Frank Stoltze

Public Safety Correspondent

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Southern California has a long and troubled history when it comes to policing. I explore a continuing disconnect between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve, look at when reforms have worked and where and why tensions remain. I'm always examining whether justice is being served.

Stories by Frank Stoltze

Clinton, Obama Campaigns Send Top Surrogates to L.A.

California has become a key battleground in the race for the Democratic nomination for president. Yesterday, both candidates sent their top surrogates to Los Angeles. KPCC's Frank Stoltze visited an African American church where former President Bill Clinton was speaking on behalf of his wife. Brian Watt was at two other local churches.

Hundreds Gather Outside Kodak Theater During Debate

While Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton debated inside the Kodak Theater, hundreds gathered outside to support, solicit, protest and perform for the dozens of television cameras assembled. KPCC's Frank Stoltze took his microphone along to pick up the action.

Republican Presidential Candidates Debate in Simi Valley

Republican presidential candidates debated at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley on Wednesday night. California voters get their say next Tuesday in one of the most hotly-contested presidential primaries in decades. KPCC's Frank Stoltze reports that last night's exchange frustrated some people who'd hoped to finally make up their minds in a fast-changing race.

LAPD Officer Disclosure Requirements Hit Stumbling Block

One of the last federally-mandated reforms of the Los Angeles Police Department has hit a stumbling block. The City Council is considering whether to block a provision that would require extensive financial disclosure by officers in the narcotics and gang units. It's intended to root out corrupt officers. KPCC's Frank Stoltze says there's a debate about whether that requirement would even work. (Note: Connie Rice, who was interviewed for this story, is a member of the board of Southern California Public Radio.)

Democratic Candidates Woo Latino Voters

Democratic candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are both going after California's Latino voters. They represent one in five voters in the state. One survey puts Hillary Clinton 40 percentage points above Barack Obama and some ascribe this to Latinos' racial mistrust of blacks. Cal State Fullerton political scientist Raphe Sonenshein told KPCC's Frank Stoltze that there's a lot more at play than race.

USC Conference Examines L.A.'s Criminal Justice System

USC's Institute for Justice and Journalism convened law enforcement leaders, activists and academics this week to examine the Los Angeles criminal justice system. KPCC's Frank Stoltze reports many in attendance conceded that the system is broken. They say it's too punitive and offers little hope for rehabilitation (Note: Frank Stoltze is a fellow at USC's Institute for Justice and Journalism, which sponsored the conference.)

Campaign Strategists Turn Focus to California

County clerks across California today begin mailing absentee ballots for the February 5 presidential primary. That means voters could begin casting ballots later this week. That's focusing some campaign strategists on California even as Tuesday's New Hampshire primary approaches. KPCC's Frank Stoltze reports.

Underground Drug Economy Generates Billions in Southern California

Experts estimate the underground drug economy in Southern California generates several billions of dollars. That's a small fraction of the region's economic activity; but in some neighborhoods, buying and selling illegal drugs makes a big impact. As part of KPCC's examination of the underground economy, Frank Stoltze looks at illicit drug sales.

Former House Leader Gingrich Says Governors Hold Key to Progress

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was in Southern California last week. He spoke at a meeting of the Republican Governors Association. KPCC's Frank Stoltze reports the conservative iconoclast called on governors to become agents of change.

Study Looks at Ways to Increase Voter Participation

Many analysts say voter turnout will surge in next year's presidential election. Turnout increased in 2000 and 2004, but the United States lags behind many democracies in voter turnout. Voter participation remains especially low in poor and minority precincts. The result is that the the electorate is substantially whiter and wealthier than the population, but KPCC's Frank Stoltze says one California initiative is trying to change that.

Civil Rights Activist Complains of LAPD Harassment on Skid Row

Civil rights attorney Carol Sobel is suing the city of Los Angeles over the LAPD's crackdown on "quality of life" violations on Skid Row. Sobel claims that the LAPD is illegally targeting poor African American men. Many political and business leaders have hailed the policing approach as a success.

LAPD Defends Plan to Map Muslim Communities

Police in Los Angeles are defending a plan to map where large concentrations of Muslim Americans live in the city. They say it's an effort to reach out to Muslim Americans and prevent terrorism. KPCC's Frank Stoltze reports Muslim American leaders and civil libertarians question the department's intentions.

South L.A. Voter Says African Americans Need to Think More Broadly About Party Politics

"Black" and "Republican" are two words you don't see in the same sentence very often, especially in South Los Angeles. KPCC's Frank Stoltze has a profile of one South L.A. man who doggedly promotes the Grand Old Party to anyone who will listen.

Dodgers Introduce Torre as New Manager

The Dodgers' great New York hope arrived in Los Angeles Monday. The team introduced famed Yankees manager Joe Torre as the man who'll turn the struggling team around. But KPCC's Frank Stoltze reports that Torre was more reticent about the idea.

Writers Announce Monday Strike

The Writers Guild announced Friday that its members will begin a strike at midnight on Monday unless a last-minute deal can be brokered. A federal mediator is asking both sides to take part in a Sunday bargaining session.