Greater Greater Washington

Kennedy Center guard bullies patron for parking a bike

Last week, a guard at the Kennedy Center threatened to steal my bike if I dared to park it on the sidewalk.


The guard. Photo by the author.

I had arrived by bike to see a show, and found that the rack on F St was already crowded, and didn't look especially sturdy. I walked nearby to a sign post and began to lock it up.

A guard (pictured right) approached me, yelling at me that I could not park my bike there. I insisted that I could since it is a public sidewalk. I was ready to clasp my lock around the post when he shoved his hand against mine to prevent me from continuing. He insisted that the sidewalk was Kennedy Center property and no bikes could be locked there.

This is a common misconception. Street sidewalks in DC almost always fall within the public space that includes the roadway; in fact, many front yards of buildings also fall in public spaces instead of private property. The DC Atlas confirms that the sidewalks on F Street adjacent to the Kennedy Center are in public space outside the property lot lines.


Image from DC Atlas. The Kennedy Center is labeled 0806. F Street is to the north.

The guard said that if I left my bike attached to the street sign pole he would cut the lock and remove the bike as he said he had already done 3 or 4 times that day. I reluctantly relented and moved to a different rack up the hill and across from the main entrance.

The sidewalk along F St is public property and it would be a bad precedent to let anyone dictate how a public sidewalk may be used simply because their property fronts it. As anyone who has been to a sidewalk cafe knows, the District and other jurisdictions permit some private appropriation of public space with permits but there is no permit to allow private property owners to steal bikes attached to public sign posts.

Claiming that a public street sign between a public sidewalk and a public roadway is in fact private property is bullying. Furthermore, to physically menace someone by pushing them away is battery. If the Kennedy Center is in fact routinely destroying locks and confiscating bikes, they should first consult their legal counsel as they are probably destroying and stealing private property.

It was just a month ago that a similar event occurred. This time it was on the sidewalk of Lafayette Park, and I suspect the man in a black uniform was an actual law enforcement officer rather than a rent-a-cop.

I like to think that the legal authority that comes with a badge and a gun limits the officer to carefully enforcing actual laws, not their own made-up, capricious rules that have no basis in law.

M.V. Jantzen is a resident of DC who bikes the region with his camera, documenting streetscapes, events, parks, and people. He posts his photos primarily to flickr.com/mvjantzen

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Lock it up. Wait around the corner and as he cuts the lock call 911 to report a vehicle theft in progress.

by DCArea2 on Mar 9, 2011 12:26 pm • linkreport

It might be a great public service to let Kennedy Center management know that their security folks are making threats of this kind, which they have no authority to do. I have the feeling the right person at KC, if you found them, would be receptive.

If the guy was actually cutting locks of bikes and confiscating them under these circumstances he was engaging in vandalism and theft. Politely pointing that out to the KC would likely get their attention.

by Gee on Mar 9, 2011 12:40 pm • linkreport

I think this post is letting them know!

by William on Mar 9, 2011 12:45 pm • linkreport

That's absurd, but I can't say I'm surprised. "Rent-a-cop overreaches authority" isn't exactly man bites dog news.

by dcd on Mar 9, 2011 12:49 pm • linkreport

@William - only if the KC is actually reading this blog entry. I agree with Gee - GGW ought to send them a letter, copying the map ad applicable statutes supporting chaining a bike on public property (and the penalties for vandalism and theft). I susect it would indeed et their attention. Would be a worthwhile public service and education campaign for GGW.

by Glenn on Mar 9, 2011 12:49 pm • linkreport

countdown 3,2,1, before a post about the presence of a bicycle upsetting the proper dignity and decorum of the Kennedy Center.

by spookiness on Mar 9, 2011 12:52 pm • linkreport

This very thing happened to me in this very spot at the K Center. I got the impression is was a bored security guard + the dignity and decorum thing @spookiness mentions.

by michellei on Mar 9, 2011 1:00 pm • linkreport

Not to parse the legal issue excessively, but isn't something that belongs to the Kennedy Center by definition "public property"?

Not that they can't or shouldn't make reasonable (and legal) rules about that property's use but KC is a publically owned venue.

by poohstick on Mar 9, 2011 1:08 pm • linkreport

The rack by the main entrance -- and the trail to virginia -- is ok. Is that too much to ask people to use?

Would be interesting to see what would have happened if the bike was cut off and taken by KCPA. Lawsuit? Personally, I'd sue the pants off of them and ask for additional damages based on previous behavior.

by charlie on Mar 9, 2011 1:10 pm • linkreport

I can vouch for @michellei's experience. I'm pretty sure it was the same guard in the photo.

This also happened to me last year in front of the ATF building. I locked up to a street sign and was given a verbal warning by uniformed security upon retrieving my bike a few hours later. Was told bikes weren't allowed to be locked to that particular stop sign and that it was subject to removal. There is no signage to differentiate that stop sign from any other stop sign in the city.

by Erik Moe on Mar 9, 2011 1:14 pm • linkreport

Why doesn't op have a u lock?

by TGEoA on Mar 9, 2011 1:23 pm • linkreport

That is a classic "not in my backyard" approach. So many in DC MD and VA love the idea of bikes and bike commuters but don't want a rack in front of their bar, restaurant, or store.

by Tim on Mar 9, 2011 1:26 pm • linkreport

I was ready to clasp my lock around the post when he shoved his hand against mine to prevent me from continuing.

This is assault. If that security guard does anything like that again, call the police.

by JustMe on Mar 9, 2011 1:30 pm • linkreport

JustMe:
Legally, it's battery, not assault.

by anotherdcattorney on Mar 9, 2011 1:37 pm • linkreport

Wait, what? You're upset that you couldn't take up public space with your private property? The Kennedy Center probably doesn't allow people to park their cars on the sidewalk either, but no one on this blog is complaining about that.

Why not pay for a parking spot in the garage or propose that the Kennedy Center set up some paid bicycle parking as a way of providing funding for more bike racks.

by Paul on Mar 9, 2011 1:37 pm • linkreport

Paul, I'm fairly certain that parking a bike on the sidewalk is legal while parking a car there is not.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

by BeyondDC on Mar 9, 2011 1:58 pm • linkreport

What about a sign in a tree box saying you can't lock a bike in that tree box?

