If you haven’t kept up with our investigations into Selma Park, here is good starting place. The short version is that in 2007 the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance illegally placed signs in the park stating that it was for children and caregivers only and proceeded to arrest some people and eject others from the park for the next 8 years until I got the signs removed by Recreation and Parks. When I first asked her for records on the matter, Kerry Morrison told me that
“A/I says that after looking into this, it is unlikely that any arrests ever were made by A/I in Selma Park with specific regard to the signs and penal code section you recite (as opposed to public urination, drinking, and other reasons)…”
EXTRA PATROL: 6765 SELMA AVE; SELMA PARK. CHECKED LOCATION FOR VIOLATORS OF NEW SIGNS POSTED PROHIBITING ADULTS WITHOUT CHILDREN AT PARK. NOTE 3 (H) MALES IN PARK IN VIOLATION AND ADVISED RE: NEW POSTED SIGNS. SUSPECTS DEPARTED WITHOUT INCIDENT.
Interestingly, this was foreshadowed as early as September, 2007. For instance, we find in the Footbeat 4 log for September 27, 2007 that OFFICERS CONTACTED SEVERAL HOMELESS RE: ISSUES IN THE PARK AND SURROUNDING AREA. WE ADVISED THE SUBJECTS RE: THE POSSIBILITY OF THE PARK BEING FOR CHILDREN ONLY. (END 1830 HOURS).
There are at least 137 mentions of Selma Park in the daily activity logs.1 Reading through these by hand and tallying the people kicked out of the park I count 159 of them. I skipped as many duplicates as I noticed (due to backup reporting and so on). We noted recently that a 2013 arrest almost certainly constitutes a violation of California Civil Code §52.1(a), which states:
If a person or persons, whether or not acting under color of law, interferes by threats, intimidation, or coercion, or attempts to interfere by threats, intimidation, or coercion, with the exercise or enjoyment by any individual or individuals of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or of the rights secured by the Constitution or laws of this state, the Attorney General, or any district attorney or city attorney may bring a civil action for injunctive and other appropriate equitable relief in the name of the people of the State of California, in order to protect the peaceable exercise or enjoyment of the right or rights secured.
Here are 159 more color of law abuses by the BID Patrol, which also violations of that law, and this is 2013 alone.
Note also that the BID Patrol officers don’t even seem to know what law they’re enforcing. Sometimes it’s trespassing, sometimes it’s loitering, sometimes it’s who knows what. Also, they even kick kids out of the park under the law which they mistakenly claim disallows adults. Just look here: 10-21-2013_FB2_LOG_10262013_HAGOPIAN.doc
6500 SELMA: SELMA PARK. MADE CONTACT WITH SEVERAL JUVENILES AND ADVISED THEM THAT THEY WOULD HAVE TO LEAVE THE AREA. ALL SUBJECTS COMPLIED AND LEFT THE LOC.
There’s an excerpt from the complaint after the break, but it’s really worth reading the whole thing.
One of the main points is that the LAPD and the BID conspire to not only cite and/or arrest the vendors, but to destroy their stuff. We’ve written before about how the Hollywood BID Patrol does the same thing. They not only arrest the vendors, but without any kind of due process, they ruin all their stuff, or even worse, appropriate it and steal it. You can see an example of this in the photo somewhere near this sentence. I would imagine that, now that the Fashion District BID is being sued, the HPOA is getting a little nervous. Turn the page to hear why!
Heather — wanted to see if you had an idea as to how we might be able to communicate with the families located around Selma Park…As you may know, with the help Helen [sic] and the rest of your team at CD-13, we’ve been able to designate the entire park as a children’s play area.
So that settles that. HPOA and Eric Garcetti’s staff illegally excluded everyone without kids from Selma Park at some time before January 22, 2008.
Amongst the emails between Andrews International Security and the HPOA recently obtained by our correspondent, we find a document entitled ANDREWS INTERNATIONAL BID HOMELESS PERSON DIRECTIVE. You can download a copy here or find an embedded copy after the break. There is much of interest in this document, but today we’re looking at the following bit:
If a BID Officer observes a person who, because of their homelessness commits one of the following misdemeanors:
Obstructing passage on sidewalks
Living or sleeping in a vehicle
Loitering in a restroom
Use of facilities, e.g., sleeping on a bus bench for other than intended purpose
Public nudity as is necessary to carry on the daily necessities of life
Building a structure in a park or public right-of-way
Trespass on or in public or private property
The Officer may offer such individual(s) the option of going to an available shelter in the surrounding Hollywood community as an alternative to arrest. If the homeless person accepts the offer of assistance, no arrest shall take place and arrangements shall be made to transport the homeless person to the shelter.
Pass over the dyslexic parrot-like legalese. Pass over the semiliterate, unparseable sentences. Pass over the absolutely unintelligible yet still horrific phrase “sleeping on a bus bench for other than intended purpose.” Consider for now just the fact that in June 2014, five months before the date on this document, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found LA’s law against sleeping in vehicles to be unconstitutional.