August 7, 2009

Banning of “sit-lie” law forces Portland police to use new tactics to control homeless people

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The Oregonian has an interesting story about Portland police shifting tactics to control homeless people and others who loiter downtown after a judge struck down law that banned sitting or lying on city sidewalks. Following the judge’s rejecting of the so-called “sit-lie” law last month,  police struggled to keep loiterers from blocking driveways, and have since resorted to arresting citizens for low-level offenses such as littering or spitting in public. Police say the “strict order maintenance enforcement” is necessary, but critics feel the tactics are excessive.
Also check out this worthwhile piece on the sit-lie ban by the Oregonian’s James Mayer, narrating a week of observations on downtown Portland streets.

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