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Sleeping in public?




Late Wednesday, members of Occupy San Antonio sent out a series of photographs like the one featured above, apparently showing a San Antonio Park Police officer napping while keeping watch over HemisFair Park. Occupiers say the photos were taken late Tuesday night.

Sign of a crackdown on the local Occupy contingent, a fluctuating group of a dozen or so protesters targeting HemisFair Park, started last week when Park Police began handing out notices that protesters were out of line with the city's no-camping-in-public ordinance. The calm, friendly relationship between local police and occupiers eroded Monday with a handful of arrests throughout the day.

And a handful of occupiers gathered at HemisFair Wednesday night cited the camping-in-public ordinance, which also bans using any "vehicle for living accommodation." They insist the officer snoozing in his cruiser shows a double standard. "If you're going to hold us to the letter of the law, hold everyone to the letter of the law," said occupier Robert Jones. Chris Kennedy, another occupier, remarked, "It's sort of a slap in the face. ... They're targeting us for sleeping out here, yet we have an officer who's falling asleep on duty."

As per an Occupy SA press release Wednesday:


On the other hand, we do not wish to be overly harsh. The Park Police have long been overworked and underpaid. They are also part of the 99%, and part of the reason we protest. In that regard, we at Occupy San Antonio feel it necessary to bring attention to this very important issue. Park Police have been treated very unfairly by the city, and despite their current attitude of hostitlity [sic] toward our protest we still feel that had this officer been afforded the union coverage that is available to the SAPD this individual might not have been overworked to the point of needing to camp in a public space during his on duty hours.

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