Selective enforcement of public sleeping
To the Editor: The Union Leader on Monday published an article about people lining up as early as 8 a.m. Sunday morning for the Trump rally that began at 7 p.m. Monday evening. I’d be lying to say I’m surprised the Manchester Police didn’t issue citations to those who camped outside the SNHU Arena.
As you may recall, just before the municipal election last year, the City of Manchester decided to strictly enforce an ordinance that banned sleeping and loitering in public parks. I guess sleeping in public is only acceptable if you’re waiting to buy things around Thanksgiving or lining up to see a politician.
It’s a shame New Hampshire isn’t in the 9th Circuit. Last year, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a petition from the city of Boise, Idaho in the case of Martin v. Boise, thus leaving in place a ruling from September 2018 protecting the unsheltered homeless from arrest for sleeping outside on public property in the absence of adequate alternatives.
I’d love to see the New Hampshire Legislature pass an ordinance prohibiting municipalities from adopting ordinances to punish someone for sleeping outside on public property when no sleeping space is practically available in any shelter.
Hanover St., Manchester