The US District Judge. USA David O. Carter cited health and safety concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic in his May 15 order demanding the removal and relocation of up to 7,000 people living in camps under and around the city's highway system by Friday. following.
But after city and county attorneys urged Carter to withdraw or delay the order, the judge said he would monitor the authorization in stages, beginning with a June 12 status report.
"At a minimum, this report will detail a plan to establish shelter and clear overpasses, underpasses, and ramps in each council district or supervisory district no later than September 1," Carter wrote. "The court reserves the authority to advance the September 1 deadline in case provisional status reports do not demonstrate satisfactory progress toward fulfilling the preliminary mandate."
When asked about the amended order on Friday, Mayor Eric Garcetti said he was very optimistic that all parties involved could come together to find a humane solution to relocate Angelenos living on streets near freeways and take action. daring to tackle the general problems surrounding the home.
"I love this judge," he said. "I love his impatience. I love your approach. I love his passion and I love that he is offering the broad shoulders of the federal court to continue building on the progress we have established here. "
The ruling came as part of conciliation negotiations in a lawsuit filed in March by the Los Angeles Human Rights Alliance, a coalition of Skid Row area business owners, former homeless and disabled city dwellers, which accused the city and the county of Los Angeles of not doing enough to address the problem of homeless people in the city center, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
And while the plaintiffs praised the judge's order, calling it a "compassionate step to protect a significant portion of the homeless and the community from potential harm," local government officials said in court documents that would interfere with complex policy issues and not "cite the authority for its extraordinary legal action,quot;.
The county said it was exploring its options on Friday, including a possible appeal of what it believes is an order "not supported by law."
"We believe that we must focus our immediate efforts on the most vulnerable people who are not housed, including older people vulnerable to exposure to COVID-19," Vanessa Martinez, a county spokeswoman, said in an email. "The County will take the necessary steps to ensure that the unprecedented progress that we and our partners have made to ambitiously address long-standing systemic issues is not derailed."
Martinez said the county praised the court's intent and urgency and that it was working as quickly as possible to house as many people as possible.
"We are committed to addressing the homeless crisis in our communities and, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we urgently focus on accelerating the progress that has already been made to house thousands of people and assist the most vulnerable among us,quot;. said.
More information on resources available to homeless people in the wake of the pandemic can be found on the county website.
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