LA’s Homeless Are Like LA’s Old Nikes

In Children and Youth, Civil Liberties, Culture of Corruption, Economic Justice, Housing, International politics, International Public Health, Labor, Laws & Regulation, Media Criticism, Netroots, Progressive Politics, Race, Urban Planning / Space, US Politics on October 24, 2006 at 10:45 pm

I hate the terminology used in these stories. They discuss the “dumping” of the homeless.

The frame gets across the mentality of those doing the “dumping,” though, and that may be for the best. Those doing the dumping see these people the same way Nike sees their unsold extra shoes — expendable goods that should be dumped into undesireable locations at the going rate.

Los Angeles police have launched a criminal investigation into the dumping of homeless people on a rundown area in the city after ambulances were spotted dropping off discharged hospital patients there. The practice had long been suspected but police say they now have evidence, releasing pictures and video to the media on Tuesday of five hospital patients being left in the downtown area commonly known as skid row. “We cannot allow the dumping of the most needy … into that environment, and shame on those who do,” Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton told reporters on Tuesday…

The investigation will focus on possible violations of federal laws that require medical facilities to screen and stabilize patients before releasing them. It comes as Los Angeles city council seeks a compromise on a policy that attempted to ban people from sitting, lying or sleeping on the streets. It was ruled unconstitutional in April on the grounds of cruel and unusual punishment.


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