Category Archives: LAPD

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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Have You Been #BlockedBySteve?! — We Have The List Of Every Twitter User Blocked And/Or Muted By Los Angeles Police Commission President Steve Soboroff — If You’re Not On It Start Asking Yourself What You’re Doing Wrong!

I’ve been working on finding out precisely who the esteemed leaders of this City have blocked on Twitter. The other day I wrote about about 11 of our 15 Council Districts1 and revealed the perhaps unexpected but still somehow not that surprising fact that soon-to-be-incarcerated CD14 Councilbro Jose Huizar by far leads his council colleagues in smackblocking, with 21 users silenced by this thin-skinned fellow.

But he does not compare, not at all, not even close, to Steve Soboroff, president of the Los Angeles Police Commission. Soboroff tweets under the colorful sobriquet @SteveSoboroff and it turns out that he is blocking an astonishing one hundred and fifty six users. He’s also muting six users. There is a list, of course, of live links after the break. Are you on it? If not, why not?!

At the same time I got this essential info I also got a list of the users blocked by @lapdcommission, the official Commission account. There are eight of these, all well-known corporate accounts for whatever reason. It’s possible that all this has some actual importance as far as the First Amendment goes given a recent ruling by a federal district court that it’s unconstitutional for Donald Trump to block users.

I don’t know much about that, but I do know that this information is of great interest here in Los Angeles, where in order to maximize our chances for changing things we must know our enemies. You can look here at the actual records received in response to my CPRA request, and marvel at the crapola quality of the screenshots coming off Steve Soboroff’s phone. And turn the page for a carefully collated, checked, alphabetized, and htmlified list of the users!
Continue reading Have You Been #BlockedBySteve?! — We Have The List Of Every Twitter User Blocked And/Or Muted By Los Angeles Police Commission President Steve Soboroff — If You’re Not On It Start Asking Yourself What You’re Doing Wrong!

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In 2018 LAPD Hollywood Division Senior Lead Officer Paul Jordan Threatened A Homeless Man — Intimidated Him Into Moving To Another Neighborhood — To Please A Mob Of Angry Delusional Homeowners — Who Along With The LAPD Characteristically Think That A Bunch Of Crap They Just Made Up Is More Important Than People’s Actual Lives — And Dan Halden — Mitch O’Farrell’s Hollywood Field Flunky — And David Ryu Flunkies Catherine Landers And Rachel Fox — And Deputy City Attorney Steve Houchin — And Hollywood Division Chief Boss Cory Palka — All Of Them Read Jordan’s Account Of This Threat — And Were Silent

I just received a reasonably large set of emails from the LAPD involving Hollywood zillionaire, racist police-caller, and Hollywood Media District BIDdie Ferris Wehbe1 and LAPD Hollywood Division Senior Lead Officer Paul Jordan. I was looking for material involving the Hollywood Forever Cemetery fiasco but ended up with a bunch more evidence about what the LAPD motto means with respect to our homeless brothers and sisters when the cops think no one is watching but the hateful homedwellers to the whims of whom they’re paid to pander.

You’ll find a lot of interesting stuff in there, but the text for today’s sermon is this conversation from February and March 2018. The participants are the usual rageball gang of housedwellers, possessed with the usual heaping dose of what passes for righteous wrath among the propertied classes, Hollywood cop Jordan, and various City staffers, including Mitch O’Farrell flunky Dan Halden, a couple of jokers from CD4, deputy city attorney and, at that time, Hollywood neighborhood prosecutor Steve Houchin, and Hollywood Division Commander Cory Palka.

There’s really nothing atypical about the story. It begins, as so many of these episodes do, with an imaginary claim that things are getting worse, that the median melanin level in a previously placid caucasian paradise is rising, crime is exploding, turpitude is raining down like the mighty waters, and so on. The florid semiliteracy of this initial cri de coeur, though, is kind of unique and so is presented here with the weirdo capitalization, made-up words, and idiosyncratic spelling all intact, is not standard:

Seems Like there’s this sergeancy of Brazen Homeless youth and some older that are wondering around the De Longpre Park neighborhood looking for Crimes of Opportunity!

