Category Archives: Los Angeles City Government

How José Huizar Was Desperate In 2017 — Gil Cedillo Too — For Anyone — Anyone At All — To Support Demolishing Parker Center Cause Everyone — Like Everyone! — Wanted To Preserve It — So Huizar Flunkies Megan Teramoto And Ari Simon — Who Used A Secret Email Address By The Way — And Cedillo Flunky Gerald Gubatan — Ginned Up Support From A Bunch Of Little Tokyo Business And Property Owners — Coached Them In How To Comment — And The Little Tokyo-Ites Did It To Gain Huizar’s Support For Their Favored Projects — And That Is How Community Buy-In Is Bought And Sold At 200 N. Spring Street


To get some context for the events discussed herein, take a look at this excellent preservation-minded timeline.

In late 2016 the erstwhile LAPD headquarters known as Parker Center was yet again threatened with demolition.1 CD14 repster José Huizar made some pretty noises about preserving it, but really, there’s no money in that for anyone, and by January of 2017, when a crucial series of hearings began, he had thrown the full weight of his councilmanic power behind the wrecking ball.

And even though the decision on Parker Center was strictly up to the City Council, which can unilaterally override every City commission or board, and that means that the decision was strictly up to Huizar alone,2 for whatever reason Huizar apparently was reluctant to tear the building down based on nothing more than his raw desire and power to do so.

It’s hard to say why this was the case. Possibly because the Cultural Heritage Commission had taken the fairly unprecedented step of recommending Historic-Cultural Monument status on their own motion, or maybe because the mostly reliably subservient Los Angeles Times had editorialized against demolition, or possibly because phone calls to his office were disproportionately in favor of not tearing the damn building down.

In fact, according to Kristin Fukushima of the Little Tokyo Community Council quoting an unnamed Huizar staffer, CD14 had “gotten like 20 calls this am telling us to preserve it and none to demo it. Also extremely expecting like 40 ppl tomorrow to show up supporting preservation.” In a city with a functioning representative democracy we might at this point expect Huizar to change his position given that no one seemed to support him.3 But this is Los Angeles, friends, which is why instead of changing his position he did what Councilmembers always do when faced with this dilemma.

That is, he ordered his staff to go out and gin up some supporters to come give favorable comment at some meetings in favor of his already-determined position. Comments from the public in favor of whatever a given CM has already decided to do are pearls of great price at 200 N. Spring Street, the preferred medium of exchange, the Fort Knox gold that backs the currency in which political capital is measured.4 Such comments, along with letters to council files, and similar things, are collectively known as community buy-in. A Los Angeles City Councilmember can generally do whatever they want to do, but with community buy-in they can do it with impunity.5

So Huizar’s aides set out to buy some buy-in. They hit up people from business improvement districts and like-minded nonprofits, e.g. the Little Tokyo BID, the Downtown Center BID, the Little Tokyo Service Center, and the Little Tokyo Community Council. And these paid commenters6 showed up in force and did what they were expected to do. And I’ve obtained dozens of emails showing the coordination,7 the use of Gmail addresses by at least one Huizar staffer, the unexplained participation of Gil Cedillo’s planning deputy Gerald Gubatan, and the expected quid pro quo in the form of Huizar’s anticipated support for various Little-Tokyo-centric pet projects. Turn the page for links to and transcriptions of selections from these emails, arranged into an epistolary narrative!
Continue reading How José Huizar Was Desperate In 2017 — Gil Cedillo Too — For Anyone — Anyone At All — To Support Demolishing Parker Center Cause Everyone — Like Everyone! — Wanted To Preserve It — So Huizar Flunkies Megan Teramoto And Ari Simon — Who Used A Secret Email Address By The Way — And Cedillo Flunky Gerald Gubatan — Ginned Up Support From A Bunch Of Little Tokyo Business And Property Owners — Coached Them In How To Comment — And The Little Tokyo-Ites Did It To Gain Huizar’s Support For Their Favored Projects — And That Is How Community Buy-In Is Bought And Sold At 200 N. Spring Street

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This Morning In The Anti-SB1421 Petition Case Brought By The Los Angeles Police Protective League — Judge James Chalfant Ruled That The ACLU Of Southern California — Representing Valerie Rivera — Could Intervene — And So Can The First Amendment Coalition And Various Newspapers — Although In A More Limited Way — Oh, And The City Of Los Angeles Did Actually File An Opposition To The LAPPL’s Position — So That’s Good

Yesterday the First Amendment Coalition filed a request to be allowed to intervene in the reprehensible petition filed on December 31 by the reprehensible Los Angeles Police Protective League seeking to bar retroactive enforcement of the monumental SB1421, which took effect on January 1 and is meant to require the release of records relating to serious cases of police misconduct.

