Two former California police officers were found not guilty Monday on charges related to the fatal beating of a schizophrenic homeless man in a case that made national headlines and infuriated protesters who accused the police of abusing their authority.

Former Officer Manuel Ramos and former Corporal Jay Cicinelli were charged with beating Kelly Thomas, 37, with a baton and a stun gun on July 5, 2011 in an assault that left the mentally ill man in a coma. Thomas never regained consciousness and died in his hospital bed five days later. 

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The Los Angeles Police Department has announced plans to ramp up use of a portable tool that checks for drug use, beginning with a New Year’s Eve crackdown on intoxicated drivers. Officials cited increased medical marijuana use as a main justification.

A state grant supplied the LAPD with a swab testing tool that will be employed at DUI (driving under the influence) checkpoints and jails, Los Angeles officials said at a Friday press conference. 

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Los Angeles – The rapid police response to today’s deadly shooting at a terminal in the Los Angeles Int’l Airport (LAX) was no accident, according to LAX Police Chief Patrick Gannon, because his officers prepared for an event identical to the shooting weeks in advance.

“We practiced to this not more than 3 weeks ago,” said Gannon at a press conference hours after the shooting. “We took every one of our patrol officers and a couple hundred officers from the Los Angeles Police Department and we practiced the exact scenario we played out today.” 

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Los Angeles is considering a ban on the cultivation, sale and distribution of genetically modified organisms, which would make the city the largest GMO-free zone in the US.

Los Angeles City Councilmen Paul Koretz and Mitch O’Farrell introduced Friday a motion to curb growth and proliferation of GMO seeds and plants within the city.

The councilmen said the proposal aims to protect local gardens and city-grown food from future contamination from GMO seeds. The motion would not impact the sale of food containing GMO ingredients, however.

GMO seeds are mostly used only by large-scale farming operations, of which none exists in Los Angeles city. 

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