While looking through the NPPA listserv I found several extremely exaggerated accounts of him "working" in East Palo Alto where he claims he spent lots of time doing narc raids and car chases in 1996. He also blows the number of homicides way way way out of proportion.
"There are a number of zones in the United States that pack just as much punch as the hot-spot of the week and never get coverage. Look at East Palo Alto, CA, in 1995 it was the homocide capitol of the US with almost 800 "suspicious" DOAs/homocides in this small roughly 2 mile city of 23,500 people, only 40 cops. I was there in 1996 frequently, it was a war zone (been cleaned up, literally by a new Sheriff). New Orleans' underbelly , and of course my home town "combat zone" the projects in Brooklyn."
For the record, East Palo Alto was the murder capital in the U.S. (per capita) in 1992 with 42 homicides. In 1995, they had six murders, not 800. For him to say that it was a war zone in 1996 is pure fiction.
Here he talks about being shot at and involved in gun battles in East Palo Alto:
"Not to sound like an ass (which I am sure a number of you think I sound like often), sometimes close & scared is the only way to get the photo. I admit, as I have before, most of my firefight/gun fight photos were taken in NYC, Boston, D.C., Redwood City/East Palo Alto (CA) and other places in the U.S., but gun fight is a gun fight. Most of my gun drawn and aimed photos are on rooftops, in project stairways and backyards, most of the time 18mm-85mm because it is the only way ( I really suggest owning threat level 3 bullet-vest for this). I know it is very different from Nicaragua, but not far off. I know that I have been shot at to many times, and have bee thankul for wearing the Kevlar because I prefer a broken rib to a hole in me"
More talk of "gun play" in East Palo Alto - the HOMOcide capitol
"I have a number of images of gun play upclose & personal, have a few photos of guns being aimed at me, photos of riot situations from inside the riot & so on, I do not need to travel to find the wars, they are here. I spend a lot of time when I can in the inner cities and in heavy drug & homocide areas , from parts of NYC to East Palo Alto (the homocide capitol of the US for 2 years)."
Then he was involved in a high-speed pursuit with the California Highway Patrol that ended in East Palo Alto. A look at 187 articles in the San Francisco Chronicle archive from 1996 yielded NO stories of high-speed chases, especially one involving eight sheriff/police departments chasing a 14-year-old boy through five cities and two counties:
"The California Highway Patrol, Golden Gate Division, is one such department that has lead perps in front of me on purpose durring a bust to make sure I got there face, esspecially is the perp still have the crime evidence in their hands, that way when the images are published the evidence is matter-of-fact. I find the expressions of perps add to the image and make it more dramatic, although sometimes no face is better. One photo where it works was taken in East Palo Alto, CA which had been the murder capital of the US in 92 & 93, the CHP unit I was with was lead on a chase that ended up involving the CHP, San Mateo & Santa Clara county sheriffs and the municipal police from 5 police departments (the chase went through 2 counties and 6 towns/cities). When the car finially slammed to a halt, I mean slammed, the driver drove up to a wall by accident. The photo shows the face of a 14 year old boy trying to hide his gun (later found to have been used in a murder) and conceal about 18 grams of cocaine, he is there looking scared and inncocent with 3 officers with shot guns advancing on him. The boy is guilty obviously, he was charged as an adult for drug trafficing, so in the eyes of the law I did not photograph a minor."
Apparently there were riots in East Palo Alto, although there are no records of any riots there, and a search of the Chronicle archives for 1996 shows NOTHING to support that claim.
"I see Brooklyn a lot (although the IRA bombings in the U.K. were more polite than the riots in East Palo Alto, CA)."
So Frischling, where can we see your photos of these riots in East Palo Alto and of the boy hiding his gun and cocaine after that epic car chase? While you're searching your archives, can you find the photos of IRA bombings as well?
All these photos certainly sound captivating - why don't you put them on your portfolio?