Santa Rosa is pressing forward with a controversial plan to give police more power to enforce laws commonly associated with homelessness.
The City Council on Tuesday will consider whether to allow police to crack down on certain quality-of-life offenses — such as camping on public property, aggressive panhandling and public urination — by upgrading the offenses from infractions, which typically result in a ignored ticket, to misdemeanors, which can involve a trip to jail.
Misdemeanors carry fines of up to $1,000 and six months in jail, while infractions only carry a fine of up to $250 for the first offense and no risk of jail time.
The debate, as it has in the past, will invariably turn on whether the policy shift is viewed as criminalizing homelessness or merely allowing police to enforce existing laws governing common decency, regardless of who violates them.
“Criminalizing homelessness is a catchy phrase, but that’s not what we’re doing here,” Mayor Chris Coursey said.
Oh but it is Mayor. The reality is the white elites who run Santa Rosa want the police to brutalize the homeless. It’s how they roll.
Source: The Press Democrat