Homeless Man Directs Traffic

Homeless Man Directs Traffic

By Trissean McDonald

Homeless individuals with mental illnesses are starting to become an epidemic in the city of Los Angeles, California for they are not receiving the proper medical attention simply because of their status.

On the corner of New Hampshire Avenue and 8th Street in front of Taco Bell, a homeless man who was mentally symptomatic began pacing back and forth in the middle of the street as cars had to avoid hitting him. The man was Hispanic who was shirtless, had on a black beanie, black jogging pants that he sagged slightly above the knees, and gray sweatpants he wore underneath the black jogging pants.

Drivers quickly became frustrated having to wait behind their steering wheel for the man to slowly walk away from in front of their vehicles. Several drivers sped up towards the man as a threat to get him out of the way, as others taunted the man with expletives and verbal threats. The homeless man would shout back at the drivers, even would hit and attempt to kick some of their cars.

The location where the homeless person stood became more dangerous by the minute. Therefore, he decided to relocate. He walked to Vermont Avenue and 8th Street where he stood in the middle of the street a while longer before walking across the street to the east side of Vermont Avenue. He stood in the middle of a sidewalk as pedestrians passed by. He spoke to some of them while others he verbally threaten. However, there were no physical threats imposed by any pedestrians or by the homeless man.

At one point, the homeless man even pulled down his pants to expose his penis. A police squad car horn sounded; however, police officials did not charge him with indecent exposure. There are obvious signs of mental instability that these type of individuals display to the public without having to be microscopically scrutinized. However, these individuals are regarded less as human beings. They’re constantly calling out for help psychologically; however, because some may not know how to express their concerns as the average person knows how to, a lot of these individuals will always be ignored as well as their needs unattended.


Suspect Starts Water Fight With Officer

Suspect Starts Water Fight With Officer

By Trissean McDonald

Twelve officers and a helicopter from the Los Angeles Police Department Rampart Division responded to complaints from employees and customers at the 1000 Vermont Avenue shopping center about a public disturbance on March 12 at 1:15 p.m.

Los Angeles Police Rampart Division received a call about a disturbance, however upon arrival, there was no discrete information as to how the suspect was making a disturbance. ”Just a guy everyone said who was causing a disturbance inside the shopping mall,” officer Gonzales said. ”I don’t know what kind of disturbance because nobody when we got here, had anything to say about it. Just, he’s the guy that’s bothering everybody.”

Officers approached the suspect outside of the Subway sandwich shop and asked for identification. The suspect reportedly walked away from the police, however, no crime was committed. ”He started to walk away. We didn’t have a crime. He went into Subway and was drinking a lot of water, in which is fine,” officer Gonzales said. However, it was the suspect assaulting a police officer by throwing water at him that got him arrested after being told to leave. ”We told him he had to leave and he put up a fight. He’s going to go to jail for battery to a police officer.”

Los Angeles City College student, Alex Lopez, whose major is undecided allegedly witnessed the dispute between the suspect and the officer. ”He came into the Subway to drink water and he was losing his temper. He just kinda like, threw one of the waters at him. Barely threw it, barely missed him. And the cop came up and punched him.”

Boost Mobile employees at the shopping center witnessed the suspect screaming and yelling since 9:30 a.m. He even set off an alarm to a vehicle whose owner was a MoneyGram employee’s car, according to valet attendant Jose Espinosa. ”The guy opened the Subway door, the Coolest, the dental and he jumped over the car. The grey one,” Espinosa said, referring to the Mazda minivan that belonged to the MoneyGram employee.

Jackie Martinez said she witnessed the suspect trying to get inside her car, however, he was unable to get inside. ”He was trying to get inside but the door is locked. I was watching him. I was working,” Martinez said. To avoid contact with the suspect, Martinez waited until police arrived before checking on her vehicle. ”I came out and the police were here.” Martinez saw no damage to her car after examining it.

The officer involved in the incident did not have any reported injuries nor were there any reports of the suspect being injured during the kerfuffle.

The Struggles of Being Black

By Trissean McDonald

Black people have continuously encountered racially abusive individuals far too long, and it makes one wonder, ”has Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream really come true?”