It turns out that, unknown to me before this morning’s hearing, the ACLU of Southern California also filed a request to be allowed to intervene. They’re representing Valerie Rivera, mother of Eric Rivera, killed by the LAPD in 2017. She requested records relating to the investigation of the officer who killed her son and was denied on the basis of the LAPPL’s restraining order.

And there was a hearing this morning on these requests before James Chalfant, so off I went downtown to the good old Stanley Mosk Courthouse to see and hear what went on. Before the hearing really got going, by the way, it came out that the City of Los Angeles has actually filed an opposition to the LAPPL’s petition, although I don’t yet have a copy. This is news because in other cases like this one the governmental agencies have not all opposed the suits. I also learned that the LAPPL’s lawyer, Richard Levine, is filing scads of these cases, county by county by county. Which is interesting and, I’m sure, worth a lot of money to him.

Anyway, after a lot of discussion Chalfant decided that the ACLU could intervene in the case but that the FAC and its gaggle of newspapers could only intervene in a limited way. This is because he found that Ms. Rivera had a more compelling interest in the outcome than did the media. The FAC and the newspapers are required to file their opposition brief jointly with the ACLU so that Chalfant doesn’t have to read too much stuff,1 and they’re not allowed to seek attorney’s fees from the LAPPL. The ACLU will be allowed to seek fees.

At first Chalfant seemed inclined to postpone the upcoming February 5 hearing,2 but ultimately he did not. And here’s a copy of the minute order detailing what went on. Turn the page for a transcription.
Continue reading This Morning In The Anti-SB1421 Petition Case Brought By The Los Angeles Police Protective League — Judge James Chalfant Ruled That The ACLU Of Southern California — Representing Valerie Rivera — Could Intervene — And So Can The First Amendment Coalition And Various Newspapers — Although In A More Limited Way — Oh, And The City Of Los Angeles Did Actually File An Opposition To The LAPPL’s Position — So That’s Good

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First Amendment Coalition Files Ex Parte Application For Leave To Intervene In Los Angeles Police Protective League Anti-SB1421 Case — Joined By The L.A. Times, The California Newspaper Publishers’ Association, And Many Other Esteemed Journalistic Groups — Hearing On This Application Tomorrow Morning At 8:30 A.M. In Dept. 85 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

Today the First Amendment Coalition and a bunch of newspapers and newspaper-adjacent organizations filed an ex parte application for leave to intervene in the appalling case initiated by the Los Angeles Police Protective League seeking to prevent California’s new police transparency law, SB1421, from applying retroactively to records of police misconduct prior to 2019. This same crapola was already tried elsewhere and decisively shot down by the California Supreme Court, but, for whatever reason, in Los Angeles County the case must go on.

FAC is seeking to intervene in the case, even though they’re not parties to it. This is evidently sometimes allowed, according to the Wiki, when “a judgment in a particular case may affect the rights of nonparties, who ideally should have the right to be heard.” Here’s the pleading filed by the FAC. It’s called an ex parte application because they’re asking the judge to decide whether they should be allowed into the case without requiring the other parties to be present at the hearing, which is tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. in Department 85 of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse.

Because they aren’t parties to the case, they have to convince the judge that the interests of justice are served by allowing them to become parties. This argument is a huge part of their filing. They also argue that neither of the actual parties to the case, the PPL and the City, have any interest in ensuring that the public has access to records. In fact, they argue, it’s possible that the City may not file a response to the petition. Also, I guess to save time, they include the briefing that they’re proposing to file if the judge allows them to. It’s a powerful piece of writing, and you can find transcribed selections after the break.
Continue reading First Amendment Coalition Files Ex Parte Application For Leave To Intervene In Los Angeles Police Protective League Anti-SB1421 Case — Joined By The L.A. Times, The California Newspaper Publishers’ Association, And Many Other Esteemed Journalistic Groups — Hearing On This Application Tomorrow Morning At 8:30 A.M. In Dept. 85 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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A Detailed Analysis Of The Cash Flowing In And Out Of Mitch O’Farrell’s Public Benefits Slush Fund — Developers Pay Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars For The Privilege Of Building Out-Of-Code Projects — O’Farrell Spends The Money On Projects That Please His Political Supporters — It Seems Unlikely That There’s Any Net Benefit To Anyone But Zillionaires — This Is No Way To Run A City

A developer wants to build a building that’s taller than the local zoning allows, or has less parking than required. Maybe there are pesky historical structures on the proposed site or the new building will attract enough additional traffic to gridlock the streets around it. There are any number of reasons why a given building might not be allowed. It’ll still get built, though.

