Shelter Emergency Meeting 6:30 PM Sunday 5-31 outside the Main Post Office


Food Not Bombs, HUFF, and others are concerned with the projected shutdown of all general services at the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center [HLOSC] on July 1st.  We will be having a rally and meeting on Sunday, May 31st at  6:30 PM  at the usual Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs feeding spot.

The following thoughts represent my personal perspective, though I believe many of my ideas are shared by others.

The SCPD and Parks and Recreation Department spend an unhealthy amount of time and money arresting and citing homeless people for survival behavior.  These two “public safety” gangs together account for more than 40% of the budget, while social services gets less than 1/10th of that sum.  City Council could shift $500,000 of the SCPD’s $30 million fiscal year budget to cover holes in the HLOSC budget which are prompting the shutdown of meals, mail, showers. and the very limited shelter the HLOSC provides.

However, City Council has been through two days of near-final budget hearings this week and done nothing about this crisis, rubberstamping the usual bags of bucks for cops and rangers (and the city’s golf course).  The final budget will be passed on June 9th.

A City Council restoration of funding won’t happen without massive Baltimore-style civil disobedience and protest.  As indicated by their behavior in the Bearcat protests, Council is likely to refuse meaningful reform.   Accordingly community members need to create immediate emergency action to support those thrown out into the arms of “law enforcement” authorities.  An immediate Occupation-style gathering is the most obvious alternative.

City Council has created laws criminalizing survival behaviors like sleeping at night, setting up a tent against the elements, being in a park after dark, and smoking in an area where no one else is complaining.  They were created  at the  instigation of the SCPD and the Parks and Recreation Department..   They are part of a broader gentrification/homeless dispersal campaign that seeks to make Santa Cruz a hostile place for those without money.  Harassment, citation, and arrest of innocent homeless people has expanded significantly in the last few years with concurrent theft of homeless survival possessions.  These facts deepen the significance of the closure of the broader HLOSC programs.

Huge amounts of money are being spent expanding jail facilities, bloating the police force, and backing stepped-up harassment of homeless folks with no legal place to sleep.  These funds and priorities will not be redirected unless city authorities face a cost for their continuing Homeless Removal campaign.

HUFF activists have been properly critical of HLOSC’s management.   It has created prison-like conditions there with ID cards, a prison-yard gate, security thugs, “no impact” zones around the center, refusal to restore storage lockers, undisclosed and unresolved racial discrimination issues and the recent support for a 24-hour ban on homeless parking on nearby streets.  HLOSC personnel,recently threatened to arrest peaceful petitioners on the ground adjoining the public Coral Street sidewalk organizing against the 24-hour ban (which is now due to start within the next few months). HUFF has not been happy with HLOSC boss Jannan Thomas–who continues drawing her salary as the services HLOSC is supposed to provide are cut off from larger number of homeless people.  Her “management” will be reduced to the “creaming” programs that serve only a relative few.

Nonetheless the restoration of food, mail, and limited shelter services is a basic need, whatever HUFF’s criticisms.  These funds need to be replaced–though managed more directly, transparently, and productively by the clients themselves or,their representatives. The shutting of the Paul Lee Loft on July 1st will escalate the “Sleeping Ban War”.  Under MC 6.36.055 camping tickets will be dismissed–only if they’re on the waiting list (or the less accessible River St. Shelter waiting list.   If there’s no Loft program, unless the HLOSC uses creative tactics, there will be no Waiting List.  And no dismissal of citations.  And further attacks on the homeless for the “crime” of sleeping.

So, as City Council sits still and does nothing in the face of these cuts (done under the phony pretext of creating “Housing First” while starving emergency services), the activist community must reclaim public buildings and public spaces unused at night to restore the survival shelter that is being ripped away.


Continue reading

HUFF chugs on: Probably at Sub Rosa 11 AM 5-27

I’m told Sub Rosa at 703 Pacific will be open and serving coffee to thirsty HUFFsters tomorrow morning.

ON MY AGENDA:   Threatened closing of meals and shelter at the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center through loss of state money, announced by Director Jannan Thomas at City Council tonight…Behind-the-Scenes Backstab–the 24 Hour Parking Ban Moves Forward…Cell Phone Protection for Those Outside?–Updates and Prospects…Police Mayhem Murderers Go Free in Cleveland–Police Reform in Santa Cruz…and whatever the tide washes in…

HUFF on the move tomorrow–check the Sub Rosa First 11 AM

HUFF, normally a fan of 703 Pacific Ave.–the Sub Rosa Cafe–may be out of luck tomorrow.  The usual staff person–Matt-won’t be around, and I’m not sure he’s found a replacement.  If the place is closed, we’ll move to The Bagelry on Cedar between Laurel and Maple.  Join Us!

Up and coming:    Prep for Food Not Bombs 35th Anniversary this weekend as well as the Saturday Solitary Confinement protest by Sin Barras…new developments in the “Drive the Homeless Away with 24-Hour Parking Bans”scheme by Public Works; a Step Forward in the Sleeping Deprivation Small Claims Lawsuit Drive, and more, of course.

What’s up with the SCPD?


What’s up with the SCPD?

by Becky Johnson

May 16, 2015

Santa Cruz, CA.  — As communities across the country fight against
police oppression
and brutality, we galvanize in our resolve to reform police departments
so that they
are the servants of the people, protecting us from harm, and under the
control of
the City Manager and the City Council.

Why is this necessary?

