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FBI Agents Served a Search Warrant at Jake Paul’s Calabasas Home

YouTube personality and public nuisance Jake Paul got a surprise visit from the FBI this morning, and it looks like it was no joke. Video footage published by TMZ shows law enforcement officers in helmets and fatigues departing Paul’s Calabasas mansion by the armored-carload after agents served a federal search warrant.

Details are scarce, but the FBI says the warrant is part of an “ongoing investigation.”

“The affidavit in support of the search warrant has been sealed by a judge and I am, therefore, prohibited from commenting as to the nature of the investigation. No arrests are planned,” the FBI said in a statement.

Paul—who rose to fame on Vine before being cast on a Disney Channel show, trying professional boxing, and launching the “Financial Freedom Movement”—has been under fire for continuing to host blowout parties at his home amid the pandemic. In an interview with Insider, he was unapologetic, saying, “I personally am not the type of person who’s gonna sit around and not live my life.” Calabasas’ mayor told that publication that the city would begin issuing “financial penalties” if Paul kept hosting ragers.

In June, Paul was charged with two misdemeanors in Arizona for participating in “riots and looting” at Scottsdale Fashion Square mall. Paul later denied participating in any looting. In a statement posted to Twitter he said, “We filmed everything we saw in an effort to share our experience and bring more attention to the anger felt in every neighborhood we traveled through; we were strictly documenting, not engaging.”


RELATED: A Look at Jake Paul’s Platform to Train Teens to Become Influencers Instead of People Who Went to School


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How Public Transit Riders Are Managing Their Metro Commutes During the Pandemic

For Marisela Norte, commuting to work at a downtown museum three days a week in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic means careful observation, a knowledge of alternate routes, and allowing for more travel time than she once did. Norte takes the 720 Rapid, the notoriously crowded bus line with the bulk of its route traversing Wilshire Boulevard. Even with ridership down across Los Angeles Metro as a side effect of the pandemic, the 720 isn’t an easy ride.

“You’re living in that constant state of trying to manage how are you going to get to work,” Norte says. Sometimes, if a bus is already fairly full and there’s a crowd waiting, the driver won’t stop. When one does open its doors, Norte will count to see how many people are on board. If there are fewer people exiting than boarding the bus, she’ll hang out for the next one. She’ll notice whether or not there are available seats. “If there are already people standing, then I know that I can’t get on because it’s not safe,” she says. Sometimes, it’s a 20- to 30-minute wait for a 720 with enough room to maintain proper social distance. Other times, she’ll walk to take an alternate route.

For public transportation riders, the pandemic has brought up a lot of questions about travel. How safe is it to be caught in the rush hour squeeze in and out of subways cars, trains, and buses? Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the message is still mixed.

In early June, reports from both France and Japan indicated that the virus didn’t appear to be spreading via public transportation. As Bloomberg CityLab pointed out, while that could mean that people aren’t contracting COVID-19 in these spaces, it may also be a reflection of how difficult it is to trace clusters back to public transportation. Also in early June, Los Angeles Metro announced the death of a bus driver from COVID-19 complications. A security guard, who worked as a contractor for Metro, died of the disease in April. At press time, there have been 257 confirmed cases cases of COVID-19 amongst employees, contractors and vendors.

I talked to 11 Metro riders for this story. Some have continued to ride during the pandemic. Others have stopped for a variety of reasons, including concern for their own health or that of someone in their household, as well as job changes that eliminated their commutes.

Victor P. Corona, a sociologist and professor at Emerson College and Cal State Los Angeles, stopped using Metro temporarily when his classes were moved online, both because he was no longer commuting for work and because he was concerned about the virus. For about ten weeks, he stayed in his Koreatown neighborhood. Since then, though, he’s used Metro for a few essential trips.

“Frankly, as a sociologist of urban culture, I was curious about how people were interacting in these very confined spaces,” he says. “I was expecting a lot of paranoid behavior and then some people that were maybe very defiant and not wearing masks, but I haven’t seen any of that. I’ve seen people who need to ride mass transit who need to get to their jobs or other places, sitting and looking at their phones and listening to music like they would on any other day.”

Others have noticed a few changes in the experience of riding Metro. “Any time I step on the Gold Line, even though I have my mask on, you can smell the cleaning product once you step on the train,” says John Perry of Pasadena. Those riding the B Line (aka the Red Line) have noticed that it’s been quieter. “There’s no musical entertainment on there anymore,” says Gordon Ernest of Venice in reference to the buskers who would often play inside subway cars.

