Civil Rights

Cruel, Unnecessary, Illegal and Immoral Harassment of the Houseless by LAPD

By Brian Connely

On the streets between Venice and Santa Monica, the LAPD handed out twenty $160 tickets to homeless individuals the other night. Their crime? Where they’re going to sleep that night. It’s against the law to place a sleeping bag, etc., down on a Los Angeles sidewalk before 9:00 p.m. No camping. A few nights before, just down the block, a police car rode up on me as I lay on the sidewalk. A cop yelled at me to, “Pick my shit up!” it was 7:45ish p.m. Disappear, Nowhere Man.

Even just propping up all that you have left and standing up wasn’t enough to stop the citations. The cops were “sending a message.” Society doesn’t want to see you. WE don’t want to see you. The tickets were issued just minutes before 9 p.m. And if you can’t pay? For example–you don’t have a job–the ticket may double, community service may be required, a warrant might follow…

And we’ll be waiting at 6 a.m., to make sure you’re “out-of-sight” for the rest of the day. Horns, sirens, beeps…beams of white light sweeping across bodies and cardboard on the sidewalk. You recognize the thuggish nature of it all when you see it with your own eyes. Welcome to the 1%’s police state.

Center stage: The police. In the wake of the crimes of the banks, it’s impossible to ignore the reality of the cops being used as tools to suppress the truth. Not one banker of import went to jail, but the homeless are scapegoated–almost every other person in America marginalized in some way. Now the 1%-controlled media are saying that bankers did go to jail as if it’s 1984. The past has been rectified. All is well. Nothing to see here. Move along. And if you don’t move along, the police will be there. Occupy!

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