by Travis Mateer
Oh boy, what a EARTH day!
Unfortunately, as I indicated in Friday’s post, the amount of trash under and around the Reserve Street bridge area is overwhelming, and in no way were we, the volunteers, able to put as big a dent in the disaster of government/private sector “management” as we would have hoped.
Before getting to the footage I’ve compiled, here’s where the Montana Department of Transportation is at with trying to compel law enforcement to give a damn. This is how the lawsuit is being framed:
MDT officials say they’re working with county officials and the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office to remove illegal trespassers and secure the area before doing a more extensive cleanup. MDT District Administrator Bob Vosen also said part of the reason for the lawsuit was to seek clarification on what action law enforcement can take in removing people.
“They haven’t felt comfortable, with a clear understanding of what they can do. That’s part of the legal documents that MDT has filed, is to try to get clarification on what the Sheriff’s Department can do, and what that can look like,” Vosen explained.
While this funny new approach works its way through the courts, a confrontation ensued near the end of the day on Friday between the proprietor of Riverside Pawn and the longtime resident beneath the Reserve Street bridge.
Here’s a screenshot of the email I sent the Public Information Officer and City Homeless Czar about the incident:
If that’s too hard to see, here’s the content in quote form:
On April 22nd police responded to an escalating confrontation between the long time camper living under Reserves Street bridge and the proprietor of Riverside Pawn. My understanding of this incident, based on a direct conversation with the proprietor, is that police allowed the camper to RETURN a few of the stolen carts he claims possession of to the home he NEVER LEFT, despite all the money all the agencies are throwing at this problem.
Please educate me: do felony theft charges not apply in situations like this? And will Missoula PD continue sending this disabled man the message that his long time residency is allowable and appropriate as he DIGS into the river bank and SHITS and PISSES in very close proximity to a flowing piece of natural beauty the dominant ideology of this town allegedly venerates and seeks to protect?
Yes, my frustration is palpable in written form, but hopefully less so on camera. And by camera I of course mean walking around talking into my phone. In a homeless tree house. With a pile of discarded walkie talkies.