Complaints received by civil rights groups show that Detroit police officers drive away the poor from areas that are popular with tourists. Once driven away, the homeless often spend hours to find shelter and a hot meal. American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU) has filed a complaint, asking police to stop their “disturbing practice. ” According to Sarah Mehta, a staff attorney for the ACLU of Michigan, the accusations show a grave case of discrimination in the United States. She also added that police officials want to “hide painful reminders” of financial struggles in the country.
“The city’s desire to hide painful reminders of our economic struggles cannot justify discriminating against the poor, banishing them from their city, and endangering their lives. A person who has lost his home has not lost his right to be treated with dignity, ” said Mehta.
Mehta also slammed Detroit Police Department(DPD) over its inhumane behavior towards homeless people, saying that “DPD’s practice of essentially kidnapping homeless people and abandoning them miles away from the neighborhoods they know - with no means for a safe return - is inhumane, callous and illegal. " Reports also allege that in some cases officers take money from homeless individuals, leaving them with no option but to walk all the way back to the city. Out of Michigan’s 100,000 homeless population, some 20,000 live in Detroit, while the city only offers around 5,000 shelter beds.