Tag Archives: First Amendment

Street Photographer Shawn Nee Completely Settles Case Against LAPD, City Of Los Angeles, For Interfering With His Right To Photograph Police, Terms Apparently Not Yet Released

Perhaps you recall that Los Angeles based street photographer Shawn Nee filed suit against the City and the LAPD for preventing him from freely photographing the police. Well, it turns out that, last week, the case was completely settled. The terms of the settlement do not yet seem to be public, but two documents did show up on PACER confirming the settlement. Turn the page for links and descriptions.
Continue reading Street Photographer Shawn Nee Completely Settles Case Against LAPD, City Of Los Angeles, For Interfering With His Right To Photograph Police, Terms Apparently Not Yet Released

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300-Ish Pages of Estela Lopez’s Emails From The Last Few Months, Including Discussions Of Homelessness, Skid Row NC, Why The Freaking LAPD Doesn’t Bust More Protest Marches Like BIDs Want Them To, Operation Clean Streets, The California Public Records Act, And So On And On And On…

I just recently received a few hundred pages of emails from Estela Lopez, voodoo queen of the Central City East Association, and they are available on Archive.Org and also directly from static storage. Most of it is the unmitigatedly tedious bullshit with which these BIDdies fill their lives and their inboxes, but, as usual, there are a few interesting items. I already wrote the other day about Estela Lopez’s aggressive foray into CPRAlandia, and here are a few other items that are worth looking at individually:

And turn the page for two more examples, and to learn why, which I bet you didn’t even know that they were doing, the LAPD was praying for rain in January!
Continue reading 300-Ish Pages of Estela Lopez’s Emails From The Last Few Months, Including Discussions Of Homelessness, Skid Row NC, Why The Freaking LAPD Doesn’t Bust More Protest Marches Like BIDs Want Them To, Operation Clean Streets, The California Public Records Act, And So On And On And On…

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Everybody’s Favorite Puppet-Wielding Crackpot Wayne Spindler Files Yet Another Federal Suit Against The City Of Los Angeles Alleging Violations Of Constitutional Rights — Here Are Copies Of The Pleadings

Wayne Spindler in normal clothes in 2010.
Habitual City Council commenter Wayne Spindler, he of the don’t-go-near-Herb-Wesson restraining order and the subsequent entirely righteous we’re-not-gonna-prosecute-because-being-an-asshole-isn’t-illegal decision by L.A. County D.A. Jackie Lacey’s office,1 has filed a federal suit against the City of Los Angeles for violating various Constitutional rights in connection with his May 2016 arrest.

The incomparable Emily Alpert Reyes has the story in this morning’s Times and we have the primary sources, hot off of PACER! As long as I was getting these pleadings, I figured I’d go ahead and get the ones from the case he filed last July as well,2 and all of them are available here:

I’ll collect the papers in those directories as they’re filed because the cases interest me, but I probably won’t be writing more about them unless something extraordinary occurs. Spindler is an attorney3 and seems to be acting pro se in both these cases. As always, this makes for some fairly lively legal writing, samples of which you can find after the break if you, like so many these days, are PDF-averse.4
Continue reading Everybody’s Favorite Puppet-Wielding Crackpot Wayne Spindler Files Yet Another Federal Suit Against The City Of Los Angeles Alleging Violations Of Constitutional Rights — Here Are Copies Of The Pleadings

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Hollywood-Based Street Photographer Shawn Nee Filed Suit In July Against City of LA, Charlie Beck, Individual LAPD Officers, For Preventing Him From Freely Photographing Police

LAPD Officer Stuart Jaye blocking documentary photographer Shawn Nee from filming police activity on July 5, 2015.
LAPD Officer Stuart Jaye blocking documentary photographer Shawn Nee from filming police activity on July 5, 2015.
Shawn Nee is a documentary photographer who lives in Hollywood and films police around the City of Los Angeles. Here’s an excellent interview with him along with a selection of his work. I also recommend this short film about Nee’s work on Hollywood Boulevard on Halloween 2014.

His YouTube channel is filled with recordings of LAPD officers angry with him for photographing them. In particular, on July 5, 2015, LAPD Officer Stuart Jaye blocked his line of sight while he was taking still photos of police activity. Also, on November 10, 2015, LAPD Officer Pearson actually grabbed his phone while he was recording police activity. These two incidents form the basis of a suit filed by Nee on July 7, 2016. This episode is also worth watching even though it isn’t mentioned in the suit.