Because when we entrust certain individuals to carry lethal force, with
the power
to detain, cite, arrest, and later testify in court against us, we must be
sure they are
following a code of conduct that is consistent with fair and ethical

Different police departments go astray in different ways. In Ferguson, the
Black majority
of the population were singled out for massive ticketing to fill the
City’s coffers.

In Oakland, a thuggish mentality won out that was so corrupt
financially, a State
Auditor had to take over control of the administration.

In San Jose, Ca., police have an inordinately high rate of shooting
mental ill people.
Call a cop. Execute your family member.

But what’s up with the SCPD?

First, we have an unusually high rate of arrests per officer. It’s 11.1
arrests per officer
per year. By comparison, Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco, with,
larger criminal populations, the average is 4 arrests per officer per year.

We have 99 sworn police officers and a total of 135 paid employees.
This in a City with a population of 62,000 with a ratio of one officer
per 697 residents.

But wait! That population figure includes UCSC which also has its own
police department.

While crime rates are dropping, in some cases precipitously, our jails
are still
overflowing and our courts are jammed.  In fact, the Board of
Supervisors recently
approved a $25 million jail EXPANSION in already, the most incarcerated
state in the union.

So who is getting detained, cited, arrested, convicted, and jailed?

According to Vice-Chief Steve Clark, 42% of arrests are of homeless people.
32% of the citations written are to homeless people, virtually none for violent crimes.
In fact, the three most-cited crimes in Santa Cruz do not have an
actual victim complaining.

The crime wave in Santa Cruz requiring such a large police force is mostly for BEING in a park after hours, camping, or for smoking.

This means either sleeping at night, using a blanket, or for setting up a campsite.

A “campsite” can be a car. It can be a piece of cardboard set down on wet grass in a park.

Lay a blanket on the ground & have a picnic? Not in Santa Cruz!  That’s a crime!
72% of adult homeless people smoke.
(Most soldiers in foxholes smoked too). The City has made it illegal to smoke or vape in over 2000 acres of public land composed of parks, green belts & recreational trails.
There are people sitting in Santa Cruz County Jail today for smoking a cigarette about which no individual complained.
The budget for the police department is $24,663,471, or 32% of the
general fund, and is by far the biggest
budget item.
We have more paid officers than any other City in the Bay Area. The next closest City is Palo Alto, with 85 sworn officers, but double the population of Santa Cruz.

The safest way to curb police power is to reign in their budgets.

–Becky Johnson

Continue reading

Stop the 24-Hour Ban on Homeless Parking: Contact the Commission!

E-Mail or Phone the Transportation and Public Works Commission
[TPWC] members: 

Philip Boutelle (831) 515-1364
Brooke Crumpton* (vice-chair) (831) 535-2572 (H)
Peggy Dolgenos 822 (831) 429-8555 (H) (831) 459-6301 x239
Erich Ryan Friedrich 461-5985 (H)
Dale Hendsbee** (chair) (831) 234-4103 (H) 426-3186 (B)
Donald E. Roland 421-9507 (H) (831) 206-5115
J.D. Sotelo 458-9491 (H)
      (a) to deny and denounce the plan to deny parking spaces to disabled and homeless vehicles, as well as the public generally [this is the 24-hour Parking Ban proposed on Coral, Fern, and Limekiln Streets];
      (b) to reexamine night-time parking bans–which are currently clearly directed against homeless individuals whose only housing is their vehicle which are present in other parts of the City;  
      (c) to research safe parking spaces for vulnerable homeless families whose protection from abuse and weather is their vehicle;
     (d)  to report publicly & regularly to the Public any requests for Permit Parking areas that restrict parking–particularly at night–& do so when those requests appear, not after facilitating them with police & staff help;
     (e)  to require full police reports on any anecdotal “crime” or “nuisance” problems in the area so the public can see the real as distinguished from the claimed problems there.

Please cc if you have sent any complaints or concerns to any of these folks.  Or send me a copy if you’ve already sent out a concern.  The issue is still hanging in the balance so your opinion may count.

Continue reading

HUFF Meeting Tomorrow

HUFF meets tomorrow 11 AM at ye olde Sub Rosa Cafe.
We’ll be updating on anything learned at the Project Homeless Connect. (google “Project Homeless Connect” for more info)
There’s the Campaign to Protect Public Parking Places Near 115 Coral St.-
(Marlin Granlund of the Parking Permit Bureau is still stonewalling on who can contest his “Dump the Homeless from Harvey West” 24-Hour Ban on Parking near 115 and the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center).
And the upcoming Speak-Out Saturday-
HUFF will be throwing a speak out (and perhaps a shriek out) Saturday May 16 at the Food Not Bombs meal near the Main Post Office downtown. The day before the National Postal Union will be having a rally in the same place (time uncertain).

NORSE NOTES:  I have little confidence that the state Legislature will pass this bill, but here’s a chance to get in an e-mail or phone call before a 1:30 PM deadline tomorrow.    I’ve asked Councilmember Micah Posner to author a Right2Rest local bill, which he said he’d happily do if someone else would support it.  Otherwise, no go.

AB718 says:
The legislative body of a city, county, or city and county shall not prohibit, or otherwise subject to civil or criminal penalties, the act of sleeping or resting in a lawfully parked motor vehicle.

Please call or send an email asap.  The hearing is Wed May 13 at 1:30.  So a call or email even the morning of May 13 may is still worth it.
Just email or call (or both!) and say Assemblymember Gordon – please support AB718 to allow people to rest or sleep in a legally parked car.

