The LA County Probation Department recorded 747 uses of pepper spray in 2017 at juvenile halls and camps, a jump of 154 percent over 2015 when the department used pepper spray 294 times, according to an analysis of department data. It appears that trend is likely to continue, as between January and July of this year the department reported 404 such uses of force. These uses of force were recorded at the county's juvenile halls and camps which house about 800 males and females ranging in age from 12 to 20, with the average age of 16.
This is a department that has had this problem before. It was under federal oversight for years for how it has treated juveniles in custody, and the department dramatically dropped its pepper spray use during that time. But once the feds left, the number began climbing again.
It's become so troubling that Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas on Wednesday called for the county's Inspector General to investigate.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP, File
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he does not want to be White House chief of staff, just hours after multiple reports said he was President Donald Trump's leading choice for the job.
"It's an honor to have the President consider me as he looks to choose a new White House Chief of Staff," Christie said in a statement obtained by NBC News, first provided to The New York Times. "However, I have told the President that now is not the right time for me or my family to undertake this serious assignment. As a result, I have asked him to no longer keep me in any of his considerations for this post."
Christie met with Trump Thursday night about the White House chief of staff job and was considered a "top contender" for the role, sources told NBC News earlier Friday.
Getty Images/iStockphoto, File
U.S. health officials have traced a food poisoning outbreak from romaine lettuce to at least one farm in California, which voluntarily recalled red and green leaf lettuce as well as cauliflower because they may be contaminated with E. coli.
Adam Bros. Farms in Santa Barbara County said Thursday it was issuing the new recall, for the listed products harvested between Nov. 27 and Nov. 30, "out of an abundance of caution."
The Food and Drug Administration cautioned Thursday that other farms are likely involved in the romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak and consumers should continue checking the label before purchasing the product.
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James will have a pair of his Equality sneakers on display at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture this fall.
Fairfax Media via Getty Images, File
A jury took less than 30 minutes to convict a West Virginia man who told police he sexually abused a 3-year-old girl by accident.
Mercer County prosecutor George Sitler tells news outlets that 26-year-old Henry Vincent Bennett was found guilty Thursday of first-degree sexual assault and other charges.
Former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke, who was convicted in October of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald, will be sentenced on Jan. 18, a judge said Friday.
The sentencing date followed a ruling denying motions for a new trial and to set aside a jury's verdict in the case.
Van Dyke appeared before Judge Vincent Gaughan for the second time since his conviction in a trial that captured the nation. He wore a prison-issued jumpsuit and a Department of Corrections windbreaker as he stood in open court.
Scott Bauer/AP, File
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a sweeping package of Republican legislation Friday that restricts early voting and weakens the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general, brushing aside complaints that he is enabling a brazen power grab and ignoring the will of voters.
Signing the bills just 24 days before he leaves office, the Republican governor and one-time presidential candidate downplayed bipartisan criticism that they amount to a power grab that will stain his legacy.
Just two hours later, a group run by former Democratic U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced it planned legal action to block the limitation on early voting.
Courtesy Hector Hernandez
Hector Hernandez thought he was "fat." Then he received some shocking news: What he thought was stomach fat was actually a 77-pound cancerous tumor.
"I just thought I was fat," said Hernandez of Downey, California. "I’ve always been a big guy, so I didn’t really put too much worry into it."
Hernandez told NBC Los Angeles he would get a lot of stares in public because of his large stomach, which caused him to stop using the Metro.
Gary D'Ercole/Getty Images, File
The chief executive of the California Historical Society has been named the new director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.
Anthea M. Hartig becomes the first woman to be permanent director of the museum, one of the most popular Smithsonian attractions. She succeeds John Gray, who retired in May.
Hartig, 54, will oversee 262 employees and a $50 million budget, as well as open three exhibitions that are part of the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative, #BecauseOfHerStory.
NBC Bay Area
The human heart accidentally left onboard a Dallas-bound Southwest flight was delivered undamaged to a Seattle tissue processor and was not intended to be used by a waiting patient in need of a transplant, according to reports.
The Seattle Times reported that Flight 3606 had arrived in Seattle from Sacramento, California. Someone forgot to unload the heart before the plane left for Dallas, and the captain announced over Idaho they were turning back.
A Massachusetts woman napping on a couch was awoken by a pickup truck that crashed into her house and just missed hitting her by inches on Thursday, according to Templeton police.
"Thank God I have my guardian angels watching over me," said Tracy Samuels, the woman on the couch.
At approximately 11:22 a.m., police received multiple 911 calls reporting a vehicle collision into a house at 315 State Rd. An investigation determined a pickup truck driven by Simon Quero-Luna of Gardner, Massachusetts, veered off the road and collided with the house, according to police.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File
Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that its baby powder contained asbestos, Reuters said in a new report that drove the company's shares down nearly 11 percent Friday.
Reuters based its report on a review of documents and deposition and trial testimony. It said the review showed that from 1971 to the early 2000s, J&J executives, mine managers, doctors and lawyers were aware the company's raw talc and finished powders sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos. Those involved discussed the problem but they did not disclose it to regulators or the public, Reuters' examination found.
By late morning Friday, J&J stock was down 10.8 percent, on pace for its worst day in more than a decade, when its shares closed down 15.85 on July 19, 2002.
Inside the leaky, desolate confines of the building recently named New Jersey's saddest mall, only one tenant remains.
And not just any tenant. Petal, a life-size elephant made completely out of fiberglass, served as a memorable fixture of the Burlington Center Mall for the past 30 years.
Now, she’s facing eviction from the only place she has called home.
The local sculptor who designed and created the fountain elephant decades ago, Zenos Frudakis, says he’s gone on to complete more than 100 large pieces around the world. (Close to home, and perhaps most controversially notable, he also designed the Frank Rizzo statue. "I didn't vote for him," Frudakis said.)
Donald Trump was the third person in the room in August 2015 when his lawyer Michael Cohen and National Enquirer publisher David Pecker discussed ways Pecker could help counter negative stories about Trump's relationships with women, NBC News has confirmed.
As part of a non-prosecution agreement disclosed Wednesday by federal prosecutors, American Media Inc., the Enquirer's parent company, admitted that "Pecker offered to help deal with negative stories about that presidential candidate's relationships with women by, among other things, assisting the campaign in identifying such stories so they could be purchased and their publication avoided."
The "Statement of Admitted Facts" says that AMI admitted making a $150,000 payment "in concert with the campaign," and says that Pecker, Cohen, and "at least one other member of the campaign" were in the meeting. According to a person familiar with the matter, the "other member" was Trump.
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Jacquelyn Martin/AP, File
The U.S. Department of Education said Thursday it is cancelling $150 million in students loans connected to for-profit colleges, complying with a court order that essentially forced the Obama-era move to go through, NBC News reported.
The discharge of loans affects about 15,000 students who went to colleges that shuttered between Nov. 1, 2013 and Dec. 4, 2018, including Corinthian Colleges, Inc.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had canceled memos imposing tougher rules on for-profit colleges and student loan debt, but lost a challenge brought by states including California.
The office of Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the top Democrat on the Health, Labor, Education and Pensions Committee, said more than 100,000 students have outstanding claims. Murray said in a statement that, "it's disappointing that it took a court order to get Secretary DeVos to begin providing debt relief to students left in the lurch by predatory for-profit colleges."
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