Category Archives: Hollywood BID Patrol

February 2, 2017 Email From Eugene Shin Of The LA Police Commission To Nicole Shahenian Of The East Hollywood BID Confirms Continued Progress Of BID Patrol Registration Project But Leaves Unanswered Question Of Whether Or Not The EHBID Has A BID Patrol

You may recall that late last year, on the basis of my complaint to the Police Commission, the City of LA resumed enforcement of LAMC 52.34 against BID security forces.1 Since then it’s been possible to track the progress of this massive project via various CPRA requests. So in November 2016 the Police Commission informed all BIDs of the registration requirement and, at the same time, told them that their BID patrollies would be subject to arrest if they didn’t submit. In December 2017 the Police Commission told the BIDs to quit whining about it because the law is the law.

Well, just yesterday, as part of a larger release of records from the East Hollywood BID, I discovered a February 2017 email from Eugene Shin to Nicole Shahenian. Eugene Shin, as you may recall, is the Police Commission investigator that’s heading up the registration project. Nicole Shahenian is the Executive Director of the East Hollywood BID. The email confirms that not only is registration still ongoing, but that the Police Commission is pursuing it fairly aggressively. Turn the page for a transcription and some discussion.
Continue reading February 2, 2017 Email From Eugene Shin Of The LA Police Commission To Nicole Shahenian Of The East Hollywood BID Confirms Continued Progress Of BID Patrol Registration Project But Leaves Unanswered Question Of Whether Or Not The EHBID Has A BID Patrol

Email From Police Commission Definitively Confirms Ongoing Registration of BID Security, Procedure Includes Individual Background Checks of BID Patrol Officers!

BID Security has been flipping off the Los Angeles Police Commission for the last 16 years, but that is most definitely over now!
I reported a couple months ago that as a direct result of my June 2016 petition to the Police Commission, BID Security would be required to abide by LAMC 52.34 and register with the City like all other private security patrol operators must do. At that time I had only the oral assurance1 of Police Commission enforcement officer Ernesto Vicencio that this was the case.

However, just this evening, as part of ongoing production of responsive materials to my recent CPRA request to the good old Hollywood Media District BID, I received a copy of this December 1, 2016 email from Eugene Shin of the Police Commission to every freaking BID in the City telling them that yes, as a matter of fact, they do have to obey the law. He mentions that he has “received numerous emails and voicemails and I feel this is the most efficient way to answer your questions.” And I just bet the tone was not joyous and grateful!2 Anyway, it’s important to have independent written confirmation that this registration is actually going to happen. Shin also makes it clear that the registration process involves individual background checks of every BID security officer, which is absolutely fabulous news. Turn the page for excerpts if you’re PDF-averse.
Continue reading Email From Police Commission Definitively Confirms Ongoing Registration of BID Security, Procedure Includes Individual Background Checks of BID Patrol Officers!

Police Commission Investigation Into Excessive Force Allegation Against BID Patrol Concludes That “No Violations Of Law Occurred Or Other Improper Behavior” But Crucial Precedent Is Set Nevertheless

Richard Tefank, Executive Director of the LA Police Commission.
Here’s the story so far: In November 2015 the BID Patrol attacked a homeless man while in the process of arresting him. It really looks like excessive force, so, at the direction of Richard Tefank, Executive Director of the Police Commission, in September I submitted a complaint to him and also to Kerry Morrison.1 As I reported two months ago, the Police Commission agreed to investigate my complaint, and assigned it to Officer Ernesto Vicencio.

Well, just yesterday I received a letter from Richard Tefank informing me that the investigation was complete and that they had found no wrongdoing on anyone’s part.2 This is disappointing, to be sure, because, as would all sane, right-thinking individuals, I would like to see the BID Patrol jailed, fined, and shut down, and it seems really, really, really clear that those BID Patrollies are breaking the law. However, it’s not that disappointing, because a clear and transcendently important precedent has been set, which will have lasting consequences for the future of BIDs in our City.
Continue reading Police Commission Investigation Into Excessive Force Allegation Against BID Patrol Concludes That “No Violations Of Law Occurred Or Other Improper Behavior” But Crucial Precedent Is Set Nevertheless

VICTORY!! All Los Angeles BID Security Patrols To Register With Police Commission Per City Attorney, BID Patrol Excessive Force Complaint Under Investigation By LAPD; Direct Result of MK.Org Reporting!

Earlier this afternoon I spoke with Ernesto Vicencio, who is an LAPD investigator assigned to the Police Commission. He told me that the City Attorney either has sent or will soon send a letter to all Los Angeles Business Improvement Districts informing them that their security patrols are required to register with the Los Angeles Police Commission per LAMC 52.34.

This incredibly welcome development is a direct result of my discovery in the Summer of 2016 that it was likely that BID security registration had inadvertently ceased in 2000 due to an oversight. I don’t believe I mentioned it at the time, but in addition to writing a number of posts on the subject, I also sent a petition to the Police Commission asking them to look into the matter and to conclude that BID security ought in fact to register with them.

