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    A cockroach scurries around the feet of customers. A rat darts through the kitchen. These scenes are not uncommon at Southern California restaurants, which are experiencing a rise in closures due to vermin, according to an NBC4 I-Team investigation.

    "My first gut reaction was to throw up," Angel Manzanero told the I-Team. He was referring to the time he says he and his friends spotted a live roach in their sweet and sour sauce at the Golden Palace in North Hollywood. Roaches have been found there on two inspections in the last two years. "I'm surprised they’re still open," said Manzanero.

    The Golden Palace didn’t respond to NBC4's request for comment.

    In 2017, inspectors closed 743 restaurants because of vermin infestations. That's up more than 20 percent from the 609 closures in 2014. Rats and roaches pose a big public health threat to restaurant diners.

    "Their pooping all over everything, they're peeing all over everything," says Sylvia Kenmuir, a state license pest control advisor who helps school districts and restaurants get rid of vermin infestations.

    "Roaches and rodents can spread disease and it's going to be through feces, the urine, the saliva, and it’s going to be all over the food," Kenmuir told NBC4.

    The I-Team obtained exclusive pictures and videos of vermin at well known restaurants. Watch the story above to see where we documented infestations.



    Photo Credit: Los Angeles Department of Public Health

    Location: Church's Chicken, 6210 S. Broadway, Los AngelesA dead rodent was found with its head missing. The location was closed for infestation Jan. 25, 2017. The restaurant reopened Jan. 27, 2017. Click here to see the health report. Grade Given: BCurrent Grade (May 2018): AResponse: Restaurant has not responded to NBC4 request for commentLocation: Church's Chicken, 6210 S. Broadway, Los AngelesA dead rodent was found with its head missing. The location was closed for infestation Jan. 25, 2017. The restaurant reopened Jan. 27, 2017. Click here to see the health report. Grade Given: BCurrent Grade (May 2018): AResponse: Restaurant has not responded to NBC4 request for comment

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    Jose Ivan Nunez Martinez and his American husband, Paul Frame, thought they were walking into a routine green card interview in January. Instead, the 37-year-old Nunez Martinez, who was born in Michoacan, Mexico, was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Nearly four months later, the pair is still fighting for Nunez Martinez's release. 

    He has been detained at York County Prison without a bond hearing since Jan. 31. On Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia law firm DLA Piper LLP filed a legal complaint on behalf of the couple, calling for an end to Nunez Martinez’s detention.

    “I am very worried for his well-being,” Frame said. “The level of anxiety and sadness that I feel when I think about him at the detention center or when I visit him is unreal.”

    The couple first met in August 2014. Nunez Martinez had already been living in the United States for more than a decade working as a mechanic and janitor. Two years after meeting, Frame and Nunez Martinez got married. The freedom to do so was one of the driving factors behind his decision to emigrate from Mexico.

    Nunez Martinez’s friend, also a gay man, was killed in 2001. That same year, Nunez Martinez fled to the border and only traveled back once in 2010 when his mother became ill. When he attempted to return, Nunez Martinez received an expedited removal order and was sent back to Mexico. He re-entered a few months later and ICE reinstated his prior order of expedited removal.

    Nunez Martinez was apprehended during a mandatory interview with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency responsible for processing immigration and naturalization applications. Frame had already submitted a petition to make his husband a legal citizen, a fairly routine procedure that thousands of couples undergo after a foreign national marries an American citizen.

    But before Nunez Martinez’s case was heard, ICE arrested him.

    “When an individual has been ordered removed and is encountered by ICE, ICE reactivates the prior order,” Audrey Allen, one of the lawyers working on the case, told NBC News in February. 

    Allen added that the only relief available to him would be a Withholding of Removal claim, which is similar to an asylum claim.

    The couple believes they have a valid claim to keep Nunez Martinez in the U.S. Not only are they already married, but Nunez Martinez fears for his life if he were to return to Mexico.

    “He thought he would be safer here in the U.S.,” Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, said. “His detention is cruel and unjust, and it discourages people who have a legal path to staying here from pursuing it.”

    Meanwhile, 49 foreign nationals were arrested in Philadelphia area in the past week, according to ICE. They include people from Jamaica, Mexico, Colombia and the Dominican Republic. 



