Morning Buzz

Wednesday Buzz, 7.12.06

Rampart and LAPD news rules today, including more details on the off-duty officer shot and critically wounded by his young son. Also: what was the hot, twisted piece of metal that fell out of the sky near five golfers in Carson? Click on the Buzz to come on in...

Top News
Rampart scandal's toll tallied
During the course of the Rampart Division corruption investigations and their aftermath, 23 LAPD officers officers were were fired or suspended, nine were charged with crimes, 156 felony convictions were invalidated and the city paid $70 million to settle civil lawsuits. That comes from the Blue Ribbon Rampart Review Panel set up by the Police Commission at Chief Bratton's request. Among the findings that will be discussed at today's commission meeting, the panel says the LAPD force needs to be greatly expanded, officers need to be supervised more carefully and the department's warrior mentality should be scrapped. The probe was hindered by officers' code of silence against reporting crimes by their colleagues. Also this surprising prediction of civil unrest from chair Connie Rice: (Times, Daily News)
South Bureau, a district that abuts Rampart and extends south from the Santa Monica Freeway to the Port of Los Angeles "is hanging by a thread," she said. "I would not be surprised if something were to blow there this summer."
Also, LAPD searches more blacks and Latinos
Another Police Commission study found that blacks and Latinos stopped by the LAPD are much more likely than whites to be ordered out of their vehicles and searched. But the study didn't find out why this happens, frustrating commission president John Mack. (Times)
LAPD ordered to pay for lawsuit violations
For the second time in six months, a federal judge has imposed sanctions on the LAPD and Los Angeles officials for violating discover rules in a civil rights lawsuit. This time, the violators must pay $5,000 a week to the U.S. District Court until they comply with discovery requests in the suit over the 1999 killing of two robbery suspects by members of the Special Investigations Section. Story in the Daily Journal (no link.)
Officer wounded by son is ID'd
Enrique Chavez was driving in Anaheim when his three-year-old (according to the Times) somehow got hold of his gun and fired a shot that struck Chavez in the back and exited his chest. Chavez, 35, works in Newton Division. He's in critical condition.
"It is a terrible tragedy," Police Chief William J. Bratton said after visiting the family at the hospital. "It is a reminder to anyone that has a firearm that you have to be conscious about keeping that firearm secure and keeping it away from children."
Cleaning sidewalks controversial on Skid Row
Homeless advocates protested the sweepers and hoses on Gladys Street.
Look out above
A fivesome playing at Victoria Golf Course in Carson were nearly hit by a piece of hot metal that came out of the sky. They thought it might have been space debris, but an expert thinks it came off a passing truck.
Limits for school board?
City councilman and former Board of Education president Jose Huizar proposed that the Board of Education be subjected to term limits and restrictions on campaign fundraising, like city officials. Of course, right now they aren't city officials.
Interest in Santa Barbara
As predicted, both the New York Times and Vanity Fair are working on stories about the Santa Barbara News-Press suppressing coverage of advertisers and friends of the owner, as well as the DUI case of the new acting publisher.
Protecting the terns
The slaughter of baby Caspian and elegant terns last month in Long Beach harbor should have been prevented, argues Natural History Museum ornithology director Kimball L. Garrett and an associate. (Times op-ed)
Mayor on TV
Mayor Villaraigosa does his regular Wednesday gigs at 6:00 pm on Univision's Ch. 34 and at 9:15 pm on KCAL's "Ask the Mayor" segment.
Sports treasures
The collection of autographs, equipment and ephemera that Gary Cypres keeps locked away in a warehouse near downtown is "one of the best collections of American sports memorabilia amassed by an individual," David Davis reports in the L.A. Business Journal. Come next year, however, the Cypres Sports Museum may open to the public.
Sports buffs will walk into what resembles the biggest, coolest sports bar they’ve ever been in, sans the booze of course.

The experience is a mind-expanding stroll through American sports history, from the 19th Century era of fingerless mitts and nickel admission tickets (such as a turn-of-the-century peanut roasting machine) to the present-day steroid era and $100 million contracts. There are more than 10,000 items in all....

While he won’t say how much he’s spent, Cypres estimates it would take “north of $30 million” for someone to buy the entire cache, if you include the property and the building.

“To try and get an economic return on this is impossible,” Cypres said, “but I thought this would be a pretty neat thing for the city to have.”

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