ACLU accuses Sarasota police of 'bum hunting'

Organization releases radio communications

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SARASOTA, Fla. - The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday released transcripts of police communication between Sarasota officers, claiming the messages are threatening and degrading to homeless people.

Officers messaged each other about "bum hunting," dressing up as "bums" and said police are considered "soft" until they fought with a "bum."

The ACLU has sued Sarasota, saying it has used the city's trespass ordinance to single out homeless people.

During a news conference Tuesday, the ACLU said the police transcripts reveal a "systemic" problem with the city's attitude towards the homeless.

The Herald-Tribune reports that city officials say there is no war or problems with the homeless, and that they are drawn to Sarasota because of the city's numerous services for the poor.

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