Technical background: There are two phases in the establishment of a business improvement district. The first is the petition stage. In order for the establishment process to move forward petitions in favor representing more than 50% of the total assessed value in the BID must be submitted. If this happens the process moves to the balloting stage. In order for the BID to be established ballots representing more than 50% of the total assessed value represented by the ballots received must vote in favor of formation.
Key point: To create a BID more than 50% of the total value must vote yes on petitions but only more than 50% of the value of received ballots must vote yes.1
When the City of Los Angeles started up the modern version of its business improvement district program in 1994 the City Council required the City Clerk to vote yes on both BID petitions and ballots for City-owned property. In 2018, though, in apparent violation of this requirement, Clerk Holly Wolcott seems to have unilaterally decided not to vote her petitions yes until private owners of property had already brought support over the 50.1% threshold.
Remember last January? Before all this pandemic insurrection nonsense? Anyway, that’s when I filed a suit against both the Highland Park Business Improvement District and the Lincoln Heights BID1 over their failures to comply with the California Public Records Act. I haven’t written much on it because at first it looked like it was going to settle quickly. The BIDs agreed to produce the records and everything was fine.
Then they fired their lawyers and hired Carol “World’s angriest CPRA lawyer” Humiston’s firm, Bradley & Gmelich, to fight the petition instead. Humiston, of course, has it in for me and is even willing to break the law and the rules of the California State Bar to further her obsessive campaign. She apparently actually believes that the only reason I request records from BIDs is to fuck with them and run up their lawyer bills, and she’s determined to prove this in court.
Now, I’ve worked out a very simple plan. First, we collect every key on this ship and tag it with the name of the owner. Second, we strip all hands to make sure we got all the keys. Third, we test each key on the icebox padlock, and the one that fits will give us the name of the owner.
Despite his blah blah blah about a work plan and handling requests sequentially, what they’ve really done is to stop producing records at all. But they’re somewhat hindered in this project by the fact that Gmail is free and the law doesn’t allow them to inquire too deeply into the identities of requesters.
I don’t know about you but I find it incredibly hard to understand how much money this City spends on policing. Even leaving aside all the lesser-known1 police forces, like the Airport Police, and the School Police,2 and the Port Police, and probably a dozen other kinds of police none of us has ever even heard of, it’s even hard to understand how much money the City spends on just the familiar LAPD. One hears $3 billion, or $1.5 billion.
No one seems to know if pension spending should be included or not. And if you ever do figure it out it’s still impossible to understand where they’re spending the money. Public Records Requests would be ideal for this purpose but LAPD refuses to fulfill them, unless of course they have their own reasons for wanting to get information out there.
However, I just recently obtained this incredibly useful document from the City of LA that really lays out LAPD spending in just the right amount of detail. It divides the fiscal year 2020 money up into ten “programs”, which are: Field Forces, Specialized Investigation, Custody of Persons and Property, Traffic Control, Specialized Enforcement and Protection, Personnel Training and Support, Departmental Support, Technology Support, General Administration and Support, Internal Integrity and Standards Enforcement .
You know how you go to a Los Angeles City Council meeting and all the action seems scripted and predetermined? That’s not an illusion. Obviously they decide everything in advance, or they did before everything changed last year. And this is completely illegal in California per the Brown Act1 but it is so freaking hard to catch them at it!
Not impossible, though. Scope this Sunday, June 21, 2020 email from LAPD City Council liason Harry Eddo to Chief Michel Moore discussing some of this summer’s flood of cop reform motions, these scheduled for the Wednesday, June 24, 2020 meeting of the Ad Hoc Police Reform Committee. Apparently it’s part of Eddo’s job to track such motions, ones that potentially affect LAPD, and help Moore plan responses.
Which by the way brings up an important question — why does LAPD have a person doing this job at all? If the idea is that the police are an instrument of civilian public policy, controlled by elected civilians to carry out the public’s purposes, then it’s hard to justify spending public money paying staff to monitor and influence the source of control. It almost looks like the LAPD is more concerned with institutional survival and control rather than with doing their jobs.2
Despite the pseudonym, though, I’d bet good money the anonymous complainant is a woman. The accusations against Clarke are not only completely plausible, they have to do with the kind of pro-male sexism that certain women in certain powerful positions can display. They’re not really the kind of problems that men tend to notice in this amount of detail. E.g.
