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By Veronica Mackey


The long-awaited response to the officer-involved shootings of Kisha Michael and Marquintan Sandlin came on Friday when the Inglewood Police Department completed its internal review.


Inglewood Mayor James Butts announced Tuesday that five officers are no longer employed by the Inglewood Police Department.  There are still, however, a lot of unanswered questions about what really happened to the couple in February 2016.  


What happened between the time the couple were allegedly found unconscious in a parked car and the time shots were fired? Where did Michael get the gun that was allegedly in her lap?  Was this gun pointed at any of the officers?  Why were 20 shots fired?  Were there more than 5 officers involved? Who witnessed the shooting?  Were the officers fired or did they resign?


“The Department’s report and any discipline that results from the report are confidential,” Mayor Butts said in a statement.  “At this time, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office is conducting an independent review focused on law compliance.”


The district attorney’s office is continuing to investigate the shooting.  No other details have been released from either Mayor Butts or Inglewood police. But here is what is known, according to autopsy reports, prior police reports, and the L.A. Times : 


•Michael, 31 and Sandlin 32, were approached by officers while sitting in a parked car at Manchester Boulevard and Inglewood Avenue shortly after 3 a.m. on Feb. 21, 2016.


•An “unknown exchange” occurred between officers and the couple. 


•Butts told KNBC-TV in an interview after the shooting that officers “retreated, isolated the vehicle and spent about 45 minutes attempting to rouse the occupants and to de-escalate the situation.”


•Autopsies revealed Michael’s blood-alcohol content was 0.185%, more than twice the legal limit for driving and traces of methamphetamine was also found. The drug, according to the coroner's report, can be used to treat attention deficit disorder and obesity.  No drugs were found in Sandlin’s system, although his blood-alcohol content was 0.13%, over the legal driving limit. 


•According to the Times, public records named the five officers as Michael Jaen, Richard Parcella, Jason Cantrell, Sean Reidy and Andrew Cohen.


Attorney Milton Grimes, who is representing Michael’s family in a civil lawsuit filed against the City of Inglewood, told the Times, “I cannot settle this case until I can tell this mother how and why her daughter was shot 13 times. [We] still have not gotten that information yet.”  He added that firing officers is, to him, an admission of guilt.


The shooting has attracted support by Black Lives Matter and ignited widespread protests.  In addition to the termination of police involved in the shooting, Black Lives Matter is demanding restitution for children of the couple and the release of all related video.



A recent study reported in the May issue of JAMA Internal Medicine offered proof that segregated neighborhoods can affect health. The study focused on blood pressure among African-Americans, who suffer the highest rates of hypertension of any group in the United States. The results explained that living in a racially segregated neighborhood can actually increase blood pressure.


How it can happen


One reason is given by David Goff, M.D., director of the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). He states that living in segregated neighborhoods where there is often "inadequate access to health-promoting resources" can cause an increase in stress, and an increase in blood pressure. He includes full service grocery stores, recreation centers, and health care clinics as health-promoting resources. 


The study included 2,280 blacks aged 18-30 over a 25-year period. The results showed that blood pressure increased among participants living in neighborhoods that were more segregated, while significant improvements were experienced by those who initially lived in a highly segregated neighborhood and moved to a less segregated one.


Understanding health equity


Study researchers say this information is very helpful in understanding health equity, and could also help reduce racial health disparities. It is the first study to explore whether increases or decreases in residential segregation specifically affect blood pressure.


For more details about the study, visit


DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practitioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.


First of Its Kind Set to Become a National Model


Los Angeles County, CA- Lennox: May 26, 2017: The Lennox School District has announced an innovative new dentistry program that will infuse hands-on science lessons with real-world career applications.


The Lennox School of Dentistry will debut next year at three elementary schools, which will be outfitted with specialized labs. The first of its kind program for K-12 school districts in California features a curriculum that is aligned with California’s Next Generation Science Standards and will be integrated into multiple academic subjects.


In addition to the academic curriculum, students will participate in clinical settings that resemble real-life dental offices. The idea is to prepare students for achieving higher educational goals and promote broader understanding of medicine and science.


“The Lennox School of Dentistry will promote the kind of project based learning that helps learning come alive for our students.” Superintendent Kent Taylor said. “By introducing our students to career pathways and professional mentors while they are young, we hope to expand their college and career goals.”


Establishing the Lennox School of Dentistry, the District has collaborated with Dr. Lynnette Jackson to develop its instructional program. The groundbreaking initiative also includes professional development for teachers and hands-on lessons for students.


“This is an incredible opportunity to teach students in a new way that could inspire them to pursue medical school or a career as a dentist or healthcare professional.” Dr. Jackson, D.D.S. said. “I realize that some kids may actually dread going to the see the dentist. This program will not only demystify the dentist’s office, it will improve the health literacy of students at the same time.”