According to Officer Vicencio the City Attorney has decided to implement this request.1 This development is hugely important, not least because LAMC 52.34 requires private patrol services to have a procedure for investigating citizen complaints. It also grants the Police Commission a great deal of regulatory power over the activities of security patrols who are required to register.

Which brings us to the second stunning and absolutely unexpected thing that Officer Vicencio told me. You may recall that I recently reported on what seemed like a clear use of excessive force by members of the Andrews International Hollywood BID Patrol. Well, about three weeks ago I submitted a report on this matter to Kerry Morrison of the HPOA and also to the Police Commission, as instructed by the Commission’s executive director, Richard Tefank.

Today Vicencio told me that he is handling this matter. He has tried, without success so far, to locate the victim, and he is going to investigate further. Obviously there’s no guarantee that any of these officers will suffer any consequences,2 but again, the larger implications of the fact that they’re being investigated by the City are huge. This means that the Police Commission agrees that they have jurisdiction over citizen complaints against BID security. This changes everything.
Continue reading VICTORY!! All Los Angeles BID Security Patrols To Register With Police Commission Per City Attorney, BID Patrol Excessive Force Complaint Under Investigation By LAPD; Direct Result of MK.Org Reporting!

Evidently CD11 Staff Is Telling Concerned Constituents That BID Patrol Security Guards Cannot Touch People At All. That They Cannot Do Anything That You Or I Could Not Do. The Second Claim Unfortunately Is True. The First Is False. We Have Proof.

One of over three hundred people arrested, shackled, and physically transported by the Hollywood BID Patrol in 2015.
One of over three hundred people arrested, shackled, and physically transported by the Hollywood BID Patrol in 2015.
According to a recent post on Facebook, Mike Bonin’s Venice Field Deputy Taylor Bazley is telling concerned constituents that1 they [the BID Patrol] cannot touch people at all. He said “They can not do anything that you or I could not do. They just alert police. That’s all.”

The second claim, that BID security cannot do anything that any private person can’t do, is true, but it doesn’t make the point that Taylor Bazley wants it to make. California has one of the most weirdly expansive citizens’ arrest statutes (PC 837 et seq.) in the known universe. A lawyer of my acquaintance once said2 that it essentially authorizes fricking Batman. So actually, you yourself can physically restrain people with handcuffs if they e.g. sit on the sidewalk in your presence.3

Sorry, Taylor.  You're cute, but you're wrong.
Sorry, Taylor. You’re cute, but you’re wrong.

But Taylor Bazley’s attributed claim that BID security can’t arrest people is just wrong. The Hollywood BID Patrol, run by Andrews International Security, has made physical custodial arrests of far more than 10,000 people since they began their work here in 2007. In 2013 they made more than 1% of the arrests in the entire City of Los Angeles. You can watch videos of their arrests, read arrest reports and daily logs, and even look at photos of the people they’ve arrested:
Continue reading Evidently CD11 Staff Is Telling Concerned Constituents That BID Patrol Security Guards Cannot Touch People At All. That They Cannot Do Anything That You Or I Could Not Do. The Second Claim Unfortunately Is True. The First Is False. We Have Proof.

BID Patrol Allegedly Uses the Word “Wetback,” Offending Everybody Except Possibly Anti-Peruvian Director Carol Massie and Graffiti-Art-Haters on Staff and Board

This is not exactly like the BID Patrol.  They don't carry rifles, for one thing.
This is not exactly like the BID Patrol. They don’t carry rifles, for one thing.
We’ve been writing a lot recently on what strongly appears to be an anti-Latino attitude on the part of the two business improvement districts controlled by Kerry Morrison. The first indication of this was their freakout over the too-dark skin color of local nightclub patrons. After that it turned out that they think that official acknowledgement of Peruvian culture in Hollywood would be “amazingly inappropriate.” Also, both BIDs design their public art contests in such a way that the chance of a Latino artist being selected is significantly lowered, with both the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance and the Central Hollywood Coalition being guilty of this.

So against that background it wasn’t all too surprising to read this 2015 complaint to Kerry Morrison from an anonymous person:
Continue reading BID Patrol Allegedly Uses the Word “Wetback,” Offending Everybody Except Possibly Anti-Peruvian Director Carol Massie and Graffiti-Art-Haters on Staff and Board

How is this Even Legal? BID Patrol Attacks a Sitting Man, Forcibly Handcuffs Him, and Then, With Full Cooperation of LAPD, Arrests Him for Kicking one of Them During Putative “Arrest”

Stop resisting!  Stop resisting, dude.
Stop resisting! Stop resisting, dude.
This would be unbelievable if the whole thing weren’t captured on video. On November 23, 2015, at least four BID Patrol security guards (Mike Coogle, along with Wissman, Tizano, and Cox) confronted a man who was sitting on the sidewalk in front of the Metro Red Line station at Hollywood and Vine. They talked to him for almost four minutes, during which time he didn’t answer their questions and mostly ignored them. At 3:55 in the video one officer says to another “you want him?” The other says yes, so they grab him and push him over.
BID_patrol_attacks_02
Soon all four of them are piled on top of him and trying to put handcuffs on him. Coogle claimed that the man kicked him during this episode, and ultimately they didn’t even arrest him for violating LAMC 41.18(d). Instead they arrested him for battery for kicking Coogle. When LAPD officers Adams (#34837) and Galicia (#41404) showed up and accepted the man into custody with the approval of their supervisor, LAPD Sgt. Chuck Slater. You can read the full story in the arrest report, although it doesn’t answer the main question I have about this incident: How did the LAPD decide to arrest Jones for battery rather than the BID Patrol officers?

