CASUAL CARPOOL ROBBERIES
2 charged in Oakland carpool robberies
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A teenage boy is being charged as an adult in connection with the daylight armed robbery of nine people in Oakland waiting for carpool rides to San Francisco.
Alameda County prosecutors on Wednesday charged a 17-year-old boy and 22-year-old Delante Johnson, both of Oakland, with 10 counts of second-degree robbery, two counts of attempted second-degree robbery and several weapons enhancements for the robbery.
Johnson was also accused of carrying a loaded firearm.
Ford and Johnson are accused of robbing people waiting in line for carpool rides of cellphones, purses and wallets at gunpoint in Oakland's upscale Rockridge neighborhood Monday morning.
Police say the suspects then fled in a silver Honda officers eventually located in West Oakland.
Johnson is being held in Santa Rita Jail on $300,000 bail and Ford is being held in the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center.
FRESNO POLICE CHASE-CRASH
Fresno to pay $1.35 million in death of driver
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — The city of Fresno has agreed to pay $1.35 million to the mother of a motorist who was killed in a collision with a police car.
The Fresno Bee reported Wednesday that the city has reached a settlement with Pamela Matthews who had filed a wrongful death lawsuit accusing the city of negligence in March 2012.
Twenty-eight-year-old Matthew White was killed after his white Madza 626 was struck by a police car heading toward a call of an armed burglary in progress in northwest Fresno in the early hours of Oct. 3, 2011.
Police said preliminary reports indicated that officer Mandeep Singh Kehla believed he had the right of way when the collision occurred.
And once police arrived at the reported crime scene, they found there was no burglary.
AGRICULTURE-SEXUAL HARASSMENT LAWSUIT
Calif. producer faces federal sex harassment suit
MADERA, Calif. (AP) — A federal lawsuit has been filed charging that a central California dried fruit producer subjected its female workers to ongoing sexual harassment.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing Madera-based company Z Foods and Zoria Farms alleging they unlawfully fired a class of workers in retaliation for reporting the abuse that began in 2007.
The suit filed Wednesday says that company supervisors targeted at least four female workers by making lewd comments about their appearances and routinely soliciting sex as a condition of employment or in exchange for more favorable jobs.
The EEOC says some workers who did not comply and others who reported the abuse to human resources and management were fired.
Z Foods could not be reached for comment because the company's phone number has been disconnected.
CALIFORNIA PRISONS-MENTAL HEALTH
Attorney: Inmate pepper spray videos to be shown
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — An attorney representing California prison inmates says a federal judge has decided that videos showing prison guards dousing mentally ill prisoners with pepper spray can be shown in open court.
Attorney Michael Bien told The Associated Press that U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Karlton announced his decision Wednesday during a telephone conference call with attorneys representing inmates and the state.
The administration of Gov. Jerry Brown had sought a different outcome. If the videos were played at all, the administration wanted the judge to view them privately.
Corrections department spokesman Jeffrey Callison says the state did not want to comment on the matter because the court had not issued a decision publicly. But he said the state would want the videos shown in their entirety to provide the proper context.
Poll: Californians worry about crime, early inmate releases; support gay marriage, legal marijuana
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A new poll from the Public Policy Institute of California shows voters are concerned about public safety as a court battle continues over reducing the state's prison population.
Nearly half of likely voters surveyed said violence and street crime are problems in their communities. Three in four are concerned that a panel of federal judges will force the state to release thousands of inmates early.
Those findings were part of a wide-ranging survey released Wednesday. Pollsters interviewed more than 1,700 Californians between Sept. 10 and 17.
The poll also found record-high support for same-sex marriage and legalizing marijuana.
Those surveyed also expressed uncertainty about the federal health care law as the new insurance exchanges prepare to open next week. Four in 10 likely voters said they do not think the federal health care law will make a difference for their families.