Capitol Office:Sacramento …Tel: (916) 319-2024

District Office:Los Altos …Tel: (650) 691-2121


(an “email Rich Gordon” form pops up).

Continue reading

Monterey and Santa Cruz: Positive Loitering Protests


Monterey Police Take Names, Issue ‘Warnings’ at Latest Sit-Lie Demonstration
by Alex Darocy
Friday May 8th, 2015 7:03 PM

Monterey Police have portrayed their enforcement of the city’s sit-lie ban as a friendly process where first-time violators are simply given a “warning” when found sitting or lying on sidewalks located downtown and in other commercial districts. On May 1, community members participating in a sit-in held on the sidewalk of Alvarado Street to protest the new law demonstrated the process isn’t quite that simple. More than a dozen individuals were confronted by police and forced to give them their name, date of birth, and home address as part of the verbal warning that they were in violation of the site-lie ordinance. For the past several months, community members have been organizing sit-ins to oppose the ban, which they say unfairly targets homeless people and travelers.

As the warnings were being issued, a few individuals joined the group and sat down right in front of police. Some did comply with the warning and stood up during the encounter, but the majority continued to sit. Three police officers were deployed to the scene; two issued the warnings while Sergeant Bob Guinvarch photographed several people and looked on.

Officer Roobash instructed individuals several times they shouldn’t be opposing the ordinance by openly defying it.

“You need to take this to the City Council and proper channels,” he said.

He asked if any of them had written the city to complain, and several demonstrators explained they had been contacting local officials since 2013 when the Monterey City Council initially discussed the matter and decided not to move forward with a sit-lie ban at that time. The council reversed course in 2014, however, and enacted a re-submitted proposal for a sit-lie ordinance.

There was some irony in Roobash, a police officer, instructing demonstrators to complain to the city. It was Monterey Chief of Police Phil Penko who pushed hard for a sit-lie ban, and he authored the 2013 and 2014 city staff reports that requested council members approve one without any alternatives presented.

Additionally, Monterey Police have dedicated an entire section of their website, which is titled “Homeless Issues,” to give business owners and the public instructions on how to report homeless people to the police.

“The following information is provided to assist business people and individual community members in properly addressing incidents and concerns regarding the homeless and related quality of life issues,” the Monterey Police website states.

A tab on the homeless issues page lists what it calls “related city code,” a list of ten ordinances that can be applied to street people. The new sit-lie ordinance is not on the list yet, but the other laws referenced include: “begging prohibited,” “camping prohibited outside of designated areas,” “obstructing sidewalk or street prohibited,” “11 p.m. curfew for minors,” “loitering in parking facilities prohibited,” and “camping in vehicles prohibited on public property from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

While receiving a warning for sitting at the May 1 demonstration, one person told police, “I invite you to give me a citation and I am not getting up until you do.” He later explained that he wanted to be issued a citation for sitting so that he could fight it in court and have the law “invalidated.”

Another demonstrator told police that he was a “homeless man” and he felt “extremely offended” that officers were attempting to prevent him from sitting on the sidewalk. He explained later how he uses alcohol to cope with life on the streets, which puts him at risk of violating the sit-lie law, and being targeted by police.

“I drink myself to sleep every night,” he said…..[story with more photos continues at .


Protests in Santa Cruz

by Robert Norse

Saturday May 9th, 2015 10:02 PM

As Monterey activists were demonstrating to demand the return of the right to rest yesterday, Santa Cruz activists served coffee and fliers in front of the Main Library. We signed up more opponents of the planned “No Parking for the Homeless” in the streets around the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center, cooked up behind closed doors by the SCPD, the Public Works Department, and various businesses on Fern, Coral, and Limekiln Streets. We gathered 53 signatures in the last few days

Later on Friday two HUFF activists supported the right to assemble at Elm and Cedar (near or across the street from the Cafe Pergolesi) which police and security guards have been regularly attacking with false “obstructing the sidewalk” threats and tickets. The activist weapon: prominently displayed video equipment. Apparently the presence of folks and recording does make a difference. Officer Winston, reported hung out for half an hour, but didn’t demand youth gathering there move on–as police and security guards have been doing with regularity. You have a “right to stand” on the sidewalk if you move out of the way for passersby when requested to do so.
Even if you’re young, homeless, or a traveler with a backpack.

Ironically, it is illegal to sit down on the same sidewalks (on Elm St. or along the Pergolesi side of Cedar St.) as well as anywhere in the Elm and Cedar City parking lot (even in your own vehicle, legally parked). As it has expanded the mini-police state for homeless people, the Santa Cruz “no sitting” law (MC 9.50.012) is much harsher than the Monterey law and has been on the books for more than two decades now (and reduced legal sitting space downtown to less than 1% of the sidewalks). Though free-standing commercial signs in front of businesses are blatantly illegal, no store owner or manager has, to my knowledge been fined or otherwise sanctioned.

One possible strategy for the bold: If you’re being harassed for sitting down on the sidewalk on or near Pacific Avenue–or see it happening to someone else–request the cop issue a citation. To the nearest business hosting an illegal free-standing sign on the sidewalk in violation of city law. There’s at least one on every block. Video or audio recording would help, but a witness is also okay.

If–as is most likely–the cop declines to issue the citation, note his name and badge number, the time, sign location, and name and address of the criminal shop. File a complaint with both the SCPD and the City Manager, and post it on indybay. Ask to speak to the cop’s superior if he refuses to be helpful. Document it as you go.

