City of Minneapolis, Park Board sued to stop sweeps of homeless encampments

Monday, seven individuals who are experiencing homelessness who were evicted from city parks have filed a class action lawsuit in federal court against Hennepin County, Minneapolis, the heads of local law enforcement and the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation board.

According to a news release from the Minnesota ACLU and Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, the lawsuit argues the city and county violated the constitutional rights of the seven plaintiffs and others in the park by destroying the encampments.

Cold, COVID-19 complicate situation for people without shelter

The lawsuit calls for the court to halt sweeps and evictions of encampments until “adequate shelter” is found.

“Homelessness is a crisis across the country, even in our prosperous city of Minneapolis, and simply removing people from public view is not the solution,” Justin Perl, litigation director of Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, said in a statement “The city and county’s bulldozer approach is not only cruel, it is shortsighted, counterproductive, and a waste of taxpayers’ dollars. We need a real plan to help these Minnesotans who have nowhere else to go.”

KSTP reached out to Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey’s office and the city for comment on Monday. As of Tuesday, no comment has been made.