At the North East corner of Conn. Ave and Woodley NW, several of the tree boxes have short wrought iron fences, maybe a foot high. They look nice and would be great for locking up a bike. The sidewalk is not very wide and there is a lot of pedestrian traffic so locking up a bike and impeding traffic would be a problem. However one could lock up a bike without impeding traffic. There's a sign on several of the tree boxes saying you can't lock your bike there. What happens if I do? Is the sign legal? Is locking my bike there legal?

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl

by mike on Mar 9, 2011 2:28 pm • linkreport

Paul

1209.3 No person shall secure a bicycle to any of the following publicly-owned facilities:
(a) Fire hydrants;
(b) Police and fire call boxes;
(c) Electric traffic signal poles;
(d) Stanchions or poles located within bus zones or stands;
(e) Stanchions or poles located within twenty-five feet (25 ft.) of an intersection;
(f) Trees under ten inches (10 in.) in diameter.

Otherwise it is legal

http://ddot.dc.gov/DC/DDOT/On+Your+Street/Bicycles+and+Pedestrians/Bicycles/DC+Regulations+for+Bicycles

by David C on Mar 9, 2011 2:37 pm • linkreport

@David C, Well I'll be. It looks like bikes _do_ get to use public space as private parking spots. Assuming there wasn't a parade on the sidewalk and the sign in question was 25 feet from the sprawling intersection of NH and F, yes, it looks like the biker was in the right.

by Paul on Mar 9, 2011 3:09 pm • linkreport

By the way, cars get to use public spaces as private parking as well. It's called parallel parking, and it's free all over town.

The only difference with bikes is that they do it above the curb rather than below it.

by BeyondDC on Mar 9, 2011 3:21 pm • linkreport

What an amazing coincidence.a security guard came out of this building - (LINK) - http://maps.google.com/maps?q=12th+and+F+NW,+Washington,+DC&layer=c&sll=38.897346,-77.028070&cbp=13,242.06,,0,1.88&cbll=38.897342,-77.02807&hl=en&sspn=0.006295,0.006295&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=12th+St+NW+%26+F+St+NW,+Washington+D.C.,+District+of+Columbia,+20005&ll=38.896937,-77.027539&spn=0.003641,0.00604&z=17&panoid=H5mo8hdgNckPxe4q-eHWjA

to tell me exactly the same thing as the guard at the Kennedy Center. I locked a bicycle to a trash can near the entrance to Metro Center at 12th and F. I walked away on a half hour errand, returned to find a guard who approached me and said he was about to use bolt cutters, cut the lock, has done it in the past, etc. In this instance the bike rack on the sidewalk was not visible to those entering the Metro from F Street, hence my improvisation. This sounds like it could be a standard training spiel for security guards although it may be just a coincidence.

by read1965 on Mar 9, 2011 3:26 pm • linkreport

MV - The only way this ever gets fixed is if people like you file complaints through formal processes. I'd start with sending a letter to the Kennedy Center and the security company that the office works for. Describe the incident and cite/quote the law. Describe the fact that he caused an intention, unwanted touching (aka a battery - an "Assault" is where a person causes "an apprehension" of a battery eg-swinging a baseball bat a foot from your head is assault, hitting you in the head with a bat is a battery). Anyway, write the letter and ask for nominal compensation as well as an agreement to educate the guards about the bike parking laws. At the end of the letter, say that if you don't hear from them in 30 days, you will file a suit in small claims court. Claim some amount of compensation so they'll notice, say $500, but if they call you to negotiate you can lower the amount as needed.

The point of doing this is not to make money, its to get their attention. The fact that you have a credible case for battery here means you are likely going to have more damages than most people who are simply harassed. These types of things happen all the time - the only way to stop them is to use the legal system. So do it, not for your pocket, but so that these companies and institutions will learn the law. You, MV, owe that to the rest of us, and to yourself.

You should file c

by D on Mar 9, 2011 3:26 pm • linkreport

Glad to know about the 25 ft rule. I kind of figured firehydrants and the like were off limits, but thought any public pole could be use. I guess the 25 ft rule is in line with the 'no parking closer than 25 ft' rule that is the default no parking rule in the District (unless a sign makes it even more restrictive.) There's also the 'no parking closer than 5 feet to an alley or driveway' default rule, but given how many people try to squeeze a small car into that 5 foot space, I'd wager not many people know about that rule ... until they get a ticket that is ...

Also, I always kind of figured that you shouldn't lock your bike to a fence enclosing the 'parking area' (i.e., the public space between the sidewalk and the property line which is usually the facade of a building in the older parts of Washington), unless you were visiting that person or patronizing that establishment ... And that if they wanted to they could put 'no locking bikes' signs to the fence since they paid for the fence. But I wonder what the law says about that? (And I don't think the reference given earlier would cover it because we have special rules in place for the 'parking area' that area intended to give the adjacent property owner limited and private use of that area in return for their 'greening' of that area.

by Lance on Mar 9, 2011 4:00 pm • linkreport

I would not start with a letter threatening suit: this will only get KC in defensive mode and finding all sorts of reasons why you are wrong. Expect stuff to be made up about how you disrespected the security guard etc and how you were lucky not to be arrested.

I would recommend starting off with a letter to KC, and perhaps cc related organizations including the people who put on the show you were watching. No threats. You could say how it spoiled your experience, and might not attend the next show. Perhaps they will take the hint and give you some cheap tickets.

by SJE on Mar 9, 2011 4:03 pm • linkreport

If you want to sue, you should get video evidence.

by SJE on Mar 9, 2011 4:04 pm • linkreport

The only difference with bikes is that they do it above the curb rather than below it.

That, and they use about one-fifteenth the amount of space!

by Gee on Mar 9, 2011 4:36 pm • linkreport

I posted a link to this article on the Kennedy Centers FB page in hopes that someone over there will notice.

Alternatively, if you call their 1-800 number, you can easily get connected to facility management or security to address the concern.

The Deputy Director of Security there is Karles Jackson; the number I was given for him (202-416-7907) didn't seem to work, but maybe you'll have better luck.

Cheers

by Omeed on Mar 9, 2011 4:53 pm • linkreport

Contacting the head of Kennedy Center security may be a good option, but I would start with asking the building staff what their policy is (and if that policy is in conflict with legal use of the sidewalk, then that is a good opportunity to talk about sidewalk as public property).

I used to work with groups that performed at the Kennedy Center, and the large number of groups, performers, and traffic going in and out of the many building entrances means that it is really difficult to get a message out to security guards working the building perimeter. Whenever we came in and had officially "cleared" vehicles, I would always get a complete rundown from security because although I had submitted all vehicle information to the right people, nobody working the loading dock had received it (even when the same vehicle was making repeated errands on the same day).

