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Joe Domanick

New Count for Three-Strikes Law

THE PHONE CALL FROM Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley last week came with an unexpected message: Reform of California’s notorious three-strikes law was back in play. Cooley and attorney Brian T. Dunn, of the late Johnnie Cochran’s law firm, had just jointly submitted “The Three Strikes Reform Act......

A Taliban-Type Law

On April 4, 2000, Joe Klaas testified at a legislative hearing in Sacramento in favor of applying Three Strikes only to violent crimes. He arrived with members of Families Against California’s Three Strikes Law, including Sue Reams, whose son, Shane, had been dealt a sentence of 25-years-to-life for being the......

Changing Cops

LAPD Chief William Bratton barreled into office last fall and immediately drove reformers and critics to the brink of apoplexy with his abrasive time-to-get-tough rhetoric and his vows to wage ruthless war on gangs. But now, less than a year after he took over, Bratton — along with a beefed-up......

High on Justice

Illustration by Brian Stauffer The third-floor corridor of downtown L.A.’s Superior Court is filled as usual with black faces and LAPD blues; the cops are there to testify, the faces to be processed through the system. With only 10 minutes before the courts go into session on this Thursday morning,......

The Bum Blockade, Zoot Suit Riot and Bloody Christmas

1877 — The LAPD emerges as a full-fledged police department. Patrolmen are required to remove weeds and to inspect sewers, among other tasks. 1902-1909 — Corruption scandals force the retirement of five L.A. police chiefs. 1910 — Twenty-year labor struggle against the Los Angeles Times culminates in the dynamiting of......

Your Not-So-Secret Life

William H. Parker, the man who created the modern-day LAPD and inspired the character of Spock on Star Trek, issued an astounding directive soon after he was named poli ce chief in 1950. He declared that the files of the Intelligence Division would be his files, “official police records not......

Strategizing Against Hate

It’s just after 1 p.m. on day two of “Attack on America,” and Sarah Eltantawi is talking, rapid-fire, into one phone, while grasping another that has a call on hold. Hanging up, Eltantawi turns, hustles through the huge anteroom of the Islamic Center of Southern California and bounds up an......

The War at Home

Wait until the catastrophic body count starts to settle in, and the concrete, flames and sheer eye-popping spectacle are replaced by blood, guts and body bags by the thousands. Wait until the anger sets in. America‘s pride is its freedom. But in time of crisis, repression has often trumped freedom......

To Protect and Serve

Photo by Anne Fishbein EARLY IN HER CAREER AS A DEPUTY LAWYER IN THE L.A. CITY Attorney's Office, Honey Lewis was something of a police junkie -- so much so that she became a volunteer auxiliary officer with the LAPD. One evening in 1984, Lewis found herself cruising the Rampart......

Toppling the Blue Wall

Last week, the LAPD‘s rank-and-file union made a proposal that seemed to fly in the face of the traditional mandate of big-city police unions to excoriate their critics, punish their enemies and serve as the bedrock foundation of the blue wall of silence. Getting nowhere with its dual tactics of......
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