Daily Brief: Jussie Smollett Found Guilty, LAUSD Gets New Superintendent

Also, young Latinos are dying at alarming rates from COVID, which experts say could cause long-term financial hardships

» Jussie Smollett Found Guilty of Staging Attack and Lying to Police
The former Empire star was found guilty Thursday on five felony counts of disorderly conduct for making a false report to Chicago police that he was the victim of a racist, homophobic attack in January 2019. [CNN]

» The Alarming Rate of Young Latinos Dying From COVID Could Cause Long Term Effects For Generations In California, Latinos ages 20 to 54 have died from COVID at a rate more than eight times higher than white people in the same age group, according to a study by USC’s Department of Preventive Medicine, which experts say could cause long-term health problems and financial hardships for generations to come. [Los Angeles Times]

» LAUSD School Board Selects Alberto Carvalho As New Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, who has led Miami-Dade Public Schools since 2008, has been named the new leader of the Los Angeles Unified School District. “His leadership will help our district navigate the short-term challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and will help us reach the long-term goals for recovery laid out by the board in June,” school board President Kelly Gonez said Thursday. [Los Angeles Daily News]

» Instagram is Ditching Its Current Feed and Going Chronological Again Instagram head Adam Mosseri announced Wednesday that the company is working on a new version of its popular feed that will display users’ posts in chronological order. The company’s current algorithmic feed has been widely panned by users since it was introduced in 2016. [The Verge]

» Travis Scott Speaks Out In His First Interview After Astroworld Disaster That Claimed Ten Lives During a tearful, nearly hourlong conversation with media personality Charlamagne Tha God, the singer insisted he didn’t know about the casualties at his concert until “minutes before the press conference” held by local police. He claimed that he didn’t hear fans who were screaming at him between songs to stop the concert. [Rolling Stone]


» California Will Become An Abortion Sanctuary State If Leaders Have Their Way  Governor Newsom and his allies in the legislature hope to use state funds to pay for the procedures, transportation, lodging for women across the U.S.

» Rolling Loud, NBA 2K Pop-Up, and 28 Other Best Things To Do in L.A. This Weekend Also, the Desert Air festival is taking place in Palm Springs and several holiday pop-up photo and shopping experiences are happening throughout L.A.

» 4 Takeaways From Jennifer Tilly’s Appearance on New Episode of ‘The Originals’ A fresh episode of the LA Mag podcast is hosted by journalist Andrew Goldman each month


Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon speaks at a press conference, December 8, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

As Crime Ratchets Up Across L.A., A Defiant D.A. Sticks to His Guns

As spiking crime rates across the city continued to make headlines around the city, Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon took the stage at a press conference yesterday and insisted that growing opposition to his reformist agenda would not cause him to change course. The occasionally combative press conference, which was streamed live on Instagram, followed a rash of increasingly brazen robberies and home invasions that targeted some of L.A.’s toniest shopping districts and neighborhoods, from a Nordstrom outpost at The Grove to a packed Christmas party in Pacific Palisades. Since then, the controversial  D.A., who overcame a recall measure this year,  has been hit with a new barrage of criticism from victims groups and political opponents. When a reporter asked Gascon how much his progressive policies had contributed to the city’s spiraling crime rates, the 67-year-old prosecutor was emphatic. “Actually, none!” he replied. He went on to admonish his opponents for “turning every tragedy into a political football” rejecting claims by critics—and some of his fellow prosecutors—that the crime wave has been exacerbated by new policies that seek to minimize jail time for all but the most serious crimes and criminals.


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