Los Angeles

Welcome to My Lockdown

Looks like I'll be late to work today


Am I free to go? No? Um. Okay.
Credit: Scott Shackford

I woke up this morning at about 4:30 a.m. here in West Los Angeles with the sound of a helicopter hovering overhead. This is not unusual. I am a couple of blocks from a police station and about a mile from Interstate 10. Police and traffic helicopters are a common occurrence. But unlike what I usually hear, they didn't disappear after a few minutes.

When I got out of bed an hour later they were still around and surprisingly loud. I took my dog, Xander, for a walk and saw five of them hovering overhead. Then I discovered my neighborhood was blocked by police cars on all sides, about an eight block radius I'd estimate. (It turns out the total blockade is much, much bigger)

I encountered my first officers while walking Xander. They told me I had to go home. A police officer was shot and the neighborhood was on lockdown. I asked if I would be allowed to leave to go to work. He said no. I asked if this was legal. He said it was.

So I decided to see what would happen if I tried to leave. I took a different route out and came across another blockade. This police officer told me that three officers were shot and I was not allowed to leave. I again asked if this was legal and by what grounds they could keep me from leaving. Again they insisted it was. He turned me around. I thought I'd try one more time at another intersection. This third officer was remarkably rude, acting on the assumption that I already knew there was a lockdown (which I wouldn't have if I hadn't tried to leave already). This officer said there was an active shooter in the neighborhood. When I asked if I wouldn't be safer then if I were allowed to leave, the officer became very agitated and ordered me to turn around. I'm fairly sure I was about five seconds from being arrested.

So I went home and called the local police station, which is within walking distance from my house (not that I could actually walk there now because it's on the other side of the blockade). The officer I talked to was polite, explained that an officer was shot early this morning and that the shooter is still active and believed to be in the neighborhood. I was supposed to remain at home for my own safety and the lockdown was supposed to protect me to keep me from encountering this shooter. I pointed out to him that I didn't even know there was a shooter or a lockdown until I reached the border and wouldn't it be safer for me (and the police) if I were allowed to leave. Apparently not.

So I'm trapped in my apartment in my neighborhood where somebody here shot a police officer. Or three. Or two, which is what the local Fox station just reported. This is for my own safety. I am not allowed to leave. This is also, somehow, for my own safety.

Here's some local reporting on the incident. Fox news just reported another arrest, so hopefully the lockdown will end soon. Apparently it was right outside my local police station. Fortunately nobody was killed. I'd probably be hiding Xander in a closet in the event the police come knocking had anybody been killed.

UPDATE: Police officials have said the alleged shooter is still apparently at large and the lockdown will last until at least noon. The only description they have is a black man in early 30s dressed in all black. 

UPDATE: The lockdown finally ended at around 2:30 p.m. with no sign of any arrest in the press.

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  1. This is really, really disturbing. Is there any actual case law regarding whether something like this is legal?

    As a more pleasant side note, I wonder what breed Xander is.

    1. He’s a mutt, part Shar Pei, part Golden Retriever or Lab (we think) and probably part Australian cattle dog. Friendliest dog in the world to the point that he doesn’t understand that some dogs are not friendly like him.

      1. Your dog sounds adorable, Scott. I have two Shar Pei mixes that are ridiculously friendly, too. I worry about them getting free and trying to say hello to a nice friendly police officer.

        Stay safe and keep your dog hidden.

        BTW, did you think to get some video of the lockdown? I’m sure more than just us would be interested in seeing it.

      2. You shouldn’t risk Xander’s life by talking to cops with him in tow.

        1. Agreed 100 percent with WTF. Especially if you think you’re about “five seconds from getting arrested.” Lock the dog up at home, and then go test your right to peaceably move about the city.

          I’ve gotten out of my car before on a traffic stop (and immediately placed my hands on top of the roof where the cop(s) could see them) just because I didn’t want my dog in the backseat interacting with the officer. They (Austin P.D.) were cool about it once I explained what was going on. This was several years ago though; no idea what would happen if I tried it now. Thinking about it, I’m glad in some ways now that my dog has already passed away.

        2. Remember this story?


          Same circumstances as here.

          On October 7th, after midnight, police blocked a street in the area of 35th and Vinton to look for an armed suspect. They say Chris Schulte, who lives in the area, ignored orders to stop and walked the family dog toward the search area. He was arrested and his dog, Teela, shot.

