Posts Tagged 'lapd'

LAPD Arrested Me, Then Lied About It

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Despite LAPD officers, Kevin Foster and Michael Palmer, arresting me for taking this picture and claiming I “interfered” with their investigation, Algennon and his wife (the people on the balcony) weren’t arrested for “interference” when they recorded my arrest from the same distance.

HALLOWEEN 2013: A Requiem For My Right to Document LAPD

For the past 3-5 years, I’ve documented Hollywood Blvd on Halloween night. The work can be viewed here, here, and here. So of course I’ll be doing the same again this year.

But to help remind the Los Angeles Police Department that I have a right to stand in public space and document police activity without the threat of arrest, or any other kind of interference, I’m finally publishing last year’s videos of their officers doing the following to me:

HARASSING ME

THREATENING ME WITH ARREST

TARGETING ME BECAUSE OF A CAMERA

INTENTIONALLY USING THEIR HANDS TO BLOCK MY CAMERA

INTENTIONALLY USING A FLASHLIGHT TO BLIND MY CAMERA

COMMITTING BATTERY

After watching the following videos, please use twitter to let LAPD know how you feel about their actions.

They can be reached at the following Twitter accounts: @LAPDhq, @911LAPD, @LAPDhollywood, @LAPDHDQTRS and @LAPDChiefBeck

LAPD officer gestures and mumbles not to take pictures:

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LAPD officer Kevin Palmer #2204 walks by me, turns around, and stands behind me:

LAPD officers harass and threaten me with arrest while other people without cameras are allowed to move freely. Sergeant Martin #33768 arrives to defend status quo:

LAPD officers intentionally use their hands to block my camera, violating my rights as well as LAPD’s internal policies. Two of  the officers claim they didn’t violate anything:

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A couple of LAPD “heroes” power-trip because I wasn’t standing where they wanted me to stand while waiting to cross the street. One of them actually says, “Did you just cross my yellow tape?” Last time I checked, the tape belongs to myself and taxpayers. The mindset of today’s cop (sigh):

LAPD officer #18908 tells me not to take pictures and intentionally uses his flashlight to blind my camera multiple times. Meanwhile, an undercover cop cheap shots me from behind by slamming his body into me. Like a coward, he quietly slithers back into the crowd as though he never committed the crime of battery against me:

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Historically speaking, my videos clearly show that LAPD officers weren’t recognizing my rights to freely observe and document police activity. One officer (whom I feel is the most professional officer in Hollywood)  admits that “new officers” just don’t know.

So is LAPD’s tendency to violate my rights a training issue? An officer issue? Or a cultural issue?

Here’s one more from 2012 (which is not the only video from that year showing LAPD harassing me for taking pictures):

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“Interfering with a police investigation.”

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That moment before your rights are violated & you’re unlawfully arrested

LAPD’s Canned Response to 23 Citizen Complaints


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As a concerned citizen worried about the direction that law enforcement is heading in nowadays, the next time you contact the Los Angeles Police Department with your complaints, you might want to take the response you receive with a grain of salt.

Continue reading ‘LAPD’s Canned Response to 23 Citizen Complaints’

LAPD Denies My Request Seeking the Number of Times Their Officers Accessed My Personal Information

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If the Los Angeles Police Department was potentially accessing your private information via a government database like the DMV, you would think that the subject of those searches would have a right to know if the information was accessed, when it was accessed, and why it was accessed.  That way, the person could determine if the searches were done legally, or illegally.  And whether or not, at the very least, find out if the searches violated LAPD policy.

Well, having carte blanche to this information may be true in states like Florida where there are very strong public records laws that keep government open and protect the public’s right to know.  But what holds true in the Sunshine State, does not in The Golden State.

Continue reading ‘LAPD Denies My Request Seeking the Number of Times Their Officers Accessed My Personal Information’

An Emailer Describes his Encounter with LAPD’s Sergeant Rudy Vidal

As most of you already know, I was unlawfully arrested in June by the Los Angeles Police Department for taking pictures from a public sidewalk.  Sergeant Rudy Vidal, who is included in the Christopher Commission’s ‘LAPD 44‘, ordered my arrest for interference.  Last week I received an email from someone describing their recent encounter with Vidal.

