Not all Los Angeles officials are on board with a federal judge’s order to move the homeless population out of freeways.
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti has expressed concerns over U.S. District Judge David O. Carter’s ruling that calls for the relocation of about 7,000 people living near overpasses, off-ramps and on-ramps in makeshift encampments and tents, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The order is set to go into effect on Friday. On Wednesday, city and county officials are scheduled to present the judge with plans for how they will implement his order.
“There’s ethical issues. There’s health issues. And then there’s just logistical issues,” Garcetti told The Times. “I don’t know who could enforce this besides a law enforcement officer. I don’t think I want those images. That’s not good for us. That’s not good for the people who are traumatized on the streets.”
Garcetti said he is afraid the order could lead to confrontations between the police and the homeless people as well as put people's health at risk due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The judge said in his ruling that the homeless need to be moved because of health risks they face including car crashes and tailpipe emissions.
“The court has continued to learn from the parties, as well as other participants in hearings and conferences, it has become clear that many homeless individuals face an additional, immediate health hazard as a result of camping near freeway overpasses, underpasses, and ramps,” Carter wrote.
In April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned state and local governments against moving or clearing out homeless encampments as a way to prevent the coronavirus from spreading.
Garcetti told the newspaper the ultimate goal is to get people into more permanent housing.
“Don’t get me wrong. Living under gas fumes is not good,” Garcetti said. “But there’s 100 health concerns we have on the streets. This is one of them.”
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