Orange County DA Todd Spitzer Just Got Some Competition, Remembering Latasha Harlins, The Restitution of Bruce’s Beach

Former prosecutor Peter Hardin is running for District Attorney in Orange County. He announced his campaign today. Hardin is running as a “reformer,” suggesting the current DA Todd Spitzer is not living up to promises he made to do better in a department that has been touched by controversy over the years.

Guests:

  • Attorney Peter Hardin 
  • KPCC’s criminal justice reporter Frank Stoltze

HOW ONE MAN MIGHT BENEFIT FROM LA DA GASCÓN’S SENTENCING POLICIES: PART 2 

DA George Gascón’s push to review and reduce the sentences of prisoners who had years added on through enhancements and additional charges has drawn praise and criticism. Reginald Wheeler is one person who could benefit from the move; he’s been in prison for 36 years for mugging a man and stealing his watch. Wheeler ended up with a sentence of 8 years to life because prosecutors added a charge of aggravated kidnapping, based on the fact that Wheeler walked his victim 100 feet away from the street when he robbed him.  KPCC’s Robert Garrova has the story

FAITH IN A PANDEMIC YEAR: NAJUMA SMITH POLLARD  

It’s been quite a year with a lot of loss but also newfound joy in little things we may not have been aware off in our pre-pandemic lives. As we slowly come out of the fog that stay-at-home orders created around our lives, we want to reflect on where we have been and where we are headed. To do that we have partnered with USC’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture and commissioned sermons from faith leaders around our county. Today we hear from Rev. Dr. Najuma Smith Pollard. She is the Program manager for the USC Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement and Senior Pastor at Word of Encouragement Church in Los Angeles.

REMEMBERING 15-YEAR-OLD LATASHA HARLINS 30 YEARS AFTER SHE WAS SHOT AND KILLED

Thirty years ago to the day, Latasha Harlins went to the store to buy a bottle of orange juice. While inside the store, the owner *Soon Ja Du*** accused her of shoplifting. An argument ensued, and, after Harlins set the bottle down and turned to leave, Du shot her in the back of the head. A year later, the judge presiding over Du’s trial sentenced the former store owner to probation, community service and a $500 fine. Members of the black community were outraged… a feeling that would be amplified a week later, after four Los Angeles Police officers were acquitted in the beating of Rodney King. The Black community would soon take to the streets… in what we now call the LA Riots.

Guest: 

  •  Marcus Anthony Hunter, an African American Studies professor at UCLA 

THE RESTITUTION OF BRUCE’S BEACH 100 YEARS LATER 

LA County is considering returning a piece of land in Manhattan Beach to descendants of Will and Charles Bruce. The couple were among the first Black people to settle in the area in the early 1912 in search of a safe space among Jim Crow era racism. The Bruces operated a thriving beach resort that was popular among Black families. But as a result of a racist campaign, the land was condemned by the city and the Bruces were pushed out of their community, business, and property. Supervisor Janice Hahn is now considering a request from the Bruce family to return the ill-gotten land that now belongs to the County.

Guests:

  • Bruce Family Spokesperson Duane Yellow Feather Shepard
  • Historian Alison Rose Jefferson.

This article was originally posted at: 
89.3 KPCC