Target: Michael B. Hancock, Mayor of Denver, Colorado
Goal: Denounce directive that bans people from public parks without due process.
Activists are asking Denver’s Parks Department to end an initiative that allows police to ban people from public parks who are suspected of drug use or possession. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) claims that this temporary directive primarily targets homeless people suspected of consumption or possession of cannabis. The Parks Department originally indicated the suspensions were meant to combat heroin use and the danger it attracts to public spaces. In the first 10 weeks of the program’s initiation, 40 people were banned from city parks, and it has been reported that only a handful of those bans were issued to heroin users.
The initiative targeting those in possession of drugs violates the Constitution because it bans individuals without a hearing, conviction, or due process. Allegra “Happy” Haynes, director of the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation, passed the policy without an ordinance or a vote. The ACLU believes the directive is actually designed to eliminate the homeless population from public areas, which violates peoples’ fundamental human rights to roam freely on public property. Many believe the program has had little of its intended effect, yet officials are in the process of trying to decide whether or not to renew the program. Please sign this petition to ask that Denver stop allowing police to put bans on homeless individuals who may have nowhere else to go.
Dear Mayor Hancock,
I am writing to express my concern about your city’s directive allowing police to target homeless people, banning them from city parks. The initiative was cited as a way to remove heroin users from public spaces, but most suspensions have been given to those suspected of cannabis possession. The ACLU sees this as an effort to ban homeless people from these parks.
This violation of human rights goes against the Constitution because individuals are being banned without due process. Though you appointed Happy Haynes as your deputy mayor, I ask that you denounce her directive and demand that it not be renewed.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: gladatony