Photos: Echo Park Lake homeless encampment closure begins

Police stand over a protester lying in the road.
A protester lies in front of LAPD officers at Santa Ynez Street and Glendale Avenue in Echo Park on Wednesday night during a rally to stop the shutdown of L.A.'s largest self-run homeless encampment.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Share

The closure of the Echo Park homeless encampment is underway.

LAPD officers moved into the area Wednesday night, and were met by more than 200 protesters who oppose the sweep.

Police stand beside a man in a tent.
A protester sets up a tent in the middle of the street as LAPD officers stand guard in Echo Park.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said homeless residents inside the park will be allowed to stay there overnight but that no one else can enter. The encampment residents must leave within 24 hours, he added.

Advertisement
Advertisement
People line up dumpsters.
Protesters use dumpsters as barricades as they face off with police.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Protesters behind a dumpster barricade.
Protesters stand behind a barricade of dumpsters on Lemoyne Street as LAPD officers approach.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Detainees are loaded onto a bus.
Arrested protesters are loaded onto an LAPD bus.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
A protester carries a flag.
A protester on Sunset Boulevard.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
A protester carries a stick.
A protester is moved back by LAPD officers on Sunset Boulevard.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Two people sleep with a blanket covering them.
Queen and Wall fall asleep on a sofa Thursday as a sanitation crew begins to clean up near tents where homeless people had been living next to Echo Park Lake.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Advertisement

More visual journalism from the photography staff of the Los Angeles Times

Valerie Zeller puts on her shoes.
Valerie Zeller puts on her shoes as she packs outside her tent at Echo Park Lake on Thursday.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
LAPD officers stand by a barrier in the street.
LAPD officers monitor protesters near Echo Park Lake on Thursday.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
David Busch-Lilly sits on a chair.
David Busch-Lilly sits on a chair at Echo Park Lake on Thursday.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
Ducks cross a path near a row of tents
Ducks walk across the path at Echo Park Lake.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Police officers gather on the street.
Police officers stand outside a fenced area of Echo Park where homeless people were to be removed.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
A sanitation crew cleans up.
A sanitation crew cleans up around tents where homeless people had been living next to Echo Park Lake.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
People walk with belongings and a dog.
Members of Urban Alchemy help Jason Reynolds and his dog, Bubba, with their belongings after they were evicted from Echo Park.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Homeless advocates and others talk on the street.
Homeless advocates, right, face off with a man who wants homeless people removed from Echo Park.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Protesters try to block a police vehicle.
Protesters try to block a police vehicle from driving down Lemoyne Street before the closure of a homeless camp in Echo Park.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Advertisement
A man walks through a camp behind a fence.
A homeless man walks through a fenced-in encampment that is set to be removed.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
 A police officer lifts police tape to let a woman pass.
A police officer lifts police tape as a homeless woman leaves the encampment area.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
A man stands in front of a tent.
A homeless man sets up a tent in front of LAPD officers.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Protesters and police face off.
Protesters and police exchange words.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
A person sleeps on the ground as police walk by.
A man sleeps on a sidewalk during the police operation.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Police officers stand in front of Echo Park Lake camp.
LAPD officers stand guard as protesters demonstrate.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

A man lays out a bedroll.
A homeless man lays out a bedroll in the street in front of police officers.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
A person sits in a tent by Echo Park Lake.
A woman sits in her tent Wednesday night by Echo Park Lake.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
People move a cart of belongings across a road.
Supporters help a woman evacuate as LAPD officers arrive at Echo Park Lake.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
A person wears a wedding gown at a rally in Echo Park.
Valerie Zeller puts on her wedding gown at a rally Wednesday at Echo Park Lake. Homeless advocates held a rally to stop the shutdown of one of L.A.'s largest self-run homeless parks.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Advertisement

City officials have been planning to clear and fence the park and remove any belongings left behind by the homeless people who have populated it over the last year. The encampment has frustrated many surrounding residents.

Early Tuesday, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority filled several shuttle busloads of those who decided to accept an offer of a room in a downtown hotel.

A man sits in his tent by Echo Park Lake.
Gene Ostrin, 53, has been living in a tent on the edge of Echo Park Lake while he mourns the recent death of his partner. He is originally from Chicago.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Two people practice dancing.
Christopher Sandoval and Elizabeth Jimenez practice a bachata dance routine. “I think they belong here as much as we do,” Sandoval said about the homeless people who have taken up residence in Echo Park.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
A swan boat passes tents in Echo Park Lake.
A paddleboat near a homeless encampment at Echo Park Lake.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
A view of Echo Park.
Framed by the L.A. skyline, Echo Park has become a homeless encampment with tents lining the lake along the west side.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
A shirtless man juggles near the freeway.
Ceasar Baldarelli, 44, lives on the edge of Echo Park along the 101 Freeway and spends his days collecting items that he can use from around the neighborhood.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Ducks cross a path near a row of tents
Ducks walk across the path at Echo Park Lake.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
A man holds bottled water in his tent.
Henry prepares to bathe inside his tent next to Echo Park Lake.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Advertisement
A woman in a wheelchair puts on makeup as another woman holds a mirror
Amie Roe, left, of Wilderness International Church helps Valerie Zeller with her makeup outside her tent before Zeller’s wedding at Echo Park Lake.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
A banner is displayed beside tents.
A banner is displayed among tents during a rally Wednesday against the camp shutdown.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
A display in a park.
Valerie Zeller, 52, fixes a display announcing her wedding in Echo Park.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
A man rests inside a large tent.
After setting up a community tent, Ana Dega steps out as a man rests inside.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Henry and Valerie Zeller.
Henry and Valerie Zeller during their wedding ceremony next to Echo Park Lake on Saturday. The couple live in tents in the park. Members of the Wilderness International Church, along with other church groups, helped the couple with their wedding.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

More visual journalism from the Los Angeles Times