Friday Must Reads: Prosecutors Charge Six Baltimore Cops in Freddie Gray Killing; Body Camera Bill Moves Forward in Sacramento

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Prosecutors announced today that they have filed criminal charges against six Baltimore cops in the killing of Freddie Gray, the AP reports (via SFGate). Gray’s death has prompted anti-police violence protests and riots in Baltimore and other cities. The six police officers are charged with crimes ranging from false imprisonment to second-degree murder. State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby also said that police had illegally arrested Gray and detained him unlawfully before the young Black man suffered a fatal spinal injury.

2. Dockworkers shut down the Port of Oakland today in protest of police violence nationwide. Demonstrations are expected in Oakland throughout the day and tomorrow.

3. A bill that would establish standards for police body cameras passed a legislative committee yesterday after law enforcement groups successfully lobbied to amend it, the LA Times$ reports. The amended bill would allow cops to view video footage from their body cameras before writing their official police reports.

4. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf unveiled her two-year budget plan, calling for increased spending on police, the Trib$ reports. Schaaf is proposing to increase the number of cops on the force to 762 in two years, and 800 by the end of her four-year term. Schaaf also is proposing to expand the city’s violence prevention program — Ceasefire.

5. Governor Jerry Brown made it official yesterday: He is jettisoning a sweeping plan to restore delta habitat, and instead will focus on building two giant water tunnels to ship water from Northern California to the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California, the SacBee$ reports. Environmental groups immediately criticized the governor’s proposal.

6. Federal investigators have launched a probe at Berkeley High School, following the revelations that boy students had been sexually harassing girls on social media, the Trib$ reports.

7. Oakland teachers voted to authorize a strike during the 2015–16 school year if the union cannot reach a contract agreement with the school district, the Chron reports. Oakland teachers are the lowest paid in Alameda County.

8. State Senators criticized California Justice Department officials for failing to reduce the backlog of 20,000 people who illegally own guns in the state, the LA Times$ reports.

9. San Francisco’s minimum wage rose to $12.25 an hour today — matching that of Oakland for the highest in the state, the Chron$ reports. Women and minorities are expected to gain the most from the wage hike.

10. And the Bay Area News Group won a landmark court decision that forces the state legislature to hand over the official daily calendars of two ex-state Senators accused of public corruption. The legislature had maintained that the calendars were confidential. 

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