Category Archives: LAPD

News About My CPRA Suit Against The City Of Los Angeles Concerning Emails Between CD1 And LAPD — The City Has Abandoned Its Exemption Claims And Provided More Than 200 Pages Of Records — Which Is Good News On The Prevailing Party Front — And At Least One Of The Newly Released Emails Is Exceedingly Important — Not To Mention Appalling — Shows Gil Cedillo’s Deputy District Director Jose Rodriguez Calling In A Homeless Encampment Sweep — In February 2019 — At The Explicit Behest Of Sociopathic Developer Trammell Crow — Because The Mere Presence Of Displaceable Homeless Human Beings Was Interfering With A Project Schedule — Senior Vice President And Failed Screen Actor Alex Valente Has A Lot To Answer For — As Does Gil Freaking Cedillo — And Jose Rodriguez — And Everyone Else Involved In This Abuse Of Municipal Power

There are two parts to today’s story. First, recall that last month I was forced by the arbitrary, pointless, and utterly inscrutable intransigence of Gil Cedillo‘s Senior Policy Deputy Mel Ilomin to file yet another writ petition against the City of Los Angeles seeking to enforce compliance with the California Public Records Act. And I have some excellent news about this, which is that yesterday the City completely abandoned its indefensible exemption claims and produced more than 200 pages of material responsive to the request at issue. It came to me in two PDFs, which you can get copies of here:

CPRA emails part 1.pdf

CPRA emails part 2.pdf

You might recall that Ilomin, completely backstopped by ought-to-know-better Deputy City Attorney Strefan Fauble, had claimed that every single one of these emails was exempt due to that putative deliberative process nonsense that the City of Los Angeles loves so well. And I won’t belabor the details, but if you read through the yield, you’ll see that this exemption claim was entirely unfounded, indefensible, just utter nonsense. For instance, a nontrivial number of these emails are widely published announcements that there will be mobile showers available on various dates at Lincoln Park which, whatever the hell they may be, aren’t exempt from production under any theory acceptable to even the marginally sane.

And there’s some other reasonably interesting material in there, about some of which I might write at some point. But there is also one exceedingly important record, which is this February 2019 email conversation between Cedillo’s Deputy District Director Jose Rodriguez and a long list of LAPD officers, LAHSA staffers, and others, scheduling a sweep of homeless encampments along Llewellyn Street in Chinatown for the explicitly stated reason that they were impeding construction on a huge housing development owned by the Trammell Crow Company, done at the request of Trammell Crow’s senior vice president Alex Valente.

Now, you might recall an instance where an encampment was swept for no better reason than that Eric Garcetti was making a political appearance in the area later. This incident was reported in the Los Angeles Times and evoked the following quasi-denial from Garcetti’s spokesman Alex Comisar, who said it did “not reflect the mayor’s approach to interacting with Angelenos experiencing homelessness.” And this same tired implausible story of utter compassion is told by everyone involved with homelessness no matter how messed up their motives actually are. Our City officials, just ask them, do not use the vast municipal power entrusted to them to fuck up the lives of the unhoused for petty stupid venal purposes.

Even, no doubt, Gil Cedillo will tell you what a goddamned humanitarian he is on these lines. And yet when we look at what he does, what they all do, well, here is Cedillo’s staff arranging for homeless human beings to be displaced from their community just because some sociopathic zillionaire didn’t want his damned construction project to be held up. And the sweep did take place. In fact, on the very next day, February 26, 2019, as reported by Joanna Swan on Twitter, because that’s where the City’s priorities are, what their actions are, no matter what their empty words might suggest. Read a transcription below, and if you haven’t done so already, look into Services Not Sweeps.
Continue reading News About My CPRA Suit Against The City Of Los Angeles Concerning Emails Between CD1 And LAPD — The City Has Abandoned Its Exemption Claims And Provided More Than 200 Pages Of Records — Which Is Good News On The Prevailing Party Front — And At Least One Of The Newly Released Emails Is Exceedingly Important — Not To Mention Appalling — Shows Gil Cedillo’s Deputy District Director Jose Rodriguez Calling In A Homeless Encampment Sweep — In February 2019 — At The Explicit Behest Of Sociopathic Developer Trammell Crow — Because The Mere Presence Of Displaceable Homeless Human Beings Was Interfering With A Project Schedule — Senior Vice President And Failed Screen Actor Alex Valente Has A Lot To Answer For — As Does Gil Freaking Cedillo — And Jose Rodriguez — And Everyone Else Involved In This Abuse Of Municipal Power

