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Newsletter: Today: Car Chases and the Border Patrol

A ProPublica and Los Angeles Times investigation finds that Border Patrol chases often result in injuries, and sometimes death.

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Car Chases and the Border Patrol

As many modern police agencies move away from high-speed chases, placing tight restrictions on when their officers can pursue suspects, the Border Patrol allows its agents wide latitude to use them to catch people trying to enter the country illegally. It’s a practice that often ends in gruesome injuries, and sometimes death, a ProPublica and Los Angeles Times investigation has found. At speeds deemed by experts to be wildly unsafe, agents box in moving vehicles, puncture tires and employ tactics intended to spin cars off the road. The Border Patrol did not provide these numbers. Instead, reporters mined more than 9,000 federal criminal complaints filed against suspected human smugglers from 2015 to 2018 to build a database.

A Paradox in Trump’s Cabinet

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As Homeland Security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen oversees not only the Border Patrol but also wide array of other resources to secure the nation from threats. With President Trump threatening to close the border with Mexico and the Border Patrol’s largest holding area overwhelmed, she is once again in the spotlight. In many ways, Nielsen embodies a paradox: She’s succeeded in holding onto her job, despite numerous reports that Trump had decided to fire her, but has done so by becoming the public face of policies that haven’t worked as planned — and in some cases have backfired.

More Politics

-- The House Judiciary Committee has approved subpoenas for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s full Russia report as Democrats pressure the Justice Department to release the document without redactions.

-- The House Ways and Means Committee has asked the IRS for six years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns, a request the president has already said he will fight.

-- Jared Kushner has been identified as the senior White House official whose security clearance was denied last year because of concerns about foreign influence, private business interests and personal conduct.

-- Joe Biden, criticized for his treatment of women, has promised to be “mindful” of personal space. Trump, no stranger to allegations of inappropriate conduct, has been mocking him.

Adding Urgency to Emergency Alerts

Mendocino County. Paradise. Montecito. Whether it’s wildfires or mudslides, local emergency preparedness agencies have repeatedly failed to give adequate warnings that death was approaching. Now, after an unprecedented number of wildfire and mudslide deaths in California over the last two years, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has proposed a standard set of alert protocols for counties statewide. It’s the first time such a standard has been proposed.

Another Fired Deputy Is Rehired

L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva is already facing public outcry and a legal fight over his rehiring of a deputy who was discharged for violating department policies regarding domestic violence and making false statements to internal investigators. Now, Villanueva has reinstated a second deputy who was fired for misconduct: using unreasonable force and failing to use proper tactics.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

On this date in 1968, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed as he was standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn. The night before, facing death threats, King was well aware of his own mortality when he gave what’s become known as the “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech. The assassination shook the nation, and, as a Times oral history on the 50th anniversary last year showed, it is seared in the memories of those who experienced it.

Martin Luther King Jr. on the balcony of a Memphis motel at approximately the spot where he was shot by an assassin. This picture was taken the day before the shooting, shortly after King arrived in Memphis.
(Associated Press)

CALIFORNIA

-- In the fatal shooting of rapper Nipsey Hussle, several unanswered questions remain.

-- Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin and others faced a judge in Boston in the college admissions scandal.

-- More than 80 women have filed a lawsuit against Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa alleging they were secretly recorded in labor and delivery operating rooms.

-- Long Beach plans to woo the Angels from their decades-long home in Anaheim, and the Long Beach Arena might be sacrificed.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- As a producer on the documentary “The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story,” Lance Bass trains a lens on the con man who made him a star in ’N Sync.

-- T-Pain says he wouldn’t have picked the monster costume if he’d known he was going to stick around on “The Masked Singer.” He won. And now the Auto-Tune pioneer has a new album out, and a show tonight.

-- Writer versus agent: The brutal truth behind a Hollywood fight.

-- HBO will relocate its West Coast home from Santa Monica to Culver City.

NATION-WORLD

-- The U.S. Department of Education has rejected nearly all applicants for a student loan forgiveness program.

-- A letter in the New England Journal of Medicine has revealed that the boys trapped in a Thai cave were anesthetized with ketamine for the risky rescue dives that freed them.

-- The Israeli army says it’s recovered the body of a soldier who went missing in a 1982 battle with Syrian forces in southern Lebanon. It closes a famous case that has dogged Israel for nearly four decades.

BUSINESS

-- Electric car maker Tesla says it delivered about 63,000 vehicles to customers during the first quarter, a 31% drop from the previous quarter.

-- Facebook user data are still showing up in places they shouldn’t, such as being inadvertently posted publicly on Amazon’s cloud computing servers.

SPORTS

-- Jamie Dixon is on the verge of leaving his alma mater, Texas Christian University, to come home to Southern California as UCLA’s next basketball coach.

-- The big business of amateur sports is the topic of the latest episode of the “Arrive Early, Leave Late” podcast.

OPINION

-- Santa Anita should stop racing until it knows why horses are dying.

-- A Brexit deal is better than no deal. No Brexit would be even better.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- Some of special counsel Mueller’s investigators have reportedly told associates that Atty. Gen. William Barr failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry and that they were more troubling for Trump than Barr indicated. (New York Times)

-- Older Americans are disproportionately falling prey to the dangers of internet misinformation. It can have major implications for civic life. (BuzzFeed News)

-- The Chinese American millennials who are leaning into their heritage and taking over the family business. (Goldthread)

ONLY IN L.A.

Susan Orlean’s “The Library Book,” a nonfiction account of the fire that devastated Los Angeles’ Central Library in 1986, is headed — where else? — to the small screen. Paramount Television and production company Anonymous Content have reportedly acquired the television rights to Orlean’s bestseller with the idea of creating a real page-turner of a series.

If you like this newsletter, please share it with friends. Comments or ideas? Email us at headlines@latimes.com.


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