WA sheriff: ‘Devastating’ homeless crisis caused by left’s ‘Marxist philosophy’ has people ‘living in fear’

While progressive leaders in Spokane, Washington pass the buck of responsibility for an ongoing homeless crisis, the local sheriff suggested the source of the problem “devastating that entire neighborhood” was clearer than they let on.

(Video: Fox News)

After initially making camp outside City Hall, activists were said to have relocated a homeless settlement dubbed “Camp Hope” to land owned by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). Now, as nearby families are “living in fear” as they witness the rampant criminality the encampment has brought to their neighborhood, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich called for accountability for the politicians in charge.

“It’s devastating that entire neighborhood,” he told “Fox & Friends First” co-host Carley Shimkus of the settlement housing anywhere from 150 to more than 600 according to various sources.

“You have entire families who are living in fear because of the drugs, the alcohol, the theft, the violence and, inside the camp, you have people being branded, beaten in the head with hammers, rapes and this is the prime example of the failed policies of the radical left,” Knezovich railed.

Various authorities at the city and state level have treated responsibility to act like a hot potato with WSDOT, who controls the land the encampment is on, and the Department of Commerce joining together to issue a letter to the City Administrator claiming, “the city seems more preoccupied with blaming the state for the problem it ultimately played a hand in creating and not acknowledging its own roles and responsibilities regarding residents of its own city…Continuing to blame the state does not actually make that narrative true no matter how many times you repeat it to the press and elsewhere.”

Knezovich has suggested they are all to blame and told Shimkus, “The Washington State Department of Transportation has failed to clean it up. They allowed it to grow and our commerce secretary Lisa Brown now wants to throw $25 million at the problem and that’s just simply going to line the activists pockets. It’s not going to help these people and it’s surely not going to help the neighborhood.”

As he noted in a letter to WSDOT, he will be seeking “an audit of the WSDOT, the State of Washington, and City of Spokane in their funding of Jewels Helping Hands and Ben Stuckart for the operations at this camp and other homeless camps within the greater Spokane County area,” as he asserted rather than address the problem they have been keeping it going.

“People need to take a hard look at what’s going on–who they’re electing–because the people they’re electing are setting these policies, and it has real consequences,” he told Fox News.

Meanwhile, Spokane Homeless Coalition Chair Robert Lippman suggested to KXLY that Knezovich is somehow part of the problem because of his efforts to maintain law and order in his county.

“I do not fault Sheriff Ozzie for his statements as I’m sure he has an associated singular thought of justice being in law enforcement. Again, I imagine he’s cognitively trained to respond to behavioral circumstances that make him and the community uncomfortable as a part of his role. However, justice is not a singular narrative as he reported through intimidating communication tactics. Justice is distributive, social, and restorative but it is obvious Sheriff Ozzie’s cognitive impulse is to control by forceful maleficence. Sheriff Ozzie does not represent my voice.”

For the sheriff, who lamented the culture that has resulted in homeless dying of “drug [overdoses] in human waste” the root of the problem remained in progressive ideology, “The left has adopted a Marxist philosophy where the victim has no voice, the suspect has all rights, and it’s killing this nation.”

Knezovich has expressed his full intent to have the encampment cleared by the middle of October.


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Kevin Haggerty


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