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Ten Years Of LAPD Directives Regarding Cooperation With ICE — There Have Been Four Versions Of The Rules Since 2009 — But As Of October 2018 There Are Still Specified Circumstances Under Which They Will Still Honor ICE Detainer Requests — And Hold People So That ICE Can Take Custody Of Them

I recently published a set of notices issued by the LAPD Chief of Detectives over the years. There’s a lot of interesting stuff in there, including the records on which this story is based. Today we have a set of four notices, the earliest from 2009, explaining how LAPD is to interact with Immigration and Customs Enforcement with respect to undocumented prisoners in the context of Darryl Gates’s famous Special Order 40, which forbade officers from questioning anyone with the sole purpose of determining their immigration status. Here are links to the four notices, each of which is superseded by the subsequent one:

CoD Notice 8.4 — July 1, 2009
CoD Notice 1.8 — December 21, 2016
CoD Notice 1.8 — May 17, 2017
CoD Notice 1.8 — October 12, 2018

This recent flurry of revisions was required by the California TRUST Act, signed into law in October 2013 which, according to the LA Times, “prohibits state and local law enforcement from holding people longer than 48 hours for federal immigration agents — unless they’ve been convicted of certain crimes, most of them serious or violent.” These directives codify how this requirement is to be implemented by actual LAPD officers with respect to actual prisoners.

The detailed rules explain when they’re allowed to look up immigration status information, what kinds of information they’re allowed to act on, how they’re allowed to act based on the information, under what circumstances LAPD will hold prisoners for transfer to ICE, and so on. The rules are technical and I am in no way qualified to interpret, explain, or even opine on their meaning, but these rules are so important and so timely that it’s clearly necessary to publish them anyway. I know there are people out there who need this information.

There’s a transcription of the most recent one, which explains LAPD’s current policy, below. I will say in closing, though, that given the nightmarish conditions, the sexual torture, the murder, going on in ICE’s concentration camps, I cannot actually imagine any circumstances whatsoever in which LAPD, or anyone, ought to turn anyone over to them, no matter how terrible their crimes, and the list of crimes for which they can be turned over includes forgery and suborning perjury and things on that level, none of which are worth putting someone in Dachau over.1 It is clearly time for a fifth revision of this policy.
Continue reading Ten Years Of LAPD Directives Regarding Cooperation With ICE — There Have Been Four Versions Of The Rules Since 2009 — But As Of October 2018 There Are Still Specified Circumstances Under Which They Will Still Honor ICE Detainer Requests — And Hold People So That ICE Can Take Custody Of Them

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In The Wake Of Federal Lawsuits Against The City Of Los Angeles For Its Outrageous Unsupportable Illegal Pretextual Arrests At 2014 Protests Over The Murder Of Michael Brown City Attorney Mike Feuer Issued Detailed Confidential Case Filing Guidelines Explaining Precisely Which Crimes To Arrest Protesters For — And Exactly What Information Had To Be In The Police Reports In Order To Prosecute Successfully — Which Looks To The Even Mildly Cynical Eye As A List Of Suggested Lies For The Cops To Include — And Here — Friends — Is A Copy Of Feuer’s Confidential Report — All Eighteen Pages Of It — And Special Bonus! — LAPD Enforcement Guidelines For LAMC 55.07 — Which Regulates How Big Your Signs Can Be At Protests And Forbids Glass Bottles — Among Other Things

In 2014 a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri murdered Michael Brown. On November 24, 2014 a grand jury announced its decision not to indict the officer and, in response, civil unrest broke out across the United States, including in Los Angeles, where hundreds of protesters were arrested by the LAPD. And it’ll be no surprise to anyone paying attention that the police here used illegal tactics, arrested people who weren’t breaking the law, and so on.

These allegations were the subject of at least three federal civil rights suits against the City. One by Charmaine Chua, filed in January 2016, was eventually certified as a class action, and seems poised to settle fairly soon. Another, by Patti Beers and others, seems to have settled already. The third, filed by Girmay Amha, has particularly vivid descriptions of LAPD misconduct, and it’s really worth your time to read to find out exactly the kind of crap the cops pulled.

