Los Angeles City Council Demands Answers After Homeless ‘Dumping’

Los Angeles City Council Demands Answers After Homeless ‘Dumping’

A homeless man pushes a shopping cart in Los Angeles, Calif., on April 10, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

City News Service
City News Service

6/26/2024

Updated: 6/26/2024

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The Los Angeles City Council demanded answers from Burbank officials June 25 after video surfaced earlier this month showing a pair of Burbank police officers “dumping” a homeless man apparently in the midst of a mental-health crisis in North Hollywood.
Councilors voted 13–0 in favor of a motion sponsored by Council President Paul Krekorian and Councilwoman Imelda Padilla. No further discussion was held.
Councilmen Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Kevin de León were absent during the vote.
Burbank City is approximately 12 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
In response to the motion, Burbank officials issued a statement in the afternoon of the same day saying they welcome any investigation and are in the process of conducting their own “rigorous internal investigation.”
“As images depicted on video don’t always relay the entire situation, the city of Burbank cautions against inflammatory rhetoric and a rush to judgment without the benefits of the investigation findings,” Burbank’s statement continued.
The Los Angeles council’s actions followed Mr. Krekorian’s news conference on June 7, one day after his office received the footage. In the news conference, Mr. Krekorian angrily denounced the Burbank Police Department officers’ actions as “inhumane and inexcusable.”
“We have known for years that neighboring cities were dumping unhoused people on the streets of Los Angeles. Here is the proof,” Mr. Krekorian, whose district includes North Hollywood, said at the time.
“A person was discharged from [a Burbank Police Department] ... vehicle in handcuffs,” Mr. Krekorian said. “The handcuffs were removed. The person fell to the sidewalk, clearly experiencing a mental-health crisis, as well as physical injuries, and the officers of the Burbank Police Department got back to their vehicle and drove back to Burbank without giving any aid to this person, without determining whether there was anyone who could provide services to this person.
“We in Los Angeles have worked long and hard to bring our unhoused neighbors off the streets by building interim shelters, tiny homes, navigation centers, and supportive housing. Meanwhile, neighboring jurisdictions have simply removed unhoused people from their streets and dumped them on ours. This is inhumane and inexcusable.”
Mr. Krekorian’s office says the man was later located and given help in the city of Los Angeles.
The council president said at the time that he would get in contact with Burbank Mayor Nick Schultz and members of the Burbank City Council—but according to Los Angeles officials, there have not been any developments since then.
On June 7, the Burbank Police Department responded to Mr. Krekorian’s criticism with a statement saying it was conducting an in-depth investigation, including a review of the officers’ actions, available body-worn and in-car camera footage, and interviews with witnesses.
“The Burbank Police Department remains committed to treating the unhoused community with compassion and respect, and thanks to the Los Angeles City Council President for bringing this matter to our attention,” the department said at the time.
The Los Angeles council motion calls on the city attorney, Los Angeles County district attorney, and attorney general of California to investigate both the June 6 incident and the alleged ongoing practice of one jurisdiction dumping its homeless and indigent residents on the streets of another. Los Angeles city officials said those investigations are underway.
In addition, the motion requested the city of Burbank to respond to the incident and provide the city of Los Angeles with its policies on homelessness, relocation of homeless individuals, and policy changes that will be made as a result of the incident.
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