ACLU decries Operation Rio Grande's surge of arrests, lack of treatment

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  • Bob Tanner Price, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 11:49 p.m.

    lost in D.C.'s comment is really worth repeating...

    "The ACLU acts like all three branches of government."

    How can that possibly be good for the nation?

  • mrjj69 bountiful, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 9:35 p.m.

    what is wrong with arresting criminals, and making our community safer for law abiding citizens?

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Aug. 17, 2017 8:49 p.m.

    @Isaiah 1:15

    Your understanding of what happened in Enoch's Zion misses the point.
    Only the righteous were there. Yes, they took care of the poor but they were not also theives, drug users, etc.

    We need to understand things in context.

    Wicked men were not comfortable in the city of Enoch.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 7:02 p.m.

    The ACLU and like minded liberal groups view criminals as victims. The ACLU needs to step up and offer some realistic solutions to the crisis in the Rio Grande area. I doubt they have any workable solutions.

  • lowesn Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 17, 2017 4:41 p.m.

    It's one thing for the ACLU to come up with negative comments about this attempt to clean up the Rio Grande area and step forward like they are the big shots in charge, but it's just as shameful for our media to latch on to the negative and perpetuate the problem rather than do everything they can to assist our community leaders in this very difficult cleanup process. Every citizen in Salt Lake should do what they can to promote this worthwhile project by showing compassion, positive feedback and help wherever possible. It's a huge undertaking. I was present at the community forum this week and was impressed by everything that is going on and give a huge shout out to all the jurisdictions who have rolled up their sleeve and gone to work to solve this critical issue

  • Gramphans Draper, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 4:12 p.m.

    The ACLU would do well to add an "S" to it's acronym. It would stand for...

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 3:41 p.m.

    thank you for your service to this community.

    rarely do we see anyone from the left putting their money where their mouth is.

    you should be glad some of the criminal element is being cleaned up so those more receptive to help and being victimized by the predators will have a few less preying on them.

    concerning my move - Christ said to not give alms to be seen of men. I'll leave it at that.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 1:50 p.m.

    Actually I walked away from a higher paying job to work specifically with this population and yes I am also fine paying more taxes (on the smaller amount I am making) to shorten wait times for treatment. So your move.

  • Uncle_Fester Niskayuna, NY
    Aug. 17, 2017 1:22 p.m.

    Utah would do well to oppose just about anything the ACLU wants to do in your state. It is nothing but trouble.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 12:40 p.m.

    Obviously the aclu cares nothing for the rights of the people who live and work in and around the rio grande neighborhood.

    It also appears nothing was done illegally or in violation of anyone’s rights, or the aclu would have filed suit rather than just written a letter.

    Why doesn’t the aclu pay for treatment or housing if they are so concerned about the homeless in the area?

    The aclu acts like they are all three branches of govt.

    The aclu’s complaints indicate they believe having safe streets and respecting the rights of the problem element are mutually exclusive

    Do we OWE these people treatment? Is it OUR fault they brought on their addictions?

    Your response to silver stringray does not answer his question. Are you going to pay for their treatment? if you care as much about it as you claim, why don’t you provide it? why do you, and they, always demand someone ELSE pay for it?

    The menacing few, as you and stingray call them, have rights, yes. But not at the expense of the beleaguered many, as is now the case.

    DN mods
    this is consistent with your policy and includes nothing not already said by others.

  • alineu Magna, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 12:25 p.m.

    I'm not at all surprised that the ACLU objects to arresting criminals. The article shows that they were all engaged in illegal activities, or suspected and charges are pending, "Of those 158 arrests — 57 of which were related to drugs and paraphernalia — 10 cases involved felony allegations, according to police. Seventy-one people were booked just on outstanding warrants, while 55 face the possibility of new charges alongside existing warrants."

    It's about time that police quit looking the other way or ignoring such problems. Law-breakers should be charged &/or arrested. Thanks for finally acting to protect law-abiding citizens.

  • StateTheFacts SAlt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 11:55 a.m.

    As a normal Joe-citizen, I attended the press conference held by the State, County, City and Police department. Each representative acknowledged the ACLU's involvement in the planning. Now the ACLU states its claim to have rights and privileges to execute a three-phase plan with funding (our tax $$'s) to get ahead of this tragic community issue. It's a simple plan that will adapt to the environment. But, ACLU, three simple questions for your input: 1. What is wrong with arresting the drug dealers that prey on citizens? 2. What is wrong with our tax $$'s funding and providing social services; including: housing, food, rehabilitation professionals and other human-social services for our homeless population and those sadly addicted to drugs? And, 3. What is wrong with our tax dollars providing housing, education and employment options for those currently that have no Hope? ACLU--be part of the solution, or go back to your hole. Totally agree with, “Since when did the ACLU become the judicial, legislature, and executive branches?"

