Southern California breaking news and trends

LA school baseball coach fired after child endangerment arrest

Los Angeles Unified announced Tuesday they've fired an employee who allegedly smoked weed to and from a baseball game with 14-16-year-old students.

Pedro Cruz Trujillo, an assistant baseball coach and education aid at Kennedy High School, was arrested Monday by LAPD on suspicion of six counts of child endangerment.

Police say that in May, Trujilla took six high school students to a Dodgers game. He allegedly smoked pot behind the wheel and offered the kids a toke or two as well. 

A staff member apparently overheard kids talking about it later, and reported Trujillo to police on May 25. The school district then removed Trujillo from his position temporarily while police conducted the month-long investigation. When police arrested him, LAUSD decided to fire Trujillo. He's currently being held in custody on $100,000 bail.

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Attorney returns to Los Angeles' Police Commission

LAPD

Andres Aguila/KPCC

A former police commissioner was reappointed today to the civilian panel that oversees policy for the Los Angeles Police Department.

An attorney who spent five years on the panel that oversees the Los Angeles Police Department was reappointed to the commission today to finish out Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s time in office.

Andrea Sheridan Ordin was Los Angeles County’s counsel for two years, stepping down in January. She previously served on the Board of Police Commissioners as a Villaraigosa appointee.

“I am so confident in Andrea Ordin’s ability to provide valuable public safety insight to the Board of Police Commissioners that I have elected to reappoint her to the civilian oversight panel,” Villaraigosa said in a statement.

“As a former appointed member of that board from 2005 to 2010, and a practicing attorney since 1965, her knowledge of the police department and the law especially qualifies Ordin to fulfill the duties of this office.”

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Family of Abdul Arian sues city for $120 million — $1 million for every shot fired, they say

Abdul Arian

County of Los Angeles

A drawing from Abdul Arian's autopsy shows multiple bullet wounds. Arian's family is suing LAPD, claiming they used excessive force when officers shot and killed the 19-year-old.

Abdul Arian was shot and killed by LAPD officers after a freeway chase April 11, 2012. Today, his family announced they're suing the city for $120 million — that's $1 million for every shot they say police fired at the teen.

The family's attorney, Jeffrey Galen, said it was the worst case of excessive force he's seen in his 25-year career, and that more accountability is needed to keep police shootings from escalating.

"It would have been excessive to fire just one shot," Galen said. Meanwhile, he said police and the city have been uncooperative in giving the family information about the night of Arian's death. The lawsuit, he said, is to seek justice and to seek answers.

The incident made national headlines. After a chase, Arian, 19, stopped his car, blocking lanes on the 101. A police car then hit the car's drivers side door, and Arian ran out the other side of the car. Video from a news chopper shows Arian running back and forth across the freeway, sometimes taking an odd stance (which some have described as a "shooting stance"), before he's fatally shot.

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Family of teen killed by LAPD officers suing the City of Los Angeles

Abdul Arian

Shereen Marisol Meraji

Photo of 19 year old Abdul Arian stands outside his memorial service at Valhalla Memorial Park. Arian was shot to death by LAPD after he led them on a high speed chase and reportedly told 911 he was armed.

Abdul Arian was shot and killed by LAPD officers after a freeway chase April 11, 2012. His family is expected to announce Monday that they're suing the city for $120 million in federal court.

After a chase, Arian, 19, stopped his car, blocking lanes on the 101. A police car then hit the car's drivers side door, and Arian ran out the other side of the car. Video from a news chopper shows Arian running back and forth across the freeway, sometimes taking an odd stance (which some have described as a "shooting stance"), before he's fatally shot. 

Arian was unarmed, but police have said he called 911 and told dispatch he was carrying a gun and was ready to engage with police. That recording hasn't been released, but police did release a partial transcript of the conversation. In it, Arian is quoted as telling the dispatcher, "I have a gun," and "If they pull their guns, I'm gonna have to pull my gun out on them."

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LAPD says last night was fairly quiet, one incident provoked crowd control weapons

Foam rubber baton

Courtesy of LAPD

Foam rubber batons are used to disperse crowds.

Though Kings victory celebrations were generally pretty tame last night, one incident ended in police using foam rubber baton rounds to send celebrants scattering.

According to LAPD Commander Andy Smith, a group of troublemakers that police had been keeping their eyes on started banging on a city bus, trying to break its windows and possibly flip it over.

So officers fired a 37mm gas gun — essentially a barrel you can shoot different kinds of things out of — filled with packs of black, rubber, barrel-shaped pellets. The pellets look, ironically, like small hockey pucks, but are apparently much softer and squishier, with a consistency akin to a ball of athletic tape. When they're shot, there's a flash of light and a bang. The rounds are fired at the ground and bounce indiscriminately. If they hit a person, ideally in the legs, they sting and can leave a bruise. 

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