Homeless Man Directs Traffic

Homeless Man Directs Traffic

By Trissean McDonald

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.

Trissean McDonald

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

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.

Suspect Starts Water Fight with Officer

By Trissean McDonald

More than six black and white Los Angeles Police Department SUVs parked on the street and on the lot of the East Hollywood strip mall on 1000 N. Vermont Avenue as helicopters circled overhead. The police activity was in response to calls about a public disturbance.

Subway sandwich shop employees in the shopping center initially contacted the police because of a man’s boisterous behavior. The man was yelling and going from door to door in the strip mall that houses, Subway, Boost Mobile, the Coolest Boba Shop and other businesses inside the car-packed shopping center. Witnesses said they observed him harassing workers, setting off a car alarm, and yelling obscenities according to valet attendant Jose Espinosa.

“The guy opened the Subway door, the Coolest [boba shop], the dental and he jumped over the car–the grey one,” Espinosa said, referring to the Mazda minivan that belonged to Jackie Martinez, who is the manager of the MoneyGram store.

Martinez witnessed the suspect trying to get inside her car however, he was unable to get inside. To avoid contact with the alleged suspect, Martinez waited until police arrived before checking on her vehicle. Martinez saw no damage to her car after examining it.

“He was trying to get inside but the door is locked,” Martinez said. “I was watching him. I was working. I came out and the police were here.”

Boost Mobile employees at the center witnessed the suspect screaming and yelling since 9:30 a.m. Twelve police officers responded and placed the man inside of an SUV, but not before witnesses said he threw water on one of the policemen. The entire incident occurred inside of the Subway restaurant.

Although his actions were a nuisance, officers identified no crime prior to their arrival. The alleged suspect began to walk away from police officers when they asked him for I.D. He then, walked into the Subway sandwich shop and began drinking the complementary water.

“[He was] just a guy everyone said 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.’”

Los Angeles City College student, Alex Lopez, whose major is undecided witnessed the dispute between the man and the officer. He said that the alleged suspect was combative after being told by police to leave the Subway sandwich shop. He saw the man throw water at one of the officers. The officer then retaliated with a blow to the man’s face.

“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, ” Lopez said.

While the alleged suspect was inside of the Subway sandwich shop, police asked him to leave. He put up a fight and things escalated once he threw water on one of the officers. Officers then called for backup to help detain the man.

”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,” Officer Gonzales said.

Police are facing intense scrutiny across the nation for the way they deal with citizens in certain situations. Many say police are using excessive force to handle non-life threatening situations, according to a Regulatory Review article posted online. The LAPD Media Relations Department gave confirmation to Collegian via email that one of their officers used force to detain the suspect

“We can confirm the incident. The [alleged] suspect was resisting arrest and there was a use of force. There is an ongoing investigation,” said Officer Herrera of the Media Relations Department.

The officer involved in the incident did not have any reported injuries during the altercation.

Let Freedom Ring Happy Black Herstory Month

Let Freedom Ring

Happy Black Herstory Month

By Trissean McDonald

Photo: unknown source

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.