WitnessLA a Finalist for SoCal Journalism Awards—& Also a Plot Point on Bosch!

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon

WitnessLA is a Finalist

We were very happy to learn that WitnessLA is a finalist for one of the upcoming 59th Southern California Journalism Awards sponsored by the LA Press Club.

Specifically, we are a finalist in the category of Online Investigative Journalism for our investigative series called Beating Children.

In this series of stories we broke the news of three different alleged assaults on three different teenagers who were housed in various LA County juvenile halls.

The most alarming incident was the one in which four male probation officers appeared to slug, push, and kick an unresisting teenager housed in Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar, CA, as a supervisor looked on. The slugfest was caught on video by a camera mounted in the boy’s room, and several probation sources leaked a 4:18 minute copy of the crucial part of the disturbing video to us.

Our reporting precipitated several actions on the part of the LA County Board of Supervisors and, thus far, has resulted in three criminal charges against former LA County Probation staff members. In addition, this series triggered “a “sweeping investigation” into possible physical abuse of kids in the halls in general that was announced in late March by Probation Chief Terri McDonald. When last we heard, the probe turned up seven other problematic force incidents, with addition investigations still ongoing.

WLA on Bosch (Very Briefly)

Acting Chief Irvin Irving is not happy to see this WLA story

On a lighter note, we were ridiculously cheered to discover that WitnessLA was an actual, no-kidding plot point in Episode 6 of Season 3 of the Amazon series Bosch—based on the books of Michael Connelly, featuring fictional LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch.

The Bosch thang will not be news to some of you. (We know this because you’ve contacted us.)

Yet, as a longtime and very ardent fan of Connelly’s writing, I have become addicted to the series as well. So, although Taylor thought this Bosch development was cool, I was likely the one who thought it was…you know…the coolest.

We were also amused and impressed by the fact that the Bosch people even employed our old style of photo scribbling on their fictional WitnessLA site.

(In the fictional world, accuracy is still important.)

Anyway, we thought you’d like to know.

LA Times reporter is aghast to find that WLA has just scooped him on a story.


  • Celeste, your publication has earned the right to be in the running and ultimately, the winner of this prestigious award. You and your publication are 100% responsible for shining the light into the cockroach infested LASD. While other so called media outlets turned a blind eye to the corruption of the Baca and Tanaka LASD scandals, you investigated and factually reported what other would not. Without WLA, LASD would still have the likes of Baca and Tanaka riding dirty on the good men and women of a once proud organization. Although not much has changed since Buckles is still surrounded by executive management Tanaka holdovers, the main culprits are where they should be, The Big House. Keep doing what you are doing, Celeste. There is much more to discover and report on, but meanwhile, on behalf of the LASD Past and Present, thank you for being a journalist’s journalist. Good luck!

  • Congratulations Celeste. The cheers drown out the boos for WLA and it’s Investigative Journalism.

  • Calling it a Spade, 100% responsible? Not even close man but she wrote more on it than anyone else. I found out more about all the players and the ins and outs of LASD from the Deps posting here, not Celeste. Not saying her and her staff doesn’t do good work (though they forgot all about their positive police stories) but you’re just a bit off imho.

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