So evidently, and this is supported by the fact that none of these cases seem likely to go to trial and the fact that evidently few if any of the arrestees were ever charged, the City realized that they had incurred significant liability due to LAPD misconduct. In defending the City against these multiple suits, and also having been involved in the decisions not to charge most or all of the protesters, the City Attorney’s office would have had to had a deep look into LAPD’s arrest policies at protests.

The lack of charges certainly suggests that they didn’t like what they found. It’s possible, therefore, although I don’t (yet) have direct proof, that LAPD behavior at the Michael Brown protests was the cause of the fact that in October 2017 Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer released an extensive and detailed set of filing guidelines related to arrests made at protests. I recently obtained a copy of this putatively confidential document, you can get your own copy here, and there’s a transcription below.1

This remarkable document lists 16 distinct violations that the City Attorney recommends LAPD arrest protesters for. It includes “evidentiary recommendations” for each crime, which read like nothing more than winking advice to police about what kinds of things they have to make up in order to avoid future debacles. There are also notes to filing deputies city attorneys for some of the violations. In all it’s a technical but absolutely fascinating document, and surely the time spent reading it will be repaid manyfold.

And included in the same document release from which I obtained this record, there was also this other notice from the Chief of Detectives, entitled “Enforcement Guidelines for Violations of LAMC §55.07.” This law regulates what kinds of items are forbidden to possess at protests, like sign poles that are too thick, or sharpened, and so on. It breaks down the division of responsibilities among different command levels for arresting people for violations, and includes a copy of the mandatory warning, in both English and Spanish, which must be read by officers before they start arresting people for violations. Very, very interesting stuff.
Continue reading In The Wake Of Federal Lawsuits Against The City Of Los Angeles For Its Outrageous Unsupportable Illegal Pretextual Arrests At 2014 Protests Over The Murder Of Michael Brown City Attorney Mike Feuer Issued Detailed Confidential Case Filing Guidelines Explaining Precisely Which Crimes To Arrest Protesters For — And Exactly What Information Had To Be In The Police Reports In Order To Prosecute Successfully — Which Looks To The Even Mildly Cynical Eye As A List Of Suggested Lies For The Cops To Include — And Here — Friends — Is A Copy Of Feuer’s Confidential Report — All Eighteen Pages Of It — And Special Bonus! — LAPD Enforcement Guidelines For LAMC 55.07 — Which Regulates How Big Your Signs Can Be At Protests And Forbids Glass Bottles — Among Other Things

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Hollywood LAPD Captain-To-The-Freaking-Stars Cory Palka Uses A Personal Email Address For Official Department Business — cpalka@me.com — Here Are A Bunch Of Emails From That Account — How He Got A Blue Check For His Twitter — Police Protective League Collective Bargaining Demands — His Notes From A Workshop By Cop Cult Leader Dave Anderson — FBI Security Notes On 2018 Oscars — Which Comes With A Freaking “Intelligence Products Customer Satisfaction Survey” — I Swear I Am Not Making That Up — Notes On How To Spin Drop In Hollywood Hills Burglary Arrests — Blame Homeless Encampments Of Course — Oh! — And A Cory Palka Trivia Quiz! — Twenty-Two Pages Of It!

One of my long-running projects is identifying Los Angeles City officials who’re using private email accounts to conduct public business and, per the transcendentally monumental 2017 opinion in City of San Jose v. Superior Court, obtaining copies via the California Public Records Act. So far I’ve learned that Mitch O’Farrell does this, as do both David Ryu and Gil Cedillo as well. I also have some suggestive but not conclusory evidence that Eric Garcetti uses ericgarcetti@gmail.com for public business, and I am continuing to investigate.

