Law enforcement hands out closure notices at Camp Hope second day in a row
SPOKANE, Wash.– Law enforcement returned to Camp Hope on Wednesday, handing out flyers to people living at the Camp. The Washington State Department of Transportation, the agency that owns the land Camp Hope sits on, says they see these visits as a way to intimidate those living at the camp.
“This is nothing more than a show of force at this point, it’s intimidation and it’s just plain wrong,” said Ryan Overton with WSDOT.
The lawyer representing the camp was on site as well, saying he wanted to ensure officers weren’t overstepping during their visit.
“WSDOT has agreed they can come on-site and pass these flyers out, that’s fine, I let them know the campers do not consent to search, do not consent to entry into their tents,” said Jeffry Finer, an attorney representing Camp Hope’s lawsuit.
Overton says WSDOT knows the camp will need to close, but says these visits from law enforcement don’t help.
“It’s just extremely disappointing. I mean all this is doing is riling up people at the camp, we’re making significant progress, but they continue to show up and put pressure, cause people to get upset, and it’s not being helpful,” Overton said.
There’s no word on how long these visits will last, but Spokane Police say these visits aim to let people living at the camp know that the camp will close soon and that the city has other shelters available.
Catholic Charities’ Catalyst Project is set to open on Thursday, with the hopes some living at the camp will move there.
Camp leaders say the visit interrupted their preparation to move people.
“The Catalyst Project opens tomorrow, first move ins come in tomorrow, and were in there with service providers and in there with paperwork, were ready to move and packing up things and we have to stop everything we’re doing and we have to close everything down so that people feel safe,” said Julie Garcia, founder of Jewels Helping Hands.
4 News Now reached out to the city and county for comment, and have not yet heard back.
READ: Washington DOT calls law enforcement presence at Camp Hope ‘disappointing and harmful’
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