Continue reading

L.A. Police Kill Unarmed Brandon Glenn: Witness Accounts

Video at:

Brendon Glenn, aka drizzle, 29 Year Old UNARMED Homeless Man, Killed By Police


4 Votes


Mr MilitantNegro™
Jueseppi B

BREAKING: Witness Speaks Out On LAPD Police Murder

Published on May 7, 2015

In this video Luke Rudkowski is in Venice Beach California investigating the recent death of Brendon Glenn aka drizzle. Brendon was an 29 year old homeless man who was unarmed during the altercation with police. LAPD shot him two times and took his life.

From ABC7 Eyewitness News:
By , Leo Stallworth and Jory Rand

A transient man was shot to death in Venice by Los Angeles police responding to a report of someone “disturbing the peace.”
The man, identified as Brendon Glenn, was described as a black male in his mid-to-late 20s. The officer who shot the suspect is also black, LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said.


The shooting occurred near Pacific and Winward avenues around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday just a block or so away from the beach.
Two LAPD officers responded to the scene after people called police saying a man was causing a disturbance outside of a bar. Friends of the suspect say he was panhandling, but police said he was disturbing the peace.
After officers spoke with the suspect, he walked away in the direction of the boardwalk.
A short time later, the officers “observed the suspect physically struggling with an individual on the sidewalk west of their initial location,” LAPD said in a statement. The responding officers made contact with the suspect, and at some point, there was a struggle between the man and the two officers. That’s when the shots were fired.
The officer who shot the suspect, described by police as a veteran of the force, was on crutches after injuring his knee during the incident.
“Clap, clap, and I was like, ‘What was that?’ And all I see is this dude fall to the ground,” described Dylan Andre, a witness.
Andre was standing near the scene of the shooting, but he said he never heard or saw any scuffle before hearing the gunshots.
“When I heard the clap, it sounded like it came from far left, but it was right in front of me,” Andres said.
       William Henson, a friend of the suspect, said the man was still alive and asking for help after he was shot. The suspect was transported to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after midnight.
Henson described the man as a lost soul.
“He was a recovering crackhead for 13 years, came out here, got real bad on alcohol, but if he wasn’t on alcohol, he was OK,” Henson said.
Don Wige, who lives on the streets, also knew the suspect.
“He had a lot of anxiety inside of him and frustration. He couldn’t understand why the world was so negative,” Wige said, adding that the suspect’s size and strength could easily look threatening.
“But then again, that’s not a reason to kill somebody because they look threatening,” Wige said. “They could have shot him in the arm. They could have Tasered him. They have so many options to handle the situation, but they immediately go to the extreme which is the gun.”
LAPD Officer Meghan Aguilar said police protocol is to use the least amount of force necessary to control the situation. She said she doesn’t know why a Taser was not used in the incident.
“That will be something that force investigation division does ask the officers. They will ask them why they chose to use the force they did and why they didn’t choose to use the force that they did not use,” Aguilar said.
The two officers involved in the shooting were not wearing body cameras, and there was no dash camera on their vehicle. However, police said they will retrieve surveillance video from the surrounding area that they believe captured the shooting.
       LAPD Chief Charlie Beck spoke at a news conference held Wednesday afternoon and said surveillance video shows the officer and suspect in a scuffle. He also said the department will thoroughly investigate the situation.
“Anytime an unarmed person is shot by a Los Angeles police officer it takes extraordinary circumstances to justify that, and I have not seen those extraordinary circumstances at this point,” he said.
The injured officer is on medication and has yet to be interviewed by investigators about the shooting, Beck said. Both officers involved in the shooting have been taken off the street and will remain off patrol pending the outcome of the investigation.
Authorities said a suspect weapon was not found at the scene. The shooting remains under investigation.
Beck said a town hall meeting is scheduled at the Pacific Division Station involving the LAPD and political leaders on Thursday.
Thank you  , Leo Stallworth and Jory Rand & ABC7 Eyewitness News

From KTLA5:
LAPD Chief Beck: No ‘Extraordinary Circumstances’ to Justify Venice Fatal Police Shooting

POSTED 4:52 AM, MAY 6, 2015, BY , , , AND , UPDATED AT 11:07PM, MAY 6, 2015

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck on Wednesday addressed the death of an unarmed homeless man fatally shot by an officer following a confrontation near the historic Venice sign, saying the shooting concerned him and an investigation was underway.

Brendon Glenn, 29, was the individual killed by police late Tuesday night, according to a man who runs the Teen Project’s drop-in center for homeless youth in Venice.

Beck said in a Wednesday afternoon news conference that he had reviewed video of the shooting and he did not see evidence that indicated extreme circumstances that could prompt an officer to open fire.


“Any time an unarmed person is shot by a Los Angeles police officer, it takes extraordinary circumstances to justify that, and I have not seen those extraordinary circumstances at this point,” Beck said.

Both the male officer who opened fire and the man killed were black, the chief noted.


“Even if race is a small part of this, which I don’t think it is, they’re certainly outweighed by the mental health issues, the homeless issues, the alcohol issues,” Beck said. “All of those things … have nothing to do with a person’s race.”

The incident began about 11:20 p.m. Tuesday when someone called police to report a man harassing customers and refusing to leave near Pacific and Windward avenues (map), Beck said.

The location is about a block away from Venice Beach and in front of several bars and restaurants.

