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Which L.A. Neighborhoods Are Best—and Worst—at Wearing Masks?

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Depending on your worldview, wearing a face mask during the current coronavirus pandemic is either a simple act of responsibility or a meltdown-inducing incursion into your personal freedom (or, you know, you just can’t be bothered). Wondering where your neighbors fall on that divide? One new survey attempts to pin down what Los Angeles neighborhoods wear masks most often, and where people are going around bare-faced.

Local data firm InfoGears created an online survey to ask Angelenos to anonymously report about their pandemic experiences. Among the items on the questionnaire, it asks respondents to state how often they wear a mask when venturing outside their homes.

Only in one L.A. zip code did 100 percent of residents report that they “always” wear a mask when going out. That zip code is 90042, which includes Highland Park. Following Highland Park near the top in the mask-wearing rankings are North Hollywood (91605), Garnsey and Sherman Village (91607), and San Pedro (90731).

Meanwhile, the neighborhood where people were the least likely to say they’re committed to mask life is Glendale (91208), with just over 41 percent of respondents saying they always put on their face cover. Also near the bottom are La Crescenta (91214) and the western Antelope Valley (93536).


RELATED: A Local Taqueria Shuts Down Because Patrons Are Having Tantrums Over the Mask Mandate


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That July 4 Fireworks Ban? Yeah, People Didn’t Listen

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Despite officials canceling professional fireworks displays and issuing a “no fireworks” order across Los Angeles due to the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of Angelenos took it upon themselves to ensure that rockets’ red glare remained a major part of their Fourth of July celebrations—leading to a surge in emergency service calls, fires, and a spike in air pollution.

While the Los Angeles Fire Department averages just under 1,400 calls in a typical 24-hour period, on Saturday it responded to 1,738 calls for service, including 200 calls for rubbish fires, 103 tree fires, 28 grass fires, and 11 shrub fires.

In the most serious incident, a fireworks-related blaze took out eight units in a Northridge apartment complex and displaced 50 residents before 80 firefighters could extinguish the flames.

“As it always is, the Fourth of July was a busier night for all different types of fires,” L.A.F.D. spokeswoman Margaret Stewart told the Los Angeles Times. “Whereas people like to disregard and create their reasons for why they think fireworks are illegal, last night proved the point in terms of a tree fire that extended into an apartment building.”

Particle pollution was so bad that air quality in parts of the city was rated as hazardous into Sunday Morning.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, which serves unincorporated L.A. County and 59 cities, also saw calls skyrocket. The department normally gets 1,100 to 1,200 calls per day, but it received 1,676 calls for service on Saturday—with nearly 500 coming between 9 and 10 p.m. alone.

On Twitter, of course, some were quick to showcase the pyrotechnical orgy as a bold political stand against the freedom-crushing tyranny of local government.

Former U.S. ambassador to Germany, Republican Richard Grenell, declared, “Fireworks still going all across Los Angeles despite @GavinNewsom and @ericgarcetti trying to criminalize our freedoms. Californians are tired of Newsom. He’s overplayed his hand.”

Civic-minded folks on another band of the spectrum, meanwhile, had their own take on the fireworks…


RELATED: What’s the Deal with All the Fireworks Noise?


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A New Documentary Goes Inside Danny Trejo’s ‘Crazy’ Transformation

Near the end of Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo, set for digital release on July 7, the Machete star and owner of Trejo’s Tacos speaks to inmates at Arizona State Prison. He tells them: “Everything good that has happened to me happened as the direct result of helping someone else.”

That one line encapsulates the perspective of the prolific actor, whose IMDB page boasts 384 credits and counting. “The more you help other people, the better your life gets. It’s that simple,” Trejo says on a recent video call. “It’s just you feel better about yourself and your surroundings. I honestly believe that’s the way that God wants us to live is by helping each other.”