    Photo Credit: Courtesy

    Jose Ivan Nunez Martinez and Paul Frame on their wedding day in 2016.Jose Ivan Nunez Martinez and Paul Frame on their wedding day in 2016.

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    President Donald Trump, who has long complained the Russia investigation is a  "witch hunt," is now weaponizing the agencies he's cast as enemies to argue he is the victim of misconduct at the highest level of law enforcement, NBC News reported.

    Trump put pressure on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray to ask the Justice Department inspector general to expand its look at the investigation into the Trump campaign. They also agreed to sharing classified information with congressional Republicans and other national security officials.

    Experts on the Constitution say the president's latest moves may be legal, but they are outside the normal behavior of a president after the Watergate scandal. And they said the attacks on federal institutions and players could amount to obstruction of justice.

    "The problem is that things that are normally respected are disrespected in this administration, such as the distance the president should have from the Justice Department," said Richard Ben-Veniste, an an assistant special prosecutor in charge of the Watergate Task Force.



    Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

    President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he walks across the South Lawn while departing the White House Wednesday, May 23, 2018.President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he walks across the South Lawn while departing the White House Wednesday, May 23, 2018.

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    Former Obama White House photographer Pete Souza took to Instagram Wednesday to announce he has a new book coming out called "SHADE: A Tale of Two Presidents."

    Publisher Little, Brown and Company wrote about the book on their website: "When Souza left the White House in 2017, he didn't know what it meant to 'throw shade' — but soon learned he was doing it, by posting photographs on Instagram from the Obama years along with captions that vividly define the contrast between the Obama and Trump administrations."

    The picture book is slated for release in October. Souza's first book, "Obama: An Intimate Portrait," was a New York Times bestseller.

    To contrast the social media posts by President Donald Trump after he took office, Souza began subtly commenting on the Trump administration and offering a dissenting view of Trump via his Instagram posts. His images and captions represent the President Barack Obama years in the White House. Using the word "citizen" to describe himself in his Instagram bio, Souza's Instagram following ballooned to nearly two million followers since he began his social photo commentary.  


    "I have worked for two presidents in my life–one Republican (Reagan) and one Democrat (Obama)," Souza wrote on Instagram. "I spent almost every day with President Obama during his two terms, watching how hard he worked on behalf of all Americans. He was–and still is–someone who respected people from all walks of life. He made decisions based on facts. He respected democracy and the rule of law. Unlike his successor, he respected the office of the presidency."

    He went on to say: "My commentary on Instagram has been subtle, sometimes humorous, and certainly more respectful than his (Trump's) commentary on Twitter. Through my photographs and commentary, SHADE will vividly show where we are as a country contrasted with where we were."




    Photo Credit: Getty Images
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    Former President Barack Obama, left, as seen in a May 16, 2018, photo; President Donald Trump, right, as seen on May 22, 2018, in Washington, D.C. Pete Souza, former White House photographer for Obama, announced a new book comparing the former administration with the current.Former President Barack Obama, left, as seen in a May 16, 2018, photo; President Donald Trump, right, as seen on May 22, 2018, in Washington, D.C. Pete Souza, former White House photographer for Obama, announced a new book comparing the former administration with the current.

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    The Chicago City Council voted Wednesday to approve plans to build the Obama Presidential Center on the city's South Side.

    The council signed off on construction of the project in Chicago's Jackson Park by a vote of 47 to 1 after public comment and a spirited discussion among aldermen, days after the plan earned approval from the Chicago Plan Commission. 

    The Plan Commission moved forward with the center on Thursday amid demonstrations both in favor and against the construction - an outpouring of public comment and debate that once again took place in front of the full Council at City Hall on Wednesday. 

    "I can’t understand why we as the city of Chicago does not want the Obama library here," 8th Ward Ald. Michelle Harris questioned, adding, "I’m really passionate about it."

    Ald. James Cappleman of the 46th Ward quoted former President Barack Obama himself in discussing the plans, saying, "true democracy involves compromise."

    The project calls for three buildings, including a museum that's more than 200 feet high, surpassing all other presidential libraries in scale and magnitude.

    The center carries a $500 million price tag though it's unclear where all the funding will come from.

