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Home / Articles / News / Letters /  Homeless Being Bullied

Homeless Being Bullied

By City Weekly Readers
Posted // July 11,2012 -

Becoming homeless is never one’s intent, but since this has happened to me, I have watched over the past little while and seen things I read about in history taking place right here in the Salt Lake City area.

Crack dealers are allowed to sell their wares on the street outside the homeless shelter. People from all walks of life drive up and get some of this, yet when a homeless person jaywalks, stands for more the 15 seconds in one spot talking to someone, walks across a state-owned parking lot to take a shortcut, these people are ticketed to the point that one judge here threw out over 60 of these in one afternoon court session.

Now, the Unified Police Department has enlisted the help of the health department to condemn or make uninhabitable the motor homes that some of these homeless have managed to save up and buy, trying to get out of this situation.

This Unified Police force is totally out of control, and if you want me to compare it with a “police force” in history, I will put it right there with the Brown Shirts of the Adolf Hitler era in the 1930s. The only difference is people around the country are not hearing about it because no one, it seems, gives a damn.

These police are bullies, thugs and punks. They try to intimidate, antagonize and cause problems or get the homeless to react so they can justify their existence. They will detain someone under this godforsaken Patriot Act and treat them like they are the FBI’s Most Wanted by handcuffing and detaining them for upward of half an hour while humiliating them constantly.

People are told they can’t stand on the sidewalks around the homeless shelter, they can’t walk on the sidewalks because the Salt Lake City Police are too busy driving on sidewalks in this area—this you can see on camera footage. I guess it would be messy if they ran over a child while driving on the sidewalk without any real reason other than to harass an older man who is resting in the heat of the day and write him a trespassing ticket. Also, you should look at the videos of Pioneer Park when the police come rolling in like they are the 7th Calvary to write tickets for people who didn’t see the sign and lit up a cigarette. Another woman in the middle of the day was given a disturbing-the-peace ticket because she was yelling at her child.

If you will ask to check the receipts of the McDonald’s as well as the Subway and others at The Gateway food court, the only people who are there in the morning when they open are the homeless people. I am also willing to say that the homeless do upward of $10,000 or more of business in the food court each and every month. Since Jade’s accepts the Horizon card, I am willing to say that we do as much as $25,000 or more of business with that store. Yet we are the undesirables and disliked and even hated by police officers.

We homeless have one alternative, and that is to become a political force, and by this I mean to vote for people who, it seems, care about this country.

If this gets printed, it will shock a lot of people. Wouldn’t it be something for readers to learn that what is being said here is the truth? Wouldn’t it be something for all of these people to start lodging complaints against the Salt Lake City Police?

Willis Rynerson
Salt Lake City

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Posted // May 30,2013 at 11:03



Thanks for bringing this to light. I tried to call attention while I was homeless. People need to know that absolutely everything you say is true.  

Evidently our police force doesn't have enough true criminals to deal with. They have to write tickets to people who can't pay them and probably won't appear in court. They have to arrest people for no other reason than being poor.



Posted // May 29,2013 at 17:22

I'm so sorry Willis. What has happened to the humanity of a state, which prevailing religion claims to be "Christians"?

There but for the grace of God go they!  Whether they yet realize it or not, most all of us 99% are a paycheck away from homelessness. You have my sincere sympathy. Would that I could do more to help. Julie XO


Posted // July 12,2012 at 16:24

Whiner. The pigs aren't especially nice to anybody. You're not special and your letter is garbage. Provide a specific example for your accusations. If you're smoking in a no-smoking zone and the pigs roll in, everybody that is smoking will get a ticket. That's what happens sometimes when you break the rules, dummy. And if some bitch is screaming at her kid in public, I say she deserves her ticket. You don't get a free pass to act like an asshole just because you are homeless and I wish you hobos would stop acting like you should be pampered when everybody else has to follow the rules or pay the price. Instead of organizing hobos as the next political force, why not do something productive in order to get your sorry ass off the sidewalk? By the way, I enjoyed your mug shots. I found two but I bet you've got more.


Posted // May 30,2013 at 11:06 - Anonymous (of course you are): Your insensitive ravings expose only your ignorance. Uncaring, selfish people like you are the problem, not homeless people.


Posted // July 11,2012 at 23:19

Yes!  Crossroads Urban Center has been a point of organizing homeless people into a political force.  Absolutely - stand up for your rights and make complaints when your rights are violated.  Thank you for writing this letter.


Posted // July 11,2012 at 11:18

Sad, but not surprising.  It takes intelligence, wits, and a lot of bravery to fight crime.  It takes none of those things to harass homeless people, which may be why so many pigs focus on the latter and ignore the former.


A couple months ago as I was pulling off I-15 at the 1300 S exit, a cop pulled up to harass a homless guy holding a sign, and parked her car so that she was preventing every vehicle from getting off the exit ramp.  Dozens of cars sitting idle just so one oinker could bother a homeless man.


We're wasting money on useless cops that are nothing more than a waste of skin.  Instead, let's spend that money on citizens that would contribute something positive and worthwhile to society after they've been able to get off the streets.