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Headlines: LAPD Gets Its First Robotic SWAT Dog, Following City Council Vote

Activists have protested the donation, claiming the robot dog would become a tool for the LAPD to harass and conduct surveillance of Black and Brown communities.

11:05 AM PDT on May 23, 2023

photo via Boston Dynamics/Instagram|

photo via Boston Dynamics/Instagram

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 at it closely.

—DTLA: The Los Angeles City Council voted 8-4 to approve the donation of a so-called robot dog for use by the Los Angeles Police Department following more than an hour of public comment against the device and criticism from a council member. The council moved to accept the donation with an amendment introduced by Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky to ensure the LAPD provide quarterly reports regarding the deployment of the device, outcomes of the deployment and any issues pertaining to the use of it. In addition, the council will "closely monitor" the $277,917 Quadruped Unmanned Ground Vehicle and ultimately modify the deployment policy or suspend the use of the device at any time. "As with the use of any new technology used in policing, it is important that the City Council have appropriate oversight and the ability to modify or half the program if circumstances warrant," Yaroslavsky said. The device, built by Boston Dynamics, was offered as a donation to the LAPD's Metropolitan Division by the Los Angeles Police Foundation. Council members Heather Hutt, Curren Price, Nithya Raman and Hugo Soto- Martinez voted against the donation. Council members Eunisses Hernandez and Marqueece Harris-Dawson were absent from Tuesday's City Council meeting. [City News Service]

—Seventy dollars. That's the price concertgoers dropped for a "platter" of "street tacos" at Electric Daisy Carnival this weekend in Las Vegas, according to a TikTok video by @Dareal08_. Platters of taquitos and empanadas went for $50, while a whole pizza cost $96 and six sushi rolls ran $100. [@MikiLovesMusic/Twitter]

Native leaders in Northern California are demanding that the California Department of Transportation halt construction on a highway-side project near Inyo, following the unearthing of more than 30 buried ancestor bodies and artifacts they say have gone previously undisturbed for thousands of years. “How many human remains must be unearthed before Caltrans decides it is time to respect our advice and perspective?" Sean Scruggs, tribal historic officer for the Fort Independence Indian Community of Paiute Indians, told the L.A. Times about long dismissed concerns about disturbing the area. [LAT]

—East Los Angeles: Authorities are searching for a kidnapping victim described as a woman in her 20's as well as a male suspect. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said that the suspect "appeared to coerce the female into the nearby vehicle," after allegedly breaking a bus window and pointing a gun at a bus driver. The alleged kidnapping happened yesterday on the 3800 block of East 3rd Street. [ABC 7]

—Elysian Park: The Los Angeles Dodgers apologized to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and reinvited them to their annual Pride Night. This comes roughly a week after the Dodgers caved to right wing pressure and rescinded The Sisters' invitation last week. "We have asked the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to take their place on the field at our 10th annual LGBTQ+ Pride Night on June 16th," the Dodgers said in a public statement. [The Guardian]

—An "automated trash interceptor"—the only one of it's kind in the country–prevented nearly 80 tons of trash from entering the Santa Monica Bay and local beaches. [Patch]

—There will be a lane closures on the PCH from Sycamore Canyon up to Calleguas Creek Bridge from now until Thursday. Expect delays if you're heading that way. [Cal Trans/Twitter]

—Lebron dropped 40 points last night but that still wasn't enough to prevent the Lakers from being swept by the Nuggets. [LAT]

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