the screen above to see Dr. Suzy and Max talk about the LAPD Raid
with Chris Blatchford on Fox 11 News.
Afterwards, see some of the interview that they couldn't run on Fox,
including Blatchford's bird's eye view as a crime reporter for 16
more information, call 213.749.1330. VIDEO
LAPD Raid on Dr. Susan Block's Studios
& Galleries Starts with Big Guns, Ends with Nothing
(But Another Huge Bill for the Taxpayer)
2.27.00 : Saturday
night, February 26th, at about 9-9:30 PM (PT), an unprecedented LAPD
raid took place against the broadcast studios and art galleries of
HBO star, best-selling author, public access icon, Internet broadcaster
and sex educator Dr. Susan Block. Heavily armed elite LAPD officers
claiming to be a SWAT team, wearing bulletproof vests and carrying
high-powered rifles, forcibly entered the building, without warrants,
about 45 minutes before the scheduled live broadcast of “The
Dr. Susan Block Show” on www.radiosuzy1.com.
Helicopter gunships with nightvision technology buzzed overhead. Eyewitnesses
said that SWAT Team members with what looked like M16 rifles surrounded
the building and cordoned off the area to pedestrians. The operation
was coordinated by Metro Vice Squad and Central Divisions of the LAPD,
including Watch Commander Valez, Sergeant Sanchez, Central Vice Unit
Sergeant Kilgore, Detective Katherine Robi, and Officers Morales,
Moreno and Malik.
Film clips from security
cameras show LAPD with guns on Max Lobkowicz, executive producer of
the show, Kim Mendoza, art curator, and several other staff members.
When Dr. Block stepped out of her dressing room she was held at gunpoint
by LAPD uniformed officers. She was detained and questioned, separate
from her staff, for about twenty minutes, while the producers, camera
people and some of the guests were frisked. Then, the staff and guests
were permitted back upstairs (some 50 guests crossed police lines
to get in), and the show was allowed to go on. But most of the officers
stayed, watching, searching and intimidating guests and staff, for
some two and a half hours.
What was this all about?
LAPD officials don’t really know. Here was their story when they arrived.
“Four armed Hispanic men who had robbed and kidnapped someone were
seen forcing their way into the building by a passerby.” The SWAT
team was there to search for the gunmen.
They determined that
there were no gunmen or hostages in the building within a few minutes.
Yet they spent two and a half hours inside Dr. Block’s studios and
galleries, although official police records state they were here for
10 minutes. Do we have a Ramparts in every neighborhood?
They interrogated Dr.
Block, her staff and guests about the nature of the show, which half
of the officers said they watched. LAPD officers blocked off access
to critical Internet broadcast servers and other equipment. Vice specialists
searched through film archives. Other officers looked through the
studio refrigerator, searched the bathrooms, combed through the books
in the library, monitored Chief Engineer Theron Marks’ mixing of the
live show, and checked out the erotic art in the galleries. Finally,
they confiscated a copy of Dr. Block’s HBO show “Radio Sex TV” (executive
produced by HBO Senior Vice President in charge of Documentary and
Late Night Programming Sheila Nevins, and produced by Dave Bell, who,
coincidentally, also created the reality TV series “LAPD”).
What caused this bizarre
but fully armed police raid on a downtown LA art gallery and broadcast
studio? Was it the smell of sex? The erotic art? The controversial,
scantily clad cable host? Her producer/husband’s radical past? The
Jonathan Taylor Spielberg connection? ? The interracial nature of
the staff? The building’s proximity to the new all-powerful Staples
This is the second, and
far more physically threatening LAPD assault upon “The Dr. Susan Block
Show.” The first, which took place in January, 1998, also occurred
under mysterious circumstances and resulted in no charges being pressed.
Under the direction of
Mayor Dick Riordan and Chief Bernard C. Parks, this kind of anti-culture,
anti-art, anti-sex police action becomes a major stumbling block for
redevelopment and economic growth of downtown Los Angeles, not to
mention an assault on our basic freedoms as individuals.
We urge the Mayor’s Office,
the Chief’s Office, the LA City Council and its members to investigate
this government invasion and attack upon the dignity and freedom of
all Angelenos. This city is not just made up of major film companies
like Disney, but of emerging studios with diverse visions. We ask
our subscribers, viewers, listeners, clients, friends and fans to
call the mayor’s office at 213.847.2489. We
ask our subscribers to send this message on to friends, media contacts,
art galleries, political representatives and other appropriate parties.
