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My name is DAVID BUSCH, and I am homeless, and I have lived off and on Skid Row since 1999.
I was taken to jail by LAPD for using a public phone in a downtown hotel; and had to have a jury trial to clear my record.
I was arrested for pitching an empty tent on Skid Row as a visual symbol of protest; I was charged with "illegal lodging" even though the officer saw the empty tent, and my sign on it.
Like everybody on the sidewalk in the "encampment zone" I am forced by cops to get up every day there at 5:30 am –even though there is not a single place outside of religious missions for me to sit or lie down for three hours every morning anywhere on Skid Row–not to mention the lack of public toilets, trash cans, water fountains, or even shade for homeless people on Skid Row who don’t want religion crammed down their throat.
I was arrested by LAPD’s Captain Andrew Smith himself when sick with the flu, after I had gone to the LAPD on Skid Row to try to find a single mission there with a sick bed –or an LAPD social worker. Smith dropped the charges after officers, who, like Smith, continually claim that Skid Row is full of empty beds, couldn’t find a single one.
But LAPD says they only arresting and prosecuting "murderers, rapists, robbers … "
Moreover, it is simply because I’m white –that I’ve been able to beat all these charges.
I say it’s time LAPD backed off it own destructive and sanctimonious posturing and:
–stopped being the stick-slamming stooges of a racist Central City East business community that doesn’t give a damn about the damage it is inflicting on the large black community stuggling for real empowerment downtown
–and not just the dishwasher, shoeshine and doorman jobs that these luxury-obsessed greedbag developers like Eli Broad, and their allies like Councilwoman Jan Perry, and Mayor Antonio Villaraigoa, and the CCEA want to marginalize them in
–and moved on to truely protecting the rights of the innocent homeless people on Skid Row –who are still waiting to see an end to its disgraceful cruel and unusual punishment in this city.
They should start with an end to this cleansing downtown of blacks -in its bigoted "Safeless City Initiative."
DAVID BUSCH lives on the streets of LA.