The man, described as a transient, had been involved in an altercation with a bouncer at a nearby bar prior to police being called, LAPD Detective Meghan Aguilar initially said Wednesday morning. Police were called with a report of a man “disturbing the peace” and “harassing passersby,” she said.

Brendon Glenn, fatally shot by LAPD on May 5, 2015, in Venice, is shown in a photo provided to KTLA.Brendon Glenn, fatally shot by LAPD on May 5, 2015, in Venice, is shown in a photo provided to KTLA.


Officers spoke with the man, who then walked away toward the boardwalk, Beck said. Soon after, officers saw the man approach an individual and start a fight, the chief said.

“The officers attempted to detain the suspect, and an altercation occurred between the two officers and the suspect. During that physical altercation, an officer-involved shooting occurred,” Beck said.

Officers called for a rescue ambulance and began to perform CPR; city firefighters responded and took the man to a hospital, where he died, according to the chief.

A friend who knew Glenn said he didn’t deserve his fate.

“Whatever reason that they had to shoot him, I don’t think it was justified because he wasn’t a confrontational human being by any means,” local resident Henry Geller said. “He was definitely like a peacemaker.”


A make-shift memorial was set up Wednesday in memory of an unarmed 29-year-old homeless man who was shot and killed by police on May, 5, 2015. (Credit: KTLA)A make-shift memorial was set up Wednesday in memory of an unarmed 29-year-old homeless man who was shot and killed by police on May, 5, 2015. (Credit: KTLA)


Another friend, Shane Brigham, described Glenn as “a really big hugger,” who always checked to make sure everyone around him was alright.

Glenn was a regular the Teen Project’s the P.A.D., a Venice support center for homeless youth, according to Timothy      Pardue, who runs the center. Glenn, who had recently moved to the area from New York, had come to a support group meeting on Tuesday night, Pardue said.

“He was crying and he was even saying he wanted his mom, and he just said his mom didn’t want him back home,” Pardue said. “He struggled with a lot of things.”

       As of Wednesday evening, the coroner’s office had not confirmed the fatally shot man’s identity. Beck said the man’s identity was not being released pending family notification.

During the struggle that led to the shooting, one of the LAPD officers was injured and later treated for a hurt knee, Aguilar said.

The injured officer, who was the open who opened fire, was on medication and had not been questioned because the medication could interfere with a “fair” interview, Beck said. He noted that the delay was unusual.

“I know there are public concerns about this particular officer-involved shooting, as there are any time an unarmed individual is shot by a police officer. I am also very concerned about this shooting,” Beck said. “We will expend all resources to find out the truth of what happened last night on Windward Avenue.”

As the investigation into the incident continued, the intersection of Pacific and Windward was cordoned off and closed to motorists. Investigators were trying to obtain surveillance video from businesses, police said.

Neither officer involved was wearing a body camera, Aguilar said, noting that the camera program had not yet been expanded to include all officers.

Both officers involved in the shooting were assigned nonfield duties during the ongoing investigation, Beck said.

The police officers’ union president said Beck’s statements would unduly influence the investigation.

       “It is completely irresponsible for anyone, much less the chief of police, to render a judgement on an incident that is in early stages of investigation,” said Craig Lally, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, in a written statement.    “As the final trier of fact in the use-of-force investigation and disciplinary process, the premature decision by the chief essentially renders the investigation process void.”

A “town hall” meeting was set to be held Thursday in connection with the shooting, according to the chief.

Thank you KTLA5 & , , , AND



Unarmed Homeless Black Man Fatally Shot By Police
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Wednesday he has yet to see evidence that would justify one of his officers killing an unarmed homeless man in Venice Beach Tuesday.
Beck cautioned that his department’s investigation was just underway but told reporters he was ‘very concerned’ by the deadly shooting that occurred as an officer struggled with the man on a block lined with bars and restaurants.
‘Any time an unarmed person is shot by a Los Angeles police officer, it takes extraordinary circumstances to justify that, and I have not seen those extraordinary circumstances at this point,’ Beck said.
Department investigators have not interviewed the officer, a veteran of the LAPD, because he is on medication to treat a knee he hurt during the struggle. He was observed at the crime scene Wednesday walking on crutches.
The officers were not wearing body cameras, but police have surveillance footage from nearby stores that shows the altercation, Beck said.
The confrontation began at 11.30pm at Pacific and Winward avenues when two officers responded to a 911 call saying the man, an African-American vagrant in his 20s, had been arguing with a bouncer who would not let him into the popular Townhouse & Del Monte Speakeasy bar and was pestering passersby, police said.
The officers spoke to the man, identified by an acquaintance as 29-year-old Brendon Glenn, who began walking away but then came back and began struggling with someone on the sidewalk, according to a police news release.
The officers tried to detain Glenn, who was shot during the struggle, police said. The cops called for an ambulance and then began performing CPR to revive the suspect.
The 29-year-old was rushed to an area hospital, where he died from his wounds a short time later. No weapon was recovered at the scene, police spokeswoman Liliana Preciado said.
William Henson, a friend of the slain vagrant known to his friends as ‘Dizzle,’ said he was a recovering crack-cocaine addict and alcoholic.
Don Wige, who also lives on the streets of Venice Beach, told the station KABC the officers may have been threatened by his friend’s size and physical strength.
‘But then again, that’s not a reason to kill somebody because they look threatening,’ Wige said. ‘They ‘would have shot him in the arm. They could have Tasered him. They have so many options to handle the situation, but they immediately go to the extreme which is the gun.”
On Wednesday, a small crowd of people shouted at police in Venice Beach. Beck later noted that the officer and Brendon Glenn were black.
‘Even if race is a small part of this, which I don’t think it is, they’re certainly outweighed by the mental health issues, the homeless issues, the alcohol issues,’ Beck said.
Those who knew Glenn said he had moved to LA from New York City only a couple of months ago and had been struggling to find a job.
Timothy Pardue, who runs a local center that provides assistance to homeless youth, told KTLA that Glenn was one of his regulars.
Pardue said Glenn showed up at Teen Project’s PAD center Tuesday night, just hours before his death; he was crying and lamenting that his mother would not let him come home.
Glenn’s many acquaintances among Venice Beach’s large transient community told the LA Times that the recent East Coast transplant had an aggressive – even mean – side to him, but he also had been known to hug people and tell them he loved them.
The LA police department will hold a ‘town hall’-style meeting in the neighborhood Thursday to address the shooting.
The department was criticized after an officer fatally shot a homeless man in March on Skid Row, near downtown LA.
Neither police nor the coroner’s office had confirmed the dead man’s identity, though Preciado said a 911 caller and several witnesses identified him as one of the Venice area’s many transients.

