Anaheim Police arrest homeless advocates Noble and Collins, keep their phones as “EVIDENCE.”




noble collins

[UPDATES at bottom, below the first four videos!]

Anaheim homeless advocates R. Joshua Collins and Lou Noble have been filming Anaheim Police Department harassment of the homeless for about a year;  many of their videos (which we will post below)  document the police infringing on their fourth amendment rights by confiscating their property.   Bad enough there’s a recent ordinance forbidding the homeless to “store” their belongings in Anaheim parks for over three hours, the police have been seizing stuff RIGHT OFF THEM – backpacks, blankets, bikes, medicine, strollers, ID, anything.

The Police Department denies doing this, but these two troublemakers have plenty of video evidence of it.  And I guess that pisses the police off, because yesterday afternoon Lou and Joshua were arrested for filming them.  Technically, for PC148, “obstruct, resist, delay.”  Chief Quezada confirmed years ago that it is any citizen’s right to film the police at work as long as you’re not so close that you’re obstructing their work – and Lou and Joshua were not.

This happened at Maxwell Park.  Police were busy with one of their customary raids of that park’s homeless, and Lou was filming them from a reasonable distance, when he noticed that he was being filmed himself by a maintenance guy in a Parks and Rec truck – kind of strange.  This fellow also beckoned at Lou, so he walked past that vehicle just to see what was happening.  Lou had already walked past the truck without even saying anything, when Homeless “Liaison” Sgt Lozeau called him over, cuffed and arrested him for “obstruction.”  Meanwhile Officer Bob Conklin seized Lou’s cell phone, as “evidence.”

During this time, Joshua was about 100 feet away, filming Lou get arrested, and then filmed some more police rousting of the homeless from about 30 feet away, when Sgt Boyer arrested him for the same bogus charge, and also seized his phone.  Boyer was extra rough when arresting Joshua, twisting his arm viciously.

This was only a few hours before last night’s Forum on the Kraemer Place Homeless Shelter, and it seemed a good bet that the arrest and jailing were timed to keep these two outspoken advocates away from this forum.  But the jail was flooded with dozens of phone calls demanding their release, and this MAY have had the desired effect – they were let out after about three hours.

We think the big deal is that the police still have both of these gentlemen’s cell phones, which are full of videos of police misbehavior.  The claim the police need these phones for evidence against Lou and Joshua is bogus – the cops already have plenty of films of the two, and what the phones contain is evidence against THEM.  And some of us still remember how the video of the March 2012 police killing of Martin Hernandez was taken by Anaheim police “as evidence” and then mysteriously “lost.” 

[Also – update – APD had a history back in 2012 of seizing cell phones or trying to BUY cell phone footage after police killings;  it’s looking in many ways like 2012 might be back.]

These phones should be returned immediately, with nothing erased from them.  Don’t you agree?  Then let Sgt Mundy know at 714-765-1967.

Meanwhile let’s take a look at what these police have been doing to the homeless, and what made them mad enough to arrest Lou and Joshua on trumped-up charges:


Late yesterday afternoon, Sgt Tim Schmidt told Joshua he could have his phone back this morning at 10 (which he has now) but that they weren’t finished looking at Lou’s. (The Lookie-Lous.) What kind of bullshit is that? We suspect they’re taking longer with Lou’s because he has it password-protected, and Joshua doesn’t. Now they’re saying Lou might get back his phone sometime NEXT WEEK – and it is his business phone.

Meanwhile other citizen activists such as Renee and Boaz Balenti of In-League Press stepped into the breach, because it seems like the APD is on an urgent mission to clean out all the homeless everywhere. Renee got this yesterday afternoon, featuring Officer Edgar Hampton. (And some of us saw the same thing happening at La Palma Park a little later.)

By the way nothing seems to have been removed off Roussan’s phone, which contains these two videos, the first one of Lou’s arrest:

… and of Roussan’s arrest directly after:

More to come, we’re sure.

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.