As I’m getting ready to go to my fiance’s best friend’s grandma’s 90th birtday celebration I am watching 4 of LA’s Finest arresting a woman in a wheelchair. The stretch of Main Street below my window has gone from a hotbed of petty crime (crack smoking, heroin shooting, drug dealing, etc) into a virtual no-mans-land in the months that I have lived here. The only people who you see down on the sidewalk on a regular basis are folks waiting for the bus, where a few months back there were normally 30-40 people hanging about during the day and some times more than that at night.
I assume the lady in the wheelchair (who was able to stand on her own for the cuffing and frog-marching) was arrested for loitering or failure to disperse or something like that, but is this really helping anything? Yes it is true that the block is less crime prone, but hasn’t that crime just moved down a few blocks? Once again I don’t know the solution, but I don’t think arresting wheelchair bound people is doing anybody any favors.
Let’s hope that billion dollars that MAV has talked about for low income housing gets put in to play and soon, because this is a problem that can be helped (although probably not solved) by throwing money at it, money for shelter, money for drug treatment, money for free clinics, money for job placement and employment services. We as Angelenos, as Californians, and as human beings have a responsibility to help those in need, which we all have the power to do in many ways just one of which is through our tax dollars.
Update Ok as we’re about to head out the door I see that after some deliberation the boys in blue have decided to let her go. They helped her out of the cruiser and back in to her wheelchair. Cool deal.