This week, City Council settled an LAPD lawsuit, reimbursed FEMA for Project Roomkey, and banned flavored tobacco.
Every week, Knock LA provides live coverage of Los Angeles City Council meetings from our Twitter account. While you can follow along live, we’ve also put together this breakdown of what’s happening at the highest levels of power in our city for those who don’t have 12 hours a week to spend on City Council meetings (including regularly absent city councilmembers).
- Agenda and Live Video 3/29
- Knock Tweet Thread 3/29
- Agenda and Live Video 3/30
- Knock Tweet Thread 3/30
- Agenda and Live Video 4/1
- Knock Tweet Thread 4/1
On June 9, 2018, an LAPD officer shot and killed a man who had just emerged from a CT scan in a Boyle Heights hospital. According to LAPD’s own report, which of course found that the officers did nothing wrong, two officers held Omar Magana down, then one of those officers shot Magana twice in the heart and once in the eye. The officers then handcuffed Magana as he lay limp on the hospital floor. An ER tech told the officers to remove the handcuffs so they could attempt to save him. A few hours later, Magana was pronounced dead.
Ten months later, Jose Magana sued the city over the death, with charges including excessive force, battery, negligence, and violation of the 14th amendment by interfering with familial relations. This case came up during this week’s City Council proceedings.
On March 29 2022, City Council approved a $675,000 settlement in the case. As they were doing so, about a dozen police officers filed into the chambers. When the voting was done, they all spent 45 minutes on a retirement party for a police officer. By contrast, as several commenters noted, the entire city of Los Angeles — four million people — were allotted a total of 30 minutes for public comment.
LAPD received an extra $750,000 from the city council on Friday, specifically earmarked for overtime pay. In the same meeting that LAPD received that money from the city, it also gave money to the city — money it had acquired from the public when the department arrested people. The Unclaimed Monies Seized Incidental to Arrest Trust Fund (UMSIATF) provided $574,635.17 to the city’s general fund.
On March 29, the city voted to front $11 million, to be reimbursed by FEMA, for Project Roomkey, and also to spend $16 million of the city’s money on it. Project Roomkey is a short-term shelter program with a lot of rules for participants — who don’t actually get keys to their own rooms, despite the name.
The council also approved $7.4 million in vaguely titled state grants for affordable housing — the Regional Early Action Program/Subregional Partnership Program — though most of the money seems to go to research and writing reports.
On April 1, the city passed a motion from Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell related to funding for health services, particularly for unhoused communities.
The city of LA closed its entire Department of Health in 1964, passing responsibility to LA County. In the early ’90s, the county neglected to help people without addresses in their applications for welfare, claiming that welfare fraud was a major issue. The city and county sued each other back and forth, and LAHSA was created to facilitate access to government programs that could assist unhoused people.
O’Farrell said the 1964 contract is terribly out of date, and that the city pays for services from the county that it never receives.
On March 30, the city voted to ban flavored tobacco, with an exception for hookahs.
All week, callers accused Strefan Fauble — the city employee who facilitates public comment — of silencing them. One person called Fauble a “petty tyrant lawyer” and another claimed to have evidence of Fauble’s wire fraud.