Camping Ordinance Trial Results
Ashmore et al vs City of Sacramento trial was challenging the city’s camping ordinance as being selectively enforced. The case began eight years ago stemming from multiple arrests and citations of a group of homeless people that formed a Safe Ground tent community. Attorney Mark Marin and his team that was challenging the City’s camping ordinance brought forward excellent witnesses including originally homeless and supporter plaintiffs, homelessness experts, a psychiatrist, and people that camped out at well-known events such as Camp Pollock and Fairytale Town camp outs, and Black Friday. Even the City brought forward a former police officer witness that testified homeless people are often harassed by law enforcement and have no other options. The city’s camping ordinance was upheld by a jury of twelve, with only three jurors voting that the ordinance was selectively enforced.
What comes next? SHOC and allies continue to fight to end this unjust law. Historically laws that sought to criminalize people in order to exclude them from public spaces or segregate them, such as Jim Crow laws, “Ugly Laws” which excluded people with disfiguring disabilities, “Anti-Okie” laws that excluded poor people from entering California, have all been overturned and we now cannot image these laws as acceptable. Overturning those laws took sometimes decades of hard work. Likewise our fight is far from over. The future includes legal battles, legislative enactments, public education, protests, marches, and reaching enough people who will finally understand that getting rid of homeless people happens only by ending homelessness.
Links to media about the trial:
Davis Vanguard Historic Homeless Trial Begins – Opposing Sides Tell Different Tales (Cres Vellucci) Sacramento News & Review Left in limbo – Homelessness on trial: – Separate and unequal – Motions sickness Sacramento Bee Jury sides with Sacramento – Does Sacramento unfairly apply its camping ordinance – I’ve watched people die outside – Homeless campers suing the city of Sacramento ABC Jury: City of Sacramento didn’t enforce anti-camping ordinance only on homeless – A timeline – Lawsuit against Sacramento – What are the details? KCRA Jury: Sacramento didn’t discriminate – Homeless advocates sue Fox Jury Rules in City’s Favor – Trial Over CBS Lawsuit Against Sacramento Capital Public Radio Jury Sides With City