Atlanta family, battling foreclosure, evicted at gunpoint

ATLANTA  – A Georgia family of four generations was evicted at gunpoint by more than a dozen DeKalb County sheriff’s officers in the middle of the night on May 2.

Christine Frazer, a 62-year-old homeowner of 18 years, her 25-year-old daughter, 3-year-old grandson, and 85-year-old mother have since been separated and forced to rely on the kindness of others and charity groups.

Frazer and her lawyer had been fighting against foreclosure in federal court and working with the lenders. Members of Occupy Atlanta had come to her aid. Frazer said she did not expect the eviction because the case is pending in federal court “and also the opposing or foreclosing attorney was in a negotiation process with my attorney.” Just that Monday, she said, “I talked with them and they had talked about possibly reinstating the loan. But, of course, I was concerned about the principal [amount]. And they previously said they were looking for the eviction. It happened the next morning at 3 a.m.”

At 3 a.m., she said, “The DeKalb Sheriff’s Department knocked on my door … I knew my rights that I didn’t have to open the door. They came with a locksmith, drilled off the locks, came into my house, with a flashlight in one hand and pistol in the other, [shouting] ‘Who’s in the house? Who’s in the house?'”

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“These people came at me like I’m a drug dealer and I am doing something wrong,” she said. “I am just a homeowner.”

“My picture and my story have been in the local DeKalb paper,” said Frazer. “Yes, they knew Occupy was there. But Occupy is a nonviolent movement.  Nonviolent.” But the family, young and old, was ordered to leave the house as if “there had been a fire” and allowed to take only immediate possessions.

Frazer said the DeKalb County Sheriff “hired some off-the-wall great big jerks to come into my home. My daughter had a little piggy bank. She was saving those gold dollar coins. They broke it on the floor and took that.”  She said, “I have no idea where some of my jewelry is – stuff I bought when I was 30 years old. I am 63. They just threw everything everywhere, helter-skelter on the front lawn in the dark. I have to tell you, I worked hard all my life. “

Following the eviction, Occupy Atlanta and other community allies staged a rally in support of Frazer and her now homeless family.  

As reported on Fox 5 Atlanta, the protesters reacted to the family’s eviction by putting all of the Frazer family’s personal items, previously in storage, onto the lawn and in front of the offices of the DeKalb County Sheriff this past Monday.  

Sheriff Thomas Brown told Fox 5, “If I’m the guy that’s the scapegoat, then fine. Don’t tear up my building, don’t tear up my cars. Don’t hurt my deputies, don’t interfere with free movement of the public and you’re not going to have a problem with me.”

But after the rally, sheriff’s deputies surrounded one protester’s vehicle, impounded it for “evidence,” arrested one of the demonstrators, and then gave a citation for littering on the scene.

Occupy Atlanta has vowed to search for a permanent home for Frazer’s family, and the family and their lawyer continue to fight the eviction in federal court.

Photo via Occupy Atlanta.


Joshua Leclair
Joshua Leclair

Josh has worked as a motorcycle mechanic and an organizer for a public sector union in Florida. He is currently active in Central Florida's labor and progressive movements. Josh grew up in New Smyrna Beach and now resides in Orlando.