Homeless Being Bullied | Letters | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Homeless Being Bullied 

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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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  • Apologies to Unified Police

    When I was growing up, I learned when you admitted a mistake, it made things easier for all parties involved. Thus, this is a correction to my July 12 letter titled “Homeless Being Bullied."
    • Jul 25, 2012
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