Archive for August, 2012

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Stay in touch with the Spirit of Venice — spiritofvenice.net

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“Venice Landed Gentry” To Hold 2nd Meeting on September 12, 2012

The Importance of Full Inclusion of all Oakwood-Venice Residents

To:  Cassidy Lange, Neighborhood Watch Coordinator for “Venice Landed Gentry”

Jon Kirk Mukri, General Manager LA Parks and Recreation & Parks
Alexander Bustamonte, LAPD Inspector General
cc:  Alfred Rodas, LAUSD Inspector General

U.S. Department of Justice
Mayor Villaraigosa and LA City Council
FBI
Janice Hahn, Venice Representative in US Congress
Parks and Crump, Attorney for Ronald Weekly
Grayce Liu, Interim General Manager DONE
LA Human Relations
NAACP

From: Rick Selan, Educational Advocate

Dear Cassidy Lange, Jon Mukri, and Alex Bustamonte,

On August 16, 2012, the “Venice Landed Gentry” led by their Neighborhood Watch Coordinator Cassidy Lange, with the permission of Oakwood Park Director Lizka Mendoza , held a Public Neighborhood Watch  meeting for those in Venice who are not people of color, low income, nor Seniors.

Oakwood Park Director placed the onus of responsibility for this meeting on LA Human Relations Facilitator Sheldon Cruz during a phone conference. The night after the meeting,  Police brutality began in Oakwood- Venice against people of color in the community.

The following night, this police brutality continued against Xavier College student  Ronald Weekley, an African American on a skateboard. This police beating against Ronald  was taped and has become national news. Ronald’s parents hired the Law Firm of Parkscrump who are the attorneys in the  Trayvon Martin Case in Florida.

Yesterday, after talking to community, it was shared that it was Park Director Lizka Mendoza who contacted LA Human Relations Sheldon Cruz to participate in this meeting that Mr. Cruz knew nothing about.

Mr. Cruz attended the so-called “Neighborhood Watch”  group and made it clear during the meeting of the Cassidy Lange group that he felt “duped” and would never return to the Mendoza-Cassidy “Venice Landed Gentry”, until all community including people of color, low income, and Seniors were included.

These facts above shared by community will be verified on August 27 through contact with LA Human Relations.

The police who brutalized Ronald were not from Venice nor from Pacific Division, but another part of the City. Who brought in this group of Police from outside Venice who were involved in Ronald’s beating and harassment against people of color in Venice and why ?

Was this special unit of LAPD and/or Pacific Division LAPD  at the Lange-Mendoza coordinated

The low income , the people of color,and Seniors will be in attendance at the next “Cassidy-Mendoza” Neighborhood Watch Meeting. After speaking with members of the community, it is imperative that LA Human Relations facilitate this September 12, 2012 meeting. 

Please Ms. Lange share the written agenda and minutes of your August 16 meeting at Oakwood Park. Please post these documents on the internet or fax them to 310-396-0754

Finally, it is time that Oakwood Park interview all those who have applied for membership to the Oakwood Park Advisory Council. Valley Parks Interim Superintendent Charles Singer and Lizka Mendoza have extended the application due date for a Board Interview four times in almost a year.

Originally,  Dec 31, 2011 was the due date for applications.

In a phone conference, Ms. Mendoza informed this advocate that she and Superintendent Singer are planning to change the due date for applications until later in the year or next year. Ms. Mendoza states she has not received enough applications.

Might it be that Charles Singer and Lizka Mendoza have applications from people of color, the low income, and seniors in Venice, but not enough applications from the Cassidy Lange “Venice Landed Gentry”

Venice needs accountability, consistency,transparency and inclusion of all Venice residents.

Again, a federal investigation needs to occur or this “bad behavior” will continue. Thank you, LAPD Inspector General Alex Bustamonte for your division’s on-going investigation.

Peace. Rick Selan

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Stay in touch with the Spirit of Venice — spiritofvenice.net

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PLEASE SIGN OUR PETITION: STOP RACIAL PROFILING IN THE VENICE COMMUNITY

when you sign – an email is sent to Chief of Police Charlie Beck, Capt. Jon Peters and others.

To Captain Jon Peters, Sheldon Cruz, Gary Williams Esq, Venice Community;

WATCH VIDEO

Youth of color profiled by LAPD

Officers are stopping African Americans, Latinos and people of color for minor infractions and I will explain the two that I witnessed personally and I will venture to say it is because of the meeting that was held at Oakwood Recreation and Parks (where the entire community was not invited, selected people who wanted the meeting to be private without the long time residents involvement) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 about the concerns of the community and what is going on in and around Oakwood park.

Lead Officer attended and I do believe the results have caused all people of color to be nervous and on high alert because LAPD is everywhere. History has proved itself each and every time after these meetings of fear and the said communities Quality of life is at stake we the people of color have to endure weeks of intimidation and tickets and even jail to satisfy those who claim their way of living is being violated.

