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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Santa Cruz Indymedia | Government & Elections | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Police State and Prisons
Police make one arrest at Freedom Sleepers protest #20, confiscate belongings
Police arrest a sleeper at the 20th Freedom Sleepers protest in front of city hall and take his belongings. Video is included in this article.
Police arrested one person at this past Tuesday's Freedom Sleepers campout, waking them from sleep under the city hall arcade just after midnight. Video of the arrest can be found at the bottom of this article. The police allegedly took the sleeper in on a drunk in public charge, contrary to his protestations that he hadn't drunk anything that day. They also confiscated his backpack, bedroll, and other belongings, loading them into the trunk of a police car. This reporter counted a dozen officers present at the arrest, with four present initially and eight more that arrived later.
Police were unfriendly to reporters and activists present. One officer repeatedly shined a flashlight into the cameras of onlookers and placed a hand in front of the lens of one reporter to block his view of the arrest.
The arrested sleeper has been released from jail, but is back on the street without any of his personal belongings.
The Freedom Sleepers have been present at city hall every week now for the past five months to protest the Santa Cruz law known as the camping ban (MC 6.36.010) which makes it illegal for people to sleep out in public or set up camping gear. The Freedom Sleepers complaint is that the law unfairly targets people who are houseless for engaging in a survival activity (sleeping) in a way for which they have no alternative.
Video of the arrest is again, below.
Thanks to the fine folks at Indybay for resolving the issue with this video. It now plays correctly.
Downloading the video (120.2MB) remains an option as well:
The video shows approximately 12 Santa Cruz Police officers arresting one man who was sleeping for the charge of being 'drunk in public,' an accusation which appears to be completely bullshit and vindictive.