Tag Archives: Broken Windows

Surreal Episodes From CPRALand! — Cryptoracist Deputy City Attorney Gita O’Neill Calls Deon Joseph “Articulate”! — Crazed Sidewalk Colonizer Miguel Nelson “Really Needs To Hire Security Guards” According To Gita O’Neill — He Emails LAPD Far Too Much And “He Probably Has The Money” Says She — Homeless Encampment In CD14 Given Highest Cleanup Priority Because Someone Is Making A Movie There

Recall that yesterday I received a huge stack of records comprising emails and other materials from various LAPD officers, other City officials, and some property owners having to do mostly with homeless issues on Skid Row. The whole set is available here on Archive.Org.

I wrote one long post about it yesterday and will write some others soon enough, but today I thought I would tell you about a few short episodes that probably can’t support a whole post but are really interesting nonetheless. There’s no theme, no subtext, no larger purpose, no moral. Nothing but gossip, really, but interesting!

Return of Safer Cities? Gita O’Neill calls Deon Joseph “Articulate”

As you may know, the LAPD under Bill Bratton introduced a local version of the reprehensible broken windows theory in the form of the quantum reprehensibility shift known as the Safer Cities Initiative. This seems to have faded away for reasons I can’t determine, but long-time Skid Row cop Deon Joseph has evidently been drooling copiously for years dreaming of bringing it back.

And evidently present Chief Michael Moore is in favor of reviving this zombie jive crapola as well. At least that’s the frightening message found in this June 2018 email conversation between Deputy City Attorney Gita O’Neill and high LAPD muckety Marc Reina. And it’s not the only frightening thing in there. Here’s how O’Neill describes to Reina the role of Joseph, who is African American: “deon asked the question [about Safer Cities] to the chief, deon was very articulate”

And “articulate” is a problematic word indeed. As the New York Times said in 2007 after Joe Biden caused a scandal by calling Barack Obama articulate, when the word is used “in reference to blacks, it often carries a subtext of amazement, even bewilderment. It is similar to praising a female executive or politician by calling her “tough” or “a rational decision-maker.” “When people say it, what they are really saying is that someone is articulate … for a black person,” Ms. Perez1 said. Such a subtext is inherently offensive because it suggests that the recipient of the “compliment” is notably different from other black people. So, you know, evidently that’s what Gita O’Neill thinks of Deon Joseph.

And turn the page for more postcards from CPRAlandia!
Continue reading Surreal Episodes From CPRALand! — Cryptoracist Deputy City Attorney Gita O’Neill Calls Deon Joseph “Articulate”! — Crazed Sidewalk Colonizer Miguel Nelson “Really Needs To Hire Security Guards” According To Gita O’Neill — He Emails LAPD Far Too Much And “He Probably Has The Money” Says She — Homeless Encampment In CD14 Given Highest Cleanup Priority Because Someone Is Making A Movie There

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Why Is The RAND Corporation Paying Off People In Skid Row To Discuss Public Safety? — The Same RAND Corporation Whose Pro-BID Study Is So Influential That It Is Cited In The Actual Property And Business Improvement District Act — The Same RAND Corporation That’s Funded By The Department Of Homeland Security — The Same RAND Corporation That Justified Carpet Bombing And Torture In The Vietnam War For Robert McNamara — The Same RAND Corporation That Paid “Megadeath Intellectual” Herman Kahn And His Ilk To Theorize About Winnable Nuclear War

The flyer you’re looking at was posted around Downtown Los Angeles recently, seeking participants in discussion groups about “neighborhood safety,” to be paid $25 for 90 minutes of their time. As you can see at the bottom, the moving force behind this was the RAND corporation, a Santa Monica based think tank that has been providing theory-driven rationalizations for all manner of murderous government policies since 1948.

Now, I don’t know what kind of information RAND is looking for here or what they’re planning to use it for, although the multiple layers of deception embedded in the poster itself1 make it hard to believe that they’re working on anything life-affirming. I do know that RAND has a history with business improvement districts in Los Angeles.

BIDs actively collect data about what passes for public safety in zillionaire circles and repurpose it as propaganda in the service of the vast development and gentrification machine in which they are teensy cogs. For instance, as putative evidence that more and more and more police are needed in gentrifying areas, and that those police need increased powers to deal with the putative danger. Or that more and more and more BIDs are needed and that those BIDs need increased powers as well.

