Aug 25 2006

New Video Shows LAPD Harassment of Homeless

LAPD harrasses homelessGUESTS: Ernest Savage, independent film maker, Becky Dennison, Co-Director of the Los Angeles Community Action Network

On Monday August 21st, officials from the City of Los Angeles and the American Civil Liberties Union tried to reach a compromise over police treatment of the homeless. The ACLU has a lawsuit to try to block arrests of homeless people who camp on public sidewalks. Police Chief William J. Bratton and City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo vowed to fight the suit, claiming it hampers their ability to “clean up Skid Row.” Yesterday, in a press conference, the Los Angeles Community Action Network released video footage of LAPD officers confiscating personal property from homeless people and dumping it onto other streets. The footage also shows LAPD officers arresting homeless people for the “crime” of possessing milk crates or shopping carts.

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4 responses so far

4 Responses to “New Video Shows LAPD Harassment of Homeless”

  1. Terrion 25 Aug 2006 at 12:16 pm

    This is not a new subject on the abuse and mistreatment of the homeless in Los Angeles. I lived for 5 years “on the row.” While I was not homeless myself, living in a loft at 6th and San Pedro, I witnessed and filed complaints about a variety of abuses by the city workers.

    The crews that would clean up the streets (monthly) along with the cops would come and hassle the homeless, threatening arrest and only allowing them to take what they could carry. No carts, no crates.

    Then they would come with big trash trucks or tractors to scoop up the belongings of these indigent peoples. After which the street would be sprayed with a chemical mix that was supposedly something like lysol.

    I can’t tell you how many times I was hassled by cops or city workers for alerting these people that they were coming. And on many occaisions I was sprayed by the chemical trucks.

    One thing I would like to comment on is this isn’t a “gentrification” issue at all. As was mentioned on the show. This is an issue about sweeping what we as a society don’t care to see or deal with, under the carpet. For some horrid reason, if you end up homeless or on welfare or on hard times, our culture rejects you completely.

    When the vendors of the bead and clothing district hired their own policing force to move the more aggressive homeless out, in the 1990s, it wasn’t the proverbial white elitist business owners pushing for this. The mix of people was a variety of cultures.

    It is my belief that we as a culture here in Los Angeles would rather “lock them up” or “put them away” than address the social issues that put these poor people into the streets, in the first place.

    As for the police in downtown wasting tax dollars on the homeless for milk crate violations, this is unconscionable. It is outrageous that our police force would waste tax dollars and time filling the jails with the homeless when their biggest complaint in fighting crime here in Los Angeles is a lack of resources!

    I applaud these young people for keeping the plight of the homeless in front of us.


  2. Jo-Joon 27 Aug 2006 at 12:29 pm

    If you own property in the area, and have workers in the area that have to access your business, who witness the lawlessness of the so-called homeless smoking crack, stabbing, beating and other crimes, you would want the problem controlled. The milk crate issue is nothing more than probale cause to contact the individual and take care of policing the area. Trying to keep it safe for the general public.

  3. joe clarkon 07 May 2013 at 11:42 am

    Jo-Jo, what is your evidence that these homeless people were doing what you claim that they are? Furthermore neither you nor the LAPD understand basic police procedure, if the property is something such as crack yes you would seize it but you don’t dump it, it along with the homeless person would be brought in.

    The crack would used as evidence.

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