Lawsuit says L.A. endangered homeless people by seizing their tents and shopping carts

A lawsuit accuses the city of Los Angeles for wrongfully arresting homeless people and seizing their lawful shopping carts as part of a "criminalization" campaign.

News Story (California)

Gale Holland
Los Angeles Times (LA Times)
March 14, 2016

Tags: Housing: Homelessness

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA)


Judy Coleman, who also was arrested on suspicion of possession of a stolen shopping cart, suffers from arthritis, diabetes and high blood pressure She was jailed for two days then released without medication Feb. 14 and was later hospitalized with pneumonia, the suit said.

“Over the past 25 years, the city’s primary response has been to invest in approaches that address the visible presence of homeless people without actually reducing the number of residents on streets each night,” the lawsuit charged.

“The city’s actions prove the definition of insanity — repeating the same constitutional violations and thinking, somehow, it will come out differently each time,” said Carol Sobel, the plaintiff’s lawyer who has successfully sued the city several times over its homeless policies. The Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and several private law firms also represent the plaintiffs.