“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

“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

BID Patrol Prosecution/Arrest Ratio Very Low as Shown by Top Arrestees 2007-2013: From 44 Frequently Arrested People with 1144 Arrests, 407 Brought to City Attorney, Only 185 Actually Prosecuted

I recently obtained a 2013 list of people most arrested by the BID Patrol beginning in 2007. Since Kerry Morrison has told me1 that neither the HPOA nor Andrews International tracks outcomes of arrests made by the BID Patrol, I asked the City Attorney to run a report on all cases involving these people sent to them for prosecution.2 I subsequently tallied up the arrests and the referrals for the time period by hand3 and it turns out that the vast majority of cases involving BID Patrol arrests are not even referred for prosecution, and among those that are, over half are rejected. The data is incomplete and subject to some interpretation, but it appears that less than 20% of these cases are actually prosecuted.4 In particular, there are 1144 arrests of these 44 people between 2007 and 2013. Of these, no more than 407 (35.6%) were referred for prosecution. Of those cases, 222 were rejected for various reasons and the rest seem to have been prosecuted.

This is an astonishingly low rate if one thinks that the purpose of arresting people is to stop them from breaking the law, and it’s harmful both to the people arrested and to society at large. The incomparable Alexandra Napatoff, writing about misdemeanor convictions (although her argument is as strong regarding the arrests themselves, and even more so if the conviction rate is so very low), puts it like this;

Because the misdemeanor world is so large, its cultural disregard for evidence and innocence has pervasive ripple effects, not the least of which is the cynical lesson in civics that it teaches millions of Americans every year. In these ways, the misdemeanor process has become an influential gateway, sweeping up innocent as well as guilty on a massive scale and fundamentally shaping not only the ways we produce criminal convictions but also who is likely to sustain them.
Continue reading BID Patrol Prosecution/Arrest Ratio Very Low as Shown by Top Arrestees 2007-2013: From 44 Frequently Arrested People with 1144 Arrests, 407 Brought to City Attorney, Only 185 Actually Prosecuted

Media District Use-of-Handcuffs Investigation from 2010 by UPS Now Available, Casting Even More Doubt on Legality, Professionalism, Sanity, of A/I BID Patrol Arrest Policy

On September 28, 2010 Media District BID safety patrol officers handcuffed a man because he was drinking in public and wandering around in traffic. This triggered an extensive investigation by Universal Protection Service, the company which manages security for the BID. You can read all 13 pages of it here. The level of concern on the part of the investigator, Daryl Whitt, is remarkable:

Here is the recap of my interviews with the officers involved with the detainment/arrest on 9-28-10.

There are still some gaps in their stories that I have been unable to close. The main issue as I see it is that CPL Garcia reacted in the wrong manner. He should have never advised the officer to place handcuffs on the subject as there was no threat towards any officer.

Obviously UPS doesn’t take it lightly that their employees handcuffed a man. Nor should they. Also, fully three pages out of the 13 comprise an “Initial Notice” of “General Liability” sent by Daryl Whitt to his supervisors at UPS. Furthermore, The state of California putatively doesn’t take handcuffing lightly either. Just look at the 83 page training manual published by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services detailing every procedure, concern, legal obligation, and liability involved with the handcuffing of people by private security.1
Continue reading Media District Use-of-Handcuffs Investigation from 2010 by UPS Now Available, Casting Even More Doubt on Legality, Professionalism, Sanity, of A/I BID Patrol Arrest Policy

Ever-Delusional BID’s Targeting of Homeless Alcohol Use, Impunitizing Scofflaw Liquor Dealers, Denial of Laws of Nature, Continues, with Complicity, Connivance of City Attorney’s Office, Apace

Today’s post concerns a series of emails between Kerry Morrison and two Hollywood Neighborhood Prosecutors in 2014. These are part of a larger set of emails which we published some time ago. The BID, of course, is paranoiacally hyperphobic about drinking in public by the homeless, even as they celebrate, revel in, and sing hosanna in the highest to the use, misuse, abuse, of alcohol, even in public, when done by the non-homeless population of Hollywood. That’s not news. What is news is the weirdly obsessive length that newly-appointed-in-2014 Hollywood Neighborhood Prosecutor Jackie Lawson turned out to be willing to go to to accomodate Kerry Morrison’s paranoid hyperphobias. There’s a lot of background here, so please bear with us.
The documented part of our story begins on January 28, 2014,1 with an email from Kerry Morrison to then-Hollywood-Neighborhood-Prosecutor Andre Quintero, inviting him to a BID-sponsored summit meeting the purported motive for which was “[t]o reduce the incidence of daytime public drunkenness in the Hollywood Entertainment Disctrict and Sunset & Vine BID.” In particular, Kerry calls Andre’s attention to item 4, asking that he “maybe … could be prepared to share some background on” “…laws governing alcohol sales and alcohol use.” Note well that there’s no word out of Andre regarding any of this. And the rest of the agenda is worth reading, but there’s nothing there, really, beyond the usual paranoid ravings about panhandlers and public inebriation with which we’re so familiar.

Things began to take an interesting turn in March, though. That’s when Kerry Morrison, unconstrained by any Institutional Review Board, by any ethical guidelines for the use of human subjects, by any standards, professional or amateur, by any method, scientific or humane, by any laws, human or divine, written or unwritten, criminal or civil, announced yet another experiment in the social-laboratory-for-the-criminalization-of-homelessness gestalt-slash-weltanschauung that the HPOA has overlain upon our beloved Hollywood in its 20 years of madcap malcriado misrule.2
Continue reading Ever-Delusional BID’s Targeting of Homeless Alcohol Use, Impunitizing Scofflaw Liquor Dealers, Denial of Laws of Nature, Continues, with Complicity, Connivance of City Attorney’s Office, Apace

Emails between Hollywood Neighborhood Prosecutor and BID Now Available

The emails are available here. There’s a lot of chaff, as usual, but a lot of tasty morsels as well. My colleagues will certainly be giving this material the fine-toothed comb treatment in the future, but I thought it’d be nice to announce the availability of the documents to satisfy your hunger and thirst for the truth which, as is well-known, shall set you free.

Picture of famed future president and California attorney is, according to Wikimedia, in the public domain. Take that, Helen Gahagan Douglas!

HPOA Chooses Not to Arrest Law-Flouting Liquor Dealers, Proving its Selective Enforcement Intended to Eliminate Homeless Rather than Cut Hollywood Crime

We have previously noted that the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance arrests an awful goddamned lot of people for drinking in public. Furthermore, they maintain an utterly schizophrenic attitude about public drinking, arresting the homeless while not arresting the non-homeless for this most natural of human activities. We have suggested that the BID could solve this problem by merely ceasing to enforce this ridiculous law, but our finely crafted arguments have thus far been ignored, making us feel much as the habitually bad-rapped King Canute must have done when dealing with that whole wave thing.
But we’re not discouraged! We live to serve! We have more unsolicited advice for the HPOA. Even though we think their focus on Hollywood’s putative public drinking problem borders on either the delusional or the deliberate employment of the good old Große Lüge for the usual unsavory and genocidal purposes, we do understand that their livelihoods depend on keeping the arrest rates high. We figure that it’s at least plausible that they don’t want to stop arresting people because they’ll be out of a job if they do. As Albert Einstein1 used to say, “it is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

First we need a little background on how the HPOA sees the purpose of the BID Patrol. According to executive directrix Kerry Morrison (in an email to our tireless correspondent which was almost certainly written, given its exquisitely lawyeresque quasi-literate lack of concrete content, by Minneapolitan Jeffrey Charles Briggs, the HPOA’s attorney for such matters) “they make citizen arrests with respect to conduct LAPD is empowered to cite but lacks resources or the command decision to do so.” The semantics is clear though the syntax is muddy. The BID Patrol arrests people that the LAPD could arrest but just doesn’t for some reason. The point, of course, is that the BID Patrol gets to be selective about who they arrest, wielding California’s overflowing cornucopia of stupid misdemeanors like a bloody scythe in the fields of Hollywood and thereby, they seem to think, discouraging homeless people from hanging out in the BID. This sentiment was stated even more clearly than Jeff Briggs (or Kerry Morrison, whoever it was) could bring themself to do by an anonymous BID Officer, who once chortled in both his joy2 and in range of a video camera that “You don’t challenge the BID officers. The BID officers have the authority to arrest you. What we do is blessed by the staff at Hollywood Division. We’re helping them out.

