Rain-Damaged Roads Exact Toll on Car Tires, Suspensions

PALO ALTO (KPIX) — The heaviest rain may be leaving but the pain remains for drivers navigating the countless roads across the Bay Area suffering storm damage.

Heavy rains can create new potholes or exacerbate existing ones.

“I was driving down 280 and exited the freeway. Immediately, an indicator light came on in my car, ‘You have a flat tire. Pull over immediately,’” said driver April Bosworth.

Bosworth was part of a long line of customers at America’s Tires in Palo Alto where cars with damaged or flattened tires kept coming in even after the rain had tapered off.

“A lot of what we’ve worked on today is people who hit a pothole or curb,” manager Max Van Osdol said. “People can’t see it and so they run over it thinking it’s a pothole. But really there’s a three or four inch hole in the road and they run over it and it pops their tire or bends their wheel.”

Work crews across the Bay Area scrambled to fix damage to roads and highways.

In Fremont, Caltrans closed two southbound lanes of Interstate 680 to fill deep gouges in the pavement where the rain had eroded the asphalt.

And, across the bay in Mountain View, work crews quickly repaired a bone-rattling pothole that had opened on Miramonte Avenue.

Chicago Police Prepare For Jason Van Dyke Sentencing Hearing

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago police are monitoring social media to see where protests could spring up as they prepare for the sentencing hearing in the case of former police officer Jason Van Dyke and the shooting death of Laquan McDonald.

“We’ve been fighting for justice for Laquan for four years,” activist William Calloway said. “I don’t agree with the judge Stephenson’s ruling.”

“We’ll be down here tomorrow and give our message what is our response to this verdict,” activist Paul McKinley said.

A judge’s ruling Thursday arguably muted part of the chant, “16 shots and a cover-up,” which accompanied Laquan McDonald protests. The 17-year-old was shot 16 times in 2014.

Three Chicago police officers were acquitted from conspiracy charges in the aftermath Thursday.

“I think we’ve got to chant it much louder now,” Father Michael Pfleger said. “If we don’t see a strong sentencing come down tomorrow then there needs to be a massive response in this city.”

Pfleger says he and other activists are watching and waiting for the sentencing of Jason Van Dyke.

During a police meeting Thursday evening, Chicago police said they are expecting demonstrations at the courthouse, saying they are not increasing security there but are asking plain clothed officer to instead be in uniform.

“We’ll see what happens tomorrow,”  Pfleger said. “I’m looking for 60, 70, 80 years.”

Pfleger says short of that penalty a unified action needs to be taken, but he would not go into detail other than the potential length of a protest.

“I think it’s going to be more than a one day thing,” he said. “I’m a personal believer in a massive economic boycott that shuts the city down.”

Pfleger says he’s heard rumblings of students boycotting school Friday, but he’s not in favor of that if true.

CBS 2 reached out to Chicago Public Schools for comment but received no reply.

 

 

 

Three CPD Officers Cleared In Cover-Up Trial A Day Before Van Dyke Sentencing

CHICAGO (CBS) — Three Chicago police officers have been found not guilty of a cover-up in the case of the shooting death of Laquan McDonald.

The ruling came in the bench trial for former and current Chicago Police Officers David March, Joseph Walsh and Thomas Gaffney. All were acquitted of conspiracy, official misconduct and obstruction of justice in the Laquan McDonald shooting investigation.

Former Detective David March, Chicago Police Officer Thomas Gaffney and former officer Joseph Walsh appear at a pre-trial hearing at Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago on Oct. 30, 2018. Prosecutors have laid out their case against the three Chicago police officers accused of participating in a cover-up of the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald. The trial of officers charged with lying in their reports to protect Van Dyke is set to begin on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool File)

“We followed the evidence we were allowed to have at our disposal,” said Special Prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes. “We followed the evidence where it went. We believe we brought a credible case.”

Defense attorney James McKay blasted that claim.

“David March, Joseph Walsh and Thomas Gaffney are innocent men,” March’s attorney James McKay said. “They never should have been here. Ever.”

“Heart-wrenching. Heartbreaking for my family,” Walsh said as he described the impact on his life.

He and his two co-defendants were accused of trying to cover up former police officer Jason Van Dyke’s role in McDonald’s death in the days and weeks following the shooting.