Apparently, “crossing on a red signal” is grounds for a trip to the police station and being chained to a bench.

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Arrested for Photographing LAPD

On June 2, 2013, while standing on a public sidewalk and approximately 90 ft. away, Shawn Nee was arrested for photographing officers from the Los Angeles Police Department.  The officers claimed he interfered with their police investigation.  Shawn was transported to the Hollywood police station, handcuffed to a bench, and escorted into an interrogation room where he was questioned by a detective.  The arrest lasted approximately  1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Shawn was eventually released without charge.

Senseless

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Complaint Against LAPD’s Paul Espinoza Sustained

I was detained again recently (actually handcuffed and placed in the patrol unit) in Hollywood while photographing some people I’ve been following for a couple of weeks. My account of what happened, along with my footage (which is securely online already and stored on multiple hard drives that are not at my residence), will be released in the near future, but the experience has motivated me to finally comment on some letters I received in November 2010 from LAPD’s Chief of Police Charlie Beck and Paul Espinoza—the Northeast Patrol Division officer who unlawfully detained me because I photographed him and his partner performing a traffic stop on Hollywood Boulevard in February 2010.

The first paragraph of Chief Beck’s letter states the following:

An investigation into your complaint that was reported on February 21, 2010, regarding the conduct of an employee of the Los Angeles Police Department has been completed.  The investigation has gone through several levels of review, including myself and the command staff of Internal Affairs Group.  Your allegations that an officer was discourteous and unlawfully detained you were classified as Sustained.  This means the investigation determined that the act alleged occurred and constitutes misconduct.  An appropriate penalty will be imposed; however, Penal Code Section 832. 5 precludes me from disclosing the specific penalty.

And Paul Espinoza’s apology letter says:

I am the officer with whom you had contact on February 21, 2010.  You should know there was a complaint lodged against me and I am sure you will be informed by the Department that complaint has been sustained.  I wanted to write you a personal letter to apologize for my actions on that day.  The Department has provided me training and I assure you I will handle similar situations in the future much differently.  I am very proud to be a Los Angeles Police Officer and will do my best to serve you and the community to the best of my abilities in the future.

I hope the next time we meet it is under better circumstances.  Again, please accept my apologies.

When I first received the letters I was initially pleased and certainly felt vindicated—especially towards my harshest online critics who inaccurately claimed that I was never detained and should have waited for the supervisor to arrive to say whatever it is that they thought I should have said to him.

Well, as all will know now, as some of us already knew then—I was unlawfully detained and treated disrespectfully. It’s that simple, and for full-brained people it really isn’t all that hard of a reality to grasp once you see the video.

As for the people who criticized me for not sticking around to speak to the supervisor, what they may not realize is the fact that speaking to a supervisor might well not resolve anything. More important, I don’t need to complain to Espinoza’s superior at the time; I can complain by filing a complaint with LAPD later. The two do not go hand in hand. Which, are both very good reasons why I left.

This was not my first time being detained, and I understand how the detainment and complaint process works. Plus, I have a lawyer friend who I can contact when I need advice or a legal question answered.

So once all the Monday-morning shutterbugs decide to stop taking family portraits, studio shots of fruit and martini glasses, and macro-shots of flowers and bugs and get their detainment cherry popped for taking legal pictures in public (which are decent enough to share with the rest of the world), then I’ll listen to what they have to say.

Sorry to digress, but all things must be addressed.

Then I read the letters again and thought about the outcome a little more. What did they do to make sure Espinoza wouldn’t do something like this again? And why does California Penal Code Section 832.5 (as well 832.7) prevent me and the public from knowing Espinoza’s “appropriate penalty”? For all I know, Espinoza’s appropriate penalty was to write a forced apology letter because he was caught on video screaming about his First Amendment rights, while at the same exact moment derailing my constitutional rights.

I should have the right to know Espinoza’s penalty, and so should you. We have the right to know the complaint history against all law enforcement officers in this country. This should be easily accessible information, rather than locked up and hidden from public scrutiny.

Penal codes such as 832.5 and 832.7 (which prevent LAPD from releasing information even about complaints that were determined valid), should not exist because all they do is raise credibility issues within the confines of law enforcement and stir contempt throughout the public.

We need to change this.



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