According to local media reports in Los Angeles on the 26th, the video of the California High-Speed Patrol United Police forcibly evicting homeless people late at night on the 25th was widely circulated on social media.
In the video, dozens of police officers gathered near El Sereno in Los Angeles to expel homeless people who were illegally living in vacant government-owned houses. During the operation, law enforcement officers were strongly protested by the people at the scene.
After the operation, many local human rights organizations also believed that the forced evictions by the police were inhumane regardless of the lives of these homeless people.
It is reported that the California Transportation Authority bought dozens of houses in El Sereno, Los Angeles, many years ago as part of the plan to expand Highway 710, but with the failure of the plan, these houses have been vacant. Before the eviction began, at least dozens of homeless people, including three-month-old babies and people over 70 years old, moved into these vacant houses on their own.
The homeless people who stayed said that the California government failed to provide them with healthy and safe shelter during the COVID-19 epidemic, and as the weather gradually became colder, they were unable to continue to sleep on the streets.
When the local police learned that the homeless had illegally occupied these vacant government houses, they gathered police to prepare to expel the intruders.
After law enforcement officials arrived at the scene, they were protested by many human rights organizations and homeless people, and in the following hours of clean-up operation, all the homeless people who illegally moved in were persuaded to leave. It is not clear how many homeless people have been evicted from these vacant houses, and the police involved in the eviction refused to comment.
After the eviction, a local human rights organization in Los Angeles issued a statement saying that the police’s expulsion of homeless people during the festival were neither inhumane nor responsible, and believed that the right to housing was a basic human right and that all families should have a safe haven, especially during the peak of the COVID-19 epidemic.
He also said that the homeless people in Los Angeles are facing a “darkest winter”, and asked the governor of California to instruct the California Department of Transportation to allow these homeless people to live in these vacant houses and provide them with water and electricity so that they can become safe shelters.
However, a spokesman for the California Department of Transport later defended that the houses that were emptied along Highway 710 were unsafe and uninhabitable, so the Transportation Bureau chose to evict these “trespassers”. The Transportation Bureau also said that it would cooperate with the local government to lease several vacant properties to provide emergency shelter for these homeless people.