By Greta Cobar
It is now a month after the LAPD killed Brendon Glenn in front of the Townhouse in Venice. Still no questions have been answered, no information was released, and the public has still not seen the video of the crime – which the LAPD is holding on to.
Dylan Andre, a musician who performs on OFW, was on Windward and Pacific a little after 11pm on that tragic night of May 5. The atmosphere was jolly and care-free, as more people than usual were out for a Tuesday night, celebrating Cinco de Mayo.
The two gunshots that were fired by officer Clifford Proctor startled the animated crowd filling the bars and spilling onto the street. According to Andre, the fun was instantly killed as everyone quietly walked away, in shock. “There were no screams, no scuffles, no lingering: Everyone was like ‘Let’s get the fuck out of here now’”, said Andre. Quite a few drinkers were outside the Townhouse smoking, socializing or bar-hopping when the gunshots were heard. According to someone who was present, everyone was surprised. Even though a gunshot sounds nothing like a Taser, initially the crowd thought that Brendon had been Tasered.
The 911 call that brought officers Proctor and Jonathan Kawahara to the Townhouse relayed that Brendon was harassing the customers in front of the Townhouse. Even though the Townhouse people sustain that it wasn’t them that called the cops, circumstantial evidence indicates otherwise. According to a worker at the Townhouse, there were two bouncers there that night: a White guy and a Black guy.
Brendon was drinking, feeling sad, lonely and homesick. He was doing some kind of panhandling around the Townhouse and probably just shooting the breeze with others, drinking and celebrating Cinco de Mayo. When the cops arrived, Brendon got into some type of an altercation with Proctor. That altercation resulted in some type of knee injury for the cop and the death of Brendon, who was shot twice.
The May 7 Town Hall meeting packed upwards of 500 concerned citizens, media and cops into the Westminster school auditorium. Bonin was weak, didn’t know what to say, was confused and overwhelmed. The public walked all over him and booed him with passion. Oh, Poor Little Bonin!
Yes, the poor little guy had no other choice than to retaliate. And so he gathered all of the little toys the spoiled brat has at his disposal, like hazmat vehicles and dozens of little guys in police uniforms, grabbed his ball and started running with a conniving smile while repeatedly screaming: “Ha, ha, ha, I got the ball!”
Indeed he wasted no time: on March 8, less than 12 hours after the Town Hall meeting, the Friday morning $7,500 OFW clean-up was more vicious than ever, assisted by three times the usual number of cops. Tons of things were confiscated and taken downtown while Bonin tried to feel appeased and practice his fake laugh.
Yes, following the police murder of an unarmed Black homeless 29 year old, what the Venice community was faced with was police retaliation. The $7,500 OFW cleanups were doubled, from every other Friday, to every Friday. The daily police presence on OFW was increased significantly, probably tripled. The number of tickets and incidents of police harassment tripled as well.
But of course we ought to be happy with our elected officials who are supposed to represent us and whose salaries we are paying.
And here’s a glimpse into the LAPD’s investigation of the murder: on Wednesday, May 13 dozens of men dressed up in suits and ties descended on OFW, and each one of them stuck out like a sore thumb. They were LAPD detectives pretending to get witness statements about the shooting. I knew at that time that Andre was on Windward and Pacific when it happened, and he was right there on OFW singing. I pointed him out to a couple of the detectives and told them to talk to him, because he was there. A few days later I asked Andre if the detectives had approached him, and the answer was no. They weren’t even pretending to try! Of course, they already have the video, but just like anybody else, they too need to somehow justify their paychecks.
So what do we do now, get the cops to wear body cameras? Ya, except that those are pointing at YOU, not them. As I stated in my article last month, the only way to prevent something like this from happening again is to disarm the cops. It has become apparent that they are not trustworthy with a gun.
Some of them are trigger happy, others have itchy trigger fingers. They all suffer from what we call “police mentality.” Quite a few of them are veterans, who were taught to kill before they even went through police training. Whether from over-sea battles or local abuse, most of them suffer from some type of mental illness. Ironically, mental illness was brought up time and time again at the May 7 Town Hall meeting, as if Brendon’s killing could be partly justified by the possibility of him suffering from something like that. The tables need to be turned: mental illness is more prevalent in the police force than in the civilian masses. Namely PTSD, inferiority complexes, need to prove oneself for others’ acceptance and approval, and so on. If that’s not a can full of worms, I don’t know what is.
Here in Venice people were heartbroken over Brendon’s untimely and undeserved death. I saw quite a few grabbing the May Beachhead and starting to sob. The community was saddened and hurt that somethings like this, that we hear of every day as happening somewhere else, actually happened here, where we felt safe. Unlike some of the other police killings that recently took place nation-wide, Brendon’s killing in Venice did not make the national news. If you weren’t living here, you wouldn’t even know about it.
We came together with outpourings of love and tears at the Memorial dedicated to Brendon, built by all of us at the site of his killing. On May 20, Occupy Venice set up a nice spread and fed everybody warm, yummy vegetarian food at the site of the Memorial. A near-by business found that get-together to be too disturbing, and had the cops remove all sentimental mementos the community had generously gathered at the Memorial since the day after Brendon’s death.
The LAPD had taken his life and then came back to take his Memorial as well.
Above: May 20 Memorial
Photo by: Luis Minatti
Above: What used to be Brendon’s Memorial, all of it confiscated by the LAPD during the night of May 20, after a big get-together organized by Occupy Venice
Above: Paying respects to Brendon at his Memorial, before the LAPD stole it in the middle of the night
Photo: Greta Cobar