In March, Manny Figueras, longtime field deputy for City Councilman Richard Alarcon, struck and killed a homeless man with his city-owned Prius. And yet, when the Weekly reported on the incident last week, it was only the second story about the fatality — and the first to question why there had been no LAPD press release, why it took more than two months for any media coverage of the incident, and why Alarcon never contacted the victim's family (“Did L.A. City Hall Cover Up Fatality,” by Beth Barrett). That had readers crying foul.

“Typical,” writes Csandolval2k3. “I'm not surprised at all by these so-called 'officers of the law,' politicians and their cronies. Karma is a bitch! What goes around comes around, and it comes back twice as hard.”

The cleverly nicknamed “Nottoomuckinfutch” concurs. “Jaywalking or not, this is a cover-up by the smooth-talking Alarcon, his minions and someone — or some officers — with LAPD. … This cover-up smells like the crap that it is.”

What stands out for me here is the reckless driving of Figueras, who 'swerved from the middle lane' to hit Gary Woodford, who had barely stepped off the curb,” Sfarkas writes. “And that Figueras, according to an objective eyewitness, did not try to help. He was more concerned with fumbling with cards in his car (of contacts who could bail him out?) and acting like he was in charge of the whole scene, not a distraught driver who had just killed somebody.

It seems like there is disdain for the public he is supposed to be serving, a sense he can do whatever he wants and he will be protected. Exactly what his boss Alarcon has been accused of … .

I feel sad for Woodford's mother, who must be quite elderly, and who has to hear about another of her sons ending up this way after leaving home filled with dreams.

Chinchilla Andrea is the lone dissenting view. “It's disappointing how clearly one-sided this story is,” she writes. “How about the public allows the investigation to take place before convicting Manny in the court of public opinion. Shame on the L.A. Weekly for this subjective article.”

Please see our clarification about this story at the bottom of the page.


Readers thrilled to our YouTube special issue, with special praise for Gendy Alimurung's profile of Nathan Barnatt (“Never Grow Up,” June 29). Writes bijanisgod, “Great piece and fascinating person. I loved it!”

Slightly more controversial was our piece about “Awkward Black Girl” Issa Rae — or at least its headline (“Fill a (Tiny) Niche,” by Rebecca Haithcoat).

Disinny2003 writes, “I love this show, and niche is anything but tiny. And we wonder why Hollywood churns out the crap that it does.”

Miami chimes in: “What a way to ruin a great story by adding [tiny] to the title. It's completely unnecessary. The author didn't even substantiate or provide data to show how big or 'tiny' the viewing audience is to make using the word legitimate.”

“I think you shouldn't have put the word tiny in your title and then in brackets because it's a really sizable niche,” Luckyevem agrees. “There are few people like her generally on television. For example, I have never seen a high school TV show for black kids, but we have Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, etc. I think this is one of those 'We see it but we don't want to address it' kind of things. We love the shows on TV, but we want to see people who look like us too being represented.

Amanda adds, “Issa came to my college a few months back and showed several episodes of Awkward Black Girl. I was not familiar with the show but was instantly enamored with it. During the audience Q&A, she mentioned that a network had been interested in picking up the show but wanted someone 'less black.' The audience reaction was huge. As a nonblack person it was an eye opener for me, most likely because I've simply not really had to deal with it (although as a Mexican, I think I can say there aren't a lot of proper representations of us, either). The audience connected with Issa because she filled that void and she resonated with others, just because J. is so damn relatable! I love this series. It's amazing and much more than just for laughs.”


In Alimurung's story about Nathan Barnatt, the event where his character Keith Apicary led a conga line through the hotel was the ScrewAttack Gaming Convention, not the Penny Arcade Expo Boston. We regret the error

Also, our story about the death of Gary Woodford (“Did L.A. City Hall Cover Up Fatality?”) should have credited the Los Angeles Daily News for breaking the story that Woodford had been killed by an aide to Councilman Richard Alarcon driving a city-owned Prius. We regret the omission.

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