Jogger throws homeless man's clothes into Lake Merritt

Elias Hubbard
June 13, 2018

"He ignored everyone and then put his headphones back on and ran off to the north part of the park", said Kristin Gallup, a resident who posted Harris' video to Facebook, according to SFGate. "What has this town come to?!"

A video of a jogger in Oakland, California, throwing a black homeless man's clothes into the trash has gone viral. Supporters, who have raised almost $2,000 for the man since the Friday incident, identified him as Drew.

"I'm not taking any of it", the jogger is heard saying.

In an odd twist, another Facebook livestream video taken Saturday shows a jogger, who the Chronicle notes appears to be the same man, knee-deep in the lake fishing items out.

"I don't want to pollute the lake", Sintay says.

"What are you doing with his stuff man?" one person says as the jogger proceeds to kick and throw Drew's stuff around, making a mess. Others pointed out that scattering the homeless man's belongings around and throwing them into the water was doing more harm by trashing the lake and the surrounding area. This is ridiculous that these are the kind of people who are living in Oakland now.

"His stuff is in the corner, not blocking the walkway", Harris said, adding that he had made a decision to start filming when he realized the jogger was trashing someone's belongings. Only possibility is he "may" get a fine for littering.

A group is also standing guard since the jogger returned and became violent toward a man who was standing up for Drew.

JJ Harris, who filmed the video, said he was just "hanging out" when he "saw someone throwing a large pile of blankets into the lake".

People have since been donating blankets, food, clothes and other items to Drew, according to Harris.

"We're disgusted that someone thought it was OK to treat Drew this way and want to show him through our care that what happened to him is unacceptable".

Smith and Harris have both spoken out about the incident, which happened not far from where the BBQ Becky confrontation - in which a white woman was caught on video accosting a black family for barbecuing near Lake Merritt - went down. "I give him a nod and he smiles back", Harris said. We can use our phones for good. "It's one of our most powerful tools for social justice".

Oakland officials urge residents to call 311 to report debris or hazardous material.

"That's not trash, that's someone's home", says another bystander.

"They [individuals and Caltrans workers] throw out something like people's social security mail, their identification, or their medications, and it could absolutely destabilize somebody and interfere with their ability to access housing, access medical treatment, and access things to get out of homelessness", said Heather Freinkel, an attorney with the Alameda County Homeless Action Center.

"It's getting insane over here with gentrification", he said.

"This was a dick head move", wrote one user.

"I find there to be a real cruelty in how people are being dealt with here", Farha said in a January interview with the East Bay Express.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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