What’s Going On With Sarasota’s Police Department and its Homeless?

The city manager of Sarasota, Florida, Tom Barwin looks like he wanted to be ahead of the news cycle on the latest homeless-related incident with the city’s police department. Barwin said he made sure an internal investigation was opened as soon as security video (below) emerged showing two cops slamming a homeless suspect into a wall at a bus station.

Just this Tuesday, as Reason 24/7 noted, the ACLU released documents showing police officers calling each other “bum hunters” and said Barwin was leading a “war on the homeless.” The city manager objected, the Herald Tribune reports:

Barwin said the idea of the city waging a war on the homeless is ludicrous. Rather, Sarasota's large safety net and wealth of services likely draw homeless to the area, he said.

But the city manager said that if police officers are acting inappropriately Sarasota will not ignore it.

“If there is an individual who is communicating, thinking, behaving in that manner then certainly that is something that needs to be addressed,” he said.

Earlier this month, Sarasota police arrested a homeless man for charging his cellphone in a city park (theft of utilities, $500 bail). He was in jail for his first day of work the next morning and fired. That incident included the electricity being shut down for the park with no one taking responsibility. The homeless man suggests police may have targeted him after he took a photo, he claims, of an arrest of another homeless man smoking a cigarette. With treatment like that, it’s no wonder the homeless are drawn to the area?

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  • ||

    Bum Hunters? So, like "bunters"?

  • ||

    No, I envisioned them going around looking for chicks with really nice asses. I mean, that's the only kind of bum hunter I would ever be.

  • fish||

    Welcome to more "Nut Punch" day! Shit this is getting to be like holiday shopping...Nut Punch Friday, Cyber Nut Punch Thursday, Dumb Shit Nut Punch Jewelery Theft Wednesday.........

  • mr lizard||

    Don't forget ballsack forfeiture Saturdays, and justified grundle kick Sundays

  • The Late P Brooks||

    “If there is an individual who is communicating, thinking, behaving in that manner then certainly that is something that needs to be addressed,” he said.

    And what if it's an institutional culture of immunity from consequences?

  • CE||

    It's warm in Sarasota, so the cops don't have to give them boots:

    http://www.policeone.com/news/.....rming-act/

    See, I posted a link to a story about a good cop.

  • Brett L||

    Oh boy. I'll be down there for the Tough Mudder this weekend. Must remember to not look like a bum.

  • ||

    Thankfully Tulpa is tied up on the other thread, so we don't have to hear about what a menace the homeless are in public parks.

  • Paul.||

    And how more government cameras would make a better world.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    And hear him question why a homeless person even has a cellphone in the first place.

    I hate it when he undercuts the zeitgeist. Ban him!

  • ||

    The funny thing is that Tulpaa thinks he's a rebel when he vigorously masturbates statist cock.

  • C. Anacreon||

    Isn't every homeless person entitled to a free Obamaphone?

  • Lewisite||

    "Isn't every homeless person entitled to a free Obamaphone?"

    Offer expires: 11/06/2012...no purchase necessary...void where prohibited...

  • Julio Cesar Samper Uribe||

    Sarasota police arrested a homeless man for charging his cellphone in a city park (theft of utilities, $500 bail).

    If an electrical outlet is offered at the city park, HOW THE HELL IS THAT UTILITY THEFT? Explain that one to me.

  • jay.foos@gmail.com||

    The article doesn't say an electrical outlet was "offered" in the city park. Many parks have buildings, etc. with outlets in them for the use of park employees. They're not there for the public.

  • Paul.||

    Yes they are. The park is "public". Or are we using the modern definition of "public" which is, the Public has no right to that which is public?

  • sarcasmic||

    the Public has no right to that which is public?

    That is correct. The Public means everyone but any particular individual.
    That's why when you interact with a servant of The Public, you are their servant. They serve everyone, not the individual.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    A police car is also public property; that doesn't give you the right to jump in and take a test drive.

    The park is managed by the park authority on behalf of the public. That doesn't mean any member of the public can treat it as their personal property.

  • ||

    yeah like jumping around and shit

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I bet those bums steal the light from the streetlamps, too.

    Fucking LEECHES!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Or are we using the modern definition of "public" which is, the Public has no right to that which is public?

    AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The "public" only includes those people who have utilities of their own back at home. No one wants the clean electricity their taxes pay for to go into the dirty cell phone of a homeless dude.

    They DO want their tax dollars to be wasted on groundless arrests, though. And, NO, law enforcement doing its job poorly does NOT constitute theft of a paycheck.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The park is managed by the park authority on behalf of the public. That doesn't mean any member of the public can treat it as their personal property.

    It never ends with you, does it?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    So you think you do have a right to get in any police car you see and drive it away, since it's public property?

  • ||

    Tulpa, you KNOW that's completely disingenuous. Commandeering a city-owned vehicle prevents the city from using it. Plugging your cell phone into an outlet in a public space does not deprive anyone in the city of electricity.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    There are plenty of times when police cars are just sitting at the station not being used, but if you want to nitpick, there are plenty of other examples of nonrivalrous situations.

    In any case, the electricity is not free. And there's also the issue of bums congregating around the outlets to charge their cellphones and preventing people from using the park bench or that area for the intended purposes.

  • juris imprudent||

    I just love it when you double down on your insipid pedantry.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    You do realize it's the other side that's making a semantic argument, no?

  • Brian D||

    Wait, they might congregate in a park?

    HOW DARE THEY??? OFF WITH THEIR FILTHY HEADS!!!!

  • mr simple||

    You're right! That filthy animal is nothing more than a dirty thief and a menace to society. It is good they arrested him and got him off the streets before he could do more damage. They ought to give him the chair, or at least life behind bars. That cretin actually thought he was people and could get a job.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    The homeless man suggests police may have targeted him after he took a photo, he claims, of an arrest of another homeless man smoking a cigarette.

    Right. Just like the dumpster diver at my apartment building in Buffalo thought that Wegman's was trying to poison him because he brought back so many cans for the deposit.

  • Lewisite||

    "Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they are not trying to kill you."

  • waaminn||

    And they wonder why so many rejoice everytime some stupid cop gets clipped in the line of duty!

    www.anon-ut.tk

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Complimentary use of electrical outlets is implied in many public and private places these days. You can go in to a private McDonalds or a city owned train station, or a library and see people with laptops and shit plugged in. I have never seen any formal indication of whether it is okay or not, people just do it. The proper police response would have been first to tell the bum not to plug shit in. Tulpa is a cocksucker.

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