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Washington, D.C. to change how it clears homeless camps after man scooped up while inside tent

According to officials, a homeless man was still inside a tent as officials attempted to clear it from the area.

Updated: October 6, 2021 - 4:53pm

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Washington, D.C. officials say they will change how the city clears out homeless encampments, following an incident where a man still was inside a tent when officials tried to remove it.

According to WTOP, the incident happened Monday in northwest D.C. when the encampment was being cleared out by officials. A bobcat picked up a tent with a person still inside it, as shouts could be heard coming from the tent.

The person was subsequently taken to the hospital, and is expected to be okay, officials reportedly said.

According to D.C. Deputy Mayor of Public Health, Wayne Turnage, officials checked the tent prior to attempting to remove it. Following the incident, officials will now check each tent individually, while a worker stands by each tent as it is removed, to prevent others from trying to enter it.

The tent encampment was cleared out as part of a new program in the District, aimed at placing unhoused people inside apartments or hotel rooms, and working to enroll them in social welfare programs. Residents of the camp reportedly had been told that the camp would be cleared out.

As WTOP reports, the incident sparked heated exchanges between activists and D.C. officials while the encampment was being torn down.

Once activists told WTOP that they could hear the person “yelling” and that's when they informed the workers there was still someone in the tent.

The new policy goes into effect immediately. 

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