Frustration from a black person makes that person a danger toward society. Stereotypes will always be associated with my people, and it pierces my heart with a million daggers. We are shut down by our own people, and the white man of superior power. Now, I’m not racist. In fact, my stepfather is white. However, the facts are there. But we are too blind to see.

I am a student at Los Angeles City College on March 6, I stopped by the math tutoring lab to get help for my pre-stats homework. ”I know that I have to be enrolled in this class, but I really need help with my homework because it’s making me go crazy,” I said. I was told by the tutor that he would be next in line. I wrote my name on the blackboard and waited. Frustration started to grow as the I waited. My phone was dying, and I had to do his homework from it.

I stepped out of the lab for a brief moment and my name was erased from the blackboard. I informed the tutor that I wrote my name on the board, however, my name got deleted from the previous list. The tutor told me again that I was the next student in line. I seemed to be waiting for more than fifteen minutes. I grew more frustrated. I noticed that she did not keep her word and confronted her about going from student to student disregarding my needs that acquired immediate attention.

The tutor was rather rude and gave multiple excuses as to why she did not help him. One of the reasons was that he did not put his name on the board a second time. ”Man, just shut up. I’ll just go to my TA and ask her for help in the morning,” I said. Before I could even leave, a white male student began to walk up to me and was completely in my face trying to start a fight.

Although I expressed my frustration towards the tutor, did that give a right to this white male student permission to invade my space in a threatening matter? Yet, I tried my best to defuse the problem, but the white student continued to provoke me. Then administrators enter the math lab. They watched the white student harassing me. They stood, watched, and allowed the commotion to continue. A black woman who was getting help with her pre-stats homework told me to sit at her table because she was studying the same subject. However, before I was able to get settled in to study with the woman, the LACC Sheriff’s Department entered the lab.

Our Sheriff’s Department was rather racist while trying to defuse the situation. They told me that he had to leave. However, they did not escort the white student out of the lab. When the sheriffs were asked why I was the only one to get escorted from the lab one deputy said, ”we got a call from the chairman to escort you out.” The chairman of the Mathematics Department is Kian Kaviani. However, a black administrator or professor said that he called the LACC Sheriff’s Department because of the loud commotion. The same administer trailed behind me as I was being escorted out. Four sheriffs weren’t enough for only one person to be escorted out?

People of color, of all color, we are too blind to see the fact that White America is destroying our people as we destroy ourselves. We are too blind to see the fact that we are a powerful and bright people who invented almost everything of use today. Did you know that Garrett Morgan, a black man, is the inventor of the safety hood smoke protection device? He invented this device to recuse workers that were trapped 50ft beneath Lake Erie in a water intake tunnel in 1916. In had multiple tubes that hung low toward the ground to gather clean air from around him. This device was eventually designed for the use of firefighters. Morgan enhanced his invention by adding a wet sponge to filter out smoke as well as cool the air.

Luis E. Miramontes, a Mexcian chemist, is a co-inventor of the drug progestin and norethisterone that is inside of oral birth contraceptive for women. But why we are too blind to see that our people must work together and stop division amongst each other?

Empower the world with your intelligence. Let the world know who you are. American racism should not discourage you to get an education. The horrible things of what they think of us, should make you fuck them over with some Socrates or Charles Darwin. People of color, unite and stop hating on one another. There’s already too much of that we experience from white supremacists. Instead, start a movement of equality.

Let Freedom Ring Happy Black Herstory Month

Let Freedom Ring

Happy Black Herstory Month

By Trissean McDonald

African Americans are appreciated in the month of February for their civil rights activism and their multiple contributions toward race and equality for all. Still, elements of society still treat black Americans as “less than” their white or other minority counterparts.

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey made history this year at the Golden Globes Awards as the first black woman to be awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award. The award is granted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.”

Joining the ranks of Sidney Poitier and Lucille Ball, Oprah is the first African American woman to be given the honor. Her speech was so empowering that many thought it was the beginning of a presidential campaign.

“I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon,” Winfrey said. “And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say, ‘Me too’ again.”

Winfrey’s speech referenced an ongoing conversation about sexual misconduct allegations within Hollywood. Her own experiences in the past make her especially qualified to speak on behalf of the #MeToo movement.

Despite her global status as a renowned journalist, Winfrey experienced an incident a few years ago that reminded her of the challenges of being a black woman in the world.

She said that a sales associate in a store in Zurich, Switzerland refused to sell her an upmarket handbag because it was “too expensive” for Winfrey to afford.

“I go into a store that shall remain unnamed and I say to the woman, ‘May I see that bag right above your head?’ and she says to me ‘No. It’s too expensive.’ “And I said ‘No, no, no, the black one, the one that’s folded over,’ and she said, ‘No, no, no, you don’t want to see that one, you want to see this one because that one will cost too much. You won’t be able to afford that one’,” Winfrey said in an article posted by the Daily Mail.

The store owner denied all allegations and said that she would apologize for any inconvenience if she ever had the opportunity to speak directly to Winfrey.

“I would apologize and say it was all a misunderstanding. I surely did not intentionally want to insult Ms. Winfrey. I hope this nightmare ends soon,” said the store owner, who wanted to stay anonymous. “It is absolutely not true that I declined to show her the bag on [racial] grounds.”

Certain Americans tend to be oblivious, or at least feign their oblivion regarding racial disparities. But discrimination is global, and equally displayed in other countries. “I could have had the big blow-up thing and thrown down the black card and all that stuff, but why do that,” Winfrey said. Doing that, she implies, would have left her labeled as “the crazy/angry black woman.”

Winfrey’s often credits her earlier struggles with where she is today. As a young girl, she was sexually abused and became pregnant, but lost her baby shortly after its birth. Pain fades as scars heal, and Winfrey has since become a multi-billionaire with her OWN network. Outside of media, she continues to be a leading advocate for community activism.

A Painted Brain Expands Creative Minds

A Painted Brain Expands Creative Minds

By Trissean McDonald

Environments for creative art where people that display signs of mental health differences in Los Angeles, California are starting to improve with the aid of Painted Brain and their sponsor Gather for Good, by hosting a pop-up boutique bake sale opened to the public.

Painted Brain and Gather for Good joined in partnership on Jan. 27, 2018 from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. to aim at the goal of enhancing art space for individuals with mental health differences within Painted Brain’s Headquarters located on 5980 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, 90035.

Enlightening the minds of those who are mentally different, Painted Brain and Gather for Good strive to educate the public by exemplifying mental health differences do not make you a danger to society. A narrative told by the Painted Brain’s Headquarters with illustrations of elaborate paintings, sculpture figures, and even animated caricatures done mostly by the members of Painted Brain.

This event was lavished with desserts and other delicious foods, along with a mixture of artists and activists that supports mental health differences. Art was done by members as well as the public. And the proceeds from the day’s event, Painted Brain would receive in order to continue outside sources communication about the creative artwork done by its members.

Robby Lewis was a customer at the event, who was standing with friends and was amazed to know that the proceeds were going to Painted Brain. “I feel like art is a form of expression. It’s a good outlet for myself or anyone to express things that words cannot capture,” said Robby.

Face masks that were beautifully crafted by members of Painted Brain are mounted on one wall of the boutique. Painted Brain Headquarters is literally behind the boutique, hence the reason as to why Gather for Good and Painted Brain hosted the event, space isn’t enough.

Stephanie Garcia, a staff from Gather for Good, gave a reason for the partnership and proceed donation. “It’s good for us to do so that we know that [Painted Brain] is going to do something good with it for the community,” said Stephanie.

Art and food have a way of uniting people together with their force and power. They’re excellent contributors to assist in giving out good vibes, attracting anyone within the presence of their forcefield. William Gibbney was pulled in by the magnetic force of the event from the outside. He first visited the boutique, then eventually worked his way toward the back of the event.

“I was strolling along the street and I saw Painted Brain,” said William. He continued saying, “I spoke to this lady behind this desk, she was telling me that it’s kinda like a drop-in center. It’s sort of a community building project.”

William contributed to the event by purchasing vegan-friendly kombucha. He said that is great for digestion. The beverage came in a variety of flavors. William managed to buy almost every flavor, if not all. However, he wasn’t the only person witnessed purchasing these drinks.

