HomeBlocksFront-GridCity Under Fire After Video Shows Police ‘Homeless Dumping’

City Under Fire After Video Shows Police ‘Homeless Dumping’

This is an updated version of a story published June 7

Burbank Police Department says that a man captured on video being dropped off on the sidewalk near Los Angeles City Council President Paul Krekorian’s North Hollywood office was taken there at his own request.

At a June 7 press conference, Krekorian demanded answers from Burbank officials for what he called a “homeless dumping” incident, which took place the day prior.

There, he showed video depicting a pair of BPD officers emerging from a Burbank police cruiser to drop off the homeless man — who appeared to be injured — on the sidewalk, before driving away.

“We have known for years that neighboring cities were dumping unhoused people on the streets of Los Angeles. Here is the proof,” Krekorian said at the conference. He later told the Leader that it was “outrageous considering how much the city of Los Angeles is doing in an effort to try to combat homelessness. To have adjacent jurisdictions take a very different approach and simply drop people off within our boundaries is unacceptable.”

Krekorian said the man was discharged from the BPD vehicle still wearing handcuffs. The handcuffs were removed, and the man fell to the sidewalk.

“[He was] clearly experiencing a mental health crisis, as well as physical injuries, and the officers of the Burbank Police Department got back to their vehicle and drove [away] without giving any aid to this person, without determining whether there was anyone who could provide services to this person,” he said.

Krekorian’s staffers found the man, whose name wasn’t immediately released, and called the Los Angeles Fire Department for medical aid. The man was taken to a nearby facility.

By the afternoon of June 7, Burbank Mayor Nick Schultz told the Leader that city officials were investigating the incident.

“Burbank’s priority is to provide our unhoused residents with the support and resources they need,” Schultz said. “We take this matter seriously and will monitor the situation closely while gathering all the facts.”

Krekorian noted, when asked, that he had not contacted BPD or city of Burbank staff prior to holding the much-publicized press conference.

The L.A. City Council president called on the L.A. city attorney, district attorney and state attorney general to investigate the case along with any broader practice of cities relocating homeless people. Krekorian said he believes the Burbank mayor and City Council were not aware of what happened.

Schultz was already meeting with the district attorney minutes after Krekorian’s press conference ended.

Based on testimony from Krekorian’s staff, and BPD reports, it appears the man had been seeking health care at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank. Then, something happened that prompted hospital staff to determine the man to be “unruly,” Krekorian said.

The BPD responded to a hospital request to pick him up. Officials with Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center told City News Service that they were looking into the matter.

According to Krekorian, the man told his staff that he believed he had broken his leg. Krekorian’s staff could not confirm the injury, but in the video, the man can be seen falling to the ground and struggling to move.

Burbank police said that they first located the man naked at a bus stop near the hospital on the morning of June 6.

“The individual said he had a leg injury he had suffered many years ago, and officers learned he had left the hospital voluntarily prior to the officers’ arrival. Upon inquiry, the individual declined any medical services,” police said in a statement responding to Krekorian’s accusations.

BPD maintains that, rather than dumping the man to be treated elsewhere, they had offered to take the man “to a place of his choosing … as he did not appear to have transportation,” adding that the man requested to be dropped off midway to the Metro Red Line in North Hollywood so that he could get coffee.

The department said its investigation into the incident and the officers’ conduct will include a review of all available body worn and in-car camera footage, interviews with witnesses, and any other relevant evidence.

“The Burbank Police Department remains committed to treating the unhoused community with compassion and respect, and thanks to Los Angeles City Council President Paul Krekorian for bringing this matter to our attention,” police said.

— City News Service contributed to this report.

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