Santa Clarita Mayor Bill Miranda is responding to a viral video of a retired Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detective using racial slurs in an argument, which has led to an investigation.
In the video, the former detective is seen belligerently speaking to a young black man after an apparent accident near Valencia Boulevard and Cinema Drive on Saturday.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is now reviewing 370 cases handled by the retired detective.
“The video of the racially charged incident, which happened on March 13 in Santa Clarita, is horrendous, inexcusable and not reflective of the kind of environment we want to have in our City. No resident or visitor to our community should be treated the way that this man was by anyone, let alone a former law enforcement officer. The words used by the man in this video evoke racism and invoke fear during a time when we are striving to create a more inclusive community that understands and appreciates human differences,” said Miranda in a statement. “I condemn the actions of this man and extend my deepest sympathies to the victim.”
In 2020, the City of Santa Clarita brought back the Human Relations Roundtable after several Black Lives Matter advocates called for change.
The mission of the roundtable is to “encourage and assist our community to eliminate all forms of racism and discrimination, and to promote inclusion, understanding and appreciation of human differences.”
In December, the 16 members of the roundtable were chosen, consisting of a wide range of ages and viewpoints, including two students from the William S. Hart Union School District.
“As a community, we must unite against all forms of racism and stand in solidarity with those who have been victimized. We will continue our work through the Santa Clarita Human Relations Roundtable to eliminate all forms of racism and discrimination,” Miranda said.
Uriel Barraza, who recorded the video, said the young man got out of his vehicle looking at the damage on his car when the former detective came out of his truck screaming.
In the video, the retired detective says the black man to “Go back into your little cage until the monkey controller gets here.”
When the man asks a group of witnesses if they heard the racial slurs, the former detective then says “No, he started the n***** thing because he is the dumb n*****.”
The detective retired in May 2020 after being assigned to Operations Central Bureau Homicide, according to the LAPD.
“What is seen in the video is not reflective of the thousands of hard-working and dedicated men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department,” said the LAPD statement.
To ensure there is no current department nexus to this incident, there has been an internal investigation started, according to the department.
The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office has announced they will be reviewing 370 cases handled by the retired detective. The LAPD has pledged full cooperation with the process, department officials said in a statement.
Santa Clarita Gears Up For ‘Bike to Work Challenge’
The City of Santa Clarita invites local businesses and their employees to participate in the annual Bike to Work Challenge.
The week-long challenge begins Monday, May 10, through Friday, May 14. Residents are encouraged to take the online pledge to be entered into a raffle for free prizes.
The Bike to Work Challenge is a competition among Santa Clarita businesses to rally their employees to bike to work and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Businesses that are registered to participate and have the most participation in their size category will win a free lunch to a local restaurant of their choice, according to the City.
Interested businesses are required to designate a “lead rider” who will act as a point of contact for the organization in addition to registering their businesses for Santa Clarita’s Bike to Work Challenge.
Lead riders should register online here and must submit a list of those at their company who participated by May 17 to Laura Jardine, City event coordinator for the Bike to Work Challenge, at (661) 255-4376 or email@example.com.
In place of pit stops, the City has extended the challenge to a week-long format, giving residents more opportunities to participate and win prizes, including cycling gear, gift certificates and more.
To encourage participants with longer commutes to participate, Santa Clarita Transit will be offering free local rides to anyone with a bike and/or helmet, according to the City.
Third Free Catalytic Converter Etching Event To Be Hosted By SCV Sheriff’s Station
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station is set to host a third free catalytic converter etching event this month after increased thefts in the area.
For the third installment of the event, organizers are offering more dates and an additional location are being offered so that more vehicles can be serviced, according to Deputy Natalie Arriaga, spokesperson for the station.
The SCV Sheriff’s Station, in partnership with Reeves Complete Auto Center and Canyon Muffler in Canyon Country and RG Brake & Alignment in Valencia, is scheduled to host the event on May 11, 18, 25, 26 and 27.
“Help #GuardThatAuto by getting your vehicle’s license plate etched onto its’ catalytic converter,” station officials said in a statement. “Doing so helps deputies locate its original owner in the event it is stolen and recovered.”
In March, over a dozen people were arrested and 250 catalytic converters — valued at about $750,000 — were recovered in an operation on Wednesday, stemming from an investigation in Santa Clarita.
In a proactive approach to lower catalytic converter theft, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Crime Impact Team (CIT) led a search warrant operation on March 10, centered in the City of Los Angeles, according to Arriaga.
“Theft of catalytic converters has been a growing trend in 2020, with a 400% increase throughout Los Angeles County, and a significant increase in the Santa Clarita Valley as well,” Arriaga said at the time.
Catalytic converters are attached to the exhaust system of a vehicle. They contain precious metals and can be “scrapped” for a quick profit, according to the spokesperson.
This event is offered to Santa Clarita Valley residents by appointment, with limited availability, based on a first-come, first-served basis.
Those interested in booking an appointment are encouraged to contact Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Deputy Borbon of Community Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appointments will only be scheduled by Deputy Borbon and not by the auto centers, according to station officials.
L.A. County Public Library To Reopen 30 Additional Locations On May 10
Los Angeles County Library announced this week it will reopen an additional 30 of its 85 libraries for select in-person service beginning May 10, as the county nears the “yellow” tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
The scheduled reopening will raise the total number of reopened libraries to 60 across L.A. County at 75% capacity, while also maintaining six feet of physical distance for customers.
“In preparation for reopening additional doors to the public, LA County Library is working diligently to ensure safety protocols are met and appropriate preventative measures are in place,” officials said in a statement.
The additional libraries that are scheduled to reopen are part of a phased reopening plan that prioritizes library openings based on geographic location, building availability, and the ability to accommodate physical distance guidelines and Public Health protocols. The library has placed an emphasis on equity with special consideration for reopening libraries in underserved areas where residents prioritize in-person services.
The additional libraries that are scheduled to reopen starting May 10 include Acton Agua Dulce Library, Castaic Library and Topanga Library, among others.
Additional libraries across the county will be added to the library’s reopening plan.
On April 19, L.A. County Library reopened its first 30 locations including Stevenson Ranch in the Santa Clarita Valley, as well as Lancaster, and Quartz Hill in the Antelope Valley.
Outdoor programming for a limited number of participants will begin in early summer 2021 and will be available at select libraries.
Sidewalk service and book drops will remain available at participating libraries. L.A. County Library continues to offer enhanced digital offerings, including a temporary digital library card to access eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, movies, online classes and more.
To view the current list of reopened libraries, visit the library reopening page here.
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