Horrific video released in March captured an LA police officer shooting an unarmed homeless man to death. And unfortunately, all over this country, homeless people live in constant fear of violence and harassment from the police.
“Shelters are like police states themselves. I prefer to be on the streets, rather than in a shelter. At least on the streets, when trouble comes, I have somewhere to run to.”
“I got out of the subway late at night and there were no public restrooms, and I had to go to the bathroom. So I went into the bushes so I wouldn’t bother anyone, and six cops came at me with flashlights and guns pointed, asking me what I was doing. I felt like it was pretty obvious.”
“I was sleeping in the ATM vestibule of a bank on Madison Avenue, when someone called the cops on me. The cops told me to get out of there. I told him I was a customer of the bank and I wasn’t going anywhere, and when the manager came in in the morning he’d be buying me coffee and a donut. They grabbed me by the shoulders and threw me out onto the sidewalk.”
“I was in Penn Station late at night and I saw the police messing with a homeless woman. I had gotten training from Picture the Homeless in how to document police misconduct, and I had a Flip cam from PTH, so I took it out and started filming. The policewoman told me to stop and I said it was my constitutional right to document this. She told me to keep on filming if I wanted to be arrested.”
“Out in Kentucky while I was living there, the cops were demolishing a tent city where homeless people lived. I was filming it, and they told me to stop, and when I wouldn’t, they arrested me and put me in what they called a behavior-modification chair – they put me in restraints on the ankles and wrists and head, and strike them at regular intervals so it messes with your pressure points.”
“This kind of thing happens all the time. We need more people to help document police brutality. People should lighten up with the selfies and start using their smart phones to shine a light on this kind of behavior.”