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

Commission Sounds Alarm Over DNA Backlog

A new report calls on the state legislature to immediately address the backlog of DNA samples at the state crime lab. The emergency report issued by the California Commission for the Fair Administration of Justice says that rapists may be on the loose and innocent people may be locked up because the lab has failed to process the samples.

Police Chief Defends Decision to Name Gangs

L.A. Police Chief Bill Bratton on Thursday responded to criticism over his decision to name the city's 11 worst gangs. Critics say it will only enhance the gangs' notoriety.

Police, Skid Row Residents Shocked by Latest Case of Patient Dumping

Police say a paraplegic man whom a hospital van allegedly dumped on Skid Row was a longtime resident of the San Fernando Valley. Witnesses say someone in a van from Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital dropped the man off on at the corner of Sixth and Gladys on Thursday morning. Officials at the hospital say they are looking into the incident.

Transnational Gang Conference Opens in L.A.

Top U.S. and Central American law enforcement officials began a three-day transnational gang summit in Los Angeles Wednesday. Authorities say gangs including MS-13 and 18th Street are a growing menace on both sides of the border.

Gang Expert Sees Ceasefires as Key to Stopping Gang Violence

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa later this week will release his plan to address a 14% jump in gang crime. One gang expert thinks that ceasefires brokered by former gang members are an important step in the process.

More Illegal Immigrants Found in L.A. County Jails

Immigrant rights advocates say they're concerned about a dramatic rise in the number of people identified as suspected illegal immigrants in Los Angeles County jails. Sheriff's officials say they handed over nearly 6,000 foreign-born inmates to federal authorities for possible deportation proceedings last year, double the number from 2005.

Mayor to Release Gang Plan This Week

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa this week unveils his plan to reduce gang violence, which last year saw a 14% spike after a five-year decline. Last month, civil rights attorney Connie Rice also issued her long-awaited blueprint.

Gang Member Vows to End Violence in Harbor Gateway

In today's newscasts and talk programs, KPCC has been examining racially-charged gang violence in Los Angeles. Police say ground zero is Harbor Gateway, where the 204th Street Gang for years has targeted blacks. Today, a group of residents pledged to promote peace and racial tolerance. The agreement followed a meeting yesterday between the mother of a victim of the gang and one of its leaders. During the meeting, the gang leader promised to end attacks on African-Americans. KPCC's Frank Stoltze reports.

Member of 'LA Eight' Becomes Citizen

A native Palestinian became a U.S. citizen yesterday after a long battle with the federal government. He is one of the celebrated "LA Eight," a group of seven Palestinian men and one Kenyan woman accused 19 years ago of supporting terrorism.

LA Police Label Harbor-Area Murder a Hate Crime

LAPD officials believe a 14-year-old girl, who was fatally shot near the LA harbor last Friday, was targeted because she was black.

Prison Rape Panel Examines Sexual Assault Behind Bars

The news media paid little attention when a national prison rape panel held hearings in Southern California last week. Activists say that's par for the course when it comes to sexual violence in prisons and jails. Even though there may be tens of thousands of victims every year, corrections officials and policy makers also tend to ignore the problem.

LA Judge Continues Order Aimed at Reducing Jail Overcrowding

A federal judge Monday extended a temporary restraining order designed to reduce overcrowding at the LA Men's Central Jail - the largest local lock-up in the country. Judge Dean Pregerson also asked jail officials to come up with a comprehensive plan for improving living conditions inside the facility and present the plan to him by mid-January.

Blue Ribbon Panel Recommends Limiting Use of Jailhouse Informants

The California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice is urging state prosecutors to limit their use of jailhouse informants in criminal trials. KPCC's Frank Stoltze spoke with former state Attorney General John Van de Kamp, who heads the commission.

LA Fire Commission Approves Reforms Amidst Concerns Over Harassment, Hazing

The Los Angeles Fire Commission yesterday gave initial approval to a set of reforms aimed at ridding the department of racial and gender discrimination and hazing. The move comes amid a high-profile harassment case and calls for the removal of the fire chief.

UCLA Chancellor Orders Probe of Taser Incident

UCLA Chancellor Norman Abrams ordered an independent investigation of an incident in which campus police stunned an Iranian-American student with a taser. The incident has sparked outrage on the Westwood campus.