Trejo has been helping others, even in the midst of the pandemic. He’s been getting food to people experiencing homelessness in the San Fernando Valley, as well as frontline workers, the elderly, and others in need. He’s bringing diapers to pass out when requested as well, since people often ask for them. “This is my community. I terrorized this community for a long time,” he says. “Right now, I’m just paying it back.”

“I terrorized this community for a long time. Right now, I’m just paying it back.”

Inmate #1, a reference to the nameless characters that Trejo played early in his film career, traces the actor’s story back to the beginning through interviews with him, as well as his family and friends. In blunt detail, he talks about his youth in Pacoima, his introduction to drugs, and the crime he engaged in as a result. Trejo, 76, spent a significant chunk of his teens and 20s in and out of correctional facilities. He describes time spent in solitary confinement, replaying The Wizard of Oz in his head and hearing “Hey Jude” play on a radio in the distance, building up to the moment when he decided to change his outlook on life.

Later on, Trejo became a drug counselor, which led to him being discovered on a film set and kickstarted his life as an actor. Decades, and many films, later, Trejo continues to speak to people at prisons and addiction facilities.

Director Brett Harvey had just finished up Ice Guardians, a documentary about hockey enforcers, when he did a deep dive into Trejo’s life to pitch this project. “It was the craziest transformation of human character that I had ever come across in any of the documentaries or even just films I watched,” the Canadian director says by phone from Burnaby, British Columbia. Once the film was a go, they got to know each other over pancakes at diners and football games in Trejo’s living room. He said that he was struck by how forthcoming Trejo was when talking about his past. “I think that Danny had gotten to a point in his life where he had made amends with where he was at and he was comfortable talking about some of the scarier things that he had done in his life,” says Harvey.

It took several years to complete the documentary, partly because of complications coordinating with Trejo’s filming schedule. Another was waiting for access to film in a correctional facility. The crew was finally able to shadow Trejo when he spoke at Arizona State Prison.

danny trejo

For Trejo, one of the biggest challenges was going into the prison as himself. “It’s OK if you go back into institutions playing a part, being a character,” he says. “You’ve got to go back there being yourself, with no mask, it’s kind of terrifying.”

For the director, a challenge was recapturing Trejo’s life from 50 to 60 years ago with little archival footage, but that led to one of Harvey’s favorite experiences on the documentary, which was riding in Trejo’s Chevrolet Bel Air while he pointed to various landmarks and spoke about his life. “It became a little difficult because, every 20 seconds, people were yelling ‘Trejo!’ or ‘Machete!'” Harvey says.

Also, the director notes, the film’s cut-off point for production came before some incredibly interesting events in the actor’s life. If you watch the documentary and wonder why there’s no mention of Trejo rescuing a child from an overturned car in Sylmar, that’s why.

But, Harvey says, he’s seen evidence of Trejo’s goods works. “I can attest to the fact that he literally has underwear and socks in the back of his trunk that he will give out when he’s driving down the street if he sees somebody that he thinks is in need of it,” says Harvey. “He will go and buy dog food when he sees a person who doesn’t seem to have a home on the street and has a dog.”

As for the documentary, Trejo says that he sees it as a message of hope. “It doesn’t matter where you start,” he says. “It matters where you end.”


RELATED: How Danny Trejo Became L.A.’s Most Delightful Food Story


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Ghislaine Maxwell Headed for Court in New York, Where James Comey’s Daughter Is on the Case

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Federal prosecutors in Manhattan’s Southern District have asked a judge to issue a protective order on discovery materials connected to Thursday’s arrest of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell as the accused sex trafficker prepares for her next court appearance, slated for July 10. Those materials could identify other targets of the ongoing sex trafficking probe connected to disgraced billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.

A letter from Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss—cosigned by three assistant DAs on the case, including James Comey’s daughter Maurene Comey—says, “Such a protective order will be necessary to facilitate the production of discovery while also protecting, among other things, the privacy and identity of third parties, including victims of the conduct charged in the Indictment.”