    Funding was a concern raised Wednesday by 17th Ward Ald. David Moore, the only "no" vote who said the price tag "disturbs him," particularly when it comes to asking taxpayers to foot the bill over other projects. 

    Proponents say the grandiose plans for the library, civic center, museum and more will attract more tourists, with 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke predicting the center "will also become a dramatic investment for this great city" and that it is "destined to become a destination." 

    "It’s important not only to this generation but future generations," Burke continued, urging his fellow Council members to support the plan. 

    However, critics of the project argue it will compromise a treasured, historic site.

    Area residents have repeatedly asked that plans be put on hold, seeking a city ordinance to guarantee that 30 percent of new and rehabilitated housing in the area be designated for low-income tenants, as well as a freeze on property taxes for longtime residents.

    Ald. Pat Dowell of the 3rd Ward raised that issue Wednesday, saying her "one concern" is housing, asking for a promise to "ensure those who live adjacent live out their lives not in fear of this project."

    Neighbors also want a promise that local workers would be hired for the new presidential center.

    The City Zoning Committee has already approved a necessary land transfer to make the project happen.

    Wednesday's vote was seen as more of a procedural approval, a rubber-stamped green light - but that doesn't mean it's a done deal.

    The project still needs federal approval as Jackson Park is on the national register of historic places.



    Photo Credit: Obama Foundation

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    A Hawaii volcano that began to erupt earlier this month continues to spew lava and ash into the air. USGS photos show lava flowing from fissures to the ocean, creating a dense white "lava haze."

    Photo Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

    U.S. Geological Survey photos show a dense white plume called U.S. Geological Survey photos show a dense white plume called "laze" that occurs when lava enters the ocean and boils seawater to dryness.

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    New York City's yellow taxi drivers were once fiercely competitive with each other, but these days, they have Uber, Lyft and other competition to worry about — competition, they say, that has pushed many cabbies to the brink of financial ruin, with their expensive medallions now hardly worth anything. 

    Some fear that desperation is the reason one of their fellow drivers is missing. Kenny Chow has been gone 11 days as of Tuesday, and his brother Richard Chow has been posting fliers near where Kenny's abandoned taxi was found, near the corner of 86th Street and East End Avenue.

    "I was looking around the park. He never showed," said Richard Chow. "I'm very, very worried about my brother." 

    Richard said his brother owed $700,000 on the loan for his medallion, working 14-hour shifts without a partner. The missing man's wife was also recently diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. 

    The New York Taxi Workers Alliance organized a rally on the Upper East Side in the wake of Kenny Chow's disappearance, and the anger of the roughly two dozen drivers was palpable. Asked to raise a hand if they were in financial trouble, everyone's hands went up. 

    Then, fear and frustration spilled out. 

    "No one really seems to give a damn," one driver said. "I invest in this city."

    Nicolae Hent, who immigrated from Romania in 1988, angrily disparaged Uber, Lyft and Juno — the ride share companies are only loosely regulated in New York City, compared to yellow taxi drivers — saying, "I may speak with an accent, but I'm not stupid."

    Hent's best friend was one of four cab drivers to recently die by suicide. He believes app-based services like Uber are driving taxi drivers into desperation. Taxi medallions were worth over $1 million in 2014; now, they sell for as little as $175,000, according to The New York Times. Once a guaranteed livelihood and retirement fund, especially for new immigrants, the value of the medallion has nosedived amid the rise in ride-sharing apps. 

    Kenny Chow himself purchased a medallion in 2010, after turning to driving as a profession in 2008, according to the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. He'd been a jeweler for 20 years before that, but had to change professions when his employer closed shop. The "devoted" father and husband worked hard to rebuild his life with the hope of having stable work "but instability of the past five years caused him increasing anxiety," Hent said. 

    Hent said "nothing's being done to help," adding that he believes it's because of "pressure from up above."

    He points to Mayor Bill de Blasio's failed 2015 proposal to cap new permits, something that current City Council Speaker Corey Johnson conceded on WNYC Radio was a mistake not to support. 

    "I’ll give myself some demerits for not understanding the depth of this and grasping the issues that we would come to face over three years ago. I was skeptical at the time. I didn’t sign on as a sponsor of that bill," Johnson said. 