      3. Once you get 3+ breeds together it starts getting real hard to tell what all went into the mix. Mutts are the best because they keep you guessing. Keep him safe.

        1. Still, if a cop did kill it you can be sure that the police report would say it was a pit bull mix.

          1. Of course. In cop-land there are only two breeds: vicious pit bull mixes and police dogs.

            1. And even police dogs can be dangerous I’d not trained by and on the custody of benevolent officers of the piece. Those cops get special training with dogs. Being highly trained, only they have the skills necessary to handle dogs. It’s a wonder that ordinary, untrained citizens are even allowed to own such animals. We need dog control.

            2. Of course. In cop-land there are only two breeds: vicious pit bull mixes and police dogs.

              This scares the fuck out of me. My boxer/bull terrier is as gentle as a dog can be. He regularly plays with the chihuahua puppy without hurting her. He has never hurt a flea. Ok, he may have eaten a few of fleas and killed a squirrel or two and a few moles…but other than that….

              He weighs about 80 pounds of mostly muscle. If he wanted to do it, he could probably rip a limb off of you, but he never would. Cops would almost certainly shoot him right off the bat. I am not sure that wouldn’t be enough to make me snap.

      4. That sounds awesome. Stay safe!

    2. It’s the well-established case law of FYTW.

      1. Ample precedent, most recently in Boston.

      1. Just to make Scott’s morning especially weird.

        Stay safe, BTW.

  2. My old neighborhood once had a lockdown after a prisoner escape from the county jail across the highway.

    I was at work at the time but my wife was allowed to leave the area after the trunk was opened/searched. Of course she couldn’t get back in until the lockdown was lifted.

  3. Officer Public Officer Public Officer Public Safety!

    JUST DO WHAT I SAY! Do you think we actually learn about anything important in cop school???

  4. That’s pretty fucked up. I don’t see how that can be legal at all. It was bad enough in Boston when there were actually some dudes driving around with bombs and shooting people. This sounds like an ordinary assault. But it’s cops getting shot, so I shouldn’t be too surprised.

    1. Yeah, can Scott sue the PD over this? It seems like a clear violation of his rights. I can see it being legal to let people leave pending an ID check and search, but not letting people leave at all is hardly appropriate.

      1. I doubt he can sue unless he can prove monetary damages. Being imprisoned in your own home doesn’t count, especially if he can still work as proven by his posting this piece.

        1. You don’t have to prove monetary damages to sue for false imprisonment/unlawful detention.

          1. Still though. What’s the point? The individual officers would see no consequences. Then later if you really do need police services, and they find out you sued them, what do you think they’ll do?

            1. Still though. What’s the point?

              So you’d meekly comply? WTF, man?

              Then later if you really do need police services, and they find out you sued them, what do you think they’ll do?

              I can think of no reason why I’d need police services that I couldn’t hire private security or a private investigator for.

              1. Does the IJ take cases like this?

              2. I don’t have the coin to hire those people. I don’t even have the coin to fix the oil leak on my car, and that’s only a couple hundred bucks. You’re talking thousands.

                I’m over the barrel.

                1. I don’t have the coin to hire those people.

                  It’s not about having the coin. Go to your local ACLU and explain what happened. Reach out to the IJ or another civil rights organization to take up the case pro bono. It’s what they do.

                  Or just call Pro Lib. He said he’d be willing to take on any cases we brought him for free. IIRC, he even said he’d foot the bill for bringing in other attorneys in areas out of his depth or field.

              3. Oh, I’m sure the cops could think of few things.

              4. If something gets stolen your insurance company is going to want a police report.

  5. The LAPD. Doing everything in their power to get you to root for the “active shooter.”

  6. This same thing happened to me when I lived in Canoga Park. Except that they had cornered a carjacker and locked down a block in every direction. I don’t remember where I was going, but I managed to talk my way past, so long as I went down the alley (which was taped off rather than blocked).

    Frankly I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near a neighborhood where a cop got shot, and not because I would be afraid of the shooter.

  7. About 200 officers from several LAPD divisions, K-9 units and the Culver City Police Department were assisting in the investigation which spans a 25-square block area.

    How many unsolved murders are there in that area a year?
    Oh, they’re just peasants. They don’t matter. These were the king’s men.