The developer will just have to pay hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars to the appropriate councilmember to get it approved. And these payments are inextricably integrated into our City’s building approval process. One might even suspect, and not without reason, that the ultimate purpose of zoning codes in Los Angeles is to induce developers to pay for exceptions to them.

And it’s not bribery, at least not the illegal kind. The CM doesn’t get to pocket the money. Instead it goes into one of the dozens of City trust funds set up specifically for receiving such monies. Just for instance, Mitch O’Farrell, CD13 repster, has one called the “Council District 13 Public Benefits Trust Fund.” It’s authorized by the Los Angeles Administrative Code at §5.414 ” for the receipt, retention and disbursement of gifts, contributions and bequests for the support of police and community activities within Council District 13.”

The fees are imposed on developers by the City Council at the behest of the relevant CM. To see an example of how this works take a look at CF 07-1379, wherein some developers sought permission to build another mixed-use monstrosity in Hollywood, this one at 1540 N. Vine Street.1 The developers got what they came for, which was Ordinance Number 178,836, authorizing construction. And in there, buried among other conditions, will be found paragraphs 26 and 27, stating how much money they’re going to give to Mitch O’Farrell in exchange for their zoning changes:
Continue reading A Detailed Analysis Of The Cash Flowing In And Out Of Mitch O’Farrell’s Public Benefits Slush Fund — Developers Pay Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars For The Privilege Of Building Out-Of-Code Projects — O’Farrell Spends The Money On Projects That Please His Political Supporters — It Seems Unlikely That There’s Any Net Benefit To Anyone But Zillionaires — This Is No Way To Run A City

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José Huizar Files Totally Formulaic Response To Medina Complaint — Also Challenges Assigned Judge Barbara Meiers — Affirming That She Is So Biased That He “cannot, or believes that he cannot, have a fair and impartial trial or hearing before” Her! — What’s Up With That?!

Unaccountably-not-yet-resigned City Councilmember José Huizar has two lawsuits pending against him, filed by former employees. Both of them most plausibly allege at least 31 flavors of harassment, outlawry, and workplace insanity against him. One was filed by Mayra Alvarez, his former scheduler, and you can read about it here. The other, filed a week later by Pauline Medina, is discussed here.

And last week Huizar filed his response to Medina’s complaint, and I got a copy of it yesterday (and added it to my growing collection of pleadings here on Archive.Org). And it’s not that interesting. These first answers to complaints rarely are. It’s basically just a list of reasons why Huizar denies everything. In fact, the most interesting thing about it is that it’s essentially cribbed from his answer to Alvarez, filed the week before it. I suppose if he’s going to make a habit of inducing these kind of lawsuits, he might as well save money by developing a generic response form.

But that wasn’t the only thing filed last week. Huizar also filed this peremptory challenge to Judge Barbara Meiers. The California Code of Civil Procedure at §170.6(a) allows any litigant to file such a challenge to one judge per case by affirming that the judge is biased against the party. It’s not required to present evidence for this.

I’m not sure what it is that Huizar has against Meier, and there’s not much on the Internet that tends to enlighten. Meier’s reviews on the Robing Room are pretty uniformly abysmal, but that’s true for most judges, it seems, so we’re probably never going to know the facts. Turn the page to read the actual code section!
Continue reading José Huizar Files Totally Formulaic Response To Medina Complaint — Also Challenges Assigned Judge Barbara Meiers — Affirming That She Is So Biased That He “cannot, or believes that he cannot, have a fair and impartial trial or hearing before” Her! — What’s Up With That?!

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On December 31, 2018 The Los Angeles Police Protective League Asked For And Obtained A Court Order Preventing LAPD From Applying SB1421 Retroactively — Thus While The Rest Of The State Has Access To Records Of Police Misconduct Los Angeles Is Left In The Dark — At Least Until The Scheduled February 5, 2019 Hearing — City Of LA Opposition Is Due By January 22 — I Have Copies Of The LAPPL Petition — And Craig Freaking Lally’s Declaration In Support — And All Other Pleadings!