I'm not saying the guard should have acted the way he did, just that simply complaining about one guard when the whole security team does not have adequate information about bike parking laws is not going to have a meaningful effect. Talking with building security managers about the actual Kennedy Center policy may be more effective. Perhaps they don't have a policy and people are making it up as they go along? Worst case scenario, the KC does have a policy that reaches beyond their property line - once that's clarified, than GGW readers can go on a blogging mission to get it revised.

by Park Viewer on Mar 9, 2011 4:56 pm • linkreport

The Kennedy Center is considered a national monument ... Like the Washington Monument ... I wonder if that maybe means that the 'public property' around it isn't really ... but is instead NPS property ... and hence subject to their rules? It seems kind of odd that the security guard would stop people from locking their bikes in a public space without being told to do ... It's not like these guys are going to just do it for the fun of it ...

by Lance on Mar 9, 2011 6:01 pm • linkreport

Q: you obviously didnt read the article carefully: the bike rack was full. He then exercised a legal option to park his bike.

The security guard exceeded his authority. Even if he was MPD police, in uniform, he still would not have the authority to behave as he did. i.e., its not the status of the guard, its that he is creating laws out of thin air.

The security guard could have ASKED him to park elsewhere, and directed him to another option. Acting like an authority unto himself is not the solution, and should be resisted.

by SJE on Mar 9, 2011 6:36 pm • linkreport

I have removed the comment by 'q' because it contained ad hominem attacks. The non-ad hominem part of his comment (for the context of SJE's reply) was:

There are plenty of bike rack around the building, and for everyone's information those so called "rent-a-cops" are POLICE and have arrest authority in DC.

by David Alpert on Mar 9, 2011 7:04 pm • linkreport

How do you know he didn't ask him SJE? Were you there? There are always two sides to a story. As a law enforcement officer myself, I know people are quick to pass judgement before the facts are in. I'm not saying he didn't act accordingly but we should hear his side before passing judgement.

by q on Mar 9, 2011 7:08 pm • linkreport

yep, it's sounding like this is national park service property ... and hence the cop was in his right to ask that the bike not be locked there:

On June 16, 1971, Congress authorized appropriations for one year to the Board of Trustees for operating and maintenance expenses.[28] In following years, the appropriations were provided to the National Park Service for operations, maintenance, security, safety and other functions not directly related to the performing arts functions.[28] The National Park Service and the Kennedy Center signed a cooperative agreement requiring each party to pay a portion of the operating and maintenance costs based on what proportion of time the building was to be used for performing arts functions.[29] The agreement did not specify who was responsible for long-term capital improvement projects at the Kennedy Center, along with only periodic funding by Congress for one-time projects, the condition of the facility had deteriorated by 1990.[29]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_F._Kennedy_Center_for_the_Performing_Arts

by Lance on Mar 9, 2011 7:46 pm • linkreport

Lance,

1. That guy is not a cop.
2. The Kennedy Center is a separate entity from the NPS. Or else they wouldn't be unable to sign a cooperative agreement.
3. Even if it were NPS land, the sidewalk still isn't.

So it's not a cop, it isn't NPS property and he was not in his rights. Three strikes, you're out.

by David C on Mar 9, 2011 9:58 pm • linkreport

@ Lance:

Take a look at page 9 of the link below. The Kennedy Center is technically a part of the Smithsonian, but in reality it is managed by its Board which is mostly made up of Ex Officio officials from the rest of the Federal Government. In the documents I've seen, it essentially classifies itself as a part of the Federal Government as a whole, but not a part of any of the three branches. Overall, it is definitely Federal property but it is not owned by the National Park Service (although the NPS does help to operate it in some ways).

On a side note, does the NPS have a notably different policy on locking bikes to posts than the DC Code?

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d061025.pdf

by Adam on Mar 9, 2011 10:06 pm • linkreport

The park service has jurisdiction over the sidewalks on Pennsylvania Avenue and around the parks/reservations throughout the city as well.

I can see very legitimate safety reasons for not parking a bike in an entrance at a major event venue, where an emergency evacuation would be impacted by an improperly placed bicycle, same as a Metro entrance.

That said, there should never be a deficiency of bike parking at a venue like the Kennedy Center-figure it out, its not hard.

by anon on Mar 10, 2011 6:26 am • linkreport

Interesting note about prohibiting the chaining of bikes to trees under 10 inches in diameter.

Folks, please do not chain your bikes to trees, no matter what the size. Might sound silly, but the cumulative impacts in a busy are can be harmful.

by Live Oak on Mar 10, 2011 9:28 am • linkreport

I wish it was legal for me to park my car on the sidewalk when I cant find parking. Or I'm generally too lazy to find parking. That would be sweet!!

by Anon on Mar 10, 2011 10:09 am • linkreport

Q: True, I don't know whether the guard directed MV Jantzen to other spots. It is implied by the story that this did not happen. It would be a glaring omission in the story, if true. Nevertheless, removing legally parked bikes exceeds his authority.
Can the author of the post speak to this???

by SJE on Mar 10, 2011 10:21 am • linkreport

Can I take up a parking space with a bicycle if I follow the same rules and pay the same toll? Just wondering.

I know this came up the protest movement that created mini temporary parks in on-street parking spaces. It's sort of an in-your-face move, but would be analogous to what I do when cars block bike lanes, which is to "take the lane" and slow down car traffic in the regular lanes of the road. When I see an impatient car behind me I just point to the blocked bike lane and shrug.

Solution here would be a large sign that says "Kennedy Center Won't Let Me Chain to A Sign" and then take up a primo parking space on the street.

by Ward 1 Guy on Mar 10, 2011 10:23 am • linkreport

Anon: I wish that too. However, there are laws against parking a car anywhere. The law recognizes the difference between parking a 2000lb+ large steel object, and a 30lb small one, especially when thousands of dollars are set aside for parking he former.

by SJE on Mar 10, 2011 10:24 am • linkreport

Ward 1 guy: that sounds like a good suggestion to force the issue if KC does not respond. It would be worth paying the price for parking to make the point.

by SJE on Mar 10, 2011 10:28 am • linkreport

anon, The Park service does not have jurisdiction. They do not set laws. DC sets the laws on sidewalks. The law does not change when you step onto the National Mall. The Park Service has some say over the aesthetics of Penn Ave, but you're free to park your bike there.

