I’m not a reporter, and I don’t seek out news, but once in a while, like the hog in the adage, I stumble across what seems to my amateur sensibilities to be an actual news story. And that’s exactly what happened this morning at the February Board meeting of the Central City East Association when LAPD Deputy Chief Robert Arcos, in response to a characteristically sycophantic question from CCEA Executive Directrix Estela Lopez, announced that he will be applying to replace soon-to-be-retired Charlie Beck as chief of the LAPD.
In May 2017 Pete White of the Los Angeles Community Action Network, represented by Carol Sobel, filed suit in federal district court against the City of Los Angeles, Charlie Beck, and some cop named Officer Kenny. The basis of the complaint is that Kenny ordered Pete White’s 2016 arrest while he was lawfully filming LAPD interactions with homeless people on Skid Row. Pete White claims, and it seems right to me, that he was arrested in retaliation for his activism on behalf of homeless residents of Skid Row.
For some reason, this suit does not seem to have been reported on in the real news media, and I’m interested, so I’ll be at least collecting the pleadings here. You can find them:
You may recall that all-round heroine Jasmyne Cannick filed suit in federal court last December alleging that the LAPD and the City of LA had selectively prosecuted her for charges arising from 2014 protests about the Michael Brown situation in revenge for her outspoken criticism of the department. Well, it just recently came to my attention that Patti Beers, another well-known critic of the LAPD, who was also arrested and prosecuted1 under the same general circumstances, filed a suit against the City and various LAPD officials, at roughly the same time, in November 2016.
You may recall that in January 2016, Semhar Girmay Amha filed a suit in federal court against the City of Los Angeles for their illegal detention and surreally flagrant verbal abuse of her after the 2014 Michael Brown protests downtown. Here is my original article on the subject and all the interesting paper filed in the case is also available.
The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that the most excellent local LAPD critic Jasmyne Cannick1 filed suit against the City of Los Angeles and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck last week. The suit alleges, completely plausibly, that the LAPD arrested her during November 2014 protests about the shooting of Michael Brown, the same series of protests, incidently, which gave rise to Chua v. City of LA, in retaliation for her highly critical reporting on the LAPD in general and Charlie Beck in particular.2
Anyway, the Times story is great as far as it goes, but, as usual, it doesn’t contain much of the wonky details that we love around here. It doesn’t even mention that the suit was filed in Federal Court. But it was, and I went out and got copies of the primary sources:
One of the most important consequences of the Andrews International Hollywood BID Patrol’s failure to register with the Los Angeles Police Commission, as they’re almost surely required to do, is that they evade enforcement of LAMC 52.34(d)(1), which regulates uniforms and badges. It states:
Any badge, insignia, patch or uniform used or worn by any employee, officer, member or associate of a private patrol service, while on duty for said patrol service, shall be in compliance with State law. Any such badge, insignia, patch or uniform shall not be of such a design as to be mistaken for an official badge, insignia or uniform worn by a law enforcement officer of the City of Los Angeles or any other law enforcement agency with jurisdiction in the City.