If you’re reading this blog you’re very likely aware that on January 1, 2019 the monumental SB1421 took effect, basically ending exemptions which, until now, have prevented the release of records documenting even the most extreme cases of police misconduct. Police agencies all over the state are freaking out about this, and some even asked the California Supreme Court to declare that the law didn’t reply retroactively. The justices shot down that malarkey last week, and then upped the stakes by asking to be briefed on whether the new law required the release of even more material than had been anticipated.

And thus police departments are beginning to release these records. For instance, there’s this case of an officer in Burlingame who’d been fired for offering to help a drunk driver with her charge in exchange for sex. And this newly released information evidently has the San Mateo County D.A. reconsidering his earlier decision not to criminally charge the officer. Which is how this law is supposed to work. And it seems that that’s how it is working.

Except, it turns out, in the City of Los Angeles. It doesn’t seem to have been widely reported on,1 but it seems that here, the Los Angeles Police Protective League filed an emergency petition on December 31, 2018, asking the Superior Court to stop the LAPD from applying SB1421 retroactively. And shockingly, astoundingly, appallingly, the court agreed and issued an order to that very effect, which is in effect at least until the scheduled hearing on February 5, 2019.2

The LAPPL’s whole argument seems to be that officers have made crucial career decisions relying on the privacy of the records, and that therefore it would be manifestly unfair to publish them now. For instance, according to Craig Lally in a sworn declaration, police officers often agree not to appeal findings of misconduct even though they think they’re innocent just to get things settled quickly and not disrupt operations. But, says Lally, they would never have done this had they known that the records would be published at some point.3

And apparently there’s really nothing to be done about this until the hearing. We are just not going to get these records right away. Oh, except it’s possible to read all the pleadings filed in the case. The City of Los Angeles hasn’t yet responded, but I obtained copies of everything that there is so far and published it here on Archive.Org. It’s upsetting, but it’s better to know. Turn the page for a linked list of everything and a transcription of selections from Lally’s declaration.
Continue reading On December 31, 2018 The Los Angeles Police Protective League Asked For And Obtained A Court Order Preventing LAPD From Applying SB1421 Retroactively — Thus While The Rest Of The State Has Access To Records Of Police Misconduct Los Angeles Is Left In The Dark — At Least Until The Scheduled February 5, 2019 Hearing — City Of LA Opposition Is Due By January 22 — I Have Copies Of The LAPPL Petition — And Craig Freaking Lally’s Declaration In Support — And All Other Pleadings!

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Eddie Guerra Update Finally! — He’s The Cop Who Took A Personal Check In 2016 For $400 From The Media District BID Ostensibly For Some Charity — And Then I Wrote About It In January 2017 — And Filed A Complaint With The Ethics Commission — Who Didn’t Do Anything As Usual — But Cory Palka Read That Blog Post! — And Told Now-Chief Michel Moore! — And Guerra Was Moderately Busted! — And I Just Found This Out Because It Took The LAPD Two Freaking Years To Fulfill My CPRA Request — And A Special Surprise! — Cory Palka Uses A Private Email Address To Conduct City Business!

In the Fall of 2016 LAPD officer Eddie Guerra asked the Hollywood Media District BID to give him $400 ostensibly for some charity. He asked by return email right after they thanked him for getting rid of some homeless people at their express request. Context matters, and this struck me as particularly shady, so I did three things. First, I turned Officer Guerra into the Ethics Commission for violating LAMC 49.5.5(a), which forbids misusing public power for private gain. Second, I wrote a blog post about the incident. And third, I made a request to the LAPD for more records.

And because the LAPD is slow as paint when it comes to filling CPRA requests they didn’t get back to me until two years later on December 31, 2018,1 when they sent me this little spool of puckey in response. And, as is often the case with released records, most of them are completely worthless or else I already had them. But, as is also often the case with released records, some of this material was really essential!

Just, for instance, take a look at this series of emails between Hollywood mega-muckety Cory Palka, friend of white supremacists and of scientologists, and his superior officers, including now-chief Michel Moore, wherein Palka sends links and gives credit to this very blog (!) for breaking the story of Guerra’s misfeasance and they end up recommending a 1.28, which is evidently some kind of LAPD complaint form. Michel Moore, the current chief of police, agreed and then said that “corrective action/training/counseling is warranted.”

Oh, snap, amirite?! Now that I know he reads this blog and sends links to future chiefs of police, well, next goal, get @CoryPalka to follow me on Twitter! And amazingly enough, Cowboy Cory Palka is revealed by these emails to use the private email address cpalka@me.com to conduct City business, which puts him in the august company of Mitch O’Farrell, David Ryu, Gil Cedillo, and (spoiler alert) Paul Koretz!2 You will definitely be hearing more about this, but not necessarily soon.

