Is Walking While Homeless Against the Law?

Peace be with you

This appeared in today’s  Eureka Times-Standard. It seems Paul Encimer was taking a night time stroll in Redway when the police stopped an demanded he identify himself.  His crime?  Suspected “transient.”

When Paul asked the cop why he’d stopped him and his son, the cop said something about a “the campaign against transients.”  We wrote about two days of homeless sweeps in So Hum back in May, and it appears by Paul’s letter that they haven’t let up.

Though Paul’s letter is short he makes one very good point, and that is you do not have to identify yourself to a cop unless your suspected of breaking a law.  A “Tarry stop” requires the cop to have a reasonable belief that you committed a crime.  I frequently get stopped by cops who “want to know who I am.”  I first ask them what exactly was their reason for stopping me.  If they can’t answer that question, then I tell them to fuck off.  If it ever gets to the point where they threaten to arrest me if I don’t identify myself, then I tell them to arrest me.  To date I have only been arrested once for that and when I left the jail, I told them to shake me down again and see if I don’t do the same.

Cops only get away with harassing people, because people stand for it.  Whenever you call the cop’s bluff, and are prepared to go to jail for your rights, it usually ends after a few more threats.  Whenever you get stopped without cause, refuse to cooperate, record the cop’s name and department, and call “Cop Watch” to document the incident.

Also, if you’re homeless, and have been arrested, or ticketed for sleeping in So Hum get hold of me, and I will set you up with lawyers willing to take your case. We’ve won them from up here in North Humboldt, and it should even be easier to win them from down there.

love eternal


10 Responses to “Is Walking While Homeless Against the Law?”

  1. jason Says:

    While I don’t agree with panhandling and obstucting business, I am FULLY with you on this one. Homelessness should not be a crime, not should cops abuse thier power by profiling.

    What is worse, letting the guilty go free or incarserating the innocent?
    Incatserating the innocent, because BOTH WAYS the guilty walks.

  2. theplazoid Says:

    Peace be with you

    UPDATE: I just read this weeks Independent, and it has the unedited version of the letter in it. The cut parts is mostly repetition, but gives more detail. You got a week to get it. I suppose if I was a journalist I could give Paul a call and find out more. But alas, a journalist I ain’t.

    Jason, I don’t like “conflictual pan handling,” but I tend to agree with George Orwell as far as “bums” go. I usually kick something to those asking, though I usually never have enough to do anybody any good these days. Hell today you can hardly get a cup of coffee for a dollar, and at that price it’s usually pretty bad coffee.

    “That it is better that 100 guilty persons should escape than that one innocent person should suffer, is a maxim that has been long and generally approved.” Benjamin Franklin

    love eternal

  3. Kym Says:

    I’m glad you brought this up, Tad. I was pretty upset about what happened to Paul. The one thing I can add is this must be a new cop–almost everyone knows Paul and Gabe in the area.

    Still, I can’t come up with any good reason to stop someone walking. I’d like to hear the officer’s side because I sure can’t come up with a defense for his actions.

  4. theplazoid Says:

    Peace be with you Kym

    Are you saying that it would of been alright if had really been a homeless person? If you are I think you totally missed Paul’s point. You should be pretty upset it happened to anyone, and glad that it happened to Paul so you and I can even find out its happening.

    I Would imagine a few cops even in North Humboldt know who Paul is, and would act like the one the first time Paul described getting stopped.

    What we really need to hear about though, is this “campaign against transients.” You know, that’s profiling. You can not pick a segment of society and stop them to “see their papers.” Paul’s cases prove that it spills over into the community. They “campaign” against one class and have “collateral damage” in a different class.

    Rumor up here is that So Hum sheriffs are harassing homeless; illegally confiscating belongings, ticketing and arresting homeless for sleeping, and sweeps to roust them out. Now this “random I.D. check thing” the campaign, or is all of it together the campaign? A campaign against a class of human beings, who’s only crime is being poor, is bullshit and should be stopped.

    Who is leading this anti-poor campaign? Up here it is busyness owner cartels. In Arcata the Downtown Business Owners Association, and in Eureka the Chamber of Commerce.

    Your right I have more then a few questions for that cop too. That’s why I make them take me before a magistrate to find out who I am. We need the power to hold public inquests. I bet we would get to the bottom of a lot of these “enforcement” issues. Just look and see what the CEU has found out, and there just a task force.

    love eternal

  5. fig Says:

    WED., JULY-30-2008, tomorrow is Friday!! no, thursday.

    a drunk, pothead cop going crazy, possibly a ‘roid-head,
    might be even on psychiatric drugs…….

    Sounds like the “d.a.” is afraid the
    (dirty cop terrorist) might come after him
    with a .50 cal. machine gun.

    I’m surprised they even bothered with “prosecuting”
    this (dirty cop terrorist) with “police powers.”

