Fences Around Santa Ana River Prompt Federal Lawuist From ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit and temporary restraining order against Orange County over a set of chain-link fences erected around homeless encampments along the Santa Ana River. The six-foot-tall barriers are part of a necessary flood control effort, but the ACLU claims they have effectively “imprisoned” 75 to 100 people in the area of the riverbed.

“The county's actions constitute false imprisonment for depriving the individuals in the encampment of their freedom of movement, against their will, by fencing them in without a viable means of leaving,” the ACLU said in a statement. “The county's actions also constitute an unconstitutional seizure of both the people themselves and their property.”

Supervisor Shawn Nelson has called the allegations “ridiculous.” County officials say there are four ingress and egress points that are clearly marked.

Read more about the lawsuit here.


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