Mayor Turner trying to fight crime at homeless camps

Mayor Turner is hoping to lift a ban that keeps the city from clearing homeless camps.

HOUSTON - Mayor Turner is calling on a federal judge to let the city clear out homeless encampments after he says they've become a haven for criminal activity.

A judge stopped the city from clearing out the encampments in August while a legal challenge by the ACLU makes its way through court.

Mayor Turner says since then, the city's two major camps near Midtown and Minute Maid Park have dramatically grown and so has the crime. He cited two murders and a stabbing in the last month, constant drug activity and a public health hazard.

Houston police officials say they'll keep sending their Homeless Outreach Team to connect people needing help with resources.

“I want to also express that it’s not just homeless that are out here that you see. It’s a lot of other street people mixed in with the homeless, they’re also dealing and doing drugs. No one deserves to live likes this. No one deserves to be a victim," said Assistant Chief Wendy Baimbridge with the Houston Police Department.

The city's medical director says crews will deep clean both encampments again next week. Their legal team hopes to hear back from the judge in the coming days.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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