Volunteers Offer Relief – ‘Troll Bashers’ Promote Fear and Loathing
By Doug Porter
There has been yet another early morning attack on a homeless human in San Diego.
Local TV news outlets are reporting on an attack occurring at 10th Ave. and G Street around 6 a.m. The man was taken to the hospital. The extent of his injuries, caused by what was said to be a hammer blow to the head is not yet known. The assailant was described as a white male and was seen riding off on a blue mountain bike.
This latest act of violence comes just two days after the San Diego Police Department released 36-year-old Anthony Padgett, who’d been accused of a series of early morning attacks that left three people dead, because of new evidence challenging the case put together by detectives.
From Fox5 News:
Investigators originally said they were convinced that Padgett was the man seen in surveillance video buying gasoline at a convenience store shortly before the body of the first victim, 53-year-old Angelo De Nardo of San Diego, was found the morning of July 3 in an open area off the 2700 block of Morena Boulevard in Bay Park. An autopsy determined that De Nardo died prior to being set on fire.
Padgett was also accused of severely wounding 61-year-old Manuel Mason in an area near Valley View Casino Center in the Midway district shortly before 5 a.m. on the Fourth of July and killing 41-year-old Shawn Longley, whose body was found the same day at a park on Bacon Street in Ocean Beach. Police said he also attacked 23-year-old Dionicio Derek Vahidy in the area of Broadway and State Street last Wednesday. Vahidy died in a hospital Sunday afternoon.
An Associated Press story on Padgett’s release appeared nationally, including the New York Times.
**CRIME UPDATE** We do not believe this morning’s attack at 800 G st. on a homeless man to be related to our recent homicide series.
— San Diego Police (@SanDiegoPD) July 13, 2016
No Safe Place
The National Coalition for the Homeless released a report earlier this week, pointing out that California led the nation in violent crimes against the homeless by “housed” assailants over the past two years.
The report, titled “No Safe Place,” covers 2014 and 2015 and builds on data collected by the group over the past two decades.
At least 428 of the 1,657 homeless victims victimized by people with stable housing died since the group began collecting data in 1999.
From the Union-Tribune:
Regardless of the killer’s identity or motive, the brutal killings speak to the vulnerability of people who don’t have stable housing, and the housed-public’s negative perceptions of them, advocates say. The negative feelings have been driven in part by public policy that “criminalizes” homelessness, advocates say.
“The people who are generally there (on the streets) are people who have no place to go,” said Megan Hustings, director of the National Coalition for the Homeless. “They’re not a welcome part of society, and then they end up being perceived as sub-human – like you lose your citizenship when you lose your home – and it shouldn’t be that way.”
In the past decade, at least seven homeless people have been victims of violence in San Diego, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune’s review of the coalition’s archived reports.
National And International Attention
The most recent attack occurred just hours after the end of the Major League All-Star Game at downtown’s Petco Park.
The City of San Diego’s shameless attempts to ‘cleanse’ the surrounding area are continuing to draw coverage.
Lest there be any doubt about which interests our public servants at city hall were serving, Matt Potter at the Reader reminds us that the San Diego City Council agreed to furnish $1.5 million worth of police and other services at no cost to Major League Baseball for the All-Star Game.
Besides the hefty cash from the city for the game, the league quietly demanded that there be lots of off-the-record downtown housekeeping, with repeated attempts to sweep away the city’s homeless legions by this summer.
In May of last year, boxing-gym owner Joel Rocco described the beginning of baseball’s below-the-radar anti-homeless operation.
“The Padres’ head of security and one of the big wigs on the Padres sits on the board with me — the East Village Association,” Rocco explained. “They were talking about how Bud Selig [Major League Baseball commissioner] was telling them, ‘Listen, the All-Star Game’s here next year (2016). You guys better clean up downtown.’”
Earlier this week, the Atlantic Magazine’s City Lab brought national attention to San Diego’s downtown purge, presenting a rehash of stories appearing in local outlets.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s office eventually claimed responsibility on behalf of the city, defending the project and its $57,000 price tag. It said they were trying to prevent homeless people from sleeping beneath the underpass after a slew of complaints from Sherman Heights residents who complained they feared for their safety when walking home along the passage at night.
But while resident complaints of homeless encampments are common in San Diego, a public records request showed there were other forces at play.
Emails about the rocks were obtained by a local media outlet, and none of them mentioned residents of Sherman Heights. Instead, John Casey, the city’s former liaison with the San Diego Padres, seemed to be leading the charge to keep homeless encampments out of the area. “The Padres and SDPD are asking me when we can see the curbs painted red as well as the rocks at the underpass and Tailgate Park wall,” he wrote to city staff members.
All was not sweetness and light during the All-Star game week as volunteers from the SD Homeless Project roamed the East Village and the Gaslamp with homemade signs seeking to raise awareness among visitors about the persecution of people experiencing homelessness in the vicinity of Petco Park.
The property management at The Pinnacle development tried to shoo away a Cooling Center set up by volunteers offering homeless humans cold water, shade, chairs and nutritious packaged snacks. Fortunately, the SDPD wasn’t in the mood to assist the property managers.
The Overhead Light Brigade turned out to support these efforts.
The University of Siena, one of the oldest and first publicly funded universities in Italy, published parts of an ethnographic project by Sandro Montefusco in , a UCSD researcher including some simply stunning photography.
‘Troll Bashers’ and Proud of It
If the San Diego Police Department finds itself short on suspects for the recent attacks on the homeless, they could always search Facebook for groups like the Ocean Beach Troll Bashers.
I “joined” this closed group for few days, following up on a reader tip. Mostly it’s about white people who feel entitled/superior and use the space to vent their “feelings” about the less fortunate. There are lots of videos making fun of drunks and tweakers caught in the act of being drunks and tweakers.
There are the occasional Alex Jones conspiracy videos and lots of trash talk. And then there are the boasts about running off or getting rid of “trolls,” which generally seem to be the homeless population.
Here’s how they describe themselves: “A group where people can hate talk about the troll population and the ever growing crime rate of Ocean Beach.”
I doubt that many people “hanging out” in this sort of group realize just how offensive it is. I don’t think for a minute that most of the people involved would actually physically hurt somebody, no matter how superior they felt. But I do I think it might be a good place for authorities to look around for the sociopath looking for a little re-enforcement among the 250+ followers of the group.
Pleas from Homeless News asking for water for the people on the street are re-posted with “Nope.” as a response. They brag about “cleaning up” the streets.
A lot of bad things happen on Facebook, and despite all their invasive spying technology, there’s no way law enforcement can keep up with it. So it behooves those of us who see something to say something.
It has now come out that Micah X Johnson, the man responsible for shooting police in Dallas, bought his AK-47 in a Target store parking lot after seeing it advertised for sale on Facebook.
Facebook has been fighting a mostly losing battle to keep gun sales off its pages for many months now. Just think, if somebody’d stepped up and said something… maybe…
On This Day: 1939 – Frank Sinatra made his recording debut with the Harry James band with the songs “Melancholy Mood” and “From the Bottom of My Heart.” 1934 – Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union organized in Tyronza, Arkansas. 1954 – In Geneva, the United States, Great Britain and France reached an accord on Indochina which divided Vietnam into two countries, North and South, along the 17th parallel.
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