Tag Archives: Jasmyne Cannick

LAPD Critic Patti Beers Filed A Federal Suit Against City Of LA In November 2016 Also Arising Out Of LAPD Misconduct During 2014 Michael Brown Protests

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.

The suit alleges, among other things, that the LAPD has a policy of targeting critics and using selective arrests to punish them for their political activity. Even more interestingly, I think, is the allegation that the City Attorney, who is responsible for prosecuting misdemeanors committed in the City of LA, unduly defers to the LAPD’s wishes when deciding who to prosecute and when to exercise prosecutorial discretion in pursuing charges. These matters are interesting enough that I’m going to collect the paperwork in this case and occasionally report on developments. Here is the second amended complaint. You can also get to the documents via static storage, which you can also get to kind of from the menu structure. Read on for some excerpts if you don’t like PDFs.
Continue reading LAPD Critic Patti Beers Filed A Federal Suit Against City Of LA In November 2016 Also Arising Out Of LAPD Misconduct During 2014 Michael Brown Protests

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LAPD Officer Stuart Jaye, Accused Of Interfering With Photographer Shawn Nee, Will No Longer Be Represented By City Attorney, Hires Stacey Koon’s Old Lawyer, Thomas J. Feeley, Instead

Hollywood Division officer Stuart Jaye, blocking photographer Shawn Nee on July 5, 2015.
Recall, if you will, that in July 2016 Carol Sobel filed suit in federal court on behalf of Los Angeles photographer Shawn Nee against the City of LA, Charlie Beck, and various LAPD officers, including Hollywood Division stalwart Stuart Jaye, famously dubbed Officer A-Hole by the incomparable Jasmyne Cannick.

Jaye had been represented by Deputy City Attorney Surekha A. Pessis, but change is in the air. Last night this request for withdrawal and substitution of attorney was filed, notifying the court1 that Pessis would no longer represent Jaye, whose lawyering will be in the future handled by veteran cop defender Thomas J. Feeley. Feeley, of course, famously represented King-beater Stacey Koon in the civil case arising from that incident, causing some minor controversy in the process. According to Feeley’s website, he

… has particular expertise in police misconduct litigation defense as well as extensive experience in major municipal law, personal injury, civil rights, employment and contract disputes.

Continue reading LAPD Officer Stuart Jaye, Accused Of Interfering With Photographer Shawn Nee, Will No Longer Be Represented By City Attorney, Hires Stacey Koon’s Old Lawyer, Thomas J. Feeley, Instead

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The Revenge Of Brandi Scimone-Pearson’s Horse: Jasmyne Cannick Sues City of Los Angeles, Charlie Beck, Alleging Retaliation For, Inter Alia, Her My-Little-Ponygate Stories

Jasmyne Cannick.
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:

I’ll collect filings here in static storage, which you can also get to kind of from the menu structure. At some point in the next few days I’m going to reorganize the Lawsuits submenu, and at that time I’ll probably add a dedicated page for these records. Read on for some selections if you don’t like PDFs.
Continue reading The Revenge Of Brandi Scimone-Pearson’s Horse: Jasmyne Cannick Sues City of Los Angeles, Charlie Beck, Alleging Retaliation For, Inter Alia, Her My-Little-Ponygate Stories

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Yet Another Possible Strategy For Forcing The City Of Los Angeles To Comply With CPRA Without Hiring A Lawyer: A Complaint With Internal Affairs Against The Officers In Charge Of The LAPD Discovery Section

Dominic Choi, commanding officer of LAPD's Risk Management Division, which includes the LAPD Discovery Section, which is ultimately responsible for handling CPRA requests.
Dominic Choi, commanding officer of LAPD’s Risk Management Division, which includes the LAPD Discovery Section, which is ultimately responsible for handling CPRA requests.
The City of Los Angeles is notorious for ignoring its duties under the California Public Records Act. Among City agencies, the LAPD is probably the worst at responding to requests in a timely, comprehensive manner. One of the worst aspects of CPRA is that filing a lawsuit1 is the only recourse if an agency refuses to comply. This is the strategy being pursued by the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition.2

So anyway, my own CPRA experiences with LAPD confirm this general impression. For instance, on February 10, 2015, I sent them this:

I’d like to request a list of all active stay-away orders for the Hollywood Entertainment District or maybe you could suggest documents I could request that would allow me to assemble such a list myself? I’m interested in how many there are and what crimes were committed by the people subject to them.

