.Wednesday Must Reads: Bill Seeks Oversight of Fatal Shootings by Police; Southern Californians Fail to Conserve Water

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Democratic Assemblymember Kevin McCarty of Sacramento has introduced legislation that would establish an independent oversight review of all fatal shootings by police in California, the SacBee$ reports. The review panel likely would be part of the state Department of Justice. Currently, local district attorneys decide whether to seek charges against police officers who kill, but McCarty noted that DAs often have close ties to the police agencies they investigate. McCarty’s bill comes in the wake of high-profile killings by police in Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, New York in which the officers involved were exonerated.

2. Southern California residents and businesses have fallen well short of Governor Jerry Brown’s goal of reducing water usage by 20 percent in the state, the Mercury News$ reports. Southern California cut water use by only 3.2 percent in November, compared to 18 percent in the Bay Area and 25 percent in Sacramento.

[jump] 3. President Obama has vowed to veto Republican legislation that seeks to greenlight the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, the Chron reports. Obama’s veto threat is being praised by environmental groups.

4. Teachers at Montera Middle School in Oakland have begun a work-slowdown because of the lack of progress on a new contract between the city’s teachers’ union and the school district, the Trib$ reports. The district has offered teachers a 10 percent raise over three years.

5. And masked gunmen in France shot and killed twelve people at a satirical newspaper in what is believed to have been a terrorist attack, The New York Times$ reports. The newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, is known for its satirical cartoons of Islamic terrorists and the Prophet Muhammad.
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