Now, I have heard repeatedly that these BID Patrol officers have no arrest powers beyond those that every private citizen has. Kerry Morrison has even said this to me in person while schoolmarmishly waggling her finger in my face. If this is true, and I think it probably is, then there are two possibilities. Either these BID Patrol officers are breaking the law on camera here or else it’s actually legal in the City of Los Angeles for private citizens to form up into gangs of four people, physically jump on top of anyone they see sitting on the sidewalk, and force them into handcuffs. In fact, Ms. Kerry Morrison has confessed in print to violating LAMC 41.18(d) but neither got arrested by her own BID patrol nor got jumped on and handcuffed by a gang of vigilantes.
Continue reading How is this Even Legal? BID Patrol Attacks a Sitting Man, Forcibly Handcuffs Him, and Then, With Full Cooperation of LAPD, Arrests Him for Kicking one of Them During Putative “Arrest”

Audio Recordings of Three City Council Public Safety Committee Meetings from 1999 and 2000 May Shed Further Light on BID Patrol Police Commission Registration Issues

Former Los Angeles City Council Member Laura Chick (right).
Former Los Angeles City Council Member Laura Chick (right).
Through the good graces of Los Angeles City archivist Michael Holland I recently obtained recordings of three meetings of the Public Safety Committee of the LA City Council from 1999 and 2000 at which the issue of BID Security registration with the LA Police Commission was discussed. If you’ve been following the story you’ll recall that LAMC 52.34 seems to require that BID security register with the Police Commission, and that they do not so register, and that no one seems to know why. I copied the entire Council file on the issue but the reason is still not clear. These meetings may shed some light on what’s going on. There’s a brief guide to one of them after the break.
Continue reading Audio Recordings of Three City Council Public Safety Committee Meetings from 1999 and 2000 May Shed Further Light on BID Patrol Police Commission Registration Issues

BID Patrol Officers Dennis Watkins and Steven Sewell Forcibly Removed Law-Abiding Non-Threatening Citizen From Hollywood Main Streets in 2015 Because “He Will Use the Most Vulgar Language”

"He is slight of build and not a physical threat." Then why is the BID Patrol forcing him out of public view?
“He is slight of build and not a physical threat.” Then why is the BID Patrol forcing him out of public view?
I’m searching through the 2015 BID Patrol daily logs and also the 2015 arrest reports as part of a major project I’m working on,1 and I just keep coming across more surreal and upsetting (albeit tangential) episodes. For instance, on June 25, 2015 BID Patrol gunmen Dennis Watkins (badge #104) and Steven Sewell (badge #111), whose pictures Kerry Morrison is willing to lie and to break the law in order to keep secret,2 told the following story:3

RADIO CALL: 6923 HOLLYWOOD BLVD. 415 MAN IN FRONT OF THE “METRO”. UPON ARRIVAL NUMEROUS PEOPLE WERE POINTING TO THE SUBJECT. THE SUBJECT IS “C***** B****’ A M / W / 40-45 YRS. HE IS A TRANSIENT AND CAUSES PROBLEMS WERE EVER HE MAY BE. HE HAS PERIODS OF TIME WHERE HE WILL USE THE MOST VULGAR LANGUAGE TOWARD ANYONE IN EAR SHOT. HE PULLS A CHILD TYPE WAGON WITH ALL OF HIS POSSESSIONS. THERE IS NO REASONING OR CALMING THIS INDIVIDUAL DOWN. OFFICERS HAVE TO TAKE A FIRM POSTURE AND DIRECT HIM AWAY FROM PEOPLE. OFFICERS WILL ESCORT HIM TO A SIDE STREET OR OTHER LESS TRAVELED LOCATION. HE IS SWEARING AT THE OFFICERS DURING ALL OF THIS. IT IS UNKNOWN IF HE IS UNDER A DOCTORS CARE. IT IS AMAZING THAT HE HAS NOT BEEN ASSAULTED BY OTHER CITIZENS. HE IS SLIGHT OF BUILD AND NOT A PHYSICAL THREAT.

Continue reading BID Patrol Officers Dennis Watkins and Steven Sewell Forcibly Removed Law-Abiding Non-Threatening Citizen From Hollywood Main Streets in 2015 Because “He Will Use the Most Vulgar Language”