Anyway, turn the page for transcriptions of all the emails including, of course, Cory Palka’s suprisingly lucid summary of the situation and shout-out to your very own MK.Org!
Continue reading Eddie Guerra Update Finally! — He’s The Cop Who Took A Personal Check In 2016 For $400 From The Media District BID Ostensibly For Some Charity — And Then I Wrote About It In January 2017 — And Filed A Complaint With The Ethics Commission — Who Didn’t Do Anything As Usual — But Cory Palka Read That Blog Post! — And Told Now-Chief Michel Moore! — And Guerra Was Moderately Busted! — And I Just Found This Out Because It Took The LAPD Two Freaking Years To Fulfill My CPRA Request — And A Special Surprise! — Cory Palka Uses A Private Email Address To Conduct City Business!

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A Random Selection Of Emails Between Carl Lambert Or Mark Sokol And Various Cops Reveal Some Interesting Stuff About Venice — Lambert Divides Venice Neighborhood Council Members Into “Friendlies” And Otherwise — Sokol Arranged A Hotel Room For Officer Peggy Thusing In 2013 — The Venice BID Formation Process — Which Lambert Declared Began “Renaissance Of Venice” — Was Bankrolled By Brian Dror — Lambert Raised Money For Slavering Psychopath Mark Ryavec By Telling Homeless Horror Stories

I recently obtained a small collection of emails between Venice beat cops Kristan Delatori, Peggy Thusing, and the recently self-destructed Nicole Alberca1 and those fan favorite BIDdies Mark Sokol and Carl Lambert. You can peruse the whole set here on Archive dot Org, and in today’s post I’ll discuss a few high/low-lights!

OK, remember the Venice Neighborhood Council election in 2016? The outcome was widely interpreted by sane people as being yet another death blow administered to the longtime rotting corpse of Venice. And now, thanks to this June 2016 day-after email from Carl Lambert to undisclosed recipients including Nicole Alberca we learn that Lambert divides the winners up into friendlies and not-friendlies.

And we learn who the friendlies are! And that there is a supermajority of them! And we also learn that Carl Lambert sends late-night texts to Nicole Alberca! And they make her smile! All these Venice zillionaires and their pet cops are really far too cozy for our safety and comfort, I think.

Oh yes, of course you want to know the names! Well, the friendlies are: George Francisco, Melissa Diner, Matt Kline, Evan White, Matt Royce, Matt Shaw, Robert Thibodeau, Will Hawkins, John Reed, Steve Livigni, Sunny Bak, Cayley Lambur, Jim Murez, Michelle Meepos, and Laurie Burns. And the not friendly? They are Ira Koslow, Hugh Harrison, Ilana Marosi, Erin Darling, Colleen Saro, and Gina Maslow. Got it? And turn the page for more, more, more!
Continue reading A Random Selection Of Emails Between Carl Lambert Or Mark Sokol And Various Cops Reveal Some Interesting Stuff About Venice — Lambert Divides Venice Neighborhood Council Members Into “Friendlies” And Otherwise — Sokol Arranged A Hotel Room For Officer Peggy Thusing In 2013 — The Venice BID Formation Process — Which Lambert Declared Began “Renaissance Of Venice” — Was Bankrolled By Brian Dror — Lambert Raised Money For Slavering Psychopath Mark Ryavec By Telling Homeless Horror Stories

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José Huizar And City Of Los Angeles File Answers To Mayra Alvarez’s Complaint — Get Your Copies Here! — Also We Have A Copy Of Pauline Medina’s Complaint Against José Huizar — With Even More Stupid José Tricks!

On October 22, 2018, Mayra Alvarez, a former CD14 staffer, filed suit against her old boss José Huizar and the City Of Los Angeles, alleging that he created a bizarre, hostile, sexually threatening, and retaliatory work environment. The Times had a good article about it at the time and I published a copy of Alvarez’s complaint as well. And on December 20, 2018 Huizar and the City of Los Angeles both filed their replies to Alvarez’s petition. I finally managed to lay my hands on copies and you can get them here:

And I mean, don’t hesitate to read them, but the sad fact is that all of these petition answers are routine. Basically they all say (a) we didn’t do it but (b) if we did do it no harm was done and (c) if harm was done we’re legally not responsible but (d) if we are responsible the plaintiff brought it all on herself so we don’t owe money. It’s very ritualistic.

