May 29, 2014

tent city eviction questions

— cwage @ 7:39 pm

After reading a Tennessean article that reports the magnanimous graciousness of metro police in "allowing" a Nashville resident to continue residing in a makeshift tent encampment on the banks of the Cumberland, I'm left with a few lingering questions. The article posits matter-of-factly that the land belongs to metro. I've heard from other sources working with metro to delay the eviction that it's not immediately clear who the land belongs to. According to Lindsey Krinks with Open Table, "they wrote trespassing citations a while back stating it was state property and now they are saying it's metro property, but it's more likely private property or the Army Corps of Engineers property"

The questions I have are:

  1. Who owns the land the camp is located on? My best approximation of the camp's location is here, but that is an imperfect guess -- I based that by matching up the appearance of some buildings across the river in this photo. If that location is right, it appears the camp would be on land owned by Lone Star Industries (thanks to @jrlind for the help):

    The rest of the surrounding riverfront property appears to be owned by metro water.

  2. What was/is the impetus for his eviction? Did the owner (lone star industries?) make a complaint citing trespassing?
  3. If the owner is metro, what is the problem with his residence there (absent a better emergency, short-term or long-term affordable housing solution), and in what way is evicting him a solution to that problem?

Good quote from Lindsey that says it all:

The police continue to remind us that they have the power and that they alone exercise the "legitimate" use of force and violence here. "The police department could have taken action some time ago," Don Aaron said. "We've elected not to." This article should be a story about how so many police officers and sergeants continue to harass our people. This should be a story about the dire shortage of affordable and accessible housing in Nashville and beyond. But instead, it is a watered down pat on the back to Metro PD for not doing what they could (and would) have done "some time ago" - shut down another camp and further entrench the poor in cycles of poverty and criminalization. We still also have not seen who actually owns the land and we are making great progress on finding housing with the guys. It shouldn't take months (or years) to find housing in Nashville, but for so many, it does. And yes, THIS is the real crime.

  • Andrew Duthie

    Your Google Maps link has the location correct. As you head back towards downtown, the camp is on the left as you climb and make the last left-hand curve. In that airplane view, it's the bottom-right of the big S-curve. The property owner is actually River Cement Sales Company, according to the property maps. If you turn on the contour lines, it's a bit easier to see.