Maxwell, 58, was arrested in a dramatic raid Thursday morning at her $1 million Bradford, New Hampshire, hideout, where Assistant Director of the New York FBI William Sweeney says “she slithered away…and continued to live a life of privilege.” As FBI surveillance planes flew over the 156-acre mountain estate, two dozen heavily armed agents and NYPD detectives assigned to a joint task force for crimes against children swarmed the remote retreat Maxwell paid cash for in December, using a carefully constructed trust to hide the purchase.

The pixie-haired heiress was arrested wearing sweatpants and a white T-shirt, two sources with direct knowledge of the raid told Los Angeles magazine.

The FBI had been tracking her movements, Sweeney now says, since July 2019 when Epstein, 61, a convicted pedophile whom she once dated, was arrested on federal sex crime charges. Epstein was found dead in his jail cell a month later, and while the Bureau of Prisons has called it suicide, Epstein’s family and others dispute that ruling. Surveillance footage from his cell was reportedly lost due to a camera malfunction.

After she was taken into custody last week, Maxwell, 58, was hit with a six-count indictment on federal charges related to “the sexual exploitation and abuse of multiple minor girls by Jeffrey Epstein,” said Strauss, who replaced Geoffrey Berman, Trump’s hand-picked prosecutor who was inexplicably pushed out of office in recent weeks. President Trump is one of multiple powerful elites connected to Epstein, along with Prince Andrew, former President Bill Clinton, and Epstein lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who negotiated a controversial plea deal with former Miami U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta that essentially squashed a 53-count pending federal indictment in that state.

Yesterday Dershowitz, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by at least one Epstein victim, sent out a bizarre tweet where he waived “any right of privacy,” if, in fact, “Epstein made secret videos of all the men who had sex in his houses and planes.”

Maurene Comey being among the federal prosecutors on the case has raised eyebrows among NYPD detectives assigned to the task force. One detective close to the case told Los Angeles that appointing Comey, an Assistant U.S. Attorney with no experience in human trafficking cases and one with close ties to a bureau that’s come under fire for the handling of the Epstein case in Florida, has an air of “impropriety.” Comey was hired by the Southern District as a clerk in 2014, and became a prosecutor in 2015, an unusually short amount of time to be assigned one of the most high-profile investigations in the country.

Maxwell is expected to be transported by U.S. Marshals this week after spending the weekend in a New Hampshire lockup.

Strauss said the indictment against Maxwell includes “almost unspeakable” crimes committed against girls as young as 14.  “Maxwell assisted, facilitated and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minor girls by, among other things, helping Epstein to recruit, groom and ultimately abuse victims.” Maxwell, prosecutors said, “would try to normalize the abuse for a minor victim.”

Prosecutors say Maxwell poses “an extreme risk of flight,” and point out in a detention memo that “Maxwell has three passports, large sums of money, extensive international connections, and absolutely no reason to stay in the United States and face the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence.”

In addition to the decade behind bars she’s facing, Maxwell has been named in 15 civil suits filed by Epstein victims. Until last week, Maxwell sightings were scarce. She had been spotted hiding in an oceanfront mansion in the tony Massachusetts town of Manchester-by-the-Sea owned by her reputed love interest, tech CEO Scott Borgerson who told the Boston Globe, “My private life is my private life.”

For nearly a year a joint NYPD-FBI task force has built its case against Epstein’s purported madam using the Mann Act, which targets sex traffickers. Investigators have subpoenaed former Epstein pilots and raiding his island home, working to prove allegations that between 1994 and 1997, Maxwell and Epstein—and possibly others—abused young girls at his Upper East Side townhouse, his Palm Beach, Florida estate, his ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and at Maxwell’s home in London.

Maxwell is now also charged with perjury for allegedly lying about her alleged role in Epstein’s perversions and her own alleged abuse of underage girls in a deposition as part of a 2016 civil litigation. Asked if Epstein had a “scheme to recruit underage girls for sexual massages,” Maxwell responded: “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” according to the indictment.

