Sacramento Memorial Lawn Cemetery shares a property line with Sacramento County property that is part of Department of Water Resources pump station. A tent camp has grown up on the county property immediately adjacent to the cemetery. Homeless people living there walk through the gravestones as if it were their backyard. The cemetery has called the police several times but police don’t have jurisdiction over the county land. KCRA 3 reports the family members of people buried nearby are not happy about the situation:
“This isn’t right. It’s not fair,” Sarah Clement said. “That’s my baby boy. That’s my nephew. And they come out back of the tent and they go to the bathroom.”
Clement and her family have gravesites going back decades.
“There’s at least 20 of our family members in here and another 20 graves are reserved just for our family,” Danny Lawson said. “This is sacred ground for our family. Not just mine. Hundreds of people that I know.”
KCRA 3 spoke to a weed abatement contractor who was working on the county site. He described the camp as a “city.”
“It’s a city. I mean, there are just groupings everywhere, and they’re all tucked in on the far fence,” Jessie Heake with the abatement company said. “It’s pretty bad. There are tents. Congregation areas. There’s huge piles of trash. Buckets of fecal matter. I mean they’ve just totally destroyed it back there.”
Supposedly county code enforcers will be on scene today to do…something. It’s not clear what that will be. Unless they show up with a dump truck and an earth mover to scrape the ground and remove the tents and associated trash, they aren’t going to accomplish anything. Writing a ticket isn’t going to change this behavior. Even if these folks clear out, that will just make space for the next group.
If you watch the video report closely you’ll notice in one aerial shot of the camp there are stacks of bicycles and parts. Where do you suppose all these bikes came from? I can guarantee you these people aren’t buying them. Bicycle chop shops are a common feature of homeless camps. The bikes are stolen and stripped for parts which can be sold online for cash. There’s another video below showing a bike chop shop in the Portland area back in 2015, but if you search You Tube there are plenty more local reports like this. Here’s the report on the cemetery:
An open-air bike chop shop in Portland: