Since 2004, More than 19% of all Violations of Penal Code 653b(a) Brought to the City Attorney for Prosecution from the Entire Freaking City of Los Angeles Originated at Selma Park

A sunny cold November day in Selma Park with grownups sans children, just sitting around enjoying the goddamned park like God and the Recreation and Parks Commission intended them to do.
A sunny cold November day in Selma Park with grownups sans children, just sitting around enjoying the goddamned park like God and the Recreation and Parks Commission intended them to do.
Please, friends, forgive the wonkish headline, and read on to understand why it’s so important. If you haven’t been following the tragic saga of Selma Park, catch up here in the archives. The TL;DR is that the HPOA illegally proclaimed adults in Selma Park without children in tow to be in violation of California Penal Code 653b(a) and then proceeded arrest a bunch of people on these trumped-up charges. Every last one of the people arrested at that park for that crime whose cases were sent to the city attorney for prosecution had their prosecutions rejected. While we can’t (at the moment) prove that all 46 people arrested for violating that law at that park since 2008 were arrested by the Andrews International BID Patrol under the auspices of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, we can, as of now, prove something else that’s quite suggestive indeed. Right here, you can download a spreadsheet containing all PC653b(a) cases brought to the City Attorney’s office in the entire city of Los Angeles for as far back as electronic records are searchable. There’s one in there dated 2004, so perhaps that’s how far back they go.

In all, and this, according to the ever-helpful Mike Dundas, is all of them, there are 241 such cases. This is not a super-popular law, it seems. Of those 241, 19.1%, originated in an arrest at Selma Park. That is, the law is not super-popular, either among criminals or among cops, but it’s extremely, exceedingly, shockingly, horrifically, disproportionately popular at the corner of Selma and Schrader in Hollywood. It’s not even possible to analyze how disproportionate it is, since the area of Selma Park in proportion to the area of the City of LA is effectively zero. In other words, arrests for violating PC653b(a) at Selma Park are, up to a rounding error, a zillion times more common per square mile than they are for the rest of the city.

Not only that, but recall that case numbers that start with the letter “R” were rejected for prosecution by the city attorney (sadly, according to Mike Dundas, the reasons that cases were rejected are top secret). Of the 241 cases listed, 138 were rejected. That’s a rejection rate of 57.3% for the city as a whole. On the other hand, as we’ve previously noted, all 46 of the arrests in Selma Park, which include all of the referred cases from the BID Patrol but conceivably, potentially, others as well, were rejected for prosecution. That’s a rejection rate for the BID Patrol of 100%. What this suggests is that arrests for PC653b(a) are generally bullshit arrests, but that the BID Patrol’s are even more bullshit than the general runna-da-mill ones. Note that this doesn’t even include arrests made at Selma Park which were never even referred for prosecution. We don’t yet know how many of these there were, but we certainly will soon.


Image of Selma Park is ©2015 MichaelKohlhaas.org.

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