consider this a blog entry AND a deposition. A dessert topping AND a floor wax, if you will... An anecdote torn from the pages of A Day In The Life of a CopWatch journal... or simply the truest recollection of the events I, Melissa Balin, witnessed in the 24 hour period surrounding the Occupy LA One Year Anniversary October 1, 2012 in and around the approximate one block radius of City Hall.
It was a grand reunion of sorts in Pershing Square, bittersweet in that many of us had not seen each other for many moons and yet our souls had never left City Hall In Solidarity with the thousands of years of fighting oppression worldwide. After the General Assembly in Pershing Square, several of us marched over to Solidarity Park to pay homage to the birth of Occupy LA and the strange circumstances that brought 100% of us all together one year ago. I was given the opportunity to share the poem I wasn't able to perform at the Speak-Out in light of my inexplicably strange detention the evening previous (September 30) for suspicion of a lewd act (I couldn't make this shit up) by North Hollywood PD.
|Contest Entry for Chalk The Police 10.2.2012|
Here is a link to video of my spoken word performance that allegedly incited a "chalk riot":
While it is unfortunate that a NON-permanent marker was used by an unidentified individual who chooses to remain Anonymous and whose identity, if known, would be protected by freedom of the press to protect their sources, it is clear by the photographic evidence of the immediate removal of the alleged "grafitti" (also considered to be "peaceful protest art" by many), by cleaning solution alone by an unusually handsome city worker, by 9:47 am (incidentally in full public view across from the lobby of the LA Times over an HOUR BEFORE the article was incorrectly published by the LA Times), that this was not an act of "permanent vandalism", nor was it intended to be, but was instead, a clear act of art and freedom of expression as protected by the First Amendment.
|unusually handsome city worker cleans spontaneous expressive act|
By the way, can anyone tell me how many times one can be detained for the same investigation in the same location for the same alleged crime? After all, they cannot give more than one parking ticket for the same offense in the same location... surely this could be considered an excessive abuse of the NDAA and the shocking repeated detention of a member of the media for none other than politically motivated purposes.
This shows a flagrant misappropriation of already limited city resources, and a disturbing and unconscionable prioritization of selective enforcement of politically motivated falsified charges under color of law instead of violent crimes and the genuine safety of the citizens of Los Angeles. This is not only unbecoming and unacceptable human relations to represent one of the greatest tourist visitor centers in the world, but it is a salacious violation of human rights in violation of the 3rd and 4th Geneva Conventions, worthy of investigation into what would be internationally regarded as a "grave breach".
We The People of the State of California, demand an immediate Federal Investigation into the widely accepted practices of fear, intimidation and false arrests of its citizens by various Los Angeles law enforcement agencies under the color of law in a thinly veiled attempt to boast of lowered crime rates which are actually falsified reports through widespread collusion and a "blue wall of silence" with regards to exculpatory evidence including but not limited to that, which is material to defendants.
On the morning of October 3rd, 2012, I, Melissa Balin, an internationally identified member of the media and ironically, a former Producer of Police Officer of the Year Award Show for Court TV, was on my way to give a speech on public comment to the Countywide Criminal Justice Coordination Committee asking for the immediate release of any pregnant inmates and/or mothers of children under the ages of 5 years old, in the interest of Justice and in light of the recent shocking evidence (including and not limited to my own personal case and miscarriage from police and sheriff brutality while in custody from November 14 through December 15, 2011) of unlawful terminations of pregnancy and cruel and unusual punishment of both the incarcerated mother and the innocent child who is being deprived of maternal contact material to their early development, which has been shown to be upheld through coordinated unconstitutional practices from plea bargaining all the way through to the probation system, with no other apparent purpose or design than to breed a generation of citizens further inclined to get caught up in a life in the California correctional system.
When it was brought to my attention that the spontaneous expressive event with artwork including slogans such as "#ExonerateMelissaBalin", and chalked body outlines with slogans written inside them such as "RIP Manual Diaz", "RIP Kelly Thomas", and "RIP Oscar Grant" was under criminal investigation, I, Melissa Balin, a lifetime member of the media, who has been working directly with Press Information Officer, and Commander of the Media Relations and Community Affairs Group, Andrew Smith, for over a year now to confirm true and correct quotes and responses on behalf of the Los Angeles Police Department Public Information Office, immediately called Smith, and offered to turn myself in for questioning and in full compliance of a criminal investigation, as both a potential witness, and potential suspect. Commander Smith indicated that the investigation was only for the alleged permanent marker and alleged defecation, which would need to be determined by lab and video evidence whether or not the defecation (on a different street nowhere near view of our spontaneous expressive event anyways) was human or animal... I let Commander Smith know, that I did not have knowledge of WHO wrote "Be Ego Tripping" in marker next to the words "Los Angeles Police Department" sign, but I did know and have physical photographic evidence that the marker was NOT permanent as contrary to his misinformation, I had witnessed a handsome city worker remove the alleged grafitti with some combination of water and cleaning solution (as seen above), PRIOR to the article and quote from Commander Smith.
