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Sacramento prosecutor sues California’s capital city over failure to clean up homeless encampments

Tents and other shelters used by people experiencing homelessness stood along the American River Parkway in Sacramento, Calif., in February.Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A Sacramento prosecutor is suing California’s capital city over failure to clean up homeless encampments.

Sacramento District Attorney Thien Ho says his office asked the city to enforce laws around sidewalk obstruction and to create additional professionally operated camping sites.

He announced the suit Tuesday during a news conference in Sacramento.

Ho said the city is seeing a “collapse into chaos” and an “erosion of every day life.”

Sacramento County had nearly 9,300 homeless people in 2022, based on data from the annual Point in Time count. That was up 67% from 2019. Roughly three-quarters of the county’s homeless population is unsheltered.


The prosecutor had threated in August to file charges against city officials if they didn’t implement changes within 30 days.

At the time, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said Ho was politicizing the issue instead of being a partner with the city.

Steinberg didn’t immediately respond to request for comment through a spokesperson.

Ho, elected in 2022 after vowing on the campaign trail to address the city’s homelessness crisis, said he’s asked the city to share real-time data about available shelter beds with law enforcement.