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World & Nation

Newsletter: Today: When police can — and can’t — kill

With the signing of “Stephon Clark’s law,” California now has tough new standards governing use of force by police. Supporters hope it will help change the state’s policing culture.

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When the Police Can and Can’t Kill

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation dubbed “Stephon Clark’s law” Monday, creating what some call one of the toughest standards in the nation for when law enforcement officers can kill. Furious private negotiations and public outcry helped shape the final language of the law, which takes effect Jan. 1. It doesn’t go as far as activists hoped, but supporters say it’s a needed first step to change California’s policing culture. “The bill is watered down, everybody knows that,” said Stevante Clark, brother of Stephon Clark, who was shot by Sacramento police last year. “But at least we are getting something done.” Our story explains what the law does, what police think and how it addresses issues of race in policing.

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More on police use of force:

— California’s new law is subtle but important, the Los Angeles Times editorial board writes. And it should give officers an incentive to demand, and departments to provide, better training on nonlethal alternatives for dealing with suspect encounters.

— Five years after Eric Garner‘s chokehold death, The New York Police Department fired the officer who had put him in the banned chokehold. Garner’s dying gasps of “I can’t breathe” gave voice to a national debate on police use of force, particularly against black men.

‘A Very Dark Moment’ in a Mississippi Parish

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Sunday Mass at Father Roberto Mena’s small church in Forest, Miss., isn’t what it used to be. His lector is gone. So are four lead singers of his choir, two Eucharistic ministers and nearly half of his parishioners. They’re some of the hundreds of immigrant workers detained by ICE following raids at nearby poultry-processing plants. St. Michael Catholic Church had long been a refuge for Latinos. Now it’s also a makeshift emergency center where families gather to ask: What are their options? Where can they find work, and how will they pay rent? Father Mena has offered prayers plus practical help, opening up his parish hall to lawyers and psychologists. But he’s worried about his flock. “This is a very dark moment in their lives,” he says.

Judge Overturns Villanueva’s Rehiring of Fired Deputy

A judge on Monday overturned Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s controversial decision to reinstate a deputy who had been fired for violating department policies on domestic violence and lying — a dispute that sparked a rare legal battle among some of L.A. County’s most powerful elected officials. It had been a high-stakes gamble for Villanueva, who relies on the supervisors to approve funding for his department — and who has recently faced a rare rebuke from his own party. But the supervisors also risked looking powerless if the judge had ruled in the sheriff’s favor. The order bolsters the view that the Board of Supervisors has the authority to weigh in on controversial county employment decisions.

He Was Paid to Keep Kids Out of Gangs. Had He Left His?

Gang diversion programs often turn to former members to help kids steer clear of gangs. They have credibility outsiders lack, proponents say, and authorities say the programs have helped curb gang violence in Los Angeles. That’s what Wilfredo Vides was supposed to do, as a “peace ambassador” for a publicly funded nonprofit. But for all the Bible studies and peacemaking soccer matches, authorities say he was far from reformed. He was arrested last month, along with 21 others, in a federal takedown of MS-13’s Fulton clique — a cell of the transnational gang that is accused of murdering and dismembering its enemies in the mountains above L.A.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

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On this day in 1976, two fishermen hauled a 15-foot-long great white shark into San Pedro, after some other fishermen had harpooned it off Catalina but decided it was going to need a bigger boat. “I’m taking the rest of the day off,” a weary Jay Langham, the 30-year-old skipper of the 38-foot Dawn Renee, told The Times after he and his only crewman, Hugh Innes-Brown, 29, got it onto land. He said they’d spent more than two hours lifting the fish onto the boon and tying it down, after finding it dead in the ocean a day after it had been harpooned.

Aug. 20, 1976: The crew of the Dawn Renee, Jay Langham, left, and Hugh Inness-Brown open the mouth of 15-foot great white shark harpooned 10 miles off Catalina. Another boat’s crew harpooned it but had to cut it loose. It was brought to San Pedro by Langham and Innes-Brown.
Aug. 20, 1976: The crew of the Dawn Renee, Jay Langham, left, and Hugh Inness-Brown open the mouth of 15-foot great white shark harpooned 10 miles off Catalina. Another boat’s crew harpooned it but had to cut it loose. It was brought to San Pedro by Langham and Innes-Brown.
(Art Rogers / Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

— A retired Cal State Fullerton administrator was stabbed to death on the first day of the academic year, and authorities later found an explosive device nearby. His killer was still at large.