Maxwell also denied interacting with anyone under the age of 17 at Epstein’s properties or her own and said she wasn’t aware that Epstein had a substantial collection of sex toys at his properties.

Last week Strauss told reporters investigators have requested an interview with Prince Andrew, one of several high-profile Epstein affiliates who have been logged on his private plane logs.

The investigation into other potential abusers continues, Strauss said last week.


RELATED: The Trailer for Netflix’s New Jeffrey Epstein Doc Doesn’t Bode Well for Ghislaine Maxwell


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Thank You Is More Than a Name at This Chinatown Coffee Pop-Up

Red benches sit vacant in Chinatown’s sun-soaked Central Plaza. Coin-operated kiddie rides haven’t seen any action for weeks beneath Gin Ling Way’s iconic red lanterns. It’s noon, but most storefronts are dark and locked. One door remains open behind a metal gate, belonging to the stationary store Paper Please, where two baristas still craft coffee and tea drinks at a back counter to help fuel frontline medical workers.

Generosity and gratitude have been welcome silver linings during the pandemic. Thank You Coffee debuted in March, just as the COVID-19 crisis hit, and the pop-up that business partners Jonathan Yang, Matt Chung, and Cody Wang operate out of a similarly cordial business has been true to its name.

It’s possible for anybody to order pick-up drinks on Mondays and Wednesdays and delivery on Tuesdays and Thursdays. More often, Thank You Coffee drops off bottled beverages to healthcare heroes at larger facilities like L.A. County and USC Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center through Donate PPE and for friends and acquaintances in the medical world. McCormick Ambulance Service, Southland Care Center, Herald Christian Health Center, Cal Veterans Home of California Pharmacy, and Los Alamitos Medical Center have all benefited from Thank You Coffee drop-offs.

The business is making the most of its limited space, utilizing a La Marzocco Linea Mini espresso machine and Hario V60 coffee drippers to brew beverages like sweet lattes, hojicha lattes, and a signature You’re Welcome Latte that combines espresso, chicory pecan bitters, oat milk, and lapsang souchong syrup made with smoked black tea from Fujian, China. Cold brew is also popular. They favor creamy, shelf-stable, more sustainable oat milk over cow’s milk and nut milks for all their drinks. Beverages arrive in plastic 12-ounce bottles ($6) and 64-ounce jugs ($25) that sport handwritten labels and smiles.

Yang is an L.A. native who worked in coffee for Bird Rock Roasters, LAMILL, and Café Dulce, and who also attended seminary school. During seminary, he helped start Steeple House Coffee at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley before cofounding Thank You Coffee. Chung worked at Hideout Coffee in Rowland Heights, and Wang handles the business’s finances. Yang’s wife Julia is a graphic designer and focuses on aesthetics.

Thank You Coffee connected through Instagram with Paper Please’s owners, who wanted to give them a platform to serve coffee while searching for brick-and-mortar locations. Chinatown was a great fit and may work for them long-term, because of their connection to the culture and neighborhood. Jonathan and Julia Yang’s grandparents both lived in Chinatown and they would spend time exploring the streets and plazas as kids. Jonathan Yang says, “It seemed special to be a second generation Cantonese-American operating in Chinatown.”

As of last month, Thank You Coffee had donated over 650 bottles to frontline workers, twice the number they’d sold. “We wanted to start off characterized by generosity,” Jonathan Yang says. “We’re hoping that’s the kind of environment we can create for our staff and guests.”

Thank You Coffee, 441 Gin Ling Way, Chinatown, 562-265-8359.


