By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
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Two OffBeat articles in the March 3–9 edition, titled “Who’s Counting?” and “Daryl Gates’ Outrage Meter,” are a bit off-track. First, Daryl Gates did indeed pen Special Order 40, a directive intended to prevent police officers from taking U.S. immigration law into their own hands. It was not intended to prevent police officers from notifying the INS when they have received a previously deported alien into custody, or a person who qualifies for deportation because of previous criminal convictions, or from passing on information about the location of such persons. In fact, according to California Penal Code 834b, peace officers are specifically ordered to provide assistance to the INS.
Second, the INS doesn’t make immigration “sweeps.” What you term a sweep is a process where U.S. Immigration criminal investigators investigate an industry notorious for hiring illegal aliens (the hiring of whom is a criminal act). These businesses are targeted and repeatedly warned of an impending inspection. The inspection process is utilized to stop employers from hiring undocumented workers — not, as it is commonly believed, to arrest illegal aliens. The employment and sometimes exploitation of undocumented workers is dangerous, allowing employers to implement practices and conditions onto their workers that normally would be prevented by state and federal labor laws.
In “Who’s Counting?” Sandra Hernandez speaks of cases “in which INS officials routinely assisted the Rampart Division in their deportation efforts.” This is actually backward. The LAPD assisted the INS in deporting criminal aliens who were current or past gang members.
What’s really interesting about the L.A. Weekly and other local newspapers is that only the point of view of the poor criminal or illegal alien is brought to light. It’s such a cheap shot for such a poor cause. I can only hope that the people of Los Angeles won’t become confused by the actions of a few very corrupt LAPD cops. What they did was horrific, beyond words. It’s important, however, for Los Angeles to separate the transgressions of a couple of bad cops in Rampart, from the LAPD assisting the INS in arresting aliens who qualify for criminal prosecution or removal from the U.S. These acts have occurred in the same section of the city, but are separate issues.
Re: “And the Beat Goes On” [March 10–16] and LAPD Officer Jesus Amezcua. Charles Rappleye’s tunnel vision was well-reflected in the article. His journalistic license to editorialize within the article’s context can only represent an intention to inflame the passions of the biased reader, and offers nothing to the educated reader. But then, that’s always been true of your paper.
In Sara Catania’s “‘Crimes We Abhor’” [March 10–16], Lance Lindsey doesn’t think there is “anything more cruel than making the family members of the convicted person — people who have done nothing wrong” go through a clemency hearing. How about raping and killing a woman (who has done nothing wrong) by crushing her skull with a rock? Or killing an innocent 11-year-old girl (who has done nothing wrong) by throwing her off a bridge? Or how about killing two other women and sexually assaulting five more — all of whom have done nothing wrong? It’s obvious that Lance Lindsey doesn’t think, period.
THREE OF A KIND
Many thanks to theater critic Sandra Ross for her kind words regarding my work, and the work of our wonderful cast in The Meadows [March 10–16]. However, I am proud to clarify that the video-poker-machine fantasy sequence that Ms. Ross deemed “exquisitely realized” was, in fact, entirely choreographed by my invaluable assistant director, Melissa Marie Thomas, precisely as it was originally conceived and scripted by playwright Trey Nichols. Still, we at Moving Arts are delighted that Ms. Ross liked it.
Director, The Meadows
OH YEAH? WE DAREYOU!
Thank you for the article about my book, I Was a Teenage Dominatrix, in the OffBeat column [March 10–16]. I thoroughly appreciated the Nirvana reference in the title (“Smells Like Teen Fantasy”). But apparently Lee Condon, cub-reporter-at-large, didn’t believe â my life story, due to the fact that I refused to give my former employer’s name and business number. Obviously, little Lee has never had friends in the sex industry — they have families, friends and lives to lead, and all aren’t quite as open about their jobs as I have been. As a former dominatrix and present journalist myself, I respect privacy.
I’ll take the insinuation as a compliment, however. Yes, I am creative, but I’ll admit that even I couldn’t possibly make shit like that up! Mr. Condon stated that the quote “The worst was my boss who stared at my chest while he yelled at me” was from my PR release. It was in there, quoted directly from the book — he would have known that, had he read it. Also, in his exhaustive research, Jimmy Olson failed to mention that I had a reading/book-signing event that Thursday evening at Borders in Westwood. Alas, I see his skepticism and slights as cries for help — obviously the man is just begging for a good spanking!