DENVER (CBS4) – If Jerry Burton has his way, Denver’s camping ban will be declared unconstitutional. Burton was given a ticket for sleeping outside in April and has decided to fight the citation.
He and his lawyer, Andy McNulty, have been making their case before a judge saying the city’s shelters are inadequate, and the law unfairly targets the homeless.
“They trying to sweep us out of the city. Sweep us out of the downtown area,” Burton told CBS4.
Denver’s camping ban has been around since 2012. Recently there was an initiative to overturn the ban, but 81% of Denver voters voted against it. Burton’s hope is the judge hearing his case deems the law unconstitutional. Burton says the city’s homeless are just trying to survive, and that doesn’t make them criminals.
“When you’re out here, whether you put up a tent, whether you use a sleeping bag, whether you use a tarp, or all of these things in conjunction with each other, that is not camping. That is being smart,” said Burton.
Several more hearings are scheduled on the matter. CBS4 reached out to Mayor Michael Hancock’s office for comment several times, but our calls were not returned. Burton says if he loses his case, he still plans to fight the ban.
“I’m going to continue to fight regardless. Even if we do not win, when the judge decides, we will appeal it”.