A homeless encampment in Fullerton was cleared out this Friday, and dozens of people who called it home had to leave, according to ABC News. The campers were living along a 250-yard-long row of tents paralleling railroad tracks and adjacent to the former Hunt Branch Library.
Homeless residents were given 48-hours notice to disband Wednesday by Fullerton police officers, according to KTLA.
Narcotics officers, on a surprise sweep through the camp Thursday night, made 12 arrests, most on suspicion of narcotics violations. There have been more than 50 arrests at the site since May 1, according to the O.C. Register.
Volunteers went to the camp with free bus and train vouchers for those who wished to leave. On Friday afternoon, several residents had already left and others were packing their belongings, according to NBC.
The City of Fullerton found itself in a harsh spotlight when Kelly Thomas, a homeless man diagnosed with schizophrenia, was beaten by several Fullerton police officers, on July 5, 2011. He was taken to St. Jude Medical Center before being transferred to the UC Irvine Medical Center, where he was comatose on arrival and not expected to recover. He never regained consciousness, and he died on July 10, 2011.
Medical records show that bones in his face were broken and he choked on his own blood. The coroner concluded that compression of the thorax made it impossible for Thomas to breathe normally and deprived his brain of oxygen.
Clearly little has changed in Fullerton since Thomas’ murder, by the uniformed officers who are supposed to protect the people of Fullerton.