    SD Officer Charged In Road Rage Shooting

    Watch Video
    Last Updated:
    07-29-08 at 7:11PM

    A San Diego police officer claims caution prompted him to unload five bullet rounds at an 8-year-old boy and his mother during an off-duty traffic dispute, but prosecutors Tuesday called it a case of “apparent road rage.”

    Frank White pleaded not guilty to one felony count of discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner and one misdemeanor count of drawing a concealed weapon in public. He faces up to nine years in prison if convicted.

    Prosecutors accuse White of firing at Rachel Silva’s Honda Accord from the driver’s seat of his own car after a screaming match triggered by a near-collision at a busy intersection.

    One bullet struck Silva’s son Johnny in the knee; the boy was hospitalized and required surgery. Two others struck Silva in the upper arm.

    White, 28, answered a single procedural question at his arraignment before Superior Court Judge Marshall Hockett and was released on his own recognizance. He declined to speak with reporters as he left the courthouse with his wife, Jacquellyn.

    White’s attorney, Richard Pinckard, entered the plea on his client’s behalf.

    “We don’t believe that there’s anything to support that our client’s conduct was unreasonable under the circumstances,” Pinckard said after the hearing.

    White was also stripped of his police powers and placed on unpaid leave from the San Diego Police Department while his case is under internal review, Chief William Lansdowne told The Associated Press. White was assigned to administrative duty after the March 15 shooting.

    White is the second law enforcement officer that Dumanis charged since taking office in 2003; the first was a sheriff’s deputy accused of killing his wife. She has faced criticism in some quarters for declining to pursue charges in other high-profile cases, including the 2006 shooting of former Chargers linebacker Steve Foley by an off-duty officer.

    “Based on the evidence and the law, these charges are appropriate,” Dumanis said in a brief statement. She refused to take questions from reporters.

    White was driving his personal car when he and Rachel Silva nearly collided on a busy thoroughfare in Oceanside, about 40 miles north of San Diego. Witnesses said Silva responded aggressively, tailing White and his wife to a parking lot.

    According to an arrest warrant filed Tuesday, White was wearing his .38 Smith and Wesson revolver on his waistband and aimed it at Silva as she pulled parallel to him. Silva called 911 and said, “There’s a man who’s pulling a gun on me,” then sideswiped White’s car as she reversed past it after he began to open the driver’s side door.

    White told investigators that he fired because he thought Silva was trying to hit him with her car, according to search warrants filed earlier in the case. He claimed he did not see her son through the windshield.

    White’s wife, a police dispatcher, was in their car.

    Tests showed Silva had a blood alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit. The 27-year-old pleaded not guilty this month to felony child endangerment and misdemeanor drunken-driving and marijuana-possession charges filed by the state attorney general’s office.

    Her attorney, Michael Pancer, said he was pleased by Dumanis’ decision.

    “She did the right thing,” Pancer said.

    Silva and her son have each filed lawsuits seeking damages from the city of San Diego. Lawyers for the boy also filed a complaint in federal court in May claiming police were inadequately screened, trained and disciplined.

    Video: Watch Video

    Printable Story: Click Here
    _______________________________ THE END.

  6. ecumenik Says:

    It a foolish statement to say that there is police oppression because “..people stand for it.” I would like to stand up to the police when they are committing crimes against people. anytime they violate our constitutional rights they are committing crimes. the problem is that if you attempt to act like a rational human person, the thugs in uniform become enraged and start hurting you. it is not weak to not stand up to the police/brutes, it is self survival.

  7. theplazoid Says:

    Peace be with you ecumenik

    Your right, your right, and your right, but so am I. Passive resistance has its casualties too. It is however relatively safer to unite and speak out, then to let it escalate until its just you who has to face their wrath alone. They implement their push towards fascism according to how much the people stand. Alberto Gonzales said after the first operation falcon that the reason the government let murders, whose whereabouts were long known, stay on the streets to be rounded up in operation falcon, was “to see how the people would react.”

    I am a pacifist. I have no other defense then resistance. I fear a world where people who know the truth stand idly by and allow oppression to rule there reality. Get up, stand up, or there will be NO SURVIVAL.

    love eternal

  8. Moviedad Says:

    I once foolishly confronted cops at a party who were rough handling an obviously pregnant girl at a party in Snowhomish, WA,in the late 70’s. I woke up the next morning needing stitches and the only people not arrested were the wounded.
    I agree with you that “Passive Resistance” is smarter and more effective. I was speaking about actually physically standing up to police when you are confronted by the police.

  9. Jack Wilson Says:

    I’m sick and tired of vagrant bums begging on the corner, get a job, get a life, or get the fuck out of Arcata!

  10. transient Says:

    I’m sick and tired of wealthy or “middle class” people destroying the planet for everyone! Get with it or go the fuck to the moon!

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