RELATED: In Chinatown, Coronavirus News Has Hurt Small Businesses for Weeks


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Morning Brief: Gloves and Masks Are Now a Must at the Gym

» Any trip to the gym will now require masks and gloves, per a new L.A. County ordinance. Masks with valves do not comply with the order, as they allow the wearer’s droplets to escape from the mask. [KTLA]

» The Soledad fire began burning quickly near Agua Dulce on Sunday afternoon. The fire shut down portions of Highway 14 and triggered evacuations as it tore through at least 400 acres in just hours.  [Santa Clarita Valley Signal]

» Broadway actor Nick Cordero, who’d been hospitalized for months with the coronavirus, passed away at Cedars-Sinai on Sunday. According to his wife, Amanda Kloots, the 41-year-old’s body had been ravaged by the disease; he’d endured heart attacks, a leg amputation, and a tracheotomy. The couple moved from New York to Los Angeles just last year. [The New York Times]

» Ennio Morricone, who scored more than 500 movies from A Fistful of Dollars to Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight (for which he won an Oscar), has passed away. He was 91. [The Hollywood Reporter]

» Kanye West tweeted that he intends to run for president in 2020. He has taken no formal steps toward doing so, but Elon Musk endorses him. [CNN]

» The Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills was seized from the assets of financier-turned-fugitive Jho Law, linked to a $2.5 billion corruption and theft scheme. Now the property is up for sale–but the luxury hotel business isn’t exactly booming right now. [The New York Times]

» On Saturday night, a woman stole a LAFD ambulance and took it for a ride through Vernon and South Gate. Authorities detained and arrested her after a televised chase. [NBC Los Angeles]

» Center Theater Group, one of L.A.’s top performing arts companies, will stay dark until at least spring 2021. The group announced a lineup of shows to begin next April, including To Kill a Mockingbird and Hadestown.  [Spectrum News]


TOP STORIES FROM L.A. MAG

» Michael Bay’s New Pandemic Epic Hits a Speed Bump Over Pandemic Protocols One of the first movies set to film in L.A. since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis has been slapped with a Do Not Work order by the actor’s union

» Two Californians Are on Joe Biden’s VP Shortlist. What Are Their Chances? Insiders say Senator Kamala Harris and L.A. Congresswoman Karen Bass both have upsides and downsides

» Protesters Staged a Nighttime Demonstration at DA Jackie Lacey’s House Activist group Black Future Project caravanned to Granada Hills to call for the embattled DA to resign


ONE MORE THING

 

canned cocktails
Courtesy Two Chicks | Drynxmyth | Green Bar Distillery

Bars Are Closed (Again), but These Canned and Bottled Cocktails Will Help You Get By

With bars closed, you’re left with two options when cocktail hour rolls around: shake up your own or pick up premixed canned cocktails. Yes, there are a lot of mediocre, overly sweet premade cocktails, but these six manage to make convenience delicious and sophisticated.

 [FULL STORY]


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Bars Are Closed (Again), but These Canned and Bottled Cocktails Will Help You Get By

With bars closed, you’re left with two options when cocktail hour rolls around: shake up your own or pick up premixed canned cocktails. Yes, there are a lot of mediocre, overly sweet premade cocktails, but these six manage to make convenience delicious and sophisticated.


LiveWire’s Heartbreaker

This crisp and effervescent beverage is the brainchild of Harvard & Stone alum Aaron Polsky, and marries the best parts of a Moscow mule and paloma. Made with Ventura Spirits vodka, it’s punctuated with extracts and organic acids of oroblanco grapefruit, kumquat, jasmine, and ginger. LiveWire’s Heartbreaker, $6 at Bar Keeper, 614 N Hoover St., Silver Lake, livewiredrinks.com, and elsewhere.

B&K Classic Cocktail Co.’s Old Fashioned

Matt Bostick and David King, the team behind this award-winning old fashioned made with proprietary bitters, dreamt up the idea of bottling this classic when they were running their now-closed Baldoria restaurant and bar. It’s best poured over ice, and if you’re feeling extra fancy, add an orange twist. B&K Classic Cocktail Co.’s Old Fashioned, $7.50 at Everson Royce, 155 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, bkclassiccocktails.com, and elsewhere.