Councilmember Bonin Calls People of Venice Outraged by Police Murder “Outside Agitators”

by Los Angeles Peoples Media Friday, May. 08, 2015 at 10:45 AM

During a Venice Town Hall meeting, Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin explained to 35-year Venice Beach resident David Busch that he is willing to talk to unhoused persons individually, but Mr. Bonin refuses to meet with “activists—outside agitators.” Mr. Busch has been requesting a meeting “organized by homeless people themselves” regarding public toilets, parking, camping, and other services. He asked, “Don’t you think after 2 years in office it is time you meet with us, rather than you just sending more police to this community?”

Councilmember Bonin ...

bonin_v_busch.jpg, image/jpeg, 551×304

If you vote, remember that Councilmember Mike Bonin called people who are outraged at cops murdering people, “outside agitators.”

At Thursday’s LAPD community meeting in Venice following the fatal shooting of unarmed 29-year-old Brendon Glenn, also known to friends and the Rainbow Family as Dizzle, community members took the microphone for public comment.

David Busch, who first moved to Venice in 1980 to work as a bus mechanic for the transit system but has been priced out of the housing market in recent years, noted that police “shoot to kill disproportionately poor people. Sixty percent of the people in Los Angeles really can’t afford, by any major economist’s point of view, more than $400-500 a month in rent. Don’t you think…you should be at the forefront of housing people instead of just sending the police after them?”

Busch first became homeless in 1994—and was sentenced to 120 days in Orange County Jail—for “refusing to be coerced into a shelter that made you sit through religious sermons before they would give you a bed or feed you.” He explained after the meeting, “I have slept ‘outside’ on the streets ever since—rather than bow down to such increasing human rights violations here in America.” For six years now, Bonin has played a role in “denying over 300 homeless people here in Venice their fundamental human right to a humane toilet.”

He addressed Councilmember Mike Bonin at Thursday’s town hall meeting: “Last year a group of us who are homeless contacted your office and asked for a meeting with homeless people. Your staffer, after three phone calls, this was last year before Christmas, he laughed. He said you are not meeting with people who are homeless. Except for meetings that are organized by religious leaders.”

Busch grilled Bonin: “Where is the toilet? Where is the camping place? 6 years ago you stood with Bill Rosendahl in this place and said we were going to get toilets, we were going to get services, we were going go get RV parking. Where have you done that? You’re standing here. I want an answer. We want results.”

Voices from the crowd echoed: “We all want answers!”

Bonin’s answer: “I meet and talk to people who are unhoused every week. I have met with people on 3rd Ave. I have sat and spoken with people on Ocean Front Walk. I have met with people in St. Joseph’s Center. I have met with people who are sleeping outside my office in Westchester. I have met with people at the Winter Shelter. I have met with people who live on the streets near the VA. I do it all the time. What I’m not going to do is take a meeting organized by activists—outside agitators who are trying to..”

At this point, the room crowd erupted in outrage at the slur just uttered by elected representative Mike Bonin.

Before handing the microphone to the next person in line, Busch declared, “Maybe we should stop talking to politicians. How many times have I asked you for a toilet?”

For the record, David Busch has “lived on the streets in Santa Monica, Skid Row and Venice since 1996. I’ve lived on the streets here longer than Mike Bonin has been HOUSED on the Westside.”

SEE VIDEO [3:45 length]
David Busch vs. Mike Bonin by The Syndicate.Info Continue reading

Today Rained Out, but Tomorrow’s a Charm 9:30 AM Main Library 5-8


We’re putting ahead the protest and signature gathering to tomorrow at 9:30 AM outside the Santa Cruz Main Library at 224 Church St.  weather permitting.

There will be coffee & cookies (and whatever anyone else brings) !

We have a few days remaining for public comment, depending on whether Public Works Parking Boss Granlund allows it. His office (at Public Works) and that of the Councilmembers is conveniently located right across the street from the Main Library.

Here’s an updated flier with more information. The pdf is downloadable at

We’ll be distributing it tomorrow morning. Come on down and help, if you’d like, then pile on the Councilmembers, Commission members, and Public Works flunkies to demand they stop this new seizure of public space in the interests of business prejudice and the SCPD agenda.

Fight Homeless Parking Ban at Project Homeless Connect !

