Homeless Win Legal Challenge to Kalamazoo Transportation Center Rules

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Homeless Win Legal Challenge to Kalamazoo Transportation Center Rules

Post  Robert on Sat 10 Jan - 12:30:14

Homeless Win Legal Challenge to Kalamazoo Transportation Center Rules

On September 11, 2008, Kalamazoo District Court Judge Vincent Westra approved the dismissal of criminal charges against members of the Kalamazoo Homeless Action Network (KHAN) stemming from a police crackdown on homeless people at the downtown Transportation Center. KHAN board member Michael Fuller and KHAN staff members LoriAnne Tennison and Michael Evans were arrested in April by disgraced Kalamazoo Police Officer Derek Nugent for alleged conduct violations at the Transportation Center.

KHAN enlisted local criminal defense attorney Michael Hills to file motions to dismiss the charges. In the motion to dismiss, KHAN argued that the City could not arrest citizens for loitering in a public place using an unconstitutionally vague ordinance that did not include clear notice of time limits for all customers.“All citizens in America are entitled to know what conduct is both permitted and prohibited so they can follow the law”, said Michael Evans a community organizer with KHAN. “The ordinance was so vague that it encouraged arbitrary and illegal police conduct”, Evans continued.In March, KHAN urged the City Commission to stop the police sweep of homeless people from the transportation center, predicting that the ordinance was unconstitutional and that it would lead to unlawful arrests by police. Dozens of homeless people – including KHAN members - were subsequently arrested and jailed by police.According to KHAN member Michael Fuller, “The criminalization of poor and homeless people is un-American and unacceptable. We hold our city leaders such as Mayor Bobby Hopewell responsible for the actions of police officers at the transportation center.”“All residents of Kalamazoo are potential customers and no one should be arrested on the arbitrary whim of a police officer. The Michigan Constitution protects all Michigan residents, even the homeless”, Fuller continued.The City of Kalamazoo pays out hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to citizens who are unlawfully arrested. KHAN has also objected to a new set of transportation center rules that, among other things, require all customers to answer questions from police officers.
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Robert
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Post  vlyoncallo on Wed 14 Jan - 0:29:35

Thanks for posting the update. Has this changed anything at the Transportation Center-in terms of police practices?
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Re: Homeless Win Legal Challenge to Kalamazoo Transportation Center Rules

Post  Robert on Wed 14 Jan - 11:31:55

I am not sure what has changed. I do know that they ask people they suspect of loitering, if they have a bus token.

I will check with some of the regulars out there if anything has changed.
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Re: Homeless Win Legal Challenge to Kalamazoo Transportation Center Rules

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