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Headlines: City of L.A. Sues Knock L.A. Reporter Over Legally Acquired Public L.A.P.D. Records

11:36 AM PDT on April 6, 2023

A scrimmage line of LAPD officers stand nearby a trailer with a “Trump Unity” sign. (Brian Feinzimer)

Welcome to L.A. TACO’s daily news briefs, where we bring our loyal members, readers, and supporters the latest headlines about Los Angeles politics and culture. Stay informed and look closely.

The City of Los Angeles has filed a potentially precedent-setting lawsuit against Knock L.A. reporter Benjamin Camacho and StopLAPDSpying Coalition. Camacho is being accused of illegally possessing photos of thousands of officers, including those working “undercover.” The defendants received the images, names, and work locations of 9,000 officers through a formal public record request. The outcome of this case has the power to change or alter the freedom of the press and future requests to honor Freedom of Information Act-based documents. For a summary of the events leading up to this lawsuit, check out this thread by @MatthewStrugar on Twitter.

—Downtown: Three people who may have overdosed on drugs have been found dead inside an apartment building in the Skid Row area. ... Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters responded to the building on reports of the three individuals unconscious and not breathing. An investigation was continuing, but a fire department spokesman described the deaths as "suspected overdoses," noting that the coroner's office will make the final determination. All three victims were pronounced dead at the scene. [City News Service]

—Arts District: Damian's Pastry Chef, Joshua Ulmer, passed away last Friday.  "He was loved by everyone who had the fortune of crossing paths with him. He will be deeply missed," writes the Damian team. Originally from the East Coast, Ulmer worked at Cosme in New York and studied Culinary Arts at the prestigious Johnson & Wales University Providence Campus. Ulmer's hibiscus meringue dessert was the star of the modern Mexican dessert menu and will remain on the menu. May he rest in peace.

—City of Vernon: Authorities say a murder suspect with an extensive criminal record who had been released from prison last year was fatally shot at a Vernon truck yard after escaping from members of a multi-agency gang task force ... and trying to wrestle a weapon away from a female officer. According to South Gate Police Department Chief Darren Arakawa, officers involved with the task force carried out searches of various locations Wednesday, primarily homeless encampments along the Los Angeles River bed. ... At one of the eight targeted locations, the suspect was spotted, and he ran into the Vernon truck yard. ... The unidentified suspect was confronted by a South Gate police officer, who was attacked by the suspect. ... The suspect tried to take away the officer's gun, and eventually punched the female officer in the face, and she responded by shooting the suspect. Authorities allege a gun was recovered at the scene. [City News Service]

—Photographer Brandon Tauszik recently profiled formerly incarcerated employees and their employers that hired them as part of the county's new Fair Chance hiring campaign rollout. Along with local reporter Alisha Jucevic, they profiled counselors, park rangers, general contractors, and paralegals—all local to L.A. The entire project has been exhibited at job fairs and is currently installed at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration. View the powerful photos on the photographer's website. [Brandon Tauszik]

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