Long-time readers of this blog will recall that, due to the stunning reluctance of the LAPD to comply with the simple mandates of the California Public Records Act (which has led to at least one lawsuit against them, filed by the heroic Stop LAPD Spying Coalition), I’m running an experiment in which I requested 100 emails to and from BIDs from each of three California police departments (which comes to an end with this latest development).
Long-time readers of this blog will recall that, due to the stunning reluctance of the LAPD to comply with the simple mandates of the California Public Records Act, I’m running an experiment in which I requested 100 emails to and from BIDs from each of three California police departments. The SFPD was the clear winner here, supplying me with the goods in a mere 23 days. Late last week the city of Berkeley weighed in with two sets of emails (one and two). Most of the content isn’t especially interesting if you don’t know the dramatis personae; it’s the same old song about the homeless, about behaviors, about activities, about protecting investments, and so on and on and on. I did spot one interesting episode, which I discuss after the break. Also, I will note that the Long Beach PD still has not fulfilled my request (although they are discussing it with me), and of course the LAPD ignores everyone and they’re still being sued because of that. Is it a coincidence that the two cities that follow the law have municipal sunshine ordinances while the two that do not lack such laws? I doubt it very much. Continue reading Berkeley Police Department Fulfills Experimental CPRA Request in 59 Days→
As you may remember, in January 2015 I requested some emails from the LAPD under the CPRA. After 11 months of inaction, noodging, and stubbornness, last month they finally produced about 3% of the records I’d requested, with the (so far unfulfilled) promise of more to come. I am not the only one to have had this problem.
Anyway, on December 21, it occurred to me to make experimental requests for innocuous records to various police departments around the state and then, depending on the results, write to the Los Angeles Police Commission about how other cities around California are, somehow, able to abide by the law. I abandoned that aspect of the plan because, as fate would have it, the very next day a bunch of people sued the LAPD over their flouting of the Public Records Act, obviating the need for any letters from me. But the requests were still out there, so I let them ride.
Berkeley and Long Beach still have failed to acknowledge my requests, even though it’s been 24 days since I sent them. This is in spite of the fact that Berkeley has a city-wide guide to CPRA requests and a far-reaching open government ordinance. The difference between Berkeley PD’s nonresponsiveness and the LAPD’s is that Berkeley has an administrative procedure to encourage city departments to follow the law whereas Los Angeles has nothing of the sort. I’m not going to go that route because I don’t have time, but it’s nice to know it’s there. I don’t know exactly what’s up with Long Beach, but have no plans to press them.
Walking Around with Fante and Bukowski is a new collection of essays by Patricio Maya, published by Grady Miller Books. If you’re interested in the literature and culture of Los Angeles you will certainly find something in here that will interest you. Although there’s not much in here that aligns explicitly with the subject matter of MK.org, there is plenty of relevant background material for the student of abusive political power in Los Angeles.
In the title essay, Maya recounts a journey he took following Arturo Bandini’s epic journey to Long Beach in search of Vera Rifkin. One of Maya’s themes here is what he calls “the tenuous dimension between books and reality”:
You walk downtown or on Wilshire, half stoned, asking yourself if here was where Nathanael West ate, if there was where William Saroyan brawled, if Bandini slept here, if Bukowski drank there. It is a kind of derangement. But there are worse ways to spend time when you are 19 years old.