This complaint was filed, today (02/27/12), with the Los Angeles District Attorney Office, online:
Dear District Attorney's Office,
HERE IS YouTube VIDEO OF ME APPROACHING VISITOR DESK AT LOBBY OF L.A. CITY HALL on 02/17/12:
The point IS...you are not required to show ID to enter the city hall for the council meeting...and you are NOT required to be an attorney to state the name of the law.
On February 17, 2012, entered L.A. City Hall and the police officer, behind the visitor desk, asked for my ID.
I said, "No, not today, thank you."
The officer asked me where I was going. I said the council meeting.
She insisted for the ID again. I again replied that I did not want to show ID to attend the meeting.
She called another supervising officer to the desk, who again, asked me where I was going, then asked for ID. [I got nervous when the one cop called over the second cop. Was I in trouble? Imagine how anyone else would fee?]
I again, had to explain I did not want to show ID. Then he required me to utter the words, "Brown Act," before the other officer would hand me the pass.
The point is that no ID is required to attend the council meeting. Not that the person, showing up to give public comment or observe the meeting, has to be a legal expert and know the names of the laws. The laws are merely to be followed.
This was more than anyone should be expected to reasonably endure to be admitted to the council meeting. The request alone has a chilling effect.
February 21, 2012, I once again entered Los Angeles City Hall, went through the metal check, the walked to the lobby desk for a "visitor" pass, to attend the L.A. City council meeting.
The officer (a different officer) said, "Let me guess, no ID." I said, "right." She explained, "That's fine." (As in cutting a break/no biggie/slack was being given). Then added, but, the Brown Act applies to the council meeting. This is the lobby. We don't share information. And you are not required to show ID to enter the meeting.
When I said, "That means you have to show ID to enter the meeting," there was some more back and forth. HERE IS THE ENTIRE AUDIO OF THE CONVERSATION:
Check this out on Chirbit
City Hall strategy appears to be, "We DON'T require ID to attend the meeting. But, due to security issues, everyone must show ID (and the police write the name and address down on paper, as in a record book). And then, they may attend the meeting without showing ID. And since the City Hall lobby doesn't share the information with Council, it's allowed.
However, not requiring ID to attend the meeting, means you don't need to have an ID. BUT, if you need an ID to enter City Hall, that means you cannot enter the council meeting.
Additionally, the process has a chilling effect on anyone who would walk up to City Hall, see a line of people showing ID to the police, or if no line, getting to the lobby desk and having a police officer ask you for ID.
The City will argue that it is required for security, but if someone breaks the law in city hall, then a cop will detain the person -- AND THAT IS THE POINT IN WHICH YOU ASK FOR ID!
The officer told me, it was annouced in "roll call," that they WERE going to start REQUIRING ID, with no "Brown Act" proclamations in the lobby, because Brown Act does not apply to the lobby.
This already has a chilling effect on Zuma Dogg, cause I don't wanna wake up early, leave my beach area, to head all the way to Skid Row adjacent, through gridlock traffic, only to find out, TODAY, is the day the city starts enforcing that ID is required. CAUSE I AIN'T GIVING CITY HALL THE INFO (LIKE MY ADDRESS) -- TO ATTEND THE COUNCIL MEETING!
BOTTOM LINE: There is no way to attend the L.A. City Council meeting without showing identification, FIRST.
City Hall has a red VISITOR pass (different than the blue VISITOR pass), to distinguish between those going to the council meeting, who did not show ID (and are restricted to the council or committee meeting/cannot go to other floors, or departments). So, WHY do you need to show ID at the door?
ADDITIONALLY, until this month, they have been asking for people's name and address on the public comment cards, without disclosing the information is NOT required -- and that they are public documents, posted online.
How long is statue of limitations for this violation? Posting addresses online, without saying, "not required," is just about the most outrageous violation I can think of. A lot of BAD people, out there, who can access the info!
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