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Transient man at Sacramento Starbucks throwing trash. (Photo: screen capture video)

Sacramento Drug-Addicted Transients Taking Over Neighborhoods While City Fiddles

Kate Tibbitts’ horrific murder remains on locals’ psyches, but seems to be a far-away, inconvenient memory for local politicians

By Katy Grimes, September 6, 2022 2:49 pm

UPDATED BELOW: The City of Sacramento has a big problem, and it isn’t the “existential threat of climate change.”

Narcotics, burglary, aggravated assault, battery, vandalism, and weapon-related crimes are now commonplace in residential neighborhoods where new moms push strollers on daily walks, kids bicycle to baseball practice, runners prepare for the next marathon, elderly groups do tai chi together, neighbors walk their dogs, and families picnic.

Homeless transient passed out on outdoor stage in Wm. Land Park. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)

“Open drug use has worsened in the Broadway area of Land Park recently, according to neighbors who say they are upset about a lack of action to combat lawlessness,” KCRA 3 reported this weekend. Only this isn’t a recent problem – it’s been building exponentially, and since Mayor Darrell Steinberg was elected in 2016.

Is this a case of bad timing for Steinberg or a case of bad policy and politics?

As the Globe reported last week, “The latest Starbucks casualty is in Sacramento, along the Broadway corridor, wrought with blocks of homeless transients, escalating crime, and legitimate safety concerns for the residents and business owners who live and work there.”

The Sacramento Land Park neighborhood is also where long time resident Kate Tibbitts was brutally murdered in her home by a parolee. Last fall “homeless” transient Troy Davis, out on the streets despite his recent parole violation, raped and murdered downtown Sacramento resident Kate Tibbitts, in the Land Park neighborhood, killing her dogs and setting her house on fire,” the Globe reported.

Tibbitts horrific murder remains a fresh imprint on locals’s psyche, but seems to be a far-away, inconvenient memory for local politicians.

This past weekend, this transient man was making such a scene tossing trash at the now-closed Starbucks on Broadway, the police were called. He has an ankle bracelet on.

Transient man at Sacramento Starbucks throwing trash. (Photo: screen capture video)

This is video of his mania taken by a local resident: 91C91B8B-21CD-46E4-BDC2-BA2717D39AFC. And this video.

Sacramento Police officers showed up, spoke to the crazed transient and then left.

The Globe has contacted SacPD to ask what the protocols are when responding to a transient making a scene, also wearing an ankle bracelet, but we have not heard back. We will update the article when we do.

(UPDATE: The Sacramento Police Department responded to the Globe’s request for information about the transient with the ankle monitor. Lt. Kinney said there are any number of reasons someone is in an ankle monitor – home supervision, monitoring on probation, a pre-trial monitor, etc… so the ankle monitor isn’t necessarily significant of a crime. Lt. Kinney said even if he was on probation, with so many changes in California law (Propositions 47 and 57), unless he is committing a fresh crime, they may just warn him. They also have to consider overcrowding in County jail. They used to be able to detain the person for a probation or parole violation, but not any longer with the law changes.)

Land Park neighbors shared several photos and videos of people shooting up in front of a bank on Broadway, of a person injecting a syringe into her neck while parked in a car on Broadway, someone cooking drugs on the handle bars of a rental Lime Bike on Broadway… all out in the open, KCRA reported and has the photos.

KCRA received a statement from Councilwoman Katie Valenzuela:

“The police have gotten more resources than they ever had before – $47m additional in just the last two budgets. Despite that increase in funding our crime has gone up, because the issues here are not about enforcement. We will not see a decrease in crime until we start prioritizing the reasons people commit crimes: drug and mental health treatment, affordable housing, economic opportunity.”

Many in the city dispute Valenzuela’s claim of $47M additional funding for SacPD. The budget includes money for pensions, police equipment, and other non-officer spending. SacPd is still seriously understaffed. Sacramento had more police officers on the street in 2008 than we do today in 2022, and the city population has grown significantly since then. Sac Fire’s budget has also increased, but nobody complains about that.

Councilwoman Valenzuela continues to blame police, but now at least admits that drug addiction and mental health is a large part of the crimes by homeless transients. But mouthing the words isn’t enough for the Councilwoman facing a recall election.

Homeless transient passed out in Wm. Land Park. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)

In April, the Globe reported “Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, together with Democratic state lawmakers and ‘criminal justice reform’ advocates, held a press conference and demanded $3 billion ‘for immediate and substantial investments in crime prevention and healing services for crime victims.’ Their demand follows the weekend [gang] shooting in Sacramento which left 6 dead and 12 injured.”

Steinberg has demanded a lot of state and federal funding since he took over the Mayor’s office in 2016. It seems to be all he knows how to do – demand and spend, and we don’t really know where the money is spent with so many questionable NGOs and non-profits attached to city government.

Steinberg created the non-profit Steinberg Institute in 2015 while still a State Senator, just prior to leaving the California Senate, to help the mentally-ill: “Since its inception in January 2015, the institute has helped enact sweeping improvements in California mental health policy, including securing $2 billion to provide housing and care for homeless people living with brain illness,” the website says.

Has the Steinberg Institute spent $2 billion helping the mentally-ill, creating housing and funding crime prevention? The odds are no, they have not. We are betting that $2 billion isn’t going to the mentally ill, drug addicted homeless transients living on Sacramento streets.

With Steinberg at the April press event following the downtown gang shooting were gun control and defund-the-police advocates:

Advocates used the opportunity to call for more state funding for crime prevention, cash assistance to victims and survivors of violent crime, and “interventions around gun violence.” However, the advocates for interventions around gun violence offered no specific solutions – just funding. Maybe these groups are where Steinberg’s demand for funding end up.

After another deadly shooting downtown in July, Mayor Steinberg announced the “investments” he was making to make Downtown Sacramento more safe:

  • increased our minimum patrol staffing on Saturdays
  • bike officers now work until 3 a.m. on weekends
  • Officers in the entertainment unit are also working until 3 a.m., focusing on hotspots in downtown and midtown
  • Additional officers have now been directed to patrol parking lots near nightclubs to make sure they aren’t used by people getting in fights or engaging in illegal activity
  • an additional funding allocation from City Council pays for two foot patrol officers every day

This is nice and already should already be standard operating procedure.

Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher suggested a different tact last Spring:

  • End the Early Release of Violent Felons
  • Restore Stiff Penalties for Gun & Gang Crimes
  • Disarm & Penalize Felons with Guns

Those policies would make a difference.

As for the downtown neighbors and the Land Park neighborhood, Land Park Community Association vice president Kristina Rogers told KCRA, “We’ve got people dealing drugs, and shooting up, and having crazy episodes in front of children … I keep hearing about revitalization in this area, and this is what we’re getting instead.”

She also said a lack of accountability is leading to drug use and dealing, assault and other crimes in the area: “Crime is happening every day 24/7, drug dealing is happening 24/7,” said Rogers. “I want answers from the city.”

We all want answers from the City.

Mentally ill, sometimes violent transient woman parks her cart by a home in Land Park. She’s off to the left. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)
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32 thoughts on “Sacramento Drug-Addicted Transients Taking Over Neighborhoods While City Fiddles

  1. Mrs. Rogers summed it up in one word “accountability”. Passing the buck is a slithery skill indeed. Just form another NGO, that will do it this time… yeah…

  2. Such a shame, Land Park is a beautiful neighborhood in downtown Sacramento. I remember years ago Sunset Magazine featured the traditional fourth of July home grown parade. That was back in the 90’s.
    This story mirrors the historic neighborhoods of Portland. Residents are fleeing those neighborhoods because the city has given up patrolling and literally are allowing the homeless to pitch tents on the sidewalk in front of peoples homes. It starts with allowing them in parks and industrial areas and then leads to family neighborhoods to be inundated with tents and garbage. This is not acceptable.
    What I do not understand is the unwillingness of the residents to fight for the sanctity of their family friendly neighborhoods. They coukd vote differently and recall the city council and Mayor. Instead they flee to safer and greener pastures like Texas, Idaho, Montana…
    They vote with their feet .
    What will be left of our historic, serene neighborhoods with rich histories?

  3. How much more crystal clear can it be, now that this dangerous and ugly situation has hit a critical mass, for all of us to see what DOES NOT work? Throwing money at leftist organizations with phony names that have the words “safety” and “justice” in them DOES NOT work. (Ditto for blindly voting for ballot measures that have those words in the titles, too.) Having the odious and money-grubbing Darrell Steinberg as Sacramento mayor DOES NOT work (but I guess he’s there until 2024 unless recalled). Having lefty Katie Valenzuela as a city council rep definitely DOES NOT work. Really hoping the Valenzuela Recall succeeds!

    If we could wave a magic wand and institute Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher’s suggestions — just those three suggestions —- TOMORROW we would soon see what DOES WORK:
    End the Early Release of Violent Felons
    Restore Stiff Penalties for Gun & Gang Crimes
    Disarm & Penalize Felons with Guns
    There would soon be such a dramatic difference in the neighborhood, in the district, (in the state), it would make people’s heads spin and their jaws drop. Then there would be energy for good people who live there to Recall Vallenzuela, find out exactly where the Steinberg homeless billions went, and other worthy efforts. Then the good people would be on the proper path to simply feeling safe and free to appreciate the beauty of the absolutely lovely Land Park.

    1. Absolutely correct ShowandTell.
      What do they have to lose by implementing law and order as Assemblyman Gallagher advocates for? Well I guess money for the Homeless Industrial Complex!

      The laws are on the books we just need them enforced.

  4. Great vote in more democrats the next election cycle and get more of this. What is wrong with people, instead of a high-speed rail maybe invest a few billion into mental institutions like the state had before we became civilized and turned the mentally ill out onto the street. But my guess is not enough kick back money in mental hospitals. Just my option I could be wrong!!

    1. I think you have it right Jack.
      Have you seen a big conglomerate advocate for mental health facilities? I have not but I do see on a regular basis land developers want to build housing that seems to never address the homeless situation. They know that is not the root cause. It is primarily a drug and mental health issue.

  5. It boggles the mind that in blue states & cities citizens brains have been altered & corrupted to the point they keep electing stupid democrats. You want to clean up your cities? Stop voting Democrat folks, its that simple.

  6. well the mayor has been there for 6 years now. The voters MUST be happy with the situation or they would change it, no?

  7. The ruination of one of California’s most beautiful and historic neighborhoods needs national attention.
    There needs to be enough of an embarrassment to the ruling class that they will enforce the laws and take ACTION.
    To get national attention in this age you need 1,000 plus protestors blocking the interstate with placards, or surrounding the homes and meeting places of the elitists.
    ACTION not words is needed by the taxpayers to get the attention of the politburo.

  8. We need a new mayor. South Natomas is getting just as bad. Let the homeless back on the river. Patrol them. Give them trash cans and toilets. What are other cities doing? Open up the mental institutions again. Do something. We have a money surplus.

  9. The leftists always blame the problem on mental health, but fail to link the mental health problem on drug use, including marijuana. Instead, the Democrats promote more drug use.

    Then we have these idiots who say the war on drugs has failed and should be stopped. What are they smoking? California is a prime example of what happens when you let up on the war on drugs.

  10. People should not be a hostage in their own home because of the violence and drugs in their neighborhood. I refuse to believe there isn’t a solution to some or all of the problem. There are well educated, intelligent people supposed to be governing our city and county. Somewhere, somehow, people are not understanding what’s happening when violence, drugs, and homelessness is so prevalent. When a solution is created not everyone will be happy with it. Get the politics out of the solution and put heart and compassion in it. Time is getting short on solving the violence, drugs, and homelessness. It’s getting worse and will continue to do so.