9:30 AM Tuesday May 13th 140 Front St. in front of the Stadium

Where do “Service Providers” stand around Civil Rights & homeless survival vehicles?


In spite of over 25 signatures gathered in one day from clients and workers at the Homeless Services Center, Marlin Granlund’s Public Works Parking Authoritywill require permits for all parking on Coral Street, Limekiln Street, and Fern Street & ban all non-permit parking with signs to be posted on May 13th. These parking spaces are now used by people experiencing homelessness & disabled folks to access the limited, overcrowded, and growingly authoritarian HSC.The HSC reportedly supports this ban!

Those peacefully gathering signatures on May 5th while providing coffee and cookies were banned from the property by the HSC managementeven from the open area in front of the HSC. After forcing the petitioners onto the narrow sidewalk, Officer Azua then began threatening loitering and block-the-sidewalk tickets. Hestoodostentatiously nearby causing some to say they felt intimidated from talking or signing.


On May 6, Granlund e-mailed his department might not pay attention to HSC clients or other members of the public, saying he was “consulting with the City Attorney”. Granlund refuses to provide access to public documents that might show which businesses are urging the Homeless Removal program and why.


No Council members or “Service providers” have had the courage or interest to publicly oppose this latest proposal. 

Call City Hall at 420-5020 or e-mail them .

Sign the Petition Spread the Word!

Continue reading

Right2Rest Legislation Update and 2015 R.I.P.


NOTES BY NORSE;  The Right2Rest Law has been laid to rest (for this year at least).   Perhaps pressing for action in a particular city would be a good focus for unhoused activists all over the state, instead encouraging the massed wealthy power all the bigoted city governments to shower legislators with lobbyists.

Contact Councilmember Micah (poo on “poopoo”) Posner, the man whose credo has been “one portapotty-but-let’s-not-disturb-the-staff-by-pressing-to-get-the-already-existing-bathrooms-open-at-night”.  He has scheduled an 11 AM meeting on Friday if anyone wants to come.  But you have to call him at 420-5028 beforehand to schedule it.

Meanwhile in Santa Cruz, crackdowns continue–individually and institutionally.  The Red Church (Calvary Episcopal) has not only withdrawn its lawns from 2-hours-a-week sanctuary to 0-hours-a-week as Pastor Joel Miller, reportedly under pressure from “there goes the neighborhood!” neighbors as well as ecclesiastical superior, called in the police night before last to remove “criminal sleepers” on the property.  Cops and security thugs steadily ignore the right to use public sidewalks around Cafe Pergolesi by giving “obstructing the sidewalk” tickets to at least two people who asked why they didn’t have the right to stand non-obstructively on the sidewalk.   Standing while homeless is apparently the crime involved.  Or questioning the inflated authority of guys in uniforms with badges and guns, perhaps.

Has the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center [HLOSC] okayed the collusion between Harvey West Businesses, the SCPD, and the Public Works Department to create the first-in-Santa-Cruz “no parking at any time without a permit” zone up and down Coral, Fern, and Limekiln streets?   Call them up at 420-5020 and ask them.  I can’t get through.   Or perhaps shoot an e-mail to longtime HLOSC-backer (and Mayor) Don Lane at  or 831-420-5022.

We’ll be out there gathering signatures, complaints, and concerns today at 2:30 pm at 115 Coral St. (See “Fighting the Homeless Parking Ban–Day 2” at ).  Hot coffee and heated discussions.  Join us, or contact HUFF at 423-4833 and/or to be alerted for future protests.

Proponents of the Right to Rest bill — including a busload of advocates of homeless people from San Francisco and Oakland — turned out in great numbers. Supporters outnumbered opposition lobbyists from business alliances and city governments by 6 to 1 during legislative hearings in Sacramento.

by TJ Johnston

The Right to Rest Act, California Senate Bill 608, which would decriminalize sleep, rest, the sharing of food and prayer, was pulled from committee without a vote. But the struggle for the bill in California will continue next year.

For now, SB 608 has been delayed after State Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Cañada-Flintridge) asked the Transportation and Housing Committee to hold off a vote on April 7 when it appeared there weren’t enough votes to advance the legislation.
“Today wasn’t a defeat,” said Paul Boden, director of the Western Regional Advocacy Project, one of the homeless advocacy organizations sponsoring the bill. “It was step one in a long process.”

SB 608, known as the Right to Rest Act, will still be active next year, he said. The state legislature still has up to two years to act on proposed legislation.

If passed by both the Senate and Assembly, the bill would ensure all Californians — regardless of housing status — the rights to rest, move freely in public, share food, pray, and sleep in a legally parked vehicle.

In effect, it would make local sit-lie and anti-panhandling ordinances that cities use against their homeless residents unenforceable throughout the state.

At the hearing, proponents of the bill — including a busload of advocates of homeless people from San Francisco and Oakland — turned out in great numbers. Supporters outnumbered opposition lobbyists from business alliances and city governments 6 to 1 during public comment.

Their refrain throughout the session was “stop criminalizing homelessness.” Several wore T-shirts with the words “Homeless Bill of Rights” and an image of a dove and a pair of hands breaking chains. This popular design comes from an image drawn by Ronnie Goodman, a homeless artist who has regularly lent his work to homeless people’s struggles.
Angel McClain, whom Liu invited before the panel, spoke in defense of SB 608. Now a senior advocate at St. Mary’s Center in Oakland, she spent 15 years on the streets, staying in tents, abandoned houses and by freeways — essentially, any place where she could find refuge.