This seems like it’s going to be interesting, so I started a page for this suit in the menu structure, or you can access the material directly from local storage. There’s not much in there yet, but the initial complaint is well worth your time to read. There are some selections after the break as well as a description and some documentation of a tangential BID Patrol connection from 2008!
Continue reading Hollywood-Based Street Photographer Shawn Nee Filed Suit In July Against City of LA, Charlie Beck, Individual LAPD Officers, For Preventing Him From Freely Photographing Police

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Department Of Deja Voodoo! Tour Bus Wars Redux! Also, How Kerry Morrison Sowed Crazy Beans Which Fell On The Fertile Ground Of What Passes For The Mind Of Tony Hoover, Delusional Founder of Red Line Tours, And Grew Into A Mighty Sequoia Of Insanity!

Crazy here, crazy there, sow some crazy everywhere!  Kerry Morrison distributing anti-tour-bus crazy beans in 2012.
Crazy here, crazy there, sow some crazy everywhere! Kerry Morrison distributing anti-tour-bus crazy beans in 2012.
The text for this morning’s sermon, brothers and sisters, is from the Gospel of Thomas:1

Listen! A sower went out to sow. He filled his hand and cast the seed. Some fell on the road; the birds came and ate the seed. Others fell on the rock, sprouted, and dried up. And others fell on the thorns, which choked them and insects ate them. And others fell on the fertile ground of freaking Tony Hoover, founder of freaking Red Line Tours, and multiplied a freaking zillionfold into a veritable magic freaking beanstalk of crazy.

Well, the disciples of Jesus also didn’t get what he was talking about, so I guess I shouldn’t feel bad about having to fill in some backstory.

See, last week, according to the Beverly Press, Councilmoppet Mitch O’Farrell announced that he and now-retired-from-his-position-as-clean-government-poster-boy-but-still-active-as-Councilmember-more’s-the-freaking-pity David Ryu of CD4 had introduced a motion in Council to put an end to what they claim to see as the desperate, wanton, willful, and ongoing destruction of what passes for the quality of life of people who actually live in Hollywood by tour bus operators on the Boulevard, mostly between Orange and Vine. It’s something about how they try to hand you flyers and ask you where you’re from even though you are obviously from Los Angeles.2

I'm just kind of tired of looking at Mitch and Kerry for now, so here's David.  Isn't it sad that a mere fourteen months ago he took office with all kinds of promises of transparency and clean government and now he is being quoted in in actual lawsuits against the City of Los Angeles as evidence for the inherent corruption and amorality of City Council?
I’m just kind of tired of looking at Mitch and Kerry for now, so here’s David. Isn’t it sad that a mere fourteen months ago he took office with all kinds of promises of transparency and clean government and now he is being quoted in in actual lawsuits against the City of Los Angeles as evidence for the inherent corruption and amorality of City Council?

Well, if you’ve been paying attention to this blog at all, you will immediately suspect that (a) neither Mitch O’Farrell nor David Ryu give the first flying fuck about tour buses on Hollywood Boulevard and (b) they are channeling the concerns of that master covert lobbyist and famously blue-nosed Mrs. Grundy whose nom de Hollywood is Ms. Kerry Morrison.3 Kerry Morrison is, as is her wont, concerned about what she calls “civility on the public right of way” and the rest of us call “killing off or at least arresting everyone who scares her or doesn’t have a lot of money.”

I have not yet had time to track down records pertaining to the current incarnation of Kerry Morrison’s obsession with tour buses.4 But the story in the paper reminded me that I had a bunch of unprocessed material from the City Attorney from 2012 on this very subject. So I put that all together and put it up on the Archive (as well as locally if you prefer), where you can read it at will. It concerns a so-called “Tour Bus Working Group,” put together by Kerry Morrison and including the usual representatives of the City and the Hollywood zillionaire elite.

It’s mostly not that interesting, although there is evidence there that Kerry Morrison has been obsessed with tour buses for the entire twenty years that she’s been the Hollywood BID-boss.5 It culminated in November 2012 with a report to Eric Garcetti and Tom LaBonge about what should be done about tour buses6 and an ordinance addressing a tiny part of her concerns, written, of course, by LaBonge and Garcetti. However, there is one shining gem of craziness, written by Tony Hoover, self-proclaimed “founder” of Red Line Tours. That, I have to discuss in detail!
Continue reading Department Of Deja Voodoo! Tour Bus Wars Redux! Also, How Kerry Morrison Sowed Crazy Beans Which Fell On The Fertile Ground Of What Passes For The Mind Of Tony Hoover, Delusional Founder of Red Line Tours, And Grew Into A Mighty Sequoia Of Insanity!

