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Judge won’t stop Minneapolis homeless encampment sweeps

MINNEAPOLIS — A federal judge has rejected an attempt to stop the evictions of homeless people from encampments in Minneapolis parks.

Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid and the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota filed a federal lawsuit this month on behalf of seven people who are living, or were living in the encampments.

The lawsuit claims Minneapolis and Hennepin County officials violated their constitutional rights by kicking them out of the encampments and destroying their belongings. They want the sweeps to stop and are seeking monetary damages.

In a ruling Thursday, federal Judge Wilhelmina Wright declined to issue a temporary order to stop the evictions because the plaintiffs had not met the “burden of demonstrating irreparable harm.”

Officials told the court that encampments will not be removed unless there are health and safety risks to the encampment residents and the public, and there is adequate shelter elsewhere.