Tag Archives: Surveillance

Newly Obtained Media District Security Logs Show Anti-Food-Coalition Hysteria To Be Even More Utterly Unfounded Than Previously Suspected

A 2014 surveillance photo of the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition feeding at Sycamore and Romaine.
A 2014 surveillance photo of the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition feeding at Sycamore and Romaine.
I recently obtained about 140 hand-written daily logs prepared by the Hollywood Media District BID’s security guards. These are also available via Archive.Org, which has the advantage that the whole set can be downloaded using BitTorrent. The set is not complete, and it mostly comprises swing shift logs, but I didn’t select these at all. I just scanned them in the order in which they were provided to me.

It’s been known for a while now that Universal Protection Service has carried out a years-long surveillance operation against the Media District’s perennial bête noire, the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition, looking for any evidence whatsoever to use in the NIMBY neighbors, the City government, and the BID’s crazed campaign against them, their byzantine conspiracies with the LAPD and others in City Government, their allies’ unavailing 2011 lawsuit against the Food Coalition, and so on. These logs are interesting because they expose some contextually surprising results of this surveillance, namely that the intersection of Sycamore and Romaine seems to be the safest area in the entire Media District BID. Despite the intense, hours-long nightly surveillance, nothing illegal ever seems to happen there. Some samples follow. Note that these are also unselected. They comprise all swing shift logs from February 2016 that mention the Coalition’s food truck at all. They’re representative, too, in the sense that the pattern holds across all the logs I looked at:
Continue reading Newly Obtained Media District Security Logs Show Anti-Food-Coalition Hysteria To Be Even More Utterly Unfounded Than Previously Suspected

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Documents Available as City of L.A., Charlie Beck Sued by Michael Brown Protesters, National Lawyers Guild, over November 2014 Rights Violations

April 2015 Death by Cop march in Westlake.  It's not what this lawsuit is about, but it's a good picture.
April 2015 Death by Cop march in Westlake. It’s not what this lawsuit is about, but it’s a good picture.
Yesterday night the Times reported that a suit was filed in federal court on January 14, 2016, on behalf of people, including NLG-LA lawyers there to observe, whose rights were violated by the LAPD in November 2014 during a protest against a Missouri grand jury’s failure to indict Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown. For whatever reason, newspaper articles like this never link to the court filings, which I, and maybe even you, find fascinating. On the face of it this case has nothing to do with BIDs, although it’s conceivable that a connection will develop,1 but I’m going to collect filings here anyway since I’m going to read them myself, so I might as well distribute them. I don’t plan to write much on them, but who knows? I set up a page to display them. It’s also reachable through the menu structure above. Right now the initial complaint is there and is well worth your time. There are some selections after the break:
Continue reading Documents Available as City of L.A., Charlie Beck Sued by Michael Brown Protesters, National Lawyers Guild, over November 2014 Rights Violations

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Scope of BID Patrol Surveillance, Counterintelligence Far Broader than Previously Thought: Email to LAPD Demonstrates Long-Term Tracking, Unsupported Allegations of Sexual Misconduct, Drug Use Against BID Opponent

The Andrews International BID Patrol and the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance surveilled this guy for at least 33 months, in part because of his videotaping of BID Patrol operations.  The HPOA involved the LAPD in their surveillance program to some extent.  What a mess.
The Andrews International BID Patrol and the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance surveilled this guy for at least 33 months, in part because of his videotaping of BID Patrol operations. According to Kerry Morrison, BID Patrol boss Steve Seyler kept a “history” of him for years. The HPOA involved the LAPD in their surveillance program to some extent. What a mess.
In October 2015 we wrote about a number of cases where the Andrews International Hollywood BID Patrol collected intelligence information on its perceived enemies, mostly residents of Hollywood who opposed them in some manner. Among these instances of BID Patrol spying there was a mysterious case involving a man named Eric, pictured to the right. Our faithful correspondent has recently obtained a number of emails from the LAPD, which he’s preparing for publication and plans to make available quite soon. We jumped the queue on this email,1 though, because it explains a number of lacunae in our previous post.