I won’t bother you with a detailed timeline of all my ignored follow-up inquiries and their occasional non-responsive answers to them, but in more than 20 months after my making this request they still had supplied no records in response.3

Well, as you may be aware, I’m presently working through a theory on whether Los Angeles Municipal Ethics laws, specifically LAMC 49.5.5(A), can be used to force the City to comply with CPRA without having to go to court. A description of this project can be found here. Now, LAMC 49.5.5(A) states:

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.

And the general theory with respect to CPRA is that when a City employee willfully denies someone their rights under CPRA they may well be violating this law, since being denied rights is a disadvantage. You can see a a specific application of this theory here. This law does apply to the LAPD, but my feeling is that the LAPD problem with CPRA compliance is not amenable to an LAMC-49.5.5(A)-based strategy. Read on for details and a potential solution.
Continue reading Yet Another Possible Strategy For Forcing The City Of Los Angeles To Comply With CPRA Without Hiring A Lawyer: A Complaint With Internal Affairs Against The Officers In Charge Of The LAPD Discovery Section

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Announcing Our New LAMC 49.5.5(A) Project: Peter Zarcone And The HPOA Music Festival Fiasco Provide Raw Material For Our First Experimental Attempt At Seeing What This Law Actually Prohibits

Eep!
Eep!
LAMC 49.5.5(A) 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.

Here’s what seems to be required of a City official or employee to violate this law:1

  1. That they misuse their position, where I’m thinking “misuse” means:
    • They do something that requires the powers granted to them by virtue of their position and
    • their powers were not granted for the purpose of doing that thing.
  2. The misuse creates a private advantage or disadvantage for someone, where I’m thinking “private” means:
    • The advantage or disadvantage created does not further public policy goals. E.g. getting arrested creates a disadvantage for the arrestee, but the disadvantage furthers a public goal. Winning a contract through the City’s bidding process advantages the successful bidder, but the advantage furthers a public goal.

The law is enforced by the City Ethics Commission, although it doesn’t seem to have been used much. There is, e.g., this case from 2010 involving a Fire Inspector who charged money for successful inspections. This is the kind of thing one would expect to fall under this statute. However, there is also one high profile case pending right now which doesn’t seem ordinary at all. It seems quite unexpected. In 2014 LAPD Officer Jim Parker was among those who responded to a sex-in-a-car call involving Daniele Watts and her boyfriend. She accused the police of racism and brutality, and Parker anonymously leaked an audio recording of the incident, which exonerated the police. Subsequently, the Ethics Commission issued a public accusation against Parker for violating LAMC 49.5.5(A) on the theory that leaking the confidential audio recording, which he only had access to by virtue of his position, constituted a misuse which created a private advantage for himself.2

This is very encouraging. It seems that perhaps the Ethics Commission is willing to at least think about a broad application of this seemingly very broad law. And it’s an interesting thing about laws that no one can actually be sure what they mean, what the range of application is, until they’re repeatedly tested in the courts. Well, that’s not exactly right. If a court decides that people of average intelligence can’t be sure at all what the law actually prohibits or requires, they’re likely to toss it out as unconstitutionally vague. But, I guess, if people don’t know exactly what the law prohibits or requires, but average people could have realized that it potentially prohibits what they’re doing or requires what they’re not doing, then it’s not too vague, even if no one actually did realize those things.3 That’s the space I’m interested in exploring with respect to LAMC 49.5.5(A). And because I’m not interested in philosophical explorations any more I’m going to explore this issue by actually turning people in to the CEC to find out what happens, beginning with our old friend, Peter Zarcone. You can read some details after the break, and even get your very own copy of the complaint I sent the Ethics Commission the other day.
Continue reading Announcing Our New LAMC 49.5.5(A) Project: Peter Zarcone And The HPOA Music Festival Fiasco Provide Raw Material For Our First Experimental Attempt At Seeing What This Law Actually Prohibits

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