A dtainee sits in a holding room at the Adelanto Detention Facility, about 90 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Photo by Maya Sugarman / KPCC


Inside the Adelanto detention facility: Troubled history, vows for reform

Dorian Merina | SCPR | October 2016

California's largest privately-run immigrant detention facility – and a key holding site for immigrants from Southern California – has recorded lapses in care during a four-year period when at least three detainees have died, according to documents obtained by KPCC and interviews with former detainees and their families. "It was scary, really scary," said C. Hidalgo, a former detainee...

Read the full story

Listen to the audio story

Sherri Franklin, an urban designer and part of the Vision 20/20 Initiative, in front of the Vision Theater in Leimert Park.


Leimert Park: big changes for LA's historic heart of African American culture

Dorian Merina | SCPR | January 2015

Leimert Park has long been a cultural and artistic hub for African-Americans in Los Angeles, home to jazz clubs, cafés and art galleries. Now big changes are coming to the neighborhood – potentially risking what made it distinct, some say. "Culture, and the economy of culture and art, is a driving force here in Leimert," said Sherri Franklin, an urban designer in the area.

Read the full story

Listen to Part 1 and 2 of the audio story

A daughter embraces her mother after relatives of Alberto Hernández retrieve his body, in a rural area near Caserío el Chumpe, El Salvador. Photo by Manu Brabo / AP.


Fleeing violence in Central America, families face complex path to asylum in the U.S.

Dorian Merina | SCPR | August 2015

Violence in El Salvador is hitting levels not seen since the country's civil war in the 1980s, driving families north and across the U.S. border to seek asylum. One family's journey through the immigration courts of L.A. shows the complex – and often confounding – asylum process in one of the nation's busiest districts. "After they killed my son, our lives changed completely," said Francisca Cuchilla, 37, a mother of three.

Read the full story

Exploring the legal questions behind gang violence and asylum law

Andrea Moreno, 10, of El Segundo took a break from playing soccer outside the Rose Bowl Thursday ahead of the Mexico-Jamaica game in the Copa América.


Copa América brings global soccer giants to Southern California – here's your guide

Dorian Merina | SCPR | June 2016

For the first time, the U.S. is playing host to the Copa América Centenario soccer tournament, bringing the hemisphere's top teams – and some of the world's best players – to U.S. cities. Here's a guide to the best matches and big storylines of the summer. "What brings me out here is the passion for El Tri," said Daniel Muñoz, 42, using the nickname for the Mexican national team.

Read the full story

Listen to my interview with Take Two's A. Martínez

Charles Beatty holds an X-Ray of the bullet that is still lodged near his spine 15 years after being shot in the back by police in June 2000. Photo by Maya Sugarman / KPCC.


The last time an LAPD officer was criminally charged for a shooting was 15 years ago. Hear the story – from both men's perspectives

Dorian Merina | SCPR | November 2015

A chase, traffic ticket – and angry confrontation later, Orosco pulled his gun and fired four shots at Beatty as he drove away.
“At that point the window shattered and I saw him like slump over,” Orosco said.  “And I'm thinking, 'Oh my god, I just killed this person.' "

“I blame the people that taught him how to do this. I blame the training that he got. That's the bottom line," said Beatty.

Read and listen to the full story