First incident on Saturday August 18, 2012 5:50PM-Roy Davidson Sr was riding his bicycle home from work and he was pulled over by the LAPD. Roy asked “Why am I being stopped?”

The officers said “Put your hands behind your back and assume the position,” Roy asked them why am I being stopped? Again the two officers said “Put your hands behind your back and assume the position?”

The other officer said “You failed to stop behind the white line on your bike.” Roy said “You want me to assume the position and be patted down for a traffic violation?” The officer said”Are you on probation or parole?”

Roy answered “No I am not.” Officer”You have a bulge in your pocket?” Roy said “Its my phone.”

Office: “We want you to assume the position we want to search you.” Roy made a request “Please call the area sergeant out because I have never seen anyone patted down and searched for a minor traffic infraction.”

One officer approached Roy and stated” I am trying to talk with you as a man and get you to assume the position so we can pat you down to see if you have a weapon? Roy then turned around and the officers handcuffed him and emptied his pockets, they did find a small pocket knife.

The officer said “Oh yes you are going down for this.” Roy told him” I use this knife at work an you know that it has to be larger then your hand and clearly this one isn’t.” Officer”Oh you think you know the law what are you some street lawyer?”

Roy “No I know my rights for this type of harassment you are displaying now.” The officer had him stand there handcuffed,the other officer proceeded to the squad car and called for backup and the area sergeant an officers came from every direction with sirens blaring and speeding at high speeds.

Once the area sergeant was on the scene and speaking with the officers that stopped Roy, one of the other officers who were standing near Roy said “Oh well you are handcuffed now and what do you have to say?”, all the officers started to laugh?” Roy replied I want your names and badge numbers so I can file a report about your aggressiveness towards me riding on a bike home from work.”

Officer: “Well smart guy we don’t have any cards for you to have.”

Roy: “You can write it down on a piece of paper for me.”

Officer: “Oh you think you are a tuff guy.

Roy: “No I have been stopped before and I do know this is way over the top for a minor infraction.”

The area sergeant spoke with Roy and said that he should have done what was asked of him and again. Roy stated: “I was riding down the street and these officers were traveling in a different direction when they saw me they backed their vehicle up and proceeded after me and all I asked them was why did I need to be handcuffed and patted down. I was not being aggressive nor did my body language imply that I would do any harm to them while writing a ticket.”

The area sergeant went on to explain that there had been shooting over in the Playboy neighborhood and they were trying to protect the Venice Shoreline Neighborhood.”

Roy: “I want those officers information because I plan to file a complaint immediately because this stop was aggressive and my rights have been violated. I am a native and my family are long time residents and I am 32 years old.” The sergeant “Oh you look as if you are 24 years old you must take very good care of yourself.” Roy rode away on his bike shaking his head.

Minutes later 6:15PM- Ronald Weekly who resides in the apartments on 6th and Sunset was beaten by the police and taken to the hospital, family and friends stated that he was riding home on his skateboard and the officers started to pursue him and he was afraid and kept riding calling for his family to come an help him please.

The officers jumped out of the car and snatched him off of his skateboard and wrestled him to the ground.

When he kept moving they proceeded to hit him an many officers started to arrived and assisted in roughing him up. Family members were screaming and hysterical because they saw that this young man was in distress and needed medical attention. While down on the ground handcuffed he was bleeding and family and community called for and ambulance it arrived and he was transported. Family and community was dismayed about what went on in front of the building where he resided.

This I attribute to the meeting that was held where the concerns of twenty members of the community spoke out about how to keep the Oakwood area safe and the call for more police patrol in the area. Whenever more police presence is requested the people of color are treated unfairly and these incidents that I have explained above are beyond the call of duty. When concerns are expressed and solutions are requested why must LAPD’s brutality go into full swing?

Why is it that people of color are stopped constantly while the same infractions or stops are done for other people and none of the aggressiveness of the LAPD is displayed ex: Get out of the car so you can be patted down, or assume the position, or where are you going is ever asked of them?

Why is it that people of color are treated so unfairly in this area? Why is it that the only solution for the concerned community is LAPD patrol?

Why is it that people of color are always targeted? The fact is that none of the people of color were invited to the meeting held at Oakwood Park on Wednesday August 15, 2012? If solutions were truly being sought for the supposed problem at Oakwood Recreation Park then everyone needs to be involved to address these said issues and when I say everyone I do mean everyone.

Whatever fears that are within you are yours to deal with. We are not the enemy we love our community also and always have. We may display it in a way that may seem foreign to you, then get to know the culture and community first, but that is what makes Venice, Venice.

Respect us as people we live and work in this community and have been for decades, get to know us before you deem us as angry and you’re afraid to have us in a meeting with you because when we speak we do so with passion. Let me say this is the love we have for our home Venice.

When you ask LAPD to solve a community issue it is for sure one of our family members or community members always gets hurt, jailed, or killed.

Laddie Williams