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Denver Police will once again enforce urban camping ban

A judge ruled the ban unconstitutional, but the city attorney's office said there's nothing in the judge's ruling that keeps them from enforcing the ban for now.

DENVER — Denver Police will start enforcing the city's urban camping ban once again.

The city attorney’s office said Monday that a judge’s ruling, which declared the camping ban unconstitutional last month, does not prohibit enforcement of the city code while they appeal.

“We suspended enforcement out of an abundance of caution and to triple check the systems and protocols we have always had in place,” spokesperson Ryan Luby said.

Denver County Court Judge Johnny Barajas found the city's 2012 camping ban to be cruel and unusual. Denver Police put a pause on enforcement on Dec. 27, the same day Barajas issued his ruling.

The urban camping ban keeps people from setting up tents on sidewalks and in parks, and police can issue citations or arrest someone for noncompliance. This is separate from homeless sweeps that require people to leave public areas for the purpose of cleaning, as was done during the enforcement suspension.

“The City has faced the prospect of legal challenges since the inception of the Ordinance in 2012,” Luby said. “In essence, we are continuing to enforce the Ordinance as we always have.”

According to the city, three people have been arrested and 33 have been cited since the camping ban went into effect.

Enforcement is expected to restart by week’s end.

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