ACLU: Detroit Police ‘Kidnapping’ Homeless

Thursday, 18 Apr 2013 03:32 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Detroit police are abducting homeless people in the city’s touristy Greektown District and dumping them miles away, the American Civil Liberties Union charges.

“The practice of essentially kidnapping homeless people and abandoning them miles away from the neighborhoods they know — with no means for a safe return — is inhumane, callous, and illegal,” Sarah Mehta, an attorney with ACLU of Michigan, told The Detroit News.

“The city's desire to hide painful reminders of our economic struggles cannot justify discriminating against the poor, banishing them from their city, and endangering their lives. A person who has lost his home has not lost his right to be treated with dignity,” she said.

This week, the ACLU filed a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department following a yearlong investigation it says uncovered many examples of homeless people being “taken for a ride” by the police.

A police official told The Detroit Free Press the department plans to review the allegations.

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