City Council president accuses outside police agencies of dumping homeless people in L.A.

BURBANK, Calif. — Last week was not the first time a homeless person was relocated from a neighboring city and dumped in Los Angeles, City Council President Paul Krekorian told NBC News.

In an interview Monday, Krekorian accused law enforcement agencies from across the region of previously transporting homeless people from neighboring cities into his district.

Krekorian said the man dropped off in front of his North Hollywood office last week told his staff that he’d become homeless while he was living outside of Los Angeles. He did not provide further proof that neighboring law enforcement agencies are dropping off unhoused people in Los Angeles.

On Friday, Krekorian released security video from his office showing the latest incident.

“We’ve known for a long time that other cities, other jurisdictions, prefer to just push people into Los Angeles rather than addressing the problem themselves,” he told NBC News. “We’ve seen examples of that from time to time.”

In 2022, police officers from Burbank, a small city in Los Angeles County, dropped off an unhoused man on the sidewalk outside a homeless services center in his district, Krekorian said.

His office is also aware of other similar instances involving the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, he said.

“We are building housing. We are building shelter. We are doing all the things that are necessary,” he said of the city of Los Angeles. “Other cities seem to be doing nothing other than delivering people to our doorstep, washing their hands of them and letting them, letting, leaving them.”

The sheriff’s department did not respond to a request for comment.

The security video Krekorian released last week appeared to show Burbank police officers dropping off a shoeless and, he said, “severely distressed unhoused man” outside his North Hollywood office. 

In the video, the man, who has not been identified, fell to his hands and knees and put his head on the sidewalk as police drove away. He was then seen crawling on the sidewalk. 

The Los Angeles Fire Department took him to a hospital later, Krekorian said.

The Burbank Police Department told NBC News that the officers seen in the video were taking the man back to where he had originally come from, but Krekorian rebutted that statement.

The man told Krekorian’s staff that he had recently become homeless while he was living outside the city of Los Angeles and that he does not have any connections to North Hollywood, Krekorian said.

“It’s gut-wrenching,” he said. “It was unimaginable to me that these police officers could do that, and it was even more heart-wrenching to see him there, left alone, trying to crawl, trying to reach out to somebody to plead for help, and there was no one there at all who could possibly help.”

In a statement on social media, the Burbank Police Department said it “remains committed to treating the unhoused community with compassion and respect, and thanks Los Angeles City Council President Paul Krekorian for bringing this matter to our attention.”

An investigation continues, the police department said.

Homelessness remains a persistent and visible problem throughout California even though cities and counties have invested billions of dollars from local taxes and state programs in alleviating the crisis.

In her recent budget proposal, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass called for allocating $950 million to fund homeless programs, down from nearly $1.3 billion approved for the current fiscal year. 

An estimated 181,000 people are homeless in California, which amounts to roughly 28% of all the homeless people in the country, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Los Angeles County is home to more than 71,000 unsheltered people. 

Burbank counted 264 homeless people, a 9% decline in homelessness from 2020 to 2022, compared with a 4% increase in the county, according to the latest count from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

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