At the July 9, 2015 Joint Security Committee meeting, BID Board member Fabio Conti, after Andrews International Security head BIDdie-boy Steve Seyler told a what-passes-for-heartwarming story about shipping some homeless lady out of state on a bus, flipped the fuck out about heavily armed and dangerous homeless people on the streets of Hollywood and how A/I ought to stop with the rapport-building, bus-ticket-buying, and donut/sandwich handing-out and start arresting all of them right now. Says Fabio: STOP BEING SO NICE TO THE HOMELESS!!! The “the purple guys” downtown “…keep the area pretty clean…” of homeless human garbage. The Hollywood BID Patrol must do the same!
Under ordinary circumstances a faux pas like Fabio’s would probably be politely overlooked but these are no ordinary times, it seems. Instead it triggered an avalanche of white-privilege-rage-ranting that derailed the meeting for what seemed like an eternity and was actually over 30 minutes of this approximately 70 minute long meeting. The asylum was so being-run-by-the-inmates that Hollywood Entertainment District BID Board President Monica Yamada, not habitually the most aware person in the room, had to shut it down. But not before the display of an unbearable montage/barrage of peel-the-face-off shots that had most of the attendees showing their true colors in a remarkably nauseating performative contradiction of Jesus’s usually on-target admonition about the truth. Mostly the truth will make you free but sometimes it just makes you sick.
For instance, usually, of course, at these meetings and in other venues, Steve rattles on about how cuddlesy-warmsy-fuzzly-wuzzly his officers are but everyone there knows that that’s just the velvet glove over the iron fucking fist and that he’s just spreading the goodwill-ambassador bullshit for the delectation and over-the-eyes-wool-pulling of the public. This much is obvious to anyone with a fraction of the sense that God gave a good God-damned goose. In this instance, though, under relentless pressure from Fabio, whose position is that “we’re to a point where, you know, we cannot be kind,” Steve was forced to admit his homeless-people-on-the-sidewalk policy out loud, in public, on camera:
“…we’re gonna start out with a nice approach, hey, please, time to get up, businesses are open, you gotta get off the sidewalk, we’re here to help you, you know, blah blah blah blah, please, please, pretty please, and then, you know, ultimately we’re going to put the cuffs on you…”
Steve’s not usually so open about the fact that all the donuts, all the sandwiches, all the heartwarming coziness, it’s all just a formality. “…ultimately we’re going to put the cuffs on you…”
The only people in the room who talked and didn’t seem insane1 were two LAPD liaison officers (whose names, unfortunately, we didn’t catch), who patiently explained to everyone that “…the sky’s not falling…” However, as long-time readers of this blog are well aware, there is very little in this world that can get the attention of a white person who’s hell-bent on confusing comfort with safety. The LAPD guys were completely ignored. Sanity will not prevail, not in this room at this time.
Watch the whole thing or read on for a partial transcription (so much craziness here that we can only cover this teensy fraction. We’ll return to the subject soon enough, though).
Fabio Conti: I have a question or a comment to make. Uhh, me and Kerry are on this, uh, board for this center, the homeless outreach [unintelligible] and we were meeting two days ago and there’s a board member who works in downtown, and he said that every time somebody in downtown area will sit down even for two minutes the purple guys they come get em up, get em out, and, you know, they keep the area pretty clean. Uh, the too-soft approach that you guys have [unintelligible] the homeless like bringing donuts and giving sandwich and like you know, being nice to them. Do we see any concrete results or do you think we should, you know, toughen up a little bit?
Steve Seyler: Well, I think we are the tough love. We, we, we offer that…we try to build a rapport, so people have a right to sleep there and we have to get em up, and it’s a computation, do you wanna get up, [unintelligible], you don’t wanna get up. So we don’t do that all the time, when we do it kinda softens the blow, and we actually do build a rapport, and that’s what we’re trying to do anyway. I’m open to that conversation, but, um…
Fabio Conti: I think we’re to a point where, you know, we cannot be kind..
Steve Seyler: But if you refuse to get up, we’re gonna ultimately arrest you, but we’re gonna…that’s not our goal. We don’t wanna arrest you. We’re gonna warn you, first we’re gonna start out with a nice approach, hey, please, time to get up, businesses are open, you gotta get off the sidewalk, we’re here to help you, you know, blah blah blah blah, please, please, pretty please, and then, you know, ultimately we’re going to put the cuffs on you and…
…[Skip ahead to here]
LAPD Officer: Yeah, I just wanna get back to my last point and then we can cut it off. To get back to what Fabio’s talking about, Sir, you don’t have to worry because most of the violent felony assaults that occur, we’re right on top of them, and between our partners at Andrews and LAPD we have, uh, I wanna say about 90% of aggravated assaults that occur in Hollywood, we arrest those people immediately, uh, between ourselves and the BIDs, so, it’s really, the sky’s not falling. I promise you it’s not. Are there people out there with knives? And dangerous weapons? Every once in a while, yeah. Do our officers get involved and use force with them and it results in serious things? Yeah, it does, but it’s very few and far between. It’s nothing like…I was a young policeman here in 2000, 2001, and you could walk up and down this Boulevard. I could buy narcotics as a UC officer, and there were people with guns, [unintelligible], and everything else, and now we’re here, it’s, it’s a beautiful place to live, and so, don’t worry…
Fabio Conti: I don’t think so. I don’t feel safe anymore. I just think that, [unintelligible] you know, homeless people coming to the door, and now I’m really, I’m afraid of them…
…[Skip ahead to here]
Fabio Conti: My bottom line is, beside all these technicalities, my suggestion to Andrews is that the donut policy is just not working. You gotta toughen up.
- There were plenty of silent people and, giving them the benefit of the doubt, we assume they’re sane.
Images of Fabio Conti, Steve Seyler, and the God-damned LA River geese are ©2015 MichaelKohlhaas.org.