The fear and anger and hate escalate through familiar delusional stages albeit with uniquely weird particular details. Homeless people are shitting in the bushes! They’re naked in the driveway and showering with the hose! They’re having sex on the lawn! At eleven in the morning! The church attracts them by handing out free food! The 7-11 attracts them by selling hot food!

They’re drinking beer! They’re making people nervous! They’re setting up tents in permit parking neighborhoods, which everyone knows is not allowed!2 They don’t pay property taxes! And bills! Like normal people! We need to form armed vigilante gangs! Like we had in the good old days! Let’s have a neighborhood meeting!3

And eventually they focus their rage on one particular tent, although it’s certainly not clear that the person living there has had anything to do with the enumerated atrocities.4 And in one of the most explicitly articulate statements of official City policy towards the homeless we’re likely to see, Hollywood Division Senior Lead Officer Paul Jordan explains what happened next:

On Feb 21, 2018, at 3:46 PM, Paul P Jordan <32285@lapd.online> wrote:

Hi Judy,

I had a nice conversation with the young man inside the tent today. Needless to say, his tent is gone and he will not be returning to that location. I also went to the LGBT Center and spoke with Andrew, who is now aware of this individual, and will be spoken to by the LGBT staff. Please keep me posted if he decides to return.

PJ

And then? Well, Officer Jordan gets the immediate gush of goopy approval that such thuggie boys live for5 and the very next day David Ryu flunky Catherine Landers is back to discussing the terms of the upcoming neighborhood meeting. There’s no outrage from these City staffers, no note to Paul Jordan telling him that it’s against the law for police to go around threatening homeless people to get them to move, no nothing.

And no surprise from me, either, because I’ve just read too many emails exactly like these ones to be surprised anymore. But I’m still mad that this is the level our City government is at, that not only do they break the law and oppress the poor to placate the rich but they don’t even try to hide it. Turn the page for a transcription of the conversation.
Continue reading In 2018 LAPD Hollywood Division Senior Lead Officer Paul Jordan Threatened A Homeless Man — Intimidated Him Into Moving To Another Neighborhood — To Please A Mob Of Angry Delusional Homeowners — Who Along With The LAPD Characteristically Think That A Bunch Of Crap They Just Made Up Is More Important Than People’s Actual Lives — And Dan Halden — Mitch O’Farrell’s Hollywood Field Flunky — And David Ryu Flunkies Catherine Landers And Rachel Fox — And Deputy City Attorney Steve Houchin — And Hollywood Division Chief Boss Cory Palka — All Of Them Read Jordan’s Account Of This Threat — And Were Silent

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LAPD Produces Three Records From The Regional Public Private Infrastructure Collaboration System In Response To My CPRA Suit!

In February, my hand forced by the mindless obstructionism of the City of Los Angeles with respect to compliance with the California Public Records Act, I filed a petition asking a judge to compel them to hand over two classes of records. First were private person’s arrest forms generated in Hollywood in 2018. The point here is to be able once again to track arrests by the BID patrol after their appalling 2016 contract amendment took these records, at least for now, out of the reach of the CPRA.

The second kind of records I’m seeking in the suit are postings to the Regional Public Private Infrastructure Collaboration System, familiarly known as RPPICS. This is some kind of cop bulletin board that a lot of BIDs have access to, and the LAPD claimed that everything on the system could be withheld from me under the so-called investigative materials exemption to the CPRA, found at §6254(f).

And it’s these last ones that seem to have cracked the case. Last Thursday the City of Los Angeles, in the person of Deputy City Attorney Jonathan Bislig, sent over this letter admitting that the City possessed responsive RPPICS material that was not exempt and yet had not been produced. And they attached four pages of material, constituting three responsive records. There’s a transcription of the letter and of one of the RPPICS items after the break, and here are links to all three:

This is not only hugely important because we finally get to see some material from the hitherto top secret RPPICS, but also because the fact that the City released previously withheld material as a result of a suit means that I’m the “prevailing party” and therefore that the City has to pay my lawyer. This was held in the monumental 1991 case Belth v. Garamendi, which interpreted §6259(d) of the CPRA thus:

In this case we hold that Government Code section 6259, subdivision (d), mandates an award of court costs and reasonable attorney fees to a plaintiff who prevails in litigation filed under the California’s Public Records Act. We further hold that the plaintiff has prevailed within the meaning of the statute when he or she files an action which results in defendant releasing a copy of a previously withheld document.

