TACOMA, Wash. — Notices started going out at 1 p.m. Friday telling anyone camping in People’s Park at south 9th and Martin Luther King Jr. Way they need to remove their tents by Monday.
Tacoma police posted notices on message boards and placed one at each tent in People’s Park, leaving some confused about what they are supposed to do.
“I don’t understand it, really,” said Nicole, who didn’t want to give her last name. “Why do we have to be out of the park at night? Really? Because, like, what if we’re sleeping?”
Tacoma’s city council passed an ordinance Oct. 1 banning walled tents in city parks after police told council members the shelters were often used to mask crimes.
The city delayed a Dec. 1 deadline until officials found shelters they could refer people to once they were told to remove the tents, saying space has since opened up at the Tacoma Rescue Mission and a new shelter at Bethlehem Baptist Church.
“That space is targeted towards single women, couples and families,” said Tacoma Neighborhood Enhancement Team Manager Allyson Griffith.
The notices angered some in the park.
“Bunch of b******* is what I think of it. They’re trying to run us out of the park,” said Lois Klomp.
Klomp said she won't go to a shelter and she has no plans to leave the park.
“We’re going to protest. I ain’t going to go nowhere,” Klomp said. “Make me. That’s what I say, make me.”
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