On the night of April 4th, fourteen people were camped in a group on public property underneath an overpass near the Ferry Street Bridge. Police woke them up around 1:15 am on April 5th and arrested eight people, four men and four women ranging in age from 18 to 37 years old. Six others were not arrested and deliberately left behind to “clean up the mess” and take care of the dogs that belonged to those who were arrested. Those who were left behind were told by another officer that they would be arrested the following night if they remained at the location.
The eight who were arrested were originally cited for criminal trespass, a misdemeanor and a jailable offense, and they were all held in the Lane County Jail overnight. Early the next morning, the city prosecutor decided to drop the criminal trespass charges and instead charge them with prohibited camping, which is a violation and not an arrestable offense.… Read the rest