Federal judge says:
A federal judge blasted Fresno for destroying personal property when it clears away homeless encampments and ordered a halt to the practice.
Stop destroying homeless people's property
(Yo, Orlando, are you paying attention?)
U.S. District Judge Oliver W. Wanger said the city's policy of immediately destroying the belongings of homeless people during sweeps violates their constitutional rights. He called it "dishonest" and "intentionally disparaging."
Defiant City Hall leaders said they would appeal the ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. "This is yet another example of a judge making decisions based on limited, skewed and false information," said Mayor Alan Autry. "These cavalier rulings continue to compromise not only the health of this community but the health of the homeless as well."
Six homeless Fresno residents filed a federal lawsuit against the city last month, alleging that work crews illegally confiscated and destroyed their personal property when they tore down makeshift settlements.
Read the Fresno Bee article here. And check out Mike Rhodes' IndyMedia report, which includes a blow-by-blow description of the four days of testimony that led to the judge's ruling.