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Today’s Headlines: Video of deputies killing suicidal man shows multiple failures

David Ordaz Jr.
David Ordaz Jr., 34, was fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies after his sister called 911 for help with Ordaz, who she said was suicidal.
(Adamson Ahdoot LLP)

Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:

TOP STORIES

Video of deputies killing suicidal man shows multiple failures

David Ordaz Jr. stood on the sidewalk outside his East L.A. home as sheriff’s deputies, as well as family members, yelled at him to drop a 12-inch kitchen knife.

Ordaz, 34, had told deputies he was upset because they wouldn’t shoot him. His sister told a 911 dispatcher that Ordaz had talked about “suicide by cop” and that she was “afraid for that.”As a deputy yelled at Ordaz to “stand back,” several shot beanbag rounds at him from what appeared to be several yards away. Ordaz then advanced a few steps forward and was hit with 12 bullets in a barrage that continued even after falling onto the pavement.

Body-camera footage released of the March 14 shooting, which occurred within minutes of the deputies’ arrival, has drawn criticism from policing experts as well as Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who said Friday that he had “grave concerns” about the shooting and had relieved one of the deputies from duty.

The Times asked five policing experts to review the video released by the Sheriff’s Department, and they found fault in the number of shots fired at Ordaz or the earlier effort to deescalate the situation before it led to violence.

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Change is finally coming to Olympics

On Monday night at the Tokyo International Forum, Laurel Hubbard became the first openly transgender athlete to compete in an individual sport at the Olympics. The Tokyo Games are setting a precedent. Though Hubbard is widely considered the first, she is not alone.

BMX rider Chelsea Wolfe arrived in Japan as an alternate on the U.S. women’s freestyle team. Quinn, a Canadian soccer player making their second trip to the Olympics, recently came out as transgender nonbinary — a person who neither identifies exclusively as male or female.

Change has not come easily. Olympic officials anticipated the scrutiny Hubbard would face in Tokyo.

Bay Area counties mandate indoor masks

Officials in a large swath of the Bay Area announced Monday that residents will again need to wear masks in indoor public settings regardless of vaccination status amid a surge in COVID-19 cases fueled by the highly transmissible Delta variant.

The move comes several weeks after Los Angeles County became one of the first in the nation to return to an indoor mask mandate. Monday’s move greatly expands the number of people in California covered by such rules.

Health officers from Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma counties, and Berkeley made the joint announcement Monday afternoon. They said the Delta variant is causing cases and hospitalizations to escalate and predicted that deaths also will rise in the coming weeks.

Most Bay Area residents who have been hospitalized were unvaccinated. Still, the elderly and people with underlying conditions who were fully vaccinated also are succumbing to the Delta variant, the officers said. They said the new mandate arose from a rise in hospitalizations and a new understanding that even the vaccinated may spread the virus.

The order will go into effect Tuesday at midnight, and officials said they intended it to be temporary, although they did not provide a timeline. They also said they hoped requiring masks would preempt the need for more drastic restrictions such as closures of public spaces and businesses.

More top coronavirus headlines

— A growing chorus of Los Angeles-area restaurants and bars are implementing their own COVID restrictionseven as some customers balk — as the highly transmittable Delta variant causes infection rates in the region to climb.

— Sen. Lindsey Graham tests positive for the coronavirus — a breakthrough infection, as he was vaccinated in December.

For more, sign up for Coronavirus Today, a special edition of The Times’ Health and Science newsletter.

Our daily news podcast

If you’re a fan of this newsletter, you’ll probably love our new daily podcast, “The Times,” hosted by columnist Gustavo Arellano, along with reporters from across our newsroom. Every weekday, it takes you beyond the headlines. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts and follow on Spotify.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

This photo, taken by staff photographer Ken Dare, was published on the front page of the Aug. 15, 1968, Westside edition of the Los Angeles Times.

Although results from the dory race were not reported in the Los Angeles Times, lifeguard Mike Kent in January 1969 was part of a 12-man Santa Monica team that captured first place at the seventh annual Lifeguard Winter Games, held at Will Rogers State Beach.

August 1968: Santa Monica lifeguards Mike Kent, front, and Capt. Jim Richards practice for a dory race.
August 1968: Santa Monica lifeguards Mike Kent, front, and Capt. Jim Richards practice for a dory race at the upcoming 10-day Santa Monica Sports and Arts Festival.
(Ken Dare / Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

— California once boasted some of the most biodiverse beaches in the world, but for almost a century, dunes have been flattened and paved over. Now, with the looming threat of sea level rise and a state desperate for solutions, conservationists and a growing movement of researchers say restoring them could provide a much-needed buffer from the water.

— A sweeping ordinance outlawing camping around parks, libraries and other facilities was approved last week by the Los Angeles City Council. But is it a humane approach or cruel to unhoused people?

— A familiar late-summer cocktail of high temperatures, gusty winds and low humidity will create hazardous conditions this week, prompting the National Weather Service on Sunday to caution about elevated fire risk for Southern California.

