On Feb. 3, several dozen people in San Francisco protested the police removal of homeless people from the Embarcadero area of the city (video below). San Francisco officials reportedly took this action to make way for "Super Bowl City," the NFL's week-long theme park to celebrate Super Bowl 50.
Protesters held tents and signs in the air because police threatened to arrest them if the objects touched the ground, notes the Associated Press.
According to city officials homeless people are moving their belongings to shelters and underneath freeways because of the rainy season.
The KGO news station's investigation, however, contradicts this report. According to KGO, police and city workers have been moving homeless tents and belongings off the street in early morning sweeps.
“The police told us that after the Super Bowl, y’all can come back,” a homeless man named Aaron told The Wall Street Journal. Aaron and his wife are now living under a freeway ramp.
Sam Dodge, who is San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s contact person regarding the homeless, said that no one has been arrested or cited by police in the relocations for Super Bowl City, but he did note that the cops can move homeless people away from certain areas of the city.
Jennifer Friedenbach, of the Homeless Coalition, told KGO that police citations for homeless people have increased by 20 percent from 2015.
Friedenbach said that if a homeless person gets cited and they can't pay it, a warrant is issued for their arrest, which means that homeless person gets removed from a waiting list for a shelter and remains homeless.