Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s official residence was vandalized by a group who objected to his signing an ordinance restricting sleeping in public and homeless encampments.
Los Angeles Police officers were deployed to the Getty House in Windsor Square at about 11:45 p.m. Thursday and “approached the group to warn the individuals of the unlawful activity as per the” municipal code, police said.
The protesters began to disperse around midnight, though about 30 remained behind, police said. Some of the remaining protesters ”approached the Getty House and began to vandalize the property while also throwing items over the fence.”
The remaining protesters left the area as officers moved in to stop their actions, according to a police statement.
Damage included graffiti on the sidewalk and on a street-facing fence, as well as broken windows, according to reports from the scene. A vehicle parked inside the property was also vandalized.
LAPD Major Crimes Division personnel are investigating the vandalism and seeking to identify, locate and arrest those involved.
“Acts of violence meant to intimidate our city leaders or any other community members have no place in Los Angeles,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in a statement. “I am fully committed to ensuring the perpetrators are brought before the justice system.”
One day earlier, the Los Angeles City Council finalized approval for an ordinance that restricts encampments in certain areas of the city.
The ordinance, which goes into effect Aug. 28, prohibits sitting, sleeping, lying, storing personal property or otherwise obstructing the public right-of-way in several areas of the city including within two feet of any fire hydrant or fire plug, or within five feet of any operational or utilizable entrance or exit, or within 10 feet of a loading dock or driveway, or in a manner that interferes with any activity for which the city has issued a permit, or in a manner that restricts accessible passage as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, or anywhere within a street, including bike paths.
The ordinance, which Garcetti signed Thursday, also restricts blocking the public right-of-way once the Los Angeles City Council passes a resolution to do so, posts signage and gives notice in the following areas:
— up to 500 feet of a “sensitive” facility, including schools, day care facilities, parks and libraries;
— up to 500 feet of a designated overpass, underpass, freeway ramp, tunnel, bridge, pedestrian bridge, subway, wash or spreading ground (those areas adjacent to river channels), railroad track or where lodging unsheltered or in tents is unhealthy, unsafe and incompatible with safe passage; and
— up to 1,000 feet of a facility opened after Jan. 1, 2018, that provides shelter, safe sleeping, safe parking or navigation centers for persons experiencing homelessness.
Councilman Mike Bonin and Councilwoman Nithya Raman voted against the ordinance, and 13 other council members voted to approve it.
“What is wrong with this ordinance today and why am I voting against it? Because what we’re doing today, even as improved, tells people who are unhoused and unsheltered and have no place to go where they cannot sleep, but it does not tell them where they can sleep. That’s what it comes down to for me … where can people go, where can people sleep when they do not have an alternative,” Bonin said.
The councilman shared his own experience being unhoused, saying, “Some of those nights I slept in the car, some of those nights, when my car was in the shop, I slept on the beach. I cannot tell you how much turmoil is in your heart when the sun is setting and you don’t know where to sleep. I cannot tell you how demoralizing and dehumanizing and defeating that experience is when you don’t know where you’re going to sleep.”
He added that the city only has enough beds to shelter 39 percent of the city’s homeless population.