Cops Rousting Homeless People Violates Human Rights: NYCLU

The complaint also says that East Harlem lacks drop-in centers that homeless people could use to get off the streets

Police are violating homeless people's rights by ordering them to "move along" in public places, the New York Civil Liberties Union argues in a complaint to city's Human Rights Commission.

The NYCLU filed the complaint Thursday on behalf of an organization called Picture the Homeless. It's calling police actions "biased-based profiling."

Picture the Homeless was founded by homeless people and says it has about 2,000 members.

The complaint accuses police in East Harlem of threatening or arresting homeless individuals who have not broken the law.

"The NYPD has undertaken a concerted campaign to harass homeless people by ordering them to 'move along' when they occupy public space, alone or in groups, in the area around East 125th Street - even though they have not violated any laws," states the complaint.

It also says the neighborhood lacks drop-in centers that homeless people could use to get off the streets.

A spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio said his office will review the complaint.

"The city respects the rights of our homeless New Yorkers and has put in place a new comprehensive plan to reduce homelessness," the spokesperson said. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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