Hello #LosAngeles ,

With the looming evictions, we must talk about homelessness and the LAPD.

If you’re afraid; if you’re poor; if you care for those who are defenseless: you are not alone.

This is a story I lived for three years. It is perhaps the greatest sin of the police.
First, the data presented here is from Q4 ‘18 to Q3 ‘19–the most recent full year.

Since then, #homelessness has become worse, and @MayorOfLA and @LAPDHQ have grown bolder in abuse.

But let us look at who the homeless are.
Most of us who lived or now live on the streets knew we counted for less.

We are marginal, and we may show the tinge of what it’s like to know it. Don’t judge those who do, please.

We are queers, and Black folks, and survivors. And poets, statisticians, and artists. And people.
And, sadly, we are those who know most what the @LAPDHQ is like, when it believes no one will see its sins.

You may fear the raving man, but let me speak to you about how he ends up in such a state.

#LosAngeles, let’s get to the numbers.
The homeless represent 21% of all arrested persons, while constituting >1% of us. You may misunderstand why.

Being unhoused in LA is a lottery of misfortunes. Foremost among them are the cops.

Each night, you pray that you won’t be discovered, cited, or arrested before you wake
The vast majority of arrests do not represent anything but the crime of being homeless.

Of the violent arrests, the best estimates I can derive are that most of these persons are unhoused for 10+ years. Consider what that does.

For the rest, failure to appear is the largest.
The most common reasons of first contact with police are small infractions.

Unavoidable sins like sleeping in public or owning a cart will get a ticket, at the least—and then it grows.

You may think: perhaps the homeless just do more crime? Let us discuss RFC’s and citations.
RFC’s are given to small infractions. Most people have done something that would get one.

The share of these given to the 1% of Angelinos without a home? 26.2%.

This is, however, the path toward further charges. You will forget a court date, with no calendar, and be escalated.
Citations are equally ridiculous. In a year, unhoused, you have a 1/20 chance of receiving one annually.

If you forget the date without a calendar? Failure to appear arrest. If you can’t pay fines or get a work-off deal? Court order arrest. Designed escalation.
Combined, these petty acts give a homeless person a 1/5 chance every year of being processed into the system.

If you have ever walked home drunk, or been given a ‘warning,’ you would have been in this number—were you homeless.

With enough years, you will be made criminal.
The chances that you are treated roughly are not in your favor, either.

In all Uses of Force, the homeless persons it’s exercised against represent 34% of the total. With 1% of the population.

This is to say nothing of constantly being cuffed and detained without cause.
If you live on the streets, you will know someone who was roughed by the cops, within that year.

The per capita use of force against the homeless would mean a @UCLA class would have 3-7 students in each class who’d been subject to force.

Within that year.

It will hurt you.
Eventually, it will break you. You will forget what it was to not smell odd. You will lament that you don’t have the cash to slip some benzos (misdemeanor), and have a looming court date. You may be desperate and faced with bad options on all fronts.

And you may escalate.
And the cost of this criminalization is equally sickening.

Compare what it means to conduct and continue these arrests with what it’d cost @MayorOfLA to buy them a room and a hot meal.

Hey @RoomkeyTracker: where are we at with that?

Oh. Another failed promise, eric?
Using the Rand estimates (a notedly notleft organization), the cost we spend to police the homeless and throw their things away is extraordinary.

Budget geeks: you may recognize this number as nearly equivalent to the entire homeless budget of the city.
Meanwhile, what’s given over to the actual helpers? Well. Let’s be generous and not subtract what’s diverted to harassment.

It’s still pitiful.

If homelessness looms: you will be abandoned. The helpers are few, and overwhelmed. Their money has been exchanged for tear gas.
The notion that this is all to the benefit of the homeless? All to set them on the straight and narrow?

No. You will be put right back where you started.

The purpose of all this? Enforcing the supremacy #BlackLivesMattter is warning you of. Heed them, folks who face eviction.
If you are seeing rent come due, and fear what may happen when the eviction stay passes, you are right.

@MayorOfLA and @LAPDChiefMoore have made a horror show.

But, know this #LosAngeles: these are our streets. We need not live in fear in them anymore. I love you.

Sleep tight.
You can follow @cantypelettwrs.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: