At arraignment in City of Olympia municipal court this morning, Scott Yoos (pronounced "Yoh s"—like "mos" in "most"), pleaded not guilty to two charges, one of trespassing and one of obstruction (of justice—I think of justice, but am not sure if that's the actual charge.) Next date is pre-trial 8am on the 1st of August.
Below is a photo of a rally to support Scott prior to the City Council meeting last night. Over thirty people spoke in support of Scott, and to call for changes. Public comment lasted about an hour and a half at the beginning of the meeting.
It was last week. Around midnight. Scott was on his way home after volunteering at the Olympia Film Society. He stopped to use a publicly accessible dumpster. Almost instantly he was confronted by a police officer. I don't know exactly what ensued. But Scott was roughed up, hauled to jail, and is now being charged with crimes. Apparently the City is actually prosecuting.
I disagree with the use of police resources to guard dumpsters.
Maybe what we need is a pro-dumpster-access ordinance, or initiative.
I think that the police need to focus their resources on enforcing against other stuff—like aggressive driving, speeding, and violent crimes.
Guarding dumpsters should be at the lowest end of the enforcement priority. If on-duty police officers don't have anything better to do, then there ought to be fewer officers on shift.
No one should be tackled for using a dumpster, period. No one should be prosecuted. At a time when there aren't dignified and meaningful jobs for everyone who wants one, it is a misuse of resources to guard dumpsters and prosecute their users!
Those are my thoughts!
Lots of people testified at the City Council Meeting tonight. It was a big turn-out with a lot of supporters for Scott.
Lastly I want to add some thoughts about society, impairment, disability, and justice.
We live in a harmful society. A society that causes impairment. We live in a society where there is the operation of longstanding patterns of privilege and oppression. These patterns cause harm, in ways direct and indirect.
When people can no longer function normally in our society, due to impairment, then they are considered disabled, and 9 times out of 10 further discriminated against. That's why we need disability justice. And that's why we need to put an end to aspects of our society that are prone to causing impairment.
Scott has disabilities. He is mute. He suffers with effects from traumatic brain injury.
And he deserves to be treated well, and gently. Not roughed up when he is frustrated due to lack of ability to communicate.
Anyone who knows Scott knows how harmless he is. I have been friends with Scott for many years, and I have never known him to have a harmful intention.