    He now tells News 4 the Council is looking at several bills to regulate the for-hire industry.

    "The City Council understands that the taxi industry is going through a seismic shift right now, one that has caused a lot of pain for drivers who are worried about their livelihoods," he said in a statement. "The Council is looking at several bills to regulate the for-hire vehicle industry, both to protect drivers and to cut down on congestion, as they go through the legislative process."

    But that might be too late for a driver like Janna Stroe. The 60-year-old still owes $500,000 on her medallion.

    "I have to live another life to pay this loan," she said, adding that losing her husband to cancer piled onto her debt. 

    The New York Taxi Workers Alliance says bills to regulate ride-sharing app companies notwithstanding, the group's main economic concerns remain unaddressed — like regulating one minimum fare rate across the industry so that no one company can go lower.

    A spokesman for Mayor de Blasio recently told The New York Times that new regulations on for-hire vehicles were being discussed again: "The mayor has been clear about the need to re-evaluate our options in the face of explosive growth we're seeing in the industry," spokesman Austin Finan said. 



    Photo Credit: News 4 NY

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    The pop-up pieces provide instructions on where to find the stars of a few legendary actresses. Where to see them? In Hollywood, of course.

    Photo Credit: Hollywood Entertainment District

    Cybil Shepherd, Carol Burnett, and Julie Andrews are three of the performers featured in the new Hollywood utility box artworks. The artworks serve as directional guides to each actor's Walk of Fame star.Cybil Shepherd, Carol Burnett, and Julie Andrews are three of the performers featured in the new Hollywood utility box artworks. The artworks serve as directional guides to each actor's Walk of Fame star.

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    Look at what the I-Team found at Southern California restaurants.

    Photo Credit: LA County Department of Public Health/KNBC-TV

    Look at what the NBC4 I-Team found in some Southern California restaurants.Look at what the NBC4 I-Team found in some Southern California restaurants.

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    Warrants were served Wednesday during an FBI raid in Los Angeles that targeted members of the Mexican Mafia.

    The suspects were being processed at the Whittier Narrows Recreation Center east of downtown Los Angeles. They will likely appear later Wednesday in federal court.

    Operation "Dirty Thirds" targeted the Mexican Mafia's control of the Los Angeles County jail system and several street gangs in Pomona, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office. 

    The arrests are in connection with two federal racketeering indictments, according to authorities. More than 80 defendants were charged in the indictment.

    It was not immediately clear how many people were arrested. 

    A news conference was scheduled for 1 p.m.




    Photo Credit: Toni Guinyard/KNBC-TV

    FBI agents and other law enforcement officers are seen at a staging area at the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area May 23, 2018.FBI agents and other law enforcement officers are seen at a staging area at the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area May 23, 2018.

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    Witnessing a glow in the ocean, an esoteric shimmer that seems to hail from a million infinitesimal light bulbs?

    It's something that can be done at a number of watery spots around the Golden State, from the Tomales Bay north of San Francisco to the rare and wow-filled red tide seen around San Diego.

    Ringing up the dinoflaggelates of Tomales Bay, or coaxing the algae bloom near San Diego, isn't something we humans can do, however: We simply have to wait for nature to produce its illuminated magic show.

    But sometimes, if conditions are just right, "a bioluminescent wading pool" can pop up right in the middle of Los Angeles.

    Of course, a team of creatively minded humans will need to be behind this supernaturally cool sight, and not a naturally occurring algae bloom.

    It's an ethereal happening that's already on the calendar, too, unlike ocean-based luminescent events: May 31 through June 2, 2018 are the dates to be delighted by this unlikely pop-up, which is called "Night Life LA."

    A pop-up that's been dreamt up by the anonymous art collective behind such whimsical offerings such the jacaranda purple petal party of 2016.

    And, yes, another bioluminescence-related event, this time at the beach, in 2017.

    The sparkly wading pool, with its blue light and ability to "communicate" with visitors, is heading to somewhere around Northeast Los Angeles.

    The timed-entry tickets are free, but limited. They'll be released, via lottery, on May 25.

    The location will also be revealed, of course, but know that reaching it involves "a moonlit hike." Appropriate shoes are a must for the there-and-back trip, which'll be about a mile and a half.

