Tag Archives: Protests

In The Wake Of Federal Lawsuits Against The City Of Los Angeles For Its Outrageous Unsupportable Illegal Pretextual Arrests At 2014 Protests Over The Murder Of Michael Brown City Attorney Mike Feuer Issued Detailed Confidential Case Filing Guidelines Explaining Precisely Which Crimes To Arrest Protesters For — And Exactly What Information Had To Be In The Police Reports In Order To Prosecute Successfully — Which Looks To The Even Mildly Cynical Eye As A List Of Suggested Lies For The Cops To Include — And Here — Friends — Is A Copy Of Feuer’s Confidential Report — All Eighteen Pages Of It — And Special Bonus! — LAPD Enforcement Guidelines For LAMC 55.07 — Which Regulates How Big Your Signs Can Be At Protests And Forbids Glass Bottles — Among Other Things

In 2014 a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri murdered Michael Brown. On November 24, 2014 a grand jury announced its decision not to indict the officer and, in response, civil unrest broke out across the United States, including in Los Angeles, where hundreds of protesters were arrested by the LAPD. And it’ll be no surprise to anyone paying attention that the police here used illegal tactics, arrested people who weren’t breaking the law, and so on.

These allegations were the subject of at least three federal civil rights suits against the City. One by Charmaine Chua, filed in January 2016, was eventually certified as a class action, and seems poised to settle fairly soon. Another, by Patti Beers and others, seems to have settled already. The third, filed by Girmay Amha, has particularly vivid descriptions of LAPD misconduct, and it’s really worth your time to read to find out exactly the kind of crap the cops pulled.

So evidently, and this is supported by the fact that none of these cases seem likely to go to trial and the fact that evidently few if any of the arrestees were ever charged, the City realized that they had incurred significant liability due to LAPD misconduct. In defending the City against these multiple suits, and also having been involved in the decisions not to charge most or all of the protesters, the City Attorney’s office would have had to had a deep look into LAPD’s arrest policies at protests.

The lack of charges certainly suggests that they didn’t like what they found. It’s possible, therefore, although I don’t (yet) have direct proof, that LAPD behavior at the Michael Brown protests was the cause of the fact that in October 2017 Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer released an extensive and detailed set of filing guidelines related to arrests made at protests. I recently obtained a copy of this putatively confidential document, you can get your own copy here, and there’s a transcription below.1

This remarkable document lists 16 distinct violations that the City Attorney recommends LAPD arrest protesters for. It includes “evidentiary recommendations” for each crime, which read like nothing more than winking advice to police about what kinds of things they have to make up in order to avoid future debacles. There are also notes to filing deputies city attorneys for some of the violations. In all it’s a technical but absolutely fascinating document, and surely the time spent reading it will be repaid manyfold.

And included in the same document release from which I obtained this record, there was also this other notice from the Chief of Detectives, entitled “Enforcement Guidelines for Violations of LAMC §55.07.” This law regulates what kinds of items are forbidden to possess at protests, like sign poles that are too thick, or sharpened, and so on. It breaks down the division of responsibilities among different command levels for arresting people for violations, and includes a copy of the mandatory warning, in both English and Spanish, which must be read by officers before they start arresting people for violations. Very, very interesting stuff.
Continue reading In The Wake Of Federal Lawsuits Against The City Of Los Angeles For Its Outrageous Unsupportable Illegal Pretextual Arrests At 2014 Protests Over The Murder Of Michael Brown City Attorney Mike Feuer Issued Detailed Confidential Case Filing Guidelines Explaining Precisely Which Crimes To Arrest Protesters For — And Exactly What Information Had To Be In The Police Reports In Order To Prosecute Successfully — Which Looks To The Even Mildly Cynical Eye As A List Of Suggested Lies For The Cops To Include — And Here — Friends — Is A Copy Of Feuer’s Confidential Report — All Eighteen Pages Of It — And Special Bonus! — LAPD Enforcement Guidelines For LAMC 55.07 — Which Regulates How Big Your Signs Can Be At Protests And Forbids Glass Bottles — Among Other Things

Share

Who Do We Speak To When We Speak Truth To Power?

Last week USC hosted a celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti was invited to speak, but his speech was repeatedly interrupted by protesters from LA CAN, from the Skid Row Neighborhood Council Formation Committee, from NOlympics LA, and others.

This prompted an editorial from the L.A. Times entitled Shouting down Mayor Garcetti isn’t ‘speaking truth to power,’ the theme of which is well summarized by this excerpt:

But protesters can overplay their hands. These days, tolerance of other people’s views seems low, and there’s an unhealthy willingness to silence one’s opponents rather than engage them, debate them and out-argue them. That’s a shame.

Protesters who shout down a speaker — or shut down a public meeting — aren’t just expressing their own views; they’re making it impossible for others to share theirs.

It’s silly almost beyond comprehension to believe that Eric Garcetti can be silenced by protesters, that anyone interrupting him can make it impossible for him to share his views. Every word the man says is reported on extensively. His press releases are reprinted or recited verbatim by major news outlets. His press conferences are attended by reporters from all over the state, even the nation. A few people interrupting a speech isn’t making it impossible for Eric Garcetti to share his views.

And why in the world does the Times think there’s something wrong with protesters being unwilling to debate or out-argue Eric Garcetti? Do they really believe that if Eric Garcetti just hears the right argument he’ll stop allowing his LAPD thugs to kill young men for no good reason, stop sending them out to arrest homeless people and incinerate their belongings, that he’ll stop accepting campaign money from real estate developers in exchange for enabling them to destroy neighborhoods and cause more homelessness, that he’ll suddenly see the light and stop being evil?

It’s not going to happen like that. He’s heard the arguments already. If he hasn’t seen the damage he’s doing, the pain he’s causing, the killings he enables, all for the sake of his campaign coffers and his career, it’s because he doesn’t want to see. He knows his constituency and he’s giving them exactly what they want from him. No reasoned analysis is going to change that. These kind of repeated demands for civil discourse in the face of racist police murders, genocidal policies on homelessness, gentrification by force of arms, are incredibly disingenuous.

And strangely, it doesn’t seem to have occurred to the LA Times that the protesters already know they’re not going to change Eric Garcetti’s mind about anything. These protesters are accomplished, able, serious people, the value of whose contributions to civil society in Los Angeles is incomparable. None of them have done what they’ve been able to do by wasting their time trying to debate LA politicians into being nice. What, the LA Times pointedly did not even consider, might such protests actually accomplish?
Continue reading Who Do We Speak To When We Speak Truth To Power?

Share

Documents Available as City of L.A., Charlie Beck Sued by Michael Brown Protesters, National Lawyers Guild, over November 2014 Rights Violations

April 2015 Death by Cop march in Westlake.  It's not what this lawsuit is about, but it's a good picture.
April 2015 Death by Cop march in Westlake. It’s not what this lawsuit is about, but it’s a good picture.
Yesterday night the Times reported that a suit was filed in federal court on January 14, 2016, on behalf of people, including NLG-LA lawyers there to observe, whose rights were violated by the LAPD in November 2014 during a protest against a Missouri grand jury’s failure to indict Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown. For whatever reason, newspaper articles like this never link to the court filings, which I, and maybe even you, find fascinating. On the face of it this case has nothing to do with BIDs, although it’s conceivable that a connection will develop,1 but I’m going to collect filings here anyway since I’m going to read them myself, so I might as well distribute them. I don’t plan to write much on them, but who knows? I set up a page to display them. It’s also reachable through the menu structure above. Right now the initial complaint is there and is well worth your time. There are some selections after the break:
Continue reading Documents Available as City of L.A., Charlie Beck Sued by Michael Brown Protesters, National Lawyers Guild, over November 2014 Rights Violations

Share