July 31, 2011
On June 23rd of this year, at approximately 1:15 A.M., my husband and I were walking home from a friend's house in Santa Monica via Ocean Front Walk. Just past Westminster, we were hailed by Offcr. Bermudez of LAPD from his car, and told "The Boardwalk's CLOSED". I approached the offcr. asking for clarification, and explained we lived only a short distance from there and that we were on our way home. He reiterated that we must leave OFW and suggested we walk on Speedway instead.
We told him Speedway was not a safe place to walk at that time of night, but said we would comply if he would escort us–I have seen too many rats/meth addicts/drunks speeding down that road at night to be comfy with walking there. The offcr. declined to escort us, at which point I asked to speak with his supervisor.
My husband and I waited for his supervisor, one Sgt. Evans to arrive for close to twenty minutes. In that time, several other officers arrived–evidently someone thought back up was needed–I dare not suggest that we have more police here in Venice than are actually needed.
Sgt. Evans was noticeably annoyed that she had been called, telling me twice that she was "very busy" (she seemed to be the only one who was).
I questioned Sgt. Evans about the ramifications of committing an act of civil disobedience (i.e. simply continuing to walk to our home located just off OFW via OFW). She wasn't very forthcoming, but eventually stated that if I did so, in addition to the citation I was asking for, she would handcuff me, and make me spend the night in the women's prison facility in South Central, my husband and I decided that was the end of our civil rights stand for that evening.
Sgt. Evans' parting statement was "It's your choice, Ma'am", and walked some distance away with Offcr. Bermudez.
My husband and I retraced our steps on OFW, and departed the Boardwalk via Westminster, discussing just how to go home. Not two minutes later, I heard Police yelling at someone to "STOP RIGHT THERE"–I turned to see who else was being harassed, only to see Sgt. Evans and Offcr. Bermudez running toward me! They then proceeded to handcuff me and only me--to my husband they yelled "GO HOME!"–he would not leave without me, so they told him to stand far enough away that he was effectively unable to film what was going on).
I was told that, unbeknownst to me, I was being "detained", and as I hadn't asked for permission to leave, they were handcuffing and citing me. While being handcuffed, Officer Bermudez said to me "I was just going to let you go, but then you left, so now I'm citing you". What kind of twisted logic is this?
I was held involuntarily, in handcuffs, for close to an hour. I have arthritic injuries to my left shoulder and seriously compromised discs in my neck which were being adversely affected by the cuffs. I asked to be released, as I was hurting, and Sgt. Evans declined saying only "Do we need to call you an ambulance?". I told her about my medical condition, and that I was in pain–she told me that if I requested an ambulance, I would have to pay for it.
I realize this is BS, but the punitive intent was clear. I told the Sgt. that as I was not a medical professional, I was not qualified to know whether the damage they were inflicting was permanent, or if I needed an ambulance–the Sgt. then called the paramedics. Once the two paramedics arrived, I was released from cuffs–HOwever, one very juicy tidbit remains to this completely insane tale–Sgt Evans was asked by the treating paramedic why I was in cuffs–Sgt. Evans replied "She has a history of assaulting police officers."
Do I need to tell you that this statement was a complete and total fabrication?
I was not, repeat NOT, arrested–merely handcuffed for her amusement, and cited.
Of course, I made a complaint–(not that I think that does much) and of course I went to court for the citation–that happened yesterday at 8:00 A.M.
But upon arriving at the WEst L.A. courthouse, I found that Offcr. Bermudez has yet to file the citation–meaning, I am now supposed to twice weekly, phone the Traffic Telephone Line (310.445.5390) which no one ever answers, to see if the citation has been filed…Yep, supposed to do this for ONE YEAR–after that, per Janelle Brown, Clerk, I can forget about the whole thing.
Does this seem like utter and complete BULL SH#T to any else out there?
V for Vendetta indeed–V for Venice, homies. Don't think this will go away on its own. Very hard to win back freedoms you have voluntarily given away.
But, oh yeah, it's LOTs better to have the homeless meth addicts/drunks etc. sleeping in the side streets instead of in the park. Yeah, that was CERTAINLY worth giving up my right to walk to my home at night after my husband's concert.
November 10, 2010
On January 20, on this website, you advocated civil disobedience as it pertained to the closure of OFW ("carry NO ID (you are under no obligation to do so) and that we all refuse to accept tickets or submit to police intimidation and bullying"). Now you want to come here and complain about being detained and cited for walking on a section of the boardwalk you knew was closed? Sorry, no sympathy here.
September 2, 2010
August 25, 2010
I get very angry just reading this. I support the police when they are doing their job, but to often this bullying behavior occurs. I don't know what avenue you should take, maybe ACLU would help. Possibly a lawsuit would force some changes. I really feel for you and I know I probably wouldn't have remained so calm. Good luck. Let's shine a light on the bad cops even as we praise the good ones.
August 19, 2009
That good news to know that nothing really serious and important is going on in Venice, for a change. Sorry about your experience, but as I say, look at the bright side, how good it is that all the officers had to do that night was to intimidate you.
Try to do what everyone is doing, sue the city for a few million dollars, that will teach them!
Loulou you need to accept responsibility for your action. You are a resident and you know that the boardwalk is closed after midnight. When you were first approached by the cops you should have kept your mouth shut and proceeded to walk South on Pacific or Speedway. That would have been the end of the story. But instead you wanted to mess with the cops and you got what you wanted.
I am thrilled that the cops are kicking the derelicts off the boardwalk.
Things have improved tremendously since the boardwalk curfew was implemented and I fully support it.
July 8, 2010
I, too, feel very little sympathy for your plight.
You may have been an art history teacher, but that profession doesn't make wise. We all live here and know that OFW is closed, yet you apparently chose to violate the law (which I disagree with) and got what you wanted, a citation.
It's a shame that we've lost the use of OFW, but the folks who have espoused the 'live and let live' attitude encourage the disgraceful conditions to ferment on OFW.
Don't look for sympathy here, and now that you're in the vortex I have one question for you.
"How'd that one incident of civil disobience work out for you?"
January 20, 2012
May 22, 2010
If you behave like a spoiled, entitled brat apparently the police treat you accordingly. You knew the law, you chose to disobey it, you no doubt gave them a piece of your mind, and you expect them to escort you home? They are not your private security force. If you don't care for Speedway, try Pacific. Try a cab. And hey, the only reason the boardwalk was safe that time of the night was because they were enforcing the closure.
May 15, 2010
July 8, 2010
Yes, you're right that's the same lady in the video.
Now I wonder why LouLou "approached the offcr. asking for clarification" knowing full well, as most Venetians do, that OFW is closed in the evenings.
Seems like she got what she wanted.
I overwhelmingly support the LAPD; perfect they're not, but I respect them immensely for the job they do.