Pick flowers, go to jail…

An older (presumably) homeless woman came up to me in Kesey Square yesterday afternoon and told me that she was arrested for criminal trespass the day before for picking flowers in the alley behind Oak Street and spent five hours in jail.

EPD logs show someone arrested for criminal trespass at 1000 Oak Street the day before at 5:35 pm. Lane County Jail logs show that a 53 year old woman was booked and released for criminal trespass by EPD. I can’t prove that she was picking flowers when she was picked up, but other than that her story checks out, and after talking to her extensively, I believe her story. The property she was on is owned by the City of Eugene.

Five hours in jail for picking flowers. The city is scrambling to cover a 6.9 million dollar budget hole but we’re throwing homeless people in jail for picking flowers on City-owned property?

Remember this when the City Manager tries to convince everyone to vote for the upcoming “city service fee” to fill the budget gap. One of the many reasons the City is broke is because they constantly waste taxpayer money by targeting and prosecuting the homeless. Between the money spent on the police, being lodged in the county jail for five hours, a public defender, a judge, and a trial, upwards of $1000 of taxpayer money is being spent because a homeless person was picking flowers.

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