Sacramento District Attorney’s Lawsuit Criminalizing Unhoused: ‘Playing Politics’ with Homeless Lives, Charges Mayoral Candidate

“Photos provided by Sacramento Homeless Union”

By Crescenzo Vellucci

The Vanguard Sacramento Bureau Chief

SACRAMENTO, CA – The County of Sacramento District Attorney here—who’s made a recent habit of issuing statements and filing lawsuits against the City of Sacramento over the alleged dangers of the homeless community—was accused Monday by a city mayoral candidate of “playing politics” with the unhoused. 

Candidate Flo Cofer, speaking at a news conference in front of DA Thien Ho’s office Monday, also noted “homeless people are more likely to be the victims of crime,” rather than perpetrators, because of the dangers of living on the streets.

In his recent filings, Ho claimed the “city is allowing encampments to create an ongoing public nuisance,” from endangering the waterways around Sacramento to allegedly blocking sidewalks in Sacramento Superior Court downtown.

He wants the homeless arrested by the city, and not given any quarter in court. He’s also criticized Safe Ground camps authorized by the city in North Sacramento and Miller Park, and wants homeless camped along the city’s rivers kicked out of their temporary homes.

Cofer said the suit and Ho’s public scapegoating is a waste of public resources, and Monday charged, “The real threat of contamination is that our politics are contaminated,” adding, “We are here to remind Mr. Ho that he’s playing politics with people’s lives.”

Cofer, an epidemiologist and progressive organizer, said the district attorney “enforcement-first” strategy is “cultivating an environment of punishment and cruelty.”

“We should all be working together to find short and long-term solutions,” said Cofer, “which is why Thien Ho threatening action against a safe ground site — which is actively creating an immediate and quite successful solution — is so incredibly appalling.”

Ho called Cofer’s Monday presser a “political play.” There is no court date any of legal wranglings.

Meanwhile, the temperatures in Sacramento are supposed to drop to freezing, or below.

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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1 Comment

  1. Walter Shwe

    District Attorney Ho is obviously demonizing the unhoused for personal political gain. The facts demonstrates that the unhoused are more likely to be crime victims than actual criminals. The City’s corporations are more likely to pollute local waterways than the unhoused.

    Instead of working with other public officials to actually help solve the complex issues of the City’s unhoused, Ho is playing political games. Forcibly moving people somewhere else is the opposite of a real solution.

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