By Xaime Casillas
I smelled the latest wave of racism heading west when Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070 was jumping off. I pay attention to this not because I remember the stories my papa told me as a teenager of him working as an immigrant in the 50’s, his runins with the police, but because I too have had a few myself. From paperboy days around the neighborhood to teenage years behind the wheel, driving around LA to find ourselves in one of those wtf moments on the side of the road with LAPD
revolvers drawn for erroneous reasons.
In the 90’s, I was snatched up gestapo style from my flat in Venice during the Rodney King spark-up and witnessed the gentrification and heavy police presence that was ushered in with the “Say No to Drugs” smoke screen. But I’ve been luckier than Ezell Ford, Omar Obrego, Andy Lopez, Eric Garner and Oscar Grant, and luckier than the latest person killed by LAPD, the senseless killing of Brendon
“Dizzle” Glenn in Venice.
R.I.P Brendon “Dizzle” Glenn!
How did the “heavy leaded” criminalization of houselessness land on your loving chest? You came to what a lot of the locals feel is the last free beach in America, a place where a traveler like you can come and rebuild their lives as you were obviously steppin’ up doing. A place where artists, poets, musicians, veterans, and any free spirited human can come and feel welcome. This is the
Spirit of Venice.
You were loved by some of the most brilliant houseless people I could ever have the honor to meet little brother…. YOU were loved and now you’re missed! Condolences to your family!
Brendon is the 621st death by law enforcement in Los Angeles since 2000. This is the City of Angels? What a shameful figure. As far as I know, angels have no use for bullets! These quick-trigger cops need to be held accountable and jailed just like any other citizen that unloads a fire-arm on someone. That isn’t happening. Killer cops rarely get prosecuted because there are no laws requiring an outside independent investigation when a police-custody death occurs, a loophole that’s
carried like an invisible badge with extra privilege, separate from the rest of humanity.
As I write this rant, I stand trial downtown on 5 counts of resisting arrest, and 1 count of battery on a police officer. Today while my lawyer systematically exposed the lies that brought this case against me in the first place, I couldn’t help myself. While sitting there watching this LAPD officer melt in front of the jury in his own pool of BS, in a state of my own introspection…I asked myself, “How old were
you when you realized that lying about stuff comes back around and bites you on the ass?” I have to sit here and watch a grown man in a uniform, a so-called public servant, struggle to remember what he just finished saying 5 minutes prior? But I’m not celebrating yet!
I went out to protest the unjust murders of Ezell Ford and Omar Obrego to name just two, a protest that launched from the infamous “Shoot’in Newton” Division police station in December last year. Los Angeles had the highest count of arrests in the country of protesters after the announcement of the non-indictment of officer Darrin Wilson in Ferguson for gunning down Michael Brown. What I saw in the streets were mostly NOT “my generation” protesting, though enough of my older generation was out there to feel hopeful.
Most of the 400+ protesters’ charges have not been filed or even dropped but out of those hundreds, a few still have more serious charges pending. Shalana Little was charged with “lynching”!? Without getting into how a word that once described the horrendous treatment of Blacks throughout the history of this country, or the untold history of Mexicans getting lynched, this word is now being used to describe a person assisting a comrade in moving away from aggressive police maneuvers during protests, out of fear of their getting brutalized. It’s important we put the word out for court support in Shalana’s upcoming case.
The driving force for change can be found within the regular people like Shalana, who outnumber the ones in positions of authority who only control by fear and divide and rule, and do so under the radar! Let’s shine some light on this!
We will know more soon and have more details after June 4 and expect her trial to begin at
the CCB, 210 W. Temple St. some time after that. Please feel free to email me directly to keep
you posted for upcoming details about her court dates. Although the lynching charge has now
been dropped against her, she still faces years in jail on other charges, and the lynching charge
has been used against other protesters in LA and elsewhere.
Xaime Casillas is a musician, multimedia artist and filmmaker. Contact him at:
XaimeCasillas@icloud.com. Link to Venice Townhall Meeting about the killing of Dizzle, with
LAPD and politicos on May 7, 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-zP_zizIIs
As we went to press, Xaime was acquitted of the most serious charges he was facing and got a hung
jury on one count of resisting arrest. The city attorney may retry him.