Friday, November 7, 2008

I Was In Jail All Night

Date: November 6, 2008 10:58:12 AM PST
Subject: My Night In Jail/Needing Some Support

Not joking kids. Gary was in the slammer all night. If you need to skip over the center part of this e-mail due to length by all means do, but please jump to the end where you will find my request seeking some support/referrals.

I like thousands of people in Los Angeles last night took to the streets filled with anger, sadness and determination in response to the passing of prop 8 here in CA. I had been crying off and on all day, deeply saddened by how societally acceptable it seems to be to take away my civil rights and the civil rights of my Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender brothers and sisters.

It began as a very contained rally at Santa Monica and San Vicente until large groups of people branched off and started marching down the streets and blocking traffic in major intersections. I must admit I was one of a few initiators in these efforts, but am so happy and proud to report that the group I was with was incredibly peaceful, conscientious and communicative.

The police started showing up, not long after we barricaded a bus with our bodies to help us block the intersection of Santa Monica and La Cienga. It wasn't long at all before a police officer decided to single me out of a crowd of approximately 100 people in order to use me as an example to scare others. He grabbed me by the arm and I peacefully let him lead me to his car. For about 20 minutes the crowd chanted let him go while I sat in the car in the middle of the intersection. At that point they also arrested a lovely 24 year old young man who later became my cellmate for the evening.

The details of the rest of the evening can be shared later. I was fully cooperative with the police and even though they were just doing their job, and mostly doing it well on a very tough evening, some of the police behavior was unwarranted and discriminatory. After we were in jail for a few hours, there were four people at Hollywood and Highland that got a little out of hand and were also arrested. As this was happening things for myself and my new friend became progressively more difficult.

I am going to be needing some advice and support from some of our GLBT leaders that have been involved in these efforts and also should speak to a good LA lawyer that is used to working with the GLBT community. If any of you have contact with those resources I would greatly appreciate you passing on their info or my info/this e-mail to them.

With thanks, love and faith that one day we will be a united country and all be granted the same civil rights.
gary riotto


Anonymous said...


If you would like to talk about my Department's involvement in your arrest and/or our response to the protest, please email me at (personal email)

If anyone else would like to comment, you are more than welcome to email as well. Please don't send me any worms though! ;)

I'm a lesbian and I'm as outraged and sad as you are. I've been temporarily assigned liaison duties for these protests and have been working with CSW, etc. Some people might remember me as LAPD's LGBT Liaison, a position I held for two I hope I have some credibility.

We're doing the best we can with these protests, but have had a hard time finding leaders to tell us what the group wants. It's been frustrating as we want to try and facilitate the requests ... within reason of course. Just want to say, there is always room for improvement but hopefully people recognize how much leeway we've given during the marches. Allowing the group to go onto Wilshire Blvd on Thursday for instance.... in a nutshell, we're trying !!!!

Anyway, I'm going off track. Please email me if you want to talk.

Sgt. Stacey Simmons

Anonymous said...

Im tired of gay marriage being confused with civil rights. Enough, and this in- your - face attitude is going to backfire. I will be at the next church in my area If I find another protest there.