This is just a quick note to announce that video of Tuesday’s presentation at the LAPD is now available for your viewing pleasure. Here are the options:
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 Last night this request for withdrawal and substitution of attorney was filed, notifying the court1 that Pessis would no longer represent Jaye, whose lawyering will be in the future handled by veteran cop defender Thomas J. Feeley.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
Shawn Nee is a documentary photographer who lives in Hollywood and films police around the City of Los Angeles. Here’s an excellent interview with him along with a selection of his work. I also recommend this short film about Nee’s work on Hollywood Boulevard on Halloween 2014.
His YouTube channel is filled with recordings of LAPD officers angry with him for photographing them. In particular, on July 5, 2015, LAPD Officer Stuart Jaye blocked his line of sight while he was taking still photos of police activity. Also, on November 10, 2015, LAPD Officer Pearson actually grabbed his phone while he was recording police activity. These two incidents form the basis of a suit filed by Nee on July 7, 2016. This episode is also worth watching even though it isn’t mentioned in the suit.
This seems like it’s going to be interesting, so I started a page for this suit in the menu structure, or you can access the material directly from local storage. There’s not much in there yet, but the initial complaint is well worth your time to read. There are some selections after the break as well as a description and some documentation of a tangential BID Patrol connection from 2008!
Continue reading Hollywood-Based Street Photographer Shawn Nee Filed Suit In July Against City of LA, Charlie Beck, Individual LAPD Officers, For Preventing Him From Freely Photographing Police
This summer, thinking about the important role that LACAN’s pictures and video of LA Sanitation’s aggressive clean-ups of homeless encampments downtown have played in e.g. Mitchell v. Los Angeles, it occurred to me that it ought to be possible to get advance notice of encampment cleaning actions from the City via the California Public Records Act. Well, like everything involving CPRA, it turned out to be far more complicated than one might expect in advance.
Amazingly, Sanitation did supply me with materials. It was just the part about getting them in advance of the clean ups that was difficult. On August 5 I asked for the first time. On August 17 they asked for an extension. On September 13, after a certain amount of wheedling on my part, they sent me material for July and August, and a few days later, partial material for September. Still nothing in advance, though:
- July 2016 HE Conf
- July Calendar
- August Calendar (PDF)
- August Calendar (xlsx)
- August HE conf.
- September Calendar
- September HE Conf
The most important ones are the “HE Conf”1 documents. Those represent confirmed locations of clean-ups by Council District for the given month. They also reveal the suspected but, to my knowledge, unproven fact that locations where clean-up is requested by the Council District are given priority over other locations.2 I will be requesting these for the past as well as for the future. I think that mapping this data and otherwise analyzing it will provide important insights into the City’s mostly unarticulated-in-public policies towards the homeless, as well as deeper understanding. And understanding this world is fine. But the point3 is to change it.
Continue reading How I Got Advance Notice Of This Morning’s Clean-Up Of A Homeless Encampment At 4490 DeLongpre And What Happened There, Along With A Bunch Of Information About Encampment Clean-Ups In July, August, and September
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.
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”
Last year, apparently on August 7,1 the BID Patrol drove one of their BIDmobiles eastbound on the 6300 block of Homewood Avenue. The driver of the vehicle, holding a Kodak Playsport Video Camera, Zx5, filmed the north side of the street as he drove the vehicle. You can watch the whole video here.
One huge problem with this scenario is that, as you can see from the image of the camera, Kodak Playsports have a video monitor that shows what’s being recorded.2 Now, take a look at California Vehicle Code section 27602, which plainly states:
A person shall not drive a motor vehicle if a television receiver, a video monitor, or a television or video screen, or any other similar means of visually displaying a television broadcast or video signal that produces entertainment or business applications, is operating and is located in the motor vehicle at a point forward of the back of the driver’s seat, or is operating and the monitor, screen, or display is visible to the driver while driving the motor vehicle.
Continue reading Irrefutable Proof Captured on Video of Further BID Patrol Lawlessness, Reckless Endangerment, Breach of Contract
“Hold your beer up. HOLD YOUR BEER UP. And smile, if you want to.” These are the words of an anonymous1 BID Patrol officer caught on video confronting a homeless woman on Hollywood Boulevard about the fact that she’s drinking in public. However, this is more than a particularly lurid demonstration of the BID Patrol’s almost ludicrously unprofessional reign of misrule in Hollywood. It also helps shed some light on a long-standing mystery about just how many people the BID Patrol arrested in 2015.
I’ve reported before that the BID Patrol’s arrest rate in 2015 was over 40% smaller than it was between 2007 and 2014. The new evidence in this video suggests that actually only 313 of these were full custodial arrests (as opposed to 606, as I previously thought), making the actual decrease from 2014 to 2015 more than 70%. Here is the spreadsheet containing the 2015 totals. Note that there are 606 total arrests listed, and that these include 313 “Al Ref” arrests. You can see the arrest total summary spreadsheets from 2007 through 2015 here.
