Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Report: 2 arrested in latest East Village encampment sweep

Photo by @Jeremoss 

For the third time in a week, various city agencies joined forces on a sweep of an unhoused encampment in the East Village. 

According to published reports, two people were arrested — an activist and a resident — during the crackdown on Ninth Street between Avenue B and Avenue C  this morning around 8. 

A handful of people have been living under the sidewalk bridge of the vacant former P.S. 64. Witnesses said that more than 30 members of the NYPD were involved, including from the Strategic Response Group, for two people in the encampments. This was the same location as an action on April 6 that resulted in a 7-hour standoff between a group of activists and unhoused residents and reps from several city agencies. 

The residents here in a zone dubbed "Anarchy Row" relocated to Avenue B and then 10th Street along Tompkins Square Park. Twice in the past week, the city attempted to move the residents into shelters — including during the citywide manhunt for alleged subway shooter Frank James, who turned out to be wandering around a few blocks away.

Per Gothamist
The East Village sweep was part of Mayor Eric Adams' ongoing efforts to clear the city of homeless encampments, which he has repeatedly argued is necessary for the dignity of homeless people. The sweeps, while not a new phenomenon under Adams, have drawn a drumbeat of criticism from homeless advocates, the City Council's Progressive caucus, the New York Times editorial board, and a coalition of faith leaders
On April 9, more than a dozen community groups and mutual-aid networks rallied in Tompkins Square Park to speak out against the Mayor's aggressive sweeps of unhoused encampments across the city.

Unhoused residents have said that the shelter system is not safe. Read our interviews with some of the Ninth Street residents here.


Johnny Grima, the unhoused resident who was arrested this morning, was released from the 7th Precinct early this evening, as EVG contributor Stacie Joy reports. He sustained some injuries during the arrest (top photo).


Anonymous said...

Yesterday's NYT had a story headlined, "As Homeless Age, Cities See Surge in Lonely Deaths on the Street" -- behind that somewhat melodramatic title was reporting on how "the cumulative toll of living and sleeping outdoors has shortened lives" and "many homeless people are dying young of treatable chronic illnesses like heart disease."
I agree with the Mayor that we're not doing people any favors by facilitating their living in terrible conditions and often with untreated mental illness and/or addiction.

Anonymous said...

I have a friend in the East Village / Tompkins area. She is barely maintaining an apt and living on the streets due to her psychosis. She is 5'9" and weighs 95lbs. EMS has been called numerous times. Sunday she was finally taken in only to be back on the streets within 4 hrs. Last night she was wandering the streets screaming about being videotapped, the loops playing over in her head saying how 'they're going to get her' etc. This is not an isolated event and has been escalating for over a year. Mental Health Crisis team are very limited with what they can do and unltimately if the patient is not expressing intent to hurt themselves or others - little if anything can be done.
I discussed this situation with a friend that is a psychiatrist and this is the response Imreceived: "This is why I won't work in community psychiatry anymore, there aren't appropriate systems of care."

Anonymous said...

The owner of PS 64 wants this area to become a place where homeless encamp. He wants it so bad there that the neighborhood will welcome the building being torn down. Instead He should be fine every day by the city for the situation he has created.

Felton Davis said...

What do the climate crisis protests and the sweep of the homeless have in common? Both are carried out by the same police SRG squad, and those arrested all end up either at the 7th Precinct or at Central Booking, and (usually) have charges dismissed at 100 Centre Street.
Hideko Otake's videos of April 18th Extinction Rebellion at the Wall Street Bull
My April 11th photos of NYPD evicting homeless at Eldridge and Canal

Anonymous said...

The violence shown in the videos of this incident is disgusting. By dehumanizing these people, the cops are telling us they are no more than street trash, therefore we should "be glad" they're being "cleaned up." They do not deserve this. And by continuously describing all homeless as "addicts" or "mentally ill" feeds into the narrative that they have caused this problem and deserve to be beaten and jailed. If a society is judged by the way we treat the most vulnerable, then we really are screwed.

noble neolani said...

New Yorkers fell for the "crime wave" bait and elected a retired policeman. Did anyone actually expect new housing for these people other than a night in a prison cell?

Anonymous said...

It is absolutely necessary that the shelter system and mental health services be reformed. However, this particular homeless encampment can also be extremely burdensome on the other residents. During the short period that these resident lived nearby me there was human feces on the street, syringes on the ground, and screaming and loud conversations throughout the night. Other homeless people also live nearby and cause zero issues.

Anonymous said...

I echo the last comment from 2:01 pm. All of these individuals surely need to be treated with dignity and respect. Whether they are mentally ill, addicted to drugs, without a penny to their name, or have just simply fallen on hard times, kindness is essential. Many don't wish to receive assistance from HRA or any other public services though even when offered help to file an application to receive emergency funds. It is a vicious cycle where there is no growth or hope to climb out of this impossible situation. I've met a few on the street whom are perfectly content with the status quo. They hold no intentions of rebuilding their lives or seeking rehabilitation. The burden of those encampments however is the threat of danger, mayhem and unsanitary conditions which residents like us must contend with. Are we supposed to ignore this crisis and allow anarchy to reign? Some, not all, are and can be quite intimidating and scary. If neighbors speak up, we are then deemed cruel and insensitive to their plight, which isn't true. I see and understand both sides. I do. The city has failed in terms of its homeless outreach and recovery, in addition to its mental health services, where mental illness has become more pervasive since the pandemic began. As someone who lives a block from Tompkins, who pays over 2k for my studio apartment, I don't want to constantly interface with syringes, feces and scizophrenic homeless residents. There has to be a happy medium. Clearly our mayor isn't addressing this problem in a humane and effective way. But I also don't see how we can continue to allow people to wreak havoc either with encampments that are often breeding grounds for criminal activity. I am at a loss. So sad.

Anonymous said...

It is going to be a long hot summer welcome to fun city

Anonymous said...

NYC is a right to shelter city with many services and programs. Help is available. Sitting in a tent getting high - by choice- isn't the city's fault. You can get a shelter bed and eventually a housing voucher.

Anonymous said...

Why don’t they arrest rich people who don’t pay taxes instead of people who are having the roughest lives

Chris Flash said...

A militarized police force with no "terrorists" to go after has to be kept busy doing SOMEthing, it appears. And look how much easier it is to attack the homeless, who are unarmed and pose no threat to anyone. why the SRG doesn't even have to get their jackboots dirty!

Don't those fools get that by attacking homeless persons, they not only lose their credibility, but they further alienate the police from the public? I guess it doesn't matter to them WHAT we think, as we are living in a POLICE STATE as it is.

Adams' declaring that he is treating the homeless with "dignity" while treating them like criminals and/or bags of trash to be removed from the streets is classic political double-speak.

As one poster said it here, it's gonna be a long hot summer....

- Chris Flash