  8. From the cop-to-English dictionary:

    for your own safety, adv. phr. because FYTW.

    1. How about I decide what level of safety I personally require?

      1. Who the fuck do you think you are? These are highly trained union professionals. They’re more capable of determining your public safety needs than you are.

        Now get out of their way! There’s a truck with two Mexican women in it delivering papers.

  9. They’d do exactly the same thing if a civilian had been shot.

    1. I laughed.


  11. Once they declare an emergency that is excuse for all sorts of crap.

  12. You’re lucky the cops didn’t go Full Retard on you and start shooting like they did on innocent civilians during the Dorner episode.

  13. Legal under the Shelter in Place Clause of the United States Constitution. Also, they’re going to have to start quartering troops in your apartment until the threat has passed.

  14. Many years ago I was in DC and took a cab to see the Air and Space museum. Apparently there had been a credible bomb threat made and police were cordoning it off. Helpfully the cabbie drove right into the middle of it and let me off and then drove away. Immediately I had this woman officer in my face; “We have uh emerb emergency sibuation” she said.
    Good grief I thought, this woman is barely literate. She wouldn’t let me move. Instead of getting angry, I remembered something I had been told about asking for her help, because cops like to see themselves as rescuers it will trump their authoritarian default.
    ” I’m sorry I don’t know where to go, can you help me? ” She walked me through the block and milling crowd of cops and got me outta there.

    1. That’s a good tactic, because another large possibility is that they’ll see you as an (innocent) annoyance, and tell you to get the fuck out of their way.

    2. Good idea.

      Another one is to play the safety card, telling them you are trying to get AWAY from a crazed shooter, rather than closer to him.

  15. Maybe if you got up at a more gentlemanly hour the oppression would be a little more palatable.

    1. Who needs to get up at 4am?

      1. Nobody needs a snooze button with more than 7 minutes.

  16. Sounds like there will be plenty of work for glaziers, locksmiths and carpenters in that neighborhood, in the near future. And veterinarians.

  17. The ‘active’ shooter will probably be found elsewhere…

  18. The only way to end this kind of shit is to openly challenge it. Scott, you should have just parked your car legally, gotten out and began to walk around their blockade. If they arrested you, they’d be in a world of total shit.

    And for God’s sake, you work for Reason. I’m sure the Reason Foundation could scare up some representation.

    1. Don’t they have a Bat Phone to IJ?

    2. If they arrested you, they’d be in a world of total shit.

      Being that they’re all amped up from having members of their gang attacked, being arrested right now would likely guarantee a trip to the hospital and a dead pet (even if they didn’t shoot it they’d probably take it to the nearest shelter and order them to euthanize it).

      For what? A payout from the taxpayers? Because the individual officers would see no consequences. They never do.

      1. So the alternative is to meekly do what they say and hope the families of Kelly Thomas and people like him will stay true to the cause?

        Pull out your camera and start filming with an auto-upload app.

        And don’t accept a settlement but rather take it through the courts. The reason the taxpayers always pay out is because people settle and part of that settlement is to say the police did nothing wrong. Well get it to a jury or don’t accept that bullshit part of the settlement.

        1. The reason people settle is because the alternative is to have the thing drag out until everyone involved is dead of old age.

          1. So fucking what? If you’re suing on principle, what matters is the end result. If you’re suing for recompense, then what matters is a monetary settlement.

            In this case, I would imagine he’d be suing for principle. And the only way to effect change is to take the case through the court process and get an actual ruling against the officers and their department. Settlements don’t do jack shit in that regard.

            1. We need to change the law to make the officers personally liable for their illegal actions. Absent that, it’s a moral crusade with little actual effect.

              1. BryanC, since the Pig Unions have all the state pols in thier pockets, this will NEVER EVER HAPPEN. In fact, with each dead pig you can expect more restrictions on our ‘freedoms’.

            2. My point is that they have virtually unlimited resources for dragging the case out, and the courts will no doubt be sympathetic to them over you, so the officers (and you) will be dead of old age before there is a ruling.

              1. So a fight where the other side is likely to win by attrition isn’t worth fighting even if it’s morally imperative that it be fought?

                Holy fuck, sarc. I can’t believe I read that coming from you.