Norte notes that the way bus riders are communicating with each other has changed. There are fewer conversations during the commute, she says. “We’re just communicating with our eyes right now,” Norte adds. “Right now, the eyes are saying, ‘Please don’t sit next to me.'”

For those who have stopped riding Metro, the question of when and if they will return remains and it’s often dependent on both the virus and how well safety measures are enforced. Prior to the pandemic, April Ingram, who lives in East Hollywood, used Metro at least five days a week. She has been concerned about masks, which have been mandatory since May, noting that the most frequent comments she sees on social media are about people not wearing them. She also recently saw a maskless person boarding a bus. For that reason, if Ingram is called back to her job in Echo Park soon, she’s considering walking instead. “I want them to have a strict enforcement of the masks,” she says, suggesting a “mask monitor” to keep those without them from boarding, or to hand out free ones.

“We’re just communicating with our eyes right now. Right now, the eyes are saying, ‘please don’t sit next to me.'”

Romy Meyerson, a vet tech from Reseda who commutes to West Hills, also suggests that someone monitor mask usage on the Metro. While Meyerson has been getting rides from co-workers often during the pandemic, she does still use public transportation when necessary. Like most of the current riders interviewed, she says that, overall, people have been following the mask rules. There was that one bus ride, though, where someone wasn’t wearing one.

“We are doing everything possible to maintain a healthy and safe system for both our customers and employees as we navigate this grave public health threat,” says Metro spokesman Dave Sotero. “We’ve bolstered our cleaning regimes, added capacity to many of our modified bus services, required face coverings for all riders, and are now evaluating new technologies to combat the virus.”

In recent weeks, Metro has added service for select bus lines, including the 720. Still, the bigger question is the one that also impacts every other aspect of pandemic life: How willing are we to look out for each other?

“I honestly believe that if people looked out for their fellow man—no matter who they were—I think that would make a lot of a difference,” Meyerson Says.


RELATED: Is it Safe to Ride Metro? Tips for Taking Public Transit During the Coronavirus Outbreak


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Morning Brief: The L.A. Health Department Bans Parties and Gatherings

» After a deadly shooting drew attention to a massive party at a rented mansion on Mulholland Drive, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has issued a “legally binding health officer order that prohibits gatherings, including parties, during the coronavirus pandemic in order to protect the health and lives of county residents.” Violating the order is a crime punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. [NBC Los Angeles]

» The 2020 Census will stop counting efforts a month earlier than planned. As it stands, roughly four of every 10 households has not been counted, with undercounts particularly concentrated among immigrants and renters. [NPR]

» A whistleblower has come forward to claim that the L.A. County Sheriff’s station in Compton has been infiltrated by a “violent gang” known as the Executioners. There are alleged to be around 20 “inked members” of the group sporting matching tattoos of “a skull with Nazi imagery, holding an AK-47.” [NCB Los Angeles]

» Parking restrictions will remain relaxed in L.A. through August 18. The city may choose to extend again after that date. [KTLA]

» Mulan will debut directly on Disney+, rather than waiting for a theatrical premiere, as had previously been planned. Unlike other Disney+ releases, though, the feature will require a $29.99 rental fee to watch.  [The Hollywood Reporter]

» Neil Young says he’s suing Donald Trump for playing his songs at campaign events. “Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Devil’s Sidewalk” have been on the presidential playlist. [Rolling Stone]


TOP STORIES FROM L.A. MAG

» Multiple People Were Shot at a Mulholland Drive Mansion Party A massive celebration amid the COVID-19 pandemic ended in tragedy

» Investigations Continue into a Party Sources Have Linked to the L.A. Sheriff’s Department “If you’re so concerned, why don’t you call the police,” a guest identified as a police officer told a reporter at the scene

» DA Jackie Lacey’s Husband Is Being Charged for Pulling a Gun on BLM Protesters The incident in question took place a day before the March 3 primary election


ONE MORE THING

wildfire

Wildfire Season Is Projected to Be Bad This Year. Here’s How to Prepare

Fire has always been part of Southern California’s ecosystem, but today’s wildfires are more intense, more frequent, and more dangerous than ever. This year’s projections look particularly bad, with a La Niña system in the forecast, and a wildland fire potential outlook of “above average” starting in October. Here are some tips for making your home more fire-resistant, and getting prepared in case a blaze breaks out.