  11. Unfortunately, heart and compassion is what has created a portion of this problem. Anyone who has been addicted to drugs or alcohol know that until they hit rock bottom OR there is intervention nothing improves. Many of these people choose to stay on the streets and mingle with like minded folks. Like the politicians in Sacramento and Washington, their view narrows to just define what they “all” believe iis best. I remember when someone used to deficate or urinate on the streets they were arrested or at a minimum ticketed. Now, they get a motel voucher or if their arrested their out peeing the same day. California has emptied its prisons and now everyone wonders why crime is rampant and on the rise. The stupidity it takes to not see the cause and affect is mind boggling. That’s why, after spending most of my life in California I packed up and left. But not before some of those same homeless people broke into my motor home and atoled $ 6000 worth of my possessions. Did the police come out? NO, I just filed an online report, licked my wounds and left the dumpster fire which is now Sacramento. What a tragedy. Keep voting for those crooked politicians and it’ll all go away before the earthquakes can level it.

  12. To Mary Lamb … I TOTALLY AGREE with the need for garbage cans and toilets!! As far as ramping up the use of mental hospitals, I’m not so sure. my guess is an overwhelming nbr of homeless may be UNtreated schizo-affected people who just need an easier way to access the rXs that have already been prescribed. This may sound simplistic, but if pharmacies have trained personnel to provide no cost or low cost flu and COVID vaccines it might just be that street people could be assisted in the same way. let’s at least have hope and put our best effort into finding solutions that will aid that population.

  13. Maybe concerned citizens should offer to transport some of the homeless to relocate in front of the mansions of Democrat Mayor Steinberg, Democrat councilperson Katie Valenzuela, and the rest of the Democrats on the Sacramento City Council?