The phrase “Al Ref” almost certainly refers to “alcohol referrals.” These were discussed by Steve Seyler at the March 2015 Joint Security Committee meeting, where he stated:
We are starting to see some early trends. Arrests are down by 56 compared to this time last year. This is largely due to a strategy change in our enforcement of drinking in public. These arrests have accounted for about 60% of our arrest year after year. That number is holding true for this year as well. We still believe that it is important to curtail public drinking as this has a direct effect on assaults and other crimes.
Our new approach involves more warnings and more importantly referrals. We have
made 56 such referrals so far. If the person is agreeable, we give them a warning and
information about local Alcoholic Anonymous meetings and other resources. We will
attempt to gather data to see if this will bring positive results.
This theory is further confirmed by the fact that the arrest report number included in the title of the video file is #15-0517R, where the “R” almost certainly stands for “referral.” Add that to the fact that there seem to be NO arrest reports with an “R” appended to their numbers among the 2015 BID Patrol arrest reports I recently obtained from Kerry Morrison, so that either those numbers don’t refer to custodial arrests or Kerry Morrison was lying when she told me that she’d produced all of them.2
Continue reading “Hold Your Beer Up and Smile.” Video Suggests that So-Called “Referral” Arrest is Actually Just a Warning, Demonstrating that 2015 BID Patrol Arrest Rate is Down 70% from 2014; Far More than Previously Thought
I’m pleased to announce a huge amount of records, mostly from the Andrews International BID Patrol. These include arrest reports and daily logs, which bring our coverage up to the end of 2015. I put these on the Archive because the amount of material would overwhelm our hosting plan. There are individual links after the break and also here.
Note that there’s something fishy about the 2015 arrest reports. There are fewer than 350 of them, when the 2015 totals spreadsheet claims 606. This may have something to do with a new category for 2015 called “alcohol referral.” If these turn out to not be genuine custodial arrests we will have reduced the BID Patrol arrest rate by far, far more than I previously thought.
Also there are:
And some more emails from the Fashion District BID. These are prepared in the inimitably complete manner of Rena Leddy and cover the time from January 2015 through March 2016. They have to do with street vending and such topics:
As I said, look after the break for individual links to our complete collection of A/I BID Patrol arrest reports and daily logs 2007-2015.
Continue reading Many Years Worth of New Documents: Arrest Reports, Daily Logs, Photographs, Videos, Fashion District Emails
I’m formally initiating coverage of the Central City East Association with some video of yesterday’s meeting of the Board of Directors at CCEA headquarters at 725 S. Crocker Street. You can find Part 1 and also Part 2. Note that the record is not complete because the Board went into closed session and I couldn’t stick around to see them reconvene. Part I consists entirely of CD14 representative Jose Huizar policy director Martin Schlageter talking about homeless issues in the BID’s territory and then, most interesting of all, taking questions from the Board members. The level of micromanagement is astonishing. We hope to write on some of the details later, but check some representative Q&A after the break. Part 2 is mostly taken up by a representative from the Runyon Group seeking CCEA support for entitlements for their ROW DTLA project (this project was formerly known as Alameda Square). Someone here will be writing on this soon in some detail.
Continue reading Video of Yesterday’s Central City East Association Meeting Now Available
Note that formerly Ukrainian first amendment maven and all-round mensch Eugene Volokh has already explained this better than we’re ever going to, so you may want to hop over to there for background. TL;DR is that the city of Inglewood sued Inglewood resident Joseph Teixeira in federal court, claiming that Teixeira’s reuse of their city-produced videos of city council meetings to create weaponized mockery of, among others, Inglewood mayor James Butts violated their copyright in said videos.
Well, Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (that’s federalese for “Los Angeles”) not only dismissed Inglewood’s case, he terminated it with extreme prejudice. You can read the order here if you wish, and it’s smoking hot. The salient bit for this blog is, according to Volokh, that:
The court held that, under California law (see, e.g., County of Santa Clara v. Superior Court (Cal. Ct. App. 2009)), cities can’t claim copyright in public records. And while the city claims that this provision is trumped by federal copyright law, the court rejected that argument — federal law treats local governments as political subdivisions of the state, and a state has the power to control what its subdivisions do (including which federal rights they claim).
Now, I can hear you all murmuring and wondering out there in internetlandia, saying “sure, Kohlhaas, we hear you, but what does this got to do with the BIDs??!” Well, friends, we’re glad you asked!
Continue reading Federal Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Shows Up BIDs for the Mewling and Puking Liars they Are