Now, we’re almost to the suggestion, which is based on the at-least-plausible theory that when trying to solve drug consumption problems it’s more effective to attack the supply side rather than the demand side. The BIDs have made some minor moves in this direction, evinced e.g. by an article in their Spring 2014 newsletter in which Kerry Morrison claims that “two owners of area liquor stores … are working with us to minimize sales to our homeless neighbors who suffer from alcohol addiction.” But, vide Canute again, this is never gonna happen. You can’t stop suppliers from fulfilling a demand by asking them nicely. That money’s not going to be left on the table. The BID knows this when it comes to the homeless. They could ask them nicely to leave, but they, reasonably given their goals, don’t bother. Instead they just fucking arrest them. It turns out, and now we’re at the point finally, that they could be doing the same thing to the liquor store owners and employees although, for whatever reasons, they choose not to. Read on for details!
Continue reading HPOA Chooses Not to Arrest Law-Flouting Liquor Dealers, Proving its Selective Enforcement Intended to Eliminate Homeless Rather than Cut Hollywood Crime

Andrews International BID Patrol: Welcome to Hollywood, Now Fuck You!

According to Andrews International:

[B]udgetary constraints leave local police little choice but to focus primarily on reactive enforcement, [but] CAPS officers have the resources and support to actually serve as agents of change in the community. In partnership with law enforcement and assisted by community interest groups, social services agencies, and local businesses, CAPS officers focus on bridge building and problem solving.

Note that “CAPS officers” are how Andrews International refers to BID Patrollies when they’re trying to bullshit their way into more work like they do for the HPOA. And just look at the BID Patrol guy to your right, serving as an agent of change in the community, building bridges, solving problems!
And they’re not just flipping off one another back in BID Patrol secret headquarters during their weirdo macho team-building rituals, they’re out on the street, arresting people for things that aren’t crimes in sane places, like drinking beer on the street, and flipping off their victims, too.
Continue reading Andrews International BID Patrol: Welcome to Hollywood, Now Fuck You!

Nathan Bedford Forrest, Woodrow Wilson, Bull Connor, Richard Nixon, Lee Atwater, and the Vicious Crypto-White-Supremacism of the Hollywood Area BIDs

The late Lee Atwater, erstwhile bought-and-souled Robert Johnson of the Republican party, in a rare moment of lucidity, once explained how white politicians enforced and maintained white supremacy in the United States in the last half of the Twentieth Century:

You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger.’ By 1968 you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.
And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, ‘We want to cut this,’ is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than ‘Nigger, nigger.’1

From 1865 through nineteen-fifty-something, politicians and demagogues, e.g. Nathan Bedford Forrest, founder of the first incarnation of white businessman’s social group the Ku Klux Klan and Woodrow Wilson, erstwhile president of white supremacist organization Harvard University, could just use the magical incantation of “nigger, nigger, nigger,” and their will would be done.
But, as Lee points out, things started to get more complicated. Instead of saying “nigger,” white supremacists had to talk about states’ rights, and, later taxation. This was the essence of Richard Nixon’s so-called Southern Strategy, which got him elected in 1968 using those precise codewords which his audience heard as “nigger, nigger, nigger,” the same Southern Strategy that a star-struck Lee Atwater is glorifying to the heavens as he breathlessly describes its genius.

