Tag Archives: Civil Rights

Chad Molnar’s Explicit Refusal To Comply With The California Public Records Act Provides Raw Material For The Latest Installment In Our LAMC 49.5.5(A) Project

Chad Molnar is Mike Bonin's campaign treasurer and also does odd jobs of some sort around the Council District offices.
Chad Molnar is Mike Bonin’s campaign treasurer and also does odd jobs of some sort around the Council District offices.
A couple of days ago I announced MK.Org’s latest project, which aims to experimentally determine the scope of the extraordinary LAMC 49.5.5(A), which states, rather succinctly, that:

City officials, agency employees, appointees awaiting confirmation by the City Council, and candidates for elected City office shall not misuse or attempt to misuse their positions or prospective positions to create or attempt to create a private advantage or disadvantage, financial or otherwise, for any person.

Anyway, today’s episode involves the California Public Records Act and Mike Bonin’s Chief of Staff, Chad Molnar. Since August, I’ve been making CPRA requests of CD11. At first they more or less complied with the law, but after the chaos at the first Council hearing in August and the subsequent humiliation caused by the City’s having to redo the whole BID approval process, they completely stopped complying.

In fact, they not only stopped complying, but when I wrote to them asking them if they were going to comply, Chad Molnar wrote back with one of the most extraordinarily confused responses I’ve ever received to a CPRA status request. He not only agreed that they hadn’t complied, but he said explicitly that they weren’t going to comply, and that he believed that they did not have to comply because to comply would make their constituents suffer, and he didn’t think that the intent of CPRA was to make their constituents suffer. I’m not kidding, that’s what he said. Read it yourself, and turn the page for more of my amateurish legal theories, and another complaint!
Continue reading Chad Molnar’s Explicit Refusal To Comply With The California Public Records Act Provides Raw Material For The Latest Installment In Our LAMC 49.5.5(A) Project

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?

In 2007 the BID Patrol Steered Homeless Sidewalk Sleepers to Selma Park to Avoid Arrest Until December 19 When the Signs Were Up

Selma Park from the side of freedom; the inside.  Or, as Woody had it: As I went walking I saw a sign there And on the sign it said "No Trespassing." But on the other side it didn't say nothing, That side was made for you and me.
Selma Park from the side of freedom; the inside:

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

Late last week I obtained copies of the BID Patrol’s 2007 arrest reports and daily logs, and they shed some interesting light on the early days of the whole Selma Park fiasco. First of all, Footbeat 2’s log for December 19, 2007 reveals that the BID’s fake signs went up on or before that day:

1345/1355
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).

But the really unexpected fact I found in this material is that before the signs went up the BID Patrol actually encouraged homeless people to sleep in the park rather than on the sidewalk, where they were subject to arrest for violating LAMC 41.18(d). Now, this would certainly make sense in a sane world, since it was (and is) legal to sleep in the park, but not on the sidewalk. However, given the bitching and moaning that the BID put up about park-sleeping and the illegal lengths they went to to get the park declared off-limits to humans, I can’t help but suspect some kind of narrative-creating subterfuge here. It seems quite shady to intentionally fill the park up with homeless sleepers and then use the large numbers of homeless sleepers as a reason to get the park closed against them. It’s just another example of zillionaire ethics, I guess. See after the break for the evidence.
Continue reading In 2007 the BID Patrol Steered Homeless Sidewalk Sleepers to Selma Park to Avoid Arrest Until December 19 When the Signs Were Up

Daily Logs Show BID Patrol Groundlessly Forced More than 150 People, Including Actual Children, to Leave Selma Park on Threat of Arrest During 2013

BID Patrol surveillance photo of Selma Park from 2007.
BID Patrol surveillance photo of Selma Park from 2007.
In September 2015 I discovered that in late 2007, the HPOA posted signs at Selma Park prohibiting adults unaccompanied by a child from being on the property but that they did so without any legal authorization from L.A. Rec and Parks. They proceeded to use arrests and threats of arrest to enforce the restrictions stated on these bogus signs. Furthermore, they weren’t even properly interpreting the statute under which they made these threats. In any case, with the recent release of all BID Patrol daily activity logs from 2013, I have been able to begin the process of quantifying the BID Patrol’s operations in Selma Park.

