Seattle Cop Tasked With Cleaning Up Homeless Camp Sues City After Toxic Waste Made Him Sick

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Posted: Oct 09, 2019 11:00 AM
Seattle Cop Tasked With Cleaning Up Homeless Camp Sues City After Toxic Waste Made Him Sick

Source: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Coming to a town near you could be toxic waste, rising homeless rates, and a whole lot of bad Democratic policies if the left keeps getting its way in urban America. The latest example that progressives are utterly miserable at running the government comes from Seattle. A city police officer tasked with cleaning up a site where vagrants and vagabonds set up camps and tent cities is suing the Emerald City for $10 million after he says the city's negligence in providing proper protection for him and his colleagues left dozens sick from man-made toxins within the vicinity of the homeless encampment. 

The Seattle Times reports that "Officer Timothy Gifford, a former member of the city’s Navigation Team tasked with helping remove unsanctioned homeless camps, contends he was exposed to high concentrations of the toxic chemical compounds polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) during the Jan. 8 cleanup of the camp in a gravel lot along Denver Avenue South near First Avenue South."

Apparently, Gifford now has early onset Type 2 diabetes and declining health."The 5-foot-6, 159-pound officer previously had been in good physical health, managing a lifelong liver condition during his more than seven years in police work, said his attorney, Lincoln Beauregard," according to the paper.

“The exposure to these toxins damaged his already susceptible liver even further,” Beauregard said. “Now, he faces ongoing medical care.”

"My client’s objective for filing this claim isn’t solely about his own medical needs," Beauregard added. "He wants to make sure that the other city workers who may have been exposed know that they could be sick, too, and he wants the city to put protocols in place to make sure this doesn’t happen again."

The Seattle Times breaks down how this exactly happened:

"...Gifford was among the city’s Navigation Team of police officers and outreach workers assigned to coax homeless campers into shelters and remove encampments the city has deemed unsafe. The city formed the team in February 2017 as it intensified efforts to clean up and remove dozens of homeless encampments — from small one- and two-shelter camps to those with multiple tents — as part of a strategy to address Seattle’s homelessness crisis.

[...]

About five months after the cleanup, Seattle Public Utilities source control inspector Michael Jeffers smelled strong odors at the site, prompting him to collect soil samples. After test results found extremely high levels of PCBs, the city fenced off the area, consulted with state and federal environmental regulators and launched a cleanup effort, according to the city.

[...]

How and when the site was contaminated isn’t known. Officials involved with the cleanup suspect a homeless camp resident salvaging metal may have disassembled an electrical transformer and drained contaminated fluids from it, Bartus said.

“We don’t mean to cast aspersions on anybody,” Bartus said, “but that was the best we could come up with.”

Indeed, the health crisis created by liberal policies in America's cities is not limited to just Seattle. Leftists have created hotbeds of trash, grossness, human fecal matter, and other dangerous health hazards because of their regulations and laws that create nothing but homelessness and excuses. As Townhall has covered, MAGA activist Scott Presler has taken it upon himself to clean up these areas in cities where elected representatives refuse to lead.