Selective enforcement leads to An increasingly unsafe environment for Malibu residents
By Steve Woods
As long as I can remember, since surfing Malibu in the late 60’s, you entered the city limits from any of the canyon roads and saw very visible signs; “No Over Night Camping or Sleeping in Vehicles Within City Limits Except in Designated Campgrounds MMC 9.08.090 “ – clearly implying that Malibu was not a public rest stop.
This I knew first hand as a teenager and was strictly enforced by law enforcement. On too many (I use the word lightly) occasions to count, my surfer friends and I would pull over on PCH near Zuma, or any of the canyon roads, after dark, and crash in the car in order to be the first ones out on a building swell near any of the prime surf spots.
And many of those times we were awakened by bright flashing lights or a loud fist knock on the side of the van by officers ordering us to move on or be arrested for breaking the law.
Dazed and disoriented, not to mention pissed off at the rude intimidation tactics that were used to force us out at the time, we moved on.
And sometimes we were escorted out of the city limits. Yes, that’s right, they actually escorted us out of Malibu. Now it seems that what used to be strictly enforced is no longer. Apparently, the signs and the laws have not changed, but for whatever reason enforcing them has, and the enforcement of the law has become virtually non-existent.
Word has spread like wildfire through the outside surfing community, and cheap campers who want free campsites next to the ocean (along with the homeless population) are now vigorously exploiting the lack of enforcement along our 27 miles (or 21 miles – depending on who you believe) of free PCH camping.
Everywhere in Malibu is supposed to be off -limits for camping or sleeping in vehicles except for in designated campgrounds, yet even in places where signs are posted No Parking from 10 PM – 5 AM, you can find a used car lot of vehicles ignoring the law – and not getting penalized for it!
Starting from County Line to the bluffs above Broad Beach, you find campers dumping trash, urinating and defecating next to the road. All along Zuma and Westward Beach, vans, motor homes, and small cars park overnight, roll their sleeping bags out next to their empty beer bottles in the sand and pass out knowing that the sheriffs will not enforce the law on the books.
The stretch of beach across from the half full Malibu RV and Camping Park at Corral Beach (where no restrooms exist) is sometimes a solid mile and a half of vehicles parked overnight with car campers, RV’s, and those pitching tents on the beach.The stench of used Pampers, human feces, used toilet paper and urine, and over filled trash cans is as sickening as the broken beer bottles and graffiti on the rocks that lie just above the high tide line.
The stretch of parking at Surfrider has many vehicles that are parked in front of the “No Parking 10 pm -5 am” signs for weeks at a time – exceeding even the county-wide 72-hour parking limit.
Oh – and then there are some that game the system, like many, have been doing for years by moving the vehicle a few feet or driving a few hundred yards and re-parking. The Malibu Surf Shack has mastered that game for decades but was recently ordered to change its practice of bogarting public parking after the Malibu City Council voted unanimously, 4-0, to uphold a resolution restricting parking along the stretch of Pacific Coast Highway across from the pier parking lot.
So if long time parking restrictions, ordinances and laws have not been enforced why would these new parking restrictions on the Surf Shack be enforced?
Will Malibu continue on its present trend to be a “sanctuary” for lawbreakers? The answer is yes – and there are two reasons; one is Malibu’s Sanctuary City status (and now CA. is a Sanctuary State as of Oct. 5th, taking effect in 2018) and Prop. 47.
When I discussed the issue of Malibu becoming a Sanctuary City with one of the officers at Zuma Beach recently, he shook his head in disgust.
The word that Malibu has become a “haven” spread like wildfire throughout the homeless/transient population after City Council declared Malibu a Sanctuary City earlier this year. The term “Sanctuary City” (along with Prop. 47), is literally allowing transients and criminals to apply the term in whatever way they see fit.
According to the officer I spoke to at the Zuma , he has arrested more and more transients with mental illnesses and extensive criminal records who are flooding into Malibu because they believe they are somehow safer from prosecution here.
The officer I spoke to has also made multiple arrests of the same illegal aliens who are convicted felons (yes plural) arrested in Malibu and were previously incarcerated in LA County jail. They were not reported to or deported by Federal ICE agents and were released back into the general public only to be rearrested in the act of another crime in Malibu.
Needless to say, the officer was not happy with any of the new Sanctuary City law enforcement policies or the impending Sanctuary State Legislation and shared some information in the wake of recent immigration reform.
Apparently, Immigration and Customs Enforcement are reacting to congressional fears of a new crime wave from illegal immigrants that has revealed some 1,800 released by “sanctuary cities” last year were charged with 7,500 new crimes, including rape and child sex abuse.
