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Group clearing encampments to remove 'criminal vagrants'

November 15, 2017
Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia city official says an organization is clearing homeless encampments in an effort to remove "criminal vagrants."

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the Kanawha City Community Association has pledged to "rescue and clean" riverbanks in the area. The organization gathered roughly 30 volunteers Tuesday to dismantle encampments along the Kanawha River.

Kanawha City is a neighborhood in Charleston.

Charleston Councilman Rick Burka, who's also the association's president, says the project aims to remove "criminal vagrants," a term he uses to distinguish between suspected criminals and other homeless people.

Burka says he believes the project will deter crimes like theft and prostitution. He says it sends a message to residents who feel businesses or neighborhoods are in decline, and to vagrants deemed responsible.

The project is scheduled to end by spring.


Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail,



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