Homeless advocate's charges dropped from 2022 riverfront celebration incident
The City of Eugene has dropped charges against a homeless advocate who disrupted a public event last June.
Samuel Yergler was at the grand opening of the newly completed first-leg of the Downtown Riverfront Park project. As officials gave remarks, Yergler openly criticized the expense of the project, and sweeps of homeless camps.
He was then arrested and cited, which excluded him from all city parks for 30 days. Yergler was also criminally charged in Eugene Municipal Court for violating park rules, and faced up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.
“I was calling out the city, and in return I was treated the way that many unhoused people are treated, and that’s being criminalized,” Yergler told KLCC.
Now, stating it had no “compelling interest” in the matter, the City of Eugene dismissed the charges this past week.
“Even though at the end of the day, the city wasn’t going to proceed, they just made me jump through all these hoops to prove the fact that I was not breaking the law, and I had legitimate grievances against them.”
Yergler says arrests and detainment can discourage critics of the city’s homeless policies and development, and thanks the Civil Liberties Defense Center for their representation of him in the matter. Yergler says he’ll continue his advocacy for the homeless.
The City of Eugene has not responded to requests for comment.