Search

SWEEPS REPORT: Fair Oaks Encampment Sweep | 4.11.2022


two sacraamento police officers walking through tent encampment.
Sac PD walked through the encampment telling residents they have minutes to vacate before their belongings are taken.

# Of People Living in Encampment: 32+


Date of Sweep: April 11, 2022


Sweeping Agencies: City of Sacramento, Forensiclean, Sacramento Police Department, Department of Community Response (DCR), & Sacramento City Code Enforcement.


Housing Offered: On the day of the sweep, BZ Impact Team could not find anyone who was offered housing. After the sweep, residents had relocated to the sidewalks on each side of the encampment as they were not given a place to go. It had rained during the sweep and in the days after the sweep; residents were left with no shelter after having their tents taken during the sweep.


Resources Offered: On the day of the sweep, BZ Impact Team could not find anyone who was offered resources. We witnessed 2 DCR workers walking around the camp during the sweep, but when we talked to residents after, they said DCR took their information and that was it.


Services Offered: On the day of the sweep, BZ Impact Team could not find anyone who was offered services. We witnessed 2 DCR workers walking around the camp during the sweep, but when we talked to residents after, they said DCR took their information and that was it.


Tents Taken: BZ Impact Team witnessed and documented at least 6 tents being taken down, destroyed, and trashed. Tents had food, blankets, clothes, animals, animal food and supplies, and other living necessities that were also destroyed and trashed. One woman said the only picture of her son was taken and destroyed during the sweep.


Incidents Leading Up to Sweep: In January 2022, Sacramento County District Attorney and Sacramento Sheriff's offices created and distributed a survey to businesses and homeowners, asking people to report incidents that were occurring at the encampment. The survey asked if they are, "willing to sign a written declaration prepared by the district attorney's office to be filed with the Superior Court", signaling possible litigation.


In the second week of April 2022, the City of Sacramento and the Howe/Fair Oaks Property Owners Association (a group created in February 2022) signed a lease for $250 a month to lease the property until March 2024.


On April 8, 2022, residents of the Fair Oaks Encampment received notices to vacate.


Incidents During Sweep: On April 11, 2022, the Sacramento Police Department and the City of Sacramento arrived at the encampment around 7:50 am with what one city worker called, "barricades". At about 8:00 am multiple Forensiclean trucks, trailers, and workers showed up along with multiple SacPD trucks, cars, and officers. Law enforcement was going around telling residents living inside tents, that they had minutes to take what they want and vacate. Minutes later, Foreseniclean started ripping and tearing apart tents and living structures. Law enforcement and Foreseclean was unhappy we were filming and kept saying the tents they were destroying and throwing away had been abandoned, despite just having given them minutes to grab whatever they can. Residents, who were mostly black, elders, and/or disabled were given no alternative place to go and most, if not all, frantically grabbed what they could shoulder and took it across the street to the sidewalk.


About 30 minutes into the sweep, the Department of Community Response (DCR) showed up with 2 workers. While we wanted to give privacy to the conversations that were happening between them and residents, after the sweep we asked the residents what had occurred between them and DCR. All the residents we spoke to said DCR took down their personal information but said there wasn't much of anything they could do. One person was told they could go to Miller Park, but was given no way of getting almost 9 miles to the city-sanctioned "safe ground". No residents were offered housing. All of the residents were left on either side of the sidewalk with less than 1/4 of their belongings and many without tents or shelter.



During the sweep, we observed a Forensiclean worker who had a 1776 emblem, with guns and a yellow American flag under his Forensiclean vest.



Towards the end of the sweep, a hangtown proud boy showed up thanking Foreseniclean for their work. The Foresencilean worker who had the 1776 shirt was heard saying, "that's my boy" to the proud boy before leaving with a trailer full of unhoused belongings. Despite the heavy police presence, the proud boy was allowed to pull out mace and a switchblade on unhoused advocates and organizers that were responding to the sweep.


Documentation: