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Essential California: New LAPD video of a tragic incident

Essential California: New LAPD video of a tragic incident
A screenshot from a video taken as three officers shot a man who was holding a woman hostage with a knife. (LAPD)

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



Outside a homeless outreach center in Van Nuys on June 16, Guillermo Perez grabbed a woman and put a knife to her neck. Three police officers shot at Perez, 32, killing him — and also the woman. On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Police Department released dramatic video of the incident. As in the recent standoff at a Trader Joe’s in Silver Lake, officers aiming for a violent suspect unintentionally killed an innocent bystander. Chief Michel Moore said at a news conference that the officers, who fired a total of 18 rounds, were forced to make a split-second decision — and he described changes in tactics and weaponry that may lessen the odds of another hostage situation ending in the death of an innocent person. Los Angeles Times

The fires keep burning

This is the new normal: There are 17 serious wildfires burning throughout California, including one of the deadliest and most destructive in the state’s history. Firefighters this month have been laboring under triple-digit temperatures and dry conditions to gain control over fires that have burned indiscriminately through residential neighborhoods, rolling hills and steep, forested terrain. The flames are stoked by dry brush and areas of dead trees, some of which haven’t burned in decades. As of Tuesday, 12,300 firefighters were on the lines battling infernos that had burned more than 280,000 acres across the state. Los Angeles Times

And: Being out there on the front lines with firefighters outside Redding. Los Angeles Times

Plus: Here’s where the Carr fire destroyed homes in Northern California. Los Angeles Times

More border problems

Trump administration officials on Tuesday sought to defend the immigration enforcement policy that allowed Border Patrol agents to separate more than 2,500 migrant families, but they ran into sharp criticism from senators, as one official compared detention centers for children to “summer camp.” “These individuals have access to 24/7 food and water,” Matthew Albence, a top Immigration and Customs Enforcement official, said. “They have educational opportunities. They have recreational opportunities, both structured as well as unstructured, there’s basketball courts, there’s exercise classes, there’s soccer fields we put in there.” Los Angeles Times

— After pushing the federal government to reunite families who had been separated at the border, a San Diego judge called for reunification plans for parents who were either deported or released into the U.S. Los Angeles Times

-- A federal judge ruled Monday that the U.S. government must seek consent before administering psychotropic drugs to immigrant children held at a Texas facility. Los Angeles Times

The Lakers unveiled new uniforms Tuesday that feature a drop shadow like their jerseys from the 1980s Showtime era.
The Lakers unveiled new uniforms Tuesday that feature a drop shadow like their jerseys from the 1980s Showtime era. (


More fallout: The number of former patients suing USC for allegedly failing to protect them from sexual abuse at a campus health clinic increased to more than 300 this week amid a new push by university faculty to speed the departure of the outgoing president, C.L. Max Nikias. Los Angeles Times

Fresh face: After months of turmoil, including the firing of its chief curator and the announced departure of its current director, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles has announced its next director: Klaus Biesenbach, curator at large at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and director of its experimental satellite space, MoMA PS1. But there’s a new controversy. Los Angeles Times

No charges: The Los Angeles County district attorney has declined to file sexual assault charges against Leslie Moonves, the embattled chairman and chief executive officer of CBS Corp., saying accusations made against him date back three decades and therefore exceed the statute of limitations. Los Angeles Times

Deadline day: The Dodgers acquired Gold Glove winner Brian Dozier from the Minnesota Twins and reliever John Axford from the Toronto Blue Jays. Los Angeles Times


Generational wealth, baby! Where do people get money to buy California homes these days? Often, from mom and dad. KPCC


Nabbed: Mexican authorities have arrested a man in connection with the disappearance earlier this year of three Italian men in the western state of Jalisco, a case that triggered angry street demonstrations in Italy denouncing Mexican police. Los Angeles Times


Gearing up: Kamala Harris’ challenge in a 2020 presidential bid? Defining herself before her opponents do. Los Angeles Times


On the ballot: Union workers in Long Beach have collected enough petition signatures to place on the ballot a measure requiring hotels with more than 50 rooms to give workers a “panic button” to call for help in the event of a sexual assault. Los Angeles Times

No weed here! The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance Tuesday that bans cannabis dispensaries from opening in Chinatown. San Francisco Chronicle


Charged: A Huntington Beach man who authorities allege is a member of the Orange County Mexican Mafia is one of four people facing charges in a shooting that wounded a man in Placentia in 2017. Los Angeles Times

Scary: Authorities are searching for a gunman believed to be involved in two shootings Tuesday in Lynwood and Gardena that left two people dead and several injured, law enforcement officials said. Los Angeles Times

He did what?! A routine stop of a bicyclist turned hostile Tuesday morning when a man armed with a knife barricaded himself inside a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department vehicle in Montebello. Los Angeles Times


Great story: How the Redding Record Searchlight kept publishing during disaster. USA Today


The King: Newly minted Laker LeBron James had one more career-defining moment in his home state: opening a public school in Akron. Los Angeles Times

Plus: The Lakers unveiled their new uniforms for the 2018-19 season, featuring a throwback look to the 1980s Showtime era. Los Angeles Times

Valley talk: Facebook once again has been the target of a political influence campaign, months ahead of the November midterm elections. The social network, still stung by its widely criticized response to Russian meddling in the 2016 election, said Tuesday it had removed 32 pages and accounts from Facebook and Instagram for “coordinated inauthentic behavior.” Los Angeles Times

Those great cafeterias: “Two San Francisco supervisors introduced an ordinance last week that would forbid employee cafeterias in new corporate construction. It is not clear whether the measure will pass, but it is a direct attack on one of the modern tech industry’s most entrenched traditions.” New York Times

History lesson: “Meet the sexual candy man of Hollywood’s closeted elite, from Cary Grant to Katharine Hepburn.” Vanity Fair


Los Angeles area: sunny, 87, Wednesday; sunny, 86, Thursday. San Diego: partly cloudy, 82, Wednesday; sunny, 81, Thursday. San Francisco area: sunny, 63, Wednesday; sunny, 64, Thursday. San Jose: sunny, 80, Wednesday; partly cloudy, 80, Thursday. Sacramento: sunny, 94, Wednesday; partly cloudy, 94, Thursday. More weather is here.


Today’s California memory comes from Susan Thomas:

“I awake to the intoxicating smells of eggs, fresh side pork, and sourdough toast slathered with butter … the breakfast my grandfather is cooking just after dawn for a group of working men. It’s 1966 and I’m 10 years old, visiting my grandparents near Angels Camp, where Mark Twain was living when he wrote ‘The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County’ in 1865. Soon, the men will stand up, put on their cowboy hats, covering pale white foreheads that never see the sun, and file out to their pickup trucks to head to far corners of the ranch. I’d better hurry if I am going to see my grandfather before he leaves. As I enter the kitchen, the men briefly look up from their plates and nod hello. I give my grandfather a kiss on the cheek. As the men leave the house, I consider my toughest decision of the day. Will it be strawberry or maple nut ice cream at lunch?”