A video shows a jogger in Oakland destroying a homeless person’s encampment, throwing part of it into a lake, and just all around being a gigantic piece of shit.
The incident reportedly happened on Friday night, when an Oakland resident named JJ Harris filmed the jogger destroying the shelter of the man, who resides at Lake Merritt, a lake in Central Oakland, which was also the site of an incident last month where a woman named Jennifer Schulte called the cops on a black family that was having a cookout in the park.
The video shows the aftermath of the man throwing some of the belongings of the person, whom SFGate identified as a man named Jarew, into a lake, while he walks all over other parts and throws more of it into the trash.
While he was doing all of this, onlookers pleaded with him to stop. “Hey man, that shit ain’t cool,” one of the bystanders said. “Somebody did that shit to people last night somewhere else...you gotta stop fucking doing that shit. What the fuck is the matter with you?”
“That guy’s been living here for years,” another one said.
“I’m picking up trash, what do you want me to do?” the man told Harris. “If you want to help, help.” (He also said it was an “accident” that he threw the man’s stuff into the lake.)
Oakland, like many major cities in the U.S. is in the middle of a housing crisis that has been exacerbated by the explosion of the tech industry in northern California, while cities have been hamstrung by state law in their ability to deal with the crisis.
Back in January, UN Special Rapporteur Leilani Farha compared conditions at homeless camps in Oakland, where the homelessness rate shot up 25 percent between 2015 and 2017, to those she witnessed in Mexico City in an interview with the East Bay Express.
“I find there to be a real cruelty in how people are being dealt with here,” Farha said. “Every person I spoke to today has told me, ‘we are human beings.’ But if you need to assert to a UN representative that you are a human, well, something is seriously wrong.”
The identity of the man who destroyed the encampment hasn’t been confirmed. In a radio interview on Sunday, Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf encouraged people to make donations to community groups working to help the homeless. “I recognize everyone is so frustrated with a lot of our urban challenges and homelessness is number one, but please, show compassion,” she said.
One of the people who witnessed the incident gave a much better answer. “I think it’s morally reprehensible and straight-up cruel what this guy is doing,” Oakland resident Kristin Gallup told SFGate.
“This whole incident is a pretty succinct manifestation of so many of Oakland’s current issues,” Gallup continued. “Racism, gentrification, white privilege, male privilege, hatred towards poor and homeless people, lack of resources due to funds not being allocated properly, lack of consequences for unjustifiably bullying of homeless people, and sheer apathy towards their predicaments.”