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Happy Nearly 2021!… And a Request From WitnessLA

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon

These last twelve months have given us all a year like no other — in Los Angeles and in the nation.

So, before we leave 2020 behind, we want to quickly remind you — and ourselves — of some of the stories that made up WitnessLA’s year of reporting.

This year, we broke the news that a teenage boy was forced to take estrogen against his will, and without his parents’ knowledge, as a form of “treatment,” inside one of LA’s juvenile halls — with horrific results.

We also revealed LA County Probation ignored a judge’s order, and thus failed to protect a 14-year-old boy from a vicious assault during the evacuation from 2019’s Sylmar fire.

There was WitnessLA’s devastating investigation by reporter L.J. Williamson about how any attempt to report sexual harassment in LA’s DA office means certain retaliation.

We introduced Los Angeles readers to the existence of the Executioners, a violent deputy gang operating out of the LA County Sheriff’s Compton Station.

And throughout 2020, WitnessLA focused our investigative spotlight on the relationship between COVID-19 and justice.

We tracked the virus as it exploded in our state prisons. And when no other news outlet in the state was regularly probing California’s disturbingly troubled Department of Juvenile Justice, WitnessLA continued our “DJJ Watch,” showing how a lack of appropriate precautions allowed the coronavirus to spike inside the state’s youth prison system, and more.

Also, of course, there’s our ongoing reporting on the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, our singular “Bill Watch” section, our ramped up coverage of the LA County District Attorney’s Office, and the list of important voices we brought to our readers who wrote about topics critical to all of us.

We have far more planned for 2021, but we can’t do this work alone.

So, we’re coming to you.

So here’s the deal:   If you make a donation before the end of the day today, December 31, our friends at NewsMatch will double any donations to WitnessLA — up to $1000.

We know from the feedback we get from readers how much you value our reporting. So, this year, if you are able, please turn your caring and enthusiasm into a donation — of any size — to help us continue our reporting.

You can still donate after 2020 turns into 2021.  But to double your effect, you have until midnight.

To those of you who have already donated, we appreciate your support beyond measure.

And thanks, as always, for reading WitnessLA and the California Justice Report. We feel privileged to be in your company.

So Happy New Year! Stay safe! See you in 2021!

Celeste Fremon
Founder / Editor

Taylor Walker
Assistant Editor / Editor of the California Justice Report

Top photo of June 7, 2020 march on Hollywood Blvd. by Joseph Willams from Black Lives Matter LA


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