KAKAAKO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Approximately 150 homeless people have been cleared from Kakaako encampments along Ohe and Ilalo Streets, and some believe a "Hawaii Five-0" shoot this weekend may be to blame.
As part of the City and County of Honolulu's enforcement of a 2013 sidewalk law – allowing city workers to remove personal property deemed a "sidewalk nuisance" – crews conducted a "sweep" of the homeless and their belongings in the area Thursday, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
City officials confirmed "Hawaii Five-0" production staff intended to film in the Kakaako area this weekend for a car chase scene, but they say the sweep was planned before the filming permit was issued and the production crew scheduled the shoot for after the sweep.
However, Kathryn Xian, executive director of the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery, said in a statement she believes the city enforced the law to make way for the location shoot and that it's unfair for homeless people who are struggling.
"There are over 300 houseless persons living in the Kakaako area, most of them young children," Xian said. "There are many other streets where this shoot can take place. There's absolutely no reason to displace all these families."
She said a pregnant homeless woman nearly went into labor due to the stress of having to pack her belongings.
This sweep comes a day before the Honolulu City Council is expected to vote on a bill that would ban sitting and lying down on sidewalks in neighborhoods beyond Waikiki, including downtown Honolulu, Kailua and Kaneohe.