It’s from Kerry Morrison to LAPD officer Mark Dibell about Eric, written in September 2014, 33 months after the January 2012 surveillance photographs of the man were taken by the BID Patrol. The subject line is “A matter for Vice.” TL;DR is that Eric “…had a routine of harassing and filming the BID patrol…” and so Kerry Morrison and A/I tracked his movements, photographed him, and almost three years later, wrote to the LAPD on behalf of his new landlord, Kelly Vickers of Eastown Apartments, reporting past, evidently unsupported, allegations of “sexual misconduct…and drug use” among other things. The subject line suggests that Kerry is trying to get this guy in trouble with the Vice squad as a service to one of the property owners in the BID.

How does anyone think this is OK? How does the BID carry on a three year vendetta against this guy for filming their security guards? Sure, Kerry claims it’s because of “sexual misconduct…and drug use,” but really, if the guy was provably up to those things why all the emails and subterfuge? Why not just call the actual cops and make an actual police report like actual non-creepy-zillionaires have to do in such circumstances? It’s pretty unlikely anyway that one can move into a fancy douchebag-serving apartment paradise like Eastown without a criminal background check, so the “allegations” remain only allegations. And even if he was or is guilty of “sexual misconduct…and drug use,” how is investigating that the business of the BID Patrol? They’re freaking security guards, not spies, not detectives.

The City of Los Angeles is famous for using BIDs to implement policies which it itself has been forced to eschew, but this kind of spying, which the contemporary LAPD has explicitly disavowed, reveals this dynamic to be playing out on an entirely unsuspected level. Read the whole thing here or after the break.
Continue reading Scope of BID Patrol Surveillance, Counterintelligence Far Broader than Previously Thought: Email to LAPD Demonstrates Long-Term Tracking, Unsupported Allegations of Sexual Misconduct, Drug Use Against BID Opponent

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New Documents About Selma Park From the HPOA, New Document Storage System

An official BID Patrol photo of the Selma Park playground on April 27, 2011, entitled SELMA PARK VANDALISM.  Because everyone knows that drawing on a playground with freaking chalk is vandalism.  Fucking savages.
An official BID Patrol photo of the Selma Park playground on April 27, 2011, entitled SELMA PARK VANDALISM. Because everyone knows that drawing on a playground with freaking chalk is vandalism. Fucking savages.
First of all, I reorganized our documents. I think the new system will make it easier for you to find things. I know it’ll make it easier for me to add new material, and I have a lot of stuff coming in soon. The “Document” menu in the header now leads to a link and an iframe pointing at this page, which is just a raw files and directory set-up. For now I’m only allowing http access, but I might set up ftp access in the future. In any case, have at it! The only problem left unsolved is how to host the 15+ gigs of photos I have on hand. I’m working on a solution involving dropbox, since archive.org has turned out to be pretty slow for that many images and Flickr seems complicated for bulk uploads and metadata editing. I could be wrong about this, though. More news soon. Second, there’s a bunch of new stuff about Selma Park. Read on for details.
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Andrews International BID Patrol Runs Ideological Countersurveillance Operations Against Residents of Hollywood, Hearkening Back to Bad Old Days of James Davis and the LAPD Red Squad

BID Security Chief Steve Seyler and Kerry Morrison targeting residents of Hollywood for paranoid countersurveillance...look again!  It's LAPD Chief James Davis and an unnamed, well-dressed woman jabbing a pen at the people of Los Angeles
BID Security Boss Steve Seyler and Kerry Morrison targeting residents of Hollywood for paranoid countersurveillance…look again! It’s creepy-crawly former LAPD Chief James Davis and an unnamed albeit extraordinarily serious woman jabbing a pen at the people of Los Angeles
Wikipedia is a perfect source for information about James Edgar Davis, erstwhile Chief of the LAPD and, amongst his chiefly peers, tied for second place with Daryl Francis Gates, the two of them behind only William Henry Parker III when ranked by sheer, unrelenting, untempered, unexcused, unreflected-upon, psychopathic brutality. James Davis was famous for letting not truth, not justice, not love, not mercy stand in the way of the almost visionary level of violent frenzy up to which he kept his troops constantly whipped. Most stuff on Wikipedia is made up and a lot of it is harmful. The people that work for Wikipedia are mostly petty tyrants, sadists, and torturers, convinced that their evil is done in the service of a greater good because their insane leader told them that was the case. The same story is true the reign of James Davis as Chief of the LAPD as well.