I wish it was legal for me to park my car on the sidewalk when I cant find parking.

And you think that is analogous to parking a bike on the sidewalk? BTW, you can park scooters on the sidewalk - and maybe motorcycles (I see motorcycles parked on the sidewalk, so I suspect it's legal). So it has to do with size, not a preference for bicycles.

Get it out of your head that cyclists want to be treated like cars. We don't. We want the right to ride on most roads - like cars - but that is only one part of it. We want to be treated different, because we are. Bikes are smaller, less deadly, non-polluting, slower, health-inducing, unstable at slow speeds, etc... and we want laws that apply to us in light of all of this. I wanted to be treated like a car, just about as much as I want to be treated like a boat.

by David C on Mar 10, 2011 10:30 am • linkreport

what I do when cars block bike lanes, which is to "take the lane" and slow down car traffic in the regular lanes of the road. When I see an impatient car behind me I just point to the blocked bike lane and shrug.

Hey, I do this too!

Interesting, I rode the 15th Street cycletracks above Lafayette Park for the first time yesterday, and noticed three things:

1) There's no signage pointing you north onto 15th from the White House, so you just kind of end up at 17th and Penn.

2) The potholes in the southbound track are crazy.

3) There are conflicting signs south of M Street and apparently zero enforcement. Yesterday at around 4, I saw at least a half-dozen vans and limousines blocking both cycletracks. Totally ridiculous.

by oboe on Mar 10, 2011 10:32 am • linkreport

Get it out of your head that cyclists want to be treated like cars. We don't. We want the right to ride on most roads - like cars - but that is only one part of it. We want to be treated different, because we are. Bikes are smaller, less deadly, non-polluting, slower, health-inducing, unstable at slow speeds, etc... and we want laws that apply to us in light of all of this. I wanted to be treated like a car, just about as much as I want to be treated like a boat.

God, the arrogance is breathtaking! You're not wearing Lycra, are you? I bet you are!

:)

by oboe on Mar 10, 2011 10:35 am • linkreport

You can't really take up a parking space.

1209.6 "Except as provided in this chapter, no person may park a bicycle upon a highway other than the roadway against the curb;"

So if you were legally parked, I'd expect a car to just park next to you. And how would you secure your bike anyway?

by David C on Mar 10, 2011 10:40 am • linkreport

Give me a break! Sounds like bullying to me!! This is laughable- I would not let a security guard or rent-a-cop tell me where to park my bike(especially if I believe I am parking legally), and I would make note of his identification while also putting him on notice- take my bike at your own personal risk!!! Really, if you don't stand up for yourself then people will take advantage of you every time. Stop acting scared, even if you are scared.

This is not that much different from all the whining about youths in the Metro going buck wild- stand up for yourself! Act like you have balls even if you don't, because usually these kids don't have any, either. Same as these security folk- most are timid as the day is long without the uniform and what may go with it.

They are also usually not that smart; since folks on this blog seem to be able to quote the relevant laws and regulations, try bluffing the security people. Bottom line- assert yourself and do not be bullied.

by KevinM on Mar 10, 2011 10:41 am • linkreport

@David C 'So it's not a cop, it isn't NPS property and he was not in his rights. Three strikes, you're out.

Sad ... So not only do you not understand how things work given the federal interest in DC, you also aren't even willing (or able?) to try to understand.

1. That guy is not a cop.
(a) We have over a 150 different police forces in the District ... and they all have the authority the enforce the law in DC. For example, run a red light in front of the State Department, and their guard has the authority to arrest you.
(b) When the government 'rents a cop' that cop gets all the authority of his non-contractor, federally employed colleagues. Don't believe me, try thumbing you nose at a TSA agent the next time you're at the airport. TSA employes contractors at most airports. They're what you foolishly dismish as 'rent a cops'.

2. The Kennedy Center is a separate entity from the NPS. Or else they wouldn't be unable to sign a cooperative agreement.

'The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - the building and grounds' was established as a national monument. No different from the establishment of the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, etc. National monuments are an asset of the National Park Service. I.e., They are responsible for their maintenance, care, and security.

'The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - the organization that puts on the shows in the building' is as Adam says, a part of the Smithsonian.

The two government organizations responsbile for the 'Kennendy Center' (i.e., the NPS and the Smithsonian) have agreements in place detailing their relationship because NPS is responsible for the building and grounds and the Smithsonian is technically just using the building and grounds .. and is its tenant for all actual purposes. The situation is no different from one where the Smithsonian would decide to put on free Kennedy Center concerts on a regular basis on say the Lincoln Memorial grounds. NPS doesn't give up control of this national monument, the Smithsonian would just be using the space.

3. Even if it were NPS land, the sidewalk still isn't.

No. As Anon at 6:26 am pointed out, this is factually false. You live in a federal city that at one time was all entirely owned directly by the federal government which had established it. Before homerule came about in the 70s different responsibilities were parsed out to different departments and agencies. The fact that one federal agency handled all property adjacent to the monuments including the streets there made sense. The fact that another agency got assigned responsibilities for all the other streets in DC other than those made sense. Originally, what is today DDOT was a department within DC's DPW (Dept of Public works) which was before homerule part was a federal board established as part of the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871. 'The Act also provided for a Board of Public Works to make improvements to the city.'
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Washington,_D.C.

So rather than just shouting off at the mouth how you think things are, take a few minutes to educate yourself first. You'll coming out looking a lot less uninformed, foolish, and immature if you do.

by Lance on Mar 10, 2011 11:19 am • linkreport

I just called the Kennedy Center and was connected to Karles Jackson. I just read the title of the article to him and he said yes they were aware of the incident as was their general councel. I think something may happen as a result, but I think the writter should have contacted Kennedy Center and reported the incident. It is the only way that action can be taken. And if it happens again, that person needs to contact the Kennedy Center. It is the best way to get change to happen

by sp on Mar 10, 2011 11:28 am • linkreport

I find it odd and disappointing that a number of commenters are haranguing Michael for not contacting the Kennedy Center. This is an interesting story which many of you enjoyed reading. Do you really want to be saying that you wish people wouldn't share their experiences with you?

The Kennedy Center clearly found out. It seems that posting a story here for people to discuss also serves as a great way of letting an organization know about a problem. He could have also emailed the KC, but somehow I suspect if he had only done that, it might have just gotten some kind of form response from customer service and little else.

by David Alpert on Mar 10, 2011 11:33 am • linkreport

We have over a 150 different police forces in the Districtnd they all have the authority the enforce the law in DC.

