The NLG LA Condemns the Outrageous Military-Style Raid by the California Highway Patrol against Homeless Families on Thanksgiving Eve

The National Lawyers Guild of Los Angeles (“NLG-LA”) denounces the brutal force used by the
California Highway Patrol (“CHP”) to evict homeless families who had taken shelter on
Thanksgiving eve in homes owned by the State of California that have been sitting vacant for
decades. After the organization known as Reclaim and Rebuild Our Community (“RROC”)
supported 22 families in reclaiming abandoned homes owned by the California Department of
Transportation (“Caltrans”), CHP descended with massive force, to remove at gunpoint, the
homeless families who had taken refuge in these abandoned homes.
Starting on the evening of Wednesday, November 25, 2020, at about 7:00 pm and continuing
through midnight, the CHP terrified the El Sereno community by deploying scores of officers,
with over thirty in riot gear, and bearing assault rifles to forcibly remove these homeless
families. The officers broke down the front doors of each home and entered with their guns
drawn and pointed at the occupants, who were unarmed. In one instance, the CHP raided a home
occupied by a 17-year-old girl and her mother with assault rifles drawn, even after the
commanding officer was warned that there were minors in that home. CHP then proceeded to
drag the minor out of the home. This operation continued throughout Thanksgiving Day until all
the homeless families were forcibly evicted and rendered homeless once again, with their
personal belongings left inside the homes.
Housing is a human right and it is unconscionable that families’ needs for shelter during a global
pandemic was met with violent repression by the CHP. We demand that Xavier Becerra,
Attorney General of the State of California, immediately investigate CHP’s egregious conduct.
We also demand that Los Angeles District Attorney, and City Attorney Mike Feuer refrain from
prosecuting all arrestees.
In line with declarations made earlier in the year by Governor Gavin Newsom to repurpose
unused and empty State, County, and City properties to house thousands of families and
individuals facing housing instability, we call on Governor Newsom, State Senator Maria Elena
Durazo, Assembly member Wendy Carrillo, U.S. Congressman Jimmy Gomez, and Los Angeles
City Councilman Kevin de Leon to direct Caltrans to repurpose these vacant unused homes to
provide critical shelter for homeless families and immediately return all personal belongings left
inside the homes.

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