Without evidence to the contrary it’s likely that, whatever else the information they’re gathering might be used for, RAND is certainly going to use it for this kind of thing. Or, once published, it will be used for this even if not by RAND. This has happened before. Just for instance, in 2009 RAND released a massive report on Los Angeles BIDs and public safety. Although the results of this study were ambiguous, nevertheless it has been taken up by both BIDs and by governments as weighty evidence in favor of the theory that BIDs reduce crime.

So much so, in fact, that it’s actually cited in the Property and Business Improvement District Act of 1994 as one of the reasons that the State Legislature promotes the formation of business improvement districts, at §36601(e)(1):

Property and business improvement districts formed throughout this state have conferred special benefits upon properties and businesses within their districts and have made those properties and businesses more useful by providing the following benefits … Crime reduction. A study by the Rand Corporation has confirmed a 12-percent reduction in the incidence of robbery and an 8-percent reduction in the total incidence of violent crimes within the 30 districts studied.

Tangentially, this report is surprisingly honest in a weirdly Orwellian sense about what BIDs are up to, much more so than the BIDs themselves ever are. For instance, read this selection,2 wherein the authors “… describe the BIDs in terms of their public safety (or social control), beautification (or broken windows), and marketing (or place promotion).”
Continue reading Why Is The RAND Corporation Paying Off People In Skid Row To Discuss Public Safety? — The Same RAND Corporation Whose Pro-BID Study Is So Influential That It Is Cited In The Actual Property And Business Improvement District Act — The Same RAND Corporation That’s Funded By The Department Of Homeland Security — The Same RAND Corporation That Justified Carpet Bombing And Torture In The Vietnam War For Robert McNamara — The Same RAND Corporation That Paid “Megadeath Intellectual” Herman Kahn And His Ilk To Theorize About Winnable Nuclear War

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Steve Seyler is “a Little Fuzzy on the Criteria for Laura’s Law,” Advocates for the Forcible Psychiatric Treatment of Homeless People Because it’d Be “Great for the Quality of Life” of the BID Patrol…Wait. What?

Steve Seyler in 2014 looking a little fuzzy.
Steve Seyler in 2014 looking a little fuzzy.
I reported yesterday that BID Patrol Director Steve Seyler had assisted Kerry Morrison in securing evidence to be used in conservatorship hearings against a Hollywood homeless man. However, the bulk of Seyler’s amateurish mental health investigations are related to Laura’s Law, which allows for forcible outpatient treatment of people with serious mental illness and a history of noncompliance with doctors’ orders. Not that he bothered to read or understand the law first. In August 2015, in an email accompanying yet another report to the LAPD about a Laura’s Law candidate, Seyler stated that he was “a little fuzzy on the criteria for Laura’s Law so please advise…”

In fact, Seyler is much more than “a little fuzzy.” In that same email, with reference to the person, RM, who he’s reporting, Seyler states:

It would also be great for the quality of life of all concerned to get him into a program as he causes a huge amount of disruption and many calls for service. He is a burden on BID Security, the LAPD, Paramedics, hospitals etc.

I know the criteria for Laura’s Law are a little hard to follow, Steve, but here’s a clue: There isn’t a law in this country that authorizes forcible involuntary medical treatment because it would be convenient for a bunch of security guards. It’s just never going to happen that a law would allow that. If the guy is a burden on BID Security, maybe BID Security should consider giving up the pretense that they’re some kind of a social service agency and go back to doing the kind of security guard stuff that the law allows them to do, which, by the way, is emphatically not doing psychiatric evaluations.1

There isn’t a law in this country that authorizes forcible involuntary medical treatment for the convenience of the police either. We just don’t lock people up or force pills down their throats because it makes the lives of cops easier. The fact that this kind of nonsense even seems plausible to Seyler is yet another reason why he ought to stick to security-guarding and leave the social work to the licensed professionals.

