Orange County downplayed its reputation as a conservative asshole-land this week by securing a future spot for its first ever year-round homeless shelter. County supervisors voted Tuesday to purchase property at 1000 N. Kraemer Place in Anaheim that will be converted into a 200-bed space service center offering programs helping the homeless to get back on their feet. Sure, it's no solution to the issue and the number of beds are inadequate, but it's a step in the right direction, no? Not so for BetterSolutions4Anaheim, notorious NIMBYs who bitterly opposed the shelter with asshole lawn signs, blog posts, and the help of Matt Cunningham, a sex abuse victim outer!
Their most clueless move in the lead up to the shelter vote? A blog post that insisted that police calls for service would increase in the neighborhood around the shelter. Their proof? A photo of a homeless man talking to a police officer. Only problem? The homeless man was John Berry, stabbed to death in 2012 by serial killer Itzcoatl Ocampo. Stay classy, pendejos!
"This appears to be an [attempt] to manufacture an artificial controversy," Cunningham whined to the Weekly in an email when reached for comment. "Now that [Berry's identity] has been pointed out, his photo has been replaced." Matty dodged questions about whether he authored the post, but it bears all the signs of a blogger who drew national attention before by mocking Anaheim men killed by police with a scorched teddy bear.
The Berry blog post trotted out in late October and shared again on BetterSolutions' Facebook page in November before being deleted shows just how out of touch the NIMBYs are. In the Los Angeles Times photo, an Anaheim policeman spoke to Berry, a Vietnam veteran, warning him of a killer preying on the homeless–not for being a public nuisance. A day before Berry was slain, he contacted police saying he believed he was being stalked. Ocampo, prosecutors said, honed in on Berry after he was featured in the LA Times photo.
The 64-year-old man was found dead on January 13, 2012 by a Carl's Jr. restaurant in East Anaheim, the last victim of Ocampo's killing spree. The alleged murderer died in-custody two years ago before standing trial for the slayings.
More than 100 people turned out the next night for a memorial recalling Berry as a delightful man and not human blight. Too bad BetterSolutions4Anaheim, who made our Scariest People list this year, made him their poster boy for NIMBY complaints to come instead of, you know, letting the man rest in peace.
Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @gsanroman2