SACRAMENTO -- The city of Sacramento has filed a lawsuit seeking to ban seven people from the Broadway corridor, claiming their repeat offenses are draining police resources from the area.
At least one business is leaving that same area and the owner claims the homeless problem is so bad she can no longer operate her salon. Her video plea to the governor has gone viral.
“I definitely think that there should be enforcement. If it’s your business, then you got to protect it,” said Alicia Jardin of Jardin’s Magical Hands.
This month, the city filed a lawsuit against seven people accused of a series of property and drug crimes, asking a judge to ban them from a grid of the city surrounding Broadway, from Highway 99 to 9th Street.
In a statement on the lawsuit, Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s office wrote:
Homelessness is not a crime, and this lawsuit does not seek to make it one. What the city is attempting to do is safeguard the public safety and well being of residents and businesses in the Broadway corridor who have been subjected to ongoing criminal activity by a relatively small number of people, some of whom also happen to be homeless. It is not a civil right to consume drugs in public, expose oneself in public, assault members of the public or steal from local businesses.
The office of City Attorney Susana Alcala Wood also issued a written statement:
The City of Sacramento will seek injunctive relief when criminal activity in an area has become excessive when compared to similar neighborhoods, and other enforcement remedies have not proven successful. It’s not appropriate in every case, but it is in some. In this case, the residents and businesses along the Broadway corridor have been subjected to ongoing criminal activity from a relatively small group of people. The suit looks to address that issue head-on and protect the safety of everyone who lives in or visits the area. The City will only file this type of lawsuit with the support of the neighborhood.
It’s an area businesses FOX40 spoke with agree has problems with the homeless.
“They vandalized my windows a little bit,” said Hai Trinh of T1 Automotive.
“We had a situation not that long ago where they came and trashed the store over there,” said Jalil Muhammad who works at Fadez on 20th.
But those same businesses said the majority of homeless in the area are peaceful.
“I mean, I’ve been here for eight years I’ve been at this building and I’ve never really ... I mean other than people digging in the trash right here,” Jardin explained.
“I don’t have a problem with them being around,” Muhammad told FOX40.
Muhammad questioned if singling out a few bad apples will really prevent future crimes from occurring.
“You name seven people but do that mean it’s going to be the only ones that’s going to have this kind of issue?” he said.
And enforcing the ban may prove difficult.
“That means you got to document or warn everybody who’s homeless because you really don’t know who’s going to do what,” Muhammad said.