There are at least 137 mentions of Selma Park in the daily activity logs.1 Reading through these by hand and tallying the people kicked out of the park I count 159 of them. I skipped as many duplicates as I noticed (due to backup reporting and so on). We noted recently that a 2013 arrest almost certainly constitutes a violation of California Civil Code §52.1(a), which states:

If a person or persons, whether or not acting under color of law, interferes by threats, intimidation, or coercion, or attempts to interfere by threats, intimidation, or coercion, with the exercise or enjoyment by any individual or individuals of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or of the rights secured by the Constitution or laws of this state, the Attorney General, or any district attorney or city attorney may bring a civil action for injunctive and other appropriate equitable relief in the name of the people of the State of California, in order to protect the peaceable exercise or enjoyment of the right or rights secured.

Here are 159 more color of law abuses by the BID Patrol, which also violations of that law, and this is 2013 alone.

Note also that the BID Patrol officers don’t even seem to know what law they’re enforcing. Sometimes it’s trespassing, sometimes it’s loitering, sometimes it’s who knows what. Also, they even kick kids out of the park under the law which they mistakenly claim disallows adults. Just look here:

10-21-2013_FB2_LOG_10262013_HAGOPIAN.doc
6500 SELMA: SELMA PARK. MADE CONTACT WITH SEVERAL JUVENILES AND ADVISED THEM THAT THEY WOULD HAVE TO LEAVE THE AREA. ALL SUBJECTS COMPLIED AND LEFT THE LOC.

I really have to wonder who actually is allowed in this park according to the BID Patrol? Only non-juvenile children? It’s not reasonable. Look below the break for a list of all 137 items with links to source and some information on my search methodology.
Continue reading Daily Logs Show BID Patrol Groundlessly Forced More than 150 People, Including Actual Children, to Leave Selma Park on Threat of Arrest During 2013

A 2013 Arrest for Violating PC 653b at Selma Park Further Confirms Ongoing Pattern of Civil Rights Violations by Andrews International BID Patrol

BID Patrol Officer Islas in 2014.
BID Patrol Officer George Islas (badge number 128) in 2014.
Long-time readers of this blog will recall that in 2007 the HPOA, by hook and by crook, put up signs in Selma Park in Hollywood (illegally) declaring it off-limits to adults unaccompanied by children. Subsequently, the Andrews International BID Patrol spent the next eight years falsely arresting people and shooing them out of the park on the basis of these unauthorized signs, until we got them taken down by the City in September 2015. Subsequently, Kerry Morrison told a friend of this blog 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)…” Today, in the form of an actual A/I arrest report from July 2013, we have more evidence that, even though Kerry is almost certainly telling the truth about what she was told by A/I, what she was told by A/I is not the truth.
Continue reading A 2013 Arrest for Violating PC 653b at Selma Park Further Confirms Ongoing Pattern of Civil Rights Violations by Andrews International BID Patrol

Acting on Behalf of Street Vendors National Lawyers Guild LA Sues City, Fashion District BID Over Illegal Confiscations, Color-of-Law Abuses. PDF of Initial Complaint Available

