Tulsa Killing Sparks Homeless Backlash
YOU CAN'T RUN ME OUT OF TOWN! I'LL BE HOMELESS! OH, WAIT
TULSA, Okla. - Anger over a homeless man's fatal beating of a brass-knuckle-wielding bar owner is boiling over in Tulsa, where street people are facing a loosely organized campaign against their presence — and in some cases are being run out of the area.
JUST TO REITERATE, THIS IS A BACKLASH AGAINST HOMELESS PEOPLE
T-shirts have been printed blasting homeless people with a four-letter word, and some people are warning of vigilante justice. A wanted poster with a picture of Terry Badgewell, the man who used a length of pipe to kill Deadtown Tavern owner Shawn Howard, was put up in a liquor store downtown.
FOLKS, IF EVEN A PROSECUTOR WON'T FILE CHARGES...
A prosecutor said the killing was self-defense and refused to file charges, but the victim's family is gathering thousands of signatures on a petition to force a grand jury investigation.
WHO WOULD EVER HAVE THOUGHT THERE'D BE TROUBLE AT A PLACE CALLED THE DEADTOWN TAVERN?
Meanwhile, Tulsa's homeless are feeling the heat. Michael Cypert, 31, who usually stays at a Salvation Army shelter near downtown, said patrons of the Deadtown Tavern chased him away from the area during a memorial for Howard a few days after his June 25 death.
YEAH, FUCK THEM, THOSE IMPOVERISHED, MENTALLY ILL TROUBLEMAKERS! WE SHOULD FIGURE OUT SOME WAY TO MAKE THEIR LIVES MISERABLE
Police have warned homeless people to stay away from the bar, and Cypert said has seen people downtown wearing "F--- the homeless" T-shirts handed out by bar owners.
IT'S GETTING TO WHERE YOU CAN'T EVEN PUMMEL A GUY IN THE FACE WITH YOUR METAL-COATED FISTS FOR SLEEPING IN A STAIRWELL WITHOUT HAVING TO WORRY THAT HE MIGHT FIGHT BACK OR SOMETHING
It started in the wee hours of June 24, when Howard and bar manager Josh Martin left the Deadtown Tavern wearing brass knuckles, as usual, for protection against the many vagabonds and drug dealers who inhabit the dimly lit neighborhood. A fight began with Badgewell, who was resting in a warehouse stairwell across the street. Howard struck Badgewell in the jaw, and the homeless man grabbed a pipe and began swinging. How it started is unclear. Martin said he and Howard encountered Badgewell while chasing two crack dealers away. District Attorney Tim Harris said the pair told Badgewell to leave the spot where he was preparing to sleep, starting an exchange of words that escalated into violence.
HEY, EVEN IF HE WASN'T HOMELESS, HE WAS ONE OF THEM HOMELESS SYMPATHIZERS
Homeless people have been chased and yelled since Howard's beating, and even a man who works at the shelter was chased away from the area near Deadtown Tavern by people who mistakenly thought he was homeless, Holden said.