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April 8th, 2010 by Celeste Fremon

Skid-Row-injuncton-protest

SKID ROW DRUG DEALER GANG INJUNCTION

On Wednesday, the LA City Attorney’s office announced a new kind of gang injunction that doesn’t target particular gangs per se, but names individuals from a variety of LA gangs who are believed to be coming into Skid Row on a commuter basis to sell drugs.

Kate Linthicum of the LA Times has the story as does C.J. Lin of The Daily News.

There are those who object to the injunction saying that homeless who are merely addicts—who may have run messages for dealers to get their own stash— will be driven away from the Skid Row area where they can acquire much needed services and help.

But others who serve the homeless, like the Union Rescue Mission’s Andy Bales, see the injunction as a good move. “This is the best news we’ve had in a while,” Andy Bales told the Times.

Bruce Riordan, the city attorney’s director of anti-gang operations, said that those listed in the injunction will have plenty of time to challenge their inclusion before the injunction actually kicks in.

Speaking personally, while I know there are more than a few possible abuses that can occur, and mistakes will no doubt be made, still I think the use of an injunction to dissuade the drive-through drug dealers who prey on the homeless is an idea that has appeal.

In the end, whether the injunction is used as valuable tool or a cudgel will depend upon the intelligence and the finesse—or lack thereof— with which it is enforced.


PARENTS’ SCHOOL CHOICE WINS—TEMPORARILY

In past years, around 12,000 students who live in the LAUSD area have been given permission to transfer to a school in a district outside LAUSD—districts such as Beverly Hills, Las Virgenes, Culver City and so on. The idea is that students can transfer to take advantage of a particular program that their local schools didn’t have. Sometimes the requests were just what they said they were. Other times, it was merely a case of frustrated parents who had learned to work the system because they wanted to get their children the hell out of the overcrowded, over-bureaucratized, often-failing Los Angeles Unified School District.

Last month, however, LAUSD superintendent Roman Cortines said that, next year, all of those 12,000 plus kids had to come back. The reasons had nothing to do with the kids’ well being. It was purely a money issue. If most of those students came back to Los Angeles schools LAUSD would get around $50 million more from the state in ADA money—ADA being the sacred average daily attendance figure that dictates much of school funding.

After weeks of parents flipping out, on Tuesday, Cortines and the school board reluctantly walked that very unpopular cat back, and said yes to the transfers—temporarily.

State Senator Gloria Romero, who wants to be the next head of Education for California
—was vocally in favor of keeping the transfer policy. “While some might argue that LAUSD will suffer by implementing these reform measures…..Let us not forget that the needs of students must always come first,” she wrote.

Uh, yeah. That last part, the students come first thingy, would be very good to remember.


CALIFORNIA MOVES ONE STEP CLOSER TO REPEALING STATE LAW MANDATING A “GAY CURE.”

On Tuesday, the Assembly’s Public Safety committee passed AB 2199, a bill that would repeal a section of the California Welfare and Institutions code, created in the 1950s, which—no kidding—requires the State Department of Mental Health to conduct research into the “causes and cures of homosexuality.”

Startling to find that such a sad and loathsome thing is on the books, but it is. And it codifies bigotry.

The bill to repeal the statute passed out of committee with a 4-0 vote, but there were also three abstentions—namely Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-Pasadena, Assemblymen Curt Hagman, R-Diamond Bar, and Danny Gilmore, R-Hanford.

(What’s that about? No, don’t tell me.)

The bill’s sponsor, Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, explains the genesis of the icky statute in question here in the LA Times.



THE DANZIGER BRIDGE MURDERS—AND THE COVER-UP—FINALLY COME TO LIGHT

Witnesses said it happened a week after Katrina hit as people were trying desperately to get to some kind of safety. Officers denied it and aggressively covered the incident up. But now,former New Orleans police officer Michael Hunt says he participated in covering up the murders of unarmed civilians, and told the whole horrifying story on the record in federal court on Wednesday.

The NOLA Times Picayune has the fullest account.

And here is their earlier investigation of the shootings.


Photo from AP

Posted in City Attorney, Education, Gangs, LAPD, LGBT, Skid Row | 16 Comments »

16 Responses

  1. Statistician Says:

    Thursday, April 08, 2010
    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 28% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-two percent (42%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -14

    Congressional Job Approval
    Poll Date Approve Disapprove Spread

    Washington Post 03/23 – 03/26 24 72 -48
    CBS News 03/18 – 03/21 14 76 -62
    FOX News 03/16 – 03/17 18 76 -58
    NBC News/WallSt.Jrnl 03/11-03/14 17 77 -60
    Gallup 03/04 – 03/07 16 80 -64
    Associated Press/GfK 03/03-03/08 22 76 -54

    RCP Average 3/3-3/26 18.5 76.2 -57.7

  2. Woody Says:

    C: And it codifies bigotry.

