Murder Suspect Caught in 'Oft-Criticized Quality of Life Arrest'
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17-year-old Lily Burk's murderer is allegedly Charlie Samuel, a parolee transient, who was arrested for drinking in public and possession of drug paraphernalia. Already behind bars, he was later connected with Burk's murder after fingerprints from inside her car matched. Sameul's "quality of life" arrest under the LAPD's Safer Cities Initiative has received a lot of heat as of late. Calling it an "oft-criticized quality of life arrest," Eric Richardson at blogdowntown puts this weekend's events into that context:It should be noted, however, Samuel has not been found guilty of Burk's murder.
While the fortunate arrest provided a quick turn in the case of Burk's tragic killing, LAPD has been criticized in recent years for just these sorts of arrests. Advocacy groups such as the ACLU and Los Angeles Community Action Network have charged that the department was criminalizing homelessness by arresting those in Skid Row for menial offenses such as drinking in public.
Just two weeks ago the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty named Los Angeles the meanest city toward the homeless, in large part for the tactics used by Safer Cities.