Oppenheimer homeless camp evictions end with five people arrested

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      Police arrested five people at Oppenheimer Park yesterday evening (October 16).

      Earlier that day, some 100 homeless people remained in the park in violation of a court-issued injunction that provided for the city to dismantle a camp that formed in mid-July.

      At its peak size, as many as 400 people were living in some 200 tents on the field at the corner of Powell Street and Dunley Avenue.

      The vast majority of campers vacated the park as police officers and firefighters watched from across adjacent streets. But as the day wore on, it became apparent that a few people were not going to leave on their own accord.

      From a Vancouver Police Department media release:

      Officers made their way into the park shortly after 10:00 this morning [October 16] asking campers to abide by the BC Supreme Court order requiring them to pack up their belongings and allow city workers to clean up the park. All had been well informed by police and others that failing to comply with the court order may result in arrest. The vast majority of campers were cooperative allowing work to restore the park to continue.

      A small number of campers who appeared intent on remaining in the park interfered with workers as they attempted to remove the last of the tents. Negotiations throughout the day continued with no progress. Officers were eventually required to step in to keep the peace and forced to arrest five people.

      The arrests concerned three men and two women. The release states that that the VPD is considering recommending the Crown charge the individuals with obstruction and breach of a court injunction.

      Update: The VPD has announced it will not be recommending charges and all five individuals have been released from custody.

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