Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wednesday Must Reads: Alameda County to Pay $8.3 Million for Inmate Tasing Death; Berkeley Council Okays Ban on Tear Gas

By Robert Gammon
Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 10:15 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors agreed to pay $8.3 million to four children of Martin Harrison, a 50-year-old Oakland man who was Tased and beaten to death by ten sheriff’s deputies at Santa Rita Jail in 2010, the Bay Area News Group$ reports. The legal settlement also requires the county jail’s private healthcare provider, Corizon, to pay half the settlement and reform its practices around the state. The county agreed previously to pay $1 million to another of Harrison’s kids.

2. The Berkeley City Council voted to implement a temporary ban on police using tear gas, rubber bullets, and over-the-shoulder baton strikes, the Trib$ reports. The moratorium stemmed from the Berkeley Police Department’s over-the-top response to Black Lives Matter protesters in December.

Michael Peevey.
  • Michael Peevey.
3. Brown administration officials plan to fete disgraced regulator Michael Peevey at a swanky dinner in San Francisco on Thursday, the SacBee$ reports. Peevey chose not to seek reappointment to the California Public Utilities Commission late last year after internal emails revealed that he had forged a cozy relationship with PG&E, an entity he was supposed to regulate. Yet despite the scandal, Governor Brown has continued to support Peevey.


4. PG&E, meanwhile, posted an eye-popping increase in profits — 74 percent — last year despite the utility’s ongoing woes stemming from the 2010 deadly pipeline blast in San Bruno, the Chron$ reports. PG&E recorded a $1.4 billion profit in 2014 compared to $814 million the previous year.

5. State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León introduced a package of climate-change legislation that seeks to slash “oil use in half by 2050, mandate the use of renewable power for 50 percent of the state’s electricity and force California’s massive public retirement funds to dump coal company stocks,” the Chron reports.

6. The Oakland Raiders are refusing to pay $400,000 in rent owed to the City of Oakland and Alameda County for use of the Coliseum last year, the Trib$ reports. The Raiders’ move appears to be a negotiating tactic in an attempt to force the city and county to agree to a new lease that’s favorable to the team.

7. And President Obama formally asked Congress for the authorization to go to war with ISIS, an Islamic terrorist group in the Middle East, the Washington Post$ reports. The war authorization request is the first in Obama’s presidency, and it would not include the use of ground troops.

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