Davis’s crazed antics were so reprehensible that even his official LAPD bio has to acknowledge this reality in surprising detail. It’s worth reading the whole thing and, as well, reading Joe Domanick’s fine history of the LAPD up through the Spring of 1992, To Protect and Serve: The LAPD’s Century of War in the City of Dreams, to understand the role that Davis’s lunacy incarnate prepared the way and made the paths straight for both the 1965 and the 1992 popular uprisings. We’re concerned here, though, with only one essential aspect of Davis’s legacy: The Red Squad. Read from the contemporary LAPD’s statement on the matter:

With his return to office in 1933, Chief James E. Davis deployed a “Red Squad” to “investigate and control radical activities, strikes, and riots.” By today’s standards, the Squad’s tactics were intolerable, but its members had the blessing of government officials and the business community. In referring to individuals deemed subversive, one Police Commissioner voiced his views by declaring: “The more the police beat them up and wreck their headquarters, the better. Communists have no Constitutional rights and I won’t listen to anyone who defends them.”

Despite its disavowal by today’s ostensibly more sane LAPD, Davis’s red squad persisted far into the 20th Century. In his fine history of such American police political surveillance units, Protectors of privilege : red squads and police repression in urban America, Frank Donner explains that

One of literally hundreds of spy photos taken by the Andrews International BID Patrol anti-homeless red squad since 2007
One of literally hundreds of creepy spy photos of citizens of Hollywood legally engaged in legal activities covertly taken by the Andrews International BID Patrol anti-homeless red squad since 2007


The Los Angeles red squad was above all characterized by an undiluted nativism and a blatant patron-client relationship with local business interests, which was openly proclaimed against the local labor movement over the years…1

Well, these days, the LAPD can’t spy on political dissenters any more, and plus the “local labor movement” was, at least until the phoenix-esque rise of SEIU and its ideological kin, pretty much burnt/napalmed/incinerated by “local business interests.” But all that red squad apparatus didn’t just vanish. As with so many of the tools of oppression forged by the white ruling classes of Los Angeles in the Twentieth Century, political surveillance of citizens engaged in entirely legal activities was transferred over to and/or eagerly taken up by Business Improvement Districts, who have subsumed most of the municipal functions related to the “intolerable…by today’s standards…” “blatant patron-client relationship with local business interests…” Read on for a host of examples of the BID Patrol spying on the citizens of Hollywood for purely political reasons and, Stasi-like, keeping creepy files full of the fruits of their voyeurism-under-color-of-law.
Continue reading Andrews International BID Patrol Runs Ideological Countersurveillance Operations Against Residents of Hollywood, Hearkening Back to Bad Old Days of James Davis and the LAPD Red Squad

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2010 BID Patrol Images Now Available on Archive

700.415.male.from.MI.on.09.13.10.003
I am pleased to announce the availability of about 1.3 GB of images, obtained from the HPOA under the California Public Records Act. The main archive page is here. You can see a listing of the files for individual download here. I rot13-ed the filenames to protect people’s privacy somewhat.1 You can get the whole batch via bittorrent which, as always, is most efficient if you want local copies of these pictures. I’ll be organizing these into thematic PDF flip-books and publishing them at the Archive and on Amazon over the next few weeks, but as it may be a while I thought I’d make the raw images available now.

  1. If you don’t know what rot13 is you need to get your internet user’s license renewed post haste!

Image of man explaining democracy to the BID Patrol is a public record.

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Hollywood BID Patrol 2008-9 Images Now Available on the Archive

000_1157.700I am pleased to announce the availability of about 4GB of images, obtained from the HPOA under the California Public Records Act. The main archive page is here. You can see a listing of the files for individual download here. I rot13-ed the filenames to protect people’s privacy somewhat.1 You can get the whole batch via bittorrent which, as always, is most efficient if you want local copies of these pictures. I’ll be organizing these into thematic PDF flip-books and publishing them at the Archive and on Amazon over the next couple weeks, but as it may be a while I thought I’d make the raw images available now.

  1. If you don’t know what rot13 is you need to get your internet user’s license renewed post haste!

Image of beaten-up man is a public record.

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