This evening in San Diego Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey begins a west coast tour in support of its 2009 EP One Day In Brooklyn. The trip to California is in some respects bittersweet for the group as the group’s manager recently was taken into custody by a private security details after hanging a poster on a lightpole. In response the band issued the following statement on its website:
In preparation for our tour, our manager has been traveling ahead of us and meeting up with street team’s to help promote these shows. Last week he became the second member of the Fred family to be put in handcuffs for promoting a jazz show. The first time Matt was handcuffed in Tulsa for placing a handbill on a car windshield. This time was even more unique as a privatized security firm handcuffed and detained our manager for hanging a poster on a pole outside of Amoeba Records in Los Angeles. Last Monday he was hanging up some posters inside of Amoeba Records in Los Angeles. Upon exiting the store, he posted a couple posters at the intersection in front of the store on a lightpole (where other posters also happened to be hung up). He then crossed the street, hung a poster inside of Ground Work coffee, and just as he was about to exit the shop was approached “officer” Reyes…
That’s “officer” in quotes because it soon became apparent that Reyes was not a police officer at all, but rather a fully armed Blackwater-esque private security firm underling. Reyes was in fact a part of the Business Improvement Development (BID) project, run by private security firm Andrews International, who is hired by a Hollywood business owners association and is apparently responsible for patrolling the Hollywood area for many misdemeanor type crimes. That’s right folks, now right here in the good ‘ol USA the enforcement of our government’s laws are now being farmed out to mercenary services. Hired guns with the ostensible power of a police officer, but without the training or the accountability of a governmental entity. Glorious, eh?
So, “Officer” Reyes asked our manager about the posters, asking him if he knew it was illegal to post the bills, how many he had posted, and a host of other questions. Being the cool-headed manger that he is, interactions with the officer were nothing but cordial, explaining that he had just gotten to LA that day, lived in Oklahoma, and wasn’t trying to cause any trouble. He’d only gotten up a few posters before he’d been detained. Despite all of this Reyes was intent on making his collar. He told our manager that he didn’t believe him and that he’d seen our manager “look around” while taping up the posters. He informed our manager that he was going to have to cite our manager for the infraction (a violation of section 28.04, though he’d have to look that up later on). Our manager asked if there was any way to just make it a warning, given the situation and his sincerity. However Reyes declined the idea, again stating that he didn’t believe our manager.
At this point two additional “officers” show up at the coffee shop. After exchanging a few words as a group one of the other officers asked Reyes in a surprised tone if he wanted to go ahead with this, to which he responded “yes”. At that point the three “officers” basically surround our manager and ask him to stand up (he had been sitting calmly answering their questions up until that point). Asking if he was being arrested, the officers told him that he was being cited and that they had to take him in to the police station. Our manager was taken aback to say the least. Two officers held onto his arms and so our manager acquiesced to the request to stand. At this point one “officer” removed his shoulder bag from his person (under our manager’s protest) while the other grabbed his wrists and handcuffed them behind his back.
They told him they had to take him back to their office to fill out a report. They placed him in their vehicle, handcuffed, and drove him to their office. There he was handcuffed to a bench (still with his hands behind his back) while they waited for Reyes to fill out the report. At this point our manager asked for his phone and one of the other “officers” gave it to him. At this point he called our lawyer and began texting pictures and messages to people as well as posting on Facebook. How could our manager possibly be guilty of a crime worthy of handcuffing if he was still able to text and facebook? Don’t ask us! Eventually he made such a racket squirming and clanking around while texting that one of the “officers” un-cuffed and re-cuffed him with his hands in front of him to allow him to text in a bit more comfort. Laughable if it weren’t so absurd. Later he would be re-cuffed with his hands behind his back again for transport to the Hollywood Police Department.
At the Hollywood Police Department (which has seen the likes of such illustrious humans as Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, and Jack Bauer) our manager had to sit with hands cuffed behind his back once again while the REAL police ran his background. Upon his record coming back %100 clear of ANYTHING, he was finally un-cuffed. The real police officer then signed the citation notice for his violation to be official. That’s right, these hired guns can only shoot and cuff people, writing is a ticket is beyond their powers. What a relief huh?
He now has a court date set for Feb. 18th.
At no point during this were any Miranda Rights read to our manager.
Why are we allowing this sort of corporatized police state to exist in our country?
Contact information regarding the individuals reportedly responsible for this incident can be found at JFJO.com. Tonight the band performs at Winston’s.