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Venice Justice Committee v. City of Los Angeles: Pregerson Denies Essential Part of Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, Case Will Proceed

Not every clown on the Boardwalk is benign.
Not every clown on the Boardwalk is benign.
Last month Judge Dean Pregerson heard oral arguments on the City’s motion to dismiss this suit, filed by the Venice Justice Committee against the City of Los Angeles in opposition to its ham-fisted attempts to regulate speech on the Venice Boardwalk. Today he filed his order denying the motion to dismiss in part and granting it in part as well. Pregerson’s a lively writer, and the order makes interesting reading. There are three main issues addressed in the order.

First up, the City regulates vending on the Boardwalk in various ways, but contains an exception for soliciting donations and other activities protected by the First Amendment. Plaintiff Peggy Lee Kennedy was evidently told on a couple of occasions by LAPD officers that asking for donations was vending and that she had to stop or face arrest. Everyone agrees that these cops were in the wrong, but the question before the Court seems to have been whether the law “as applied” was unconstitutional. Pregerson found that it was not, and accordingly dismissed the parts of the complaint that had to do with that claim.

Second,1 the Plaintiffs made claims under the Bane Act, which allows people to sue if their constitutional rights were violated maliciously. Pregerson found that even assuming that the Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights were violated, they weren’t violated maliciously. I’m skipping some details, but that’s essentially why he also dismissed this cause of action.

Finally, and most interestingly, we come to the Plaintiffs’ claim that the City’s so-called Sunset Provisions are unconstitutional. This claim has to do with LAMC 42.15, which regulates vending and other activities at Venice Beach. In particular it states that “[n]o person shall set up or set down items in, take down items from or block, or attempt to reserve a Designated Space2 between Sunset and 9:00 am.”
Continue reading Venice Justice Committee v. City of Los Angeles: Pregerson Denies Essential Part of Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, Case Will Proceed

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Plaintiffs File Opposition to City’s Motion to Dismiss, Include Certified Copy of Deed for Venice Boardwalk Proving that Abbott Kinney Gave it for Use as a Public Sidewalk and No Other Purpose

LAPD Bike officers on the Venice Boardwalk creating a chilling effect in the warm California sunshine.
LAPD Bike officers on the Venice Boardwalk creating a chilling effect in the warm California sunshine.
See this earlier post for some brief background on this case and this collection of pleadings in the case.

Late last night the plaintiffs filed a searing opposition to last month’s defendants motion to dismiss. Part of the plaintiffs’ argument relies on the fact that the Boardwalk is actually a public sidewalk, and in support of that argument they also filed a request for judicial notice that included a certified copy of the deed by means of which Abbott Kinney gave the boardwalk to the City (of Ocean Park; Los Angeles didn’t get it until 1926). To understand the issues it may be useful to look at the text of LAMC §42.15.

The issue is whether or not the Boardwalk is a public forum. If it is, the First Amendment places a very, very high barrier before the City’s attempt to regulate speech there at all. Sidewalks, as opposed to City-sponsored Disneylandesque bullshit tourist-trap money magnets, are quintessential public forums,1 and this is the heart of the argument:2

The Venice Boardwalk is a traditional public forum long recognized by the City as perhaps the most prominent free speech area in the City. Although called a “boardwalk,” this pedestrian passageway is a public sidewalk, deeded to the City as a sidewalk in perpetuity in 1906. See Plaintiffs’ Request for Judicial Notice and Exhibit 1.

Public sidewalks “occupy a ‘special position in terms of First Amendment protection’ because of their historic role as sites for discussion and debate[.]” They are the locations where people encounter speech they “might otherwise tune out.” “From time immemorial,” public sidewalks have been locations where “normal conversation and leafleting” have occurred as part of the First Amendment’s guarantee of “sharing ideas.” Indeed, public sidewalks are, perhaps, the most important traditional public forum because of their availability at any time at no cost.

