LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Louisville Metro Police Department is facing outrage from community outreach leaders after officers admitted to mistakenly clearing a homeless camp on Friday night in below freezing temperatures.
Feed Louisville co-founder, Donny Greene, is urging the public to pressure Mayor Greg Fischer and his team, Metro Council members, and other local leaders to do more to help those living on the streets.
“That spot on the sidewalk people are sleeping on, that’s their home,” Green told WAVE 3 News on Monday. “This is the alternative. This is what their houses become.”
A tip to WAVE 3 News from people encamped near Market Street and Hancock Street said that LMPD officers were removing their tents and belongings from the underpass that night.
LMPD Officer Beth Ruoff released a statement saying it was a miscommunication and said the department took full responsibility for what happened. The statement went on to say the department would work to replace the items with homeless outreach organizations. However, Greene claimed LMPD lied and did not return to Market and Hancock to replace the belongings.
LMPD’s error, Greene said, caused at least nine people to lose their belongings, if not more.
“I haven’t heard who gave the orders,” he said. “I don’t think anyone knows who gave the order.”
According to City of Louisville code, anyone who wants to set up a makeshift campsite, or in this case, a temporary home, must file a permit. However, the city cannot forcibly remove a homeless person without at least three weeks’ notice. Then, if property is taken away, the city must put up notice on where the person or those in a camp can retrieve their things.
LMPD has not yet responded to WAVE 3 News’ request for more information regarding standard operating procedures.