Ask Officer Michelle – Camping Ordinance In Front of Stores?

Posted by Jib916

Good Morning Michelle.
I had a question regarding how you plan on handling the occupiers/campers camping in front of best buy and other big box retail stores for black Friday.

If Sacramento has a no tent policy, isn’t it only fair that these peoples camping equipment shall be confiscated, just like the protesters? After all the law is the law.

Any response would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You
Justin Buell

Dear Justin,

The “no tent” policy you are speaking about refers to occupying a camping space on city/county property. When people camp in front of stores in anticipation for stores to open or to get prime tickets at a box office, they are occupying space on private property. We typically don’t enforce the city ordinance on private property unless the business owners have an issue with individuals causing a specific problem. We will enforce the law if the store owners have a “no loitering” sign posted.

There are other issues that go along with the camping ordinances. Sometimes, people bring their children out to camp out. If the conditions are such that it is posing an unsafe environment for a child, officers can enforce the 273 code of the California Penal Code which is basically the code referring to child endangerment. I mean, have you seen the news footage where some people are nearly trampling each other to get inside the store when it opens?

I know that some of the stores are only allowing an allotted number of people in every 15 seconds to alleviate this problem. Thank you for your concern.

Officer Michelle

  • “After all the law is the law”.
    Justin, do you hold this position for all laws, all the time? Just curious.

    • Why Yes I do, dont you thsas?

    • I do, so happy to get support from you on immigration, pot smoking, public intoxication, bums who dig through recycle cans, all vehicles needing to come to compete stops at stop signs, (bikes included), vagrancy, etc etc.

  • Found it interesting the stores had no problem with folks abandoning their kids at home to ‘camp’ out for some ‘loss leader’ ‘bottom of the line’ TV or other ‘bargain’…but had issues with the Occupiers.

  • “We typically don’t enforce the city ordinance on private property unless the business owners have an issue with individuals causing a specific problem.”
    You mean law enforcement officials only selectively enforce the laws? And it’s okay to break the law if the intent is to spend money shopping, or watching a box office movie?

    Sounds fair.

    • Local government ordinances regulate conduct on property controlled by that government, such as no camping in city parks, on private property the owner regulates conduct. If they want to allow camping then it is OK. If they don’t want to allow then it is trespassing, which is a crime. If you commit a crime as defined by the penal code on private property the police will enforce the law. It is not selective

    • Tim Martin

      I would suggest reading the camping ordinance. There are exceptions to the no-camping laws on private property.

  • bye bye Sacpress

    Since many occupiers think that there is no such thing as private property, the nuance of public vs. private property may have been lost on Justin

    • Thanks for putting words in my mouth cogmeyer, but honestly i do believe in private property. Was just curious to how this was legal and the camping in the park was not. On a side note, i do like your anti Rob Fong Message =)

    • bye bye Sacpress

      Yeah, sometimes very broad generalizations must be employed to get that succinct and biting soundbite :)

      Since RoKiFo is badging out of the shallow end of Sac City Hall cesspool (for the deeper cesspool of state capitol lobbying… ha) I am gonna need a new avatar. Any suggestions?

  • This is pure propaganda from the City. By not cracking down on the illegal camping in front of retail establishments leading up to “Black Friday” the City demonstrated that enforcement of the camping ordinance is selective. The City just destroyed its own argument against the Occupiers.

    Sacramento City Code Chapter 12.52.030
    Unlawful Camping.

    It is unlawful and a public nuisance for any person to camp, occupy camp facilities, or use camp paraphernalia in the following areas:

    A. Any public property; or

    B. Any private property.

    1. It is not intended by this section to prohibit overnight camping on private residential property by friends or family of the property owner, so long as the owner consents and the overnight camping is limited to not more than one consecutive night.

    2. Nothing in this chapter is intended to prohibit or make unlawful, activities of an owner of private property or other lawful user of private property that are normally associated with and incidental to the lawful and authorized use of private property for residential or other purposes; and provided further, nothing is intended to prohibit or make unlawful, activities of a property owner or other lawful user if such activities are expressly authorized by the city’s comprehensive zoning ordinance or other laws, ordinances and regulations.

    3. The city manager may, as provided in Section 12.52.050 of this chapter, issue a temporary permit to allow camping on public or private property in connection with a special event.

    A violation of this section is a misdemeanor. In addition to the remedies set forth in Penal Code Section 370, the city attorney may institute civil actions to abate a public nuisance under this chapter. (Prior code § 44.03.007)

    • Agreed, every day there are many people camped put in downtown Sacramento, and the cops just drive by…

    • bye bye Sacpress

      Officer Michelle already confirmed in her response that the SacPD selectively enforces the camping ordinance.

      “We typically don’t enforce the city ordinance on private property unless the business owners have an issue with individuals causing a specific problem.”

      News flash, this happens every day. Example:
      Homeless steal thousands of pounds of valuable recyclables from city recycle bins each trash day, with zero enforcement from SacPD. However if the homeless steal the same value of recyclable copper from the lights at a City owned baseball diamond, SacPD arrives with sirens blaring.


  • Enforcing Vagrancy laws has been cited as a civil rights violation. A person. Has the same rights whether or not they have money.
    Confiscation of tents and survival gear of the homeless has been heard by the supreme court of California and the supreme court of the United States. Police, county and law enforcement agencies can be held liable for harassment and thieft for unlawful property confiscation. During a lawful eviction an officer may confiscate abandoned property if it is stored 30 days for pickup by the owner. Property can not be taken as an act of intimidation. If I hear about unlawful confiscation, I will film officers in the line of duty under the pretexts set forward by the state supreme court and and the independent police auditor. I will help the homeless to protect their right to be secure in person and property. If there is harassment I will be there. I have a Bachelors of Science in Information Systems and am a regular contributor to the independent police auditor of San Jose who is a retired judge. I have a full scholarship in law. I have discreet cameras and microphones and will employ them in accordance with the pretext of investigation of law enforcement misconduct toward the homeless throughout the Great State of California and have assembled a whole team for discreet surveillance with a grant from a non-disclosed entity and am currently seeking non-profit status for an organization called Homeless Action and Advocacy Coalition. I work as a novelist and a technical writer. I was homeless for more that 15 years and have endured way too much police harassment. On January 3rd I will be at the State Capital giving a speech for the proposed California Homeless bill of rights. Which is akin to the Rhode Island Bill which was recently passed. I hope to see all of you there. My father was an Army Special Forces Green Beret who supervised the training of all law enforcement over Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. I will not be intimidated or coerced I carry discreet cameras and microphones and am trained in combat judo and pressure points. My techniques have been ruled in court as self defense when I have used them against Law Enforcement officers. After all I am an expert in your training.


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