Homeless People File Class Action Lawsuit Against the City of Denver

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Homeless People File Class Action Lawsuit Against the City of Denver

Attorney Jason Flores-Williams is leading the case

Read the 36 page Class Action Lawsuit Here Denver Homeless Class Action

August 25, 2016

Denver, CO — Class action lawsuit filed this morning in the Federal District Court of Colorado on behalf of the thousands of homeless in Denver whose rights and dignity have been repeatedly violated by the City through its brutal policies—known as The Homeless Sweeps—of clearing this rapidly-growing city of the poor and displaced. The 36-page Complaint begins:

“Defendants have engaged in a systemic evisceration of thousands of displaced persons’ constitutional rights in order to clear the way for new housing and economic development in the Downtown Denver area. While gentrification may have positive benefits for a few, it is not a legal basis for treating this vulnerable class as though their civil rights were non-existent.”

The City has condoned the taking and destruction of homeless persons’ property—often all they have in the world—without due process or concern for their civil rights. These raids have been done in a way that can only be described as vindictive and inhumane, taking blankets and sleeping bags from people in 10 Degree weather with a foot of snow on the ground—so that along with violations of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment, Plaintiffs are bringing an Eighth Amendment claim against the City for cruel and unusual punishment.

With this Class Action, thousands of normally invisible people in this city are standing up and demanding access to justice.

Since Mayor Hancock has directed the sweeps across the city – taking people’s belongings, forcing people “away” into hiding, with no respect for rights and dignity, we at Denver Homeless Out Loud have continued to demand loud and clear that these sweeps must end. We have requested again and again to meet with the Mayor who has not even had the decency to reply. The Mayor has made it very clear he does not want to hear from those of us he is attempting to sweep out of sight, and we have made it very clear that we will be seen and heard – one way or another.

With this lawsuit we are demanding that our constitutional rights be heard and respected and that the sweeps end once and for all. This lawsuit stands for the rights of thousands of people surviving on the streets of Denver which are constantly being violated and will continue to be violated until we hold the city accountable to respect our rights.   

Inquiries may be directed to:

The Law Office of Jason Flores-Williams

303-514-4524

Denver Homeless Out Loud

720 940-5291

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7 comments

  1. Congratulations on taking this legal step. Homelesness is not a crime, and homeless people are PEOPLE, with inherent dignity, and each with his own spark of divine fire. Thank you.

  2. I find this cause absolutely ridiculous and encourage the productive citizens of Denver to class action counter-sue anyone associated with this group. Bottom line is, if the homeless drug abusers weren’t causing problems for the productive citizens of this city, there wouldn’t be a problem to begin with. Instead of fighting against the city in this hopeless manner, fight for yourselves and your own livelihood and get off the streets of an otherwise beautiful city.

    1. Wow! Why do you assume all homeless people are drug abusers? Why do you hide behind your identity of “Angry Productive Citizen” ??? Sure, there are homeless drug abusers….there are also wealthy drug a abusers….Have you bothered to talk to any of these homeless people and heard their stories? Do you know many of them fought for our country? Do you know that many grew up in foster care and when they turned of legal age, they were released from the system with no family and no place to go? There are some that became too sick to work and since getting disability takes so long, they ended up in the streets? Do you know that once you hit the streets, with only the backpack or so full of clothing, etc., that some actually DO find jobs and the clothing that is STOLEN during these sweeps probably is the only thing that person has to dress for work the next day, so they eventually can earn enough money to get a home, apt or shelter? Why do you want them to be invisible? They are human beings! Could you sleep tonight knowing you took a homeless man’s blanket in freezing temperatures? The homeless are among some of the strongest people I know! They survive in the heat, in freezing temperatures, the eventually find food and water, they eventually find a way to bathe. The animals at an animal shelter are treated better than they are. I have walked the streets of Phoenix and met and got to know some of these people and yes, I have seen them use the public library to apply for work and then witnessed them finding a public place they won’t get kicked out of, so they can clean up and go to work and eventually earn enough for a weekly motel. It’s very sad that you view them as unworthy animals! A big majority of families are only earning enough to live payday to payday. If a layoff happens, if the bread winner becomes sick, an accident happens or whatever the case, if these people don’t have family or friends to help in this crisis, their next stop is homeless in the streets! It is pretty much downhill from there because without a mailing address, they can’t get benefits of any kind and then someone comes along and thinks it’s ok to steal and destroy the few belongings they have. Do you know they are probably not causing problems at all, but the city just doesn’t want them visible. It’s not a good image. They had the Super Bowl here in Phoenix recently. The city did not want all those football fans who were visiting Phoenix for the first time seeing our homeless, so they did sweeps, beginning weeks before the game. Once the excitement was over and all the visitors went home, the city once again, let our homeless population go back to the places they stayed. Well, “Angry, Productive, Citizen” I will keep you in my prayers, to soften your heart, to open your eyes and ears and to bless you with compassion. I pray that you are not now and never will be just a payday away from being there yourself. I pray and thank Jesus that you probably have family to take you in or give you a hand UP, if you ever find yourself in this situation. Lastly, I pray that you do some research or studying and really learn about the homeless population. Even better, I pray that Jesup gives you the courage to get out there and meet them. Introduce yourself and have a conversation. Find out where they have been, where they are going and how they ended up there. Just for a moment, close your eyes and imagine how you would feel or what it would be like if someone were allowed to search and destroy every single item in your bedroom or maybe just your closet. You wouldn’t be able to call the police and file a report because it was the POLICE that did it! Just imagining it myself now, I am feeling angry, sad, misunderstood, frustrated, like giving up, but you can’t, you have to survive. Survival mode kicks in, because that is human nature…it begins a snowball of things going through my mind…now, I thank God that when I’m finished writing this and you finish reading this, we can go to our bedrooms, pull down the warm, inviting sheets, fluff our pillow and fall asleep….just remember, the homeless population CANNOT do this. I hope you read this to the end and I do pray for all the homeless population in Denver and everywhere. I pray that Jesus has opened your heart and has allowed love, compassion and understanding to flow in and rebuke anger and greed. In the name of Jesus, AMEN

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