Opinion: L. A. City Council President’s Action Nothing More than a Cheap Political Stunt

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On Friday, we all woke up to the accusations made by Los Angeles City Council President Paul Krekorian that Burbank police were dumping homeless people in his city instead of dealing with the problem themselves.

How did we find out? Very simple, he called a press conference that all major media attended and produced a video that showed Burbank police releasing what he claimed to be a homeless man being taken out of a police car, handcuffs being removed, and being left on the street in distress.

Very dramatically, Krekorian became the shining knight for the treatment of the homeless.

News media outlets are as much to blame for this feeding frenzy as anyone else. Before releasing the video, did they call for any explanations, or were they in such a rush to be the first with the video on the air that they decided to get the real facts later? Yes, at times, it is a competition. Yes, we want exclusives and to be first, which myBurbank has also been guilty of in the past, such as the boy’s basketball incident at Burroughs where one of our reporters put out information before getting it verified, leading to unjustly accusing someone of an act never committed.

Once we saw the video, we put the following statement out on X before we launched our investigation: “We are hearing that a video of the @BurbankPD dropping off a homeless man in North Hollywood is circulating. We will wait until we hear directly from the PD about the incident and get the full story before we speculate. You should do the same.” We did not publish the story until we heard from the police department and the city for their statements.

We will continue to report on the story when the police department issues a complete report on the incident.

There is no doubt that it seems something is not right by looking at the video alone in its context. However, there is more to the story, and far more still to come out that we still do not know. We do know that officers were dispatched to a bus stop near Saint Joseph Medical Center Thursday morning for a naked man. When they arrived, they contacted the man near the emergency room entrance. So after we hear the officers on the radio saying they are transporting one to the Metrolink Red Line Station. About ten minutes later, we once again heard that same unit saying he had returned to the city. There was no radio traffic or a change of location.

So, these are the facts as we know them. What we do not know, and what Krekorian does not know, is what the officers’ body-worn cameras will say and show. If the man requested officers to drop him off somewhere, they are obligated to do so. The man is seen having handcuffs removed as he left the patrol vehicle; that is because of officer safety reasons in transporting the man.

Yes, the video does not look good, as you see the man lying on the ground and the officers leaving. There are still some hard questions that need to be asked and answered, which a full investigation will reveal, at least for those who actually want an investigation and want to know the entire truth. No doubt, there may be policy changes for how Burbank police deal with these situations.

But this was an intentional attempt by Krekorian to mislead and cast himself and the City of Los Angeles as one of the protectors of the homeless.

Once he received this video, did he reach out to someone in Burbank to ask about it? We asked Mayor Nick Schultz Friday afternoon, and he said he was completely blindsided, as were others in Burbank.

Who did he call in the City of Burbank to try and find an explanation of the incident and find out the entire story? NO ONE.

Maybe if his first call were to the Burbank Mayor or Police Chief, they would have assured him that they would look into it and get back with answers. If a week had passed without communication or those answers, I can understand turning to the news media. But no, his first move was to call a news conference and shame the City of Burbank.

Burbank’s Mayor is famous for providing his phone number to the public. Our Police Chief, Michael Albanese, is a former respected and decorated Los Angeles police officer who is always available. This would have been too easy of a possible solution and not gotten the politician what he craves most: headlines and attention.

Maybe he wanted to look like the Shining Knight. After all, in the past five years, he is part of a City Council that has seen one member charged with multiple counts of embezzlement, perjury and conflict of interest (President Pro Tempore Curren Price). Two council members (City Council President Nury Martinez resigned, and Councilmember Gil Cedillo lost his seat in the election) and one went into hiding after an audio recording surfaced with comments about another council member’s son.

There was Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas, who was found guilty of seven counts, including conspiracy, bribery, honest services mail fraud and honest services wire fraud while in his role as an L.A. County Supervisor before joining the L.A. City Council. And let’s not forget about Former City Councilmember Mitchell Englander, who was convicted of lying to federal authorities about his dealings with a businessman who provided him with $15,000 in secret cash payments and a debauched night in Las Vegas.

In fact, the only reason Paul Krekorian is the President of the Los Angeles City Council is he was appointed because of a scandal. Of course, it is easier to point fingers instead of doing the real work of keeping your own house in order. By the way, what is the number of Burbank City Council Members involved in crimes and scandals that led to arrests and resignations during that time? ZERO.

What about the man Krekorian is so concerned about? His staff said they found him and said he appeared to have a broken leg. I’m glad to know that his staff also serve as medical professionals who can diagnose people. So what did they do? Did they call paramedics? Did they transport him to the hospital for treatment of his ‘broken leg’? What help did they get him, and where is the man now? Since they are so concerned with his wellbeing, we know they are following up with the man and his treatment.

What about all the homeless encampments in Krekorian’s district? Why is his staff not providing kind and loving care to all the homeless individuals in his district? No doubt he figures that pointing the finger at Burbank will take the pressure off all his problems. Maybe he should hop into his city-owned vehicle and take a look around his district, not in the affluent areas such as Toluca Lake, but under the freeway overpasses and neighborhoods where the low income live and explain why all the tents and trash are a problem he is not addressing.

Maybe he can also blame Burbank for that.

    BurCal Apartments8715

    2 COMMENTS

    1. Mr. Sherwood, I am not giving my opinion on the matter either way at this time. I do have some questions.

      1) If a person was naked, don’t we have laws against that?
      2) Why wasn’t this person arrested and charged?
      3) Is it proper for BPD to be giving free taxi rides anywhere?
      4) Do you really believe that any person in the back seat of a police car is always handcuffed?
      5) I would argue that a person in the back of a patrol car handcuffed is under detainment, would you?
      6) Why has the BPD not released 100% of the radio traffic and video recordings for all of us to decide what was truly going on?

      Additionally Mr. Sherwood, the list of wrongs you correlated in your summation of the City of Los Angeles is not proper as Mr. Krekorian is not responsible for the majority of your hit list.

      On this issue of the the deeds of the BPD, we need clear answers. I’m waiting.

      Joel Schlossman