In this post I’m collecting and discussing a number of images of BID Patrol officers looking especially like police (all these images and many more can be found on this new Archive collection). The only differences between BID Patrol uniforms and LAPD uniforms seem to be that the LAPD doesn’t always wear shoulder patches and the LAPD does wear nameplates. However, the LAPD is not the only Los Angeles agency that employs law enforcement officers. There are also the School Police and the Airport Police1 and both of those agencies have uniforms with shoulder patches, and to which BID Patrol uniforms are also essentially identical. It’s true that the uniforms of BID Patrol officers say “BID PATROL” in big letters across the back, but many police uniforms say stuff across the back. For this message to have the requisite effect, it’s necessary to already know that BID Patrol officers aren’t a kind of police. Also, the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance is famous for worrying about tourists who don’t know that they don’t have to tip street characters. Where’s the analogous worry about tourists who don’t know that the BID Patrol aren’t police officers? Turn the page for many more examples. Continue reading Lots of Pictures of BID Patrol Officers Illegally Dressing Like Police Officers→
Yesterday night the Times reported that a suit was filed in federal court on January 14, 2016, on behalf of people, including NLG-LA lawyers there to observe, whose rights were violated by the LAPD in November 2014 during a protest against a Missouri grand jury’s failure to indict Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown. For whatever reason, newspaper articles like this never link to the court filings, which I, and maybe even you, find fascinating. On the face of it this case has nothing to do with BIDs, although it’s conceivable that a connection will develop,1 but I’m going to collect filings here anyway since I’m going to read them myself, so I might as well distribute them. I don’t plan to write much on them, but who knows? I set up a page to display them. It’s also reachable through the menu structure above. Right now the initial complaint is there and is well worth your time. There are some selections after the break: Continue reading Documents Available as City of L.A., Charlie Beck Sued by Michael Brown Protesters, National Lawyers Guild, over November 2014 Rights Violations→
We’ll write about most of them later, but for today, consider the minutes of March 4, 2015. In fact, look on page 3, where we find some jive-ass nonsense labeled “President’s Report.” The President is DCBID and Central City Association Führerin Carol Schatz. The first section of her report is labeled “On the CCA Side.” CCA, of course, is the Central City Association, a private group which claims explicitly that the “work we do lobbying government and advancing policy is shaping the future of Los Angeles business.” That’s not something BIDs are allowed to be involved with, and yet, here they are, being involved with it. Fascism, as we’ve stated repeatedly, thrives on this kind of blurring-of-the-lines between private groups like the CCA and public city agencies1 like the BIDs. BIDs aren’t allowed to lobby on matters that don’t affect stuff within their boundaries. But that’s an argument for another day. Let’s look at what Carol had to say:
Carol had a meeting with Chief Charlie Beck and other BIDS regarding street vending and increase in crime Downtown. The biggest concern is that legalizing street vending will result in streets becoming uncontrollable. The fashion district is a prime example of the effects of street vending. These street vendors are being referred to as micro-entrepreneurs.Chief Beck advised that he would speak to Councilmember Price and Wesson to make it clear that he does not have the resources to manage street vending and it will be very damaging to what has been accomplished in Downtown.
Previous installments of this series appear here: Part 1 and Part 2
We originally planned to write a full post making fun of Nicole Shahenian’s speech at the May 28, 2015 meeting at Boyle Heights City Hall on the subject of legalized street vending in Los Angeles. On listening to it again, though, we realized that it’s nothing more than the same old nonsense, probably ghost-written by Kerry Morrison, and that writing on it would be a waste of time, space, and electricity. So today we’re concluding our reportage on the May 28 meeting with a brief discussion of the good guys, the white hats, the rays of sunshine, the breaths of fresh air, the actual humans in the room, the supporters of legalized street vending in lovely Los Angeles. In particular we hear from an actual street vendor who supports his family and from badass civil rights lawyer Cynthia Anderson-Barker, who explains why it’s essential to repeal LAMC 42.00(b) because, not only is it not being enforced equitably, it is not actually possible to enforce it equitably.
First up we have a man, whose name we didn’t catch on the audio, who’s one of the street vendors that Kerry Morrison recently mocked in public for claiming that he practices street vending in order to support his family. Listen here or read a transcription after the break. She has complained vociferously in the past and will no doubt complain vociferously in the future about the tone and incivility of those who oppose her iron will, never taking into account that her minions, who are paid to go to these meetings to speak words that, even if she didn’t actually write them, are certainly consistent with every public statement she’s ever made on the issue, are directly attacking people like this speaker, who are trying in the face of massive harassment to feed their families.
She and her minions rank this man’s life and well-being below the putative, delusionally construed rights of their employers not only to own property in Hollywood, to make untold amounts of money in exchange for very little productive labor, and not only that, but to have an extraordinarily immoral amount of control over the social conditions of life in places and neighborhoods where they don’t even live. In the face of this, Kerry Morrison has the audacity to complain about the audience being “uncivil” to her minions? Quel chutzpah, n’est ce pas? Anyway, in his speech, this man makes it clear that he knows that they’re his enemy. And he’s not wrong. They are his enemy. They are our enemies.
By example, for myself, I make ninety dollars a day. And I support my family with that money. … Our life … is very different than yours. Our day is starting at 4 a.m., and we’ll finish at around 9 p.m. for just a few dollars, but it’s OK.