Business as usual

Eric Richardson talks about a little game of “look the other way” going on downtown:

“Walking back from there I went down Hill to stop at the ATM, headed south, and then east on 6th. Waiting for the light to change at Broadway I noticed a lady on the other side with the familiar blanket spread out full of pirated DVDs. Stopped at the light was an LAPD squad car, just eight feet or so from her illegal wares. Yet neither of the two chose to acknowledge the other’s presence, though both surely were aware of the situation.”

What’s amusing about this is that the situation varies so much from place to place and from officer to officer. Just last week coming home from the gallery Caryn and I watched an LAPD officer pull over and jump out to question a guy selling flowers on a corner of Sunset in Echo Park. We weren’t close enough to hear the actual conversation but I was getting a strong “I don’t know what you are talking about” feel from the guy with the flowers, followed up by and even stronger “get the hell out of here” feel from the officer. Shortly there after the guy did indeed get the hell out of there.

5 Replies to “Business as usual”

  1. I saw some cops talking rough to a guy selling fruit out of his truck by the 101N offramp at Silver Lake Blvd. There were some young white guys there too, trying to buy some fruit & defending the fruit seller. He was gone for a few weeks, but he’s been back for a while, selling the same mangoes.

  2. A walk on Sunset across from the dear departed Pioneer Market almost never fails to find at least one spread of bootleg dvds. At times I’ve seen as many as three รณ on one block!

  3. Not to open up this old can of worms, but…

    It’s not a *crime* to sell a few pirated DVDs. It’s illegal, but it’s civil copyright infringement, not criminal, unless you’re selling more than $2,500 worth within a 180-day span (18 U.S.C. Sec. 2319). So, what business do cops have shutting down small-time infringers unless, you know, they’re mass-producing pirated copies?

  4. I see cops ignoring guys throwing bottles of malt liquor at their vehicle, I see cops writing people up for jaywalking. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. Living downtown, I see how greatly it differs – the interaction between cops and the homeless, new downtown residents, office workers, and the kids who ride the subway downtown to score drugs.

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