I’m searching through the 2015 BID Patrol daily logs and also the 2015 arrest reports as part of a major project I’m working on,1 and I just keep coming across more surreal and upsetting (albeit tangential) episodes. For instance, on June 25, 2015 BID Patrol gunmen Dennis Watkins (badge #104) and Steven Sewell (badge #111), whose pictures Kerry Morrison is willing to lie and to break the law in order to keep secret,2 told the following story:3
RADIO CALL: 6923 HOLLYWOOD BLVD. 415 MAN IN FRONT OF THE “METRO”. UPON ARRIVAL NUMEROUS PEOPLE WERE POINTING TO THE SUBJECT. THE SUBJECT IS “C***** B****’ A M / W / 40-45 YRS. HE IS A TRANSIENT AND CAUSES PROBLEMS WERE EVER HE MAY BE. HE HAS PERIODS OF TIME WHERE HE WILL USE THE MOST VULGAR LANGUAGE TOWARD ANYONE IN EAR SHOT. HE PULLS A CHILD TYPE WAGON WITH ALL OF HIS POSSESSIONS. THERE IS NO REASONING OR CALMING THIS INDIVIDUAL DOWN. OFFICERS HAVE TO TAKE A FIRM POSTURE AND DIRECT HIM AWAY FROM PEOPLE. OFFICERS WILL ESCORT HIM TO A SIDE STREET OR OTHER LESS TRAVELED LOCATION. HE IS SWEARING AT THE OFFICERS DURING ALL OF THIS. IT IS UNKNOWN IF HE IS UNDER A DOCTORS CARE. IT IS AMAZING THAT HE HAS NOT BEEN ASSAULTED BY OTHER CITIZENS. HE IS SLIGHT OF BUILD AND NOT A PHYSICAL THREAT.
You may have seen the news elsewhere that Kerry Morrison was granted a Stanton Fellowship by the Los-Angeles-based Durfee Foundation. I’ve refrained from writing about it here because it struck me as more of a private matter. However, in February Kerry Morrison sent an email to Dan Halden of CD13 with her application attached. This put it on the public record and made comments on it of public interest, and it turns out to shed a great deal of light on otherwise mysterious goings-on at the BID Patrol.
So here is a copy of Kerry Morrison’s Stanton Fellowship application. This is an exceedingly rich document, and you’re reading the first of what I expect to be many, many posts about it. It’s well worth the time it’ll take you to read the whole thing, though, because it’s even weirder than you’re thinking it might be.
Anyway, in her application, as part of her plan to fix what she sees as flaws in the mental health care system vis-a-vis homelessness, she plans to:
Tell the story. I have been collecting photos, videos, notes from interviews and observations now dating back to 2008. With the permission of my three friends, and possibly other [sic], I see the potential to create a documentary that will weave the human story around the policy, systems and community cultural change necessary to embrace the needs of these individuals. Create a documentary to tell their story and show the before and after.
“Hold your beer up. HOLD YOUR BEER UP. And smile, if you want to.” These are the words of an anonymous1 BID Patrol officer caught on video confronting a homeless woman on Hollywood Boulevard about the fact that she’s drinking in public. However, this is more than a particularly lurid demonstration of the BID Patrol’s almost ludicrously unprofessional reign of misrule in Hollywood. It also helps shed some light on a long-standing mystery about just how many people the BID Patrol arrested in 2015.
The phrase “Al Ref” almost certainly refers to “alcohol referrals.” These were discussed by Steve Seyler at the March 2015 Joint Security Committee meeting, where he stated:
We are starting to see some early trends. Arrests are down by 56 compared to this time last year. This is largely due to a strategy change in our enforcement of drinking in public. These arrests have accounted for about 60% of our arrest year after year. That number is holding true for this year as well. We still believe that it is important to curtail public drinking as this has a direct effect on assaults and other crimes.
Our new approach involves more warnings and more importantly referrals. We have
made 56 such referrals so far. If the person is agreeable, we give them a warning and
information about local Alcoholic Anonymous meetings and other resources. We will
attempt to gather data to see if this will bring positive results.
I’m pleased to announce a huge amount of records, mostly from the Andrews International BID Patrol. These include arrest reports and daily logs, which bring our coverage up to the end of 2015. I put these on the Archive because the amount of material would overwhelm our hosting plan. There are individual links after the break and also here.
Note that there’s something fishy about the 2015 arrest reports. There are fewer than 350 of them, when the 2015 totals spreadsheet claims 606. This may have something to do with a new category for 2015 called “alcohol referral.” If these turn out to not be genuine custodial arrests we will have reduced the BID Patrol arrest rate by far, far more than I previously thought.
And some more emails from the Fashion District BID. These are prepared in the inimitably complete manner of Rena Leddy and cover the time from January 2015 through March 2016. They have to do with street vending and such topics:
We’ve been writing for 6 months now about how the HPOA put up phony signs in Selma Park in Hollywood (illegally) declaring it off-limits to adults unaccompanied by children and how the BID Patrol spent the next eight years falsely arresting people and ejecting them from the park, until we got the signs taken down by the City in September 2015. Kerry Morrison told our faithful correspondent that “A/I says that after looking into this, it is unlikely that any arrests ever were made by A/I in Selma Park with specific regard to the signs and penal code section you recite (as opposed to public urination, drinking, and other reasons)…”
EXTRA PATROL: 6765 SELMA AVE; SELMA PARK. CHECKED LOCATION FOR VIOLATORS OF NEW SIGNS POSTED PROHIBITING ADULTS WITHOUT CHILDREN AT PARK. NOTE 3 (H) MALES IN PARK IN VIOLATION AND ADVISED RE: NEW POSTED SIGNS. SUSPECTS DEPARTED WITHOUT INCIDENT.
Interestingly, this was foreshadowed as early as September, 2007. For instance, we find in the Footbeat 4 log for September 27, 2007 that OFFICERS CONTACTED SEVERAL HOMELESS RE: ISSUES IN THE PARK AND SURROUNDING AREA. WE ADVISED THE SUBJECTS RE: THE POSSIBILITY OF THE PARK BEING FOR CHILDREN ONLY. (END 1830 HOURS).
Well, getting records out of the Downtown Center BID is like pulling teeth from a fricking hippopotamus,1 but after almost four months and one exceedingly detailed complaint to the Los Angeles City Clerk about their general bloody-minded uncooperative stonewalling, they have released a bunch of records relating to their public relations firm, Macy + Associates.2 You can find this material here on the Archive. Note that they’re, as usual, mercilessly and certainly illegally redacted. I’m working on this, but I don’t expect any results quickly.
Also, the big prize, obtained yesterday, is 2007 arrest reports and daily activity logs from the Andrews International BID Patrol. These are also on the Archive: