Homeless say LAPD hostile on Skid Row

January 11, 2020 | | Post a Comment

first_imgL.A.’s Skid Row is a 50-square-block area where an estimated 3,700 homeless men and women lived in 2005. The area has the city’s largest concentration of single-room occupancy hotels and public or nonprofit services for the mentally ill and homeless. “Police and prosecutors are not the total answer. We need a regional commitment,” said Estela Lopez, executive director of the Central City East Association, which represents property owners in the neighborhood. “We are on the right track. It will take more than a few months.” rachel.uranga@dailynews.com (818) 713-3741160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A five-month effort by the Los Angeles Police Department to clean up Skid Row was blasted Tuesday by critics who said it has led to widespread harassment of the city’s mostly African-American homeless population. For more than two hours, a dozen homeless people and service providers complained to the Police Commission about what they said is a hostile environment on the poverty-stricken streets. “We found instances in which Skid Row residents walking around the street doing nothing wrong were accosted by the police, ordered against the wall, handcuffed and searched without reason,” said Peter Bibring, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney. “This is happening on an ongoing basis. It appears that officers are stopping whoever they want, whenever they want.” After the hearing, however, Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton said the effort has been successful and has led to fewer reported deaths in the area and more arrests. “I have every confidence that the department and its members are operating constitutionally, compassionately and consistently,” Bratton said. But Bibring, saying city government has not delivered on Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s promises to aid the homeless with low-income housing, insisted that an “enforcement-only approach” has not worked. Still, business owners praised the effort as a first step. And despite months of protests from a handful of disgruntled Skid Row residents, LAPD internal reports show that citizen complaints against officers were actually down in the Central Division. “There may be a perception that people are harassed more, but there’s been an infusion of more resources to the area,” which has led to more arrests, said City Councilwoman Jan Perry, who represents the area. last_img

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