Norris Preston-Rakin is a vegan with several allergens. Majority of the food at the event had animal byproducts within them. “I’m a vegan, and I’m allergic to grains. Most of this stuff, I can’t eat,” said Norris. “I was going to get some kombucha. It helps with your probiotics in your intestines.”

Healthy food is essential for a stable mind and body. Gather for Good understands this imperative connection of the two; therefore, every item prepared at the event was essentially vegetarian and without preservatives to enhance the quality of the food.

Painted Brain, founded by Dave Leon in 2006, has continued throughout the years establishing partnerships with organizations that support the causes of mental differences. It’s a non-profit organization that receives fundings providing art group services and technical training to clients of organizations such as Step Up on Second, a mental health facility that specializes in mental health rehabilitation.

The overall mission of Painted Brain is to create a lasting community-based solution to mental health difference and to impact social injustice through arts, advocacy, and enterprise. This mantra lives on to this very day. And Painted Brain Headquarters welcomes the public, to experience the journey of changing the community perception about those who are mentally different.

Danny Masterson Fired From Netflix

By Trissean McDoanld

Danny Masterson, who played the character Hyde from “That 70’s Show,” has been discharged from Netflix for rape allegations committed in the early 2000’s.

Masterson recent work is a series on Netflix called “The Ranch,” in which he co-stars with Ashton Kutcher.

Ashton Kutcher, who played the character Michael from “That 70’s Show,” is Masterson’s brother in the series “The Ranch.”

The show consists of two brothers’ rivalry over which one will inherit their father’s ranch after he dies.

The father, Sam Elliot, plays a down-to-Earth, “don’t fuck with me” character that’s battling a complex relationship with his ex-wife.

Even though the two are divorced, they constantly try to compromise ways to better their relationship. However, the father doesn’t want to leave the ranch. And the mother, played by Debra Winger, wants to travel the world. This causes a consistent clash with their relationship.

Masterson sexual misconduct allegations come alongside multiple sexual assault allegations from within politics to entertainment, even within the news media industry.

A Thanksgiving To Remember

A Thanksgiving To Remember

By Trissean McDonald

Thankful is a term that’s ambiguously defined, especially on a day in America dedicated to appreciation. Stuffing family coming together to eat, sharing in laughter and song a re-taping of the American Music Awards that aired on ABC Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017, at 5 p.m. PST is a Thanksgiving that was worth remembering for him.

Christina Aguilera gave tribute to the legendary Whitney Houston’s 25th year anniversary of the “Bodyguard” at the American Music Awards. Aguilera’s performance at the AMA received mixed reactions from social media. Pink’s reaction, however, was undoubtedly the primary focus of the event. Media assisted in exaggerating her reaction, stirring up controversy and causing many to question the pop singer’s expression.

Pink defended her reaction that’s been gravitating negative comments rather than positive. She claims the rumors of the two having a beef with each other are not true. In fact, Pink stated that she supports Aguilera, and feels as if the public perpetuates keeping women apart because of the power of women when they come together.

“Waking up to see a newly created [rift] between myself and another incredible woman, Christina, who took on an incredible feat, [whom] I support fully, makes me so sad. You all perpetuate keeping women apart b/c you’re afraid of the power we have when we get together,” said Pink via Twitter.

Immediately after watching the AMA, Stuffing went over to his brother and his wife’s kitchen bar to begin watching the both of them cook together. Two young married couple, romantically working together to create a delicious meal. Stuffing sister-in-law, Punkin Face, stands in front of Stuffing dicing cheese and is continually asking Stuffing brother, String Beans, what to do next. String Beans is at the stove assisting in preparing the Mac’ and Cheese as well as dicing potatoes for roasting.

Several minutes of sitting at the kitchen bar Stuffing mother, Turkey Spice, takes a seat by Stuffing and begins conversing with String Beans, Punkin Face, and Stuffing. The conversation ranged from absurdities to Black Friday, from food to make-up, then to eye-contacts. Turkey Spice is a unique woman. If a picture could aid in describing eccentricity, she would qualify for candidacy. An image of a child, youthfulness, and creativity is all bundle up in this woman.

