Saturday, January 20, 2007

Watch the video: St. Pete police
slash open tents to roust the homeless

Police officers with box cutters showed up at two homeless camps and slashed the tents to the ground as residents watched in shock.

The whole operation took less than 10 minutes.

The raid was St. Petersburg's latest attempt to deal with the highly visible tent camps that have sprung up in recent weeks and a homeless population that is becoming increasingly organized and close-knit. Last week the city shut down another tent city.

But fire officials soon observed a host of fire code violations at the two new tent cities, said Lt. Rick Feinberg. People were smoking and cooking in their tents, which were too close together, too close to public thoroughfares and didn't have fire extinguishers. He said the homeless also failed to get the required permits for their tents.

Rev. Bruce Wright said that advocates for the homeless plan to sue the city over the destruction of the tents and will seek an injunction to prevent another raid.

Read the St. Petersburg Times story here.

Oh, and yeah, I definitely did speak too soon.


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