Today’s News: Homeless’ property rights; Sheriffs vexed by long jail stays; Redistricting fight

todaysnewsbanner2

Skid Row debate. Citing an immediate health hazard, attorneys for the city of L.A. plan to file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to overturn rulings that prevent police from confiscating and destroying property homeless people leave on sidewalks. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich says allowing the homeless to store their belongings on sidewalks creates a health hazard. The way it stands now, the city must notify people when their property is taken and provide them an opportunity to get it back. L.A. Times

Hard time. More than a thousand inmates sentenced to lengthy terms are doing their time in California’s ill-equipped county jails. A new report by the State Sheriff’s Association says the oversight of so many long-term prisoners is taxing the resources of local departments. L.A. County is home to more than a third of the state’s long-term jail inmates, including several dozen sentenced to more than a decade behind bars. AP

Prison suicides. State officials tried to suppress a report that was critical of the treatment of suicidal inmates in California prisons. The report said the state’s practice of isolating suicidal prisoners in dim, dirty cells was compounding the risk that they would take their own lives. The L.A. Times reports the state commissioned the report, but later tried to submit a watered-down version to the courts. L.A. Times

Redistricting challenge. A civil rights attorney is accusing the L.A. City Council of improperly using race as a factor when it drew up new district boundaries. Leo Terrell says he wants to combine his lawsuit with a similar suit filed on behalf of Asian Americans. Both accuse the council of shifting heavily African American neighborhoods into council districts to dilute the political power of Asian residents. L.A. Daily News

Dorner fallout.
The LAPD is defending its handling of Christopher Dorner, the ex-cop who blamed his firing from the department on a murder spree that left four people dead. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck has said he wants an independent investigation into Dorner’s firing, including a review of Dorner’s allegations of racism. In the meantime, however, LAPD officials are insisting Dorner was treated fairly. Meantime, San Bernardino County says it spent more than $500,000 on the Dorner manhunt. KABC