    The artists also say that the wading pool experience "... will be almost impossible to photograph," making the event an unusual and intriguing outlier in a time when we instinctively snap a picture of just about everything we do and see.



    Photo Credit: Night Life LA

    The one-weekend-only event is a pop-up from the artists behind the Griffith Park Teahouse and The one-weekend-only event is a pop-up from the artists behind the Griffith Park Teahouse and "Petal Drop LA." "Night Life LA" will appear somewhere around NELA from May 31 through June 2, 2018.

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    So-called sunscreen pills are fakes and people should not fall for the scam, the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday, NBC News reported.

    “There’s no pill or capsule that can replace your sunscreen,” FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.

    The agency specifically called out the companies that make Advanced Skin Brightening Formula, Sunsafe Rx, Solaricare and Sunergetic, saying they should stop claiming people are protected from the sun's rays.

    None of the companies contacted by NBC News for comment responded immediately.




    Photo Credit: AP

    The lower Manhattan skyline gives backdrop to a woman sunbathing on a warm day in this file photo.The lower Manhattan skyline gives backdrop to a woman sunbathing on a warm day in this file photo.

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    The first American woman to go to space was immortalized on the Forever stamp in a dedication ceremony Wednesday, the United States Postal Service announced.

    The Sally Ride Forever stamp was dedicated at the University of California, San Diego, where Ride was a physics professor after her time with NASA.

    Tennis legend Billie Jean King, a friend of Ride's, spoke at the ceremony, along with Ride's long-time partner, Tam O’Shaughnessy.

    The celebrated astronaut launched for the first time on June 18, 1983, aboard the space shuttle Challenger. During the mission, she helped launched communication satellites and became the first woman to operate the shuttle's robotic arm.

    Ride, who died in 2012, continued breaking records during her career. She also becoming the first American woman to travel to space twice when she launched on another Challenger mission in October 1984.

    “Sally Ride’s history-making journey has made it easier for young girls to dream of one day being an astronaut, an engineer, a physicist or a mathematician," U.S. Postal Service Chief Information Officer and Executive Vice President Kristin Seaver said. "Today, girls don’t just dream. Because of trailblazers like Sally Ride, they have been empowered to do.”

    Ride was also the only person to serve on the accident investigation boards for both the Challenger and Columbia disasters. And in 2009, she participated in the committee that helped define NASA's spaceflight goals.

    In addition to her involvement with the space program, she wrote several science-related books, some co-authored with O’Shaughnessy. Ride and O’Shaughnessy went on to found the education company Sally Ride Science, which aims to narrow the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math. O’Shaughnessy now serves as the organization's executive director.

    A Forever stamp will always be in equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce price.



    Photo Credit: U.S. Postal Service

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    The owner of a Arrowhead Acupuncture, Thomas Flach, was arrested and charged with Sexual Battery by a Medical Professional according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

    A 51-year-old woman, whose identity was not released, reported unwanted sexual contact during a medical procedure at the Lake Arrowhead business. According to the department, Flach offered to provide "sexual relief" to the victim during an acupuncture treatment.

    After the woman reported the assault on Monday, detectives investigated and "corroborated" the victim's account on Tuesday before arresting Flach. The man has since posted $50,000 bail, but detectives believe there may be additional victims who were sexually assaulted by Flach.



    Photo Credit: San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department

    Thomas Flach, a 39-year-old resident of Running Springs, was charged with Sexual Battery by Medical Professional (San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department)Thomas Flach, a 39-year-old resident of Running Springs, was charged with Sexual Battery by Medical Professional (San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department)

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  • 05/23/18--18:00: How to Make Your Vote Count

  • Getting through the ballot of the June 5 Statewide Primary may feel like maneuvering through a maze.

    There are 27 candidates for governor and 32 candidates for United States senator, and that's not counting local contests, ballot measures and other races.

    "This time we have two contests like that, where the number of candidates actually spills over into a second page of the ballot, so we are really emphasizing to remind voters they need to look at the whole list and be sure they're only making one selection in those contests," said Dean Logan, Los Angeles County Registrar Recorder/County Clerk.

    If you make more than one selection, what's called an "overvote," or don't vote for any candidate, known as an "undervote," then that vote does not count.

