PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — At the order of Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, about 30 homeless campers were moved off the sidewalk in front of City Hall days after the eviction order was given.
Only one of the homeless protesters refused to leave. Most began moving their things toward Terry Shrunk Plaza — which is federal property — across the street. Late Tuesday afternoon, one person at Shrunk Plaza was Tased and taken into federal custody by Homeland Security agents.
Many of the police officers who evicted the campers have been patrolling the streets for months or years, and they know people like Samantha Smith.
“I know a lot of these people don’t have other places to go, other places to sleep,” she told KOIN 6 News. “At the same time, we’re not just sleeping because we’re bums and we have nowhere else to sleep. We’re sleeping because we’re protesting the sleep ban.”
In fact, there is no such thing as a sleeping ban.
Hales said the sidewalk enforcement only goes so far, and the homeless can return to the City Hall sidewalk after 9 p.m. The sidewalks must remain clear between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.
The move to evict the City Hall campers followed a KOIN 6 News investigation that found potential illegal activity. The mayor told KOIN 6 News Friday afternoon there would be some action taken, and hours later he ordered the eviction signs posted.
The encampment began after police ordered the removal of tents and other structures from the 300-person Occupy Portland encampment in late 2011, the Associated Press reported.