Video: Jogger Accused of Throwing Homeless Man's Clothes In Oakland Lake

A video of a jogger in Oakland, California, throwing a black homeless man’s clothes into the trash has gone viral.

The incident took place on Friday at around 6:30 p.m. at Lake Merritt in Oakland. The video shows a man wearing a black, backward baseball cap and basketball shorts rummaging around the homeless man’s clothes, kicking and throwing the items. During the incident, the homeless man does not appear in the video.

“What are you doing with his stuff, bro?” one person asked.

“I’m not taking any of it,” the jogger said. “He can pick it up. I’m cleaning up the trash.”

In the video, a woman claims that the jogger threw some of the clothing into Lake Merritt. The unidentified jogger denies that and says it was an accident. The jogger than proceeds to take some of the clothes and put it in the trash before he jogged away.

John Harris, who posted the video on Facebook on Saturday, said the most the jogger can get charged with is a “fine for littering.” The video already has over 269,000 views on Facebook.

“I am still stunned that yesterday I captured this video of some guy throwing a homeless man’s belongings into Lake Merritt and around the area. The police showed up soon after as the guy ran away to continue his workout. They said they couldn’t do anything because the homeless man’s possessions are considered debri [sic]. Only possibility is he may get a fine for littering,” John Harris, who shot one of the videos, wrote on Facebook.

Harris told KTVU that he sees the homeless man every day at the lake and always gives him a nod.

"When I came around the lake and I got closer to the situation, I saw he was throwing away the homeless man's stuff who sleeps there every day and I see him every day. I give him a nod and he smiles back,” Harris said. “I was thinking of the Childish Gambino song is in my blood now, thinking This is America. We can use our phones for good. It’s one of our most powerful tools for social justice.”

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff told KPIX that the jogger’s actions were inappropriate.

“I feel the frustration of both sides, now I will say clearly that was not appropriate. It’s not appropriate to take someone’s belongings, it’s not appropriate to trash our beautiful Lake Merritt,” Schaaf said.

A GoFundMe page has been launched to help the homeless man, who has been identified as Drew on the campaign. Kenzie Smith, who created the campaign, has said the donated money will go to getting Drew new clothes, bedding, shoes, food and possibly a new tent. The fundraiser has already raised over $5,900, exceeding it’s $3,000 goal.

“We're disgusted that someone thought it was ok to treat Drew this way and want to show him through our care that what happened to him is unacceptable. It's not ok to destroy someone's things just because they are homeless. Help us show Drew that his community is here for him and that we care,” wrote Smith.

Newsweek has reached out to Smith for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

The incident comes after a video went viral of a white woman calling the police on a black family for “trespassing” while having a barbeque on Lake Merritt. Since the incident, large barbeques have been held on the lake.

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 12 A view of Lake Merritt in Oakland, California. A jogger has gone viral after he was recorded throwing away a homeless man's clothes into the trash. Witnesses said the jogger also threw some of the clothing into Lake Merritt. Google Maps

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