A host of civil rights lawyers is arguing that St. Louis city officials violated the rights of the homeless by rounding them up and getting them off the streets before Fair St. Louis was held. The city is defending its practice. The argument is being heard by federal Judge E. Richard Webber in St. Louis. The civil rights lawyers argue the city had no real reason to arrest the homeless and put them in jail other than to beautify downtown for fairgoers. And they contend the only way the homeless could out of jail was to become “slaves” for the city by picking up trash without pay. A spokesman for the police department says the department has not done anything to prohibit the homeless from being downtown.
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