August 9, 2019

Boston Police Crushing The Wheelchairs Of Disabled Homeless People

The Boston police department has been engaging in cruel and sociopathic behaviour for the last week, destroying the possessions of disabled city residents who have the misfortune to not currently have a place to live. The Orwellian-named "Operation Clean Sweep" began in the city's South End on August 2 and a police spokesman said the police have been out on at least three nights since then.

One of the destroyed wheelchairs belonged to a man named Jarrod who was hit by a hit-and-run driver last month and had been prescribed the wheelchair by a doctor. His backpack, which contained everything he owns, was also destroyed. Cassie Hurd, a homeless advocate for the homeless, observed the destruction:
[Jarrod] is not able to be mobile without it, and not having a home, nowhere to sit, nowhere to go, and was having pain. He couldn't really balance or walk. He had left his wheelchair for a minute and his partner tried everything to keep the wheelchair. She pleaded with police and was sobbing and crying. They took it and threw it in the back of the truck and it was devastating to watch. There was nothing anyone could do to prevent them ... You could hear the metal crushing noise. It was really loud. They just tossed it in and crushed it.
Adam Johnson, a writer for The Appeal, which reports on local criminal justice systems, tweeted last Saturday that the term "clean sweep" implies that these people are trash or dirt. He called it "genocidal rhetoric and its disturbing no one in Boston govt or media feels the need to point this out".

Also on Twitter:
"The name #OperationCleanSweep has genocidal roots. It's literally what the Indonesian government called a 1981 operation that involved pushing indigenous Papuans off their land. Tens of thousands were murdered. This is the name Boston adopted for its homeless harassment campaign"

"I know placing babies in cages is cruel, but taking wheelchairs from disable homeless & crushing them can't be too far behind. Dem mayor @marty_walsh is doing this in Boston! ... #NormalizingCruelty"

"Can we all agree that it is inhumane and cruel and a waste of resources to crush the wheelchairs of people who are living on the street after a car accident in a full body cast?"

"The questions at the heart of #OperationCleanSweep are whether there's dignity in being human (I believe there is) and whether government should honor that intrinsic dignity (I believe it should). [Boston Mayor Marty Walsh] has chosen to treat the homeless as subhuman trash."
Walsh's office issued a statement, which read, in part:
Helping people in recovery has been one of Mayor Walsh's priorities since day one. ... The Mayor continues to prioritize how to help those suffering from addiction in every corner of our city, and he welcomes a conversation with the Sheriff ...
More from Johnson:
throwing homeless people's possessions away, including wheelchairs, in such a public and gratuitous fashion is clearly meant to "send a message" and is a transparent form of collective punishment on the indigent population writ large

police chief in Abilene, TX claims, without evidence, handicap homeless man isn't actually handicap or homeless and he makes $1000 (?!?) a weekend panhandling. Dozens of local news outlets throughout the US reprint his claim as fact. Hate for the poor in this country is unmatched

as homelessness reaches crisis levels in many cities, make no mistake these stories are published and republished to ameliorate the troubled conscience of those increasingly exposed to the crisis. In doing so they incite violence directed towards those experiencing homelessness.

readers love stories of con man homeless people b/c they can read it & say "see, the visual tip of the poverty iceberg im seeing more & more? its not my fault. Theyre just lazy." This way we can, at best, do nothing or, at worst, elect more austerity ghouls to cut public services

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