Protesters Swarm LA City Council Over Plan To Limit Homeless Sleeping Near Schools, Other Sites

Los Angeles News
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — A proposal to restrict where homeless people may camp around Los Angeles drew protest at a City Council meeting from demonstrators who fear the rules would criminalize homelessness.

Councilmembers began discussion Tuesday on proposed changes to the city’s code that would prevent people from sleeping near sensitive areas such as schools, or blocking right-of-ways like driveways and loading docks.

If approved, the ordinance would also set enforcement provisions for people who harass or threaten pedestrians. Some council members suggested the language in the law is broad enough that it would give law enforcement leniency in how it issues citations or makes arrests.

During public comment, opponents voiced concerns that the restrictions would send the message that homeless people are dangerous. The meeting was briefly halted as demonstrators chanted “shame on you.”

A motion to consider the changes was submitted in July.

Last week, President Donald Trump visited California and blamed the state’s homelessness crisis on “liberal” policies.

The council took no action and promised further discussion on the issue. The council’s Homelessness and Poverty Committee is expected to hear the proposal at a later date.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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