Innocent pleas by Cleveland 4 arrested protesting homeless sweeps

Tom Boland (
Thu, 30 Dec 1999 22:45:02 -0800 (PST)

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FWD  Associated Press - AP Wire Service - Dec 27, 1999 16:07


CLEVELAND (AP) _ Four people pleaded innocent Monday to charges
from a demonstration against the removal of the homeless from
downtown sidewalks.

They were arraigned before Municipal Court Judge Sean C.
Gallagher and could get six months in jail if convicted of unlawful
use of a park.

Five people were arrested last week during a demonstration at
Public Square in the city's downtown. The fifth defendant will be
arraigned later.

Two of those arrested were homeless. Police dispersed several
other demonstrators.

They were protesting the city's ban on sleeping on sidewalks.
The city, in a policy announced in early December to make downtown
safer and more attractive to holiday shoppers, said it wanted the
homeless to use shelters.

After the arrests, the American Civil Liberties Union sued the
city and said the city policy violated the constitutional rights of
the homeless to sleep on public sidewalks.

U.S. District Court Judge Paul R. Matia upheld the right of
police to remove the homeless from the downtown district but
temporarily halted the arrests.

AP-CS-12-27-99 1707EST
Received  Id AP9936157E81905 on Dec 28 1999 08:19

American Civil Liberties Union attorney Raymond Vasvari announces
the filing of a lawsuit against the City of Cleveland, on the steps
of U.S. District Court on Thursday, Dec. 23, 1999, in Cleveland.
The ALCU filed on behalf of four homeless men claiming the city
violated their First, Fourth, Eighth and 14th Amendment rights
in keeping them from sleeping on steam grates downtown.
(AP PHOTO/Mark Duncan)


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