 [FULL STORY]


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Will Karen Bass’s Past Tank Her Shot at Becoming Biden’s VP?

James Clyburn, the influential South Carolina congressman and Joe Biden confidant, is palpably annoyed. “It bugs me that people want to pit these two Black women against the other,” Clyburn complained to the Washington Post over the weekend, referencing the emerging narrative of a potential vice presidential slugfest between his colleague and good friend Representative Karen Bass and Senator Kamala Harris. “It is messier than it should be.”

Clyburn, the Majority Whip and a singular voice within Biden’s inner circle, is hardly the only Democrat ticked off by the seemingly endless pageant that has a select group of dynamo women battling to become Biden’s pick.

Bass and Harris may be two of the most powerful African-American women in U.S. politics, but their similarities pretty much begin and end with the state they represent. Unlike Harris, who rose to prominence as San Francisco District Attorney and later California Attorney General, Bass began as a grassroots activist and founder of the Community Coalition, with a mission to tackle drug addiction and poverty in South L.A. She quietly served in the state legislature from 2004 to 2010, rising to Speaker in the last two years, and was easily elected to Congress in November 2010. Despite representing the 37th House District—a massive swath of Los Angeles that spans from the 110 Freeway to the Westside—Bass has kept a much lower profile than her Bay Area compatriot. Though she’s popular with House leadership, until a few weeks ago when she made Biden’s short list for VP, Bass was neither famous nor on the national radar.

Harris’s trajectory, on the other hand, has been a clean space launch from DA to AG to Senator to presidential candidate. She is now, arguably, the front-runner in the race to be Biden’s VP. But that race is officially a marathon slog—and with no winner expected to snare the trophy before August 15, anything can happen.

How did Bass leapfrog onto the VP finalist list?

Turns out being a congenial team player who happens to head up the Congressional Black Caucus at a moment when race is dominating the national conversation is a game changer. About two weeks ago, Bass, 66, suddenly sprinted to the front of the pack with boosts from congressional colleagues—including Nancy Pelosi—and other Democratic kingmakers like former California Democratic Party chairman John Burton.

Then the big shoe dropped: Cuba—the Third Rail of U.S. politics and presidential elections.

First reported were her ill-chosen words upon the death of Fidel Castro in 2016, she opined, that “the passing of the Comandante en Jefe is a great loss to the people of Cuba.” Ouch! But politically survivable.

Far more damaging was news that that Bass first visited the island while, in college, at age 19, in 1973 with the Venceremos Brigade, a group popular with leftwing student radicals and social progressives that organized and ferried Americans to Cuba to cut sugar cane and build homes—in defiance of the U.S. Embargo and policy. She would take eight trips with the Brigade during the 1970s alone; her fascination with and ties to the island have been steadfast ever since. In recent years, Bass has backed visas for Cuban doctors working in L.A.’s underserved neighborhoods, ending the US Embargo, and normalizing relations with Cuba.

Indeed, as chronicled in the L.A. Times, the Los Angeles Police Department under Daryl Gates famously infiltrated the Brigade (identifying Bass as a “leader” in 1973). One of the twelve LAPD undercover officers encouraged and trained some in the group, including Bass, to use firearms, previously unheard among the group. Bass was one of a hundred-plus plaintiffs who joined a ACLU lawsuit against the department, that eventually prevailed.

As a reporter covering Cuba-Miami since 1991, I can’t figure why Bass’s Venceremos Brigade history is such a bombshell. Her frequent-flyer status to the island has hardly been a secret. Bass has been well known in the American expat scene in Havana for decades and counts dozens of friends, including some Party officials, on the island. When she accompanied President Barack Obama to Cuba for his historic 2016 trip restoring relations with Cuba, she even tweeted a pic of herself in a red bandana from her Venceremos days.

That said, there is really no way to soft pedal the fact the Brigade was cofounded by the Castro government and Students for a Democratic Society, and was born of the marriage of the student Left and the Cuban Communist Party, then much under the influence of the Soviets. At the moment, another cozy relationship with a communist is getting ink. On Tuesday, Politico dredged up a eulogy Bass penned to honor the passing of Communist Party organizer Oneil Marion Cannon in 2017.

While having had a radical past isn’t a big deal in California politics, it has long been a disqualifier in any presidential race.

One word, as veteran journalist Tim Russert oft intoned: Florida, Florida, Florida.

