Homeless Searches Unconstitutional, Judge Says
Posted Apr 25, 2007 11:27 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A federal judge says Los Angeles police officers are violating the Constitution when they question and sometimes search parolees and probationers without any evidence they committed crimes, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The tactics are part of the city’s crackdown on homeless people, the newspaper says. Crime has dropped 35 percent since the city made 6,000 arrests in the last six months.
The judge ruled in a suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union claiming police officers routinely questioned homeless people about their parole or probation status and often searched them.
The new campaign against the homeless comes after a federal appeals court struck down an ordinance banning camping on city streets last year.