PAVEMENT: The Laughing Man

The Laughing Man is the 3rd in my new LA Weekly series, PAVEMENT.
It’s a print story, video and photo gallery.

I met Freeway Rick at a party a few months ago. I’d been trying to meet him for a while. I ran into him at Hooters in Hollywood when I was doing The Gizmo Matrix at the Cage vs Cons thing. He’s not what I’d expected. He’s emerged as a very vocal community activist with some enlightened ideas about education and the Prison Industrial Complex. I picked him up at LAX. He was just back from Philly where he’d been doing interviews and speaking at prison re-entry centers. I tagged along as he went to the LAPD‘s (Los Angeles Poverty Department) production of “The State of Incarceration” at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica.


excerpt: ​The wad of crumpled $20 bills stashed under Ollie North’s pillow had Freeway Rick Ross’ fingerprints all over it when the CIA got caught slanging rocks in South Central back in the ’80s. Grimy, crumpled and smeared with ghetto tears, the deal bought Freeway Rick a very public trial. His drug-trafficking sentence went from life to 20 years after he took the lead prosecutor over his knee in open court and spanked him with his own law book. Although the CIA connection has never been proved, the story surfaces in a biopic about Ross that Nick Cassavetes wrote and will direct. Ross has the new draft of the script in his pocket on this day, which might be why he’s laughing.

read the entire story in print in the LA Weekly, or online here; LA Weekly