For years, Miami Beach leaders have done their utmost to make the city an unpleasant place for homeless people.
Advocates have long complained that the city’s homeless outreach office treats homeless residents rudely and isn’t open when it’s supposed to be. Since 2016, the city’s police force has used the courts to commit drug- and alcohol-addicted homeless people to treatment facilities against their will. More recently, Miami Beach Police Chief Rick Clements joined forces with a vigilante, resident-led Facebook group with a history of harassing homeless people and people of color.
Beyond that, the city has spent countless hours in court fighting to uphold restrictions on panhandling that City Attorney Raul Aguila himself acknowledges are likely unconstitutional under the First Amendment, which guarantees the right to free speech.
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