Another street vendor arrested, shackled, jailed, and abused by the Hollywood BID Patrol
Another street vendor arrested, shackled, jailed, and abused by the Hollywood BID Patrol
Yesterday, the National Lawyers Guild Los Angeles filed suit in Federal Court against the City of Los Angeles and the Fashion District BID on behalf of the Union Popular de Vendedores Ambulantes. First of all, I set up a page to collect filings. I managed to track down a copy of the initial complaint (OK, I mean I bought it from PACER for $1.70, you’re welcome!), and you can read about it in the LA Times here if you want.
The title of this file claims that it's abandoned property and that it was donated to Blessed Sacrament.  It's obvious from the context, though, that it's really stuff that was confiscated from a street vendor by the BID Patrol or else abandoned when the vendor ran away because the BID Patrol was threatening to arrest him.  In any case, it did not belong to them and they stole it when they took it to give to the church.
The title of this file claims that it’s abandoned property and that it was donated to Blessed Sacrament. It’s obvious from the context, though, that it’s really stuff that was confiscated from a street vendor by the BID Patrol or else abandoned when the vendor ran away because the BID Patrol was threatening to arrest him. In any case, it did not belong to them and they stole it when they took it to give to the church.

There’s an excerpt from the complaint after the break, but it’s really worth reading the whole thing.

One of the main points is that the LAPD and the BID conspire to not only cite and/or arrest the vendors, but to destroy their stuff. We’ve written before about how the Hollywood BID Patrol does the same thing. They not only arrest the vendors, but without any kind of due process, they ruin all their stuff, or even worse, appropriate it and steal it. You can see an example of this in the photo somewhere near this sentence. I would imagine that, now that the Fashion District BID is being sued, the HPOA is getting a little nervous. Turn the page to hear why!

Continue reading Acting on Behalf of Street Vendors National Lawyers Guild LA Sues City, Fashion District BID Over Illegal Confiscations, Color-of-Law Abuses. PDF of Initial Complaint Available

Selma Park Smoking Gun! HPOA Revealed to be Fully Responsible for Tragic Parkicidal Transformation into Children’s Play Area Based on Kerry Morrison’s Pathos-Laden Misunderstanding of Life, Reality, and Everything

The HPOA just after destroying Selma Park in order to save it.
The HPOA just after destroying Selma Park in order to save it.
If you’ve been following the Selma Park story you’ll recall that, even as we’ve discovered that the park was illegally made off-limits to all but adults with children, even as we’ve uncovered a stinking, sordid history of both roustings-out and illegal arrests, it hasn’t been exactly clear who was actually, explicitly responsible for this ugly situation. Well, amongst the documents laid on you the other day by our faithful correspondent we found the actual smoking gun in an email written on January 22, 2008, by Kerry Morrison to Heather Repenning and Helen Leung, then-council-president and CD13 representative Eric Garcetti’s District Director of Community Development and Hollywood Field Deputy respectively.
Heather Repenning in 2003, when she worked for Eric Garcetti as a "Community Organizer" which, on first hearing, sounds like some kind of lovely, angelic, Saul Alinsky kinda job, but a mere five years later she was conspiring with Kerry Morrison to steal away our freaking park!  Times change and people change with them
Exceedingly crazy-looking Heather Repenning in 2003, when she worked for Eric Garcetti as a “Community Organizer” which, on first hearing, sounds like some kind of lovely, angelic, St. Saul Alinsky kinda job, but a mere five years later she was conspiring with Kerry Morrison to steal away our freaking park! Times change and people change with them


Heather — wanted to see if you had an idea as to how we might be able to communicate with the families located around Selma Park…As you may know, with the help Helen
[sic] and the rest of your team at CD-13, we’ve been able to designate the entire park as a children’s play area.

So that settles that. HPOA and Eric Garcetti’s staff illegally excluded everyone without kids from Selma Park at some time before January 22, 2008.

Kerry Morrison! You just illegally banned everyone from a public park, starting off a chain of at least 46 illegal arrests and God only knows how many color-of-law civil-rights violations. Are you going to Disneyland?! Nope.
Continue reading Selma Park Smoking Gun! HPOA Revealed to be Fully Responsible for Tragic Parkicidal Transformation into Children’s Play Area Based on Kerry Morrison’s Pathos-Laden Misunderstanding of Life, Reality, and Everything