A student at UC San Diego was rounded up in a drug bust then left in a DEA holding cell for five days without food or water, after officers apparently forgot he was in there.
Drug Enforcement Administration agents arrested nine people and confiscated large amounts of pills, marijuana, and weapons during a raid near the UCSD campus on April 21. One of them, Daniel Chong, was eventually told that he was not being charged and would be allowed to go home, but after being returned to his cell to await release, no one ever came back for him. He was locked in the 5-foot by 10-foot room with no windows and no toilet from Saturday to Wednesday before he was discovered, 15 pounds lighter and totally incoherent.
Chong says he heard people in nearby rooms, but his cries for help went unheeded. As things got more desperate, he tried to drink his own urine and eventually tried to kill himself with the glass from his own eyeglasses. Chong spent three days in intensive care, where nurses said that he had apparently swallowed the glass, damaging his throat and lungs.
The only other thing that Chong had to ingest was a bag of methamphetamine that he apparently found in his cell.
Read more at The Atlantic Wire. [Image: NBC San Diego]
— KGO Radio reporter Kristin Hanes • Discussing her arrest late Saturday as the Occupy Oakland protests flared up. She and Gavin Aronson of Mother Jones were among the over 200 people placed into custody Saturday night, as the Oakland protests reached a new breaking point — including the burning of an American flag. Both mayor Jean Quan and the police were quick to pin negative attention on the protesters: “The Bay Area Occupy Movement has got to stop using Oakland as their playground,” Quan said in a statement. However, it’s important to keep in mind the nature of the police actions — including violence towards protesters and the use of tear gas grenades. An OpenSalon writer has a pretty informative first-person piece worth reading, which describes both the nature of the protesters (not as bad as reported) and why things flared up Saturday. source (via • follow)
- first Roughly 6,600 prisoners went on a hunger strike in California, protesting the rough conditions due to lack of human contact. Officials said they would review their procedures.
- then Officials reviewed their procedures, and decided, well, maybe there’s something to this whole prisoner-treatment thing, and said they would make changes.
- now They haven’t done enough: Roughly 4,200 inmates haven’t eaten since Monday, despite the threat of punishment for inmates on hunger strikes. source
» Treating “gang members” differently: Many of the concerns the prisoners have with their treatment revolve around the fact that they were put into fairly extreme prison cells, designed to limit human contact, due to their perceived affiliation with gangs. One of the ways they can get out involves a process called “debriefing,” where the prisoner renounces his gang affiliation and discloses information about possible members — which has the effect of putting the prisoner directly in danger. Activists consider this damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t approach to handling prisoners akin to torture. “These are inhumane conditions designed to extract information from someone,” noted Carol Strickman of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, an activist group.
“Bloomberg has a great story this morning reporting that GOP Rep. Darrell Issa sought Federal help for clean-energy projects in his own state — even as he has been criticizing government loans to individual companies as a potential facilitator of ‘corruption.’
Issa, who is the chief of investigations for the House GOP, made the request in a letter to the Secretary of the Energy Department, asking for a department loan to a California electric car maker, claiming that the loan would ‘greatly assist a leading developer of electric vehicles in my district.’
A source sends over a copy of the 2010 letter, and there’s another interesting nugget in it. Issa goes farther than just asking for support for a local company — he also generally endorses the concept of using Federal money to facilitate the shift away from fossil fuels and gas-powered vehicles, towards renewal energy sources. Issa even endorses the idea that this is a good way to create jobs — a position that puts him at odds with many Republicans. […]
Tomorrow, Issa is conducting a Congressional oversight hearing called: ‘How Obama’s Green Energy Agenda is Killing Jobs.’” - Greg Sargent
- cause Back in May, Goodwin Liu’s nomination to the 9th Circuit Court was blocked by Republicans, due in part to his support for same-sex marriage.
- effect Liu is now on track to be seated on the California Supreme Court instead—and will likely be confirmed in time to hear the case to repeal Proposition 8. source
» One note: Goodwin Liu has publicly opposed Proposition 8 in the past, so if he ends up hearing the case, supporters of the law will likely ask that he recuse himself. But that doesn’t mean he has to.
So much to squish!
The Burbank City Council is considering a $2-million loan to the cash-strapped Debell Golf Course after Mayor Jess Talamantes called the municipally owned course “too big to fail.”
Also on the table is suspending the golf course’s payments to the city on $2.1 million in outstanding debt, and combining the two loans for repayment by 2016, according to the Burbank Leader.
The loan would be more than the $566,878 in proposed budget cuts to the fire department, libraries and other public services. The loan would cover past debts and create a reserve that would earn interest, officials said. [read more]
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