String Beans and Punkin Face prepared the food rather swiftly. As Stuffing was about to start a round of “Battle Born” on PlayStation 4, Punkin Face tells him dinner is ready. Instantly, Stuffing became irritated and had to ask himself a rhetorical question. Is a round of “BattleBorn, usually lasting for nearly 45 minutes, worth not spending quality time with family? Yes, the game “Battleborn” is hugely addictive.

A family could be more amusing than playing video games in a quiet room, however. So Stuffing quit the match and walked over to the kitchen to get a plate. Turkey Spice and String Beans were inside of the kitchen when he got there.

Knowing that Stuffing is vegetarian, they asked Stuffing if he wanted ham or turkey meat. Their conniving ways to tempt him to eat meat was laughable. Stuffing guesses the two thought that he was going to give in because Punkin Face had a slice of ham and supposedly she is vegetarian. Turkey Spice would taunt him every time that she would take a bite out of her ham.

“Are you sure you do not want any, you look weak in the eyes like Pink. You know you want some,” said Turkey Spice, referencing Pink’s reaction to Aguilera’s performance at the AMA.

Mac’ and Cheese, roasted potatoes, mixed vegetable, and a warm cinnamon bun was sufficient enough for Stuffing. After stacking his plate with delicious food, Stuffing sat down with the family. Stuffing stepfather, Yams, fills the table with laughs as usual. Yams have a very dry sense of humor that Stuffing never understood as a kid growing up. Now, Stuffing understands why. It is because the majority of the jokes were and still are inappropriate.

Laughs and mutual conversations lasted over an hour at the table. As the chatter came to an end, Stuffing headed down route “BattleBorn” once again. He managed to get at least one game. Then, here comes another announcement from Punkin Face, “we’re going to Michael’s, are you staying here?”

Punkin Face is not a psychic; however, those interruptions made Stuffing wonder if she has a crystal ball hidden somewhere. Stuffing made another sacrifice, only to walk into death hours. Shopping with Turkey Spice will be better off asking the store manager for a lodging chair and a glass of wine. She has no sense of time management.

Cashiers at Michael’s kept asking if they were ready because String Beans and Stuffing stood in between registers waiting for Turkey Spice with merchandise in their hands. It is so sad that Yams has to endure the hardship as well. He wanted to stay in the car. However, Yams knows that it only gives Turkey Spice more time to shop. So he came to realize that, it is better to endure shopping with Turkey Spice rather than imprison himself inside of the car.

Turkey Spice shopping adventures are exhausting; however, they are crucial times in which Stuffing treasure. The truth is, we only receive one set of biological parents. Moreover, life is extremely short. Stuffing hate but also love the adventures. It is almost as if they are friends and enemies. He is thankful for every dried out hour wasted in stores because it is still spending time with Turkey Spice and the rest of the family.

Music Academy Students Shed Light On Diversity At Cultural Festival

Music Academy Students Shed Light On Diversity At Cultural Festival

By Trissean McDonald

The Cultural Diversity Festival debut at Los Angeles City College on Nov. 20, and the outcome was absolutely breathtaking. Organized largely by ASG, the Cultural Diversity event sought to bring awareness to cultural knowledge, indifferences and equality within cultures, and to unite people from different cultures together.

Participants were required to obtain a “passport,” granting flight access to different booths. One of the booths that was highly frequented was the hand-painting station. The station’s table was covered with finger paint of all colors of the rainbow. Participants had the option to choose whatever color they desired, and made handprints on a white poster board.

Performances from different cultures such as the cheerful Chinese Dragon dancing, Armenian traditional dance, as well as the LACC Music Academy concert intrigued a number of people.

Three songs were sung by the LACC Music Academy at the festival. The songs performed were “Faith” from “Sing,” a African spiritual called “Tsho Tsholoza,” and “Unclouded Days” arranged by Shawn Kirchner. Each movement was captivating, and all the pieces were catchy. Different cultures and ethnicities within the audience were able to join the fun. Singing and dancing, moving and grooving LACC Music Academy definitely gave a performance to remember.