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 11:37 a.m.

    Before the ACLU complains too hard, why don't they wait a while and see how this plan works out?

    If they have a better plan, why didn't they volunteer to share it with the city before this? This area of town has been crime ridden for years.

    The ACLU should volunteer it's plans to cities around the country. If it's plans really are better this will become evident and people will then adopt their plans.

  • Gramphans Draper, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 10:59 a.m.

    Hey...ACLU, ....psssst.....Law enforcement is not arresting homeless people for being homeless. They arresting criminals who happen to be homeless.

  • Originalflyinhawaiian Yakima, WA
    Aug. 17, 2017 10:50 a.m.

    So now that the ACLU feels the need to interject itself in everything, what is their answer? To simply let it be? Yup, that's the ticket! I say, let the people die on the streets before we "violate their right to kill themselves with drugs." Idiots!

  • Johnny Triumph Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 10:34 a.m.

    The ACLU should instead advocate for the rights of the masses in demanding regular policing of the area. This delay and then assault the area policing policy does little to deter illegal behavior.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 10:14 a.m.

    The ability of homeless people to walk the street without fear of being a crime victim is also a civil liberty that requires the ACLU's advocacy.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 10:13 a.m.

    To solve the Rio Grande problem, we could just turn to the solutions proffered by Margaret Sanger. She had a solution back in the early part of the century. These problems of chronic poverty and homelessness were what she wanted to solve. Eventually, she limited her ideas to what is now Planned Parenthood. Of course one government in Europe did take her solutions to heart, and developed a terminal solution to the problem.

    We should be very careful when we request progressives to solve community problems. They end up in T4 like solutions.

    Get on with arresting the criminal element in Rio Grande. Send them to court swiftly, and incarcerate them in tents in the west desert.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 9:38 a.m.

    It's a good thing the ACLU has no authority in the matter.

    Opinions are buttons. Everybody has one.

  • Isaiah 1:15 Ogden, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 9:26 a.m.

    As I understand it, the next macro-level step in our earthly progression is to build a Zion type society.

    Seems we can have this:

    The Lord called Enoch’s people Zion “because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them” (Moses 7:18).

    And thus, in their prosperous circumstances, they did not send away any who were naked, or that were hungry, or that were athirst, or that were sick, or that had not been nourished; and they did not set their hearts upon riches; therefore they were liberal to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, whether out of the church or in the church, having no respect to persons as to those who stood in need. (Alma 1:30)

    Or we can have this:

    Scoundrels use wicked methods,
    they make up evil schemes
    to destroy the poor with lies,
    even when the plea of the needy is just. (Isa. 32:7)

    Learn to do good: demand justice,
    stand up for the oppressed;
    plead the cause of the fatherless,
    appeal on behalf of the widow. (Isa. 1:17)

    Sodom was destroyed for not caring about the poor and needy. (Isa. 3:9)

  • MendonMick Mendon, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 9:22 a.m.

    I don't recall the news conference where the ACLU stood up and gave any solutions to the issue. When was it? Here's an idea. Let's move all of them over to the ACLU premises. I'm sure they would be happy to care for them and house them and take care of all their needs. Why didn't they suggest this from the beginning? It would have solved it completely and without using valuable resources.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 8:56 a.m.

    I believe In the short term our elected officials could do a lot more by going back and passing the funding for treatment they failed to pass when they passed the reform laws. Second they could provide funding to and work with the existing shelter to allow it to remain open to its clients during the day and provide in house resources so clients don't have to stand out on the streets to become easy prey to criminals.
    In the long term the new shelters are a small step forward but will not be enough. Every city in the county should be encouraged to step up and provide smaller specialized shelters for specific populations within the homeless community (I.e. Single mothers, harm reduction etc...) lastly any tax breaks or subsides for new housing construction should come with a requirement for a certain percentage of units to be set aside as low income/ affordable housing and those units set aside must be fully integrated with the complex not separated out (I.e Separate entrances, limited access to amenities).

  • bamafone Salem, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 8:54 a.m.

    ACLU is only interested in the liberties of certain groups and individuals, we're not all included in their club. I'm anticipating that the Deseret news will be publishing the arrest count for day number two of the operation.

  • scrappy do DRAPER, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 8:49 a.m.

    so what is the problem with arresting people who are breaking the law?

    am I missing something?

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 8:41 a.m.