On Saturday, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, the Trump administration’s go-to Cuban-American surrogate, blasted Bass: “She will be the highest-ranking Castro sympathizer in the history of the United States government.” The tone and vitriol was more incendiary on popular Cuban exile radio stations in Miami and blogs like Babalu. 

Important Democratic power players in Miami like state senator Anette Taddeo, a Colombian, urgently warn that Bass would be “a game changer” that could cost Biden Florida; Cuban-American pollster Fernand Amandi, who knows how to crunch the numbers of every Cuban-American vote, agrees.

Certainly, the Dems could respond to such red-baiting by pointing out that Republicans have been struck mute by Trump’s slavish devotion to Vladimir Putin. But in any case, Bass’s supporters believe that Biden is now popular enough in the state to survive an onslaught by the anti-Castro opposition. A new generation of Cuban-Americans is much less likely to share the anti-Castro obsessions of their parents or grandparents.

Bass has no illusions about her Cuba baggage and talked candidly with me on the subject, just hours after she left the John Lewis memorial in the Capitol, where she spoke with Biden there.

Regardless of her Cuba issues, I told her I am skeptical that the Dems can carry the state. Bass agreed that the state is a thorny challenge and noted that “the new wave of Venezuelans”—all fiercely anti-communist—“are also now a factor.” She added that Biden’s camp had told her of an internal Florida poll showing him up 15 points over Trump. I said I found that hard to believe and she offered a warm laugh and an ambiguous “whatever!”

My two cents is that a Biden-Bass ticket would have to bank on a national landslide sufficient to lose Florida. But, by all accounts, Biden’s campaign is prepared to wage an all-out battle for the Sunshine State and its game-changing 29 electoral votes.

Despite Trump’s declining fortunes in Florida, winning the state will be a tall order, and not because there are a lack of sufficient Democratic votes to prevail in a clear, clean election. Consider the fact, that it is more partisan now than when I covered the infamous Bush vs. Gore fiasco of 2000. While Democrat voters outnumber Republican ones in the state, it is governed by an intensely partisan GOP, including Trump-acolyte governor Ron DeSantis; its two senators, Rubio and former governor Rick Scott; and a Secretary of State, Laurel M. Lee—a worthy rival to Katharine Harris—who ultimately decides which ballots are counted.

While the Scientology flap isn’t a deal breaker, being a former Brigadista likely is. The possibility of leaked photos of a young, naïve Bass posing for pictures with Cuban officials (and they do love taking photos of visiting Americans) could tank the Biden ship.

But Castro isn’t the only controversial tyrant getting in Bass’s way. The congresswoman has also been criticized for ill-advised comments about Scientology guru L. Ron Hubbard at the 2010 inauguration of the Ideal Org building in Hollywood. In a video surfaced by right-wing website the Daily Caller, Bass says, “….That is why the words are exciting of your Founder L. Ron Hubbard, in the creed of the Church of Scientology: That all people of whatever race, color or creed are created with equal rights.”

Bass was the speaker of the California State Assembly at the time, but Scientology whistleblower Tony Ortega says the building wouldn’t have been in her district, as Bass has claimed. The congresswoman has defended her attendance with the requisite political politesse, saying she was just seeking some commonality with a church not her own.

While the Scientology flap isn’t a deal breaker, being a former Brigadista likely is. The possibility of leaked photos of a young, naïve Bass posing for pictures with Cuban officials (and they do love taking photos of visiting Americans) would tank the Biden ship.

For now, while Bass is enjoying the support of a host of powerful Democratic insiders, Harris is still the one to beat. But the 55-year-old Senator is facing her own headwinds stemming from her record as SF’s district attorney. During the primaries, progressive activists pointed to her law enforcement record as proof that she was too conservative for the party. Ironically, in a general election, her GOP critics will undoubtedly argue the opposite. In an incident that is now largely forgotten, Harris provoked a firestorm in California in 2008, when she passed on the death penalty for MC-13 Salvadoran gang member Edwin Ramos for the murders of a father and two sons in a drive-by shooting that Ramos said was a case of mistaken identity.

Four years prior, she’d raised right-wing hackles when she announced she wouldn’t seek the death penalty for gang member David Harris for the assault-rifle murder of popular San Francisco police officer Isaac Espinoza.

Still, it may prove to be a helpful counter-narrative to the “Kamala is a cop” tag that has scored traction among some Black activists.

