Jury Finds City Didn’t Discriminate Against Homeless With Camping Ordinance

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A jury has ruled against plaintiffs who claimed the City of Sacramento unfairly enforced its camping law against the homeless.

Of the 12-member jury, 9 agreed with the decision, while 3 were against it.

Sacramento Civil Rights Attorney Mark Merin tried to convince a jury that the city’s anti-camping ordinance is anti-homeless. Merin says the ordinance is unconstitutional because it’s selectively enforced against homeless people to keep them on the run and out of sight.

City attorney Chance Trimm, says the homeless are cited for legitimate issues like causing noise and unhealthy conditions. He maintains that the city’s no camping ordinance has been in place and working for more than two decades.

The case goes back about eight years when a group of homeless people was arrested in Downtown Sacramento for illegal camping. The group, known as Safe Ground Pioneers, sued the city arguing they were on private property in an industrial area and had the consent of the owner to be there.

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