It’s worth reading the whole response, and some selections that caught my eye appear after the break.
Continue reading Plaintiffs File Opposition to City’s Motion to Dismiss, Include Certified Copy of Deed for Venice Boardwalk Proving that Abbott Kinney Gave it for Use as a Public Sidewalk and No Other Purpose

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Kerry Morrison Declares that Hollywood Street Performers Must Be Unmasked Because of Terrorism While All the While Taking Financial Advantage of Masked KKK Terrorism In Hancock Park

Terrorism according to Kerry Morrison: This is acceptable.
Terrorism according to Kerry Morrison: This is acceptable (and very, very good for business).
We have written many a post about Kerry Morrison’s weirdly obsessive hatred of the street characters at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue and how she uses the power of her BID to attack them at every turn. Her surreality-based antipathy has at various times inspired her co-conspirators at the LAPD to crack down heavily on these performers, even to the point where Carol Sobel had to sue the cops in Federal Court to stop the neurotic vendetta.

She’s spent at least a decade railing against these characters and working with the City Attorney, the City Council, private attorneys, everyone in sight, without notable success, to ban their activities, to stop them wearing masks, to require them to wear identity badges, to conflate them with terrorists, and so on. Well, we’ve been looking into the matter a little more deeply, and today we’re here to tell you a story about street characters, the KKK, domestic terrorism, anti-mask laws, and property values in Hancock Park.1 First let’s take a little trip through 7 years worth of the minutes of the Board of Directors of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, concentrating on the street characters of Hollywood and Kerry Morrison’s efforts to thwart them by any means necessary:

Terrorism according to Kerry Morrison: This is unacceptable.
Terrorism according to Kerry Morrison: This is unacceptable.

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City of Los Angeles Treats Perfectly Legal Pornography as “Contraband,” Confiscates it from the Homeless and Destroys it

Pornography seized from Salvador Roque and destroyed as contraband by the City of Los Angeles.
Pornography seized from Salvador Roque and destroyed as contraband by the City of Los Angeles.
(See Gale Holland’s excellent story in the Times for background).

Pleadings filed by the City of Los Angeles yesterday in Mitchell v. Los Angeles reveal that the Bureau of Sanitation confiscates and destroys pornography in the possession of homeless people, putting it on a par with hazardous and/or toxic material and other contraband. This practice is consistent with the moralizing attitude taken by LAPD RESET1 on their Twitter feed towards similarly legal activities when carried out by the homeless, e.g., alcohol consumption.

On Tuesday the City of Los Angeles moved that a number of the causes of action in the case be dismissed. One of their main arguments was that the plaintiffs failed to argue that their property “…was lawful to possess, and was clean or at least uncontaminated by direct contact with or close proximity to the hazardous materials common on a Skid Row street – feces, rats, maggots, blood, etc. – such that the property did not pose an immediate hazard to health.
Continue reading City of Los Angeles Treats Perfectly Legal Pornography as “Contraband,” Confiscates it from the Homeless and Destroys it

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Yet Another Reason Kerry Morrison’s So Ooshly-Gooshly about the Commish, Bill Bratton

If only we were as clever as Randall Munroe we'd-a put something funny here...
Bill Bratton, AKA “the Commish,” seated with unindicted and evidently unhappy co-conspirator and co-author Zach Tumin in 2012, about 8 months before the world didn’t end that December
Long-time readers of this blog will be familiar with the HPOA’s crazed vendetta against street characters and, by extension, the very foundations of American government. If they could destroy the former by destroying the latter we have no doubt that they’d not only do it, they’d also destroy the latter just on the off chance it’d give the former a bad day. We’ve published evidence for this, but anyone who listens to any of their blather for any amount of time will hear their rage expressed in quite certain terms.
Imagine what would happen if lady street characters on Hollywood Boulevard started walking around naked like they do in Manhattan.  Heads wouldn't just roll, they'd explode.  What we need is a little free-the-nipple in Hollywood like they got at Venice Beach
Imagine what would happen if lady street characters on Hollywood Boulevard started walking around naked like they do in Manhattan. Heads wouldn’t just roll, they’d explode. What we need is a little free-the-nipple in Hollywood like they got at Venice Beach

And they don’t just conspire with LA locals like the city attorney, their conspiracies reach across the very continent to Manhattan, because that’s how bad street characters are, friends, they’re a transcontinental destructive force. Anyway, BID buddy Bill Bratton, affectionately known to Kerry Morrison and zillions of other fans as “the Commish,” is all in a lather over the desnudas of Times Square, who are evidently topless women in body paint (NSFW) who pose for tips with tourists. He’s frothing at the mouth. He was actually quoted in the frickin’ New York Times begging, nay, pleading for a chance to violate his oath of office:
Continue reading Yet Another Reason Kerry Morrison’s So Ooshly-Gooshly about the Commish, Bill Bratton

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