The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California announced this week it was dropping its lawsuit against the city of Santa Monica over its treatment of homeless residents. An ACLU statement indicates Santa Monica officials have agreed that " ... merely sleeping and homeless status should not be crimes anywhere."
The ACLU alleged that Santa Monica rounded up homeless based on a "vaguely worded camping ordinance," that the city had stated on its website that homeless people would either have to enroll in some kind of treatment or leave the city, and that Santa Monica police "harassed" the homeless.
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"As a result of Santa Monica's de facto policy of criminalizing the mentally ill homeless, we filed suit -- similar to our successful lawsuits in Los Angeles, Laguna Beach and Santa Barbara -- in an attempt to get the city to direct its efforts to eliminate homelessness, not the homeless," stated Mark Rosenbaum, chief counsel for the ACLU of Southern California.