What’s more, most, or over 1,000 of the illegals facing criminal charges, are still free, according to an ICE report to Congress. The October 2014 report detailed the release by 276 sanctuary cities of 8,145 illegals held on criminal charges from January to August despite requests to “detain” them for ICE which would consider deporting them. Deep in the report, provided under the Freedom of Information Act to the Center for Immigration Studies’ Policy Director Jessica M. Vaughan, ICE revealed that: “1,867 individuals were later arrested 4,298 times … these subsequent arrests constitute 7,491 charges, as most individuals have multiple charges per arrest,” said the ICE report.
And what happened to those re-arrested illegal immigrants?
Most were let go again. The report said that 751 were either given to ICE or removed. But 1,116 were not given to ICE and the agency said that they are “considered at-large.”
These criminals are also some of the people camping in Malibu and sleeping in their cars.
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority data states that Malibu has seen a sharp increase in the homeless population over the years. There were only 22 unsheltered homeless people in 2015, but as of 2017, there are 180! And even those numbers are underestimating the true seriousness of the homeless issue. The homeless/transient issue is growing daily, and with the train from downtown L.A. to Santa Monica, it’s only going to get worse.
Malibu is starting to experience a serious degradation in our quality of life as we are beseiged by aggressive – even violent – metally ill transients that are taking over retail centers like Colony Plaza, accosting patrons at Vintage Grocers and Heathercliff Shopping Centers, camping in plain view on beaches while doing drugs, and more, most with the knowledge they will not be prosecuted.
Although over night camping in Malibu and sleeping in vehicles is prohibited along our roadways (except in designated camp spots), hundreds of illegal campers are gathering in greater numbers throughout Malibu, are sleeping overnight in there vehicles mostly in areas without available restroom facilities. Where there is the greatest concentration of illegal campers you will find the greatest concentration of soiled diapers, human feces, the stench of urine, streams of toilet paper and trash being blown across our once pristine beaches. On Sept 11, the L.A. times reported 16 people had died of a Hepatitis C outbreak in San Diego due to “fecally contaminated environment” not unlike what is happening in Malibu along the areas above the high tide line where illegal campers are relieving themselves. Soon after the San Diego outbreak, Los Angeles County announced a Hepatitis A suggesting a very real danger to local residents with the rising homeless population and lack of services to care for them – not to mention the members of the homeless community that refuse to be helped.
For more information read the Los Angeles Times articles: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-hepatitis-san-diego-20170911-story.html, http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-ln-hepatitis-la-20170919-story.html
California Gov. Brown declared a state of emergency on Oct. 13th, 2017, because of a hepatitis an outbreak that has killed at least 18 people in the state and 581 people in California have been sickened with the liver virus, more than half of whom have ended up in the hospital.
The officer continued to express that it was bad enough that Malibu will see increases in crime because of the “Sanctuary” status (including Prop. 47) we are offering criminals, but now California State Senate President Kevin De León, who has recently made headlines by announcing that he has relatives in California who are here in violation of U.S. immigration laws, has been successful in passing legislation making California a “Sanctuary State” and thereby by prohibiting state law enforcement agencies in California from cooperating with federal immigration authorities. On October 5th, Gov. Brown signed Kevin De Leon’s Sanctuary State legislation into law, effective in 2018, giving a green light to the rest of the world that if you can enter California illegally, you will be rewarded with a secure and safe “sanctuary” from local law enforcement.
California taxpayers and the city of Malibu may now be on the hook to provide massive increases of new affordable low income housing, for more and more displaced legal and illegal citizens. As a result, California law makers are also attempting to threaten our remaining open spaces with the erosion of CEQA ,(California Environmental Quality Act ), forcing resistant communities to use available open spaces for low income housing .Another SIGN that the golden California cookie is crumbling.
Could there be a connection between the City Manager Reva Feldman and her politically influential relatives influencing Malibu’s decision to become a Sanctuary City long before California became a Sanctuary State? It seems too obvious to pass up this observation or the fact that our City leaders shoved this monumental decision to become a Sanctuary City in our face without the consensus of the community.
Feldman and Malibu councilman Laura Rosenthal, the council member who suggested Malibu adopt the Sanctuary City status (with support from Mayor Peak)were both seen in Malibu meeting with De León who was at the time lobbying to the state senate to pass legislation.
Feldman has family ties to former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa who has spent a lifetime opposing U.S. immigration law and was the former chairman of the UCLA chapter of MEChA, an anti-American racist organization. Villaraigosa is also a supporter of La Raza, a racist Latino group whose motto is “ Everything for the race. Outside the Race Nothing!
“ The community is already sustaining the lawless effects of increased gang activity and increased trash and human waste pollution from illegal campers, some of whom are wanted on outstanding warrants and involved in criminal activity.
Malibu currently is rated 19 out of 100 nationally for being a safe city and as one sheriff officer said: “Expect it to get much worse now thanks to your city leaders.”