Two undercover agents and 6 uniformed officers of the LAPD were dispatched in a sting operation that led to the arrest of a man who was clearly endangering the lives of millions by selling his handmade bracelets on the Venice Beach Boardwalk.
Luckily no one was killed by these dangerous bracelets prior to these brave officers putting their lives on the line to prevent their sale. Thank you LAPD, for keeping us safe and protecting our freedom!
Thankfully there are police out there willing to sacrifice all logic and reason to protect us from the likes of the villainous Joey Courteaux, who would dare sell a handmade bracelet in public.
After all, without these public servants, graced with their super power ability of dismissing sound judgement, who would protect us from the dangers of bracelets and lemonade stands?
Obviously there is a tinge of sarcasm in the previous paragraphs and that was used to shed light on the utter stupidity of tax-payer money being used to shakedown innocent people trying to make a living.
Joey Courteaux was in a designated artist/vendor space, selling handmade items that he personally makes himself, when an undercover officer came up and purchased one of his $5 leather and copper bracelets.
He was literally right next to other vendors who were selling mass produced imported plastic jewelry; they were left alone and he was arrested. We understand how hard this can be to believe, so we obtained a copy of Mr. Courteaux’s citation in which it clearly states that his selling of the leather bracelet is in fact the violation:
Mr. Courteaux was in violation of a ridiculous and completely selectively enforced city ordinance LAMC 42.15 which states that,
“Persons can Vend the following items, which have been created, written or composed by the Vendor or Performer: books, audio, video, or other recordings of their performances, paintings, photographs, prints, sculptures or any other item that is inherently communicative and is of nominal value or utility apart from its communication.”
It should be noted that the above paragraph is completely subjective and thus part of the reason for its selective enforcement. To make sure that this law can be selectively enforced the paragraph below immediately follows the preceding one.
“Although an item may have some expressive purpose, it will be deemed to have more than nominal utility apart from its communication if it has a common and dominant non-expressive purpose. Examples of items that have more than nominal utility apart from their communication and thus are subject to the Vending ban under the provisions of this Section, include but are not limited to, the following: housewares, appliances, articles of clothing, sunglasses, auto parts, oils, incense, perfume, crystals, lotions, candles, jewelry, toys and stuffed animals.”
Of course a leather bracelet could be construed in any number of fashions. Apparently in the instance of Mr. Courteaux, LAPD construed it in such a manner that they felt it necessary to employ tax-payer dollars in an undercover sting operation to remove this man from the street and place him in a cage.
Immediately after the undercover officer purchased the bracelet, Mr. Courteaux was not only cited, but placed under arrest, as seen in the video below, and put in jail. His bail was set at $100.
How on earth can these cops sleep at night? Do they really feel that they are providing some type of public service?
Was he arrested because he didn’t jump through all the hoops and have all the licenses and permits needed to be a re-seller on the Boardwalk? No, Mr. Courteaux has his applicable re-sellers license and L.A. business license as well.
Mr. Courteaux expressed to us that he was singled out by these cops who were selectively enforcing an arbitrary ordinance because he was always able to verbalize to them that he was indeed an artist and that his work is his expression as it is his creation and some of his work is inspired by Native American spirituality and tradition.
So because he refused to roll over, lie down, and lick the boots of the tyrants, he was subsequently thrown in prison.
Of course Mr. Courteaux fought the charges and refused to waive his right to a timely trial, so the city only had 45 days to drag it out, instead of months. Once the DA realized the Mr. Courteaux was not going to back down, the ticket was dismissed and the misdemeanor was dropped to an infraction with no fine or penalty.