Democratic San Francisco Mayor London Breed called on an appeals court to overturn an injunction Wednesday against the city’s enforcement of homeless ordinances.
After an explosion in crime and drug use in 2020 and 2021, the city issued a state of emergency in December 2021 and began more stringent enforcement.
City officials and Breed rallied outside the court, demanding that the court allow the city to enforce its homeless ordinances, saying it is inhumane to allow homeless people to live in tents on the streets and do drugs, according to video of the rally.
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“We are compassionate, we are supportive, we continue to help people, but this is not the way,” Breed said.
Ryu’s injunction barred the city from enforcing city ordinances such as San Francisco Police Code Section 168, which criminalizes the obstruction of sidewalks and streets and San Francisco Police Code Section 169, which prohibits sidewalk encampments without permits.
“We are prepared through our city attorney to do whatever it takes to make sure we are able to do our jobs. It is not humane to let people live on our streets in tents use drugs. We have found bodies. We have found a dead baby in these tents. We have seen people in really awful conditions, and we are not standing for it anymore,” Breed continued.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) brought suit against the city in November 2022 on behalf of advocacy group, The Coalition on Homelessness, alleging that the cities enforcement of its ban on permit less sidewalk encampments was unconstitutional and that police were illegally destroying the property of the homeless.
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“I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. So, the goal here is to make sure that the court of appeals understands we want a reversal of this injunction that makes it possible to do our jobs,” Breed said.
The homeless population increased by nearly 1,000 people between 2015 and 2022, with nearly 8,000 homeless people in the city, according to the City and County of San Francisco website. San Francisco spends tens of millions of dollars a year on homelessness in the city.
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