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LA EMS workers told not to transport patients with ‘little chance of survival’, ‘conserve’ use of oxygen

Law Enforcement Today

LOS ANGELES, CA– As the COVID-19 virus numbers continue to rise across the country, hospitals have become inundated with patients, but do not have nearly the capacity to handle the growing numbers.

CNN has reported that with intensive care units at Southern California hospitals nearly full because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency (EMS) has directed ambulance crews not to transport patients with little chance of survival to hospitals, and to conserve the use of oxygen.

Several areas of the country have been hit particularly hard, and Los Angeles and Southern California are two major areas that are completely overwhelmed with positive COVID-19 patients. While more and more people head to the hospital in search of medical attention, the ICU has no beds for them, leaving everyone to have to develop alternate plans. 

Unfortunately it is a sad reality that many medical facilities just simply do not have the space for everyone, especially those who do not have a good chance of survival. 

As of Monday evening, January 4th, there were 7,544 people hospitalized in Los Angeles due to COVID-19 and just 17 available adult ICU beds, according to county health data.

Due to the lack of available beds, the county EMS said patients whose hearts have stopped, despite efforts of resuscitation, should no longer be transported to hospitals. The new directive states that the EMS team should perform resuscitation efforts for at least 20 minutes if there is no sign of breathing or a pulse. 

If after 20 minutes the patient is unable to be resuscitated, paramedics are told to no longer transport the patient’s body to the hospital. 

To make matters worse, California is also dealing with a shortage of oxygen, which is crucial for patients who are having difficulty breathing, a major symptom of the Coronavirus. The directive states that unless a patients oxygen saturation is below 90%, they should conserve their oxygen. 

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California Governor Gavin Newsom formed a task force to address the oxygen issue last week, which is effecting Los Angeles and nearby San Joaquin Valley particularly hard. The task force is said to be working with local and state partners to help refill oxygen tanks and mobilize them to hospitals and facilities most in need.

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District attorneys union files court order against newly appointed Los Angeles DA Gascon to force him to uphold the law

January 1, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA- After an entire month of suffering under the radical leadership of newly appointed Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón, the Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA) have filed a lawsuit against their boss in an attempt to force him to uphold the law.

According to the ADDA and their lawsuit:

“The suit asks that District Attorney George Gascón follow California state constitutional and statutory law. These laws, enacted by the voters and the state legislature, tested and deemed constitutional by the judiciary, must be respected by the executive.”

The suit, which has been filed by the union representing about 800 prosecutors, is alleging that Gascón has ignored laws mandated by constitutional and statutory authority. The ADDA is seeking a write of mandate from the court, which would compel Gascón to rescind several of his new policies, declaring them “invalid and illegal.”

Gascón had campaigned on a judicial reform platform and immediately acted on his campaign promises once he took office. He ordered his prosecutors, the deputy district attorneys to drop all sentencing enhancements, such as gang affiliation during the commission of the crime or using a firearm.

The president of the ADDA said in a statement:

“While an elected District Attorney has wide discretion in determining what charges to pursue in an individual case, that discretion does not authorize him to issue blanket policies that violate established law.”

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Sentencing enhancements are intended to act as extra punishments, added on to the charge of an underlying offense. Gascón’s special directives, such as ending those enhancements, are his idea of increasing public safety “without over incarcerating.”

However, after a national outcry, Gascón later amended that policy, allowing enhancements for cases involving “the must vulnerable victims,” including hate-motivated crimes, child abuse, and human sex trafficking.

There are still more than 100 enhancements in California’s penal code. Prosecutors are still barred from pursuing them for allegations of using a handgun in a crime, defendants listed in the state’s gang database, or for having prior felony convictions. ADDA Vice President Eric Siddall said:

“Los Angeles County prosecutors have been placed in an impossible position. Do we follow our legal and ethical responsibilities and risk getting disciplined, even fired, by our new boss? Or do we follow his policy directives and risk losing our California State Bar Cards and by extension, our ability to practice law anywhere in the state? We’re asking a court to answer those questions.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that the union argued that prosecutors should pursue or forgot sentencing enhancements using “case-by-case discretion,” basing their decisions on the circumstances of a crime and a defendant, not a “rubber stamp blanket prosecutorial policies barring the wholesale enforcement of criminal laws.”

The union asserted that Gascón’s prohibition on enhancements for prior strikes violates the state’s three-strikes law, which in the union’s view, requires prosecutors to seek longer sentences for defendants with previous convictions.

The union also contended that Gascón, a local executive branch official, is encroaching on the authority of the courts in ordering his deputies to move to withdraw enhancements allegations. If a judge refuses those motions, as several have in recent weeks, line prosecutors have been instructed to file new charging documents without the enhancements.

In doing so, the union argued that the district attorney’s office is making an end-run around the court’s authority. Gascón did not end all sentencing enhancements and his plan to do so along with other elements of his progressive agenda, have been met with immediate resistance.

In a statement provided to The Daily Wire, Gascón  said:

“Data shows these harsh tactics compromise our community’s long-term health and safety, create more hardened criminals and victims, and therefore are not in the interests of justice. After a summer of unrest, Los Angeles County voters embraced this new, modern approach.”

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He added:

“The will of the voters must not be mistaken as a commentary on the hundreds of Deputy DAs who labor, day in and day out, to protect the public. They are public servants who have earned our utmost respect and gratitude.”

He continued:

“They certainly have mine and a sincere invitation to join me in making these much-needed changes. As we’ve seen in recent weeks, this new approach will take some fine-tuning and a tolerance for chance. I invite open and respectful debate based on facts, however, the people have spoken, the direction is clear and in the end, we all want the same things..safety and equal justice under the law.”

óóThe ADDA a court order that would compel Gascón to rescind the directives and declare them “invalid and illegal,” as well as a temporary restraining order that would bar Gascón and his administration from enforcing the directives.

On December 30th, a judge denied the temporary restraining order that was requested in the suit. This is not the same as dismissing a case. A judge instructed Gascón’s lawyers to submit written arguments for why he should not be enjoined from enforcing the contested directives and set a hearing on the issue for February 2nd. Gascón has until January 15th to file papers supporting his position. 

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