Three men living on the streets of East Harlem will divide $1,515 in compensation from New York City for police officers and sanitation works destroying their property, the New York Daily News reports.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration agreed on Wednesday to settle a pending lawsuit drafted by the New York Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the homeless men.
“Homeless people deserve to be treated with dignity like all New Yorkers, and the city acknowledged that it had no right to treat their few possessions like garbage,” NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said in a statement.
The NYCLU obtained a video of the October 2015 incident. It shows the men sleeping at night under an overhang at the Choir Academy Public School near E.127th St. when police officers and sanitation workers ordered them to leave.
They were putting their meager belongings together when the sanitation workers snatched the men’s belongings and threw them into a garbage truck. The destroyed items included birth certificates, blood pressure medication and Social Security cards.
Floyd Parks, 61, told reporters at a press conference Wednesday that he was the victim of “an atrocity.”
“It bothers me that this is happening,” Parks said. “Thank God for cameras. It showed the abuse that they had done to us.”
City officials were initially unmoved when the civil liberties organization complained about the incident. The Daily News said the mayor’s spokeswoman said the men were trespassing on city property.
SOURCE: New York Daily News