[Hpn] SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES DENY DUMPING HOMELESS MAN
William Charles Tinker
Thu, 29 Sep 2005 18:36:01 -0400
Thu, Sep. 29, 2005
Deputies deny homeless man dumping
LOS ANGELES (AP) Sheriff's deputies were trying to get a homeless man help
and not make him another jurisdiction's problem when they dropped him off on
downtown's skid row earlier this month, according to a Sheriff's Department
Byron Harris, 27, had been lingering around the county jail's reception area
on Sept. 20 when a supervisor told him he should leave because he had
exposed himself to a woman in that location a month before, the memo says.
Harris had been released from the jail the previous day after being arrested
for the indecent exposure incident.
''They weren't just trying to get rid of him from around the jails,'' Steve
Whitmore, the spokesman for Sheriff Lee Baca, said Tuesday. ''The deputies
were trying to help this man.''
But Los Angeles police Capt. Andrew Smith, who witnessed the drop-off, said
Harris was handcuffed and later told him that he didn't want to be taken to
LAPD officials say the incident appears to be an example of how outside
police agencies often dump homeless people downtown, where they become the
LAPD's responsibility. Smith said he and his officers have witnessed
numerous such incidents involving multiple departments including those from
Burbank, El Monte, El Segundo and Pasadena. All four agencies denied the
On Tuesday, citing the Harris case, the Los Angeles Police Commission
directed Police Chief William J. Bratton to prepare a report on any recorded
homeless dumping incidents.
On Monday, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he wants City Attorney Rocky
Delgadillo to examine what legal recourses Los Angeles has against cities
and law enforcement agencies that engage in the practice.