Commander Smith thanked me for my cooperation, and let me know that I did not need to "turn myself in" to give witness testimony, only if I was a potential suspect in the alleged crime, so I confirmed with him that they were indeed NOT investigating chalk as vandalism, although the LA Times article, erroneously stated, "According to police, the vandalism included chalking sidewalks around police headquarters with slogans like "Protect and serve the 1%" and "Pigs." But the vandalism included slogans that were scrawled in permanent ink on one of the marble walls on the side of the Ronald Deaton Auditorium and one of the statues on the west side of the building. In addition, someone defecated next to the statue."
When I asked him to please call the author of the LA Times article, Andrew Blankstein, Commander Smith recanted his comments, and said he would allow the statement to stand, in spite of the full knowledge that the erroneous reporting was inciting fear of the constitutionally protected and inherently American use of chalk, amongst children and citizens of Los Angeles County and consequently other cities across the nation that look up to Los Angeles as an exemplary model for a just and fair municipality (LOL). I explained to him that I must voluntarily turn myself in as a potential suspect then, because I did indeed write the words "If You Violate, We Will Litigate" in chalk on the sidewalk in front of the LAPD headquarters sign as a cathartic way to turn my pain into art through freedom of expression for my unlawful termination of pregnancy.
Since I have been unconstitutionally detained without any evidence of a crime for FIVE times in a 24-hour period on October 2, 2012, and have shown myself to be more than compliant with NO flight risk whatsoever, I will not answer any questions without an attorney present and will also be filing formal citizen complaints for misconduct, false allegations, and abuse of authority under color of law, against Sergeant A. Walker (#26777) of Central Area, Officer Morris (#10544), Sergeant Guillen (General Services Office of Public Safety), Sergeant Martinez (#1049), and Lieutenant Robert Payan (also General Services Office of Public Safety), who stated that he "will continue to arrest people for my interpretation of the law until a court tells me not to" and Commander Andrew Smith, if he should continue to refuse to correct the incorrect reporting of the LA Times, resulting in a continued and unsettled panic amongst the good, non-voting, but future, constituents of Los Angeles County, our children and their mothers- who are now afraid of chalk for no good reason other than an apparent police state that is unseemly for the largest media capitol of the world.
I have left many messages for the editorial offices of the Los Angeles Times regarding their unfortunate error in journalistic reporting, but have received no response at this reporting, other than that "it's not my department, and everyone except for Breaking News, leaves for the day at 5pm".
While I am a known associate of Occupy; Occupy LA has a group consensus policy NOT to cooperate or talk to cops and my actions should be considered autonomous as both a victim of police brutality and a member of the media. My court appointed public defender on my currently open Case #1CA16847-02 (http://www.change.org/petitions/miscarriage-of-justice) has advised me that I should reserve my right to remain silent and not incriminate myself in any way. He feels that it is "crazy" of me to turn myself in for questioning on a matter that is falsely being investigated as a crime, but it is evident to me, that I am being continually harassed by law enforcement officials, and that my co-director Shepard Fairey was penalized in his recent unconstitutional conviction achieved by a plea bargain obtained through forced coercion, for how long he had waited to "turn himself in" (in direct contradiction with the Fifth Amendment). Since I am so "upstanding" and have nothing to hide, I can see no other remedy for this continued harrassment and am in the process of coordinating the "turning myself in" to the Central Division, for a formal criminal investigation of my admitted chalk art (as protected under the First Amendment), under the supervision of a California barred attorney and in a filmed deposition with Internal Affairs.
Wish me luck and know that I have NO intention whatsoever to incriminate ANYONE BESIDES MYSELF in this criminal investigation. In fact, I was on the ground with my eyes closed most of the time as unidentified anonymous strangers chalked outlines around my body in solidarity with those victims who have lost their lives to police brutality, so I have absolutely NO recollection of any other chalking or how it may or may not gotten there prior to or after my admitted chalking of "If You Violate We Will Litigate", "RIP Manual Diaz", "RIP Kelly Thomas", and "RIP Oscar Grant".
|alleged "permanent vandalism"|
Under duress, and in the hopes of complete exoneration, after almost a year of being definitely detained indefinitely,I admit alleged "guilt" of the following:
1) chalking on a public sidewalk
2) being Jewish
3) not being a virgin
4) that "I think I'm turning Japanese".
Power to the Peaceful. God Bless Us Every One.