By now, though, we’re well into the 21st Century and by now, as the incomparable Steven Johnson has so convincingly argued, everyone is way, way smarter than they used to be.2 These days, even talking too vigorously about taxation will expose one as a revanchist white supremacist. Lee Atwater died unlamented by sane people in 1991, so he didn’t get to see the present state of the progression he so enviously described above. A new vocabulary was needed to maintain white supremacy and, as humans are so very adaptive, a new vocabulary was developed. And wouldn’t Lee have been proud?
Continue reading Nathan Bedford Forrest, Woodrow Wilson, Bull Connor, Richard Nixon, Lee Atwater, and the Vicious Crypto-White-Supremacism of the Hollywood Area BIDs

So-Called “Donation Stations” in Hollywood and Aktion Arbeitsscheu Reich: A Curious Instance of Convergent Evolution

Convergent evolution occurs in biological species when two types of organism occupy similar niches, are subject to similar selection pressures, have to solve the same sorts of problems in order to succeed in the tasks that their environments set for them,1 and so on. Thus when two organisms have evolved similar survival tactics, it’s reasonable to draw the conclusion that they’re trying to solve similar problems in the world, that they play a similar role in the grand scheme of being.2
And it’s an undeniable fact that Kerry Morrison and the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance are, against the express will of Jesus Christ, obsessed with discouraging people from giving money to panhandlers directly. Just the briefest glance at any of their newsletters will convince you of this. In particular, see page 7 of the Summer 2014 issue, in which Kerry Morrison asks herself and, by extension, you, the reader, if she should give money to panhandlers (SPOILER: no!). Kerry gives no real reasons at all here or anywhere, so far as we can see.
Admittedly she gives what seem like reasons at first glance, e.g. she asserts that the homeless will spend the money on alcohol and then get arrested by the BID patrol for drinking it in public, but there’s no explanatory force here. Kerry’s the Executive Directrix of the HPOA and thus the big boss of the BID patrol. She is a woman under authority, with soldiers under her; and she says to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes.3 If she doesn’t want people getting arrested for drinking in public, all she’s gotta do is tell her gunmen to stop arresting them. There’s no need to propagandize against giving money to the poor if the goal is merely to arrest fewer people.

And it doesn’t stop with propaganda, either. There are actual machines involved. See, e.g., page 5 of the Summer 2014 HPOA Newsletter, in which Kerry promotes machines that people can put money into instead of handing it personally to panhandlers. This, says she, is “a positive option for passersby to contribute change to help people.” These machines cost $2500 a pop and they’re looking at getting 12 of them. That comes to$30,000 altogether, which is actually about 2% of the HPOA’s annual security budget. There’s some serious purpose at work or the HPOA wouldn’t be willing to spend such an outrageous amount of money,7 but we’ll be damned if we can see what it is. Fortunately, we have an analytic tool that will let us understand everything and then explain it to you!
Continue reading So-Called “Donation Stations” in Hollywood and Aktion Arbeitsscheu Reich: A Curious Instance of Convergent Evolution

There’s a 98.72% Chance that at Least Two People on the HPOA/CHC Boards of Directors are Really, Really Hypocritical

According to scientists the top 20% of U.S. drinkers drink an average of 6.3 drinks per day.1 At 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol per drink2 that works out to 3.78 ounces all together. At 30 ml per ounce that comes to 113.4 ml of pure alcohol. Steve Seyler’s bête noire is something called Taaka vodka which is, we assume, 80 proof, or 40% alcohol. Thus 113.4 ml is equivalent to $\frac{113.4}{0.4}$=283.5 ml of actual vodka.

The small bottles that everyone in the BID is so het up about are 200 ml, so we’re talking about $\frac{283.5}{200}$=1.42 bottles of Taaka. What’s the chance that someone on the Board of directors drinks at this rate and still has the temerity to vote in favor of policies that target homeless people for arrest for doing the same thing that they do every freaking day? It’s pretty high, friends. Details below the fold.
Continue reading There’s a 98.72% Chance that at Least Two People on the HPOA/CHC Boards of Directors are Really, Really Hypocritical