“Anne Clark dislikes other female command staff within Detective Bureau, which appears to be based on their gender. She is very cordial to and supportive of the male Captains but rude, obnoxious, disrespectful and downright mean to the female Captains.
It’s hard for me to imagine a male LAPD officer noticing this kind of behavior and at the same time thinking it’s worth complaining about.1 There are plenty of other examples like this. In fact all of the specific examples have to do with Clark’s mistreatment of high-ranking women, which suggests that the complainant is also a high-ranking woman. The email also faults Clark’s superior officer, Kris Pitcher:
Deputy Chief Kris Pitcher is complicit in that he listens to how she speaks to others during Compstat inspections or other venues, yet does nothing to stop her unprofessional demeanor, most likely because he has been promised the next Assistant Chief position and does not want to jeopardize his appointment by being blamed by Clark for taking action against a female employee.
This is all well-known. What I haven’t seen discussed, reported on, or even published is this 24 Hour Occurrence Log form about the shooting, prepared by LAPD Force Investigation Division Detective Anthony Rheault on June 18, 2019, just four days after Sanchez killed French.1 In particular this initial report states that “In an unprovoked assault, Kenneth French struck the officer in the head, causing him to collapse to the ground with his child.”
The 24 Occurrence Log also states that “The off-duty officer sustained blunt force trauma to his head.” While there is some testimonial evidence that French did strike Sanchez it’s not completely convincing and given that later pretty much every other aspect of his story turned out to be a lie, I’m not completely convinced.
Furthermore, Moore’s final report, which was obtained and published by the Los Angeles Times, contains no convincing evidence that Sanchez suffered from any serious injury. To the contrary, Moore states:
The UOFRB majority noted that although the attack on Officer Sanchez by Kenneth was unprovoked, the inconsistencies in Officer Sanchez’s statements and the lack of supporting evidence led them to determine that this incident did not support the drawing and exhibiting of a firearm. … The UOFRB majority also noted that Officer Sanchez indicated he was struck hard enough to be rendered unconscious, yet after receiving medical treatment, there was a lack of any substantiated injuries…”
When Los Angeles Police Department officers shoot, hurt, or kill people or animals, and even when they fire their guns by accident, the Department investigates the incident and reports on it to the Police Commission.1 For sufficiently serious incidents both the Chief and the Inspector General review the evidence and write confidential reports, which are then considered in closed session by the Commission. Even the least serious incidents get covered in a so-called “Chief of Police 24 Hour Occurrence Log Force Investigation Division” report. The ones for which
The Department publishes summaries of the first kind of reports on their website and it’s possible to get redacted versions of the original confidential closed session reportsif you ask for them,2 but I’ve never seen the unredacted reports published anywhere. Until now, that is, because I have an unprecedented set of records comprising both Chief and OIG reports from 14 cases in 2019 and 2020 and 18 of the previously mentioned 24 Hour Occurrence reports from 2020 for you today!
Some of the more serious cases also have confidential minority opinions filed by LAPD Command staff and I have those too, also unredacted. One of the cases, Alex Flores, has an unredacted LAPD Family Liason report. AYou can download all of them here on Archive.Org, or read on for brief summaries and direct links. Here are internal links to the files organized by victim in ascending date order:
Santa Claus teaches children many important lessons about ubiquitous surveillance and moral judgments,1 but if those children grow up to be LAPD officers, well, the lessons are no longer true for them. I mean, Santa Claus can make a list and check it twice and no matter how naughty officers are accused of being, a lot of time no one outside of 100 W. 1st Street ever hears a word about it.
This deep, deep silence gets even deeper when a board of rights is involved. These shadowy hearing boards review the Chief’s punishment recommendations and almost always overturn them. But the names of officers appearing before boards of rights are secret, as are their findings and pretty much everything about them. Boards of rights have gotten some attention from the news since 2017, though.