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Homeless Men Sue Manteca Over New Ordinances, Claiming Discrimination

MANTECA (CBS13) — Homeless men are suing the city of Manteca, claiming several new ordinances are discriminatory.

Robert Schuknecht performs for this meals. He's been homeless for several years and recently moved his dog and his belongings from Library Park to the McDonald's on East Yosemite Avenue.

"I've been cited for camping in public," he said.

After numerous citations, he says a San Francisco law firm took his case. He and four other homeless men are now suing Manteca for violating their civil rights.

"I do believe the City Council and the municipal code that was passed is unconstitutional," he said.

The lawsuit claims the city's new ordinances making being homeless a crime, "with the discriminatory purpose of driving the homeless from the city."

The suit says the city locked public restrooms, but then issued more citations for urinating in public. The bathrooms are locked at Manteca's libraries, however the librarians say they never deny anyone a key to get inside.

Manteca's city manager says the public bathrooms are locked for public safety reasons, citing an unsafe condition left by people who used the bathrooms.

The lawsuit says Manteca doesn't have a shelter for homeless men and claims the ordinances and police enforcement are an attempt to kick the homeless out of the city.

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