While the showdown between Harris and Bass has rubber-necked political junkies it’s aggravated Democratic power players—and both women.

Last week at John Lewis’s memorial in Selma, Alabama, Bass and Harris went off on their own for a private schmooze. “It was all good,” Bass later told an interviewer. “[Harris] said ‘We ain’t doing that.’ It was fine.” Bass added: “I’m not the anti-Kamala.”

No matter who snags the VP slot, Bass is looking at a huge career upgrade. If Kamala gets the nod, her Senate seat opens up if the Dems prevail on November 3. Or come 2024, a 94-year-old Dianne Feinstein will almost certainly not run again.

Senator Bass? Sounds about right to me.

Ann Louise Bardach, a PEN Award-winning reporter, is the author of Without Fidel and Cuba Confidential.


RELATED: Two Californians Are on Joe Biden’s VP Shortlist. What Are Their Chances?


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Katy Perry Roars to the Defense of Ellen DeGeneres

As allegations about the behind-the-scenes world of Ellen DeGeneres’s talk show continue to mount, some in Hollywood have made public statements about their own uncomfortable dealings with DeGeneres, and many others appear to be laying low about the matter–but not Katy Perry. The pop star came strongly to Degeneres’s defense in a pair of tweets posted around midnight.

Perry has been a frequent guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, dropping by 13 times since since 2008. Many on Twitter quickly responded to Perry’s messages by pointing out that it is possible that the experience of a high-profile celebrity guest of a talk show might be different than that of the staff that produces that show.

DeGeneres doesn’t have many outspoken supporters at this point, but Perry isn’t totally alone. Diane Keaton and comedian Kevin Hart have also made statements on behalf of the controversial host.


RELATED: Upward of 300,000 L.A. Households Could Be at Risk if the State’s Eviction Ban Expires Next Month


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DAILY TRACKER: Updates on L.A. County’s COVID-19 Cases

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Coronavirus Cases Los Angeles, Update 8/4/2020:

Below is the current breakdown of coronavirus cases as of 8 p.m. on August 4. Data is incomplete due to a delay in the state’s electronic lab reporting system.

There are now 195,614 total confirmed cases (+1901 from prior day). There have been 4,758 deaths (+57 from prior day). The regions with the highest rate of infections per capita are Saugus, Castaic, and City of Industry. The most deaths have been recorded in Glendale (142), Westlake (124), and El Monte (96).