    The NBC 4 I-Team reviewed numbers from the California Secretary of State and found in the 2016 General Election there were 235,037 "vote by mail" ballots that were not counted statewide.

    Officials for Los Angeles and Orange counties say the primary race for U.S. Senate that year had 34 candidates. Nine percent of votes were "under votes" in that race in Orange County, and there was a seven percent error rate in Los Angeles County.

    "One of the things that we took away from 2016, where there were a lot of candidates for the U.S. Senate is to put different instructions on the ballot so the voter is directed to the columns," said Neal Kelley, Orange County Registrar of Voters. "Seems simple but we've tested it with voters and when they read it they're saying, 'OK, I understand this. I need to look at both columns before I make my choice and hopefully that will reduce any errors," he added.

    ADVICE FOR VOTERS

    • Read all instructions on the ballot;
    • Take your time;
    • If you make a mistake on mail-in ballot or at the polls, you can make corrections;
    • Contact a poll worker or the Registrars offices if you have questions or concerns.

    For more information, check out these sites:




    Photo Credit: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images

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    Consumers who say their furniture is peeling and falling apart are warning other shoppers to avoid buying bonded leather. Randy Mac investigates for the NBC4 News on Wednesday, May 23, 2016.



    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

    Consumers who say their furniture is peeling and falling apart are warning other shoppers to avoid buying bonded leather. Randy Mac investigates for the NBC4 News on Wednesday, May 23, 2016.Consumers who say their furniture is peeling and falling apart are warning other shoppers to avoid buying bonded leather. Randy Mac investigates for the NBC4 News on Wednesday, May 23, 2016.

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    How much does it cost buy a fraudulent voter signature in LA?

    Not a lot, according to the LAPD -- just a dollar and a smoke.

    Three men were arrested on Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles Saturday — while allegedly paying homeless people with cash and cigarettes — to falsify names and signatures on official campaign petitions, police said.

    The men had been observed engaging in suspicious interactions with people on sidewalks Sixth and San Julian streets last week, but it was only after consultation with state elections officials that the arrests were made during an undercover operation days later, carried out by police assigned to the Central Division.

    "This is voter fraud, which we talk about, and we know it exists, but it isn't exactly something that patrol officers deal with," said LAPD Detective Meghan Aguilar, a department spokeswoman.

    She said the men were asking people on the street to sign several different political forms.

    "They were petitions, and so they'd have them sign that petition as a fictitious person and they'd receive minimal compensation for that signature," Aguilar said.

    Thousands of dollars in cash and lists of LA County registered voters were booked into evidence, police said.Other law enforcement officials said the men were carrying signature-gathering paperwork to qualify at least four measures for upcoming elections.

    Those included an LA County effort to reduce jail time and expand oversight of the Sheriff's Department. They also had statewide measures to reduce the number of felons considered non-violent, increase income tax on millionaires and property tax on business owners, and a local effort in Long Beach to improve safety for some hotel workers.

    None of the authors or supporters of those measures were suspected of involvement in the signature fraud.The case was presented to the LA County District Attorney's Office public integrity division on Tuesday but no charges were filed.

    Prosecutors have asked police to do more investigative work and the three men have been released from jail.The LA County Registrar-Recorder's Office said it had not been notified by law enforcement about the arrests or the initiatives involved, but said in a statement Wednesday there would be ample opportunity for elections officials to detect any forgeries.

    "When our office receives a petition it is our responsibility to ensure the signatures provided are valid. To ensure validity, every signature that is submitted for local and county petitions are cross-referenced with the registered voter’s signature on the voter file," the statement said. "If a signature does not match what is on the voter file we will flag the signature and it will not be counted."

    Paid signature gathering companies, that can charge $2 or more per signature depending on the political campaign, said they often contract with multiple companies, that in turn hire or contract with temporary workers to circulate the petitions.

    They said a small percentage of signatures submitted later turn out to be false or forged but it was nearly impossible to identify those responsible.In addition to the men who allegedly offered money for forged signatures another man and woman were arrested on suspicion of signing petitions using false names, booking records showed.


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    Be at Brookside Park by the Rose Bowl for oodles of yummy vittles and drinks.

