Rally organizers seek LAPD reform

first_imgAnd Bratton also announced he was promoting Cmdr. Sergio Diaz, a 30-year LAPD veteran, to replace Deputy Chief Caylor “Lee” Carter at the 1,700-member Central Division. “I will do the best job possible for all the people who live and work at Central Bureau, as well as all of the officers and personnel there,” said Diaz, whose previous assignments have included Internal Affairs and Special Operations. Carter, who was the senior officer in MacArthur Park when violence broke out, was demoted Monday to commander and indefinitely assigned to home duty earlier this week. Cmdr. Louis Gray, Carter’s second-in-command, was reassigned to the Operations Bureau. Also Tuesday, civil-rights attorney Steven Yagman announced that he’d filed a federal civil and class-action suit accusing the LAPD of engaging in racketeering during the May 1 event and seeking $10 million in damages. He claims his client, Geoffrey Baker, suffered a broken jaw when he was struck by police as they tried to clear the park of demonstrators. A week after an immigration rally erupted in violence, organizers called Tuesday for reform within the LAPD and Chief William Bratton announced a replacement for the deputy chief who was in charge during the May 1 clash. The Police Commission hearing was the first opportunity for the civilian panel to question Bratton about the melee at MacArthur Park. But Los Angeles Police Department critics and immigration advocates packed the chambers, blasting the department and renewing their concerns about police brutality. “If the LAPD acts like this in broad daylight, what do they do at night?” asked Georgina Lopez, drawing loud applause from a packed audience. But LAPD and Police Commission officials repeated previous promises to conduct thorough and unbiased investigations of the altercation, which capped a day of peaceful demonstrations for immigrants’ rights. The Police Commission hearing had originally been scheduled to hear Bratton’s bid for a second, five-year term, but last week’s clash knocked it off the agenda. In fact, several critics said during the hearing that Bratton should be fired. “I am sorry, chief, it is time for you to go,” said Lenore Solis, a member of the LAPD Hispanic Forum, who accused Bratton of being insensitive to the city’s growing Latino community. Meanwhile members of several immigrant-rights groups that planned the morning May Day rally are organizing a June 24 rally at Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street to show they are not intimidated by police and will refocus on immigration reform. “All of us are united in expressing in the clearest voice possible that our community will not be intimidated into inaction,” said Jose Gutierrez of Latino Movement USA. rachel.uranga@dailynews.com (818) 713-3741last_img read more

Noida village vows to end tobacco use

first_imgTobacco will soon be a thing of the past in the land of wrestlers. In a first, the mahapanchayat in Noida’s Sarfabad village has vowed to eliminate tobacco and its products in a bid to secure a healthier future for its youth.The panchayat has asked the village residents to abstain from selling or using tobacco. Such products would be a strict no-no for the younger generation henceforth.Initiated by the wrestlers-dominated community of the village, the move is aimed at urging the state government to impose a blanket ban on the use of tobacco products. The plan will act as a pilot project and subsequently spread to other rural pockets of the district.The panchayat has given its final word on the social menace and anybody found violating the same will have to pay dearly.Shopkeepers of Sarfabad village set fire to their tobacco products to show their support.Over 20 shopkeepers in the village brought their tobacco products and destroyed them in a bonfire to express support for the move.According to Sukhbir Pehelwan, a wrestling coach and organiser, the panchayat has completely banned tobacco and its use in the village.”Anybody found selling tobacco or its products would have to shell out Rs 1,000 as fine. Whoever is found chewing tobacco will be fined Rs 500. And we have decided to reward any person who informs us about anyone selling or using tobacco with Rs 100. The fines will be realised by the panchayat itself,” Pehelwan said.”If other states such as Haryana and Gujarat can ban it, why can’t Uttar Pradesh? A health recent ministry report has disclosed rising number of cancers in the country are caused by tobacco use. It has not only become a health hazard but a social evil. We aim to eliminate it completely,” he said.advertisementThe members of the panchayat would, on Monday morning, hand over a memorandum to district magistrate MKS Sundaram, addressed to the state government urging it to impose the ban at the earliest.”We have thought to make Sarfabad a model village in eradicating the use of tobacco in the state. We would soon begin awareness programmes in other villages too. We have given time to the government till August 30. If it does not do anything about it, we would turn this campaign into a movement,” Subodh Yadav, an international wrestler and 2011 Asiad gold-medalist said.Five villages in Noida – Sarfabad, Sorkha, Garhi Chowkhandi and Behlolpur have practised wrestling as a traditional sport and have produced numerous state, national and international players. Sarfabad, with a population of around 10,000, has over 150 professional wrestlers, practising the sport at various forums. Of them, three have wrestled on the international level while around 50 have participated in national events.Though the panchayat has started the campaign against tobacco, it would soon add alcohol to the list to prevent the younger generation of the village from falling prey to wrong practices which can only harm their health, a panchayat member said.last_img read more