Novel Coronavirus Cases in Los Angeles County, by Neighborhood
Acton 45
Adams-Normandie 176
Agoura Hills 120
Agua Dulce 20
Alhambra 947
Alsace 274
Altadena 480
Anaverde 8
Angeles National Forest 6
Angelino Heights 51
Arcadia 340
Arcadia 74
Arleta 1018
Artesia 237
Athens Village 168
Athens-Westmont 1138
Atwater Village 168
Avalon 5
Avocado Heights 201
Azusa 1454
Baldwin Hills 461
Baldwin Park 2064
Bassett 483
Bel Air 60
Bell 1177
Bell Gardens 1422
Bellflower 1731
Beverly Crest 87
Beverly Hills 545
Beverlywood 118
Bouquet Canyon 2
Boyle Heights 3354
Bradbury 17
Brentwood 215
Brookside 2
Burbank 1028
Cadillac-Corning 93
Calabasas 206
Canoga Park 1349
Canyon Country 84
Carson 1315
Carthay 174
Castaic 1862
Central 1667
Century City 94
Century Palms/Cove 1170
Cerritos 431
Chatsworth 503
Cheviot Hills 48
Chinatown 85
Claremont 257
Cloverdale/Cochran 233
Commerce 418
Compton 2954
Country Club Park 229
Covina 1299
Covina (Charter Oak) 232
Crenshaw District 237
Crestview 148
Cudahy 842
Culver City 326
Del Aire 50
Del Rey 263
Del Sur 7
Desert View Highlands 26
Diamond Bar 394
Downey 3071
Downtown 560
Duarte 463
Eagle Rock 488
East Covina 4
East Hollywood 502
East La Mirada 76
East Los Angeles 4731
East Pasadena 53
East Rancho Dominguez 489
East Whittier 53
Echo Park 168
El Camino Village 112
El Monte 3231
El Segundo 97
El Sereno 882
Elizabeth Lake 5
Elysian Park 78
Elysian Valley 190
Encino 399
Exposition 61
Exposition Park 970
Faircrest Heights 26
Figueroa Park Square 245
Florence-Firestone 4367
Gardena 891
Glassell Park 517
Glendale 2437
Glendora 975
Gramercy Place 185
Granada Hills 858
Green Meadows 720
Hacienda Heights 750
Hancock Park 174
Harbor City 368
Harbor Gateway 694
Harbor Pines 14
Harvard Heights 439
Harvard Park 1232
Hawaiian Gardens 382
Hawthorne 1485
Hermosa Beach 152
Hi Vista 5
Hidden Hills 6
Highland Park 828
Historic Filipinotown 338
Hollywood 889
Hollywood Hills 229
Huntington Park 2141
Hyde Park 591
Industry 26
Inglewood 2068
Irwindale 54
Jefferson Park 202
Kagel/Lopez Canyons 25
Koreatown 873
La Canada Flintridge 129
La Crescenta-Montrose 120
La Habra Heights 30
La Mirada 636
La Puente 1099
La Rambla 72
La Verne 350
Ladera Heights 64
Lafayette Square 64
Lake Balboa 714
Lake Hughes 1
Lake Los Angeles 143
Lake Manor 14
Lakeview Terrace 427
Lakewood 923
Lancaster 2182
Lawndale 483
Leimert Park 236
Lennox 499
Leona Valley 15
Lincoln Heights 849
Little Armenia 330
Little Bangladesh 381
Little Tokyo 54
Littlerock 56
Littlerock/Juniper Hills 7
Littlerock/Pearblossom 56
Llano 3
Lomita 174
Longwood 94
Los Feliz 150
Lynwood 2489
Malibu 80
Manchester Square 132
Mandeville Canyon 18
Manhattan Beach 271
Mar Vista 248
Marina del Rey 61
Marina Peninsula 27
Maywood 1046
Melrose 1467
Mid-city 237
Miracle Mile 128
Mission Hills 549
Monrovia 609
Montebello 1679
Monterey Park 657
Mt. Washington 409
Newhall 6
North Hills 1302
North Hollywood 2488
North Lancaster 18
North Whittier 143
Northeast San Gabriel 258
Northridge 1028
Norwalk 2416
Pacific Palisades 99
Pacoima 2440
Padua Hills 2
Palisades Highlands 18
Palmdale 2714
Palms 437
Palos Verdes Estates 75
Palos Verdes Peninsula 3
Panorama City 2004
Paramount 1778
Park La Brea 85
Pearblossom/Llano 17
Pellissier Village 19
Pico Rivera 1775
Pico-Union 1442
Playa Del Rey 20
Playa Vista 104
Pomona 3844
Porter Ranch 244
Quartz Hill 122
Rancho Dominguez 60
Rancho Palos Verdes 229
Rancho Park 61
Redondo Beach 409
Regent Square 21
Reseda 1642
Reseda Ranch 84
Reynier Village 28
Rolling Hills 5
Rolling Hills Estates 31
Roosevelt 5
Rosemead 619
Rosewood 16
Rosewood/East Gardena 14
Rosewood/West Rancho Dominguez 68
Rowland Heights 488
San Dimas 373
San Fernando 633
San Gabriel 424
San Jose Hills 524
San Marino 56
San Pasqual 9
San Pedro 1578
Sand Canyon 5
Santa Catalina Island 7
Santa Clarita 2253
Santa Fe Springs 379
Santa Monica 655
Santa Monica Mountains 90
Saugus 15
Saugus/Canyon Country 1
Shadow Hills 39
Sherman Oaks 748
Sierra Madre 57
Signal Hill 190
Silver Lake 486
South Antelope Valley 1
South Carthay 86
South El Monte 650
South Gate 3418
South Park 1570
South Pasadena 223
South San Gabriel 133
South Whittier 1238
Southeast Antelope Valley 11
St Elmo Village 108
Stevenson Ranch 121
Studio City 193
Sun Valley 1075
Sun Village 100
Sunland 344
Sunrise Village 38
Sycamore Square 4
Sylmar 2365
Tarzana 503
Temple City 414
Temple-Beaudry 946
Thai Town 112
Toluca Lake 83
Toluca Terrace 17
Toluca Woods 14
Torrance 1060
Tujunga 281
Twin Lakes/Oat Mountain 10
University Hills 45
University Park 587
Val Verde 45
Valencia 35
Valinda 555
Valley Glen 414
Valley Village 402
Van Nuys 2031
Venice 210
Vermont Knolls 561
Vermont Square 261
Vermont Vista 1425
Vernon 8
Vernon Central 2308
Victoria Park 155
View Heights 34
View Park/Windsor Hills 107
Walnut 210
Walnut Park 536
Watts 1402
Wellington Square 89
West Adams 689
West Antelope Valley 3
West Carson 297
West Covina 2172
West Hills 391
West Hollywood 435
West LA 36
West Los Angeles 389
West Puente Valley 280
West Rancho Dominguez 18
West Vernon 1721
West Whittier/Los Nietos 707
Westchester 300
Westfield/Academy Hills 4
Westhills 8
Westlake 1976
Westlake Village 22
Westwood 258
White Fence Farms 35
Whittier 1653
Wholesale District 1935
Willowbrook 1107
Wilmington 1222
Wilshire Center 863
Winnetka 919
Wiseburn 100
Woodland Hills 651
Under Investigation: 4281


