Los Angeles Homeless Man Harassed by Downtown Business District’s Purple Patrol

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Los Angeles Homeless Man Harassed by Downtown Business District’s Purple Patrol

(car honking) – [Cameraman] Dino.
– Yes, sir.
– [Cameraman] We’re here in Los Angeles.
– Yes, sir.
– [Cameraman] You’re out on the streets.
– Yup.
– [Cameraman] Tell me about it.
– Ah, it’s not that bad,
it’s not that great.
But the big problem I have
is with the DC BID purple-shirt gang.
They’re a gang,
they’re an illegal gang.
They’re paid by the business district.
I was sleeping on Lower Grand three times.
Twice they took the backpack right from underneath my head
with all my belongings in it.
My phone, my ID,
all my clothes.
Twice they did that.
Then somebody gave me a beanbag mattress,
a really nice one,
a fat boy, it was 200 dollars.
Brand new they gave it to me!
They came,
I had it on a pallet.
They picked me up,
dumped me off it.
What they always tell me is:
“Nobody cares about you.
“We’ll do what we want to you.”
Okay?
And then they came back later.
I had it secured with my name on it.
They didn’t put a ticket on it
and give me 24 hours to move it,
they just stole it.
I went to the police.
I tried filing charges.
They do nothing.
It’s an illegal gang.
Forget the Bloods and the Crips,
it’s the Purple Gang.
Just like the Elvis song.
– [Cameraman] And they work for the city.
– Well, they don’t really work for the city.
They work for the Business Improvement District.
– [Cameraman] Right.
– And now the people that sweep the streets,
they work for the city and the BID.
They’re the same thing
but those guys don’t get money from the city.
– [Cameraman] Yeah.
They’re paid by the businesses.
– Right.
– [Cameraman] And…
– And they harass homeless people.
They do more than harass.
They’ve assaulted me many times.
Los Angeles Homeless Man Harassed by Downtown Business District's Purple Patrol
Lightly,
but still, it’s an assault.
And nothing can be done.
– [Cameraman] Oh my gosh.
It’s heartbreaking.
– They’ve run me over on their bicycles,
my legs, while I was sleeping.
They’ve kicked me,
they’ve spotted me.
They’ve done all that.
And I’ve actually had to go mental health
because of them!
Not because of being homeless!
Because of the Purple Gang!
They are not in any way
any kind of security in the least.
They cause disorder if anything.
– [Cameraman] As I travel around,
I hear similar stories.
– The other ones,
they have different colored shirts,
I don’t think they’re that bad.
But the purple,
the Purple Gang.
They’re a gang.
– [Cameraman] So–
– The only way you can stay away from them
is if you go near any of the public buildings.
If you sleep near the public buildings,
the courthouses.
Because that’s not their territory.
‘Cause that’s not a part
of the Business Improvement District.
– [Cameraman] Yeah.
– I figured that out. (cans rattling)
– [Cameraman] So…
– I’m listening.
Hold on. – [Cameraman] Yeah.
So what’s homelessness like here in Los Angeles?
– I mean if you stay on your feet
and you’re not hooked on drugs,
it’s not super bad.
It’s a little cold right now.
I recycle,
this is my bag.
I recycle so I stay off my cigarettes and stuff like that.
And I’m not hooked on any drugs.
I smoke pot,
but God bless California!
– [Cameraman] Homelessness sucks.
– It’s not great, but I mean– – [Cameraman] You gotta…
– But literally,
I wouldn’t even mind being on the streets
except for the cold weather and the Purple Gang.
The Purple Gang got me scared.
They literally tell me all the time:
“Nobody cares about you.
“We’ll do what we want to you.”
And it seems to be that’s true.
– [Cameraman] Is anybody helping you?
I mean, they’re harassing–
– Right now I’m in the Wine Yard program.
No, nobody help me with the Purple Gang.
– [Cameraman] No, I meant,
help you get out of homelessness.
– Yeah, I’m in the Wine Yard program right now.
So I’m trying to get out,
I was in it once before.
But I lost my job and I got evicted.
– [Cameraman] ‘Kay, you lost your job,
got evicted.
Back on the streets,
trying to get back.
– Well I never was really on the street.
But until now,
I mean, not in California.
– [Cameraman] If you had three wishes,
what would they be?
– To live in Big Sur and own a mansion.
(snickers)
– [Cameraman] It’s a nice place.
– I’ve never been there!
But everything I see of it,
it looks fabulous!
– [Cameraman] I’ve only driven through it once
and it was a very…
– Northern California’s a little cold,
but yeah,
Big Sur I hear is one of the best places.
– [Cameraman] ‘Kay, second wish?
– Oh, that was all three.
– [Cameraman] Oh, really?
– Yeah, that’s all I want.
– [Cameraman] To live in Big Sur in a mansion.
– Yeah, I’m good.
All I need is two,
because after you live in Big Sur in a mansion,
everything comes to ya!
– [Cameraman] I agree.
Well, thank you very much for talking to me.
– Cheers, guy.