Green Bar Distillery’s Hibiscus Spritz

This floral, fruity, and herbaceous cocktail created by an organic L.A. distillery elevates the classic Italian Aperol Spritz with notes of rose hips, lavender, jasmine, lemongrass, cardamom, and orange bitters. Greenbar Distillery’s Hibiscus Spritz, $20.99 for a 4-pack at Erewhon, 15285 Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades, greenbardistillery.com, and elsewhere.

Two Chicks’ Sparkling Vodka Fizz

Perfect for an afternoon picnic, this smooth, bubbly, and aromatic libation crafted by a women-led business is punched up with vodka and natural essences of elderflower and pear. Two Chicks’ Sparkling Vodka Fizz, $3.99 at Mission Wine & Spirits, 13654 Burbank Blvd., Sherman Oaks, twochickscocktails.com, and elsewhere.

Drnxmyth’s Bourbon Sour

For a heady cocktail made with fresh cold-pressed orange and lemon juices, this high-rye bourbon sour created by local barman Jason F. Yu becomes a complete drink once you twist and shake the bottle to combine the juices and alcohol separated by different compartments. It’s complemented by bitters made with sassafras, nutmeg, cinnamon, and molasses — and is lovely over ice. Drnxmyth’s Bourbon Sour, $9.99 for delivery at drnxmyth.com, and elsewhere.

Vervet’s Angelicano

Developed by four friends, including local bartender Hope Ewing, Vervet manages to squeeze a craft cocktail experience into its colorful cans. All four flavors are winners, but we especially love the Angelicano, which features red bitters and white vermouth and drinks like a sparkling Negroni. Vervet, $5.50 at Bar Keeper, 614 N Hoover St., Silver Lake, $58 for eight at drinkvervet.com/store.

Protesters Staged a Nighttime Demonstation at DA Jackie Lacey’s House

A group of around 80 protesters descended on the Granada Hills home of Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey on Thursday night to call for her resignation. Led by the group Black Future Project, the hours-long action remained peaceful, even as protesters defied police orders to stay 100 feet away from Lacey’s home and to stop using megaphones and speakers.

Even before the action began at around 8 p.m., officers who identified themselves as being with the District Attorney’s office stood sentry in Lacey’s driveway. Earlier, they had drawn a perimeter in chalk around the house with the words “90 feet,” a reference to a Los Angeles Municipal Code that limits protests within 100 feet of private residences.

Black Future Project is a newly formed collective of activists that has grown out of the protest movement following the murder of George Floyd. James Butler, a performer and YouTuber, founded the group with a handful of other activists after they were arrested by the LAPD on June 3 for protesting in front of Los Angeles City Hall in violation of curfew. Black Future Project now calls that same space home, with more than 30 tents pitched in the shadow of City Hall for a “24/7 protest” of police brutality and systemic racism.

“Through strategic non-violent political action we are using civil disobedience to fight and defeat systemic racism,” the group’s mission statement reads. “We won’t give up until they give in!”

Lacey has served as District Attorney since 2012, when she became the first African American to lead the largest prosecutor’s office in the country. The ascension of the South L.A.-native to the office was seen as a hopeful moment for L.A.’s Black communities, but many have grown disillusioned as her tenure’s progressed.

“We all look to our best and brightest as a community of color, whether that’s Latino, whether that’s Black, whether that’s Asian,” says musician and activist Kenneth Carter, who was at the protest. “And we look for people to aspire to in positions of leadership because we think that when they get there they’re going to make a difference.”

But Carter’s initial optimism about Lacey’s rise gave way to disappointment. “She has her own agenda and her agenda is not L.A.’s agenda,” he says.

At issue has been Lacey’s failure to charge officers who’ve killed civilians while she’s been in office. She’s defended her record, telling Spectrum News 1 in a June interview, “As DA for the last seven years, we’ve actually prosecuted 21 officers for excessive force. And I’m the only DA in the state who has a pending officer-involved shooting case.”

