Thursday, December 03, 2009

San Diego sued for trashing
homeless people's belongings

The city of San Diego has been accused of conducting “well-planned, ruthlessly executed and mean-spirited raids” to harass homeless residents and drive them out of town.

The 26-page lawsuit was filed in federal court on behalf of homeless people who said their belongings were illegally confiscated and destroyed.

Police officers and environmental services workers watched as homeless men and women stored their belongings near a fenced-off vacant lot, the lawsuit claims. The group then went into a nearby church and homeless shelter to receive services, such as showers and laundry.

The workers tossed all of the possession into a garbage truck and destroyed them in a compactor, despite protests by some of the homeless who pleaded for them to stop, the suit said.

David Blair-Loy, legal director of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, said the raids have nothing to do with cleaning up trash.

“This is purely and simply a drive to force homeless people out — out of the neighborhood, out of the city, and out of sight and mind.”

Read The San Diego Union-Tribune report here.

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