    No, it states what was accepted by medical professionals until 1973, when the American Psychiatric Association gave in to political pressure to change what they had previously documented to be a mental disorder. So, now you don’t want homosexuals to have access to services to make themselves normal. Why do you hate gays?

  3. RobThomas Says:

    The New Orleans’ cop is pleading insanity, and saying that he was angry because his parents named him Mike Hunt.

  4. sbl Says:

    Ron Kaye on his blog has twisted the gang injunction as an intentional blow to Chief Bratton’s years of successfully driving down the crime rate there by devoting 50 cops to the area, and reducing crime by some 40-50% by his own figures. Kaye is claiming that these figures don’t count drug dealing and that any success was based on what he coins a “Baghdad Strategy” of turning a blind eye to certain gangs doing business there as long as they don’t kill each other and drive up his stats for violent crime. Others maintain it was a facet of his “broken windows” theory, and the merchants and condo owners and renters were very happy with the results.

    Given Kaye’s never-ending vendetta against Chf. Bratton and his ideas (he even tried to undermine his alleged choice Chf. Beck with various innuendos, like over the Australian car selection, as well as the selection process)is in line with those of rightwing AM talk radio (like Kevin James or McIntyre), Cooley-Zine-Antonovich or Knabe, can’t remember which is part of their clique, Paul Weber of the PPL and other Republicans. As well as Jill Stewart and her minions at the Weekly – as you have proven with a surgical analysis. So I take anything he says about Bratton with a ton of salt.

    But even Kaye wonders if this is only pushing drug dealers out of Skid Row, dispersing them to where the cops can’t keep track of them. So they’ll go back to carving up turf via brutal “turf wars,” making them more dangerous.

    Kaye’s take makes it sound like this may well be some sort of turf war that Trutanich-Cooley (apparently with Baca in tow, but not the Mayor or the local Councilwoman Jan Perry) themselves have. If so, they may be doing more long-term harm than good and haven’t calculated the costs. Weber’s PPL email continues its fearmongering tone, and notes that there are hundreds of fewer cops on the streets already, as they’ve had to replace civilians at desk jobs and stay home because there’s no money for overtime. He warns we’re already seeing increased crime as a result and will continue to see more – so how will they begin to follow up on where the dispersed gang members are being dispersed TO?

  5. RobThomas Says:

    If cops are going to blame a crime wave on their being cut back in numbers, they have to be willing to accept accountability when crime increases in the event more cops are put on the street. Have they ever?

  6. Answering The Question Says:

    In one aspect I see drug dealers like any other businessman. They do what they do to make money, right? If an area is saturated with cops, that’s not too business friendly toward them.lol. Vice-versa.
    Sure the latest tactic just pushes them elsewhere. Was that not the goal? I don’t believe the police chief thought he would be eradicating drug dealers nationwide, or even city wide by cracking down on skid row. If his goal was to slow down the drug dealing on skid row, it makes sense to make the business climate for them unfriendly. Put more cops on the beat there.

  7. Answering The Question Says:

    Mayor Villaraigosa is to blame for putting more cops on the street Rob. He wants their unions support. Your beef is with the mayor.

  8. Answering The Question Says:

    One of Villaraigosa’s first campaign promises was to put more cops on the street. It’s been one of his biggest priorities. He’s in charge. He’s the boss. To have animosity towards the cops themselves is no different than to blame the assembly line worker for the woes at GM/Chrysler.
    It’s the politicians who cater to the union leaders to get their support who you should be blaming.

  9. RobThomas Says:

    I didn’t blame anybody for anything. I prioritize solutions over blaming. As far as LA’s city budget crisis, I’ll be honest, I don’t have a solution. Do you, ATQ? And, wanting the mayor gone is NOT a solution. Who do you want to replace him, and why? What specific things will his replacement do to fix these problems?

  10. sbl Says:

    ATQ: “blaming” the mayor for putting more cops on the street is not only silly but it has NOT garnered the union’s support as you allege. Actually, Paul Weber of the PPL has always argued AGAINST more cops on the street, AGAINST Chief Bratton and now Chief Beck’s goal of 10,000 cops at a minumum, and hence opposed Jack Weiss Bratton’s choice, because he wanted to stretch the LAPD budget in the direction of better pay, pensions and benefits for EXISTING cops. That’s what his union does – as any union does – prioritize existing, dues paying members over the good of the city as a while. (Why the mayor’s asking all unions to take a cut EXCEPT LAPD and LAFD – and the controversial DWP – but Weber’s point is that cops have a defacto cut anyway.)