— California’s “red flag” law appears to be helping to reduce the risk of mass shootings, a new study finds.

— A judge ordered jurors to restart deliberations in the trial of two men charged with involuntary manslaughter in Oakland’s deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire.

— A Corona meteorologist says he was beaten up last week after a group of people at a bar where he was playing pool mistook him for a child predator in a police sketch.

— A 54-year-old man suspected of lighting his mother on fire surrendered to police hours after locking himself inside a home in Rancho Cucamonga, authorities say.

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HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

Ava DuVernay tries to find joy in all her projects. That includes “When They See Us,” her series about the Central Park Five.

— After two years of uploading music online, the 21-year-old known as $not — and previously as Edy Edouard — is on the brink of rap fame. It helps that his music’s in HBO’s “Euphoria,” and that Billie Eilish is a fan.

— The WGA is taking its fight with talent agencies to federal court.

— It’s long past time Hollywood seriously confront Charles Manson’s white supremacist ideology and unpack the role it played in his cult and his crimes, our critic Lorraine Ali writes.

Disney‘s long-awaited streaming service, Disney+, is coming to the U.S., plus Canada and the Netherlands, in November.

NATION-WORLD

Planned Parenthood will withdraw from the federal Title X program that helps low-income people access birth control rather than comply with a new Trump administration rule that would bar it from providing them abortion referrals.

Hong Kong’s tough strategy against protests could backfire. Here’s how.

— Sen. Elizabeth Warren publicly apologized to Native Americans for her past claim to tribal heritage and how she had handled it in her presidential campaign. Last week, she released a detailed policy agenda to help them.

— Plans to try to repatriate Rohingya Muslim refugees to Myanmar have spread panic in the world’s largest refugee settlement, prompting humanitarian officials to reassure families that no one will be forced to return.

— One of Jeffrey Epstein‘s earliest accusers says Santa Monica police could have stopped him 22 years ago.

BUSINESS

Facebook and Twitter suspended accounts believed to be tied to a Beijing-backed campaign to spread disinformation about pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Tesla is trying to revive a struggling division with no-contract rental solar panels. But there’s a catch.

— The fallout from the deadly 2017 Tubbs fire is once again battering PG&E‘s stock, after a bankruptcy ruling Friday cleared $18 billion in related legal claims to head toward a jury.

— A top business lobbying group just buried the myth of shareholder value, columnist Michael Hiltzik writes.

SPORTS

Gavin Lux, the young player the Dodgers refused to trade, has blossomed as a prospect with a lethal bat and stellar work ethic.

Steph Curry is bringing golf back to Howard University. Its athletic director called his “one of the most generous gifts” in the historically black university’s history.

— This fall, which teams will test Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence?

Colin Kaepernick took what sounded like a shot at Jay-Z, days after the rapper inked a partnership with the NFL and said “we’ve moved past kneeling.”

OPINION

— The Trump administration’s new Title X gag rule will mean miserably long waits at clinics for reproductive healthcare, the editorial board writes.

— It also says his new “religious freedom” rule looks like a license to discriminate.

— Jeffrey Epstein’s death should come as no surprise. We’re facing an epidemic of prison suicide, investigative reporter Beth Shelburne writes.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

— Back in the ‘70s, the fat-tired California beach cruiser turned vacationers into bicycle riders. (CityLab)

— Hundreds of Democratic National Committee delegates head to San Francisco next weekend for three days of meetings and hearing from 13 presidential contenders. Front-runner Joe Biden won’t be among them. (Politico California)

ONLY IN L.A.

The restaurant that won Yu Bo and his wife, Dai Shuang, international fame (that’s Yu’s Family Kitchen) is in Chengdu, China. But the dish of theirs that’s got our columnist Lucas Kwan Peterson obsessed could only have been born of a stint in Los Angeles. The bicontinental couple’s brilliant invention? A twist on a beloved Sichuan standby: avocado mapo tofu. “Yu’s mapo tofu takes the spicy, hearty and pleasingly numbing dish and kicks it into a higher gear I didn’t realize the dish had. The addition of avocado, a California twist, is — and I don’t always love this term — fusion cuisine at its finest.”

Avocado mapo tofu being cooked in the wok.
Avocado mapo tofu being cooked in the wok.
(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

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