Reason TV has filed a report on an unsettling situation in the rugged area of Antelope Valley in Los Angeles County, as the government seems to be infringing on the property rights of the individuals who live in this isolated region. Task forces called Nuisance Abatement Teams (NATs) have been used to target residents through armed raids. Many people have had their homes searched without a warrant and have been told they can no longer stay on their own property due to local code violations. Critics believe there are ulterior motives for the forceful treatment of the residents, such as clearing the way for an airport or highway. The LA Department of Regional Planning for the Antelope Valley, as well as other county officials, all turned down requests for an interview by Reason.
A press spokesman for Supervisor Michael Antonovich said off camera that code violations and complaints from neighbors in the area are the reasons armed Nuisance Abatement Teams have been used; the spokesperson also stated that speculation about development is a conspiracy theory. However, the fact that there are no neighbors even remotely near many of the property owners who have been targeted casts doubt on the veracity of such claims. Reason points out the following:
“LA Weekly reporter Mars Melnicoff wrote an in-depth article in which she exposed the county's tactic of badgering residents with minor, but costly, code violations until they face little choice but to vacate the land altogether. ‘They're picking on the the people who are the most defenseless and have the least resources,’ says Melnicoff.”
You can watch Reason’s report on the issue here: