Emotions ran high on social media after video posted to Facebook on Saturday showed a jogger tossing a homeless man’s belongings into Oakland’s Lake Merritt.
The incident took place at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when witnesses say an unidentified jogger began scooping up a homeless man’s blankets and clothes and tossing them into the water, according to Bay Area television station KPIX.
Once the jogger realized others were watching, he began to toss the belongings into a trash can. All of it was caught on video.
“The audacity, the lack of compassion for another human being, the greater context of where we are as a society,” said JJ Harris, who recorded the incident.
Harris and others can be heard on the video asking the man to stop, but he continued.
The jogger can be heard saying to the witnesses, “I’m just picking up trash. What do you want me to do? It’s all over the place, if you want to help, help.”
There incident took place amid growing anger toward the homeless in the neighborhood.
“People are generally fed up on both sides of the equation,” Harris told KPIX.
He posted the video on social media where some people supported and praised the jogger, while others were critical of his actions.
When asked about the incident Saturday, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said it was “not appropriate.”
“I feel the frustration of both sides, now I will say clearly that was not appropriate,” she said. “It’s not appropriate to take someone’s belongings, it’s not appropriate to trash our beautiful Lake Merritt.
The homeless man was not there when the incident took place. But since the video was posted, people have come by to drop off clothes and blankets to replace those destroyed by the jogger.
“I’m appreciative,” he told KPIX. “I’m happy.”