The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed a class action lawsuit against the City of Indianapolis.
The ACLU says the city declared an emergency order in early August, and used it to evict homeless people from sidewalks underneath a number of railroad bridges.
The group says people were given four days’ notice, and told to store their possessions at a city-run shelter, the Reuben Engagement Center.
ACLU Legal Director Ken Falk says this is a violation of the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause, especially considering that people who are not homeless have allegedly been left alone.
“If you’re dealing with a public sidewalk, which is traditionally open, to impose this sort of rule, which inevitably is going to be vague and difficult to enforce, raises some other constitutional problems,” Falk says.
Falk says, to his knowledge, the emergency order is still active.
A spokesman for Indianapolis responded saying the city does not comment on pending litigation.