And today I have another account to reveal, along with a set of emails. The account is cpalka@me.com, belonging to LAPD Hollywood Division Captain Cory Palka, famous for, among other things, following any number of white nationalists and Trumpistas with his blue-checked LAPD Twitter as well as sharing a warped racist sense of humor with a bunch of white supremacist BIDdies. You can browse and download the release on Archive.Org and read on for some selected gems!
Continue reading Hollywood LAPD Captain-To-The-Freaking-Stars Cory Palka Uses A Personal Email Address For Official Department Business — cpalka@me.com — Here Are A Bunch Of Emails From That Account — How He Got A Blue Check For His Twitter — Police Protective League Collective Bargaining Demands — His Notes From A Workshop By Cop Cult Leader Dave Anderson — FBI Security Notes On 2018 Oscars — Which Comes With A Freaking “Intelligence Products Customer Satisfaction Survey” — I Swear I Am Not Making That Up — Notes On How To Spin Drop In Hollywood Hills Burglary Arrests — Blame Homeless Encampments Of Course — Oh! — And A Cory Palka Trivia Quiz! — Twenty-Two Pages Of It!

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The City Of Pomona Has No Memorandums Of Understanding With College Law Enforcement — So Not Only Is The Agreement Between The City Of Los Angeles And The University Of Southern California Anomalous Among Such Agreements — Such Agreements Don’t Necessarily Even Have To Exist — All Of Which Means That The City Of Los Angeles Made And Is Making A Conscious — And Explicit — And Entirely Optional — Decision To Allow USC To Arrest People Far Away From Its Campus — And To Continue To Do So Even In The Face Of Evidence Of Its Racist Practices

Here’s another update on my ongoing attempt to understand why alone of all private college security forces in Los Angeles the Department of Public Safety of the University of Southern California is allowed by the Los Angeles Police Department to operate not just off campus but up to a mile off campus.

And they do in fact operate far, far off campus. They detain and handcuff people for unexplained reasons that can’t possibly have anything to do with their university. It’s a travesty and a shame. And it turns out that they are the only private college in the City of Los Angeles that’s allowed by the LAPD to do this.1 This kind of behavior is authorized by a memorandum of understanding between USC and the City of Los Angeles.

And as part of my attempt to understand what’s going on with this, I’ve been looking at law enforcement agencies around Los Angeles County and various MOUs they maintain with colleges. And, at least on the evidence of the LA County Sheriff, which only has one innocuous MOU with BIOLA University and on the evidence of the City of Pasadena which has only three, none of them allowing off-campus operations, it’s becoming clear that the relationship between USC and the City of Los Angeles is really, really unusual, at least in this county.

The latest piece of evidence comes to us from the fair City of Pomona, about which I know very little other than the clearly important facts that it’s somewhere east of here and that it’s got a freeway and a bunch of colleges named after it. Oh, and it maintains its own police department rather than contracting with the LA County Sheriff.
Continue reading The City Of Pomona Has No Memorandums Of Understanding With College Law Enforcement — So Not Only Is The Agreement Between The City Of Los Angeles And The University Of Southern California Anomalous Among Such Agreements — Such Agreements Don’t Necessarily Even Have To Exist — All Of Which Means That The City Of Los Angeles Made And Is Making A Conscious — And Explicit — And Entirely Optional — Decision To Allow USC To Arrest People Far Away From Its Campus — And To Continue To Do So Even In The Face Of Evidence Of Its Racist Practices

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Pasadena Police Have Three Memorandums Of Understanding With Local Colleges — Pasadena Community College — Art Center College Of Design — And Of Course Cal Tech — And Not A Single One Of Them Allows The College Cops To Operate Off Campus — It’s Actually The Opposite Here — Each Of These Agreements Lists Crimes That The Pasadena PD will Handle Even On Campus — It’s Beginning To Appear That USC Is Unique Not Only In The City Of LA But In The Whole Region — As Before Though If It’s Not Required To Let Them Operate Off Campus Then At Least There’s Some Hope — However Small — Of Changing Things

This is just a quick update on my ongoing attempt to understand why alone of all private college security forces in Los Angeles the Department of Public Safety of the University of Southern California is allowed by the Los Angeles Police Department to operate not just off campus but up to a mile off campus.

And they do in fact operate far, far off campus. They detain and handcuff people for unexplained reasons that can’t possibly have anything to do with their university. It’s a travesty and a shame. And it turns out that they are the only private college in the City of Los Angeles that’s allowed by the LAPD to do this.

Not only that but it’s beginning to appear that police in other jurisdictions really, really don’t allow this kind of thing at all. I learned recently that the LA County Sheriff has only one memorandum of understanding with any college in its jurisdiction and it explicitly does not allow them to operate off campus.

