L.A. STORIES -Essential California – Guilty on all charges

Essential California


April 21, 2021

The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 218 countries and territories around the world and 2 international conveyances.


COVID-19 infection crosses 143.45 million globally as deaths cross 3.055 million.


Here is the GLOBAL status as of Wednesday, 7am, April 21, 2021


The update-4.21.2021 Sick Earth Plague Day 511
 (1 Year, 4 Months, 21 Days)
Coronavirus Covid-19
Cases Globally:  143,458,594;
Deaths: 3,055,255 :
Recovered: 121,841,207
Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Wednesday, April 21, and I’m writing from Los Angeles.

Los Angeles and the nation braced for protests and uncertain upheaval Tuesday, as a weary populace awaited a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.

The California National Guard mobilized 450 of its members in preparation for possible public response, the Los Angeles Police Department had thousands of extra officers split over a morning and evening shift, and L.A. city officials temporarily closed nine city-run COVID-19 vaccination sites and suspended 10 mobile clinics Tuesday afternoon as a precaution, saying appointments would be rescheduled for later in the week.

In his closing argument, prosecutor Steve Schleicher had urged the jury — who, like the rest of America had watched on video as George Floyd, a Black man, died under the knee of a white police officer — to believe their own eyes. “What you saw, you saw,” the prosecutor reminded the 12 individuals soon to be tasked with making a decision that would undoubtedly be seen as a referendum on the entire American justice system.

On Tuesday, Chauvin — a former officer who was charged with manslaughter, second-degree murder and third-degree murder — was found guilty on all counts. Chauvin, 45 , could be sentenced to 40 years in prison.

[Read the story: “Derek Chauvin is guilty of murdering George Floyd” in the Los Angeles Times]

Under a bright green awning at the Original Farmers Market on Fairfax and 3rd, relief came to Coffee Corner cashier Cynthia Mejia in the form of a phone call. Just after 2:10 p.m. her boss called the land line inside the kiosk to inform Mejia that the jury in the Chauvin trial had come back with a guilty verdict.

Mejia and her coworkers could finish out the workday — they wouldn’t need to lock everything up and close early, as they had planned to do in case of an acquittal. Nearly a year before, the Fairfax District had been at the center of the protests that exploded in Los Angeles after Floyd’s murder.

Mejia, a 33-year-old Van Nuys native who has the words “fear” and “God” tattooed on either side of her neck in black script, had spent long days protesting during the summer, fed up by “the continuous situations that have been happening with police.”

[Read more: “After tense wait, Los Angeles welcomes guilty verdicts in trial of Derek Chauvin” in the Los Angeles Times]

She was too young to remember Los Angeles in 1992. But she’d recently watched a documentary on Netflix about Rodney King and had been surprised by the facts of the case and all that transpired after.

She had feared something similar happening again and thought the verdict showed the effects of the global protests.

“I feel like the movement that has started happening here, people have started fighting back and speaking up,” she said.

At Ted Watkins Memorial Park in Watts, 59-year-old Mark Tutt sat quietly in a camp chair as the verdict came in. My colleague Ruben Vives reports that Tutt leaned closer to a nearby speaker, listening as each charge was followed by the word he was hoping to hear: guilty.

“I can breathe,” Tutt said. “We can all breathe.”

Times opinion columnist LZ Granderson writes that the question of whether Chauvin would still be on the streets today without the video of Floyd’s murder — and not the jury’s verdict — is the true indicator of how much progress has been made since Floyd’s death.

[Read the column: “The guilty verdict in the Chauvin trial won’t be enough for real progress” in the Los Angeles Times]

Without a video shot by a then 17-year-old taking her 9-year-old cousin to the store, would there have even been a verdict to react to, LZ asks, citing the damaging history of police lies and coverups.

“This distrust that stems from generations of mistreatment goes beyond the action of a single officer and indicts the entire policing and criminal justice system,” LZ writes. “This is what Black and brown people have been talking about, singing about, writing about, rapping about, making movies about and protesting for a century or two, but it wasn’t until the proliferation of smartphones that the rest — or rather, most — of America finally believed us.”

And now, here’s what’s happening across California:

Judge orders L.A. city and county to provide shelter for everyone on skid row by fall: U.S. District Judge David O. Carter has issued an injunction requiring the city and county of L.A. to entirely clear skid row of homeless people by October, and to find housing for all of them. Los Angeles Times

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Will Hollywood’s tallest building ever rise? For eight years, there has been a high-profile argument over whether an active earthquake fault runs directly through the site of a proposed development in Hollywood. Los Angeles Times (This story is a Times subscriber exclusive)

As underserved areas grapple with vaccine inequities, Sean Penn’s nonprofit CORE joins the effort to get doses to residents. CORE has been central to operating vaccination and testing sites in Los Angeles throughout the pandemic. Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles is poised to become the latest city to try a universal basic income pilot program. Mayor Eric Garcetti included a $24-million Basic Income Guaranteed program in his city budget. Los Angeles Times

What will be the Cinerama Dome’s Hollywood ending? The legendary Patt Morrison muses on the iconic theater, and the broader sagas of L.A.’s movie palaces. Los Angeles Times

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President Biden will pledge to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at least in half by 2030 as he convenes a virtual climate summit with 40 world leaders. Associated Press

Nancy Pelosi’s speech after Chauvin verdict is panned as offensive: “Thank you, George Floyd, for sacrificing your life for justice. For being there to call out to your mom,” the House Speaker said in a bizarre speech. SFGATE

George Floyd’s death sparked calls for police reform. Why hasn’t Congress acted? Los Angeles Times


An Earth Day message for California: Move faster on climate change. Just because the state considers itself a global leader doesn’t mean it’s doing nearly enough, writes energy reporter Sammy Roth. Los Angeles Times


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Highway 1 through Big Sur will reopen Friday, ahead of schedule: Caltrans officials will officially reopen the roadway to traffic at noon. San Francisco Chronicle


A portion of the scenic highway has been closed since Jan. 28, when heavy rain triggered a landslide that carried a chunk of roadway into the sea, as pictured shortly after it happened. (Caltrans)

As others shrank, Amazon became one of Sacramento’s largest employers. Amazon doubled its workforce in Sacramento over the past year, adding roughly 4,000 warehouse workers, package deliverers and others. Sacramento Bee

There’s a name for the late-stage pandemic blah you’re feeling. It’s called “languishing.” New York Times

A poem to start your Wednesday: “Carrying Our Words” by Ofelia Zepeda, translated from O’odham by the poet. Poets.org

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Los Angeles: a tad gloomy, 64. San Diego: more clouds, 63. San Francisco: surprisingly sunny, 59. San Jose: partly sunny, 72. Fresno: partly cloudy, 75. Sacramento: sunny, 81.


Today’s California memory comes from Alberto Coronel:

In January 1968, we arrived at LAX and our father drove us on La Cienega Boulevard to get us home. I had never seen such a beautiful highway with hills and turns overlooking our new city, though it was cold and rainy, quite a contrast from the tropical city we had left. The next day I went to the public school wearing the same travel suit, only to see the youngsters here in jeans and with long hair; I never wore that again! Even more, I was so impressed by the beautiful public school buildings and the free education offered, making my way afterward into community college, Cal State, and ending with a PhD from USC. Our parents had made a wise decision to come to California.

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints, ideas and unrelated book recommendations to Julia Wick. Follow her on Twitter @Sherlyholmes.



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