Community Steps in After Man Caught on Camera Throwing Homeless Man's Stuff in Lake Merritt - NBC Bay Area
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Community Steps in After Man Caught on Camera Throwing Homeless Man's Stuff in Lake Merritt

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    Caught on Camera: Homeless Man's Things Throw into Lake

    A man threw out a homeless man's possessions into Lake Merritt Friday, according to a video captured by Oakland resident John Harris, which he posted on Facebook.

    (Published Sunday, June 10, 2018)

    A jogger tossed a homeless man's possessions into Lake Merritt Friday, according to a video captured by Oakland resident John Harris, which he posted on Facebook.

    The man, who appeared to have stopped in the middle of his run along the lake, rummaged through a homeless man's things that were on the ground and threw some of it in the water.

    "I am still stunned that yesterday I captured this video of some guy throwing a homeless man’s belongings into Lake Merritt and around the area. The police showed up soon after as the guy ran away to continue his workout," Harris said on Facebook.

    Harris said police told him they couldn't do anything because the homeless man’s possessions are considered debris, and that the jogger may only get a fine for littering.

    "This is ridiculous that these are the kind of people who are living in Oakland now. Please share. This bro needs to go down," Harris wrote about the video that has been shared nearly 2,000 times.

    Several bystanders in the video can be heard telling the man to stop, but he kept going through the items on the ground before he eventually left, according to Harris.

    Later Friday night, Kenzie Smith attempted to find the homeless man to donate a backpack with some stuff inside. He shared it in a Facebook Live video and then called on the Lake Merritt community to bring items like blankets and toiletry for the homeless man on Friday.

    Smith is a community activist, founder of Dope Era Magazine, and one of the men that was at the center of "BBQ Becky" incident that made national headlines.

    He told NBC Bay Area that he didn't want the man, who he only identified as Drew, to be a victim of another similar incident and wanted to step in to help.

    Smith eventually found Drew on Saturday. Photos and videos posted on Facebook showed Smith and Harris with Drew and some of the items that were donated.

    Man in Center of Viral BBQ Video Might Join Parks and Rec Advisory Commission

    [BAY] Man in Center of Viral BBQ Video Might Join Parks and Rec Advisory Commission

    City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan is recommending the man at the center of the Oakland BBQ video, Kenzie Smith, for an open seat on the commission, which helps craft park rules.

    (Published Wednesday, May 23, 2018)

    "There’s a lot of work we must continue to do in our community. We must engage with the people and not be afraid of the people and we must also treat everyone with respect and decency," Smith wrote.

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