Change the Name Protest Against the Washington Redsk*ns ~ Photos by Douglas Miles


Douglas Miles is an artist living and working on the San Carlos Apache Nation in Arizona. Here he recounts his experience at the recent “Change the Name” protest in Phoenix, and shares his photographs of the event.

On Sunday October 12th the Phoenix Cardinals were to play the Washington Redskins in Phoenix Arizona. My friend Monica and I were invited personally via facebook by Amanda Blackhorse to attend an anti-mascot protest rally. This meant I would not only be there but I would photograph this radical event. For those that don’t know, Amanda Blackhorse was the lead plaintiff in Blackhorse v. Pro-Football, Inc. which sought to revoke trademark protection of the term “Washington Redskins” because it is disparaging and racist to Native Americans. She won. The Redskins team is now suing her in a “payback” move. Amanda, a single mother from the Navajo tribe, currently works as a social worker on the Navajo Nation.




Mr. Trigz AKA Trigger AKA Christopher Pebley Sr. was one of the beloved figures of the Los Angeles underground art, tattoo, and graffiti scenes. His charisma was evident whenever he walked into a room, and he made friends across a wide spectrum of L.A. He was a dedicated father, who leaves behind a fiancee and five kids from age 2 to 23. While he fit into some categories like “party animal”, “artist”, “criminal past”, “Tattooed Man”, he transcended all of them and to most people grieving today he was simply a friend. Many people across Los Angeles and around the world are mourning the huge loss of Trigz today.

News reports are still sketchy, but the basics of the story is that LAPD believes a simple street dispute escalated to the point where a single suspect, described as male in his 30’s, shot Trigz in the torso and escaped in a white Honda Accord. This happened in North Hollywood near the Black Derby Smoke Shop.

Friends and family are raising money for funeral expenses here.

All photos by Trigz’ close friend Pep Williams.


Surfers Shoot the Malibu Pier (Two Videos)

The above drone video shows surfer Allen Sarlo “shooting the pier” at Malibu the other day. Shooting the pier is a classic California surfing maneuver meaning to go between the pilings and not fall off (or die, see below). Back in the early days of California surfing in the 1950s and 1960s it was what could set you apart from the rest of the gang and get all the beach bunnies riled up. From a Malibu Patch article from a few years back that mentions Sarlo shooting the pier during the last huge Malibu swell:

Sarlo made it through the pier several times, approaching it at speed and looking for the gaps that hid broken pilings that could have killed him if he’d hit them. Sarlo shot the pier several times, made it through on all of them and even did a big reentry in the shorebreak— detonating in front of the parking lot.

Shooting the Malibu Pier is dangerous business. The pilings aren’t angled correctly, and you have to pick a wave that stays green as it moves through. Back in the late 1950s, an African-American surfer named Nick Gabaldon died when he hit the pier while trying to shoot it. The incident is mentioned in the 1957 novella Gidget.

Another angle from the beach when Laird Hamilton shot the pier.

Want to know more about Nick Gabaldon? Check out the clip below:

Updated Skid Row Mural ~ Downtown Los Angeles


Update on the Skid Row mural we posted about earlier this year…

The name “Skid Row” is known to everyone in Los Angeles, but it does not appear on ANY official City of los Angeles map, street sign, or city documents. Earlier this year, Fire Station 9, which serves the area and is known as “the busiest fire station in the United States” was ordered to remove any Skid Row designations from their 5 fire trucks. In response they created a web-site and petition to restore the name to their vehicles:

The city prefers the name Central City East and would possibly like to pretend Skid Row, and what it represents, doesn’t really exist. Anyone who actually lives Downtown know it as Skid Row and knows where its basic borders lie.

Defining Skid Row is thus a challenge and an opportunity to those who live there or nearby. In 2006 a court case known as Jones Vs. the City of Los Angeles (case No. 04-55324) the borders of Skid Row were defined as Main St to the West, Alameda St. to the east, Third St to the North, and Seventh St to the South.


LAPD on Social Media: Selfies, Big Guns, and Live Coverage of Crime Scenes

LAPD Screen Shot 1

In 2011, I published a piece here on L.A. Taco calling out the LAPD and Homicide Detective Sal LaBarbera for using Twitter in I what I felt was an unprofessional style. The post set off a firestorm of criticism and praise of my stance, and started a conversation in the media about the proper use of social media by public employees. Since then, numerous law enforcement agencies and their officers have have adopted social media to stay better connected with communities and to give their perspective take on the news. You can literally look up the majority of departments on the big three social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. As with anything else in today’s hyperconnected world, sometimes there’s such a thing as overly connected, and it leads to interesting results. Let’s review some recent postings…


Los Scandalous, a Raw Look at L.A.’s Skid Row

Australian filmmaker Shanks Rajendran, whose last documentary was on similar topics in Miami, has turned his eye to Skid Row. Check out this 3 minute trailer which begins with his first night out on the streets.

CHP Officer Brutally Beats Woman ~ 10 Freeway

Motorist David Diaz was driving by and filmed this video (and later added a very aggressive watermark) of a white cop beating a black woman on the side of the freeway a couple days ago.

Map of LAPD Citywide Gang Injunctions


This map from the LAPD shows all the city’s gang injunctions, from Venice to Harbor City to Highland Park. Useful for knowing what the police are focusing on in your neighborhood, and which gangs are on the city’s radar. Click the map to see the large version.

Hip Hop Taco Truck Wants to Bring Music and Digital Arts to Underserved L.A. Kids

I love taco trucks, and I love hip-hop. It was only a matter of time before someone combined the two, enter HNDP. For the last five years, HNDP has been hosting everything open mics to workshops with youth and artist wanting to grow as individuals and artist. Most recently, they’ve become a full fledged non-profit organization and they’re taking their work to the next level, but they need support. They’ve launched a kickstarter campaign to help get the dream of converting a taco truck into a full blown studio: “With a mobile recording studio we can bring our music and digital arts programs to more under-served youth across the Los Angeles area.”

From their Kickstarter page:

Celebrating Kings Fans Knock LAPD Drone Out of the Sky

The limits of the LAPD’s new drone technology were put in display outside Staples Center last night as rowdy L.A. Kings fans knocked the unmanned video-recording copter out of the sky and to the ground, where it was destroyed. There has actually been no confirmation that this was an LAPD drone, but witnesses at the scene described it as such.

The “N.W.A. Straight Outta Compton” Movie is Holding Open Auditions, But They’ve Already Begun on YouTube


This weekend, Producer Ice Cube and Director F. Gary Gray’s N.W.A. biopic will be holding open auditions for the roles of Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren, and DJ Yella. The auditions take place in Gardena on Sunday at Noon (complete flyer/info below), but they’ve already begun on YouTube from when the film was announced last year. Either the producers haven’t bothered with YouTube, or (more likely) they weren’t blown away by anything they saw. We went through a few pages of YouTube auditions to give you a sense of what’s out there. Based on what we’ve seen today, the hardest role to cast may end up being Dre.