly crossed immigration checkpoints, military bases, and police in a desperate, sometimes chaotic march toward the United States. Despite their being in Mexico without authorization, no one has made any effort to stop them.” BuzzFeed

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.