Tag Archives: Hollywood and Vine

An Open Letter to Mitch O’Farrell Regarding Signal Box Art in the Hollywood Entertainment District

Thus it’s hard to understand why it’s not good enough to appear on the signal boxes of Hollywood.
Thus it’s hard to understand why it’s not good enough to appear on the signal boxes of Hollywood.

See here and here for the background to this post.

Dear Councilmember O’Farrell,

As you may already be aware, the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance is presently holding a competition to choose artwork to adorn signal boxes in the Hollywood Entertainment District, which they contract with the City of Los Angeles to administer. As you know, the L.A. Department of Transportation requires your approval for this project to move forward. I am writing to ask you to withhold your consent from the HPOA’s plan pending a revision of their stated rules which, regardless of the intent, have the effect of significantly lowering the chance that Latino artists working in some of our most vibrant local traditions will be chosen for this honor.

The problem is that the BID’s stated requirements for submissions include the proviso that “NO Cartoon Images or Graffiti work of any kind will be considered.”1 Graffiti art and cartoon styles are associated in L.A. with Latino, especially Mexican-American artists. Work by Los Angeles artists in these genres has brought world renown, not just to the artists themselves, but to our City. Thus it’s hard to understand why it’s not good enough to appear on the signal boxes of Hollywood. The mystery only deepens when one considers that the HPOA’s requirements also state that “Text Art” will be given full consideration, as if Graffiti art were not also “Text Art.”
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How is this Even Legal? BID Patrol Attacks a Sitting Man, Forcibly Handcuffs Him, and Then, With Full Cooperation of LAPD, Arrests Him for Kicking one of Them During Putative “Arrest”

Stop resisting!  Stop resisting, dude.
Stop resisting! Stop resisting, dude.
This would be unbelievable if the whole thing weren’t captured on video. On November 23, 2015, at least four BID Patrol security guards (Mike Coogle, along with Wissman, Tizano, and Cox) confronted a man who was sitting on the sidewalk in front of the Metro Red Line station at Hollywood and Vine. They talked to him for almost four minutes, during which time he didn’t answer their questions and mostly ignored them. At 3:55 in the video one officer says to another “you want him?” The other says yes, so they grab him and push him over.
BID_patrol_attacks_02
Soon all four of them are piled on top of him and trying to put handcuffs on him. Coogle claimed that the man kicked him during this episode, and ultimately they didn’t even arrest him for violating LAMC 41.18(d). Instead they arrested him for battery for kicking Coogle. When LAPD officers Adams (#34837) and Galicia (#41404) showed up and accepted the man into custody with the approval of their supervisor, LAPD Sgt. Chuck Slater. You can read the full story in the arrest report, although it doesn’t answer the main question I have about this incident: How did the LAPD decide to arrest Jones for battery rather than the BID Patrol officers?

Now, I have heard repeatedly that these BID Patrol officers have no arrest powers beyond those that every private citizen has. Kerry Morrison has even said this to me in person while schoolmarmishly waggling her finger in my face. If this is true, and I think it probably is, then there are two possibilities. Either these BID Patrol officers are breaking the law on camera here or else it’s actually legal in the City of Los Angeles for private citizens to form up into gangs of four people, physically jump on top of anyone they see sitting on the sidewalk, and force them into handcuffs. In fact, Ms. Kerry Morrison has confessed in print to violating LAMC 41.18(d) but neither got arrested by her own BID patrol nor got jumped on and handcuffed by a gang of vigilantes.
Continue reading How is this Even Legal? BID Patrol Attacks a Sitting Man, Forcibly Handcuffs Him, and Then, With Full Cooperation of LAPD, Arrests Him for Kicking one of Them During Putative “Arrest”