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A.M. Brief: D.A. Candidates Square Off in Virtual Debate

October 9, 2020 by Brian Champlin

For today’s brief: Last night’s District Attorney debate was contentious, and yet remarkably more civil than anything we’ve seen at the presidential level. Also, a LACMA board member resigns, Tory Lanez gets charged, and violence against street vendors is on the rise. Let’s get to it!

Morning News Rundown

Last year, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors called the race for Los Angeles District Attorney “the single most important D.A. race in the country.” On Thursday night, incumbent Jackie Lacey and challenger George Gascón battled in a virtual debate moderated by KPCC’s Frank Stoltze and the L.A. Times’ James Queally. Throughout the debate, Lacey championed her history as a career prosecutor and lambasted her opponent’s record as District Attorney of San Francisco, even suggesting he was “snookering the activists” by now posing as a reformer. Gascón, meanwhile, questioned Lacey’s independence from law enforcement agencies and framed his ability to “learn and evolve” as a strength. One thing that stood out regardless of who you were rooting for: The candidates and moderators did a far better job of not yelling over each other as we saw POTUS do during the recent presidential debate. Even better, candidates actually abided the moderators when told their time was up. What a concept! You can catch a replay of the debate embedded above via KPCC or a quick recap via the Times. [L.A. Times]

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If you want to go deeper on the D.A.’s race, check out this segment on KCRW’s Greater L.A. program from last month. [KCRW]

A Santa Monica man found dozens of mail-in ballots tossed in a trash can in an alley off Virginia Avenue near 21st Street. At this time, it’s not clear how or why the ballots were tossed. Santa Monica PD and the USPS are investigating. [ABC 7]

Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores has stepped down from the board of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art after public outcry over his investment firm’s ownership of a prison telephone company. Gores’s firm, Platinum Equity, acquired Securus Technologies in 2017. Securus has been accused by activists of gouging prices on prisoner phone calls. [L.A. Times]

Yesterday, Tory Lanez was officially charged in the shooting of fellow rapper Megan Thee Stallion during an altercation in the Hollywood Hills on July 12. Lanez faces charges of assault with a semiautomatic firearm and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle. [NBC Los Angeles]

A new data analysis by Crosstown LA shows the increasing risks faced by Los Angeles street vendors. According to the report, from 2010-2019, reported crimes against street vendors in the city of L.A. rose nearly 337%. [Crosstown LA]

A new scramble crosswalk could be coming to the hellish intersection at Sunset and Alvarado in Echo Park. For the uninitiated, a scramble crosswalk is where all intersection traffic lights turn red, and all walk signals turn green (including diagonal crosswalks), thus ensuring no vehicles are moving while pedestrians cross the street. [The Eastsider]

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