But as protesters have pointed, even when then-LAPD Chief Charlie Beck made a rare recommendation to prosecutors to file charges against an officer for an on-duty shooting, Lacey declined to do so.

“Prosecutors cannot ethically charge a person with a crime if they do not believe a jury would convict the person of that crime,” she said in a statement at the time.

Yelling through a megaphone, Butler brought up the death of Kenneth Ross Jr., a 25-year-old Black man who was shot and killed by Gardena police in 2018. Police were responding to calls of an active shooter in the area when they encountered Ross. Body camera and dashcam footage showed that Ross was running away from police when he was shot, according to ABC. Reports indicate that Ross struggled with mental illness. Police later claimed to have found a gun on Ross’s body, but Ross’s family contests that claim.

Responding to calls to prosecute the officer who killed Ross, DA Lacey said in a statement, “After an exhaustive review of the facts, my office determined that the officer acted lawfully in self-defense given that he believed Mr. Ross was an active shooter.”

“They can go to bed sleeping at night,” Butler says. “I don’t think George Floyd’s family is going to bed, sleeping peacefully. I don’t think Kenneth Ross Jr.’s family is going to sleep peacefully.”

Protesters stuck around outside Lacey’s home until around 11 p.m., at which point they began marching through the neighborhood, issuing chants like, “Your neighbor’s about to be fired,” and, “Your neighbor is a murderer.” Cautious and, at times, irritated neighbors looked out through windows, filmed the spectacle on phones, and occasionally yelled at protests for making noise so late at night.

Following a hotly contested primary election in March, Lacey is headed for a November runoff against former San Francisco DA George Gascón, who is running as a progressive alternative to Lacey. Based on the primary’s results, Lacey seemed well positioned to be reelected, but Gascón, a former LAPD cop himself, has managed to gain traction amid recent protests against police brutality. Congressman Adam Schiff recently withdrew his endorsement of Lacey, noting in a tweet that it was “a rare time in our nation’s history.”

“We have a responsibility to make profound changes to end systemic racism & reform criminal justice,” Schiff wrote. Mayor Eric Garcetti also recently walked back his endorsement of the incumbent DA.

Lacey has maintained strong support from law enforcement in the race. In the March primary, Lacey received $2.2 million in outside committee spending meant to benefit her campaign. Nearly all of it came from law enforcement unions.

“What is more important to you—money, or people’s lives?” Butler called out at Lacey’s home. “Jackie Lacey’s job is to protect the police.”

The DA’s residence has been the site of repeated protests in the past year. On the eve of the March primary, protesters from Black Lives Matter-L.A. showed up at the DA’s home and were confronted by Lacey’s husband, who was armed with a gun.

“I will shoot you,” he tells Black Lives Matter-L.A. cofounder Melina Abdullah in a video of the incident. “Get off of my porch.” Lacey later apologized on behalf of her husband, saying that he had responded “in fear” but that he was “profoundly sorry.”

Although their garage lights remained on throughout the night, neither Lacey nor her husband were seen.


RELATED: Mayor Garcetti Walks Back His Endorsement of Beleaguered DA Jackie Lacey


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Michael Bay’s New Pandemic Epic Hits a Speed Bump Over Pandemic Protocols

Michael Bay had ambitious plans to be among the first filmmakers to shoot a movie in L.A. during the coronavirus outbreak as the producer of the would-be pandemic epic Songbird, but SAG-AFTRA has ordered its members not to participate in the project, claiming that Bay and his collaborators have not agreed to conform to any COVID-19 safety protocols.

As Deadline reports, the union said in a statement that the production, “failed to complete the signatory process and is therefore not signed to any applicable SAG-AFTRA agreement.”

