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ACLU says Sarasota officers targeted homeless

3:14 PM, Nov 27, 2012   |    comments
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SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union released transcripts of police communication between Sarasota officers and claim the messages are threatening and degrading to homeless people.

The ACLU released the transcripts Tuesday. Officers messaged each other about "bum hunting," dressing up as "bums" and said police are considered "soft" until they fought with a "bum."

The ACLU has sued Sarasota, claiming it has used the city's trespass ordinance to single out homeless people.

During a news conference Tuesday, the ACLU said the police transcripts reveal a "systemic" problem with the city's attitude towards the homeless.

The Herald-Tribune reports that city officials say there is no war or problems with the homeless, and that they are drawn to Sarasota because of the city's numerous services for the poor.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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