The Los Angeles County Nuisance Abatement Team (NAT) and the County Sheriffs Department have provoked a revolt by the residents of the unincorporated community of Littlerock, California in the Antelope Valley. The residents of Littlerock and other unincorporated communities are alleging that they have been subjected to Gestapo tactics in the county’s zeal to generate revenues from fines and seizures of homes and other property for auction.
The Littlerock Town Council estimates that approximately 25% of the homes in their communities have been subjected to enforcement actions over county ordinance violations. Residents report that the NAT tells them that if something on their property isn’t expressly allowed by law then they have the discretion to force them to get rid of it. One example is that an NAT agent ordered a man to remove a bottle from the hood of a car he had parked on his property (he was leaving it in the sun to change its color for artistic purposes).
One elderly woman in a wheel chair was accosted by NAT agents accompanied by armed sheriffs with a search warrant. She says a gun was put to her head.
The search warrants issued over what amounts to the lowest level of “crime,” county ordinance violations that deal with the community aesthetics of an “agricultural zone,” were issued based upon a claim that the Littlerock Town Council itself made the initial complaints to county authorities. But a resolution passed by the Council and announced last night to the public repudiates this and alleges that there are no minutes or records of any purported action or resolution of the Council to ask the County for enforcement actions. The resolution, which you can find at http://www.calulac.org or http://www.janbtucker.com/IdeaOpinions.html spells out just how outrageous the county’s actions have been and demands federal intervention by the Civil Rights Divisions of the FBI, the U.S. Department of Justice and calls upon the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) for assistance.
I spoke on the civil and constitutional rights ramifications of what was going on before the Council and residents last night. Click the following link to hear my speech: Littlerock CA 5-13-10