The Lennox School of Dentistry will launch in January for fourth graders at Huerta, Jefferson and Moffett elementary schools. Students will spend two hours a week in the dentistry school.


Teachers will work with Dr. Jackson and District administrators in the coming months to develop curriculum units, lesson plans and schedules. The District will begin developing lab space at each of the campuses in the fall. 


The Lennox School District first began providing public education in 1910. Located in an unincorporated community of 1.3 square miles between Hawthorne and Inglewood, the district serves more than 5,100 students at one middle school, five elementary schools and a preschool in each school site.


Lynnette Jackson D.D.S, M.S. serves as the program director and has a general practice residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She earned her medical degree from the Howard University College of Dentistry in Washington D.C. and holds a Masters of Science Degree in Clinical Research from Charles R. Drew University in Los Angeles.




For additional information, please contact:

Becki Blanco, Chief Instructional Officer

10319 Firmona Ave Lennox, CA 90304

(310) 695- 4000

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Davon Dean, Public Information Officer

10319 Firmona Ave Lennox, CA 90304

(310) 695- 4000

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My Message to Graduates

Thursday, May 25, 2017

As this school year comes to a close, graduates will, no doubt, think about the things they can finally leave behind like books, getting up early and going to classes they don’t like.  They’ll be glad to ditch the studying—even if only for a summer. 


If you are a graduate, there will be a lot of emphasis on what you’re graduating from, but there may not be much thought on what you will be graduating to. You may or may not know what’s next.  High school, college, graduate school,  a job or a year off to figure it out.  


There are many options.  But knowing what you are graduating to can provide you with the stability needed to sustain your vision.


The world that you are inheriting is very different from what your parents and grandparents experienced. Many of the things that gave us comfort are being steadily eroded— public health care systems like Medicaid and Medicare; retirement income from Social Security. There was a time when this country had systems in place to take care of the most vulnerable among us. 


While you are still young, and hopefully on track to earn substantially more money than family members in prior generations, it is important to take a hard look at where you are in relation to the collective whole.


Take health care for instance.  Today, the Congressional Budget Office released estimates on the cost of Donald Trump’s health care bill.  According to the numbers, some 23 million people would lose coverage by 2026.  As Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer said, “Unless you are a healthy millionaire, Trump Care is a nightmare.”


Hopefully, your good health will last a long while, but try not to take it for granted.  You could very well be among those 23 million if the Republican healthcare bill were to pass the Senate as-is.


This is not to dampen your spirit, but to point out that any education that does not prepare you for the flipside of life is inadequate, regardless of the institution.


Whether you are graduating from middle school, high school or college, it’s a good idea to map out a solid Plan B or a “what if” scenario in case life doesn’t go as planned.


This is not to suggest that your Plan A won’t come true, but to give yourself some options and a way to keep hope alive.  Life is not a straight line—although it may feel that way when we hear all those wonderful commencement speeches.  Life is full of twists and turns and the more able you are at managing the ups and downs, the better.


Make your Plan B the best you can, but focus on your dream.   Then go out and have some serious fun. Inglewood Today salutes graduates of all ages and stages. Congratulations on a job well done.





Introduced by Sen. Steven Bradford


Sacramento – The California Senate approved SB 620 (Bradford) on a vote of 22-14 to allow a court, in the interest of justice, to use judicial discretion when applying a sentence enhancement for using or discharging a firearm, consistent with other enhancements.


Senator Steven Bradford (D-Inglewood) spoke about a case where a 17-year old was given a 30-year to life sentence when it was not clear if he or another person had fired a gun. While the young man denied firing the gun, he was still convicted. He had no criminal history and his teachers, clergy and family testified to his character as a hard-working student who no history of causing trouble. The judge who sentenced him stated on the record that his hands were tied in imposing the sentence.


Bradford also pointed to data showing that African-Americans are 8 times more likely to be incarcerated than a white person, which disproportionately increases racial disparities in the prison population.


California’s lengthy prison sentences stem from tragedies: the murders of Kimber Reynolds in 1992 and Polly Klass in 1994. Their fathers advocated for “Three Strikes and You’re Out” and “Use a Gun and You’re Done” laws. SB 620 affects the “Use a Gun and You’re Done Law” by allowing a court to apply the longer sentences on a case-by-case basis. The enhancements would remain in place.


Studies of these enhancements show that increasing an already long sentence does not deter crime.  According to Bradford SB 620 does not get into that debate because it does not eliminate the enhancements. Nor does it suggest a judge should disregard enhancements. Judges should consider the circumstances of the crime and the history of the perpetrator and deal with the individual appropriately. This moves the decision about sentencing from one that is rigid and without meaningful consideration to one that is specific to the circumstances of the case.


“Lives and Families are destroyed when criminals commit crimes.  Our justice system needs to focus on getting them off the streets.  We must allow our courts to assess the specifics of each case individually.”  Senator Bradford said.


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