No we don't. It's far less than that. And only a "majority of federal law enforcement agencies have jurisdiction in the District of Columbia", not all.

When the government 'rents a cop' that cop gets all the authority of his non-contractor, federally employed colleagues.

I call BS. Let's see some evidence that any Wackenhut security guard turns into a cop once hired by the federal government.

try thumbing you nose at a TSA agent the next time you're at the airport.

I'm pretty sure that's not illegal. And only a few TSA employees have arrest power. Screeners do not.

National monuments are an asset of the National Park Service

Wrong again. Some monuments are under the control of the BLM, US Forest service, US fish and wildlife etc...

As Anon at 6:26 am pointed out, this is factually false.

I'm going to need a more reliable source than Anon at 6:26.

You live in a federal city that at one time was all entirely owned directly by the federal government which had established it.

Wow. Wrong again. THe city was never "enirely owned directly" by the federal government. The city of Georgetown predates DC and those landowners retained their rights, as did all other land owners.

Even if you were right - which you so rarely are about anything - about who owned the sidewalk. The laws are made by DC. They don't change when you pass on to NPS land.

So rather than just shouting off at the mouth how you think things are, take a few minutes to educate yourself first. You'll coming out looking a lot less uninformed, foolish, and immature if you do.

by David C on Mar 10, 2011 11:38 am • linkreport

@ Lance

Please keep reading the GAO report. It is pretty clear that the Kennedy Center (as it is presently structured) is intended to be managed directly by its Board and not NPS because of the state of disrepair the building fell into when the responsibility was shared. When you are talking about the management of the overall physical space versus the management of the performing arts events, that is an issue more to do with Federal money appropriated from the General Fund (only used for physical upkeep) vs. private donations or internal revenue (used to run the events). Either way, I think it is now handled by the Kennedy Center Board.
"In 1994, legislation was enacted that gave the Board of Trustees sole responsibility for carrying out capital improvements at the Kennedy Center. One purpose of the 1994
legislation was to provide autonomy for the overall management of the Kennedy Center, including better control over its capital projects, and to renovate the center."
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d061025.pdf (page 9)

Also take a look here for support from the NPS itself:
http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/hisnps/npshistory/formerparks.htm

@ David C

I'm not sure if Lance is right or wrong about the management of the sidewalk, but I think your critique misses a major point. The present day DC was ceded by Maryland to the Federal Government in a transaction that started in 1788 and finished in 1801. This placed all parts of the present day DC directly under the authority of the federal government. Before and after Homerule, civil services in DC were/are provided by the Federal Government. Under Homerule the DC Government exists due to Federal Law, and the DC Council was empowered to amend certain laws/regulations covering management of certain issues that only affect DC. There are certain places in DC where laws/regulations from NPS (as one example) may trump a rule or law written by the DC Council. The U.S. Congress may choose to repeal a law passed by the DC Council (e.g. handgun amendment in DC voting rights bill). I'm not saying Lance is correct about the sidewalk in this case, I am saying that your point regarding the DC Council being the supreme legislative chamber for all issues in DC is incorrect.

by Adam on Mar 10, 2011 12:10 pm • linkreport

Its true, TSA screeners do not have arrest power. They need to call in police. Of course, its always better to be courteous, whoever you are dealing with.

by SJE on Mar 10, 2011 12:10 pm • linkreport

David C, you come across as a gigantic arrogant SOB.

As for the folks who say you passively aggressively drive in the lane just to piss off drivers, what should I do every time I see a bike violate the law? Run into the nearest biker I see, just to get some retribution?

by Anon on Mar 10, 2011 12:24 pm • linkreport

@David C 'Even if you were right - which you so rarely are about anything - about who owned the sidewalk. The laws are made by DC. They don't change when you pass on to NPS land.'

I stand by my original observation that you are either unwilling (or unable) to understand how things work given the federal interest in DC.

And whether it's nowadays directly controlled by the Kennedy Center or in conjunction with the NPS as used to be the case, is of little relevance in this instance. The bottom line is that it is under federal control, and the feds get to call the shots directly. As Adam appropriately pointed out, the feds always get to call the shots anyways, directly or indirectly, but in this case if the property INCLUDING ITS SIDEWALKS is under direct federal control then there is no need for it to do so through the District government but can excercise direct control via its own security force irrespective of whether that security force is made up of federal employees or 'rent a cops'.

You're starting to symbolize for me the bad apple that gives bicyclists a bad name in this town. First you think nothing of using a national cemetery as a short cut to expedite your daily commute, now you don't want to obey the law as explained to you by someone entrusted with providing security for a federal property. Do you run red lights (and stops signs and cross walks) too?

by Lance on Mar 10, 2011 12:24 pm • linkreport

@Anon:

As for the folks who say you passively aggressively drive in the lane just to piss off drivers, what should I do every time I see a bike violate the law? Run into the nearest biker I see, just to get some retribution?

The fact that you see these two things as comparable says more about your perspective (and possibly mental stability) than reams of words ever could.

If the bike lane's blocked, I generally ride in it. If it's not, I take the traffic lane, as I would if there were no bike lane available. Nothing passive aggressive about it.

Ah! the arrogance!! Feh.

by oboe on Mar 10, 2011 12:35 pm • linkreport

Once more:

"If the bike lane's not blocked, I generally ride in it. If it is, I take the traffic lane..."

If some angry dude in a car (busily projecting his arrogance and entitlement at cyclsts) has a beef with that, it's with the UPS driver (or cabbie, or whomever), not with the cyclist.

by oboe on Mar 10, 2011 12:41 pm • linkreport

Anon: I don't see how the bikers are being passive aggressive.

"what I do when cars block bike lanes, which is to "take the lane" and slow down car traffic in the regular lanes of the road. When I see an impatient car behind me I just point to the blocked bike lane and shrug. "

The cyclist has no choice when the bike lane is blocked. Taking the lane is a matter of safety, and slowing traffic is a matter of his slower speed. Pointing to the cars blocking the bike lane explains that the driver's aggravation is misplaced: what else is he supposed to do?

I don't see how this is passive aggressive, or illegal.

by SJE on Mar 10, 2011 12:58 pm • linkreport

KevinM, I'm glad that you feel able and capable of standing up to authority. That's great -- for you. Not everybody feels that way - someone smaller than the security guard may not feel comfortable standing up to him, especially if they have had bad experiences in the past.