RELATED: Gavin Newsom Explains What It Will Take to End Stay-at-Home


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Afternoon Update: Gov. Newsom’s Good News About COVID Cases May Have Resulted from Bad Data

» The good news Governor Gavin Newsom reported regarding the state’s seven-day COVID-19 positivity rate may have been the result of flawed stats. California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said Tuesday that the state’s data system is marred with technical issues. [The Los Angeles Times]

» Electric car salesman and chaotic Twitter personality Elon Musk won’t say for sure whether Tesla will remain in California. Still irked that state health officials wouldn’t allow him to open the company’s Fremont plant as immediately as the billionaire would have liked, he told Automotive News, “There’s no question that our headquarters will remain in California for the short term…Long term, we’ll have to wait and see.” [Yahoo News]

» Newport Beach-based fast-casual burrito spot Chipotle is launching a line of sustainable clothes. All the pieces will be dyed using the 300 million avocado pits the company typically throws away each year. [CNN]

» Compton Mayor Aja Brown says her city’s residents are being unfairly targeted and harassed by deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Brown herself has been pulled over and asked if her car could be searched for drugs. She’s calling on California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to intervene. [LAist]

» Disney has given up on its live-action remake of Mulan making it to cinemas. The summer tentpole will hit Disney+ for a cool $29.99 beginning September 4. [The Hollywood Reporter]

» Neil Young—a national treasure even though he’s Canadian—is suing the Trump campaign for using two of his songs without a license at the president’s recent bummer of a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “This complaint is not intended to disrespect the rights and opinions of American citizens, who are free to support the candidate of their choosing,” reads the copyright infringement complaint filed in New York federal court. “However, Plaintiff in good conscience cannot allow his music to be used as a ‘theme song’ for a divisive, un-American campaign of ignorance and hate.” [The Guardian]

» One of California’s most beloved national parks has a new name—sort of. At a White House press conference, Donald Trump referred to Yosemite National Park as “Yo-sem-MIGHT” and subsequently “Yo-sem-min-NIGHT.” [USA Today]


RELATED: Joan Collins Opens Up About Her Sexual Assault and Hollywood’s Grim Realities 


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Investigations Continue into a Party Sources Have Linked to the L.A. Sheriff’s Department

On July 31, as most Angelenos were settling in for another Friday night of quarantine at home, an estimated 100 to 150 people, were getting together at Sassafras Saloon in Hollywood for a night of drinking and dancing. One source who spoke to the Los Angeles Times on the condition of anonymity said it was booked as a private party involving the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department. Likewise, several arriving guests were captured on video saying “yes” when asked if they were there for the “LASD party.”

Indoor service at restaurants and on-premises service at bars was shut down most recently on June 28 amid L.A.’s surge in COVID-19 infections; large social gatherings have remained banned since March. Photos and videos of the event appear to show most attendees neither distancing nor wearing masks.

Now, the Los Angeles Times reports, Dr. Barbara Ferrer has announced that the Department of Public Health is investigating the incident, along with the Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control and the Los Angeles Police Department.

“We are investigating reports of a private indoor party and remind all businesses that have been ordered to close indoor operations that there are no exceptions,” a representative for the health department told CNN. “This is exactly the situation that puts our entire community at risk.”

Word of the party first began to spread in social media posts from Knock.LA, a project of the community activist organization Ground Game L.A.