And today I received three MOUs from the Pasadena Police Department, none of which allow campus security to operate off campus. In fact, the central point of all three of these agreements is to lay out precisely which on-campus crimes will be handled by the PPD and which by campus security.

There is a great deal of detail on sexual assault and rape because colleges are bound by various federal laws to handle such crimes in very particular ways, but the explicit assumption in every case is that campus security will operate only on campus.

Here are links to them, and they’re not that interesting. But then, why should they be? There’s a transcription of the one from Cal Tech after the break, and my investigations continue.

Continue reading Pasadena Police Have Three Memorandums Of Understanding With Local Colleges — Pasadena Community College — Art Center College Of Design — And Of Course Cal Tech — And Not A Single One Of Them Allows The College Cops To Operate Off Campus — It’s Actually The Opposite Here — Each Of These Agreements Lists Crimes That The Pasadena PD will Handle Even On Campus — It’s Beginning To Appear That USC Is Unique Not Only In The City Of LA But In The Whole Region — As Before Though If It’s Not Required To Let Them Operate Off Campus Then At Least There’s Some Hope — However Small — Of Changing Things

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University Of Southern California Private Police — Are Alone Among Private College Cops In Los Angeles — In Being Allowed By The LAPD To Act As Peace Officers — And To Operate Up To A Mile Off Campus — Not Even Los Angeles Community College Cops Can Operate Off Campus — UCLA And Cal State Cops Can — But That’s Required By State Law — So Is Not Due To LAPD’s Choice — Why Does The LAPD Allow This — Especially Given The Well-Documented Abuses Of Police Power By USC Cops — Or Perhaps I Have Answered My Own Question There

As you may know, the Department of Public Safety of the University of Southern California,1 operating under a memorandum of understanding with the Los Angeles Police Department, is permitted to operate on public streets up to a mile from campus as limited-power peace officers. And as you might well imagine, they’re not using this power for socially beneficial purposes.

Their racist policies includes stops, detentions, handcuffs, interrogations of people on public streets without even a pretense that the safety of their students or their campus itself is directly involved. The racism is so blatant, so very on display, that Marqueece Harris-Dawson, an African American member of the Los Angeles City Council, has admitted that DPS even racially profiles him.

The State of California authorizes security guards working for private colleges to act as peace officers, which is legalese for having the power to arrest and probably some other stuff besides, via the Penal Code at §830.75. In order for this possibility to take effect it’s necessary for the college and the City to have a memorandum of understanding.

The law states that college security is allowed to operate within a mile of campus, but it’s not clear to me at all whether it’s mandatory that they be allowed to do so or whether their operational area can be set in the MOU. As part of my attempt to understand this and related questions about USC I’ve been collecting MOUs between various law enforcement agencies and local colleges.

I recently got a bunch of them, which you can browse here on Archive.org. They prove that USC is the only private college to which LAPD grants off-campus operating authority. Furthermore, it’s the only college in Los Angeles, public or private, to which LAPD grants off-campus operating authority voluntarily. Turn the page for links to these MOUs and more detail on what they allow.
Continue reading University Of Southern California Private Police — Are Alone Among Private College Cops In Los Angeles — In Being Allowed By The LAPD To Act As Peace Officers — And To Operate Up To A Mile Off Campus — Not Even Los Angeles Community College Cops Can Operate Off Campus — UCLA And Cal State Cops Can — But That’s Required By State Law — So Is Not Due To LAPD’s Choice — Why Does The LAPD Allow This — Especially Given The Well-Documented Abuses Of Police Power By USC Cops — Or Perhaps I Have Answered My Own Question There

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The Los Angeles County Sheriff Has Exactly One Memorandum Of Understanding With An Institution Of Higher Learning — Granting Their Security Guards Limited Police Powers — With BIOLA University — And It Explicitly States That They Are Not Allowed To Operate Off-Campus — Contrast This With The LAPD/USC Agreement — Which Allows Them To Arrest People As Much As A Mile Away From Their Borders — What The Hell, LAPD?!

The California Penal Code at §830.75 allows law enforcement agencies to grant limited police powers to university security guards by means of a memorandum of understanding. This document lays out the limits on these extraordinary powers.

The University of Southern California very famously operates a racist paramilitary police force that the LAPD has granted the power to operate and even to arrest people as much as a mile from the campus. This arrangement has far-reaching and pernicious consequences, and I’m spending some time investigating it.