— The El Monte City Council has launched an effort to create an ethics commission that would sanction city officials who violate rules on accepting expensive gifts and other conflicts of interest. The action last week followed a Times article that detailed how a councilwoman accepted financial assistance from a lobbyist.

Sign up early for our California Politics newsletter, coming in August, to get the best of The Times’ state politics reporting, including full coverage of the recall election and the latest action in Sacramento.

Support our journalism

Subscribe to the Los Angeles Times.

NATION-WORLD

— The Times is tracking the latest national opinion polls to help gauge how voters view Vice President Kamala Harris compared to Biden and past vice presidents. Here’s what the data have to say.

Nancy Pelosi and Kevin McCarthy relationship hits a new low. She called him a moron; he joked about hitting her with a gavel. The relationship between the House leaders has never been great, but it is at a new low.

— A bipartisan group of senators is hoping to approve an expansive infrastructure bill this week after months of negotiation, compromise and delay. Here’s what to know.

— As violence in Afghanistan soars, the Biden administration announced Monday that it was expanding the pool of endangered Afghans who can receive refugee visas, but the system’s complexities may limit who can benefit.

— In drought-plagued northern Mexico, tens of thousands of cows are starving to death. It’s an unimaginable loss for a state that is world-famous for its high-quality cows, and where beef is not just a central part of the diet and economy but also a tradition that binds families together.

— Should former Mexican presidents be prosecuted for alleged crimes committed while in office? That was the question facing voters in a national referendum Sunday, but not enough people turned out to deliver a binding answer at the polls.

— The sudden sinking of the ground due to water depletion has become a growing crisis threatening Tehran’s 13 million residents and, increasingly, a problem across Iran.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

DaBaby continues to reap the consequences of his homophobic outburst, yet another major music festival has removed the scorned rapper from its lineup. The organizers of New York City’s forthcoming Governors Ball released a statement condemning “hate or discrimination of any kind,” with an updated roster excluding the “Rockstar” artist. Shortly thereafter, DaBaby issued a second, lengthier apology for his behavior.

— Reclusive R&B visionary Frank Ocean will return to headline Coachella in 2023. The organizers behind the massive festival hope he’ll be just one piece of a post-pandemic revival.

— An album about fame? Yawn. But Billie Eilish’s sumptuous “Happier Than Ever,” the followup to her quadruple-platinum debut, looks back at her ascent and surveys the damage through a fresh lens.

— Unprompted, actor Matt Damon decided to tell the Sunday Times — and the world — that he finally stopped using the “F-slur for a homosexual” months ago after one of his daughters informed him it’s wrong.

BUSINESS

— After months of slow sales, the condo market has come roaring back — particularly at the high end. Two luxury condos recently sold for record prices.

— The giant white elephants at tourist magnet Hollywood & Highland are being quietly removed as new owners update the famous shopping center where the annual Academy Awards are held. It’s part of an effort to shed references to the movie industry’s past that revive memories of racism and sexual exploitation.

— Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine, the production entity behind shows such as “Big Little Lies,” has been acquired by a newly formed media company launched by former Walt Disney Co. executives.

SPORTS

— Olympic baseball: With a 7-6 loss to Japan, the U.S. will next play an elimination game against the winner of Tuesday’s meeting between Israel and the Dominican Republic.

— When the Pac-12 announced George Kliavkoff’s hire, most everyone in this room at media day — athletic directors and coaches included — knew nothing of him. Now he could give the Pac-12 an edge in conference realignment.

Get the latest news from Tokyo with our Olympics live blog and the Sports Report newsletter.

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OPINION

— The rules surrounding recall elections mean Gov. Gavin Newsom could be replaced by someone with a tiny fraction of the vote. That’s nuts, writes The Times’ editorial board.

Congress and Biden failed tenants by letting the eviction moratorium expire. The federal government still has $40 billion in rent relief. It’s just being doled out too slowly, writes The Times’ editorial board.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

Japan has put on a diverse face for the Olympics. Some “hafu,” or mixed-race people, say that’s not reality. (The Washington Post)

— How toxic diet culture is passed from moms to daughters. “There’s such a cycle of shame, and we’re living proof that it’s really hard to break.” (Teen Vogue)

— Amid unrest after George Floyd’s death, someone set a fire in a Goodwill. The surveillance footage set off an international manhunt — one that exposed an emerging global surveillance system that might one day find anyone, anywhere, while civil liberties struggle to keep pace. (New York Times)

ONLY IN CALIFORNIA

Afterparties” follows Cambodian Americans living mostly in the Central Valley — and deals with (among other subjects) reincarnation, the inherited trauma of the Khmer Rouge era, queerness and the intricacies of family. The author, Anthony Veasna So, a queer, Cambodian American writer on the cusp of success, died unexpectedly in December at age 28.

He’s remembered for his wit and ability to balance humor and trauma in his writing.

The author’s unexpected death devastated his peers and mentors, who had felt they were witnessing the beginning of an illustrious career.

Today’s newsletter was curated by Daric L. Cottingham and Laura Blasey. Comments or ideas? Email us at headlines@latimes.com.


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