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Video allegedly shows 'Kony 2012's' Jason Russell naked, acting strangely

March 16, 2012 |  4:36 pm

Jason Russell
A video emerged Friday that purports to show Jason Russell, who appears in the "Kony 2012" video, during a meltdown in San Diego's Pacific Beach neighborhood that prompted police to detain him and take him to a mental health facility for observation.

The video on TMZ.com shows a naked man screaming and angrily pounding the pavement with his hands. The man's face cannot be seen, but TMZ reported that it is Russell.

San Diego Police Lt. Andra Browns told The Times that Russell was not arrested, but was taken to a hospital for observation on Thursday. Police said they found Russell in Pacific Beach, dressed in underwear. He appeared to be masturbating and to be vandalizing cars. Brown said he may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Invisible Children, a San Diego-based nonprofit that produced the viral "Kony 2012" video, confirmed the hospitalization.

Ben Keesey, the company's chief executive officer, said Russell was suffering from exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition.

"The past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday," Keesey said in a statement. "Jason's passion and his work have done so much to help so many, and we are devastated to see him dealing with this personal health issue. We will always love and support Jason, and we ask that you give his entire family privacy during this difficult time."

The "Kony 2012" video, about brutal Ugandan militia leader Joseph Kony, became an Internet sensation and has been viewed about 80 million times on YouTube.

Russell appears in the video, asking his young son: "Can I tell you the bad guy's name?"

Russell then shows him Kony's photograph and explains to viewers that the Lord's Resistance Army abducts children like him for use as sex slaves and child soldiers.

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-- Tony Perry in San Diego and Richard Winton in Los Angeles

Photo: Jason Russell in 2010. Credit: Fox 5 San Diego

L.A">http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/">L.A. NOW

Southern California -- this just in

‘Kony">http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/03/kony-2012-intoxicated-masturbating-invisible-children.html">‘Kony 2012’ co-creator found intoxicated, masturbating, police say

March 16, 2012 |  2:47 pm
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 The co-founder of Invisible Children, a San Diego-based nonprofit that produced the viral "Kony 2012"  video, was detained in Pacific Beach on Thursday night, police said.

Jason Russell appeared to be masturbating in public and vandalizing cars, San Diego police said. He may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol, police Lt. Andra Brown said.

Russell was taken to a mental health facility for observation, Brown said.

Ben Keesey, CEO of Invisible Children, released a statement saying that Russell was hospitalized and suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, and malnutrition.

"He is now receiving medical care and is focused on getting better," according to the statement. "The past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday. Jason’s passion and his work have done so much to help so many, and we are devastated to see him dealing with this personal health issue. We will always love and support Jason, and we ask that you give his entire family privacy during this difficult time."

The "Kony 2012" video, about brutal Ugandan militia leader Joseph Kony, became a viral sensation, and has been viewed about 80 million times on YouTube.

Kony's reputation was well-documented after decades of murder and plunder. He was indicted by the  International Criminal Court, and President Obama dispatched a special forces team to help catch him last year. But Kony was largely unknown to the West until last week, when the 29-minute video turned him into one of the world's best-known villains.

On the video, Russell asks his young son: "Can I tell you the bad guy's name?"

Russell then shows him Kony's photograph, and explains to viewers that the Lord's Resistance Army abducts children like him for use as sex slaves and child soldiers.

Invisible Children was founded in 2003 by three California film students moved by their experiences with the victims of war in Africa. It occupies a full floor of a San Diego high-rise where photos of child soldiers hang on the walls, along with signs that read "Remove Joseph Kony from the battlefield."

The video sparked controversy; many criticized the slick presentation for glossing over complications and overstating the current threat from Kony.

The Invisible Children's website describes Russell as a "grand storyteller and dreamer." He graduated from USC's film school with a degree in cinema production. The website lists  his admiration for  Oprah Winfrey, Bono, Steven Spielberg, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Baz Luhrmann and Dan Eldon.

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-- Tony Perry in San Diego and Richard Winton

L.A">http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/03/silverlake-man-arrested-sudan-embassy-protest.html">L.A. man arrested in protest at Sudanese Embassy

March 16, 2012 |  2:37 pm
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A Silver Lake man who runs a local anti-genocide organization was arrested and released Friday in Washington, D.C., during a protest of Sudanese government attacks in front of the country’s embassy.

Fred Kramer, executive director of Jewish World Watch in Encino, was arrested around 8 a.m. for crossing a police line and was released about four hours later, said JWW President Janice Reznik. Reznik had no additional details on Kramer’s arrest, but said he plans to fly back to Los Angeles and resume his duties as early as Friday night.

Reznik said that about 10 people were arrested for protests Friday, including actor George Clooney who had recently traveled to Sudan and later testified about violence there to the Senate.

“They’ve been planning for the last week or two,” she said of the protest. “But I don’t know if the arrest was planned.”

The organization has been trying to draw attention to what it alleges is a genocide targeted at Sudanese residents living in the Nuba Mountains region of the country. Activists say that Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir is deliberately preventing food and humanitarian aid from reaching the country’s villagers after forces bombed crop fields last summer.

Reznik said she co-founded JWW in 2004 to serve as a “post-holocaust response to genocide.” She called Kramer’s arrest an "extension" of the organization’s mission.  

“This is our passion, this is our purpose,” she said. “Whatever consequences [Kramer] suffers will always be explicable as an act of peaceful protest.

“I feel really proud of him,” she added. “I think our whole organization is.”

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Twitter.com/mattstevenslat

Councilman">http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/03/zine-orders-lafd-emergency-response-data.html">Councilman seeks fire department report on emergency response data

March 16, 2012 |  2:29 pm
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Los Angeles Fire Department ladder truck. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine introduced a motion Friday ordering the Fire Department to prepare a report on how officials have calculated its emergency response times, which have come under fire because of inaccuracies in the figures.

The motion comes amid heightened scrutiny of the agency and questions about its transparency after The Times disclosed that fire officials had for years released data to the public and city officials showing that medical rescuers were arriving at emergencies faster than they actually were. 

The agency had maintained that firefighters were on scene in less than five minutes roughly 80% of the time. The department released new statistics showing fire crews actually arrived on scene within five minutes only 64% of the time in 2008. 

DOCUMENT: City Council motion

They hit that mark even less often in the following two years, fire officials acknowledged. A 90% standard is used by departments across the country to gauge their performance in life-and-death emergencies.
Councilman Zine Orders LAFD Review
Some council members, including Zine, said they were disturbed because they relied on the inaccurate numbers to vote on budget cuts that eliminated fire engines and ambulances at about one-fifth of the city's 106 fire stations.

"The fire department has admitted that the numbers they gave us were not accurate. That's the concern," Zine told The Times. "We need to maintain public trust and confidence."

Fire Chief Brian Cummings said this week that his agency should have acknowledged sooner that it changed the way it calculated its emergency figures. But he said the department had been "consistent" because it never used old and new data together to draw comparisons.

Iraq">http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/03/police-find-evidence-of-another-shooting-in-gilroy-murder-suicide.html">Iraq War veteran may have also killed mother, police say

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