    Photo Credit: No Bones

    Eager to try an array of edibles from a line-up of our region's top-notch vegan pros? No Bones, and several other favorites, will cameo at Eat Drink Vegan on Saturday, May 26.Eager to try an array of edibles from a line-up of our region's top-notch vegan pros? No Bones, and several other favorites, will cameo at Eat Drink Vegan on Saturday, May 26.

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    Video released by Milwaukee Police shows officers tasing and detaining Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown.


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    Milwaukee’s chief of police said officers “acted inappropriately” during a January arrest of Bucks guard Sterling Brown, that included use of a stun gun, and apologized to the NBA player.

    Chief Alfonso Morales’ apology came as the department released body-camera footage of the arrest, which occurred around 2 a.m. on Jan. 26 in a Walgreens parking lot. Brown was tased and arrested during a routine parking violation, Morales said. No charges were ever filed against Brown.

    “The department conducted an investigation into the incident, which revealed members acted inappropriately and those members were recently disciplined,” Morales said at a brief news conference Wednesday.

    The video released by police shows an officer pulling up to a Mercedes sedan parked horizontally across two handicapped parking space outside the drug store. As the officer gets out of his cruiser and approaches the car, Brown can be seen walking out of the Walgreens and towards him.

    The officer asks Brown for his driver’s license and then repeatedly tells him to "back up" from the car, video shows. 

    "For what? I ain't did nothing," Brown responds.

    The conversation between the two is testy. The officer notes that "everything I'm doing is on camera," and points to the recording device on his chest. Brown asks the officer not to touch him, to which he responds: "I'll do what I want, I own this."

    "You don’t own me,” Brown says in the video.

    Several more officers respond to the parking lot. The situation escalates when one of the officers asks Brown to take his hands out of his pockets. 

    “I’ve got stuff in my hands,” Brown says.

    Several officers are then seen swarming Brown, and one yells "Taser, Taser, Taser" before a pop is heard. Brown is heard groaning on the ground, but is not clearly visible from the camera's viewpoint.

    Later in the video, after officers used the stun gun, Brown can be heard speaking to someone off-camera, telling them "they tased me for no reason." An officer talking to a colleague about what happened says "he was being an a-- and trying to hide something."

    "And now he's like, 'I'm a Bucks player, blah, blah, blah. So what," the officer said.

    Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett told the Milwaukee Journal Sential Tuesday, a day before the video was released, that what he saw was "disturbing" and the actions of officers in the video was "disconcerting."

    The Milwaukee Bucks signed the 6-foot-6 guard from Southern Methodist University last summer in a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.

    Brown issued a statement on the NBA website saying what happened to him was wrong and "shouldn't happen to anybody."

    "What should have been a simple parking ticket turned into an attempt at police intimidation, followed by the unlawful use of physical force, including being handcuffed and tased, and then unlawfully booked," he wrote. "This experience with the Milwaukee Police Department has forced me to stand up and tell my story so that I can help prevent these injustices from happening in the future."

    Brown said situations like his happen in the black community every day. He said police rarely see any reprecussions for inappropriate actions.

    "Black men shouldn’t have to have their guard up and instantly be on the defensive when seeing a police officer, but it’s our reality and a real problem," he said. "There must be mutual respect and both sides have to figure out how to accomplish this."

    Morales described a similar hope for officers and citizens treating one another with respect.

    “When I took office, I vowed to rebuild trust between the Milwaukee Police Department and the community,” he said. “We are doing that.”

    Morales said the department has hundreds of interactions with citizens each day that end positively.

    In his statement, Brown called for a peaceful response to the video from the community. 

    "I know many of you will share my anger and frustration, but for our community to progress and grow, we need to build on what we already have and not destroy it," he said.

    He also said he would take legal action against the Milwaukee Police Department.

    Brown mentioned by name black men who were killed by police officers across the country in high-profile cases, including Laquan McDonald who was killed by Chicago police in 2014.

    "I am speaking for Dontre Hamilton of Milwaukee, Laquan McDonald of Chicago, Stephon Clark of Sacramento, Eric Garner of New York, and the list goes on," he said. "These people aren’t able to speak anymore because of unjust actions by those who are supposed to “serve and protect” the people.