San Diego Police Say Body Cameras Reduce Complaints, Use of Force

This story has been published in tandem with a segment for KCET's award-winning TV show "SoCal Connected." Watch it here now.

As the Los Angeles Police Department embarks on an effort to equip all officers with body cameras, data from San Diego suggests camera use has led to more peaceful confrontations with officers.

San Diego has seen decreases of 47 percent in use of force, 41 percent in complaints, and 31 percent in pepper spray use since its officers began using cameras in January 2014, according to a report by the department.

In L.A. and across the country, the police killings of Michael Brown, Ezell Ford, Eric Garner, and others has touched off a national debate about the use of force against suspects. Body cameras' recent emergence has factored them into the debate about how police procedure might change. In a recent segment, "SoCal Connected" explored L.A.'s adoption of the technology.

Death with Dignity Proposal Passes Health Committee

A bill that would allow terminally ill patients to take a life-ending prescription is advancing through the California legislature.
| Photo: Alex/Flickr/Creative Commons

A segment for KCET's award-winning TV show "SoCal Connected" has been produced in tandem with this story. Watch it here now.

A bill that would give terminally ill patients the option to request a life-ending prescription from a doctor passed the state Senate Health Committee on Wednesday afternoon. With news that the bill had passed the committee, proponents released a video of Brittany Maynard attesting to her experience with a terminal brain cancer diagnosis and subsequent move to Oregon to utilize its end-of-life law.

The proposal to follow in the footsteps of Oregon and some other states has been the subject of controversy, a topic covered in depth in this "SoCal Connected" segment.

Clarity for Social Media Accounts of the Deceased Sought in Bill

When you or a loved one passes on, what exactly happens to their digital information?

Many social media services offer privacy settings to prevent unwanted access or identity theft, but there is no standard process for disclosing or hiding information once a user passes away.

Assemblymember Ian Calderon (D-Whittier) is seeking just that with a bill to protect a deceased person's digital assets or electronic communication. AB 691, the Privacy Expectation Afterlife and Choices Act, would apply to social media, e-mail, audio recordings, photos, and any other form of electronic communication stored on a computer.

Bill Would Make Ingredient List on Cleaning Product Crystal Clear

In most cases, it takes more than a glance at the bottle to find out what's in cleaning products.
| Photo: Judy/Flickr/Creative Commons

Do you know what's in the cleaning products you spritz on your floor, toilet, or windows? In most cases, it takes more than a glance at the bottle to find out. Cleaning product labels are not required to disclose the ingredients within. And though some companies choose to make the ingredient list available online, not all do, making it difficult or impossible to be an educated consumer.

"There is very little oversight of these products," said Nancy Buermeyer, a spokesperson for the Breast Cancer Fund, backer of a proposed bill that would require cleaning product ingredients to be listed on labels and a webpage. AB 708, also backed by the Environmental Working Group, was introduced in late February by Los Angeles Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer.

No Opting Out of Vaccinations Under Proposed California Bill

With the debate over vaccines reaching a fever pitch, it's only logical a bill on the subject would hit the legislature, and one has. SB 277, introduced in late February, would remove exemptions from existing law that allow parents to forego having their children immunized for personal beliefs.

The bill would pertain to diseases like mumps, whooping cough and measles which, in part due to a recent Southern California outbreak, has been making a comeback.

Exemptions for medical reasons would still be available, but the bill would prevent anti-vaxxers from straying from a typical vaccination schedule or choosing not to vaccinate at all. The bill would prevent children from going to public or private schools, nurseries, day cares or development centers without vaccinations.

San Diego Eyes Small Lot Home Ordinance, a la L.A.

Developers would find it easier to subdivide certain lots and build small, single-family homes under a series of measures tentatively approved today by a San Diego City Council committee.
| Photo: Courtesy of Lata Pandya

Learn about L.A.'s small lot homes on a segment of KCET's award-winning TV show "SoCal Connected." Watch it here now.

Developers would find it easier to subdivide certain lots and build small, single-family homes under a series of measures tentatively approved today by a San Diego City Council committee.

The proposed regulations, which would have to be approved by the full City Council before taking effect, are designed to foster the creation of more "bungalow courts" -- small houses connected by a single driveway -- of the sort found in beach areas, North Park, Hillcrest, and Barrio Logan.

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