This release is also hugely important because it shows really clearly that LAPD’s original denial was completely bogus. There’s nothing investigative at all about these three records. They falsely characterized them that way purely so they didn’t have to produce them, or even search for them, for that matter. It’s shameful that LAPD, and the City of Los Angeles as a whole, treats its mandated duties under the CPRA so lightly. It’s also shameful that the only means to enforce compliance is a lawsuit.

Together, these shameful facts mean that the only possible strategy is to keep suing them until they get their act together. It’s going to be expensive for taxpayers, who have to foot the City’s legal bill and also the requester’s in successful cases, but as Sigmund Freud famously said, if you don’t pay you don’t get better. More news as I have it, and turn the page for some transcriptions.
Continue reading LAPD Produces Three Records From The Regional Public Private Infrastructure Collaboration System In Response To My CPRA Suit!

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It Appears That The University Of Southern California Is In Violation Of Its Memorandum Of Understanding With LAPD — USC Police Are Required To Submit Regular Reports Describing Their Activities And Giving Various Statistics — According To LAPD Discovery In Response To A CPRA Request There Are No Reports — Given The Vast Off-Campus Area That USC Cops Cover It Is Disconcerting That There Is No Way To Know What They’re Doing — And It Is A Massive Dereliction Of LAPD’s Duty To The People Of Los Angeles That They Evidently Are Allowing USC To Shirk Its Legal Reporting Duties

So it turns out that security guards at private universities can actually be peace officers under California law if certain conditions are satisfied. This is authorized by the Penal Code at §830.75, which lists the fairly minimal conditions. They include a requirement that “[t]he institution of higher education and the appropriate local law enforcement agency have entered into a memorandum of understanding.” Once the conditions are met, the law allows the security guards to act as police officers on public property within a mile of their campus.

And the University of Southern California has taken full advantage of this opportunity, entering into the appropriate MOU with the Los Angeles Police Department so that its security guards, collectively known as the Department of Public Safety, have the arrest power and are allowed to exercise it within the boundaries of the map shown above. I obtained a copy of this MOU from LAPD under the CPRA, and it’s well worth reading.

If you’re paying attention at all you’ll have heard that this situation, with USC policing a vast off-campus area in neighborhoods whose residents are mostly poor, mostly black or brown, is intolerably abusive. Sahra Sulaiman, for one, has been writing about it for years on Streetsblog. See e.g. this 2013 overview and this more recent description of yet another appalling incident.

When the LAPD is involved in activities like this, well, it’s not so easy to stop them, but it is at least possible to use the Public Records Act to try understand what they’re up to. This is not so clearly possible with USC, since they’re a private school and not prima facie subject to the CPRA.1 But the MOU does provide for some transparency about USC operations.

In particular take a look at Article 5, which requires all kinds of reporting about police activities by USC, all of it to be submitted to LAPD.2 USC DPS is required to submit reports of significant incidents, daily reports of calls, weekly crime statistics, monthly reports of all activities pertaining to the exercise of the powers granted by the MOU, and other stuff besides.

So naturally I asked LAPD for copies of all of these reports from 2018 and 2019 under the CPRA.3 And imagine my surprise when the LAPD told me this afternoon that they didn’t have any records. They even said that they asked Southwest Division to look for them, which was the right thing to do as they’re the designated recipients under the MOU.

So if LAPD Discovery is telling the truth and no one actually has copies of all these reports that USC is supposed to submit, then USC is in violation of the MOU and they certainly ought to stop patrolling off-campus immediately and have all the powers granted to them under its terms suspended until they come back into compliance.

This isn’t just some kind of technicality, either. If USC DPS is going to operate on public property, detain and arrest citizens of Los Angeles who aren’t remotely interacting with USC property or employees, and so on, then we have a right to keep track of what exactly they’re up to. If they actually haven’t been submitting these reports, or if LAPD isn’t retaining them or is hiding them, then it’s impossible for us to understand USC’s operations on our streets, which is unacceptable.

