Washington, DC

14th and Kenyon Street, NW

Ed. Note: Back in July of 2016 we spoke about the New signs warning loiterers of ‘carnivorous plants’ at this location.

“Dear PoPville,

I live right near Columbia Heights Plaza, and over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed that the Columbia Heights Taproom–which you noted recently is in the middle of another facelift–is using a sprinkler to drench the homeless people that sometimes sit on the stone benches outside their property line.

This isn’t even subtle: The sprinklers are angled outward, and for many weeks were always directed at the same spot–wetting down the benches and not watering anything on their own property significantly. There is no other possible interpretation of why they’re running the sprinkler.

They also run it several times a day–I saw if used three times on one Saturday, and the ground there is almost always wet when I walk by it. Any claim that the sprinkler has any other purpose would be a disingenuous lie. I’ve attached a picture. (above)

Not that this should matter, but while this action seems pretty directly class- and race-based, it also theoretically makes that space unusable by anyone.

I’ve noticed in the past few days that some people have now moved a few feet to one side of the benches instead. The sprinkler has now moved as well.

I’ve contacted local government, but in the immediate term, I personally will never, ever walk in there until management changes. I really hope many others will do the same.”


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