A rep for Bay’s production company, Invisible Narratives, countered that the Do Not Work order is just run-of-the-mill legal boilerplate that can easily be ironed over with the union, saying, “We are actively working to resolve this paperwork issue with the guild.”

A SAG-AFTRA spokesperson, however, contends that the filmmakers are being flippant regarding the safety of their performers, telling Deadline, “The producers have not been transparent about their safety protocols and that is something we obviously take very seriously. Also, as noted in the Do Not Work order, the producers have not yet become signatory to our agreement. We have no further comment.”

It now seems that filmmakers were a bit too optimistic—and vague—in their predictions that Songbird would take flight without a hitch. In a May story about the production, a Deadline writer reported, “None of the participants would say exactly how they plan to shoot a movie at a time when the guilds are still compiling their own safety protocols so that production can resume. I’m told that the filmmakers behind Songbird have screened their plans by the guilds, and they are good to go.”

In its order to union members, SAG-AFTRA claimed that, “On A Lark Productions, LLC, the producer of the picture entitled Songbird, has failed to complete the signatory process and is therefore not signed to any applicable SAG-AFTRA agreement. As such, SAG-AFTRA members are hereby instructed to withhold any acting services or perform any covered work for this production until further notice from the union. Please note, accepting employment or rendering services on Songbird may be considered a violation of Global Rule One. Violating this order may result in disciplinary action in accordance with the SAG-AFTRA Constitution.”

As Rule One states, “No member shall render any services or make an agreement to perform services for any employer who has not executed a basic minimum agreement with the union, which is in full force and effect, in any jurisdiction in which there is a SAG-AFTRA national collective bargaining agreement in place. This provision applies worldwide.”


RELATED: Cinematographers Guild Releases COVID-19 Protocols for Returning to Work


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Morning Brief: Texts and Other Records Piece Together Kobe’s Final Flight

» A new batch of records in the investigation into the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven other people on board include text messages between the person who brokered the flight, the charter company, and Bryant’s drivers. “Are you OK?” the broker asked pilot Ara Zobayan, but never got a response. [Los Angeles Times]

» L.A. has a new color-coded indicator meant to communicate coronavirus infection risk. Right now we’re orange, which means “extremely high risk.” [Los Angeles Times]

» USC confirms that most undergrad classes will be online-only come fall. On-campus housing and services will be limited as well. [CNN]

» Talent agency CAA has announced it will keep its L.A. and other U.S. offices closed until 2021. Many workplaces are reassessing their office reopening plans as the surge shows no sign of ending.  [The Hollywood Reporter]

» A group of women who sued Harvey Weinstein for misconduct have reached a $19 million settlement with the disgraced mogul. “Harvey avoided accountability for decades, and it was a powerful moment for us to band together and demand justice,” one plaintiff said. [Buzzfeed]

» Miguel Lara is allergic to chiles–but that hasn’t stopped him from making L.A.’s spiciest tortas ahogadas. The food he serves from his pop-up restaurant is “born out of this resilience and passion.”  [L.A. Taco]


TOP STORIES FROM L.A. MAG

» Alleged Epstein Recruiter Ghislaine Maxwell Arrested for ‘Almost Unspeakable’ Crimes The British socialite was taken into FBI custody at a rural New Hampshire estate today

» Local Beaches Will Be Closed Over 4th of July Weekend The temporary shutdown lasts from July 3 through 6

» Two Californians Are on Joe Biden’s VP Shortlist. What Are Their Chances? Insiders say Senator Kamala Harris and L.A. Congresswoman Karen Bass both have upsides and downsides


ONE MORE THING

 

The Best Things to Do for July 4 Weekend in L.A.

This Fourth of July is certainly going to be a weird one. Nonetheless, for many of us it’s a (probably much-needed) long weekend, best spent in the company of household-sharing loved ones, distancing out in nature, or enjoying some great entertainment at home. Here are our picks for things to do this weekend. Have fun, but be safe.

 [FULL STORY]


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