A little more than two weeks ago, we reported that, despite the fact that someone, probably the HPOA, had posted a bunch of signs to the contrary, Selma Park, at the corner of Selma Avenue and Schrader Blvd., was, according to the LA City Recreation and Parks Commission, actually open to all people, including adults without children in their care. At the time he received this information from RAP, our correspondent told the commission about the signs and the arrests and asked if they could remove the signs. He never heard back, but when walking by this afternoon, he was pleased to note that the signs were gone. So, he tells us, he sat in the park for an hour reading and also took some pictures!
Now, this is a very good thing. And we look forward to many fine hours eating lunch in the park and playing checkers on the super-cool built-in tile boards on the picnic tables.
“But,” as the man said, “let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.” There are four issues left unresolved here:
First, we have people who read the signs and just believed them because they’re generally law-abiding citizens, and who would it even occur to that the signs were fake? We here at MK.org fall into this category. We never went in the park without kids, even though there were many times when we would have liked to. How can this years-long loss ever be fixed? It can’t, but it gets worse.
Second, we have people who just wanted to eat lunch in the park but were unrighteously, unceremoniously, unlawfully rousted out of the park by the BID Patrol. For instance, this guy on G+, who says:
Apparently this is a “Children Only” Park, so I’m unable to eat my lunch by myself on one of the concrete tables in the shade. There was a cop walking around kicking people out who were normal business-casual types just eating their lunches.1
And he’s not the only one. Remember, Andrews International has been kicking people out of that park on the spurious parents-and-children-only theory since at least 2008. Here are some selected examples:
- On 05-06-08, our Officers made contact with Shawn Barrett who was sleeping in Selma Park. We advised him that the park was for people with children only. Source
- On 05-20-08, Officers met Karen Samanita and Edel Velero-Vera at 6601 Selma (Selma Park). We informed them that the park was for children only and that they would have to leave. They then told the Officers that they were homeless and had no place to go. Source
- We continue to provide extra patrol at Selma Park on a daily basis. Without this effort the park would quickly become a campground as it once was. On 05-13-09, we escorted three gang members from the park. Source
- On 09-09-09, our Officers found Robert in the ‘children only’ section of Selma Park. He was warned and left the park. Source
- On 3-20-13, our Officers found Michael in Selma Park. This park is for children and parents only. Source
And on and on and on… How can this damage ever be fixed? Seven years of fake cops kicking real people out of Selma Park with no legal grounds at all? It can’t be fixed.
Third, we have people who were actually arrested for being in the park without children even though this has at no time been illegal. There are two examples in the BID Patrol reports, but there may be many more which didn’t make the monthly summaries. Our correspondent has requests out, but no results yet:
- 04-24-08, 6567 Selma, Selma Park, Trespass, Parolee, on LAPD Source
- 07-01-08, Selma Park, Trespass (Adult without child). Source
Interestingly, we guess, but irrelevant to the people wrongly arrested, trespassing in California falls under 602 PC, whereas the former signs cited 653b PC, which is a whole different offense, requiring a nearby school. For this reason our correspondent also has a public records request in with LAUSD in case Selma Avenue Elementary was in on the conspiracy. It doesn’t make A/I look too very darn professional that not only are they wrongfully arresting people, they’re wrongfully arresting them for the wrong thing. In any case, how can this be fixed? Yes, those people can be tracked down. Possibly they can even sue someone. We don’t know because we’re not lawyers. But even if they sue, and even if they win, how’s that going to change the fact that they were unjustly arrested, unjustly shackled, and unjustly hauled off by a bunch of gun-toting creeps in faux-cop uniforms? It can’t be fixed.
Finally, there are the people who were actually prosecuted after being arrested. How many of these were there? We have not yet been able to find out. If there are any, though, there’s a real mess to clean up. We’re informed by a friend, who is a lawyer, that it wouldn’t necessarily occur to even well-qualified defense attorneys to check whether the signs were fake. So if anyone was ever prosecuted for the noncrime of being in Selma Park without a child it’s pretty likely that they pled out or were convicted. What then?
Well, everybody knows that “it is the duty of the prosecutor to seek justice, not merely to convict.” We hope our local city attorneys understand this and will seek to reverse those ill-gotten convictions, if any such there be. Meanwhile, the weather is beautiful and we’ll see you in the park! Leave the nasty little kids at home to watch TV and go take a nap under the jacarandas!
- Click here for screenshot. We do hate having to link to live versions of things we don’t control and can’t reliably archive, but in this case there’s no choice.
All images ©2015 MichaelKohlhaas.org except the last one, showing the jacarandas. That’s via Wikimedia and is licensed and attributed as shown at the link.