Occupy Homes can't defend Cruz family home from third eviction attempt
Debris sits in the front home of the foreclosed Cruz family home following yesterday's eviction raid.
For Minneapolis police and Hennepin County deputies, the third time was the charm.
Following two unsuccessful attempts last week to evict Occupy Homes protestors from the foreclosed Cruz family home at 4044 Cedar Ave. S., police were finally able to secure the property following a raid that began around 3:45 p.m. yesterday.
Police blocked part of Cedar Ave., got protestors off the property, then closed off the area around the home with crime tape before boarding up the windows. Three protestors were arrested and released by early this morning.
Protestors said they were caught off guard by the MPD's raid, but one protestor, identified as "T.K.," managed to chain his arm inside a cement barrel in hopes of stopping the eviction. Officers used a jackhammer to break T.K. out of the barrel and arrest him, as they did when another protestor used the same tactic last week.
Police cordoned off the area, including part of Cedar Ave., then boarded up the home.
Video footage depicts the raid as being largely the work of the MPD, but protestors reported seeing deputies from the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office on the property as well.
The Uptake reports that a representative from Mayor RT Rybak's office was at the scene but refused to talk to media. Following the eviction, the city issued a written statement suggesting that the raid came after Freddie Mac asked the city to evict protestors who were unlawfully trespassing. Freddie Mac is the mortgage lender, and Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank services the loan. The Cruz family had reportedly been in negotiations with PNC in hopes of reaching an agreement where they could stay in their home. It's not clear whether yesterday's eviction means that those negotiations have now broken down.
Says the city's statement:
Minneapolis Police today secured a foreclosed home at 4044 Cedar Ave. S. by boarding it up. At the direction of Mayor Rybak, Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal reached out to Freddie Mac to say that the City is not in the foreclosure business. "The City plays a limited role to protect public safety. The property is the responsibility of its owner," said Segal. In this case, the City has fulfilled its legal obligation to secure the property.
Despite yesterday's setback, it appears the Cruz family's foreclosure drama isn't done yet. Early this morning, Occupy Homes offered up the following tweet (when the tweet says "tomorrow," it means today):
All 3 arrestees have been released! Thanks for your support! We'll be back at it tomorrow. Rally City Hall 1pm. Meet at Cruz home 7pm. #ows
-- OccupyHomesMN (@OccupyHomesMN) May 30, 2012
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