Plaintiff speaks at press conference today announcing the lawsuit
Today, October 5th 2020, a lawsuit and motion for preliminary injunction was filed against the City of Denver for violating constitutional rights of homeless individuals, and violating the agreed upon settlement from Lyall v CIty of Denver, in on-going sweeps. The suit is filed by Andrew McNaulty of Killmer Lane and Newman on behalf of 10 homeless individuals as well as all others in the class of homeless people and those of us from Denver Homeless Out Loud who have suffered from sweeps. This case seeks an injunction to stop the homeless sweeps (and enforcement of the Camping Ban) during the COVID-19 pandemic (and afterwards), the seizure of homeless individuals’ property without notice, the destruction of homeless individuals’ property, and the continuing violation of the Lyall v. Denver settlement agreement.
This lawsuit comes after a series of egregious sweeps conducted by the City with no notice at Lincoln Park at the end of July, Morey Middle School at the beginning of August, and along the South Platte River a week ago. In addition, at least 20 other sweeps, plus daily camping ban enforcement, have continued to occur during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City cannot continue to blatantly violate the rights of people without housing and furthermore violate the settlement agreement they made with the homeless community to give proper notice prior to sweeps and to store property instead of trashing it. The City cannot continue to ignore CDC guidance to not sweep and to instead provide sanitation resources where people live in encampments.
Plaintiffs in this case lost medications, irreplaceable memorabilia, all their protection from the elements, and have been pushed into congregate shelters where one lead plaintiff with a heart condition could have died when they caught COVID.
Our City refuses to listen to the cries of the people to stop this inhumane insanity, so we have no choice but to take this cry to the courts.