August 7th, 2013 By AARON MESH | News | Posted In: City Hall, Housing, Cops and Courts

Here's One of the Camping Citations Police Are Using to Sweep Out Homeless in Three City Quadrants

UPDATE: Police make five arrests in sidewalk sweep

no_campingNo-camping citation issued Aug. 7 - Aaron Mesh

Portland Police are issuing citations and making arrests in at least three quadrants of the city today, extending their sidewalk sweep of homeless camps well beyond downtown and its aggressive street kids.

Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson confirms officers are enforcing the city's sporadically used camping ban in at least three quadrants of the city—Southwest, Northwest and Southeast. 

UPDATE, 3:45 pm: Simpson says police made five arrests in three quadrants today: two in downtown, two in the Industrial Eastside, and one in Northwest Portland, under the Interstate 405 overpass.

Three of the citywide arrests were for violations of the camping ordinance and building illegal structure, Simpson says. One person downtown was arrested on an outstanding theft warrant (and for "offensive littering," a term police use for public urination or defecation), while another person was arresting for trying to sell meth around the Eastbank Esplanade.

"Tomorrow there will be some property clean-up of any remaining unclaimed property and debris," Simpson says.

ORIGINAL POST, 2:45 pm: A man living in a wooden cart under the Interstate 405 overpass in Northwest Portland says police issued him a warning around 9 am today to remove his belongings from the corner of Northwest 17th Avenue and Raleigh Street.

"They told me they were going to take all my stuff," says John Kennedy Smith, who has a red beard going grey and a POW-MIA hat. "I look like I'm [keeping] more than they want me to have."

Smith says officers did not mention he would be arrested if he didn't move out.

The warning, shown below, says Smith must remove his belongings—including the cart on wheels, which contains a cot and is covered by a camouflage tarp—by Aug. 16 or 17. (The officer's writing is unclear.)

Mayor Charlie Hales' office say the city attorney and the Multnomah County district attorney have instructed police to issue warnings of camping-ban violations, then arrest people who don't comply.

Police have been monitoring homeless camps for weeks, according to Hales' spokesman Dana Haynes. The sweep began a little after dawn today. 

 
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