Burbank police ‘dumped’ shoeless homeless man in L.A., City Council president alleges

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

A video released Friday by L.A. City Council President Paul Krekorian appears to show two Burbank police officers leaving a shoeless homeless man on a Los Angeles sidewalk in front of Krekorian’s office and driving away.

Krekorian, whose office is in North Hollywood about 1.5 miles from the border with Burbank, criticized the police officers as “inhumane” and accused them of failing to help the man.

“They dumped him in North Hollywood,” Krekorian said at a news conference Friday.

In a statement, the Burbank Police Department said the officers had responded to a call about a naked individual, made sure the man got dressed and were taking him to the Metro Red Line station in North Hollywood when he asked to be let out so he could get coffee.

The department is conducting “an in-depth investigation” into the incident, including a review of body and in-car cameras.

“The Burbank Police Department remains committed to treating the unhoused community with compassion and respect, and thanks Los Angeles City Council President Paul Krekorian for bringing this matter to our attention,” the statement said.

The roughly one-minute video, captured Thursday morning by a security camera, shows a squad car marked “Burbank Police” pull up to a curb in front of Krekorian’s district office on Lankershim Boulevard.

Two uniformed officers help a man out of the backseat of the car, and one of them appears to undo handcuffs from the man’s wrists.

The man, who is barefoot and dressed in dark, long-sleeved clothing, limps out of the vehicle, waves his arms around and rubs his face before falling to all fours and pressing his head against the sidewalk. Then, he lies flat on his belly.

Krekorian said that his staff located the man in the area Thursday afternoon and that the man was receiving medical attention.

The man told Krekorian’s staff that he had recently become homeless outside L.A. city limits. He said he was at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank and became “unruly,” so Burbank police officers showed up at the hospital and eventually brought him to North Hollywood, according to Krekorian.

When staffers found the man Thursday afternoon, “he was not doing well,” said Krekorian. “He was not able to walk. He was still in the neighborhood. We called Los Angeles Fire Department.”

Krekorian said he didn’t know if the police officers were aware that they were dropping the man off in front of his district office.

On Friday, Krekorian submitted a motion asking for City Atty. Hydee Feldstein Soto, L.A. County Dist. Atty. George Gascón and California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta to investigate the incident.

The Burbank police statement said that officers were called at around 8:45 a.m. Thursday to a bus stop outside Providence St. Joseph Medical Center.

They found the naked man described in the 911 call and offered him clothing, but he had his own and got dressed, the statement said.

The officers asked the man if he needed help. He said he was homeless and had come to the hospital from the Sunland-Tujunga area with a long-standing leg injury, then left the hospital voluntarily, according to the statement.

The man declined medical help, the statement said, and the officers offered to drive him wherever he wanted to go. He asked to go to the Sunland-Tujunga area but accepted a ride to the North Hollywood train station, the statement said. The officers let him out at the 5200 block of Lankershim Boulevard, about a block from the station, after he made the request for coffee.

With various overlapping agencies in Southern California confronting homelessness every day, allegations of “dumping” homeless people in another jurisdiction have occasionally surfaced.

In 2018, then-L.A. City Councilman Joe Buscaino accused the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department of “dumping” a homeless man in San Pedro after a video showed the man exiting a deputy’s patrol vehicle. Later, the L.A. city police and fire departments both responded to calls about the man.

A sheriff’s official disputed Buscaino’s account and said that deputies took the man to a bus stop in San Pedro at his request.

At Friday’s news conference, Krekorian criticized Burbank and other cities — which he did not name — for not doing enough for the unhoused, as Los Angeles spends billions of dollars. He also accused Burbank elected officials of coming to Los Angeles City Planning Commission meetings to oppose permanent supportive housing projects in his district.

Krekorian also told reporters that in 2022, Burbank police dropped off a man on the sidewalk outside a city-run homeless services center in his district. Video showed that the man wandered off, a Krekorian aide told The Times.

“We are going to extraordinary lengths, and many of our neighbors are not providing services to people who are unhoused,” Krekorian said.

Earlier Friday afternoon, before the Police Department released its statement, Burbank City Councilmember Konstantine Anthony told The Times that the man in the video “obviously looks to be distressed.”

He added, “I’m hoping we can work with Council President Krekorian’s office to find out a better way of facilitating the needs of our unhoused community going forward.”

Times staff writer David Zahniser contributed to this report.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.