    My question for the ACLU is: Just what about law breakers getting arrested for breaking the law don't you like?

  • neece Hyde Park, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 8:24 a.m.

    doesn't the ACLU have anything better to do with its resources???

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Aug. 17, 2017 8:19 a.m.

    There is a reason that conservatives refer to the ACLU as the "American Communist Lawyers Union."

    John Adams once said; "The constitution is capable of governing a good and righteous people but totally incapable of governing any other kind."

    The ACLU usually enables the "other kind" to continue their bad behavior.
    They also attempt to block any mix if Christianity with anything related to government; however, they look the other way when Islam gets introduced in the schools.

    Heaven forbid that the rising generation should learn that there is a God, that each of us will ultimately be accountable to Him and most importantly, nobody should have a conscience.

    One way to destroy freedom is to be soft on crime to the point that society devolves into anarchy. If this is the goal of the ACLU, then they are doing just the right things.

  • Swiss Price, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 7:56 a.m.

    I object to the fact that the ACLU hides behind their acronym. Who wrote the document that the Deseret News refers to an actual lawyer or a paralegal.
    Deseret News where is the document and why couldn't you include it so we could parse it like the ACLU parsed Operation Rio Grande.
    Have the ACLU writers ridden in on or left on the California Zephyr. If they had and tried to get on or off the train I know that they would have a different impression of what needed to happen in that district of downtown SLC.

  • Chessermesser West Valley City, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 7:32 a.m.

    The other night I was at Rio Grande when the operation was going on. It is a cesspool there and needs cleaning up.

    It is unsafe, dirty, and threatening. And the ACLU complains? Maybe the city ought to tell the homeless that they MUST move to in front of the ACLU office.

    Then let's see how the lawyers there react.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 7:31 a.m.

    Well, if the ACLU is ticked off then something good and productive must be going on.

  • North Guy Corinne, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 7:09 a.m.

    I agree with most of the comments, the ACLU is more than happy to attack Salt Lake City for trying to deal with a serious problem. Where is your plan & where is your money?

  • ERB Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 7:02 a.m.

    How dare the police enforce the law, and arrest criminals. {dramatic pause for effect}
    The ACLU lost its way years ago and now if the ACLU comes out with an opinion, common sense is 180* the other direction.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 6:58 a.m.

    Let local ACLU officials move their offices to the Rio Grande area as well as moving into an apartment nearby. The ACLU need to worry about the people whose lives are turned upside down by living and working in this crime and drug infested mess.

  • twinkleberry67 Layton, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 6:33 a.m.

    I wish the ACLU would stop wasting their time and resources on agitating society and do what they were founded to do. For example if a disabled person petitions them for help for some type of discriminatory situation, the disabled person is asked what their race gender and sexual orientation is before they will even talk to anybody. And of course if the caller does not fit their stringent criteria of those worthy to assist(non-heterosexual, non-male and non-Caucasian), they hang up on them. I agree with the rest of you, they have morphed into a worthless agitant to modern society.

  • dski HERRIMAN, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 6:31 a.m.

    Why don't we ask the ACLU for their membership roster. We can sent the homeless to their homes so they can provide for them. By doing this, the homeless are closely supervised, treatment provided, and no one else will violate their civil liberties. Just an idea!

  • Egyptian origins Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 6:20 a.m.

    My concern is that Operation Rio Grande is a Police State Operation. Highway Patrol Officers were pulled off the Freeways and given jurisdiction in the cities. We already have State, County, City, and other policing divisions such as the created "Unified" Police Dept. So those caught with drugs, the 87 on the first day go to jail for the empty space that was made premeditatively from secret surveillance by the police. Yet we still admit the problem will spread to other cities, which now puts neighbor against neighbor to suspect the other of being drug users. The homeless still aren't being taken care of, there is no free housing for them, there are no jobs that will pay enough for them to make a living. Do you seriously think fast food jobs will solve the problem? Then we've labeled the homeless as mentally ill so that we can put them into "reeducation" centers, renamed from "insane asylums", yet still overseen by psychiatrists, just like the Nazi Concentration Camps. And despite all this that is happening people are making comments that the ACLU are the ones in the wrong for speaking out to protect theirs and even our Constitutional rights. The Cleansing of America has begun.

  • Thomas Thompson Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 6:15 a.m.

    Much though I value the presence of the ACLU in our community, I cannot agree with them that the current approach to the problems in the Rio Grande Community are just "more of the same." The substantially higher police presence in the area unquestionably reduces the likelihood of crime. So I'm grateful for that presence, and just hope it doesn't end too soon.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 5:58 a.m.