  14. Ok look I’m homeless out here in Sacramento and yes there is a lot more uncivilized people in Sacramento for the past few years and yes most of them but not all of them are also homeless and drug addicted but everyone who unfortunately find themselves on the wrong end of financial struggle and has become homeless due to divorce single parents becoming not single parents just becoming single and a single mother doesn’t have a 401K plan when our kids move out and the husband leaves her and all she’s done her whole life has been a mother it’s hard to find a job no one wants to hire an older lady with no work experience you guys can’t keep saying it’s the homeless it’s the homelessness the homeless not all homeless people are the issue but for all the homeless people to begin this blamed on them is wrong there are some other people out here that are good there’s some people that are bad drug addicts are a drug addict but a good bad ugly you put everybody into one pot and start melting it down this is not going to come up right find the real problem it’s not just people that are homeless it’s a mix of things it’s people have given up on themselves as people who yes are drug addicts and don’t care about other people it’s not just homeless people though cuz there are people out there that have homes that have jobs that go out and do crazy things and hurt people so yeah cuz there has been more homeless people out and yes I agree even as being a homeless person it’s gotten disgusting I go out and I pick up trash I go out and when someone’s being harassed I stand up for them and whether the person’s homeless or whether they’re not homeless so there are so good homeless people out here because not every homeless person has given up on themselves we need help not everybody wants to be out here they just can’t find a way to get help I’ve never once been asked what can we do for you never once had someone say hey here’s a place for you to go to homeless voucher for you so all these homeless vouchers that people are talking about tell about yours I’ve been out here from 6 years and have not seen a motel about your unless I went to the welfare department and asked to be on their homeless assistant program that you’re allowed 17 days or something like that out of a year and only if you have a kid I believe I’m 44 all my children are grown up and I don’t know what to do or how to get out of the situation so stop blaming me on all the homeless people because it’s not all of us look at me like I’m a discussing person like I’m horrible I don’t even look like I’m homeless but because I have a backpack and a couple of bags my belongings on it I’m a horrible flight to the world and I should be sent to jail or or eliminated because I have the unfortunate problem of being homeless and everybody blaming me for the mistakes of other homeless people that mistakes I have never even made I’ve never even been to jail so there are good people out here there are bad people out here homeless not homeless these problems that we’re having in Sacramento aren’t just a homeless problem they are a problem of Sacramento citizen problem we need to have people stand up for one another fight for one another in a responsible way whether we’re homeless or have a home stop judging people stop thinking that we’re better because we have a home or someone’s worse because they don’t stop looking down our noses at people who happen to be in a messed up situation and look at what it really is people are people there are bad people are good people homeless or not nobody cares about anybody else anymore they just care about themselves that’s the problem selfish disrespectful individuals come to the point in my life that I’ve noticed that I know I’m not perfect I’ve always known that there are a lot of people out there who don’t notice that they think that they’re perfect and that they can do whatever they want and should be able to do whatever they want that doesn’t mean that you have to be homeless or you have to have a home it just means that you think that you are above everybody and and can just do whatever you want mentally ill or not wrong is wrong right is right and we don’t make people accountable for what they do we hold a homeless society accountable for what other people do behold every homeless person accountable for what other people do no that’s not right that person that committed that crime is held accountable or should be but not judge by nobody except for the judge of the case and the jury of his peers not the city that they live in or the people that live in homes and think they’re better than those people grow up world grow up people open your eyes and see what you what you guys have also helped perpetuate by looking down your nose and everyone but yourself look in the mirror open your eyes see what you also become because homelessness may have gotten out of control in Sacramento but being homeless does not make you a criminal does not make you a bad person it makes you human makes you just like everyone else just happen to not have a home right now now if you’re a criminal or doing criminalistic things and you’re homeless or not homeless that makes you a person that the law should make sure that you stand up to what you’ve done be held accountable for your actions the problem is no accountability for one’s actions then what do we have there is no love the law is not enforced I remember when you broke a law there was a punishment it was enforced and there wasn’t that much criminal action going on back then I mean you break a law you face the consequences you stand up for your what you did wrong what you did right you would take accountable for your actions and you won your lesson where you don’t and you keep on getting in trouble and and going back to jail but not everyone that’s homeless is like this another one that is homeless is a criminal not everyone that is homeless is doing something wrong so stop blaming every problem that happens here in Sacramento on all the homeless it’s not all the homeless I am just so irritated and hurt by the way people look at me because I’m homeless they think that I don’t deserve to be respected or treated as a person I should be treated like I’m a criminal and then I’m going to hurt somebody or do something wrong which again I’ve never even been to jail fingerprinted so I don’t know why I am being judged for other people’s wrongdoings if not right

    1. OMG- talk about a run on sentence!

      Some punctuation would make your tirade much more understandable and easy to read.

  15. Over a year ago I was talking to a San Joaquin Sheriff’s deputy about donating a mattress to the homeless here in Stockton. He advised me not to because they would stay longer out in the streets. He also told me that if a homeless set up a tent in front of my home, there would be nothing they could do about it AS LONG AS IT DID NOT TOUCH MY PROPERTY. The sidewalk belonged to the public and the law in Sacramento protects the homeless out on the street! Whatever Ronald Reagan did to close the mental hospitals NEEDS to be reversed!

    1. The hospitals were closed due to a lawsuit by the ACLU, Regan was following a court order. Too much Sacramento Bee, not enough truth.

    2. It was President John F. Kennedy who in his October 31, 1963 legislation –The Community Mental Health Act of 1963 — ordered the building of 1,500 mental health centers, while closing many mental health hospitals over time, known as deinstitutionalization. Governors were just required to execute on the President’s Order, while at the same time, Congress failed to fund the mental health centers. This was three weeks before Kennedy’s assassination.

  16. “Give us your tired, your weak, your drug addicted, your delusional, your criminals, and let the people of California be taxed to death while we embrace you.”
    Uhhh…. Why is Newsom running again? Beats me.

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