Los Angeles officials and the American Civil Liberties Union will settle a lawsuit that has prevented police from arresting homeless people who camp on the streets and sidewalks of skid row, the Los Angeles Times reports. The compromise apparently would allow police to arrest people camping, sleeping, or lying on sidewalks between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. The settlement also would prohibit encampments at any time within 10 feet of any business or residential entrance. Such rules would effectively prevent homeless people from creating “tent cities” that the Los Angeles Police Department and business leaders have been trying to remove.
The settlement would establish a downtown area where homeless people would be allowed to sleep on sidewalks at night without challenge by police or business owners. The agreement, which the Los Angeles City Council is expected to consider tomorrow, would end a four-year stalemate that Police Chief William Bratton said has stymied his department’s effort to clean up skid row. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in April that the police may not arrest people for sitting, lying, or sleeping on public sidewalks in skid row.