On Mother’s Day, May 10, Kaotar left her home with her kids to visit her mother. While she was gone, her landlord went to her house, replaced the locks, shut off her utilities and gutted her bathroom. Upon returning home, she began to think that the eviction was retaliation for a restraining order she filed against her abusive ex-boyfriend, who happens to be the son of the landlord, Charles Hines.
Nineteen days later, several of the LA Tenants Union’s chapters, organizers from Defend Boyle Heights, other activists and lawyers, arrived at the house in Mission Hills.
Locks were cut through, the boards that had once served to keep Kaotar and her family out were crowbarred off, and people carried Kaotar’s belongings (that had been tossed out) back into her home.
Kaotar’s lawyers cited that her eviction was illegal when LAPD showed up with riot gear. LAPD refused to acknowledge the lawyer’s legitimacy at first and attempted to force their way into the residence that had now been barricaded by activists.
On that quiet morning, neighbors, one of which had been the one who called the police, watched from their driveways.
When one of the landlords arrived, LAPD kept her separate, unable to be reached by anyone except cops.
Kaotar’s illegal eviction happened during the moratorium. As we continue through wave 2 of the pandemic, eviction moratoriums have been extended, however that is not guaranteed protection.
With a looming housing crisis in the US, housing advocates have called for rent and mortgage cancellation. LA Tenants Union has stated that rent relief efforts are just subsidies for corporate landlords.