CBS 2 legal analyst Irv Miller agrees with the verdict.

“I don’t believe there’s a cover-up in this particular case based upon the evidence that I’ve seen,” Miller said. “And I’ve read all the police reports, and I’ve read the indictment, and I watched the entire trial.”

“There’s a lot of people out there that aren’t buying it,” said Jeff Neslund, attorney for Laquan McDonald’s estate. “Absolutely including me because there was a cover-up from day one.”

He questions the prosecution’s handling of the case from who was charged to who took the stand.

“Officer Gaffney, I don’t understand why he was prosecuted at all,” Neslund said. “They didn’t call civilian witnesses, in my opinion, and our investigation showed that were brought to that police station, separated in different rooms, intimidated, yelled at, told to change their story.”

But Neslund and Miller agree that despite the verdict, this case is another step towards dismantling the so-called police code of silence.

“With the Van Dyke trial, the changes that are in place, I don’t think we’re going to go backwards,” Neslund said.

Miller says the verdict for the three officers has “nothing” to do with the upcoming sentencing of Van Dyke.

The president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police is applauding the verdict and commending the judge.

“Her courage should be an inspiration to other judges in high profile cases,” Kevin Graham said. “Officers spent their careers in law enforcement, and we have seen their names dragged through the mud. Trumped up case.”

Officer Thomas Gaffney’s reinstatement to the department is imminent, a CPD spokesperson confirmed.

Van Dyke’s sentencing hearing begins at 9 a.m. Friday at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.

Storm Brings High Surf to S.F. Beaches

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — Along with the recent wild weather came some wild surf along the coast. The U.S. Coast Guard has warned beachgoers to be extremely careful.

Craig Ross, commanding officer of the Golden Gate Coast Guard station, said that — while conditions are indeed dangerous — Guardsmen are ready if needed.

“The waves are pushing 20 feet offshore so operating a small boat is not the best idea,” he said.

The National Weather Service says a high surf warning is in effect until Friday evening. Experienced surfers were catching 15-foot swells that wrapped around the point at Lands End.

“Surfing in the storm is the best! I love it,” said a wave-rider named Dom Spinardi.

Mike Zane was walking his dog with an eye on the surf at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach.

“Beautiful sunny California! The waves are huge! They are mesmerizing — great to watch,” Zane said.

Colorado’s New Secretary of State Pushes For Change to Campaign Finance Laws

DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado’s new secretary of state is calling on lawmakers to change the state’s campaign finance laws. Jena Griswold went before a House committee on Thursday and presented her legislative agenda.

(credit: CBS4)

She wants lawmakers to make voter registration available at government agencies other than the DMV and Driver’s Licence offices.

Griswold is also pushing for stricter rules about disclosing campaign donations.

“In Colorado, we do a better job of tracking a $50 contribution to a candidate than we do tracking a $50,000 contribution to an independent expenditure committee, which is the Colorado version of a superPAC,” said Griswold. “We can change this.”

In addition, Griswold wants lawmakers to address nonprofits that engage in political activity, and increase transparency around lobbyists.

Judge Rules Michael Clifton, Co-Defendant Of Rene Lima-Marin, To Remain In Prison

DENVER (CBS4)– An Arapahoe County District court judge has ruled that Michael Clifton should not be released from prison. He was sentenced to 98 years behind bars in a 1998 case as the co-defendant of Rene Lima-Marin, who was accidentally released nine decades too early.

Michael Clifton (credit: CBS)

Clifton’s attorney Adam Frank argued in filings and hearings that Clifton should be released under “equal protection under the law.”

The judge disagreed saying “the factors that led to Lima-Marin’s freedom are entirely separate from those which are similar between him and the petitioner (Clifton).”

Rene Lima-Marin (credit: CBS)

Lima-Marin, in a highly publicized case, was released due to a governmental paperwork error in which his sentence was marked down in records as concurrent rather than consecutive.

After eight years in prison Lima-Marin was mistakenly released, married, had a family and led “an exemplary” life according to the judge’s order.

(credit: CBS)

Lima-Marin was re-arrested after six years when the mistake was discovered, then ultimately freed again.

Clifton has been involved in incidents in prison according to testimony, but that was not a factor in the judge’s decision. The judge found that despite both men being involved in the same video store robberies and sentenced together, their cases were not related enough for Clifton to be freed.