Denver denies using flamethrowers during homeless sweeps

DENVER -- It is not every day the word "flamethrower" is used in federal court documents.

But attorneys representing homeless plaintiffs have included that language in their latest motion filed in federal court.

The plaintiffs are fighting to end the city's homeless sweeps -- the practice of removing items resembling a camp on public sidewalks or parks.

City officials have denied the accusations.

“The city also plans to file a motion for summary judgment," the city said in a statement. "It will be up to the court to determine what the evidence shows and whether either side is entitled to judgment without a trial.

"While facts will be determined by the court, it is absurd to suggest that the city used flamethrowers against any individual experiencing homeless.”

On Monday, a rally was held outside the Denver City and County Building.

Jason Flores-Williams, an attorney in the case, also presented testimony from depositions he recently concluded with city officials.

One included Bennie Milliner, an official who works in the department charged with ending homelessness in Denver.

"I think without it we would look like L.A. right now," Flores-Williams quoted Milliner saying.

"So what Mr. Milliner did with one statement is express the real motivation and intent behind the homeless sweeps, and that is to rid the city of unwanted persons."