    Many cops don’t agree with Weber’s reasoning, however; many feel that cops being stretched too thin makes their jobs more dangerous, higher pay or not. Weber’s constant vilification of Bratton directly and indirectly through what he chose to print in the LAPPL daily emails shocked many, his stance on wanting to make the Chief’s position an elected one so they could “buy” him as they did Trutanich, and tried to buy Chris Essel, was called “cynical and corrupt” even by the often clueless LA Times editorial board. As even Celeste noted on this blog, his fearmongering over prisoner releases borders on the irresponsible. As I see it, his demanding more cops on the street now AFTER the stance he’s always taken just means he wants to have his cake and eat it too, is totally unrealistic in the face of having to balance the budget crisis with the real threats of a surge in crime.

  11. Answering The Question Says:

    Rob,
    The city of LA’s woes? The country’s woes? What would I do?
    Well, I’ll tell you what I WOULDN’T do. I wouldn’t make the climate unfriendly for business.
    I wouldn’t hold the philosophy that corporate America is evil.

    You want jobs? Make the climate business friendly. Businesses hire people.

  12. Answering The Question Says:

    sbl,
    I’m not talking about the PPL’s position with the current or past police chiefs. The below statement gives me pause to seriously believe that the mayor isn’t catering to the PPL.

    (Why the mayor’s asking all unions to take a cut EXCEPT LAPD and LAFD – and the controversial DWP – but Weber’s point is that cops have a defacto cut anyway.)

    Do you really believe the mayor and the PPL are “against” each other? I’ll believe that when the PPL comes out and says they’re willing to take an actual pay cut because they think the mayor is wrong.

  13. sbl Says:

    AQS, yes, the mayor and PPL “are against each other,” follow the points in my post. Your saying until he offers to take a pay cut “because they think the mayor was wrong” he and the mayor are on the same side, makes no sense – it’s head-spinningly ridiculous “logic.” They sit on opposite sides of the negotiating table, because he’s not thinking of the city’s needs, but just more money and benefits for union members. However, his fighting the 10,000 figures “just because” the Mayor/Bratton/Weiss, the Democrats, were for it, just hurt the rank & file in the long run.

    It was the Mayor and Weiss supporting Bratton – who as noted, Weber always wanted to replace with a malleable Chief of his own ilk, in a “cynical and corrupt” move, and openly challenged and undermined – with his goal of cop numbers, while Weber’s position has been to improve the pay and benefits of cops on the job now INSTEAD. He’s made statements to that effect many times, to the media and in his blog. But that leaves the cops over-worked, stretched too thin, and at greater risk – something just as important as compensation.

    And I don’t think the mayor thought too kindly when Weber took the advice of his rightwing political consultant Don Novey, and previous PPL/best buddy Zine and similar-minded – and all look-a-likes, I might add, Cooley (and his own instincts as a suburban working-class suburban conservative, no doubt), and blew a million bucks shilling for a Republican opponent who spent his career defending criminals including against LAPD, to make himself rich. (He recently declined any pay cut because “I made more in private practice,” showing his real commitment to public service and “shared sacrifice.”) Chief Beck feels the same way as Bratton did – if Weber’s more supportive of him, it’s only because he came up through the local ranks. Of course the mayor has to get along with Weber, it doesn’t pay to have long memories in politics I guess, but Weber’s been openly critical of the mayor’s wanting to stick to the 10,000 commitment. (As have Zine/Parks/Smith – all the conservatives – as well as liberals like Koretz, whose constituents are clamoring for MORE cops meanwhile, who Bratton took to task for thinking he knows more about how to run the LAPD than he does.) Frankly, Weber has just been a lousy head of the PPL, motivated by personal politics, alliances and cliques, more than anything it seems, and the rank & file he allegedly represents are not too happy with what he’s “accomplished” for them.

  14. RobThomas Says:

    ATQ, what do you mean by “make the climate business friendly”?

  15. Woody Says:

    So! California to use Chinese labor to build railroads. No, this is today rather than a headline from 150 years ago. I’m outraged!

  16. WTF Says:

    Ron Kaye is incorrect about Ex-Chief Bratton’s “Baghdad Strategy” in Skid Row. I know for a fact that Ex-Chief Braton used the “Hamsterdam Strategy” from the HBO show “The Wire”, me and Bratton would often watch the show.

    I also know the “mero-mero” carnales who collect taxes in Skid Row, they profited and enjoyed Bratton’s “Hamsterdam Strategy”, it was good business for the carnales. I’ll being sharing many more of my stories with my fellow L.A. Witness-tas, in the spirit of the new “Cant’ We All Get Along Strategy” being implemented this blog.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoiJRKwiC1Y

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