SMEAR Raided By Police Following L.A. Times Story
UPDATE: The LA Times reports that Smear was arrested and taken into custody for unspecified probation violations today: Cristian Gheorghiu, also known as Smear, was taken into custody around noon. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Vince Carter said Gheorghiu was arrested for a “probation violation” but would not provide specifics. He said the booking related to new information and “vandalism tools.” Gheorghiu is on felony probation for a 2007 vandalism conviction.
More troubling news for the artist SMEAR, who continues to have his rights trampled on while being personally targeted by the forces that be. According to a source close to the artist who spoke with him this morning, after SMEAR was featured in yesterday’s L.A. Times cover story, his home was raided last night by authorities, who somehow have nothing better to do than harass L.A.’s creative minds at tax-payer expense. According to the source, SMEAR had a painting and other belongings taken from him during the raid and arranged through his attorney to be turned in as he wasn’t home while police sought to detain him. Police allegedly told him he was violating probation by having vandalism tools, which the artist explained he was allowed to have (as a visual artist) as per a judge’s decision, something he’s supposedly told them on prior occasions. The artist is scheduled to appear with his lawyer this morning, though there is no word on whether he will be held or simply questioned. What does SMEAR have to say?
The artist apparently expressed frustration at being bullied and persecuted by the sheriff’s department and says he’s been paying his fines. We all know the raid, on the heels of a major newspaper story, isn’t the way things should be done in the U.S. If our great city was promoting and training its artists, instead of criminalizing art and free expression, SMEAR’s talent would be allowed to speak for itself. Instead, he is being vilified and unfairly targeted, which will only boost his notoriety while further burdening the city’s stressed coffers.