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Denver begins second round of homeless sweeps

DENVER -- For the second time this year, the city of Denver conducted so-called homeless sweeps near downtown even as it faces a pending lawsuit over their legality.

The city notified campers to leave near Lawrence Street and Park Avenue West last week, but they're still there, claiming they have nowhere else to go.

Meanwhile, the city said its shelters have room and a way to offer help. Still, people aren't using the services.

The city said the camps are a public health concern for the homeless, and for those who live and work nearby.

Crews have been coming daily to remove waste and trash, but on Tuesday, they started to clear out the camps.

The move comes as the city faces a class-action lawsuit for sweeps at the same location in March.

"They have absolutely no respect for federal judicial processes or the U.S. Constitution," said Jason Flores-Williams, an attorney representing the homeless. "They think they’re above the law.

"The one thing that we would hope is that the court would watch what happens Tuesday as far as the homeless sweeps are concerned and see that the city is not concerning itself or paying due respect to what the court is considering as far as the case and class certification."

The lawsuit said the city threw away belongings, including tents, blankets, family photos and military records. The city denies that, saying everything was put in storage.