Homeless advocate Lou Noble arrested again, filming police on the 91 trail.




Lou Noble, and 91 trail denizen Mark Anthony

Do you remember the last (and first) time homeless advocate Lou Noble got arrested?  That was in 2015, and we reported on it here and here.  That time, both the Christlike Guatemalan and his fellow advocate Roussan Joshua Collins were arrested while filming the police “rousting” homeless people out of Maxwell Park.  They were arrested very roughly by members of the Anaheim Police’s “Homeless Liaison Team” and charged with “obstruction” of their important work, even though they were filming from 30 and more feet away;  both men’s phones were seized as “evidence.”

Long story short, they were both cleared of the charges;  Lou sued the city, and ended up settling for an undisclosed amount, but most importantly, that was apparently the end of APD unconstitutionally harassing people for filming them at work.

Fast forward to last Thursday, September 26, 2019.  This time it was the CHP arresting Lou on state property for filming them evicting homeless people.  This was on the “91 trail,” or Industrial Way, just north of the 91 between Lemon and Raymond, where an unusually neat and clean community of homeless folks had been staying for a long time, with the blessing of CalTrans and the CHP, until a lot more folks rousted from other encampments came and swelled their ranks.

As the talkative denizen “Mark Anthony” explains to Lou from 2:30 to 23:30 in the video below, for years friendly CalTrans workers would come down with empty trash bags for the community, and haul away full bags.  But more recently hostile folks (who Mark suspects of being impostors in orange vests and helmets) drop in and take all their most valuable stuff (tents, bikes, camping equipment) while leaving the trash behind.  Three days earlier (Monday) CHP came by and gave them till Thursday to be out of there – on the pretext of “safety concerns”  (One of them could get hit by a train!)

Now all these folks who’d been happily out of the way of the public and generally unharassed are coming right back out onto your streets again – and the beat goes on.  All of the heroic Carter-ordered shelter-building of the last couple years is a mere band-aid on the ever-growing crisis, as unregulated capitalism takes its merry course, and our various agencies play Whack-a-Mole with the lives of our dispossessed.

The refugee trails for many now getting pushed out again.

Posted by Lou Noble on Thursday, September 26, 2019


Around 23:30 in the video above, as Lou pries himself away from the voluble Mark Anthony, CHP officer Ramirez appears at the top of the embankment, ordering Lou and the others to get lost as they’re trespassing.  Ramirez clambers menacingly down the embankment, and after a stubborn couple of minutes he finally gives Lou his name, again ordering him to leave.

You’ll see Lou beginning to leave, and then turning back around to keep filming (while not getting any closer.)  Seeing this, Ramirez’ partner Robinson walks after Lou, ordering him NOT to leave, and telling him he’s being “detained” for trespassing.  He demands Lou’s ID and Lou refuses to give it which really seems to piss him off.  The whole arrest is on the video, but somehow the charges against Lou got changed from trespassing to the old “obstruction.”  For better or worse they don’t bother mirandizing him.

It’s funny, given how well the APD knows Lou and the grudging respect they give him, to hear Robinson tell his CHP colleague in a puzzled voice, “I guess he’s some kind of ACTIVIST or something.”  The video finally ends with Robinson helpfully explaining to us, “I am turning off this phone now so this guy’s batteries don’t die.”

Lou is not too worried about these latest charges, and figures it is time for the CHP to learn what the APD learned a  few years ago, that it’s the people’s right to film them.  Meanwhile whatever the disposition of this latest nuisance, we owe Lou a debt for his courage and persistence in keeping the plight of the homeless, and their treatment by law enforcement, in our faces.  As my wife likes to say:

For those about to rock, We Salute LOU!

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 vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.