Councilwoman Cindy Allen Fabricates Encounter

By: 
Stephen Downing

On Oct. 28 Long Beach Councilwoman Cindy Allen posted the following statement on her Instagram account:

“Earlier today, a person who harasses me online and who attends the council meetings to berate and yell, approached me and my staff member as we were leaving an event. He invaded my personal space and put his phone in my face to record me as he yelled at me. I put my phone up to cover myself as he stood very close to me. There was no physical contact and our phones did not touch.

“His claims are completely false. My staff member witnessed the whole thing and I imagine his camera recording or any others from the street or local businesses, those should be released immediately so that people can witness his hostile actions.

“It is beyond disturbing that members of the public are fabricating and circulating information that is unequivocally false.”

The Background Story

The Beachcomber learned Councilwoman’s Allen’s post was the result of an encounter she experienced on Oct. 28 with Rodolfo Cortes, a 35-year-old area resident who describes himself as a community advocate.

The Beachcomber obtained the 19-second video [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbpBvQ1ncBw] from a confidential source on Oct. 28 and compared Allen’s statement to the picture and sound recorded.

The picture opens on a nine-foot-wide sidewalk bordered by a fence at right frame and the street on the left frame, pointing toward a corner that appears to be 15 feet from the camera position, stationed on the sidewalk within three feet of the fence.

At the one-second mark, Councilwoman Allen, accompanied by a woman, rounds the corner and walks toward the camera. At the 3-second mark Allen puts her hand up to shade her eyes as if looking to see the person who calls out her name, “Miss Allen?”

The Beachcomber confirmed that the voice on the video is Cortes.

As Allen continues walking toward the camera Cortes’ continues, “Is it true that you’re running for District One after Mary Zendejas gets arrested for cheating on the election?”

During those seconds the woman with Allen separates toward the curb while Allen smiles and continues walking straight toward the camera position, rather than moving toward the curb with her companion.

The camera then begins to move backwards as Allen continues walking toward the lens.

Allen then looks down at her purse, withdraws a cell phone and still smiling, quickly brings the cell phone up and shoves it into frame.

Cortes’ voice is then heard emitting a sound that conveys sudden pain as the camera lens is abruptly turned leftward and once again captures Allen laughing as she walks from the camera, still three feet from the fence, as her companion moves to catch up with her.

The Beachcomber review of the video revealed no invasion of Allen’s personal space, she was not yelled at and a phone was not put to her face as alleged in the councilwoman’s Instagram statement.

Allen did not put her phone up to cover herself. She deliberately shoved her phone toward Cortes’ camera while intentionally closing the distance between them. She physically invaded Cortes’ personal space near the wall and shoved against him as she moved past, laughing.

The review left this reporter with the impression that Allen’s actions were malicious as opposed to self-protective.

Cortes Interview

In an exclusive interview with the Beachcomber on Oct. 29, Cortes said that following a Rex Richardson-for-Mayor political event – held at the Providence Gardens senior living apartment complex near Downtown Long Beach – that “out of the corner of my eye, I saw Councilwoman Allen coming around the corner and decided it was a good time to ask her a question that was on the minds of many Long Beach constituents.”

Cortes said the question had as its foundation allegations and rumors about election irregularities surrounding the 12 ballot Zendejas election win and ballot harvesting at Long Beach senior living facilities.

When asked about the confrontation with Allen, Cortes’ description of the encounter substantially aligned with the Beachcombers review of the videotape that he acknowledged making of the event.

“She slashed her arm up against mine right up onto my face. I could feel my glasses moving back,” Cortes said,

He continued: “She was really hostile toward me and I was really shook up. I could feel my heart going really fast. Two other people who I had just said goodbye to were down the street, so I called them and they confirmed what I was feeling. My heart was racing. I didn’t feel good, so we called 911.”

Cortes said the police arrived first, “pretty quickly and the officer tried to get my statement but I think I was kind of at a loss for words so they had me sit on the curb until paramedics came.”

Cortes said that the paramedics subsequently arrived, examined him and based on the trauma he described along with what they saw as an alarming reading of his vitals, they recommend that he be transported to the hospital emergency room. Cortes said he agreed.

Once at the hospital and admitted to a private examination room Cortes said that the two police officers from the scene – one named Garcia whose serial number is 10913 – arrived and conducted an interview.

Cortes related his story and agreed to provide the video via airdrop to the officers. He said that the officers then left the examining room and returned a few minutes later.

Cortes said that when the officer returned after viewing the video that Officer Garcia said, ‘Sir, this is a battery. Would you like to press charges?’”

Cortes said he agreed to sign a crime report and the officers provided him with a receipt.

The Beachcomber reviewed the elements of 242 P.C. (battery) with Cortes and his replies to questions relative to the criminal elements required for a criminal prosecution aligned with the plain language of the law – most all of which is independently supported by the video recording.

Conviction under PC 242 permits up to six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.

The Beachcomber examined the report receipt, filed as DR# 22-52920. Cortes was not provided with a copy of the report. He also signed a blank LBPD report form titled “Private Person’s Arrest Report and was provided with a copy.

Cortes said the officers departed and he was released from the hospital after his vitals improved several hours later.

Cortes acknowledged that he attends council meetings but denied yelling at council members. He also said that Cindy Allen follows him on Twitter but could not recall that he ever posted on any of her social media accounts. He said he does not harass anyone, but that he does speak out on issues important to the community and has made statements in public session related to what he sees as the politics of Long Beach being corrupt.

The Beachcomber was unable to reach Councilwoman Allen for comment.

Stephen Downing is a resident of Long Beach and a retired LAPD deputy chief of police.
stephen.beachcomber@gmail.com

 

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Comments

Good job of reporting. So many of our "machine" council and other officials think they are immune from obeying the very laws they create. And the LBPost does a great cover up. Their article had no input except for Allen's lies. Thank you for exposing the truth.

Another great piece, thank you Steve and Beachcomber.
I hope Rodolfo sues the City of Long Beach and Cindy Allen.
I also hope he gets to share his story on a more personal level soon.
There is something REALLY DISTURBING happening here, a bigger picture, the suppression of the public's right to engage public officials, to ask questions, and to critique them. These public officials swore to uphold the constitution. Perhaps they missed the part about the First Amendment. Or perhaps they missed the part about public officials in California and the Brown Act.

WOW how mature of Allen! why could she not just ignore him and walk around him? I guess she just thinks she can get away with this immature behavior. If not for her aid pulling her away, who knows what else she would have done. Like i said LBC is a criminal organization. Lock her up!

Lock her up for what.... Nothing in this video constitutes a crime. Cortes, if you were traumatized by this incident, you need to put on your big boy shorts.

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