Knock.LA states that they first observed guests arriving at Sassafras Saloon around 8 p.m., initially being ushered into the venue through a side door. Upon peering inside, they claim to have seen “a packed indoor club, loud music, drinking, dancing, and not a mask visible.”

Cerise Castle, a journalist with public radio station KCRW, also investigated the event. While there, she documented individuals who identified themselves by names she says match those of current law enforcement officers drinking outside of the venue and leaving trash on the street.

With COVID-19 outbreaks documented to be spreading rapidly inside correctional facilities, correctional officers would be among those most likely to be exposed to the virus. As of mid-June, 2,585 inmates and 335 LASD staff were known to have tested positive.

On the night of the party, a CNN reporter went to the bar and spoke to a guest who claimed that the attendees were not worried about potential exposure.

Sassafras Saloon LASD Sheriff's Department
Sassafras Saloon photographed in 2017

Photo: Aaron Green

“Everybody is either family or works at the same place so that’s why we don’t have COVID concerns. They micro-group or whatever with each other and everyone’s been tested and everything. That’s why we all know that everyone in there is cool,” the guest claimed.

When pressed on the matter, the individual asked the reporter, “If you’re so concerned, why don’t you call the police?”

That guest was later identified to CNN as a current officer in the LAPD Southwest Division.

A spokesperson for 1933 Group, which owns Sassafras Saloon, asserts that the LASD dud not organize the party, and that management was told it would be an event to “celebrate first responders.” Because the venue has a full kitchen, it qualifies to be open for patio dining service, and, they say, management was under the impression that it would be a small group enjoying their drinks and food outdoors.

“We did everything possible to provide our staff and guests with ample outdoor spaces that completely adhered to current safety precautions and social distancing expectations,” the spokesperson told the Times. “Unfortunately, there were a number of guests that did not comply. We unequivocally do not condone this behavior and have no intention of agreeing to additional private events, charitable or otherwise, until the state allows.”

The LASD denies any official connection to the event, and has stated that any identification of individuals at the event as linked to the department are “categorically false” and part of a “hoax perpetrated by social activists.”


RELATED: The Coroner Has Released Andres Guardado’s Autopsy, Defying Sheriff’s Hold Order


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Multiple People Were Shot at a Mulholland Drive Mansion Party

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Gunfire erupted during a massive party at a short-term rental mansion in Beverly Crest early Tuesday, leaving one woman dead and two others wounded just hours after police responded to calls from neighbors alarmed by the size of the crowd.

According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, the shooting occurred at around 1:15 a.m. at a home in the 13200 block of West Mulholland Drive. CBS Los Angeles reports that in an Instagram video posted by one partygoer, about 20 shots can be heard, fired in two volleys, followed by a chaotic scene as guests tried to run to safety.

LAPD Lieutenant Chris Ramirez said at a press conference Tuesday morning that police arrived at the scene to find two women and one man with gunshot wounds. The three victims were rushed to local hospitals, where one of the women, who is believed to be approximately 35-years-old, was pronounced dead. The two injured guests are in stable condition.

A third woman was sent to a local hospital with a wrist injury she reportedly suffered in her rush to escape the shooting, while a second man who was at the party checked himself into a hospital but then checked out. No names have been released.

As of Tuesday morning, police had no suspects and no motive for the shootings, though it is being investigated as gang-related.

Kennie D. Leggett, who identified himself as the party’s head of security, told CBS L.A. the celebration was in honor of a football player who was recently drafted to an NFL team, but did not name the player or the team.

“We have money,” Leggett said. “We are people. This, COVID I mean, is just pushing us out everywhere, and we have nothing, so the only thing we do have is Airbnbs to rent, swimming pools for our kids, to do big things and things of that nature.”

At about 7 p.m. Monday, police had responded to numerous calls from neighbors about the size of the crowd at the mansion, where buses had been seen dropping off dozens of people. Officers found about 200 people at the home and cited some cars for blocking the roadway, but found noise levels coming from the party to be in compliance so they left without taking further action.

The company that manages the rental property told CBS L.A. that it first heard of the party on Monday, and that it had warned the renters that they were violating the rental agreement. The company added that it had asked the party hosts to vacate the home.

While large parties are currently not allowed in L.A. County, and guests could be plainly seen violating COVID-19 health rules, the LAPD says its officers cannot enter private property without a warrant.


RELATED: Disneyland Employees Want Daily COVID Testing, but the Company Shot Down the Idea


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