                1. Sloop, I agree with you 100% but also understand exactly what sarc is saying. In an ideal world we the people should be able to petition our government for grievances – and we can do that. However, given the reality of the political situation, sarc is right. The cops have bought the state politicians and at the same time managed to elevate thamselves to “hero” status among the general population – so any petition, or attempt to change the law to actually protect citizens and our freedoms from Agents of the State will inevitably fail.

                  At this point our best hope is that the pigs in these big states stop showing up for work once the states go bankrupt.

                  1. A jury isn’t full of reasonoids, it is full of bootlickers that love police and you will never win at trial – if it even made it that far. The police are going to say: “There was an active shooter and several officers had just been shot. We were attempting to apprehend the violent suspect when a citizen attempted to enter the crime scene. He was asked to leave several times and became agitated and refused to leave. He attempted to enter the crime scene by force and we had no choice but to arrest him. At great risk to our officers, we had to divert attention from an active shooting situation to this person who we simply asked to go home. During the arrest, his dog (a pit-bull mix) growled and attacked the arresting office who was forced to neutralize the vicious dog.”

                    Really – nobody is going to side against the police in a case like that. You are going to lose the case and all the money you put into it, possibly be charged criminally, have a dead dog, and be harassed by the police until you move out of town…

                    It is really shitty and wrong – but the better way to handle this would be to video tape it, get your community involved, and demonstrate. This way you don’t risk everything you worked your entire life for, and possibly more, on a losing proposition…

      2. “For what?”

        You’re seriously fucking asking this?

        I had this long diatribe about you being a spineless turd, but really, you know the fucking answer, it just looks like someone took your balls today.

  19. If the shooter was “active”, wouldn’t you have heard gunshots the entire time?

    1. “Active” = still alive.

      1. ac?tive
        (of a person) Engaging or ready to engage in physically energetic pursuits.
        An active form of a verb.
        lively – live – brisk – energetic – operative

        And that’s from the internet, so you know it’s right.

        1. I just went with the Dunphy’s Guide to Police Lingo version.

          1. Oh, in that case, let me amend my definition to that out of Webster’s Annotated Police Dictionary:

            (of a person) Engaging or ready to engage in physically energetic pursuits or perceived to be engaging in furtive movements that may lead to energetic pursuits.
            An active form of a verb.
            Other uses
            Whatever the fuck we want it to mean
            lively – live – brisk – energetic – operative

  20. The lockdown is still going on. I feel particularly bad for my neighbors, most of whom are lower-middle class and probably don’t have jobs that offer the flexibility that mine does and probably will not be paid for the work they’re missing.

    1. I hope you at least have a good stockpile of booze in your house. Time to try out the HnR drinking game.

      1. And while you do that, post your observations of the continuing lockdown, with increasing levels of drunkedness.

        1. This sounds like Cavanaugh’s nights.

          1. I miss his late night 3,000 word posts.

    2. They should loiter at home and live on food stamps like respectable people.

    3. Might I suggest one of these for Xander.

  21. Absent an actual honest to goodness declared state of emergency (‘the big one’) I can’t imagine how obstructing the freedom of travel away from the allegedly dangerous area is in any way legal.

  22. On a side note, Scott, did you name your dog Xander after the Patrick Muldoon character from the film classic Starship Troopers?

    If so, I don’t know what to think.

    1. No, man, Scott’s a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan.

    2. It was his name at the shelter I got him from and he already responded to it so I kept it.

      The funniest thing about it: The actor who played Xander on “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer” is a regular at the dog park I go to. I haven’t actually talked to him or anything, though.

      1. Aw c’mon man. If he were a chick, that’d be the perfect opening for you.

      2. Are you sure? Maybe it was his identical twin.

  23. Sure, Scott, it’s a lockdown keeping you from coming into work.

    1. Those happen to me all the time.

  24. That is complete bullshit. Fuckin’ cops.

  25. Scott, my criticism of how you handled your interactions was off-base and I apologize. My willingness to be arrested (twice int he same day) to make a point was in a less dynamic situation and the police officers I encountered approached me in a calm setting. Your situation was so vastly different, any criticism on my part would be uncalled-for and inappropriate.

    In all seriousness, please accept my apology for what I said.

  26. We need to change the law to make the officers personally liable for their illegal actions. Absent that, it’s a moral crusade with little actual effect.