One of the questions I’m looking into is whether off-campus operations are a standard concession in such agreements. To do this I’m working on getting copies of MOUs that other local law enforcement agencies have with universities. As will all CPRA-based investigations the going is really slow, but this morning I did receive some interesting material from the Los Angeles County Sheriff.

They told me that they have only one such MOU, with BIOLA University. Here’s a copy of it. And, importantly, this agreement explicitly limits BIOLA campus security to on-campus operations. They have no powers at all, let alone arrest powers, off campus.

So far, then, I have two of these MOUs. One allows wide-ranging operations on public streets. The other explicitly forbids this. It’s not enough data to draw any conclusions, but, as always, stay tuned! And turn the page for some transcribed selections from the BIOLA MOU.
Continue reading The Los Angeles County Sheriff Has Exactly One Memorandum Of Understanding With An Institution Of Higher Learning — Granting Their Security Guards Limited Police Powers — With BIOLA University — And It Explicitly States That They Are Not Allowed To Operate Off-Campus — Contrast This With The LAPD/USC Agreement — Which Allows Them To Arrest People As Much As A Mile Away From Their Borders — What The Hell, LAPD?!

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We Learned Recently That Various LAPD Officers Have Been Helping Venice Housedwellers Store Their Illegal Bulky Items Planters On The Public Sidewalk — But Police Are Supposed To Enforce The Law — Not Help A Bunch Of Persons Temporarily Experiencing Housedwellingness To Violate It — So I Turned Them All In To Internal Affairs — And You Can Read The Complaint Right Here!

Recently I obtained some emails which proved that the Los Angeles Police Department was complicit in the placement of illegal anti-homeless planters in Venice. Officers coordinated with local housedwellers to remove homeless encampments in order to facilitate planter installation. You can read that story here.

The planters are illegal for a number of reasons, but two interesting laws being violated in this context are LAMC 56.11 and LAMC 56.12. LAMC 56.11 is, of course, the famous anti-homeless ordinance banning the storage of so-called bulky items on public sidewalks. The other section, LAMC 56.12, requires property owners or other people in control of property1 to keep adjacent sidewalks free of unpermitted obstructions.

Not only that, but LAMC 11.00(m) states that “[e]very violation of this Code is punishable as a misdemeanor unless provision is otherwise made…” It turns out that LAMC 56.11 does make another provision, so that violation of that section isn’t a misdemeanor, but this isn’t the case with 56.12. If a property owner allows unpermitted planters to stay on the sidewalk they’re committing a misdemeanor.

And thus when the police ask homeless people to move so that unpermitted planters can be placed, or even when they hang around watching while Sanitation destroys encampments so that unpermitted planters can be placed, they’re facilitating the commission of a whole series of misdemeanors by the people who own or control the property adjacent to the planters.

And it’s even worse than that. LAMC 11.00(j) declares that “[w]henever in this Code any act or omission is made unlawful it shall include causing, permitting, aiding, abetting, suffering or concealing the fact of the act or omission.” That is, not only does LAMC 56.12 forbid property owners from leaving the planters in place, it actually forbids any person from “permitting, aiding, abetting, [or] suffering” the planters to remain.

So when the police do nothing about the planters, they’re actually violating LAMC 56.12 themselves. And per 11.00(m) this violation is a misdemeanor. So it’s really much worse than it would be if LAPD officers were merely complicit in other people’s violations of the law, which is already intolerable. They are themselves violating the law.

It is intolerable to have police, given extraordinary powers up to and including the power of killing people in the service of their goals, violating the very laws they’re sworn to enforce. So I wrote this complaint against all the police I know to be involved and sent it to LAPD Internal Affairs, asking them to investigate the officers and punish them if appropriate. Turn the page for some transcribed selections and stay tuned for updates!
Continue reading We Learned Recently That Various LAPD Officers Have Been Helping Venice Housedwellers Store Their Illegal Bulky Items Planters On The Public Sidewalk — But Police Are Supposed To Enforce The Law — Not Help A Bunch Of Persons Temporarily Experiencing Housedwellingness To Violate It — So I Turned Them All In To Internal Affairs — And You Can Read The Complaint Right Here!

