Senior officials squelched 2005 King-Harbor probe

Today, in hindsight, it seems obvious they were on the right track. But in 2005, when a pair of Los Angeles County prosecutors sought a grand jury investigation of two deaths at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, things apparently weren't so clear.

In April 2005, the prosecutors wrote a memo that given their problems in obtaining hospital records and the county coroner's removal of autopsy findings, they weren't getting anywhere in their investigation of two patient deaths at what was then known as King/Drew. The prosecutors proposed a far-reaching grand jury inquiry into the deaths, possible cover-ups of wrongdoing and allegations that the coroner's office wasn't examining deaths there adequately.

Senior officials in the D.A.'s office, however, rejected the request, because the prosecutors hadn't named a specific crime the hospital might have committed--and suggested it would be better if county leaders addressed the problem. Now, critics are wondering whether lives could have been saved by such a probe.

To get an in-depth overview of the prosecutors' allegations:
- read this piece from the Los Angeles Times

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