L.A. officials have denounced “criminalizing” homelessness, yet arrests of homeless people have exploded according to the Los Angeles Times.
The most common offense was failure to appear in court for an unpaid citation. It’s how a brutal L.A., in love with its police, rolls.
Officers made 14,000 arrests of homeless people in the city in 2016, a 31% increase over 2011, the Times analysis found. The rise came as LAPD arrests overall went down 15%. Two-thirds of those arrested were black or Latino, and the top five charges were for nonviolent or minor offenses.
Los Angeles has more than a dozen “quality-of-life” laws — restricting sleeping on the sidewalk, living in a car or low-level drug possession, for example — that police enforce against homeless people, usually with a citation.
The tickets themselves typically start out at less than $100, but often top $200 or even $300 once court fees are added. Tickets pile up, and homeless people go to jail for not paying for offenses that warranted only citations.
Los Angeles Police Department officials attribute the rising arrests to the spread of homelessness and related crime. City officials say they have to balance the rights of homeless people against the quality of life and safety of the whole community.
When that happens, the homeless go to jail.
Tickets catch homeless people in a revolving door of debt and arrests that can disqualify them from housing and jobs and prolong their homelessness, advocates and federal officials say.
The brutal LAPD wrings its hands and downplays the brutality. A spokesman for the department said that methodology inflated the number because people who simply refused to give officers an address were also labeled as transient.
The LAPD claimed in 2015 that a transient address “very likely” meant that a person was homeless, according to a report by then-City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana. Counting transients probably produced “an underestimate” of homeless people, the report said.
So which is it LAPD?
Naturally, Mayor Eric Garcetti applauded recent LAPD reforms in dealing with the homeless. It’s what the white elites do.