    Exactly. Of course, if you went to your State House and attempted to lobby for this, you’d be ejected faster than if you were selling ricin-flavored lollipops.

  27. The actor who played Xander on “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer” is a regular at the dog park I go to. I haven’t actually talked to him or anything, though.

    Do you put your loose pocket change in his cup?

  28. So when can we expect the APCs and soldiers, I mean cops going house to house?

    Told you this shit was going to be the new normal after Watertown. At least they haven’t ventilated anyone’s house or car yet.

  29. Maybe I’ll put off going to Mid-City to pick up my stuff from the last firing at Echo Ceramics for a day or two. It’s a few blocks from the shooting and I’d hate to be mistaken for Dorner or something.

    1. You probably can’t even get to it if it’s near Venice or Pico.

      1. A bit closer to the 10 than that. It’s on Washington near La Brea.

  30. 1963 police: “To Protect and Serve”
    2013 police: “To Control and Herd”

    1. protecting and serving in 1963:



  31. Aw, fuck it. This should have been posted on here some time ago.

  32. Speaking of dog bite statistics…

    A 2009 report issued by DogsBite.org shows that 19 dog breeds contributed to 88 deaths in a recent 3-year period. Pit bulls accounted for 59% followed by rottweilers with 14%.

    The data also shows that pit bulls commit the vast majority of off-property attacks that result in death. Only 18% (16) of the attacks occurred off owner property, yet pit bulls were responsible for 81% (13).

    In 2001, an estimated 368,245 persons were treated in U.S. emergency rooms for nonfatal dog bite-related injuries

    370,000 people injured to the point of an ER visit is hardly a nontrivial amount of people injured fwiw. Yes, dogs are dangerous. We love em anyways, as we should…


    this site appears to be “anti pitbull” fwiw

    1. I especially like how you avoid the point of the story in lieu of posting some meaningless study on dog bites and “attacks”.

      Will you not chime in on what your brothers-in-arms are doing and how it’s either a good thing or a bad thing in both the legal and moral sense?*

      *Let me guess: it’s both legal (bullshit) and moral (also bullshit). And these officers have a right to detain people in a certain area against their will without RS because they have families to go home to or some such fucking bullshit.

      1. i especially like how you go out of the way to criticize me. Reason posts a metric assload of jokes, smarm etc. about cops shooting dogs, yet I have yet to see any relevant stats about how often dogs hurt people.

        My post is thus highly relevant and your baseless criticisms are typical of your hard-on to criticize a cop no matter what the reason

        1. I’m criticizing you because this story is solely about how the police took a reason writer’s right to free movement away without any legal right o do so, and you trot out some story that’s totally off the mark.

          Go fuck yourself, you goon.

        2. how you go out of the way to criticize me.

          Nobody goes out of their way to criticize you, dumpy. You keep on coming right here trying to peddle your pro-fascist bullshit.


    2. DUmpy, in a just world, a dog would bite your ass and draw blood every goddamned time you tried to rationalize your existence.

      Get a job.


  33. . I asked if this was legal. He said it was.

    Then he fucking lied. See the fifth amendment. You were deprived of your liberty with NO due process of law.


  34. Hello Scott,
    We are neighbors. I live about 3 blocks west of the police station. What was most on my mind was the overall idiocy of it. An obviously non-pro shot at a couple of cops. One was wounded in his hand and the other had a graze to his head that could have been from glass. (A pro catching them off-guard would have produced more serious injuries.) This was not a Chris Dorner. We don’t know the age or much else about the shooter, and I’ll bet you ten cents he was gone before they even got going. I was assuming, if caught, he was going to resist arrest -fatally. But they tied up the neighborhood for 10-11 Hours. My head was throbbing afterward from the noise.
    There is a shopping center within their lock-down radius. All business was shut down. No one could go to work or school and there were 2-4 ghetto-birds in the air for 10-11 hours. Aside from horror of martial law near home and the inconvenience can you imagine what this little fiasco COST? No one reimburses those folks who lost a day’s wages. What about the grocery and pharmacy that probably couldn’t open their doors?
    L.A. is on the verge of bankruptcy, but the city paid the 200 officers going door-to-door. Someone OKed the birds in the air at what? $100, $300, $500 per hour? Bottom-line, who approved it all? And came up empty.

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