In a statement issued by the New York Civil Liberties Union, New York City seeks to reimburse three homeless men whose belongings were destroyed by NYPD officers and sanitation employees, New York Daily News reports.
The organization’s executive director, Donna Lieberman, stated that those who find shelter within the most public of spaces in the city should be treated fairly. “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.”
Various forms of identification including a social security card, birth certificate, and medical tools including an inhaler were disposed of in the trash. The men were seeking shelter near upper Manhattan’s Choir Academy Public School.
In a passage, City Hall’s Karen Hinton said it’s against the law “for individuals to trespass and sleep on school grounds,” but given the matter, authorities “will review our protocols concerning the seizure and disposition of personal property to ensure that it can be reclaimed by its rightful owners.”
Floyd Parks, one of the men whose possessions were discarded, said he’s optimistic about being reimbursed. “I’m grateful that the city is paying me back for the things the cops stole from me because I’m homeless, I need new shoes and a warm jacket and my disability benefits aren’t enough,” the 61-year-old said.