Los Angeles, CA

White officer wins job bias suit

April 18, 2002
A police officer who claimed he was passed over for promotion because he is white was awarded nearly $550,000 Thursday in a reverse discrimination lawsuit against the city of Inglewood.
      Lt. Ron Wood claimed the Inglewood City Council, which is predominantly black, chose a black officer for the job of captain in spite of his seniority and superior qualifications.
      A jury found that race was a substantial motivating factor in the selection and awarded Wood $34,000 in lost wages, $440,762 in lost future wages and $75,000 for emotional distress.

Calif. hospital chain sued; Anti-Latino bias alleged

February 07, 2002
Tenet Health Care Corp., a giant California-based hospital chain, was sued today by a conservative-backed group on charges that it has severely overcharged Latino patients and turned their unpaid bills into higher subsidy payments from the state and federal governments.
      The suits, filed in Orange County Superior Court, were announced at a news conference arranged by K.B. Forbes, a former press aide to presidential candidate Patrick J. Buchanan and other conservative notables. Forbes said he has spent much of the past year collecting evidence against Tenet from Latinos he said have had their credit ratings damaged and their lives disrupted as they struggled to pay what he termed inflated Tenet bills.
      A Tenet official rejected the allegations and said the company had tried to persuade the plaintiffs' attorney to hold off the lawsuit until the case could be investigated and possibly settled.

Study finds diversity scarce among TV directors

January 30, 2002
Contrary to the pledges of major networks to boost the presence of minorities on both sides of the camera, white males continue to overwhelmingly dominate the ranks of prime-time TV directors, according to a report issued on Wednesday.
     The Directors Guild of America study of the top 40 comedy and drama series of last season found that women and minorities directed no more than 20 percent of the episodes of those shows. White men directed 663 of the 826 episodes examined, or 80 percent.    
     The findings show that minorities and women, though accounting for a smaller share of the talent pool than white men, remain underemployed relative to their numbers, DGA officials said. They blame producers and studios for doing too little to open the doors to new talent. 

AARP joins TV writers age bias lawsuit in L.A.

January 15, 2002
An age discrimination lawsuit launched by a group of TV writers against the major networks got a boost Tuesday when senior citizen advocacy giant AARP said it was joining the case as co-counsel.
     AARP said its lawyers will work together with the plaintiffs who filed a $200 million civil rights lawsuit in October 2000 claiming they had been blacklisted by youth-obsessed Hollywood.
     Defendants in the case included entertainment giants The Walt Disney Co., parent of ABC; Fox Entertainment Group Inc.; and Viacom Inc., parent of CBS. 

Jewish militant arrested in L.A. bomb plot

December 12, 2001
The chairman of the militant Jewish Defense League and a follower have been arrested in an alleged plot to bomb a major Los Angeles area mosque and the office of a Republican California congressman, among other targets, federal officials said on Wednesday.
     JDL Chairman Irv Rubin, 56 and group member Earl Krugel, 59, who were arrested on Tuesday night, were charged with conspiring to bomb the King Fahd Mosque in the Los Angeles suburb of Culver City, the offices of Southern California Congressman Darrell Issa, who is the grandson of Lebanese immigrants and the Muslim Public Affairs Council office in the Mid-Wilshire section of Los Angeles.
     "Last night's arrests confirm that we meant what we said: if you cross the line from expressing your political or religious beliefs to committing violent acts against those whose beliefs are offensive to you, then you will likely end up facing federal prosecution on charges carrying extremely long prison sentences,'' said John Gordon, U.S. Attorney for California's Central District. 

Some L.A. officers oppose reforms, report says

November 20, 2001
More than a decade after the beating of Rodney G. King by Los Angeles cops led to deadly urban riots, some Los Angeles Police Department officers believe King's arrest was handled "properly," a federal monitor said in a report issued today.
     A few LAPD officers also view sections of the city as "enemy territory" and oppose reforms mandated in a consent decree between the Justice Department and the city, independent monitor Michael Cherkasky said in his report.
     Cherkasky was appointed as independent monitor by a federal judge after the city reluctantly agreed to the consent decree, and today's report was his assessment of the LAPD's initial compliance with that document. 

Federal judges deny election delay

November 07, 2001
A panel of federal judges Tuesday denied a request to postpone March primary elections in four congressional districts a civil rights group says were drawn to keep Hispanics out of office.
     The group will now pursue a trial in time to change district boundaries in the San Fernando Valley and San Diego before the elections, said Antonia Hernandez, president and general counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
      The court ordered the group and the state to submit trial schedules within two weeks. 

Hate crimes against Muslims nationwide abate

October 26, 2001
After spending more than a month tracking a rash of threats, vandalism and violence against Muslims, the hate crimes unit here has ended the past few days relieved to file the same report: All quiet.
     Sheriff's deputies have not had to investigate any new cases in a week, their first break since the September 11 terrorist attacks.
     "We were getting bombarded with incidents for a while, and we were getting really nervous about where this situation was going," said Lt. Joe Impellizeri, who leads the squad. "But it has been very encouraging lately." 

Muslim groups cast themselves as loyal critics

October 24, 2001
Ever since terrorists razed the World Trade Center, Michel Shehadeh says, his tongue has grown sore from biting it so much. He is being only somewhat facetious.
     In speeches at businesses, police departments and schools in recent weeks, Mr. Shehadeh, the West Coast director of the Arab-American Anti- Discrimination Committee, had tiptoed around contentious topics like Israel or Iraq, careful not to enrage the very audiences he was appealing to for tolerance.
     Then, on October 11, Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York rejected a $10 million gift from a Saudi prince who chastised American foreign policy, and Mr. Shehadeh decided it was time to weigh in on the subjects he tried so hard to avoid. 

U.S. moves on civil liberties sparks fears 

September 26, 2001
A government that prides itself on protecting its citizens wants more power to spy on people and hold them without charge or trial as it wages a ``war against terrorism'' that civil libertarians fear could make the Bill of Rights a casualty of battle.
     "This is a watershed moment. We have to see if broader public security and freedom can go together,'' says Anthony Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union who started his job just a week before the September 11 attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center turned the political landscape upside down.
     What has Romero and other civil libertarians worried that some of the most repressive moments in American history could be repeated are a series of proposals by the Bush administration's attorney general, John Ashcroft, which if passed, would radically increase the police powers of the state. 


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