Attorney wants to sue Denver in order stop to homeless sweeps

City: Priority is connecting people to services
Posted at 9:04 PM, Aug 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-06 01:05:27-04

DENVER -- An attorney is threatening to sue the City of Denver in order to stop homeless sweeps.

Jason-Flores Williams believes the homeless are being mistreated. He said 10 people are willing to sign on as plaintiffs to file an injunction against the city.

"[There's] No probable cause to stop people, they're detaining people," said Flores-Williams.

In March the city cleared homeless people from public spaces near downtown shelters, and orders to move along continue to this day, according to Denver Homeless Out Loud, an advocacy group.

"Basically they just told us that we were being detained and couldn't move. You know, my first thought was here like, 'oh, here they come -- time to leave,"" said Ben Dunning.

Dunning said police wrote him a ticket last month.

A spokeswoman with the Denver Human Services points out the city spends more than $40 million a year on various homelessness programs. She went on to say the focus is on connecting people with services through more than two dozen outreach specialists.

"DPD's practice is to first try and connect people to services and treatment, and when that doesn't work people are given ample notice, usually multiple times, before any enforcement is taken," said spokesperson Julie Smith in a statement to Denver7. "We are working to be compassionate in our response to this complex problem and are well within the law."


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