Three Officers on Administrative Leave For Slashing Homeless Camp

<code>Three Grand Junction Police Officers were placed on administrative leave on Friday May 7th under allegations of damaging homeless peoples’ property. The officers are under criminal investigation by the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department and under internal investigation at the PD.

On Monday May 3rd, GJ Police Officers were in the area of a well-established homeless camp near the confluence of the Gunnison and Colorado Rivers. Some residents were denied access to the area by the police during their visit. No known residents were in their camps at the time. Residents later returned to slashed tents, scattered belongings and slashed bike tires. On Wednesday, Jacob Richards, long time Red Pill editor and contributor and Housing First! No More Deaths! activist, filed a complaint about the incident. By Friday, three officers were placed on leave. The story was picked up by all local media outlets, the Denver Post, and even hit the AP wire.

The fact that the GJPD are conducting an internal investigation and the Sheriff’s Department is investigating the matter criminally indicates that the powers-that-be may actually be taking this seriously.

Criminalization and harassment of the homeless is nothing new to Grand Junction. Police officers and the law itself target the homeless. The City attempted to virtually illegalize flying a sign in the city in the summer of 2009 as an emergency ordinance, but was shut down by the power of the people. In July of 2009, two undercover GJ police officers were ousted from the organization Housing First! No More Deaths!. Panhandling within a median began became illegal in the fall of 2009, and overnight Colorado West Park became a median without any formal process.

As odd as it may seem, the system might actually bring some form of justice for the houseless, and some accountability to the GJPD.

*** pill readers this post is also apart of our new blog (with pictures)****

good work

This is a good article. Thanks for posting it here. 

Concerning panhandling, an

Concerning panhandling, an ordinance to ban this practice has been approved in some cities. This is a broad issue as it tackles human rights and freedom of speech. On the other hand, a suit has been introduced by the American Civil Liberties Union against the Virginia city of Charlottesville for enacting a panhandling prohibition. The prohibition on panhandling, or asking individuals for cash, is said by the ACLU to violate the right to free speech of the five homeless guys it is representing. I read this here: Lawsuit filed by ACLU over Charlottesville panhandling ban.