On the other hand, obviously, it’s possible that LAPD is either lying or mistaken, either of which would be completely not at all surprising to anyone who’s dealt with them before. So I asked Southwest Division to put me in touch with whoever is their USC liason, and I asked USC senior vice something or other Todd Dickey, who signed the most recent amendment to the MOU, to please let me know what’s going on. If and when I hear back from them well, you’ll read about it here. Meanwhile, turn the page for all the transcriptions.
Continue reading It Appears That The University Of Southern California Is In Violation Of Its Memorandum Of Understanding With LAPD — USC Police Are Required To Submit Regular Reports Describing Their Activities And Giving Various Statistics — According To LAPD Discovery In Response To A CPRA Request There Are No Reports — Given The Vast Off-Campus Area That USC Cops Cover It Is Disconcerting That There Is No Way To Know What They’re Doing — And It Is A Massive Dereliction Of LAPD’s Duty To The People Of Los Angeles That They Evidently Are Allowing USC To Shirk Its Legal Reporting Duties

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52.4% Of All Arrests In The Entire City Of Los Angeles For Public Urination/Defecation From 2009 Through February 2019 Were Made In Just Six LAPD Reporting Districts In The Hollywood Entertainment District BID — Yet More Proof That Business Improvement Districts Oppress Homeless People Through Selective Enforcement — And More Proof That The Hollywood BID Patrol Is Completely Off The Chain — And Has Been Running A Private Police State For Years — With The City’s Full Blessing And Collusion Of Course

A few weeks ago I learned from some data released by the LAPD that 73% of all arrests for public marijuana use in the entire City of Los Angeles between 2016 and 2018 took place in the Hollywood Entertainment District BID.1 This is obviously a crime much more likely to be committed by homeless people, since they don’t have a private place to smoke marijuana. Here’s what I said then about the BID’s outrageous rate of arresting homeless residents:

The HPOA BID Patrol is famous for its aggressive arrest policies. In 2013 they were responsible for more than 7% of the arrests of homeless people in the entire City of Los Angeles. Their arrest rate has dropped precipitously in the last few years, but it is still unbelievably high. But since 2016 they have refused to provide data on their individual arrests in response to CPRA requests, so it hasn’t been possible to tell who they were arresting and why.2

And it turns out that LAPD will release these spreadsheets pretty quickly, and just recently they released a couple containing all arrests for violating LAMC 41.47.2, which is the public urination law. And a quick analysis reveals a very similar result. That is, there are essentially six LAPD reporting districts in the Hollywood Entertainment District BID. They are 636, 637, 645, 646, 647, and 666. There are 1135 reporting districts in the City, but these six in the BID accounted for 52.4% of all the public urination arrests in the City from 2009 through 2019, a total of 887 arrests out of 1,693.

Contrast this with Skid Row, which is encompassed by 11 reporting districts.3 Between 2009 and 2019 these 11 reporting districts accounted for only 35 arrests for public urination. That is less than 4% of the arrests in the Hollywood Entertainment District. Obviously the difference isn’t due to less public urination in Skid Row, it’s due to extreme differential enforcement. It’s really unlikely that the LAPD on its own would create such a disparity. If the BID patrol isn’t making all these arrests, nevertheless the BID must be the ultimate cause.

It’s worth noting here, by the way, that public urination was not even illegal in Los Angeles until 2003. Even at the time it was opposed by LACAN and others because the intention was obviously to further the criminalization of homelessness. In response, “Council members pledged that people would be prosecuted only in cases when there is a public toilet nearby that they failed to use.” But such pledges aren’t worth the toilet paper that’s smeared with them, and, as everyone who’s paying attention knows, the law has only been used as the anti-homeless weapon it was obviously intended to be.4

And, it turns out, mostly so used by the most toxic BID in the City, the Hollywood Entertainment District BID. Turn the page for some nifty maps showing the relationship of these six reporting districts to the BID boundaries as well as a histogram showing the freakishly uneven distribution. Click the image to enlarge.
Continue reading 52.4% Of All Arrests In The Entire City Of Los Angeles For Public Urination/Defecation From 2009 Through February 2019 Were Made In Just Six LAPD Reporting Districts In The Hollywood Entertainment District BID — Yet More Proof That Business Improvement Districts Oppress Homeless People Through Selective Enforcement — And More Proof That The Hollywood BID Patrol Is Completely Off The Chain — And Has Been Running A Private Police State For Years — With The City’s Full Blessing And Collusion Of Course

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