Audience gave cheers and applause, even began jamming out with the choir as they sung an extremely soulful yet fun and sexy piece. The choir had unique individuals of different style and ethnicity, creating a melting pot of complete diversity. There was even a little chihuahua that was in the choir. However, little Fido did not hum a note.

“It’s a well-rounded program. And I remember our professor saying that, ‘the overall feel of the program is inspiration,” said Minque Taylor, a student majoring in Music, who is also a member of the choir.

There were a number of students inspired by the cultural music sung by the LACC Music Academy. Andy Lanva, a student majoring in International Relations, was amazed. “I love it. I like the combination of cultures coming together, and celebrating what makes us all unique,” said Lanva.

Sinan Payat, a student majoring in Psychology, was also inspired by the choir’s inspirational song selections, as well as the overall event. Payat applauds the school for the special event, where his curiosity led him toward an overflow of cultural diversity. “I think it’s very nice. I think it’s very good that this school is doing something like this, on the terms of diversity,” said Payat.

LACC Music Academy is conducting another cultural event on Dec. 1, 2017. This event will be similar to the Cultural Diversity Festival with singing and dancing, as well as several musical pieces being sung in another language. This event begins at 7 p.m. in the Herb Alpert Music Center. All choirs are expected to perform.

“It’s based off of a variety of different music from an older classical era, up to like contemporary style,” said Julio Ortiz, a student majoring in Music, who is also a member of the choir.

“There will be more pieces. There’s a piece we’re doing in Spanish from Puerto Rico. And, there’s another African piece we’re doing,” said Ariana Wallfred, a student majoring in vocals, and one of the choreographers for the event happening on Dec. 1, 2017.

Concerts are meant to entertain the masses. The LACC Music Academy entertains and inspires knowledge of cultural diversity. This is prevalent in the time of world-wide crisis. Music is magical. It breaks a yoke of cultural bondage and inequality. This is the goal of the LACC Music Academy, bringing cultural awareness through music and dance.

The Spotlight Is On You

The Spotlight Is On You
By Trissean McDonald

Art is the magic of creative imagination, a universal platform that stirs up controversy. The imagination of one artist may be accepted or denounced by others.

The Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso is a perfect example of art being controversial. The eccentric accents within his art is either viewed as a masterpiece, or perhaps different pieces of a puzzle being grotesquely morphed into one whole image. 

Jimmy Guzman, an IMDb member, as well as a LACC student who is currently working on a film project, is majoring in production and filming. The project is called “Someone’s After Me.” The character is schizophrenic and believes he’s being chased by someone else; however, he eventually realizes that he’s chasing himself. 

“At the end, he accidentally stabs himself,” Guzman said. 

Filmmakers and directors from whom he draws inspiration are Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, and Lon Chaney.  Lon Chaney’s unique artistry moved Guzman deeply, opening a path of interest in filming and production at an early age. 

“The first one I watched was “Phantom Of The Opera,” and “Hunchback of Notre Dame” from the late silent films. That’s what inspired me to become a filmmaker,” Guzman said.

Guzman’s film genre of interest is horror. Considering that Spielberg isn’t a horror film director, he is still one of Guzman inspirational figures. The main two films of Spielberg that amuse Guzman are legendary films, and were also amusement park rides at Universal Studios Hollywood.

“ET and Jurassic Park. They’re like, the most fascinating movies he made. Plus, the bike scene from ET, that song…oh my god, like, I almost cried. And that Jurassic Park thing that he created…oh my god, he created magic,” Guzman said. 

Today’s horror films do not interest Guzman. The suspense is no longer present. Predicting what may occur before it happen, and actually witnessing the prediction unfold could discourage people from going to the movies. 

“I’m afraid to watch it, people already know what to expect when they go to the movies,” Guzman said. 

Guzman’s idea to improve today’s horror, is intensifying the suspense. It’ll cause the audience to be at the edge of their seats, and people eyes to be glued to the big screen anticipating each suspenseful moment. 

“Nobody would see it coming,” Guzman said. “And towards the end, it’ll be like, ‘oh sh*t!’ They thought it was [this] guy, but naw, it was [this] guy all this time.” 