Don't let your ability to challenge authority make you think that you have the right to dictate to others how to behave.

by Emily WK on Mar 10, 2011 1:07 pm • linkreport

Adam,

As you state, DC laws must be approved by the Congress, so when a law - like the sidewalk law - is approved by them it carries the stamp of Congress. If there is a place in DC where laws/regulations from NPS, or another agency, trump DC laws I'd like to see an example.

Anon,

you come across as a gigantic arrogant SOB

I'm going to need you to cite your source.

Lance,

I stand by my original observation that you are either unwilling (or unable) to understand how things work given the federal interest in DC

What about the other statements that you got factually wrong, do you stand by those too? Considering your penchant for getting things wrong, your "standing by" something probably gives it less credence, not more.

whether it's nowadays directly controlled by the Kennedy Center or in conjunction with the NPS as used to be the case, is of little relevance in this instance.

What are you talking about, you said "it's sounding like this is national park service property ... and hence the cop was in his right to ask that the bike not be locked there". So, that it was NPS property was the ENTIRE FOUNDATION of your claim that the cop (who is not a cop) was within his rights. But it's not NPS property, hence - by your own logic - he was not within his rights.

The bottom line is that it is under federal control, and the feds get to call the shots directly.

They do, by approving DC laws. Which they did. And the law makes it legal to park there. And no one can pass rules capriciously or in secret. So if NPS or whoever has rules or laws that negate DC laws they must be published somewhere. Find them.

in this case if the property INCLUDING ITS SIDEWALKS is under direct federal control

You have not proven that the sidewalk is under direct federal control. You'll have to find the property plat to prove that. Sidewalks are the property of DC. If you don't believe me, try to close down the sidewalk in front of your house. If this is an exception, I'd like to see some proof.

First you think nothing of using a national cemetery as a short cut to expedite your daily commute,

Nor does the Army or the leadership of the Cemetery or any previous leaders of either or Arlington County or pretty much anyone anywhere except you.

now you don't want to obey the law as explained to you by someone entrusted with providing security for a federal property.

If it's the law, cite it.

Do you run red lights (and stops signs and cross walks) too?

Yes, but only to make it easier to punch old ladies and steal from the homeless.

by David C on Mar 10, 2011 1:29 pm • linkreport

@David C 'What are you talking about, you said "it's sounding like this is national park service property ... and hence the cop was in his right to ask that the bike not be locked there". So, that it was NPS property was the ENTIRE FOUNDATION of your claim'

No, the basis of my claim was that this was federal property controlled directly by the feds ... in this case 'maybe' being the national park service. (which it turned out until fairly recently, '94, actually was the case.)

Again, it's becoming clear that you either can't or don't want to try to understand the facts behind why you almost got yourself arrested. You're standing by your 'rights' (i.e. sticking your head in the sand) and rather than even entertaining the incredible thought that someone working for the feds at a federal building might actually be right ... given the incredible attention to detail the feds give to procedures ... You're only looking for validation of your position.

by Lance on Mar 10, 2011 2:11 pm • linkreport

Again, it's becoming clear that you either can't or don't want to try to understand the facts behind why you almost got yourself arrested.

Fact: this wasn't me. Read the byline. How many times have you been wrong in this comment thread alone? 12?

You're standing by your 'rights' (i.e. sticking your head in the sand)

How foolish of someone to stand by their rights.

and rather than even entertaining the incredible thought that someone working for the feds at a federal building might actually be right ... given the incredible attention to detail the feds give to procedures

If you have some evidence that this security guard was right, I'd entertain it. And as for incredible attention to detail...you're kidding right? One word: Salahi.

by David C on Mar 10, 2011 2:18 pm • linkreport

David C

"The bottom line is that it is under federal control, and the feds get to call the shots directly.

They do, by approving DC laws. Which they did. And the law makes it legal to park there

Wow ... how many times ...and how many people ... need to explain to you that the Feds can make their own laws directly where and when they need them. DC can only make laws (approved by Congress) over areas of jurisdiction which Congress has granted it. These areas can be administrative/judicial (e.g., DC doesn't have it's own court system or detention systme ... the feds handle it all from A to Z) or geographical (for example Klein found out pretty quickly that he couldn't put the bike lanes he wanted to put on Penn. Ave. because the feds order them changed.)

You can argue all you want over how you think it should work, but you're not making an effort to understand how it really works. For example, even if the feds say 'ok DC you can make a law where bikes can park' ... You're not understanding that the feds can say 'this law doesn't apply here'.) Penn. Avenue in front of the White House carried traffic until fairly recently ... Then the Oklahoma Bombing occured and it got closed off to traffic. No one in DC was asked if that was okay. They get to do it because ultimately this is the federal district ... Btw, I dare you to go lock your bike on the White House fence. I'll even agree to be there to take a picture of the 'event' to post here on GGW ... Should be interesting ... You'll be sure to tell them what the DC council voted about locking bikes on fences ... :)

by Lance on Mar 10, 2011 2:20 pm • linkreport

and yes, I see now it's michael who posted this thread. you'll note that he's not insisting he was right. he's not sticking his head in the sand ...

by Lance on Mar 10, 2011 2:27 pm • linkreport

Lance all I can say is this - thank God you aren't an important person and that no one listens to you.

by David C on Mar 10, 2011 2:34 pm • linkreport

After all this bitching.....

Who actually owns the Kennedy Center? The smithsonian isn't a branch of government. Perhaps it has mutated to a hidden fourth branch. Maybe the Smithsonian is the masons?

And doesn't NPS ban alcohol on the mall? Or is that just DC law?

A great case study of why DC should never be given home rule.

by charlie on Mar 10, 2011 2:41 pm • linkreport

ow many times ...and how many people ... need to explain to you that the Feds can make their own laws directly where and when they need them.

See, the operative words there are "make" and "laws". Laws have to be made. They have to passed by legislative bodies etc.... They are not made up in secret by security guards. The Treasury Department was able to close Pennsylvania Avenue because Congress passed a law giving them the "authority to close roads anywhere in the nation to protect the President." That's anywhere in the nation by the way, not just DC.

You're not understanding that the feds can say 'this law doesn't apply here'.

They can say it, but unless the law backs them up, they're wrong. If "feds" can make up any rule they like at any time they like without the authority of Congress, that is what we like to call a police state.

The law does not allow you to lock a bike to a fence, btw. And I'm not entirely sure that there isn't a sign approved by the DDOT Director that bans parking on the fence around the White House - as allowed by law. And the Secret Service has been granted, by law, a large amount of leeway when protecting the President. A law one can probably find and cite.

