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FULL D.A. INTERVIEW: Landmark Homeless Lawsuit: People vs. City of Sacramento

DA files landmark homeless lawsuit against City of Sacramento
DA files landmark homeless lawsuit against City of Sacramento 05:24

The Sacramento District Attorney's office is suing the City of Sacramento. The suit alleges that the city failed to enforce the law and allowed the homeless crisis to become a public nuisance.

Read the Continuing Coverage:  D.A. Sues City Over Homeless

The lawsuit does not seek monetary damages, but rather it asks for injunctive relief -- meaning the DA wants the court to force the city to do what the DA is asking.

His demands include:

  • Enforcement of city ordinances (i.e. clearing sidewalks, citing for drug & illegal fires, etc.)  
  • Creating professionally operated safe grounds.
  • Banning daytime camping in public places.

The DA also wants real-time data on shelter bed availability and an audit of where the millions spent on homelessness so far have gone.

CBS Sacramento has an interview scheduled with the Mayor next week. He is currently out of the country. In response to the lawsuit, the city provided the following statement:

The City has attempted to work with the District Attorney multiple times in recent months, stating that collaboration is the best path forward. However, it sadly appears the DA would rather point fingers and cast blame than partner to achieve meaningful solutions for our community. The City looks forward to responding to the DA's claims in court."

In addition, here is a letter the City Attorney sent to the DA on Sept. 18:

In a sit-down interview with the DA, CBS Sacramento asked the DA Ho to respond to criticisms from the Mayor and the City Attorney, including criticism that the lawsuit is politically motivated. 

Watch our full interview with Sacramento District Attorney Thien Ho as he explains:

  • Why he's suing 
  • What he'll be looking for when he gets access to city emails and text messages
  • His response to allegations that the lawsuit is politically motivated 
  • Any why an after-hours email he received from the City Attorney will be Exhibit 1 in his case
FULL INTERVIEW: Landmark Homeless Lawsuit: People vs. City of Sacramento by CBS Sacramento on YouTube

Read the District Attorney's full complaint here:   


Stament porvided by Mayor Steinberg's office:

"No local government in the Sacramento region has done more to address the crisis on our streets: 1,200 new emergency beds, ordinances to protect sidewalks, schools and other sensitive sites; a legally binding partnership with the county; thousands of new affordable housing units-to name a few. The frustration that members of our community feel is absolutely justified. The Council has endorsed and is pressing for strong enforcement of our codes and the law. But the DA's lawsuit will not clear a single sidewalk nor get a single person off the streets. We are working day and night to enforce our laws and provide relief to our community while avoiding the futile trap of just moving people endlessly from one block to the next. Frankly, we have no time for the District Attorney's performative distraction from the hard work we all need to do together to solve this complex social problem plaguing urban centers throughout the state and nation. The city needs real partnership from the region's leaders, not politics and lawsuits. Let's just do the work"

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