Santa Cruz is attacking houseless people [link]
Santa Cruz homeless activists distributed several hundred "Empty Buildings Are the Crime" stickers at the Project Homeless Connect event yesterday here; meanwhile across the street the Santa Cruz City Council threw more money (another quarter million dollars in promised bonus recruitment payments) at the police department This in a city with no documented rise in crime, simply a form of police-pandering hysteria after the .shooting of two SCPD cops.
Deputy Steve Clark of the Santa Cruz PD absurdly claims that 1/3 of the crimes in Santa Cruz is committed by homeless people. If true, of course, it shows how police are being used as a private security force to criminalize homeless people in public spaces at the behest of the merchants and conservative hate groups. A recent Public Records Act request seeking the specifics behind Clark's venomous statement has still gone unanswered here.
Clark's long-time hostility to the local needle exchange program bore toxic fruit a month two months ago when City Council met behind closed doors and shut down the only needle exchange program in the City Limits. A less accessible more distant and hence less effective county agency which demands documentation from those using needle exchange in a self-defeating move, has taken over the program.
Clark has recently been reported verbally assaulting and demeaning homeless people to discourage their presence at public buildings and in public places if they speak up for their rights. When recently criticized in a Starbucks restaurant by a homeless person nearby, he reportedly imperiously (and successfully) demanded the man leave with an implicit threat of arrest. Ironically, Clark's mentality is what is driving homeless people "underground", out of sight, and out of town. Which is the point, of course, of this kind of hate crime.
Treating the homeless need to hide underground as some sort of bizarre and amusing curiosity or a public health hazard when the city offers no alternatives is a kind of fascist doublethink which is a curious obscenity all its own.
"Police discover hidden underground tunnels used by the homeless" by Eric Pfeiffer from "Yahoo! News" [http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/police-discover-hidden-underground-tunnels-used-homeless-221637268.html]:
During a routine crime investigation, Kansas City police discovered a series of underground dirt tunnels being used by the city’s homeless. Local affiliate KMBC was on hand for the discovery when newscasters accompanied Kansas City Police Officer Jason Cooley, who was leading an investigation of stolen copper wiring from a nearby grain mill. While checking on the seemingly ordinary homeless campsites, Cooley discovered a series of tunnels that went several feet under the earth and stretched nearly 25 feet.
“It was kind of in a little hill and probably four feet beneath the surface,” Cooley told the Kansas City Star.
Hope Faith Ministries, a local homeless organization, said the group had never seen anything like it. Carla Brewer was on site from the organization, offering the homeless individuals a place to shower and sleep away from the camp. Police said they were especially concerned about a pile of dirty diapers discovered next to one of the underground tunnels.
"We're working to find out if, in fact, they've got kids down here, because this is not a safe environment for that," Cooley said. The tunnels appear expertly crafted and obviously required a substantial amount of time and effort to create. In fact, authorities said they aren’t exactly sure how the individuals squatting at the site were able to create them. After discovering the tunnels, a police robot was used to further investigate the underground dwellings. Once police were able to confirm no one was inside them, they brought in a tractor to fill in the tunnels.