The above video shows a young homeless man in Los Angeles, talking about what it's like to live on the streets here. He provides a face for the people that L.A. officials now seek permission to force to destroy their scarce personal belongings.
Citing an immediate public health threat, the city of Los Angeles will ask the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to overturn a lower-court ruling preventing the random seizure and destruction of belongings that homeless people leave temporarily unattended on public sidewalks.
If the court takes up the matter, the case could have broad implications for cities nationwide grappling with how to keep streets clean and safe while respecting the property rights of those who live there.
Fresno faces more than 30 lawsuits arising from its efforts to clean up downtown homeless encampments. In Hawaii, activists living in a De-Occupy Honolulu encampment sought an injunction against city authorities after they allegedly seized and destroyed personal property during a raid, according to court documents.
The Supreme Court filing comes after two years of legal wrangling between Los Angeles officials and homeless advocates over a controversial campaign to clean up downtown's skid row, which has the highest concentration of homeless people in the city.