But this security guard had not been granted the right to behave this way by law, at least no law that anyone can produce. The only law anyone has produced is the one that says that parking a bike to a stanchion on the sidewalk is legal.

So, again, if there is a law that overrides this - produce it.

by David C on Mar 10, 2011 2:55 pm • linkreport

charlie, It's illegal to drink outside of a home, bar or other authorize establishment in DC by DC law. You can't even legally drink on the sidewalk. It's called Public Consumption of Alcohol (the police call it POCA), and I have a couple of friends who were arrested for it - though neither was remotely drunk at the time.

Smithsonian is a trust instrumentality by act of Congress, and it is functionally and legally a body of the U.S. government, but separate from the government's federal legislative, executive, and judicial branches. So, yes a fourth branch, if you will.

by David C on Mar 10, 2011 3:00 pm • linkreport

OK. It's nice to see this story has inspired a robust discussion on the Kennedy Center, the law, public space, and of course, biking and cyclists in general.

For me (I authored the post), the most relevant question is whether the sidewalk is public space, or property of the Kennedy Center. I think the DC Atlas web site makes it fairly clear that the F St sidewalk belongs to DC, not the Kennedy Center. Earlier this afternoon I sent an email to the Kennedy Center asking them to respond, though their web site doesn't have a "contact us" entry for facility/legal questions - I sent it to the generic account, so hopefully it will end up in the right hands and someone will be kind enough to respond.

I was confident enough that what I was doing was legal that I decided to continue locking my bike there even while the guard was yelling at me not to. I figured if my bike were missing after the show, I would call the police and report a crime. Not the best way to end a night at the theatre, but I thought it was the right thing to do. (As noted, I did give up after he pushed my hand away and stood smooshed against my bike and the pole, as depicted.)

Thanks to David C for citing DC code 1209.3 - this is as good a time as any to note that part (e), excluding "Stanchions or poles located within 25 feet of an intersection" is a bit meaningless without noting where one should measure from - the center of an intersection? The corner? (Note the pole I used was atop a "T" intersection, and thus not near a corner.)

I would hesitate to categorize the guard's actions as assault or battery. I tried to pick the word "shove" carefully; I wasn't struck, but he did slowly and forcefully push my hand (at that point holding the lock, about to clasp it) away from the pole. In any case, to me this is thuggery, more so given the likelihood that he was mistaken about the sidewalk being Kennedy Center property. I don't like it when people bully others.

Thanks to Omeed for posting to the Kennedy Center's FB page (http://www.facebook.com/#!/KennedyCenter?sk=wall&filter=1) and trying to get a response. And thanks as well to "sp" for contacting Ken Cen staff. Please keep us posted.

I should note the guard did tell me (repeatedly) there was another bike rack closer to the entrance, up the hill.

Not sure what the threshold for "cop" is, but by no means was this guy a cop. If you look at the photo you'll see a generic "special police" badge (which makes me wonder if this approaches illegally "impersonating a police officer") and a "security" vest. The badge on his hat looked generic; he did not identify himself in any way.

And, for the record, I don't think failing to pile on a new comment every five minutes is the equivalent of sticking one's head in the sand. I do in fact believe it is legal to park there, and I do think people should stick up for their rights, even when confronted by a rent-a-cop, or a real cop for that matter. Not every one has the constitution for it. In fact, I tried to continue parking my bike where I was sure it was legal, and then gave up because I hate conflict, I hate debating with strangers, and frankly I just wanted to go to the Kennedy Center to meet a friend to see a friggin' show. For those of you who are brave enough to continue to stand up for what you believe in, sometimes at risk to yourselves, I applaud you. And for those of you you think the Man in a Uniform is always right, well, you may continue along your ways.

by M.V. Jantzen on Mar 10, 2011 3:04 pm • linkreport

@ Charlie,

Suffice it to say this is not exactly what they taught us in School House Rock. The links below gives 2 pretty succinct descriptions. The Smithsonian's legal status has evolved over time, but essentially it is a "trust instrumentality" of the Federal Government as a whole. That means that it has many of the rights immunities the rest of the Federal Government (e.g. immunity from state insurance and tax laws) but it does not have to abide by certain laws that are only applicable to the Executive, Legislative, or Judicial branches, depending on how each law was written. The second part has been changing over time. For instance, the Smithsonian has been interpreted to be "executive agency" under the Federal Property Act, but not an '"agency" within the meaning of the Administrative Procedure Act, the Freedom of Information Act, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, or the Privacy Act.' Overall, Justice Taft, speaking as the Chancellor of the Smithsonian Board of Regents said "that the Smithsonian Institution is not, and has never been considered a government bureau. It is a private institution under the guardianship of the Government."

http://www.usoge.gov/ethics_guidance/daeograms/dgr_files/2009/do09030.pdf
http://www.justice.gov/olc/smithsonop2.htm

by Adam on Mar 10, 2011 3:14 pm • linkreport

@ Adam; yep, they are the Masons.

@DavidC; At some point in the distant past, alcohol was allowed on the Mall (at least during the 4th). Again, District law (which as you said, is strict -- applies to your porch/stoop) or federal law?

by charlie on Mar 10, 2011 3:25 pm • linkreport

Some rentacops in this town are out of control. I would report his ass and teach him a lesson.

by Brookland Rez on Mar 10, 2011 3:30 pm • linkreport

Don't trust DC Atlas to give you exact property lines; for that, take a trip to the Office of the District Surveyor and look at the maps to see exactly where property lines are.

As for the view that NPS has no jurisdiction over sidewalks, that's not true. Around NPS parks, the DC property line starts at the curb and proceeds into the street; everything from the curb back into the park is NPS property. That's why food trucks can sell around NPS parks (Farragut Square, Franklin, McPherson), but no vendors can be located within the parks. Similarly, the property around the Capitol is under the jurisdiction of (I believe) the Architect of the Capitol. On the Mall, NPS owns the sidewalks, DC owns the streets, but there's a pre-Home Rule federal law that prohibits commercial activities on those streets.

So, the easiest solutions: #1 Contact the Kennedy Center and complain about the guard's actions. #2 Work with the Kennedy Center to put up more bike racks, both outside and inside their wildly expensive parking garages. #3 Check the Surveyor's records to see whether the sidewalk is actually DC property. #4 If the security guard really bothered you, file complaint with MPD which issues licenses to all non-government security guards with either arrest power or firearms carrying authority.

by Fritz on Mar 10, 2011 4:20 pm • linkreport

I love the "call the cops" responses here. Does anyone really believe the cops will back up a cyclist over a rent-a-cop, or anyone else who represents even a modicum of authority, however inconsequential? Calling the cops would be a colossal waste of time. Any cop who bothers to show will likely be p!ssed (s)he was pulled into what (s)he would surely consider was a bullsh!t issue being blown out of proportion by smartass cyclist.

by Blue-eyed Devil on Mar 10, 2011 5:10 pm • linkreport

@charlie At some point in the distant past, alcohol was allowed on the Mall (at least during the 4th)
So was pot smoking.

by inhaler on Mar 10, 2011 5:27 pm • linkreport

@Fritz 'As for the view that NPS has no jurisdiction over sidewalks, that's not true. Around NPS parks, the DC property line starts at the curb and proceeds into the street; everything from the curb back into the park is NPS property.

Actually, your use of the term 'property line' is technically wrong here. Practically ALL roads and streets in the District of Columbia are titled to the federal government. The District of Columbia government is given management and maintenance rights and responsibilites for some of the roadways (and that may the be demarcation line you're referring to) but ALL the property (sidewalk, street, front yard in the L'Enfant City) technically is legally titled to (and thus owned) by the federal government.

This discussion came up some months back as part of the debate over whether the feds could/should get involved in how the streetcars should be powered ...

by Lance on Mar 10, 2011 6:17 pm • linkreport

I read and enjoy (and often learn from)the posts on GGW, but I am often so turned off by the tone of the comments here that I have stopped reading them. I took a chance on this one because I was interested in different perspectives on this issue. How disappointing to see the same arrogance and disrespect that makes me avoid the comments section in the first place. Calling others "immature" and "uneducated" does absolutely nothing to advance your viewpoint. Please use this space to promote greater understanding of the issues and practice civil dialogue, especially when you disagree. Thank you.

by MB on Mar 10, 2011 7:32 pm • linkreport

@ Emily WK-

Not trying to dictate to others how to behave, but I am trying to show how ridiculous I believe it is for people to act cowardly towards rent-a-cops and security guards, especially when you are in the right. Stand up for your rights!

by KevinM on Mar 11, 2011 9:06 am • linkreport

Kevin, it might be ridiculous to you, but when I am confronted by a man in uniform who outweighs me by a hundred pounds and is behaving aggressively, your advice is going to go out the window in the interest of self-preservation. Not everyone has the ability to stand up in the way that you think we should.

by Emily WK on Mar 11, 2011 10:15 am • linkreport

q: I know people are quick to pass judgement before the facts are in

And more than a few of them wear badges.

by Dave J on Mar 13, 2011 9:17 am • linkreport

Just out of curiosity, why wasn't anon's posting of 12:24 PM deleted since it clearly contains ad hominem attacks. I guess when you own the blog, you get to decide what counts as ad hominem and what doesn't.

by Josh S on Mar 14, 2011 10:49 am • linkreport

@Josh S,

As in the case of libel, the truth is a defense. David C *is* a giant arrogant SOB...but he's *our* SOB.

Heh.

by oboe on Mar 14, 2011 10:54 am • linkreport

Josh S: You're right, that one is over the line. I didn't see it at first, and oboe already replied, so it probably doesn't make sense to delete now. But if I see things like that in the future I will indeed delete them.

by David Alpert on Mar 14, 2011 10:59 am • linkreport

It's true though. My mother is a total B. She'd say so herself.

by David C on Mar 14, 2011 11:16 am • linkreport

"I like to think that the legal authority that comes with a badge and a gun limits the officer to carefully enforcing actual laws, not their own made-up, capricious rules that have no basis in law."

Where have you been for the last 30 years in America?

by Joe on Mar 14, 2011 11:20 am • linkreport

I biked to KC yesterday afternoon to check out an event featured in the maximum INDIA collection of events. When I tried to lock my bike up to a bus stop sign because the racks across from the entrance were totally full, a security guard politely told me that I couldn't lock my bike there but that I could find more space further down. She even pointed out a staircase I could use. She thanked me and I thanked her back. Honestly, it wasn't a huge deal. I wish there were more bike racks everywhere but I'm guessing non-cyclists would be more up for supporting bike racks and other cycling amenities if cyclists weren't so self-entitled all the time. Chill out and be kind.

by SK on Mar 14, 2011 12:02 pm • linkreport

I certainly hope that David Alpert isn't referring to my post when he says

I find it odd and disappointing that a number of commenters are haranguing Michael for not contacting the Kennedy Center.

What I posted was this:

It might be a great public service to let Kennedy Center management know that their security folks are making threats of this kind, which they have no authority to do. I have the feeling the right person at KC, if you found them, would be receptive.

If the guy was actually cutting locks of bikes and confiscating them under these circumstances he was engaging in vandalism and theft. Politely pointing that out to the KC would likely get their attention.

I think this blog provides a terrific forum for a lot of important issues, and if the blog post on its own got the KC's attention, that's wonderful.

My point was motivated by the conviction that the best way to address a problem is to go straight to the source and see if you can ... address the problem. If calls to the KC were not productive, then you'd know other kinds of remedies were needed, perhaps including keeping the issue alive on the blog (not to mention the sorts of legal threats and action others have suggested).

I don't think my remark can be construed, by any stretch, as a criticism of the OP, who showed considerable guts in handling the incident in question, and did a great service by documenting it in this post.

by Gee on Mar 14, 2011 2:01 pm • linkreport

Gee: No, I was more thinking of some others which were saying more like "Michael should have this to them first." And the one I deleted, I think, which was more harsh about it.

by David Alpert on Mar 14, 2011 2:09 pm • linkreport

I did some checking and found out that the security staff at the Kennedy Center, like other federal government sites in the District of Columbia are "special police officers", sworn and commissioned by the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). These security personnel have full arrest authority.

As for them cutting off a lock, I would expect that they wouldn't do that because it is a violation of MPD policy. If the officer in question assualted you should have reported him. I'm sure the Kennedy Center security staff would have been very inerested in knowing what occured.

It is very interesting that you had this type of problem there... I've always had good experiences at the Kennedy Center. You really showed him. I always wondered, do you have to be concerned about him suing you for taking liberties with his photo without his permission?

by Don Utz on Mar 18, 2011 3:22 pm • linkreport

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