Judge Approves of Miami's Plan to Strip Homeless of Certain Rights
Rights extended to homeless people in the City of Miami for years will now be taken away. A federal judge approved of a plan today that will scale back an agreement reached 16 years ago that had allowed homeless in downtown Miami to pitch tents, build fires in parks, and relieve themselves in public.
Photo by emmanuel/Flickr CC
However, several landmark protections put into place by the Pottinger Agreement will be retained.
Miami City commissioners had sought to scale back several homeless rights now that the identity of downtown Miami has changed in recent years. The American Civil Liberties Union intervened and opposed many of these efforts, but in December the two sides agreed on a modified plan.
The original agreement prevented police from arresting homeless people for performing tasks like sleeping, cooking, bathing, and urinating in public that they couldn't perform elsewhere because they were homeless.
The homeless will still be able to sleep on sidewalks as long as they aren't impeding pedestrians, but can no longer pitch tents. Building fires is now illegal too, as is exposing themselves to use the restroom or clean themselves if they are within a quarter mile of a public restroom.
U.S. Judge Federico Moreno approved of the new agreement today, which was the final step to the city adopting the new policies.