Tag Archives: Joseph Gunn

Police Commission Investigation Into Excessive Force Allegation Against BID Patrol Concludes That “No Violations Of Law Occurred Or Other Improper Behavior” But Crucial Precedent Is Set Nevertheless

Richard Tefank, Executive Director of the LA Police Commission.
Here’s the story so far: In November 2015 the BID Patrol attacked a homeless man while in the process of arresting him. It really looks like excessive force, so, at the direction of Richard Tefank, Executive Director of the Police Commission, in September I submitted a complaint to him and also to Kerry Morrison.1 As I reported two months ago, the Police Commission agreed to investigate my complaint, and assigned it to Officer Ernesto Vicencio.

Well, just yesterday I received a letter from Richard Tefank informing me that the investigation was complete and that they had found no wrongdoing on anyone’s part.2 This is disappointing, to be sure, because, as would all sane, right-thinking individuals, I would like to see the BID Patrol jailed, fined, and shut down, and it seems really, really, really clear that those BID Patrollies are breaking the law. However, it’s not that disappointing, because a clear and transcendently important precedent has been set, which will have lasting consequences for the future of BIDs in our City.
Continue reading Police Commission Investigation Into Excessive Force Allegation Against BID Patrol Concludes That “No Violations Of Law Occurred Or Other Improper Behavior” But Crucial Precedent Is Set Nevertheless

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Audio Recordings of Three City Council Public Safety Committee Meetings from 1999 and 2000 May Shed Further Light on BID Patrol Police Commission Registration Issues

Former Los Angeles City Council Member Laura Chick (right).
Former Los Angeles City Council Member Laura Chick (right).
Through the good graces of Los Angeles City archivist Michael Holland I recently obtained recordings of three meetings of the Public Safety Committee of the LA City Council from 1999 and 2000 at which the issue of BID Security registration with the LA Police Commission was discussed. If you’ve been following the story you’ll recall that LAMC 52.34 seems to require that BID security register with the Police Commission, and that they do not so register, and that no one seems to know why. I copied the entire Council file on the issue but the reason is still not clear. These meetings may shed some light on what’s going on. There’s a brief guide to one of them after the break.
Continue reading Audio Recordings of Three City Council Public Safety Committee Meetings from 1999 and 2000 May Shed Further Light on BID Patrol Police Commission Registration Issues

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Newly Obtained Documents Suggest A Tentative Hypothesis on Why BID Patrols Aren’t Registered with the Los Angeles Police Commission and Why They Ought to Be

Joseph Gunn, executive director of the Los Angeles Police Commission in 1999.
Joseph Gunn, executive director of the Los Angeles Police Commission in 1999.
In the City of Los Angeles, private security patrols that operate on the public streets or sidewalks are required by LAMC 52.34 to register with the Police Commission and to satisfy a number of other requirements. I discovered a couple weeks ago that no BID Patrols are registered (and they routinely violate a number of the other requirements). In that same post I traced the issue back to Council File 99-0355. Part of the approved motion that initiated that file was this:

FURTHER MOVE that the City Ccl request the Police Commission to cease their enforcement against the City’s Downtown Center BID and its private patrol service, and any other BIDs until this matter has been reviewed by the City Ccl.

This at least seems to explain a temporary pause in enforcement, although not a policy-based reason never to enforce the registration requirement and the other regulations.

Furthermore, even a trip to the City Archives to copy the whole file left me lacking a definitive answer to the question of why no BID security provider was registered with the Police Commission. Also, I reported last week that no one in the City, either at the Police Commission or elsewhere, seemed to have a firm idea about why this was.

100 W. First Street.  And isn't this a lovely visual metaphor for the City government of Los Angeles?
100 W. First Street. And isn’t this a lovely visual metaphor for the City government of Los Angeles?

Well, last week the incredibly helpful Richard Tefank pulled a bunch of old Police Commission minutes out of storage for me and last Thursday I went over to 100 W. First Street to take a look at them. Most of the material was also in the Council file, but there were a couple new items that, while they don’t explain dispositively what happened, they suggest a likely hypothesis. Also, if this hypothesis is correct, it’s pretty clear that BID Patrols really ought to be registered and, furthermore, that the Police Commission has the right to investigate and regulate them.
Continue reading Newly Obtained Documents Suggest A Tentative Hypothesis on Why BID Patrols Aren’t Registered with the Los Angeles Police Commission and Why They Ought to Be

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