But tonight’s other news is not at all ritualistic. In the blinding light generated by Alvarez’s petition it’s easy to forget that she was not the only plaintiff who filed a complaint against Huizar in October. Again, David Zahniser at the Times had an excellent story on the matter, and again I have a copy of the complaint for you. This petition contains many of the same themes as Alvarez’s, but at least some very different factual allegations. Huizar again comes off as a domineering sexual aggressor as well as a petulant, vengeful, possessive, and borderline violent boss. Also newly revealed is the claim that Medina was first hired by Huizar in 2008 because she is the mother of his nephew.

Some of Medina’s allegations are familiar from Alvarez’s complaint, e.g. tension created by Huizar’s multiple affairs with his staffers, his demands for personal services, fundraising improprieties related to Bishop Salesian High, and so on. Indeed, some of the language is copied verbatim between the complaints. However, some of the allegations are quite different. Medina alleges, for instance, that Huizar routinely spent City money on family parties and other events unrelated to City business, which we didn’t see in Alvarez’s complaint.

Also, it seems that prior to August 2017 Huizar’s staffers were allowed to work from home at will, or even skip work without charging the time to vacation or sick leave. She says, though, that at that time Huizar, through his chief of staff Paul Habib, changed the policy to allow him to track the location of his current mistress.1 In particular Habib told Alvarez to quiz the staff on their intended whereabouts every morning and then send him an email telling him where they were going to be.

She also claims that through this new tracking duty and for other reasons she was forced into complicity with Huizar’s mistress’s lies to Habib about her attendance at work and that ultimately Huizar and Habib retaliated against her for complaining about these and similar matters. And, as always, turn the page for selections.
Continue reading José Huizar And City Of Los Angeles File Answers To Mayra Alvarez’s Complaint — Get Your Copies Here! — Also We Have A Copy Of Pauline Medina’s Complaint Against José Huizar — With Even More Stupid José Tricks!

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Everyone Knows That LAMC 41.18(d) Outlaws Sitting Or Lying On A Sidewalk Or Street — At Least If You’re Homeless — But Did You Know That It’s Also Illegal Even To Stand Or Walk In An Alley? — At Least If You’re Homeless — Downtown Neighborhood Prosecutor Kurt Knecht Explains The Whole Thing To The LAPD — Who Aren’t Just Abstractly Interested In Legal Principles That Can’t Be Weaponized — And Clearly This One Can

One of the most shameful sections in the entire Los Angeles Municipal Code is the reprehensible LAMC 41.18(d), which says in its sinister understated way that “No person shall sit, lie or sleep in or upon any street, sidewalk or other public way.” The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in its monumental Jones decision, has called this “one of the most restrictive municipal laws regulating public spaces in the United States” because, unlike laws passed by sane people, it doesn’t even require blocking anything for a violation. Just sitting, lying, or sleeping.1

As you can imagine if you don’t already know, this law is certainly never enforced against anyone who’s not homeless. We’ve seen, e.g., how Hurricane Kerry Morrison, killer queen of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, can confess publicly to violating it with no consequences. There are many, many such instances. But maybe you’ve noticed the loophole? You can be sure that, as many homeless people as the LAPD’s able to arrest for violating LAMC 41.18(d), there are surely far, far too many who get away unarrested because they’re standing or walking. As long, that is, as they’re not sleepwalking or sleepstanding. Then they can still be arrested.

This is an important unsolved problem in the criminalization of homelessness, at least from the point of view of the criminalizers. That is to say, how can they illegalize not just most, but actually all positions that a homeless body can be in? They have evidently had their finest legal minds working on it, and it turns out that Downtown neighborhood prosecutor Kurt Knecht, has come up with a legal theory on which homeless people can be arrested for standing or walking as well as sitting or lying as long as they’re doing it in an alley that’s open to cars. It’s only a partial solution, to be sure, but it seems to be a new addition to the criminalization toolkit.

The context is found in this September 2017 email from Knecht to LAPD captains Marc Reina and Timothy Harrelson about a homeless encampment in an alley in the 700 block of South Hill Street:2
Continue reading Everyone Knows That LAMC 41.18(d) Outlaws Sitting Or Lying On A Sidewalk Or Street — At Least If You’re Homeless — But Did You Know That It’s Also Illegal Even To Stand Or Walk In An Alley? — At Least If You’re Homeless — Downtown Neighborhood Prosecutor Kurt Knecht Explains The Whole Thing To The LAPD — Who Aren’t Just Abstractly Interested In Legal Principles That Can’t Be Weaponized — And Clearly This One Can

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