Thursday, January 25, 2007

"Good grief! What kind of people are we?"

The public outcry over the Great St. Pete Homeless Tent Raid is piling up
-- and fast.

"What we saw on Friday night was an embarrassment for this city," said St. Petersburg City Council member Jamie Bennett, who is also chairman of the Pinellas County Homeless Leadership Network.

Even the police chief is back-pedaling. "In hindsight we didn't discuss the actual property issue, and we probably should have taken that into consideration," Chief Chuck Harmon said. "I think the perception was not good of how and what we did. I hope there's no need to ever do that again."

The police chief has now ordered a review of the raid.

An advocacy group, the National Coalition for the Homeless, has called on Mayor Rick Baker to apologize. Read the Tampa Tribune story here.

The editor's inbox is overflowing with letters from outraged people.

And St. Petersburg Times columnist Howard Troxler says: "Oh, sure, that's the kind of place I want my city to be - a city where, when kind-hearted people donate tents to the homeless, the city stages a raid and cuts them up." Read his column here.


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