For demonstration information,
call the offices of BlockFilms at 213.749.1330. Ask for Max Lobkowicz
or Kim Mendoza. Dr.
Susan Block's Journal will carry the full story with photos in
about a week. In the meantime, we encourage all artists, journalists
and others to help us put a stop to this kind of police intimidation.
The Dr. Susan Block Institute
for the erotic arts & sciences
Los Angeles 2.28.00
An Open Letter to Los Angeles
Mayor Richard Riordan
February 29, 2000
Dear Mayor Riordan,
Please allow us to introduce ourselves
before we get to the point of this letter. We are Dr. Susan M. Block
and Maximillian R. Lobkowicz. Dr. Block is an internationally renowned
sex educator, best-selling author, host of "The Dr. Susan Block Show"
in LA and "Radio Sex TV" on HBO. Mr. Lobkowicz is the executive producer
of "The Dr. Susan Block Show," as well as the former publisher of
your community paper, The Brentwood Bla Bla, along with Eli
Broad and his financial group. We currently publish Dr. Susan Block's
Journal online at www.drsusanblock.com.
We are writing because we are extremely
troubled by a Los Angeles Police Department raid that took place at
our broadcast studios and art galleries this past Saturday night,
February 26. As the press release that follows explains, heavily armed
LAPD officers came to our studio/gallery door, informed us that they
were SWAT team members (though we later were told they were not),
forcibly entered our facility, telling us that they were chasing after
four armed robber/kidnappers, then held us, our partners and staff
Within minutes, they realized there were
no gunmen in our studios or art galleries, but they stayed for two
and a half hours. They brought the operations of our Internet/TV studio
to a halt an hour before a live broadcast. They rummaged through our
stuff-our tapes, our computers, the books in our library, the art
on our walls--and intimidated the guests at our show, all without
our permission and without a warrant. They threatened, they laughed,
they pointed guns. As artists, educators and Angelenos, we find this
disgraceful and totally unacceptable.
We feel that you, as our mayor and our
neighbor, bear responsibility for allowing this invasion that is unparalleled
in LA history. Saturday night, February 26, 2000, police officers
claiming to be SWAT team members forced their way into an art gallery
and broadcast studio in the heart of our beloved city.
We cannot create a great city of diversity,
culture, technology and commerce when we have a police force that
is shooting, lying, breaking laws, violating civil rights and threatening
all areas of the community. Perhaps they got rid of search warrants.
Even if they have, we suggest that you take personal responsibility
for your police force, as we will.
We are not the enemies of the police.
Actually, we have many friends and family relations, as well as fans
of the show, in the LAPD. We feel that the system that led the police
to force their way into our studio is as dangerous to police officers
as it is to us. The corruption of this system is evident in the headlines
we're reading every day now. We see it in LAPD Chief Bernard Park's
own admission that fraudulent officers took advantage of lax supervision
to carry out criminal acts. Former LAPD Chief Willie Williams warned
you of this corruption. Now it is rampant and impossible to ignore.
For us, it has literally forced its way into our workplace.
We believe that just as some officers
engage in "racial profiling," that in our case, we were "sexually
profiled," assumed to be criminals because we are sex educators. This
is an unjust, intolerable practice. It is outlaw police work that
will only further drag down the city of LA. It costs us millions in
taxpayer dollars. It creates fear of police officers and violence
in the streets. These policies must be reversed. The police must be
brought under control. We will not have our civil rights trampled
under the guise of protecting people. We need meaningful police reform.
Chief Parks has admitted, "we (the LAPD)
as an organization provided the opportunity" for police corruption
to thrive. But when will he sit down with his officers and tell them
We would like to meet with you personally
to discuss this further. You may choose not to meet with us. Then
we will work to make sure that this history is recorded. Please call
us or have one of your staff call us at 213.749.1330. If not, we will
be at your door protesting censorship and a police force that is dangerously
out of control.
Sincerely and with best wishes,
Susan M. Block, Ph.D. and Maximillian R. Lobkowicz
THE DR. SUSAN BLOCK SHOW
THE SPEAKEASY GALLERY
cc: Los Angeles Police Department Chief
Bernard C. Parks