ACLU: Detroit Cops Are Kidnapping The Homeless
Well, since kidnapping the destitute wouldn’t be very lucrative, it seems that Detroit’s finest are only (allegedly) “escorting” the homeless out of city limits. Not that the ACLU finds that any less immoral and illegal.
After a yearlong investigation, the ACLU came to the conclusion that the city’s police force has been forcibly placing the homeless into vans and driving them as far away as possible. In some cases, they’ve physically abused the “captives” and even stolen any money they might be carrying, apparently in order to make it more difficult for the transient to return to the Motor City.
Without money and miles from their usual shelters, the homeless, some of whom have mental health problems, have had to stay put in unfamiliar surroundings or walk all the way back to Detroit in a vulnerable condition.
Because this type of treatment is an apparent abuse of our constitutional rights, the ACLU filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice. What makes this case so alarming is that on many occasions the police officers refused to identify themselves as such. Andrew Sheehan, one of the homeless men who reached out to ACLU, claimed in his statement: “ [The man] didn’t identify himself as an officer and he kicked me and told me to get up. I asked him if I was free to go. He told me no.”
A Detroit Police Department spokesperson wrote to the Huffington Post: “At the present time, the Detroit Police Department has not received a copy of the complaint that has been filed. Therefore it would be inappropriate to provide further comment without reviewing the specific allegations.”
As the war on the poor worsens in America, even those with a warm place to call home should be alarmed by what is going on in Detroit. After all, the city has been ravaged by failing industries and was one of the hardest hit by the recession. With only 5,000 shelter beds to accommodate 100,000 homeless people, this treatment of the less fortunate promises to be a growing trend and one where the government and the wealthy pick on the poor, just for being poor. Class warfare, so to speak.
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