Skip to main content

The dismissed charges against the C Street campers

There was an article in Friday's Bee that a homeless friend and I greatly disbelieve.

The piece, " Sacramento County DA drops homeless camping charges," is disbelieved since it is absurd to suppose, as must be inferred from the story, that the DA's office was continuing to contemplate prosecuting illegal campers at attorney Mark Merin's C Street property after already dismissing charges against Merin, who is their lawyer and the property owner who conceived and directed the homeless actors in a conspiratorial crime of illegal camping. [Oh, all right. As conspiracies go, this wasn't a huge deal. Admittedly.]

Let us backtrack and recall briefly the history of the C Street camping misadventure:
On August 21 homeless people involved with the so-called Safe Ground Campaign set up tents, provided by Loaves & Fishes, on a small parcel of property on C Street near 13th owned by Mark Merin.

On September 11, City Attorney Eileen M. Teichert asked for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction against Merin to close the camp.

On September 19, Mayor Johnson met with campers at the site, persuading them to leave in exchange for his pledge that he would pursue solutions to homelessness in the city. [Of course, had Merin asked the campers to leave, they'd have done so immediately.]

A September 22 story in the Bee, titled "Camp closure won't end Sacramento homeless issue," tells us that Homeless World Sac consigliere Mark Merin was off the hook for ringleading the C Street misadventure: "According to an e-mail from City Attorney Eileen Teichert to Johnson and the City Council, the city and Mark Merin – the attorney who owns the vacant property and was being sued by the city for allowing the campground – agreed to the terms of a settlement to the case Friday."

Yet a small fly was abuzz around Merin's head. The story tells us: "Still on track is a lawsuit filed by Pedro Hernandez, who lives next to the lot and is suing Merin. Hernandez's attorney could not be reached for comment Monday, but Merin said that suit 'would make no sense.'"
But, truly, it's Friday's story that makes no sense.

Only now are the C Street campers' 32 citations being dropped by the DA's office!?  The big fish [so far as this small-pond story goes] was Mark Merin, who was off the hook four weeks ago.

The campers did as Merin or the safe ground logistics committee [which included Mrs. Merin] instructed.  The campers are all guppies; not the big fish.  Grunt soldiers, taking orders, in the campaign, controlled by the Sac'to homeless-help industry and a couple of P Street lawyers.

Did cowardly Merin first save his own skin, leaving the campers to dangle in the DA's net?  It quite possibly wasn't like that.

Here are other scenerios:
  1. So long as the campers were still charged with a crime, it benefited Merin with his effort to settle the suit with the neighbor, Pedro Hernandez.  Thus, charges against the campers were left out there to cause Hernandez to think something was being done to punish those who tomented him.
  2. Charges against the campers were left on the books for a period of time until it was clear they weren't returning to the C Street location. And, possibly, to send a message to the campers from the DA that in any "next time" the DA's office won't be so kindly.


Popular posts from this blog

The Mission Five Years Ago, And Today

I have spent the night the past two weeks plus at the Union Gospel Mission and am having an excellent time of it -- not only regards to sleeping in the dorm that the mission has, but also listening to the sermons that are delivered in the early evening. The Christmas music that is performed is also splendid. [And the food -- the FOOD -- has been fantastic during my stay so far! A happier Tom there couldn't be.] I chatted with a pal last night about The Mish – about how things were about five years ago when we both used the mission’s services frequently, and how thing are, today.
Five years ago, there were a lot scuffles between the guys when the front gate was opened in the early afternoon and in the area near the contact window there were some brawls as guys fought over where guys were in line to get a bed in the dorm.
Nowadays, however, the mission is very much a peaceful place both on the grounds of the facility and and out on the street.
I do not know what transformative eve…

Homeless Sacramentans lose case that would have given them the right to set up outdoor camping

8/11/13 I certainly give attorneys Mark Merin and Cat Williams credit for pursuing a case against the city of Sacramento to give homeless Sacramentans the right to set up tents and a campsite. I wanted them to win their case, but they didn't. They lost it.

BUT, it is also necessary to look at the particulars of the case that Merin and Williams brought and see that the situation underlying the court case was not very compelling.

During the period eight years ago when 22 homeless campers set up their tents and brought in supplies to Mark Merin's vacant lot at C Street, near 12th, there was loud noise and plenty of other mayhem. Drug dealers were on the street encouraging buys from the campers. The Hernandez couple that lived in a house nearby were constantly being taunted by the campers, disrupting their lives.

Per always with Safe Ground camps, calm was deserted for the sake of boisterousness.

Leader John Kraintz and the other Safe Grounders would claim to have signed strict a…

After a Three-Month Hiatus, a Fall from a Ladder & a Broken Wrist, Evangelist Jimmy Roughton Returns to Union Gospel Mission to Preach

After being away from Union Gospel Mission for a quarter of a year, Jimmy Roughton returned to preach at UGM on the cold night of December 13 -- despite suffering [a little? a lot? dunno.] from a fall from a ladder that likely immediately preceded a significant injury (a wrist that was broken).

It was good to see his group from Capital Free Will Baptist Church up on the pulpit, with Roughton rough-and-ready to seduce and inspire the happily-captivate crowd at UGM.

Roughton told us in his opening words that he was now in his 27th year coming to the mission.

I recall the first preaching I had heard from Roughton on June 13, 2009. At that time and up to the current time, Roughton is the only preacher I had ever heard evoke Pascal's Wager -- which is something he would do, occasionally thereafter at the mission. He would evoke Pascal's wager, yet again, last night [12/13/17].

Pascal's wager

Last night, Jimmy evoked Pascal's Wager. He did so near the end of his talk, citing …