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Posts Tagged ‘police abuse’

Officer Accused Of Harassing Homeless Has Troubled Past

SDPD Officer Anthony Bueno Accused Of Slashing Homeless Couple’s Tent

January 25, 2011

10News has uncovered troubling details in the background of a police officer accused of going rogue and taking his anger out on homeless citizens in San Diego.
Officer Anthony Bueno, an 11-year veteran, remains on the job pending an investigation.
Bueno is accused of slashing a homeless San Diego couple’s tent in December. Homeless San Diegan Malia Mason said the police officer, who was upset she had put up a tent during a rainy night, used a knife to slash her tent and cords.
“He was slicing as I climbed out and the knife came within inches of my face,” said Mason in an interview in December.
Homeless advocate David Ross said the tent-slashing incident was one of five similar incidents documented against the officer during a two-week span in November.”It’s shocking and disappointing,” said Ross.
10News learned Bueno was arrested in 2007 on four counts of misdemeanor battery on a fellow police officer while on duty. Few details of the incident are known, but in that case, Bueno pleaded no contest to a lesser charge and was allowed to stay on the force.
Last year, Bueno was on the scene of the death of a homeless man in East Village. Another homeless man who is accused of resisting arrest said Bueno was “joking and speaking very disrespectfully” about the deceased man and provoked the incident.
Ross said Bueno should be removed from the streets.”Him being on the streets invites similar behavior and reflects very poorly on the police department,” said Ross. “It’s disappointing because the police department, including the homeless outreach team, has been trying very hard. I’m not here to indict the entire department.”
10News brought Ross’ demand to Boyd Long, the assistant police chief. When asked why Bueno was not taken off the streets, Long replied, “We haven’t reached the conclusion we need to pull the officer out of the field. We do take these accusations very seriously.”
10News was told the primary reason for keeping Bueno active was because several witness statements and surveillance video cast doubt on Mason’s version of events.
“I don’t believe that. Each of the interviews I conducted were consistent. They were scared of this officer,” said Ross.
Though the tent-slashing investigation should be wrapped up soon, a second internal probe is possible into the accusations that Bueno was making fun of a deceased homeless man.
Meanwhile, a judge will soon decide if the details that 10News uncovered will be allowed as evidence in the trial of the homeless man accused of resisting arrest.

 

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WATCH NEWS STATION VIDEO HERE: http://www.10news.com/news/26602821/detail.html

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Donna Tam/The Times-Standard
Posted: 10/10/2009

“The difference between us and law enforcement is we have the ability to come out on a daily basis,” Shelter said.


Shelter and his team of North Coast Resource Center — or NCRC — volunteers spent about three to four hours Friday morning cleaning up the marsh near the Virgo Street entrance as part of a new program funded by a $20,000 grant from the California State Coastal Conservancy. The center signed a contract with the city of Eureka on Tuesday and began surveying the area Wednesday. Part of the program’s mission is not just to kick people out of the marsh, but educate them about taking responsibility for the environment they disturb and other options they may have.
….During a pilot program in Trinidad, Shelter said occupants of 124 of the 182 encampments did not want to be there. He hopes that cleaning the marsh will also allow the program to gather data about the demographics of the homeless community.
….A lot of people don’t realize that if they leave garbage outside of their house — like old mattresses, blankets, or carpets — they are providing the homeless with materials to build makeshift shelters, he said, standing by a campground consisting only of a blanket and what looked like a wooden platform.

 

And from Murl Harpham of the Eureka Police Department “good ole boy” network:

Sean Garmire/The Times-Standard
Posted: 09/03/2008

“The solution is heavier enforcement, which we can’t do,” Harpham said. The solution is “just to make it uncomfortable here for them.”
….At least twice a week, he said, officers sweep homeless camps. But without any place to move to, the camp’s residents are forced to find another space to set up camp. ”We just keep moving them around,” Harpham said.

….After a complaint is issued, Harpham said Eureka officers respond to tell the trespassers to leave. Their information is reviewed in a database, and if they are repeat offenders [repeat sleepers!], they are either arrested or cited.

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The word is that raids will begin on Monday, July 19th. Cops hunt down outside-sleeping people every night, but these raids will be broad-sweeping and perhaps more orchestrated.

These raids will violate the rights of the houseless people. There are no legal, free-of-charge places to sleep in Eureka (or Arcata), so there are no options for almost all people who have no shelter except to sleep where they can find a hidden piece of ground. Then ya gotta be able to protect yourself from the rain, wind, cold, dew.

This is not a new situation. But all too often, people who are housed dismiss the reality of the situation by simply saying, “Well, there are homeless shelters for them to go to.” That is completely INACCURATE.

All of us need to sleep. That is a NECESSITY. And even the crooked, ruled by the rich courts of the U.S. say that because none of us can go without sleep, it is more of a “significant evil” to deprive a person of sleep (as do the laws against sleeping on public property and the cops who wake people up) than to break a law that prohibits you from sleeping. When someone is punished for something- like sleep- which they cannot go without, it is (here’s the court again) “cruel and unusual punishment.” I would also call it discrimination. And the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights says, among other things completely defied by policies throughout the U.S. :

Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and
well-being of oneself and of one’s family, including food, clothing,
housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to
security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood,
old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond one’s control.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Article 25, Section (1)

So, if you’re a person who still needs to see something in the “law books” to really believe it’s legitimate, there is plenty to support that people have a right to sleep, even when they don’t pay rent somewhere. And if there are no available options besides a small piece of Earth (or a doorway, or a dumpster or a person’s own vehicle), people are to be left alone.

These raids of sleeping people violate a bunch of human and Constitutional rights, including the right to privacy, to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, etc. When cops (or John Shelter in Eureka or John Cassali in SoHum) steal and/or destroy peoples’ property, it doesn’t matter what they want to call it- “cleaning up”, “helping out”, “warning” -it is illegal. It is stealing. It’s cruel. It ain’t right.

Another thing that happens during these raids (and any random night): When the cops approach someone sleeping (how scary, huh?), they not only wake the person up (say 3:30am, flashlight in the eyes, hand on the gunbelt), but they often physically hurt the person. Cops slash tents, kick people in the ribs, threaten people with guns, pull folks out of their vehicles, grab people’s arms so hard they bruise, bang on windows, tow away someone’s only private space… It IS really that bad.

Every Saturday there are PEOPLE PROJECT meetings at PARC [Peoples’ Action for Rights and Community] at 1:30pm. These are spaces where we can figure out how we will fight this painful and ongoing injustice.

Please contact PEOPLE PROJECT if you want to do something about this upcoming raid situation. (707) 442-7465

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