A San Francisco judge on Friday denied a city injunction request that would have prevented four people previously arrested for selling drugs from entering the city’s Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods.
In September 2020, city attorney Dennis Herrera filed civil lawsuits against each of the defendants, seeking to prevent them from entering an area of 50 square blocks in an effort to break the supply chain for addicts who congregate in Tenderloin. .
Herrera argued that the defendants are not residents of the neighborhood and instead travel from other cities in the bay area to sell drugs in downtown San Francisco, contributing to the recent increase in overdose deaths.
In his decision, Judge Ethan Schulman said that current state laws “do not authorize the issuance of removal orders”.
Schulman added: “Furthermore, even if such orders were authorized by the statute, they would violate the constitutional right of interstate travel defendants.”
The defendants – Guadaloupe Aguilar-Benegas, Jarold Sanchez, Victor Zelaya and Christian Noel-Padilla – were represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.
“The city’s request that the court grant injunctions excluding our clients from a large part of the city, regardless of the impact on them and their families, is unprecedented and unconstitutional,” said ACLU attorney Annie Decker in the earlier this month in a statement. “The city must spend public money on services that support vulnerable communities with safe and supportive housing, mental health, harm reduction and other life-affirming services, not taking people further into poverty and despair. “