Dreams of making it to Hollywood are starting to unfold for Guzman. “Little Maniac” is a short horror film that Guzman launched Oct. 18, 2016. This film is documented within the IMDb database, and could be viewed on YouTube. Jimmy Guzman and Natalie Rodriguez directed the film. Guzman wrote “Little Maniac” with the aid of his brother Shaun Guzman, who co-wrote the horror film. 

The goal for Guzman is not to stir up controversy. Rather, it’s an opportunity to express his imagination. Yet, Guzman is aware of the potential controversy that surrounds his artistry. 

“I try to keep my movies as positive as I can. If I get feedback, I’m going to take it as a positive. And if people don’t like the movies, I’ll make more movies,” Guzman said. 

Traffic Requirements For Bikers In Los Angeles Raise Confusion

Traffic Requirements For Bikers In Los Angeles Raise Confusion

By Trissean McDonald

Los Angeles bicycle legislation must undergo serious reform in order to alleviate the confusion about established laws. There is/are no written law(s) specifying the ordinance for bikers utilizing crosswalks, leaving a vague gap between what law(s) is/are considered an infraction if broken.

In fact, bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers, according to the “Bicycle” section of the Department of Motor Vehicles California Driver Handbook 2017. But, there’s no mention about bicycles riding within a crosswalk. Yet, there are LAPD officers such as Officer Grimmer, who are unfamiliar with the law and are writing citations. In which leaves the question, “Are the police really taking the law into their own hands?”

Arbitrary bicycle laws are perplexing the community into thinking what is an actual law. The annoyance of paying gratuitous citations not only strip the pockets of citizens; rather it’s also unsatisfying for governing states, to take funds from citizens without a proper cause.

Los Angeles Metropolitan Courthouse is one of many courthouses that disregard bicycle laws in LA. In a sense, it is as if the courthouse supports the laws that are not fully structured. Judge Burroughs, a judge who presided over a case involving an alleged bicycle infraction on Dec. 12, 2017, from department 61, ruled rather poorly concerning the case.

Common sense is now considered the law. Judge Burroughs, upon hearing both testimonies of the plaintiff and defendant, made his ruling based off of common sense. The plaintiff, Officer Grimmer, gave a description as to what happened the day of the alleged infraction. Upon completing his statement, Judge Burroughs asked the defendant if the defendant had any questions for Officer Grimmer. The defendant declined to ask questions.

Judge Burroughs asked the defendant about giving a testimony. The defendant gave testimony of the incident, read an argumentative letter to the courts, also had evidential documents within a cell phone that the judge did not even take the time to look at. It was clear, the judge already decided his ruling even before the defendant’s argument that was full of evidence.

The defendant’s testimony became contorted by the judge’s interpretation of the incident while having to remain respectful and silent before an honorable judge. Argumentative facts were being spewed at the judge; however, the judge took the side of the LAPD officer. To think that a judge would have dismissed the case upon reasonable doubt.

While cruising down Vermont Avenue heading north, the defendant had to temporarily ride on the sidewalk. It was a traffic congested morning, and the defendant was unable to take the street. A green light appears before the defendant; however, the defendant was unaware of the “flashing red hand,” a signal used to alert the public to stop. That’s when the defendant rode across the crosswalk only to be pulled over by Officer Grimmer.

Dissatisfied with the judge ruling of guilty, the defendant asks the judge about the sentence. The defendant relied on evidential facts supported by the California Driver’s Handbook again. “There’s nowhere in the bicycle section that says anything about crosswalks or sidewalks. The laws are vague,” said the defendant.

The bicycle section does, in fact, mention sidewalk ordinance within its column. However, the law is vague in the description because it differs within different cities. The only way to know if you’re in violation within the city of Los Angeles is by using your common sense. “It’s common sense that if you’re riding on the sidewalk, and not the street that you are a pedestrian,” said Judge Burroughs.

It is not common sense because everyone is not capable of knowing what common sense is. Additionally, it’s rather unprofessional, let alone dishonorable for any judge to make such an egregious statement. The law does not rely on common sense; it relies on proof of evidence. And if the evidence is there, it should not be disregarded.

*Re-edit: Additional Content Dec. 12, 2017

*(Footnote) Pedestrian: going or performed on foot, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.