And it’s not just in this one case that Seyler is confused. He’s confused throughout. Turn the page for a list of the actual criteria for using Laura’s Law to force psychiatric treatment on people and another example of how badly and how dangerously Steve Seyler and HPOA executive director Kerry Morrison misunderstand and seek to abuse this law.
Continue reading Steve Seyler is “a Little Fuzzy on the Criteria for Laura’s Law,” Advocates for the Forcible Psychiatric Treatment of Homeless People Because it’d Be “Great for the Quality of Life” of the BID Patrol…Wait. What?

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How to Destroy a Business Improvement District in California: A Theory

This would be an effective, emotionally satisfying, and poetically just way to get rid of business improvement districts, but I'm hoping for something a little more environmentally friendly.
This would be an effective, emotionally satisfying, and poetically just way to get rid of business improvement districts, but I’m hoping for something a little more environmentally friendly.
DISCLAIMER: I’m not a lawyer. But I’m friends with some lawyers. More than zero of them did not laugh out loud at the idea you’re about to read. That’s all I got.

Business improvement districts in California are made possible by the Property & Business Improvement District Law of 1994.1 It’s worth reading, or at least skimming through, because there’s gold in them thar hills! For instance, consider Section 36670(a)(1), which states:

36670.(a) Any district established or extended pursuant to the provisions of this part … may be disestablished by resolution by the city council in either of the following circumstances:

(1) If the city council finds there has been misappropriation of funds, malfeasance, or a violation of law in connection with the management of the district, it shall notice a hearing on disestablishment.

Do you see the potential in that statement? The fact that it’s a tool for laying waste the BIDs of Los Angeles like so many Philistines? It’s a little hard to understand statutes, but here’s a clue: when they say “shall” they mean “must,” not “can.” Now turn the page to find out why this little statute, if not more powerful than Doug Henning and his sparkly rainbow suspenders as pictured above, is possibly as effective a BID repellent but much, much more emotionally satisfying than mere poofsly-woofsly magical annihilation.
Continue reading How to Destroy a Business Improvement District in California: A Theory

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BID Patrol Bosses at Andrews International Include Hollywood Amongst “L.A.’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods,” Lie About a Bunch of Other Stuff Too

Aerial view of one of " L.A.'s most disadvantaged neighborhoods."  Look at the grinding poverty, the misery of the natives, the hunger, the violence, the crime.
Aerial view of one of ” L.A.’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods.” Look at the grinding poverty, the misery of the natives, the hunger, the violence, the crime. Just imagine the seething hell it would be without the unappreciated efforts of a bunch of tricycle-riding cop-wannabe inchoate-Daniel-Pantaleo BID patrol officers.
Did you even know that “Since 2007, as part of a public-private partnership focused on community safety and quality of life solutions,” the super-powered security wallahs at Andrews International have operated something called “a Community Assisted Problem Solving (CAPS) program in some of L.A.’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods”?1 Did you even know that?? Well, it’s evidently true, because on December 23, 2014, their PR flacks spewed forth a press release announcing it to the world.

This momentous announcement was accompanied by a subpage with the same title, which comes with a heavily illustrated PDF with the same text. It’s not at all clear just what the heck they’re blathering on about, which is why we’re going to explain it all to you after the break!
Continue reading BID Patrol Bosses at Andrews International Include Hollywood Amongst “L.A.’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods,” Lie About a Bunch of Other Stuff Too

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Kerry Morrison Frets About the BID’s Public Drinking Problem. We Have the Solution!

Conde Nast TagID: cncartoons029960.jpg/Photo via Conde Nast As of October 2014 the Hollywood Entertainment District BID and the Sunset-Vine BID had made over 600 arrests for drinking in public. Annualized this is over 700 arrests for 2014. By that point they’d made 945 arrests, which we’ll annualize to 1000 for ease of calculation. Thus around 70% of the arrests that BID security makes are for the simple act of drinking alcohol in public. In 2013 the Entertainment district seems to have spent about $1,600,000 on security.1

Thus we can estimate that the BIDs pay about $1,600 per arrest (about $1,120,000 per year) to arrest people for drinking in public. This is around a third of their annual budget and, of course, where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The BID is really in a tizzy over this. In this issue of their newsletter you can read as Kerry Morrison frets and frets about what to do:
Continue reading Kerry Morrison Frets About the BID’s Public Drinking Problem. We Have the Solution!

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