Cops stop photographing homeless, pay cash settlement in North

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Sun, 5 Dec 1999 23:58:54 -0800 (PST)


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/1999/12/03/MN1003
53.DTL&type=printable
FWD  San Francisco Chronicle - Friday, December 3, 1999 - Page A2

     HOW COPS GOT THE HOMELESS TO SMILE FOR THE CAMERA

     Scott Ostler

     [excerpts from column]

The flyers went up about a year ago, in liquor stores and markets all over
North Beach.

The ``Wanted''-type posters, printed up and distributed by police, had
photos of several homeless guys and a warning that they were common or
habitual drunks, please don't sell 'em any booze.

One small problem with the posters: This is America.

The Coalition on Homelessness and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights
stepped in, the Police Department and City Hall jumped in, the posters came
down. The men pictured on the posters received an apology and a modest cash
settlement.

The flyers were a cold shot at people already out in the cold, but the
coldest part is the explanation for why the homeless men on the flyers are
smiling so nicely:

The cops who took the pictures told the homeless guys they were snapping
their pictures for a ``homeless yearbook.''

A CHEAP SHOT, bartender. Ah, make it a double:

Tom Ammiano courting the West Portal crowd, promising to drop taxes. Wow,
Tom coming out of the closet as a flaming conservative?

Meanwhile, Willie Brown brags that his administration has created thousands
of jobs. And that's just for FBI agents.

GREAT, now the hobo lobby is on my case because I said that hoboes don't do
anything. Wrong cattlecar-breath, says a reader, who notes that hoboes ride
the rails looking for work. ``It's you sir, sitting at your desk pretending
to work, who is doing nothing.''

I hereby salute the hard-working hobo. Now pass me the
charred-rat-on-a-stick before all the white meat's gone.

END FORWARD

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