Alesia Thomas died in the back of an LAPD squad card. Her death exacerbated an
already heated use of force debate in Los Angeles
First lady in L.A.— First Lady Michelle Obama made a two-day visit to Los Angeles in February, promoting her “Let’s Move” health initiative. She also attended Democrat fundraisers for re-election campaigns for her husband in the Los Angeles area. One of the first lady’s stops included a visit on Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show.”
LAUSD molestation scandal—Paul Berndt, 61, and Martin Springer, 49, were arrested in their classrooms after an investigation by Los Angeles County Sheriffs revealed that both teachers had indulged in inappropriate conduct with students as young as six years of age.
Berndt’s alleged acts included blindfolding the children and feeding them his own semen in what children were allegedly told was a “tasting game.” Springer was arrested on suspicion of fondling two female students in his classroom.
A million hoodies— Angelenos joined protestors across the nation to rally against the killing of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. Martin wore a hooded sweatshirt the night Florida Neighborhood Watch captain George Zimmerman shot him, in what he claims was self defense.
The Riots twenty years later— It’s been 20 years since the infamous acquittal of four white police officers accused of brutally beating Rodney King on April 29, 1992. Two decades later this cataclysmic event, which ultimately led to the infamous L.A. Riots, still affects our hearts and minds today. Though King is no longer with us, he will forever be a martyr in the hearts of many African Americans.
Justice for Jamiel— four years after 17-year old Jamiel Shaw of Los Angeles was shot and killed, his shooter, gang member and illegal resident, Pedro Espinoza was found guilty.
Obama visits View Park—Starting his two-day trip in San Francisco, President Obama made a visit to L.A. in June. While on his journey he made pit stop in View Park. There he held a breakfast event at the private home of Mr. & Mrs. Chuck Quarles, and tickets started at $2,500 per person.
David G. Brown— Brown, a Los Angeles artist and contributing editorial cartoonist for the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper, received the 2012 Merit Award for “Best Editorial Cartoon” by the National Newspaper Publishers Association.
Omar Bradley exonerated— an appeals court overturned a misappropriation of funds conviction for former Compton mayor, Omar Bradley, eight years after he was found guilty. The Sentinel caught up with Bradley to discuss his book “King of Compton” and his future plans.
Use of force— three violent incidents involving Los Angeles police officers, one of them fatal, brought the use of force debate back to the forefront in the city. Police Chief Charlie Beck defended his department, while some residents claimed LAPD “still doesn’t get it.”