She said that police officers targeted her for arrest simply because of her homeless status. “I was arrested for little or no reason because I was known as a homeless person,” she told the panel. “My cousin told me the police had a schedule to pick me up and put me back in jail.”

McClain also suffered dehumanizing treatment from the police. “I was treated like dirt, no consideration, like a piece of garbage that you discard,” she said.

Opposition to the Right to Rest bill came mainly from the League of California Cities, which argued that the bill would exempt homeless people from so-called “quality of life” laws that in theory apply to all people, but in fact are used almost exclusively against homeless people. The statewide association wrote a letter to Liu that the bill wouldn’t create or expand housing and social services.

But Boden said that is not the focus of the bill. It’s meant to remove legal barriers homeless people face because they have been arrested for the necessary acts of resting, sitting or lying in public.

“It’s not about ending homelessness, just decriminalizing it,” he said. “Everyone sleeps, eats and sits, but only some get tickets or go to jail for it. Criminalization only makes things worse for people living on the streets. And by not having to enforce crimes of status, law enforcement can focus on real public safety issues.”

However, senators on the committee and opponents of the bill said SB 608 would remove a tool from police in enforcing local ordinances (see sidebar).

Appearing before the panel, Matt Gray, a lobbyist for Taxpayers for Improving Public Safety and the California Small Business Association, painted a worst-case scenario of what would happen to communities if the bill passes.

“The answer is simply not to allow the rest of California to be like San Francisco,” he said.

Recently, the city of San Francisco was also used as a model of homeless criminalization in a report from the University of California at Berkeley law school. Of the 58 cities with anti-homeless ordinances it studied, San Francisco tied Los Angeles to lead all others in their overwhelming number of anti-homeless laws — 23 in San Francisco. Homeless people were given about 23,000 citations in a seven-year span for such nonviolent, poverty-related offenses as sitting, resting, camping and panhandling.

In the last five years, San Francisco further restricted homeless people’s activities with prohibitions on sitting and lying on sidewalks at certain times, staying in public parks overnight, and parking large vehicles on most city streets overnight.
Berkeley — which has 10 anti-homeless ordinances of its own — is considering adding many more, including setting one’s belonging by a tree, lying on planter walls, and panhandling within 10 feet of parking pay station.

On March 17, the City Council forwarded these recommendations to the City Manager for recommendation.

Homeless advocates demonstrate in Sacramento for the Right to Rest Bill which would end the enforcement of many anti-homeless laws.  Janny Castillo photoHomeless advocates demonstrate in Sacramento for the Right to Rest Bill which would end the enforcement of many anti-homeless laws. Janny Castillo photo

Osha Neumann, an attorney with the East Bay Community Law Center, said the proposal would make Berkeley’s tree-lined and metered streets off limits to homeless people if it is enacted.

“Taken together with existing laws, these ordinances would essentially make it illegal for people who are homeless to have a presence on our streets and sidewalks,” he said.

Right to Rest bills are moving through legislatures in Oregon and Colorado.

Two years ago, a more expansive version of the legislation called the Homeless Bill of Rights passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee, but died when the Appropriations Committee declined to bring it up for a vote.

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Stupid Things California Lawmakers Say About Homelessness

by TJ Johnston

If there was any doubt that SB 608, the Right to Rest Act, would face any roadblocks in the legislative process, they were surely dispelled when State Sen. Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) weighed in. Before Galgiani’s remarks, a few of the California state senators on the Transportation and Housing committee had already voiced reservations that would lead to a prospective “No” if SB 608 author Carol Liu asked for a vote on the bill on April 7.

Some were concerned about provisions in the bill such as a $1,000 fine to communities upon violation of the act. Others wanted clarifications on how the bill would affect those sleeping on public versus private property. (Liu said it would not apply to private property.)

But Galgiani’s rambling explanation of why she wouldn’t support the bill left some incredulous. While asserting that uneven application of anti-homeless ordinances aren’t a problem in her district, she said cops still need them for other reasons — such as thwarting gang warfare.

“You and I and law enforcement cannot tell who is homeless from someone who belongs to a gang,” she said. “If I dress down, I can blend in as well.”

She then recounted a recent incident that happened in her district.

“This last month,” she said, “we’ve had a drive-by shooting at a market just blocks away from where I used to live a few years ago, where three people were killed. Now it’s a known place where people loiter. How do you define ‘loiter?’ You can’t define it just by looking at someone or seeing that someone is spending time at a place for too long. That’s why we must rely on law enforcement for the judgments on behavior taking place. Law enforcement needs that tool to address the behavior.”

What Galgiani failed to mention is that the U.S. Supreme Court found anti-loitering laws to be unconstitutional in 1999 primarily because of their vagueness.

Galgiani also related another recent tale of an altercation among three motorcycle gangs near a strip club where gunfire was exchanged.

“These are the problems in my district,” she said. “Law enforcement in my district, they’re not bothering people who are homeless. I respect that is occurring throughout the state.” She added that the state should “do a broad blanket for everyone to abide by” if SB 608 becomes law.

Another addition for the file under “you can’t make this up” came from Matt Gray, who lobbied against the bill on behalf of two business organizations.

While he encouraged creating affordable housing and improving social and health services — at the same time, referring to homeless people as “transients, homeless or whatever you want to call them” — he ultimately said the overarching solution wasn’t “allowing the rest of California to be like San Francisco.” No city in California has more anti-homeless laws than San Francisco.

Continue reading