    The "menacing few" have civil rights that we should all be concerned about if for no more reason then you never know when someone will decide you are a part the "menacing few"

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 5:54 a.m.

    @byu alum
    West Jordan may not want the ACLU but many of us in Salt Lake City do.
    @lets check the facts
    Since when did the Aclu claim it was any of those things. Advocating for civil rights and assuring that people have access to fair treatment under the law should be everyone's concern.
    Wanting our streets back and removing criminals from the streets and respecting people's civil liberties do not have to be mutually exclusive.
    When democratic leaders are wrong they should be called out. Pity you only seemed concerned about getting democrates.
    The problem is treatment is not being offered and when it is these folks often have to wait 6 months or more to access it because our legislature failed to pass the funding for treatment.
    @Silver Stingray
    Because like those of us that care the ACLU is trying toinsure people get the kind of help that will actually help including access to mental health and substance abuse treatment.
    If you read the ACLU statement they are advocating for those resources to rehabilitate.

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    Aug. 17, 2017 5:48 a.m.

    I agree with TJ's comment that the ACLU has gone from a worthwhile organization a decade ago, to one which is only bent on creating chaos and breaking down any societal norms that still exist. They are now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democrat party wildly liberal wing. I have not been a member for years and I am now almost totally opposed to anything they are trying to accomplish.

  • Uncle_Fester Niskayuna, NY
    Aug. 17, 2017 5:45 a.m.

    The ACLU has no business "sanctioning" anything it's not government and people would do well in Utah to oppose just about anything it tries to do.

  • gonefishn Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 17, 2017 1:46 a.m.

    ACLU did not step in to protect the dozens of homeless murdered over the the last few years but is stepping in to go against a program that will save homeless lives?

  • Soren Simonsen Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 16, 2017 11:55 p.m.

    The ACLU is right to raise this question about jail versus treatment. We should be pressuring Sen. Hatch, who seems to have the ear of the President, and ask him to make approving the Medicare plan a highest priority. This is an easy health-care win, and should have happened year ago. It could be a model for other states. Get health care for the least among us, which is pretty non-controversial, even if these guys can't figure out what to do with my Marketplace health care plan.

  • SMcloud Sandy, UT
    Aug. 16, 2017 11:39 p.m.

    Not policing the Rio Grande area makes the area unsafe for the people who live and work there and the homeless as well. What about their rights to live in a safe place?

    This is a really complicated issue that doesn't have an easy fix. I agree that we need to have more treatment options available, both for mental health and drug addiction.

  • tqseal Liberal Central (Sugarhouse), UT
    Aug. 16, 2017 11:36 p.m.

    Nothing about Operation Rio Grande has been illegal; otherwise the ACLU would have filed lawsuits like they usually do.

  • mightymite , 00
    Aug. 16, 2017 10:41 p.m.

    The ACLU stands on the wrong side of so many issues. In general it is a shameful organization which attempts to take stem laws of decency and common good in order to protect a menacing few in society who feel it is their constitutional right to destroy our society and culture. Shame on the ACLU, your works are destroying our society.

  • B C Park City, UT
    Aug. 16, 2017 9:48 p.m.

    If the aclu were really concerned with the homeless, they would have gotten involved in helping to rehabilitate these people, rather than whining about it.

  • Silver Stingray St George, UT
    Aug. 16, 2017 9:48 p.m.

    Why doesn't the ACLU put its money where its mouth is and let its members take them in themselves? They live in an ivory tower and ignore the rights of the businesses and the public.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 16, 2017 9:42 p.m.

    ACLU needs to give new plan a change to work. Part of the plan is to do assessments and try and get people into treatment and where appropriate job training and jobs. They have to start with cracking down on criminal element first. If people really want help there will be help. If not, thee will be consequences. We have tried the far left liberal approach and thus far it hasn't worked. Something has to be done and they need to not be a barrier to changing what is happening at
    Rio Grande.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 16, 2017 9:32 p.m.

    I love when the ACLU attacks democratic leaders!

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 16, 2017 8:53 p.m.

    ACLU: Please stay out of a troubling problem in Salt Lake City. We don't need you nor want you!

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 16, 2017 8:53 p.m.

    The aclu has gone from a worthwhile group that I agreed with most of the time to an ultra-liberal group that has no value to society other than to make problems and waste public money.
    We want our streets back and we want the drug dealers gone. How can the aclu not understand that this is a good thing? Unbelievable!

  • Lets check the facts Santa Fe, NM
    Aug. 16, 2017 8:50 p.m.

    Since when did the ACLU become the judical, legislature, and executive branches?