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Presenting Copies Of LAPD Social Media Policies And Guidelines — Including Comprehensive Handbook Promulgated In 2015 By Charlie Beck — Explaining How To Use Social Media In Investigations — Fictitious Online Personas On Social Media — Community Relations — And So On — Also Info From LAPD Labor Relations Unit — On How Cops Comport Themselves At Labor Actions — Like They Evidently Videotape Them And Use A Decibel Meter To Prove Code Violations — But They Also Deny Videotaping Labor Actions — And More!

I’ve been looking into official City of LA uses of social media. In particular I have some interesting results on Twitter use, especially blocking behavior, by Council offices and the City Attorney and by Police Commission boss Steve Soboroff. I’m also trying to understand the City’s policies regarding social media, and I recently obtained a number of really interesting records about this from the LAPD. They are all available here on Archive.Org and there are links to the individual files below:

2012 Notice from Charlie Beck regarding LAPD use of social media — This is a very primitive first attempt at an LAPD social media policy. Beck says that they’re working on a comprehensive policy, but meanwhile he reminds everyone that “Department employees who choose to use social media sites for personal use or Department-related activities are reminded to adhere to Department policies and procedures, including but not limited to [policies on ] Conduct Unbecoming an Officer, Endorsement of Products and Services, Confidential Nature of Department Records, Reports, and Information, … and the Department’s Law Enforcement Code of Ethics.”

2015 LAPD Social Media User Guide — This is a really important item. It’s the LAPD’s comprehensive guide to social media use for official, personal, and investigative purposes. There’s a transcription of some parts of this fascinating item after the break, mostly the part on how LAPD uses fictitious online personas during investigations. This is a particularly timely issue right now as such profiles often violate terms of service, e.g. Facebook’s, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation has taken up the matter.

It also has a lot of bizarro-world examples of how cops can use social media to improve the world, e.g. “After an officer-involved shooting, the watch commander used social media to identify and dispel rumors. He/She clarified the facts by disseminating information from the press release, resulting in an increase of public support for the police department.”

2018 Chief of Detectives notice on preservation of social media accounts for investigative purposes — Exactly what it sounds like. Instructions on how to ask the service providers to preserve accounts that are evidence and, obviously, a warning that “Officers shall not login to any personal accounts to view content related to any investigation. This may inadvertently connect personal accounts to those of suspects, victims, or witnesses, or otherwise compromise sensitive investigations.”

2018 Guidance from Michel Moore on Official and Personal Social Media Accounts — Another really important item here. In particular Moore orders officers who want to create official accounts, even those personal official accounts, to get permission from the public information division (PID) first. Captains and above aren’t required to ask permission but they are required to inform the PID when they create an account and provide information about it.

Moore also gives some really thoughtful advice that, I believe, is widely ignored by his subordinates: “Employees using an official Department social media account generally should not block or mute users or followers unless failure to do so impacts public or officer safety. Absent exigent circumstances, personnel shall first consult with the PID for direction prior to blocking or muting a user participating in an official Department social media account.” There’s much more here than my summary can do justice to and you really ought to read the whole thing. There’s also a transcription of this after the break.

LAPD Labor Relations Unit discussion of social media and photography policies — I didn’t even realize that the LAPD had a Labor Relations Unit until the responsive records came in. This is a hugely document in that the LRU evidently didn’t have any actual records to hand over but they responded to the various elements of my request in writing. Agencies certainly aren’t required to do this but it’s really nice when they do.

In particular they reveal that they do actively monitor social media accounts and websites of unions, which I find a little creepy, but I suppose that as long as they stick to monitoring rather than participating and also only look at public stuff there’s not much to be done about it. It’s internally contradictory, which invites detailed further study. E.g. they both admit to videotaping labor actions and at the same time deny that they do. Turn the page for transcribed selections from this and other records discussed above.
Continue reading Presenting Copies Of LAPD Social Media Policies And Guidelines — Including Comprehensive Handbook Promulgated In 2015 By Charlie Beck — Explaining How To Use Social Media In Investigations — Fictitious Online Personas On Social Media — Community Relations — And So On — Also Info From LAPD Labor Relations Unit — On How Cops Comport Themselves At Labor Actions — Like They Evidently Videotape Them And Use A Decibel Meter To Prove Code Violations — But They Also Deny Videotaping Labor Actions — And More!

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